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Headscratchers: Hercules
  • How does reuniting Meg's soul with her body bring her back to life? Her body was, and is, still crushed from the falling pillar.
    • Hercules was a god at the time so maybe he healed her magically.
    • This makes more sense than you think—Heracles was one of the gods of health (in the fitness sense, but still). In fact, this makes so much sense it deserves a place in Fridge Brilliance.

  • Hercules was getting his arse kicked considerably hard during that first part of the fight with the Cyclops, after Hades took his godlike strength. Did just his strength get taken away, or both strength and endurance? Much of the damage he took should have effectively killed him.
    • Simple, the Cyclops wasn't actually trying to kill him, he was just torturing him for the fun of it.
    • Plus, powers or not Heracles was just that strong enough to take it. He reminded me of Gohan near the end of the Cell Saga in DBZ. Even without powers (or not using them in Gohan's case), he could take a beating that would otherwise kill a regular person.
    • He must have been Brought Down to Badass.
    • Yeah, remember despite his Super Strength, Herc went through his training with Phil for many years. So his body would have high endurance from the years of working with him.
    • Actually, Hades *specifically* only mentions his strength. He never says 'powers' as a part of the deal, just strength.
  • Why is Hercules able to ascend Mount Olympus to fight off the Titans, but was told that the only way to ascend Olympus was to become a god?
    • Well, the Gods were kinda incapacitated at the time, so any nitpicking by them would be impossible. Second, this was more about his return to Godhood to LIVE on Mount Olympus. Besides, flying Pegasus up isn't ascending, it's flying.

  • Here's what bugs me. Despite all the stuff Hercules did, he wasn't worthy of godhood until he risked his life to save his love, correct? Ok, but Meg, not only risked her life, she LOST her life saving Hercules from the falling pillar. She had no way of knowing that Hercules was going to go to the Underworld and save her. come Meg doesn't get to qualify as a goddess? Instead of Hercules giving up godhood to be with Meg, how come he didn't ask if Meg could be a goddess with him? Ok, technically she wasn't the daughter of any of the gods, but still.
    • She wasn't the daughter of any of the gods. That's the answer. Hercules already was a god, it was just dormant until he performed a selflessly heroic act. She was selflessly heroic, but she's not a goddess.
      • Of course, there also is the question begged of why the Olympians didn't just make her immortal anyway. The gods and goddesses married mortals right and left and turned them immortal quite easily and as the wife of Hercules, Meg should have qualified. Yes, it was to show that Hercules values his love for her over being a god, but still...
      • Maybe they did that in the original mythology, but this is the Disney adaptation. It's possible that the gods and goddesses kept to themselves in this alternate universe, considering Hercules was originally a half-mortal himself. I also doubt it even happened in mythology, since most gods' relationships were little more than one night stands.
      • Actually, in the original mythology, Hera curses Hercules with madness in which he kills Megara and that is what causes him to do The Twelve Labours.
      • It happened at least once in the orignal mythology, Eros and Psyche. But the rest of your point stands.
      • ...As memory serves, Psyche wasn't made immortal. She burst into flames at the sight of Eros' true form.
      • No, you are thinking of Semele...who was eventually made a goddess in some versions of the myth, too.
      • And Zeus and Ganymede. And several children of Apollo were also made gods by their father.
    • Am I the only troper who realised the Fridge Brilliance in this? Meg has a terrible fear of heights, remember?

  • Note: I haven't seen the TV Series so my problem just apply to the movie. Why was Phil so obsess about the constellation thing? We clearly saw in his hall of heroes the statue of Perseus which also has one. Seriously, this borders Fridge Logic.
    • Because the constellation and the recognition ("That's Phil's boy!") was his dream - yes, he trained the other yeuseus, but no one recognized them as Phil's students, and the one who they knew of had become a laughingstock because of that furshlugginer heel of his. The heroes got the recognition while the person who trained them to be what they became winds up living in a hovel in the middle of nowhere having to resort to spying on nymphs. The constellation would mark them as someone so important that learning about the origins of that hero would result in recognition of him as their teacher.

  • How can Zeus not find his son? He's the freaking KING OF THE GODS! Why the Big "NO!" when all you really needed to do was cast a "Find Hercules" spell?
    • Because he's not all-powerful. None of the Greek gods were. The concept of an omnipotent god, at least in the Western world, is a fairly recent one that probably originates with the Hebrews (but don't quote me on that). Before the Jews came along, gods had limits. You could fool them, you could hide from them, you could imprison them, and you could even kill them (though not easily, obviously). The level of power attributed to each god varies depending on the culture they originate from
      • He did say that they found Hercules but it was too late, he wasn't a God anymore.

  • How the fuck does Hades not know Hercules isn't dead? HE'S IN CHARGE OF THE UNDERWORLD!
    • He hasn't been doing his job very well.
    • Hades is just administration. He oversees the underworld but doesn't know the name of every single person in there. Sort of like the top administrator at a hospital doesn't know the name of every single patient in his building. Multiply that times the millions of people who have already died plus the thousands that die every single day and Pain and Panic could just tell him Hercules was dead (which they did) and he would just go with that.
      • He didn't have any trouble finding Meg.
      • Meg had sold him her soul - he may have been able to keep tabs on her through their deal somehow.
    • This is an even bigger issue if you attempt to regard the spin-off midquel TV series (set while Hercules was still in-training with Phil) as cannon - there, he and Hades encountered each other in just about every episode.
      • I haven't watched an episode of the series in quite some time, but maybe he thought it was a different kid? Didn't Ares - as in, one of the gods living on Olympus who would have knowledge of the fact Hercules was alive - not reconize him until it was pointed out by Athena (I think)?
      • they did address this in the series. Hades knew he was alive it would be hard not to find out. In the last or second to last episode they introduced a younger Megera and she enlists Hercules's help in finding the Plot Device an urn full of Lethe water. the urn is tumped over on Hades, pain, panic, and Megera Resulting in them developing Laser-Guided Amnesia.
    • I totally agree with the complainer on this one. It's one of the most argued points in the movie. Yes, lots of people pass through the Underworld, but this is Hercules, son of a god and the guy who could bust up a plan for total global domination. You'd think Hades would have been paying attention for his death. Also, Zeus (who seems fairly pally with Hades, even if it's not returned) mentions that the gods DID search for Hercules. He would surely have asked his brother Hades to help out? And sure, Hades wouldn't be looking very hard, but surely that would mean he would find out through the grapevine, as they say, that Hercules was alive but mortal.
    • Bear in mind that Hercules was a baby at the time, and babies tend to all look pretty much the same. How's Hades gonna tell Herc apart from all the other infants headed down to the Underworld that day?
      • Ignoring the fact that Hercules has red hair (which isn't a very common hair color), maybe it would be the necklace that he was wearing that said "HERCULES" on it?
    • There's also another point to bring up. Zeus and all the other gods on Olympus knew Hercules was alive but mortal. Why didn't they tell Hades? Did it not even come up in conversation? I get that Hades doesn't see them much, but over the course of 18 years it seems like Zeus would bring up the fact that his son had turned mortal and has to live on Earth.
      • Not if he assumed that everyone- including Hades- knew. Why would Zeus bring that up at all? It's probably really painful for him and Hera.
    • I can think of a couple reasons—probably not the reasons the writers intended, but No Prize worthy anyway—for one, Hercules is "biologically" (as far as that term counts) a god, not mortal. It's possible he doesn't actually have a soul in the traditional sense. Even if he does, Hades might not know that unless he's seen another god die before, or a god-turned-mortal.

  • So did Hercules actually do any of the Labors in the original myth? The most we see is that he tames Cerberus for a moment and he kicks what's presumably the Nemean Lion over a goalpost in the Zero To Hero montage, but otherwise, he doesn't perform any of the labors that made him famous.
    • This one can be justified — in the original myths he did the Labors to atone for killing his wife and children in a fit of Hera-caused madness. Since the Disney movie wasn't going to go anywhere near any of that, they left some hints in as a Genius Bonus and took the plot elsewhere.
    • This troper recalls that he fought all the monsters he had to fight. (They left the stables out.)
    • Actually, both the stables and obtaining the girdle of the Amazon queen were mentioned briefly; they're a part of the itinerary Phil reads aloud while Herc's getting his vase portrait done.
    • The TV series actually had various episodes centred around each labour.
    • The 'stables' one involved Herc rerouting the River Styx to clean them out - Hercules diving into the Styx to rescue Meg's soul could be seen as a Call Back to that too.
    • Watch "Zero To Hero". It has brief references to the Boar, the Hydra and the Minotaur.

  • About Herc's contract with Hades. If Meg was injured in any way ("he promised I wouldn't get hurt"), Herc gets his strength back. Why couldn't Meg hurt herself in some small way to give Hercule's strength back? Like tripping down the stairs or something? If any kind of pain, big or small, counts as "getting hurt", it didn't have to be as drastic as a a giant pillar! We could have avoided the whole drama, and then Herc could go and kick the fat brown Titan's ass like KABOOM!
    • Simply because they didn't realize it.
      • Hades doesn't say 'any harm'. That was Herc. Hades just says 'Meg is safe', and they both know it's in the context that Hades has no intention of hurting her. It's a Deal with the Devil - it's not written on paper for picking over later for loopholes. It's sealed with magic (or whatever), and the magic decides if the contract is broken, not a lawyer.

  • If you've read The Iliad, you know that Hercules lived before Achilles. No matter what Phil might say.
    • That's Greek mythology. This is Disney Canon. Two different things, however similar. Which they are not.

  • During the training montage, Phil orders Hercules to get down and do push-ups. Hercules is strong enough that he can easily pick up and fling a giant stone arm and discus out to sea. Push-ups would be useless unless they stacked statues on his back (which they didn't — in that scene, at least).
    • It might the difference in training endurance versus strength. Sure, Hercules is strong, but he really only exerted himself for a few seconds or minutes when lifting those things. Even a minor activity like push-ups, when done for a half hour, might be tiring.
    • The reason it's exerting is because you're lifting your own weight. Hercules can lift things that weight well over a ton—he will exert himself lifting his own weight.
    • Repetitive exercise develops not only strength, but muscle tone. If you rewatch the scene, right before Herc starts pushing, Phil measures his bicep and shakes his head. Part of being the Disney hero is looking the part, and that includes having the proper physique.

  • Even though I like the film (despite being a minor mythology buff), it still makes me scratch my head as to why Ares wasn't made the Big Bad instead of Hades, considering that Ares was definitely the god with the least amount of redeeming qualities.
    • Because Everyone Hates Hades.
    • A Values Dissonance moment, perhaps? In modern Western societies, the Underworld is associated with Hell, so the god of that realm would be associated with the Devil. Hades in the original myths was actually a rather sympathetic character.
      • The Values Dissonance gets even more confusing if you know the Greeks never really viewed Hades as sympathetic. They liked him more than Ares, but the Greeks still hated the guy.
    • Hades indirectly gives some possible motives at the very beginning of the film. While every god has certain duties, Hades is the only one who has to work 24/7 (you could argue that Apollo, being the sun god, had this too, but back then it's doubtful that the followers of the Greek pantheon were aware that the sun was shining on other parts of the world when it was night in Greece), not to mention that Zeus forced that job on him in the first place; so while all the other gods and goddesses at least got to take parts of the day off, Hades didn't get much of a break at all. Taking control of Mount Olympus probably seemed like the best solution to him.
      • That makes zero sense. Hades is bitter and stressed out because his job is 24/7. So his solution is to take over everything, thereby increasing his workload?
      • Once he's in charge, then he can delegate some other guy to guard the land of the dead, like Zeus.
    • Personally, I think they should have just kept Hera the villain and simply have her be Zeus' evil sister and Hercules' aunt...since that is actually the case in the original mythology.

  • When Zeus tells Hercules he had to abandon him after he was turned mortal because "only gods can live on Mount Olympus", what exactly does he mean? Is he saying it's physically impossible for a mortal to live there (like if one tried, they'd be automatically teleported out by the universe itself) or that there's a rule that forbids it. And if it's the latter, does that mean there's an authority figure above Zeus that we never see, or just that he made the rule and won't change but he'd feel hypocritical if he made an exception for Hercules? I'm just trying to figure out what's to actually stop the king of the gods from letting Hercules live on Mount Olympus despite being mortal.
    • In reality, Mount Olympus is considered one of the highest points in Europe. Looking at the other wiki it's height is at 2,917 metres/9,570 ft which is high enough to cause altitude sickness to anyone who doesn't hike or climb at great heights regularly. It's extremely unlikely that a baby, especially one rendered mortal, could live at such height without getting sick. And if they just kept baby Herc there while he was sick, the altitude sickness would only get worse and could cause permanent damage or even death. Zeus not keeping his now mortal child on the mountain with them is logical if it was to keep him from constantly being at risk of severe illness. Though that doesn't defend why Herc couldn't at an older age build up his ability to breathe in those conditions and be then invited back onto the mountain, other than the rules say he can't.
  • I think principle may play into this one a bit. Mount Olympus is for gods, and if you start letting mortals come up, it loses the whole "sacred" aspect.

  • The little potion that turns gods mortal... Where did Hades get it, and why didn't he use it before?
    • Possibly too risky to try and drop all the gods just like that. It could potentially throw them onto his trail.
      • Considering that how mortal one becomes is proportional how much of the potion one drinks, it would be too hard to get one of the gods to drink the whole bottle without them noticing.
      • Considering how gradual baby Hercules turned mortal, an adult god would have to be really clueless not to notice that suddenly parts of him were no longer glowing.
      • The gods are also much bigger a than baby Hercules and every drop of the potion was needed to make him fully mortal. Maybe the potion works the under the same rules as medication and Hades would need a higher dosage for adults. As far as we know he couldn't get any more.

  • At the end of the movie, since Hades can't die, as he is a god, he is instead sucked into the underworld and trapped there for good. Why didn't they somehow trick him into drinking the potion, and then kill him? Perhaps the writers weren't able to come up with a clever way for Hades to be tricked, or something?
    • For one, it'd be entirely out-of-character for Herc to kill Hades. Secondly, Hades' job is pretty freaking important - If he died, another God would have to be found to fill his place, and as Hades implied it's not a very pleasant occupation.
    • Where would Hercules find this potion?

  • So if Zeus was able to beat all of the Titans by himself, why did he and the rest of the gods have such a problem defeating them at the end of the movie?
    • And at the same time, Hercules, who hadn't regained his godhood yet, was able to defeat the four that attacked Olympus by grabbing the tornado titan, sucking the other three into it, and throwing the whole thing into space...
    • This time, the Titans had the element of surprise working for them. Hermes didn't notice the Titans until they were literally on the doorstep, then add in the time it would take for him to flit around Olymous telling the others. Plus, once Hephaestus was captured, Zeus ran out of lightning bolts and couldn't fight back anymore. As for Hercules...I got nothing.
    • It's all very simple. In the very beginning, the Fates foretell that Zeus will finally fall if Hades attacks Olympus with the Titans. They also add that if Hercules fights, Hades will fail. Since in Greek mythology, You Can't Fight Fate, not only was Zeus predestined to be defeated by the Titans no matter what pull he had over them earlier, Hercules was predestined to make Hades fail simply by choosing to fight. Zeus was therefore incapable of defeating the Titans if his son did not fight.
    • Zeus also didn't truly defeat the Titans. He only imprisoned them. Presumably after months of careful planning and also with the benefit of surprise. Zeus's power was the lightning bolts. Hercules however had the physical strength to defeat the Titans for good.

  • What I wanna know is how the river of souls was high enough for Hercules to dip his hands for a moment, and then a few seconds later, he has to dive off the edge to grab Meg's soul.
    • Dramatic Effect???
    • Easy, the water receded. Probably at Hades' will to make things worse.
    • She was picked sucked down into one of the underworlds. The River Styx is simply the way in which the dead get there.

  • Blue fire is at a higher temperature than orange fire, yet Hades' flame hair turns from blue to orange when he gets angry. His head cools off when he's irate?
    • What makes you think what happens to Hades' head has anything to do with physics?
    • Maybe blue fire requires some control from him, and anger makes him lose focus.
    • Blue fire is hotter but it's a lot dimmer too. It makes more sense to express emotion via light than heat. Also you could see it as his flames growing more uncontrolled, less efficient. That's precisely how fire usually works.

  • The Fates? Sure, it's understandable that they tell Hades a "it can go either way" prophecy, but if they actually knew all, including the future, then why were they surprised when Hercules became a God?
    • They can see all, but that doesn't mean they HAVE seen all, perhaps? All they needed to do was tell Hades the 'either or' prophecy, then they were done with their responsibility, and really didn't care to find out what happened beyond. Hey, if you have the ability to know what happens, why not leave some things unknown on occasion? Why take all the surprise out of eternity?
    • Maybe they don't have the ability to know everything at once. Rather they have to look specifically. Like Hades arranged to meet them so they looked into that particular timeline (knowing he'd be late). And they could have just been very cocky that they were about to cut the life thread of a friggin Demi-God that they didn't bother to look into his future.
    • Given the nature of the original prophecy, it's possible some things they cannot foretell. For instance, godhood is something cosmic that shapes destinies forever, so perhaps it's something that they cannot predict.

  • How is it possible that Hercules had trouble beating a centaur and still be able to fight against the four titans at once?
    • Because with the centaur, he was fighting for ego purposes. With the Titans, he had the Power of Love on his side. And the Fate of the Universe as well.
    • Fighting Nessus was the first time Hercules performed a heroic battle. It's pretty obvious that he had almost zero experience. And all things considered, Nessus only really got two hits in; most of the problems Herc had were down to Rule of Funny.

  • The "pillars fall down and ruin everything" scene. Some kid throws a discus, Herc leaps hella high to catch it, its inertia is unchanged by the gangly 140-pounder catching it, and Herc collides with a pillar, dislodging it. This isn't exactly a cartoony movie, what the hell was going on with the physics there? Either "godly strength" includes being light enough to be carried by a discus and heavy enough to knock over a huge pillar, or that wasn't remotely his fault and that discus would've done just as much damage without him.
    • I just saw that scene, and it looks like Herc propelled himself forward with his own power. It definitely didn't look like he jumped straight up and was carried by the discus. So, if Herc was throwing himself forward, it makes sense that he'd dislodge the pillar.

  • What's the point in Meg selling her soul to Hades? It's shown she wants freedom, but she's also shown that she can disobey Hades any time she pleases. She clearly has her free will, so what's the big issue? And it's not like she's screwed in the afterlife either since everybody goes to Hades when they die.
    • No, she's just shown talking back to Hades, not disobeying him. So, he tied her up with smoke and apparently had it tightening. The Greek gods being rather less omnipotent than the Christian God, it's likely he couldn't have that done to just anybody. But he owned Meg. It's quite likely that whether she wanted to or not, in the end he would make her.

  • The Titans were doing a pretty good job of beating Zeus before Hercules showed up. But then Hercules just frees Zeus and they run away like little girls?

  • So where did that bottle of "make a god mortal" potion comes from? Is the reason he can't use it against the Olympians as simple as "they're too smart to eat/drink anything Hades offers them?"
    • Maybe he was planning to poison Zeus, but when the Fates prophesised that Titans will suffice for the task, unless Hercules stops them, he chose to use it on him instead. Remember, the vial is only enough for one god.

  • Since Hades is a god, even if evil, shouldn't he have an aura?
    • I always assumed centuries of living underground dampened Hades' glow.
    • Maybe that's what his fire is.
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