How much does Hercules respect Zeus?

#1 Posted by seekquaze (612 posts) - - Show Bio

I know Hercules has some respect for Zeus as both his father and king and often boast about being the son of Zeus, but I sort of have to wonder how much. Zeus isn't exactly the type of father you can look at and say with pride "This guy is my dad!" Whenever Odin disappears, Thor more often than not has searched the entire universe and beyond looking for him. As much as the two butt heads Thor a deep love and respect for Odin (at least under most writers.) When Zeus died, Hercules knew exactly where he was yet was content to leave him there. None of the Olympians including Hera or Athena were eager to retrieve Zeus. And those three are probable the closest and most loyal to Zeus of all the Olympians. Hercules respects Zeus, but how much seems to vary much more than the Thor/Odin relationship.

thoughts?

#2 Posted by JonSmith (3996 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Hercules respects Zeus as a leader, father, and warrior. But there's a large difference between respecting someone, and liking someone. For example, you can respect that Superior Spider-Man's methods ARE superior to Peter's way of getting things done. But you can still hate his f***ing guts. I think Hercules has such an opinion of Zeus: He'll go above and beyond the call of duty for Zeus, because Zeus is his king and one of Olympus' greatest assets when it comes to raw power. Doesn't mean Herc's too fond of Zeus or his way of doing things.

#3 Posted by PowerHerc (83401 posts) - - Show Bio

Hercules respects Zeus immensely.

Despite that fact Hercules is still a headstrong, alpha male type person and has defied Zeus from time to time. Hercules has lived long enough to see Zeus' temper cause him to make rash decisions and thus he knows Zeus isn't infallible. Knowing this would also make it easier/more likely for Hercules to defy Zeus when he thinks Zeus is wrong despite respecting him immensely.

#4 Edited by seekquaze (612 posts) - - Show Bio

Despite that fact Hercules is still a headstrong, alpha male type person and has defied Zeus from time to time. Hercules has lived long enough to see Zeus' temper cause him to make rash decisions and thus he knows Zeus isn't infallible. Knowing this would also make it easier/more likely for Hercules to defy Zeus when he thinks Zeus is wrong despite respecting him immensely.

In the end, I think that is what is truly terrifying thing about Zeus. The combination of his power in all its forms combined with his temper and other character flaws. Zeus gets angry when the other gods question or go against his decisions, but considering the sheer number of times he has been wrong or does not even think or consider he could be wrong on important issues even when the correct choice is obvious gives the other gods every reason to question practically all of his decisions. When Zeus is correct it is all good, but sometimes when he is wrong there is hell to pay. His temper is one of the worse parts. If he hears a blasphemous boast he might let it go. Other times he might destroy an entire city. Worse is if he is wrong or enraged there is no one on Olympus who he will listen to or that has the power to stop him. I cannot help but think ion some untold story when he was a young king Zeus once tried his crap with another pantheon of gods or on a group of mortals outside of his territory. Maybe the Egyptians? I imagine Zeus got the crap beaten out of him and the point was made in no uncertain terms that his temper issues would not be tolerated by other gods and that he isn't the biggest kid on the block. I figure something like that would have been necessary to force Zeus to mature a bit.

Hercules has often been called the "favorite" son of Zeus and Zeus clearly favors him. Yet how many times has Hercules been on the receiving end of Zeus' injustice? At least five times by my reckoning not including his original mortal life. Zeus tries to justify it with reasons that make sense, but coming from his mouth sound only like well-rehearsed excuses. If Zeus treats his favorite like that what does he do to people he doesn't like?

#5 Posted by PowerHerc (83401 posts) - - Show Bio

@seekquaze: Are you saying there has been a reference to an untold story where Zeus was humbled by another pantheon early on in his reign or are you saying that is how you think things should've/would've/did go?

#6 Posted by seekquaze (612 posts) - - Show Bio

@seekquaze: Are you saying there has been a reference to an untold story where Zeus was humbled by another pantheon early on in his reign or are you saying that is how you think things should've/would've/did go?

A bit of both though more of inference. Zeus' bio in vol. 14 states at some point the Olympians were involved in a conflict against the Egyptian gods. Freya stated during the Manchester gods story arc of JIM that before the pantheons agreed to stay out of each others internal affairs they warred constantly. The Council of Godheads once commented that they considered Zeus unreasonable. In myth, Zeus' squabbling family put aside their rivalries long enough to momentarily unite against Zeus and overthrow him. This group included his loyal daughter Athena. A common interpretation of this is they got fed up with his shenanigans and the event forced Zeus to try and be a better king. His overall portrayal in Marvel tends to emphasis his more negative traits. Yes, he can be the wise father of gods and men you expect, but more often than not he lacks the wisdom or at least you have to go through several layers of jerk to reach it.

Now, combined all that with what we know of Zeus now and try to imagined him as he was fresh off his victory over the Titans, newly crowned king of the gods. Proud and strong and as far as he knows the most powerful being around. He has yet to encounter another group. He is arrogant among a group of arrogant gods. Sooner or later the Olympians encounter another group of gods. Maybe Zeus is flying along as an eagle in Egypt and sees a priestess or goddess even bathing in the Nile. He makes advances, she rejects him, and Zeus being Zeus does something stupid thanks to wounded pride. The Egyptian gods hear about it and are offended. Maybe Zeus is pisst that another group of being dare claim to be gods or his equals. If Zeus won any conflict with another group of gods his already swelled ego would get bigger. I figure the only way Zeus matured a bit and learned to work with other gods and at least pay lip service to the idea they are equals. Instead of allowing the Olympians to war with Asgard he agreed to a true of sorts with Odin where each side thought they won. Now also take the general arrogance of the Olympians and why Zeus is sometimes considered one of the more mature ones. I figure that just like the internal rebellion matured him a bit to be a better king to the Olympians some outside incident forced him to realize he wasn't the biggest kid on the block. Since the Egyptian gods were once ruled by Ra, an aspect of Atum the Demogorge, it seems like it would be either him or Odin. Odin because the Roman never conquered the Germans who once worshipped the Aesir and some comic stories feature the gods battling other gods on behalf of their worshippers.

So yeah, mostly inference based on Zeus' personality and a few comments.

#7 Posted by PowerHerc (83401 posts) - - Show Bio

@seekquaze:

Ok, I've got it.

What you imagine might have happened would make a good story in the Marvel Universe. I'd read it.

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