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The characters of Hope Springs Eternal. Beware of unmarked spoilers.


     Hades 

Hades

The main male protagonist. He is the god of the Underworld, who is desperately seeking a new purpose in life after his plot to take over Mount Olympus failed.
  • Adaptational Heroism / Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Hades comes off as a lot more sympathetic in this fic and develops into a nicer and more balanced person. It helps that the fic explores more of his backstory, which explains why he became evil in the first place. Funnily enough, this portrayal of Hades is arguably closer to the original myths than the Disney film (which was intentional on the author's part).
    • In the original mythology, Hades did actually kidnap Persephone. In Hope Springs Eternal, however, Persephone willingly leaves with him, with Hecate later telling everyone that she was abducted.
      • The mythical kidnapping actually mimics what was known as "klepsigamia" (stolen bride marriage) which was well-known in Ancient Greece, and which the author does mention in her copious notes.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Nyx and Erebos call him "Thanatos".
  • Anti-Hero: Hades has done a lot of bad things and can be a sullen, bad-tempered jerk, but he has a softer side too, has been through a lot of crap and no longer even feels any pleasure in being villainous.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Hades has started to realise this by the start of the fic and is pretty darn depressed about it.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: He's the Brooding Boy to Persephone's Gentle Girl.
  • Composite Character: With Thanatos. Quantum Witch observes in her research notes that Hades and Thanatos do, in fact, appear to be the same deity in a lot of myths, with Thanatos merely being an epithet for Hades, so she opted to portray them as one and the same.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: As it turns out, deep down Hades is really not such a bad guy after all despite his dark and frightening appearance and being ruler of the Underworld. It's actually implied that people treating him like a monster because of his appearance and job title is part of the reason he started turning evil in the first place.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: He's distracted by Persephone's looks even when she's fully clothed.
  • Easily Forgiven: It's revealed that Zeus actually forgave Hades for trying to take over Olympus quite some time ago, as he ultimately thought it was just a cry for attention. However, no one actually got round to informing Hades of this because Everybody Hates Hades; when Persephone finally tells him, he feels pretty embarrassed about it all.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Hades very much cares for his mother Rhea. She clearly returns the favor, as she helps him prove his innocence and his love for Persephone to the other Olympians.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Due to witnessing his own father raping his mother as a child, Hades is very opposed to rape, and thus is less appalled at the fact that Hecate would claim such a thing and more disgusted with the fact that everyone believed her.
    Hades: I may be bad, but I'm not a monster! How could they even think I'd do such a thing? Don't they know me any better than that? Can't anyone recall a damned thing about any of my past, in that department, if nothing else? HELL!
  • Frame-Up: Late in the story, Hecate frames Hades for kidnapping and supposedly raping Persephone. With the help of Persephone and Cupid, he's able to clear his name.
  • Freudian Excuse: Hades is given one...or several.
    • His dad Kronos was horribly abusive to him and his mother Rhea; on one occasion he even saw Kronos violently raping Rhea. Later, Kronos swallowed Hades and his siblings (save for Zeus) whole, when he was about five years old.
    • After many years, Zeus freed them all, but the experience left Hades physically changed into the rather creepy-looking appearance he has now (not to mention psychologically scarred). He had no choice about being god of the Underworld and was generally ostracized or ignored on by the other gods, while Zeus got all the power and glory.
    • He lost his Power Glow after unknowingly drinking from Kokytus while exploring his realm. And then to cap it all off, Leuke, the only woman he ever loved and who treated him decently, died under very tragic circumstances, causing him to even contemplate suicide for a time. After all this, he became increasingly bitter, hateful and twisted, and beganlashing out at others. It's really not until the events of the fic that he starts to come to terms with his past and regain a sense of hope things will get better. On a somewhat more positive note, seeing how awful his father was to his mother instilled in Hades a hatred of sexual violence, even in the depths of villainy.
  • Happily Adopted: In a sense, by Nyx and Erebos, who treat him like a son.
  • Has a Type: His First Love was a happy-go-lucky tree nymph. His Second Love is a kindhearted nature goddess with a rebellious streak. he does find Hecate quite attractive at first and she's nothing like either Leuke and Persephone, but it's clear his attraction is on a purely superficial level.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: His Love Interest Persephone has scarlet hair.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Played for drama towards the end—Zeus is just about to smite him for mortal-fying Hercules while Demeter plans to take Persephone from him forever, so Hades desperately prays for a miracle. Turns out, he had subconsciously called out for his mother Rhea to come and help him, and help she does.
  • The Jail Bait Wait: Upon finding out how young Persephone is (she's sixteen in 'god years'), he figures he can wait and just date her for a few more years until she comes of age. Persephone has other ideas and ends up seducing him...and then they find out that she's already been a legal adult for some time after Zeus changed the law (Demeter had 'conveniently' forgot to mention it to her daughter).
  • Love at First Sight: "Love" is too strong a term, but Hades found Persephone quite attractive the moment he first laid eyes on her.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Played with. Hades loved his first wife Leuke dearly and she was one of the only people in the world who cared for him. After she was inadvertently killed by a group of mortals, however, Hades went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against them and sank deeper into despair and villainy out of grief.
  • Love Redeems: Persephone's unconditional love and understanding of him helps him pull himself of the dark hole of despair and bitterness he'd been wallowing in for centuries.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: He finds Hecate attractive and hears her out, but he figures out pretty quickly that she has an ulterior motive to wanting to hook up with him and turns her offer of We Can Rule Together down flat. Now, when it comes to Persephone, it's an entirely different matter...
  • Truly Single Parent: In a sense—after Leuke's death, his rage is stated to have spawned the Furies, whom he acts rather fatherly towards.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Played with. Persephone is, in Cupid's words, "a total babe", while Hades is pretty monstrous-looking as far as most people are concerned. However, Persephone herself actually finds Hades quite attractive in an unconventional way, much preferring him to the more classically handsome Apollo.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: It's revealed he's very much this.

     Persephone 

Persephone

The main female protagonist. She is the daughter of Demeter and the goddess of spring, who is desperate to get out from under her mother's thumb and find herself.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: An interesting example, in that in this fic it's more the source of her angst that has changed. In the original myth, Persephone was abducted by Hades, but here she willingly goes to the Underworld with him; her angst is instead the result of her mother trying to run her life for her and not letting her be herself, as well as Hades being falsely accused of kidnapping her, which could potentially separate them and have dire consequences for Hades.
  • Affectionate Nickname: She is called Kore by her mother, while her nymph friends call her Melanthe which means "dark flower".
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Persephone is incredibly beautiful and also very good and kind, although as Cupid notes in the first chapter, "beauty wasn't everything".
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Despite being usually quite kind and sweet-natured, she will remind people who try to mess with her that she is still a powerful goddess.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: She's the Gentle Girl to Hades' Brooding Boy.
  • The Chosen One: She's the "dark flower" that the Fates' prophecy refers to, who will bring light and hope back to the Underworld and rule it with Hades. He realises this when she tells him her nickname of Melanthe means "dark flower".
  • Deadpan Snarker: She can be very sarcastic at times, especially towards her mother (although it mostly goes over Demeter's head).
  • Emo Teen: Downplayed Trope. She's reminiscent of this at the beginning of the fic; she spends much of her time moping in the private grove that constitutes as her bedroom, which has become rather dark and gloomy-looking of late, with plants like ivy, moss, weeping willows and so forth. She hates wearing bright clothing her mother picks for her, later forgoing it for black, runs off to the Underworld with Hades himself and frequently complains about her mother ruining her life and how much it sucks to be her. In fairness, however, Demeter is very controlling of her and treats her like a child, and her life is quite boring and meaningless, so it's not like she's complaining over nothing. She also becomes more mature.
  • Fiery Redhead: She can be quite fierce when she wants to and has bright red hair. However, she is usually more mild-mannered.
  • Green Thumb: She has power over plants (likely inherited from her mother) seeing as she's the goddess of spring and all.
  • Hot Goddess: She's an incredibly beautiful goddess, which is noted by several characters.
  • The Ingenue: Played with. Persephone arguably fits the trope to a tee, being quite young (by god standards at any rate), very beautiful, virginal, sheltered and naive. She's actually called this directly in song. However, she actually hates this and wishes people would stop treating her like a child and allow her to grow up (and she's not keen on the idea of being a virgin goddess forever, either). She's also not quite as 'innocent' as Demeter likes to think; as she later remarks to Hades, as the goddess of spring it makes little sense as to why she wouldn't know about and be involved with sex, as springtime is when everything is having sex.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: She has very beautiful sky-blue eyes.
  • Light Is Good: She is described as having glowing, golden skin and is one of the kindest and most moral characters in the fic.
  • O.C. Stand-in: Persephone actually does appear in the film Hercules, although only as blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in a few scenes. In this fic, she is one of the main protagonists, although she bears very little resemblance to Persephone as she appears in the original film.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Her hair reaches her knees, highlighting her otherworldly nature as a goddess.
  • Rebellious Princess: Well, Rebellious Goddess. She hates how restrictive and sheltered her life is, and ends up running off with Hades to the Underworld while her mother is away. She subsequently finds that she actually likes being a goddess when she's free to explore and do something genuinely meaningful with her powers, rather than just sitting around on an island and letting her mother make decisions for her.
  • Second Love: It turns out that she's this for Hades.
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     Pain and Panic 

Pain and Panic

Hades' imp minions, who want to help him pull himself out of his depression.
  • Cerebus Retcon: The concepts they embody and their status as Hades' Butt Monkeys are given this—Hades, in desperation to get over the death of his first love, tried to remove the pain of her loss and the panic that led him to leave her body behind and save her tree. Pain and Panic were born in the process and Hades abuses them every chance he gets as a futile effort to "punish" those emotions.
  • Covert Pervert: Pain turns out to be a surprisingly kinky little bugger. Then again, his name IS "pain".
  • Fat and Skinny: As in the original film, Pain is short and pudgy while Panic is very thin.
  • Pair the Spares: In the epilogue, Pain pairs up with Ate (Goddess of Mischief) and Panic pairs up with Lethe (Goddess of Forgetfulness).
  • Shipper on Deck: Pain takes to Hades and Persephone's relationship surprisingly quickly. Panic on the other hand takes a bit more convincing.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: Both can change shape at will.

    Aiakos, Rhadamanthys and Minos I 

Aiakos and Rhadamanthys

Aiakos and Rhadamanthys are the ghosts of two wise old kings who offer guidance to Hades during his excursions. Minos I is mentioned a few times as Rhadamanthys' brother, but doesn't appear until the end.
  • Cool Old Guy: Both Aiakos and Rhadamanthys are wise, kindly individuals who offer Hades advice throughout the story.
  • Decomposite Character: Minos I, the wise judge of the Underworld is this with Minos II, the Minotaur obsessed king.
  • Demoted to Extra: The third judge of the Underworld, Minos, is absent until the epilogue, where he doesn't even speak. The author confirmed that this was mainly due to inconsistent characterization.
  • The Ghost: They're all ghosts, of course, but Minos I is only mentioned in the story up until the epilogue.
  • The Good King: They were this when alive and still this in death.
  • Fat and Skinny: Aiakos is said to be short and portly while Rhadamanthys is tall and thin.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The reason Hades decides to make them judges.

    Nyx and Erebos 

Nyx and Erebos

The Goddess and God of Night and Darkness respectively. Lived in the Underworld long before Hades took over and act as friends, confidants and surrogate parents to him.

    The Furies 

The Furies (Alykto, Tisiphone, and Megeara)

A trio of demons created by Hades shortly after losing Leuke.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: All three of them clearly act like this for Hades, and Hades does seem to take on a fatherly role with them.
    Hades: (after they start pouting when he tells them they have to remove souls from the fire vortex) All right, all right! As soon as you finish the task you can all go on a shopping spree with Eris, okay?
    (the Furies squeal with delight and give him the puppy dog eyes treatment)
    Hades: No, you cannot have my credit cards. If you didn't save up your allowances that's tough luck, babes.
  • Immortal Immaturity: They act like spoiled teenage girls.
  • Terrible Trio: But only when they're on the job.
  • The Speechless: They don't seem to talk.
  • Winged Humanoid: They have large, batlike wings on their backs.

     Hecate 

Hecate

The main antagonist. She is a powerful, immortal witch and the self-proclaimed Queen of the Night, who plots to take over the Underworld.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Her driving motivation is to become queen of the Underworld and thus prove to everyone – though especially her family – that she is worthy of magic and immortality, and the most powerful of them all.
  • Big Bad: She is the primary antagonist of the fic.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: She's said to have gray eyes like "moonlight, silver and cold", denoting her mystical and calculating nature.
  • Dark Is Evil: She's really not all that subtle about this.
  • Evil Is Hammy: She has a flair for the dramatic, to the point where both Demeter and Apollo wonder "Sheesh, who wrote this woman's material?"
  • Femme Fatale: She has the look down pat...unfortunately for her, Hades isn't interested.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: She's the cruel and tyrannical "Queen of the Night" who rules over her realm with an iron fist and plots to become queen of the Underworld too, through any means necessary. She does succeed in taking over the Underworld, but fortunately for her subjects it's not for long. Funnily enough, it's two gods who save the Underworld from her, making this trope near-literal.
  • Horns of Villainy: She wears a silver headdress with two horns.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: She tries – and briefly succeeds – to rule the Underworld as a god. After being defeated, Persephone and Hades force her to drink from Kokytus, causing her to lose her immortality.
  • Manipulative Bitch: One of her core traits. She is constantly trying to manipulate people into doing what she wants or to achieve some goal of her's.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: The purple streaks in her hair are a result of her using magic (possibly intentionally). After being stripped of her immortality the streaks turn white as a side effect.
  • Purple Is the New Black: Her outfit has violet on it and she's got purple streaks in her hair, marking her as a dangerous and powerful individual. Notably, after losing her immortality, her streaks turn from purple to white.
  • Really 700 Years Old: She doesn't look a day over thirty "in mortal years", but says she's actually nine hundred years old.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She's around six feet tall and very beautiful.
  • The Vamp: She's a very beautiful, sultry and dangerous sorceress who often uses flirtation, seduction and/or the promise of sex to get what she wants. To her shock and outrage, it completely fails to work on Hades though, who sees this trope coming from a mile off.
  • Villains Want Mercy: After being thoroughly beaten by Hades and Persephone, she starts grovelling and insisting she didn't know what came over her and praising them for being such merciful deities. Luckily for her, they're in the mood to oblige her just a bit.
  • We Can Rule Together: She tries to suggest this to Hades early in the story, but he turns her down flat. She decides she'll just have to take his throne by force (and was always secretly planning to usurp him anyhow).
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     Demeter 

Demeter

The goddess of the earth, harvest, fertility and the seasons. She is the mother of Persephone and wants to keep her daughter safe above all else, even if her methods can be a tad over the top.
  • Adult Fear: Her shock and fear upon discovering her daughter has gone missing is very understandable (even though her reaction ends up being quite over-the-top). The same goes for her horror at the thought of Persephone being abducted and abused by Hades, as she doesn't initially know that it's a lie.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Part of the reason she's so overprotective of Persephone is because sometime after Kronos was defeated, Demeter dated Zeus, who then dumped her. She dated Poseidon afterward and the results were the same.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Demeter has a rather bad habit of misreading people's intentions or just straight up overlooking some of their traits that don't match up with the mental view she has of them.
  • Mama Bear: In regards to Persephone. Unfortunately, she takes it all the way to Knight Templar Parent levels, which Persephone eventually calls her out on.
  • My Beloved Smother: In a huge way towards Persephone. She is so busy trying to keep her daughter safe and sheltered, she never actually stops to consider what Persephone might want and is basically running her life for her.
  • Parental Obliviousness: She is utterly clueless about who her daughter really is and what she wants.
  • Parents as People: Although she is very overbearing and overprotective of Persephone, it's clear that everything she does is out of love for her daughter and wanting what's best for her.
  • Shipper on Deck: She ships her daughter with Apollo to the point that she sets up dates for them, without consulting Persephone first. She is not impressed.
  • Truly Single Parent: She created Persephone all on her own in this version.

     Apollo 

Apollo

The god of the sun, who is very popular with the ladies. Demeter believes he's good boyfriend material for Persephone; unfortunately for both of them, Persephone isn't nearly as keen.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Persephone regards him as one; although he's very handsome, she sees right through his surface charms and finds him irritating, at best.
  • The Casanova: He views his various lovers more as 'conquests' and is mostly interested in Persephone because she's stunningly beautiful and he believes she's naive enough that he could take advantage of her. When she seems to be 'playing hard to get', he's even more determined to win her over.
  • Chick Magnet: He has women fawning over him everywhere he goes, Persephone being a notable exception.
  • Hot God: People constantly go on about his good looks.
  • Jerkass: He's not the nice guy Demeter thinks he is.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Even he's horrified when he learns Hades supposedly kidnapped and raped Persephone...although he does privately lament that he wishes he'd have at least gotten there first.

     Leuke 

Leuke

A nymph who once had a close relationship with Hades.
  • Born as an Adult: Like all nymphs, she was 'born' with the appearance of a full-grown woman.
  • First Love: It's revealed she was this for Hades. It sadly ended in tragedy.
  • Happily Married: To Hades for many years. Technically, she wasn't officially his 'wife' as the rest of Olympus would never have approved of a god having a lowly nymph for a spouse, but Hades called her his wife anyway and they were married in every other sense of the word.
  • The Lost Lenore: For Hades. He mourned her for around seven centuries and his grief over her death and the tragic circumstances contributed to his Start of Darkness.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Her exuberant and cheerful personality gave Hades a new lease on life and brought him out of his shell to an extent.
  • The Missus and the Ex: After she comes back as ghost, Hades introduces her to Persephone and the two quickly hit it off.
  • Nature Spirit: She's a nymph and her life force was directly connected to a white poplar tree (the remains of which now reside in the Underworld).
  • The Pollyanna: She has a very optimistic and enthusiastic outlook and attitude even when she's dead.
  • Posthumous Character: Not being truly immortal, she died many centuries before the events of the fic after her tree was damaged in a storm, then cut down by humans. Later, she comes back as a ghost.
  • The Power of Love: Hades' love for her granted her a soul, eventually enabling her to manifest as a ghost.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Hades and Persephone.
  • Walking Spoiler: Her character involves some big spoilers for later parts of the fic and parts of Hades' backstory.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has green hair.

     Cupid 
The God of Love, the son of Aphrodite and the reason this whole mess started in the first place.
  • Cupid's Arrow: Creates a super arrow to help Hades along with his relationship with Persephone.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Must get it from his mom.
  • Love Redeems: He's a firm believer in this trope, hence why he plays matchmaker for Hades.
  • The Matchmaker: Being the God of Love, this is a no brainer, but he really wants to do this for Hades and Persephone.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Hades and Persephone.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Is the only God to show sympathy for Hades after the whole "Olympus takeover" thing.
  • Winged Humanoid: Has large, birdlike wings on his back.

    The Fates 
Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, the Goddesses of Fate and the other reasons this whole mess started.
  • Animal Motifs: Their voices are likened to a raven (Clotho), a vulture (Lachesis) and an owl (Atropos).
  • The Omniscient: As always, they know everything.
  • The Prophecy: They tell another one to Hades, namely that there is a "dark flower" that will heal his pain with an "unknown power". Turns out the flower is Persephone.
  • Prophecy Twist: They reveal to Hades that they altered their first prophecy to him slightly just to encourage him to act—what they told him was "Should Hercules fight, you will fail", when the true wording was "When Hercules fights, you will fail". Additionally, Hades protests that they also said he would "rule all". Atropos' response?
    Atropos: And you did rule all. For about two minutes.
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    Rhodope 
One of Persephone's friends, a young nymph.
  • Babies Ever After: A less pleasant example than most in the epilogue; Apollo gets her pregnant and promptly dumps her. She and her son Kichon end up moving to the Underworld, preferring darkness to sunlight now.
  • Character Witness: Along with Hermes, she's this for Hades and Persephone—when she hears the unflattering rumors surrounding their relationship, Rhodope immediately concludes that it can't possibly be true because she saw what really happened.
  • Fangirl: For Apollo, responding to Persephone mentioning his name with derision by leaping for joy.
    Persephone: Yes, I know you like him. Girlfriend, you can have him.
  • Secret Keeper: Promises not to tell Demeter about Persephone leaving with Hades.
  • The Unintelligible: In the story, most Nymphs are said to sound like nature sounds unless Hermes gifts them with speech.

     Rhea 
The mother of the first six Olympians.
  • Celibate Hero: Implied, as she's evidently no longer married and the author's research notes point out that, based on the way her worshipers liked to honor her, she was likely something of a "swinging single".
  • Domestic Abuse: Was the victim of this at the hands of her husband Kronos, who abused her sexually and physically as well as mistreating her children.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: She already earned hers, no longer trapped in the whims of her abusive husband after he was overthrown by Zeus, but she also really wanted Hades to earn his.
  • Good Parents: She's a kind, loving mother towards all her children, including Hades.
  • Mama Bear: As Hades notes, she tried everything she could to protect her sons from Kronos, but wasn't strong enough to stand up to him. She ultimately did manage to save Zeus, however.
  • Mother Goddess: Established as "the great mother of the gods".
  • Mystical White Hair: Has hair of silver.
  • The Omniscient: States that she's this and that Zeus only thinks he is.
  • Rape as Backstory: Hades, as a child, once witnessed her being raped by her husband, and it's implied that this wasn't the first time Kronos did such a thing to her.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Not just for Hades, but oddly enough, for her husband as well, as she acknowledges that he was screwed up by his own father Ouranos many years before. That said, she also acknowledges that this doesn't make anything he did justified.
  • Truly Single Parent: Reveals at the end that she created Hera, Hestia and Demeter alone and in secret, sending them to live somewhere else to protect them from Kronos' wrath. This is news to Hera and Demeter, though Hestia knew all along.

    Kronos 
The father of the first six Olympians.
  • Abusive Parents: Abused Hades and Poseidon, right up to swallowing them when the Fates told him that his children would take away his power.
  • Asshole Victim: Was ultimately banished to the stars, which Hades tells Persephone he feels no grief for.
  • The Caligula: He was not a stable-headed ruler. Hades aptly describes him as "a raving wacko".
  • Domestic Abuse: Committed this against Rhea, harming her whenever she got between him and their sons and at one point raping her right in front of Hades.
  • Evil Redhead: With streaks of blond.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Rhea silently acknowledges that her husband suffered as well at the hands of his own father, Ouranos, but she also clearly realizes that regardless of this, Kronos is Beyond Redemption.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: He's one of the reasons Hades turned out so bad. According to the author, he would've been upgraded to the Big Bad if she ever wrote the sequel.
  • Jerkass: That's putting it mildly.
  • Posthumous Character: Downplayed as he's technically still alive, just dispersed into the stars. Had the sequel ever come into fruition, he'd have used Theseus as a means to find his way back to Earth for revenge.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: When Hades was a little kid, he apparently managed to stumble upon Kronos violently raping Rhea, which led to Hades never wanting to do such a thing himself.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: It is heavily emphasized that the immense amount of power he gained drove him insane.

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