Netflix’s newest animated display, Blood of Zeus, brings the Greek pantheon again to its dysfunctional circle of relatives roots. Zeus is an terrible husband and a cheater. Hera is scorned, jealous spouse who desires to homicide her husband’s lovechild. The familial twist is a facet of Greek mythology we don’t truly see that a lot in movie or TV diversifications, and makes the display particular. Then the creators throw it away within the final scene of the season.
Blood of Zeus ends with a divulge that the large struggle between gods and giants used to be apparently orchestrated now not via Hera, however via a crafty Hades. The final scene sees Hades greeting the season’s villain, Seraphim, within the Underworld and revealing that it’s Hades’ bident that Seraphim has been the usage of all season to kill other people and unlock the giants.
The twist falls prey to a not unusual trope in motion pictures, TV displays or even video games in keeping with Greek mythology. From seeking to kill new child Hercules, and unleashing the Titans on Zeus in Disney’s Hercules, to betraying the god with a purpose to overthrow him in each the Conflict of the Titans films and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Hades is in most cases portrayed as an evil and jealous god who desires to take his brother’s throne. To try this is to present a shallow learn to the mythos, and a want to show Hades and Zeus into analogues for Devil and God. Take the Hercules animated film, the place the evil Hades is a decrepit guy with blue-grey pores and skin, yellow eyes and sharp enamel, contrasting with Zeus’ blue eyes, stocky muscular frame that’s repeatedly surrounded via a shiny, golden charisma.
The Hades of the Greek pantheon is messier and extra nuanced. By way of maximum accounts, together with Homer’s Iliad, Hades isn’t evil, however a stern and passive god that sticks to his activity and doesn’t thoughts other folks’s trade — more than likely as a result of he merely doesn’t have time for it because of the consistent go with the flow of recent souls. Within the unique Hercules delusion, the hero descends to the Underworld to invite Hades for permission to carry his canine, Cerberus, to the skin. As a substitute of imprisoning him, or seeking to kill him as a new child, Hades concurs so long as Heracles doesn’t hurt his liked canine. Certainly, the most efficient portrayals of Hades adhere to his chilly, indifferent personality, a god that doesn’t care about anything else however following the foundations and keeping up steadiness. The new videogame Hades does its titular god justice via portraying him like he’s Logan Roy from Succession, extra thinking about his huge empire than taking care of his son.
Blood of Zeus complicates the portrayal of Zeus and Hera in tribute to the myths, appearing them now not as infallible deities, however as superpowered but unsuitable beings that cheat and make errors. Why, then, did the display now not do the similar with Hades? Possibly they’ll wonder us when the inevitable season 2 arrives someday, but when it doesn’t, then it’s going to taint the legwork performed via this primary season. Having Hades because the evil mastermind makes the display simply any other interpretation of the Greek myths that treats one god because the drive of excellent and any other because the drive of natural evil, getting rid of the nuance and dimensions of the characters in prefer of black and white morality.
In an interview with Inverse, showrunner Charley Parlapanides teased that Hades could have a larger function in season 2, pronouncing “it’s very a lot a tale of Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon. The 3 brothers,” and that it’s going to center of attention on “when the brothers divided the 3 nation-states of the sector.” Now, it’s something to turn Hades as being green with envy over getting the quick finish of the keep on with his realm, as that’s a large a part of the mythology, and having Hades and Poseidon react to the brand new energy vacuum as a result of Zeus’ demise is for sure fascinating. On the other hand, if that is all a ruse via Hades to usurp the throne when he already has a larger area than another god, then Blood of Zeus will lose what made it particular within the first position.