The Mythology Behind Hades

hey everyone, welcome back to another video. this time round we’re taking a proper deep dive into the masterpiece that is Hades – however, rather than looking at this like a review, or a stereotypical analysis, we’re going to be checking out the mythology that inspired the game, and seeing how closely what you’ll find in Hades matches up with pre-established Greek myth. there are timestamps below for your convenience.

here are the timestamps:

Introduction + Thesis: 00:00
Hades: 3:25
Nyx: 12:36
Zagreus: 18:59
Charon: 24:49
Hypnos + Thanatos: 30:16
The Furies: 37:17
Chaos: 46:28
Zeus: 51:34
Poseidon: 57:05
Athena: 1:04:16
Aphrodite: 1:10:36
Artemis: 1:16:41
Ares: 1:23:32
Dionysus: 1:30:56
Hermes: 1:38:00
Demeter: 1:44:14
Achilles + Patroclus: 1:49:21
Orpheus + Eurydice: 1:57:08
Sisyphus: 2:06:37
Theseus + Asterius: 2:13:56
Cerberus: 2:23:35
Dusa: 2:30:56
Skelly: 2:35:54
Persephone: 2:44:02
House of Hades: 2:50:31
The Underworld: 2:51:49
Tartarus + Asphodel + Elysium: 2:54:57
Erebus: 3:00:44
Greece: 3:03:35
Stygius: 3:06:17
Varatha: 3:11:38
Coronacht: 3:15:53
Aegis: 3:18:48
Malphon: 3:21:38
Exagryph: 3:25:14
Conclusion + Thanks: 3:31:38

and here is a list of stuff i bring up in the video that i say you can find more info about in the description:

– the excellent Noclip documentaries about Hades:
– Supergiant’s PAX West panel: –
– Dr Emily Wilson’s twitter thread on misogyny in translation: –
– a link to Viria’s twitter and instagram accounts, give her a follow if you want to see more amazing art: and
– Giulia Sissa’s piece on virginity in the ancient world:
– the book from which i got the caduceus/asclepius survey info:
– the reddit thread about Eurydice that Greg Kasavin responded to:
– the Beowulf translation i used:
– the book referring to Enkidu being part-bull:

all the footage in the game was captured by me! it took a while, unsurprisingly.

i’d like to say a huge thanks to my best pal Joe, without whom this channel would be much worse off. Joe has done all the art for my channel from its inception, from the old logo to the new black mage logo, the old intro and all the outros, and most recently the incredible art for my Patreon tiers! he is an immensely talented artist and an absolute legend so check him out:

i’d also really like to thank HotCyder for his excellent work on the thumbnail! if you want to check him out, you can find him on both YouTube and Twitter:

i think that’s it! thanks everyone. hope you enjoy the video 🙂

– alastair x


31 thoughts on “The Mythology Behind Hades”

  1. THREE AND A HALF HOURS! There's no way I can watch this right now but I'm commenting now for the algorithm haha, I'll report back once I'm done 😀 Thank you so much for the love and dedication you put into every single video you make!

  2. I always thought there was a sort of tongue-in-cheek connection between Asterius and Theseus and the Borges story "The house of Asterion". The reverence with which the bull treats the Greek hero reminded me of the way it reacts to him at the end of the story, where he sees him as his redemption.

  3. i have around 70 hours in hades, and it took watching this video to realize that the coins have a bident symbol on them, not an exclamation mark. i am very intelligent.

  4. Commenting for the algorithm, gonna have to watch in stints but hell yeah I’ve been waiting for something longer since that fuckin amazing Xenoblade video. Great to have you back

  5. It's also worth mentioning about Orpheus and Eurydice that Supergiant may actually have addressed the fact that their Orpheus performed with Eurydice while the mythological Orpheus did not. There is a line of dialogue where Eurydice complains about how all the credit has been given to Orpheus to music they produced as a team. Orpheus responds in turn that he has tried to correct people on this point but that the narrative of Orpheus as a singular performer has gotten out of his hands. Not only does this address the original myth, but it's some neat commentary on the way some things get revised away out of myth by the people retelling it, especially the role of women.

  6. This is the first time I have ever stumbled upon your content, and it has not taken me more than 10 minutes to recognise I was up for 3 hours of pure quality! Thank you for taking the time to make such a treat for us!

    I just finished Artemis's section of the video, and wanted to ask you this : I know that Artemis has made a vow of virginity, but the game made me wonder whether it was a reject of love itself or a reject of men. It seemed to me that it was the latter in the game, as I think there were hints that she was lesbian, based on some interactions with Aphrodite during their dual boons dialogues, and the fact that she seemed to have a close relationship with Callisto. What do you think ? Have you ever found hints about that in the litterature ?

    Thanks for your attention and keep up the top-quality content !

  7. Just finished the video- WOW!!!! Thank you so much for this masterpiece! I was the kid that grew up reading history and mythos books instead of fiction, and even then there was so much you brought up (and that Hades brought up) that I never knew!! Absolutely delicious video, you deserve a huge pat on the back.

    I know you had to keep it short, but even then as you said, there was so much more you could delve into with certain characters and items. Characters like Achilles and Orpheus could almost have their own videos!!!

  8. Congrats for finishing this, I really enjoyed it! Here is a list of my thoughts:
    33:34 In the game, Nyx keeps her distance from Hypnos so that he'd learn to be more independent. What if this story is the reason why she thinks Hypnos is too dependent on her?
    35:11 I don't recall Thanatos ever wielding a scythe in ancient sources, but I do know that he uses a sword, which you can see on his left hip. SGG still gets it right!
    35:48 I just feel like pointing out that the furniture Zag commissions for Than also has his symbols, such as the butterflies adorning the torches and the arrangement of poppies sitting on his utility table.
    42:38 Meg is the punisher of jealousy. Zag mentions this if he romances Meg after having already romanced Than. ("But… what about you, you're the punisher of jealousy.")
    49:58, 50:19, 50:27 You referred to Chaos as he/him when it should be they/them. Although, these are likely just slips of the tongue since you have used the correct pronouns before this.
    1:16:17 Zag's relationship with Than does not resemble Agape. Agape is to love someone despite not being personally familiar with them (e.g. loving strangers through charity). According to SGG in Twitter, Than and Zag have been friends since their childhood. I think Pragma/Enduring love fits them better, because they cared a lot for each for the longest time despite being each other's foils.
    2:16:52 Dionysus said, "[Theseus] just dumped [Ariadne] rotten," so indeed, he abandoned her in this game.
    2:55:15 I think it's Daedalus who designed the ever-shifting chambers of Tartarus. His hammer's codex entry states, "…Having designed the interlocking chambers all through Tartarus, and even the floorplan of the Lord Hades' house, Daedalus since discarded his own tools…"
    That's all I have for now. I'm glad Youtube recommended me this while looking for Hades vids.


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