The Animatress Pipeline

Filmmaking Adventures

Acting for Men Part Four: Hades

Hades brooding and plotting like Poseidon in Disney’s Hercules

We now move on to what Shinoda refers to the Father Gods and what I call the alpha male archetypes. Zeus, Poseidon and Hades are rulers on realms and there is not going to over their heads in regards of authority. Zeus and his brothers had parents too, but they either killed or banished them. So, these three gods have issue with their authority being threatened which a legitimate fear. For Zeus may rule earthly heavens, Poseidon the seas and Hades the underworld, however none of these gods rule the solar system let alone the entire universe. The Hindus among others who fathomed a forced and a greater domain beyond the 9 planets called the Cosmos.

Yet the cosmos is unseen so the “father brothers” namely Zeus, is always looking over his shoulder, yet keeping a pretty good poker face shielding his paranoia when looking down on Earth. Karma’s a bitch and Zeus knows he has it coming for leading the coup against his father Cronos. However, it is Hades who the parents ” The Titans” prisoner.

The first of the dominion gods and the most interesting to me is Hades. Hades types in film is usually portrayed as a bad guy, but according to legend, he did nothing worse than his siblings Zeus and Poseidon. However, because Hades is dark and mysterious and represents the feared unknown, he catches all the shit for his one rapes out Zeus and Poseidon’s many.

Hades is not the Devil. He’s merely the god of the underworld, which is of course the realm of dead, yet few stop to learn that the underworld is so much more. The underworld is the realm of the subconscious. The subconscious is many things, it can be doom and gloom of you want it to be, but it can also be wonderful. Lewis Caroll’s, Wonderland, Frank Baum’s Oz, and Roald Dahl’s Chocolate Factory are all interpretations of the subconscious in a whimsical light. Hades is the “Giant” in the girl’s version of Jack and Beanstalk stories.

Hades himself is so synonymous with his realm that very little is known about the god himself. He’s a being of mystery who keeps to himself with the exception of the one time he abducted and raped Demeter’s daughter, Persephone who he also coerced into being his wife. Rape is no joke, but at least he honored the girl with marriage instead tossing her aside like spoiled fruit.

To Hades’ credit, he is content with his lot in life unlike Poseidon who hates being ruler of the sea and is always trying conquer land. Yes, it’s true, with the exception of a few cases, once you enter his world, you are never allowed leave, but existentially speaking, when does that say about Hades as an archetype? You can almost say that Hades is the type of person who has it all, except someone to share it with, therefore he is a lonely ruler to stole a wife to keep himself company for the half the year. Sounds like Beauty and the Beast story doesn’t it?

Come live with me and be my love. If only for a day…

Hades is an ambiguous archetype. In storytelling, the protagonist and antagonist is always left up to interpretation with the Hades archetype. You will also notice that his characters often abduct young girls or if he isn’t present, there is a “Persephone” (young female protagonist) in his realm.

Figurative Hades in Animation

The Beast of Beauty and Beast

The Cheshire Cat ( Wonderland appears to have no master, but the Cheshire Cat advises Alice in a Hemes manner, so he gets the role). Heck, ALL of the characters of Wonderland can be emissaries of Hades.

Dexter of Dexter’s Lab



General Woundwart (with Poseidon)

The Black Rabbit of Death

Mok the Magic Man ( with Dionysus again)

Peter Pan ( Wendy-Persephone is invited not abducted)


King Haggard

Figurative Hades in Live Action

Willy Wonka

Dr. Frankenfurter ( Hades and Dionysus are connected. Only Dio and Hermes can waltz in and out of underworld at whim. The connection is the madness that is common in the three archetypes)

Wizard of Oz

Kayako of Ju On; the Grudge (Hades as a woman)

Baby Jane (who is poth Hades and Persphone)

Dr. Coppelius

Lisle of Death Becomes Her

Aleksandr Petrovsky (Carrie’s final lover in SATC)

The Black Queen

Jereth of Labrynth


The Corleone family business ( once you’re in, you’re never allowed to leave)

Davy Jones

“Mr.” from the Color Purple

Hades in Literature

Prospero of the Tempest

Lord Voll of Elf Quest

Two-Edge of Elf Quest

Batman/Bruce Wayne

Hades as a Place or State of Mind

Hades as a realm, is the archetypal place we must visit to seek knowledge whether in introspect or a place a protagonist must venture into find out more about themselves or learns the knowledge to solve their problem. “To Hell and Back”.
Hades multi-layered world also represents the Collective Unconscious. Hades is the therapist you are unlikely to listen to for he is so dark, but if you are wise enough to look beyond appearances you’ll see a wealth off knowledge in Hades. You may even begin to see the world beneath the Earth for the riches it holds. Diamonds an rubies do not come from the sky.

Hades as a Place or Psychological State.



Willywonka’s Chocolate Factory
The Tim Burton version parodies Micheal Jackson and his Neverland Ranch 🙂


The Psyche

The Dream of Mist in Scarlett O’Hara’s recurring nightmare.

The Use of Hades as a Theme or Setting in Film


The Secret of NIMH


Juliet of the Spirits

Pan’s Labrynth

Neverending Story

This evil version of Cerebus represents Tartarus, the lowest level in Hades


The Point

The Corpse Bride ( Persephone as Hades. There actually is a story about Persephone as Queen of the Underworld along with Aphrodite, abducts the handsome Adonis, the boy with the body of a god and ship him in a chest to and from the Underworld.)

Mirror Mask

Memoirs of Geisha

Fruits Basket

So there you have Hades. A god who is synonymous with his realm who is the brooding introvert, the cold and lonely ruler, sympathetic villain, unseen lover, and phantom therapist.

The middle-aged man in a town you have wandered into while lost who will give you directions, hospitality and advice. Or the busy artist or scientist who is very similar to Hephaestus, for he is not going to emerge from his live-work space until his projects is done. However, unlike Hephaestus, Hades knows how to work a room and draw attention himself. The attention is not always positive, but he certainly a wallflower for one he unveils his invention or work of art, Hades is heralded with all the praise and celebrity due a man who control realm such a leader in his industry. Hades is a great man. His world is the mysterious depths of the psyche and the dead, for in a way, what is death but a return to the subconscious without an earthly shell.

Everyone benefits from an audience with this wise and resourceful leader The Extraordinary World. Heads up, Hades is in any man who prefers a young girls so he can ( to paraphrase Toni Morrison) educate them to his taste. So, all mothers should stay on the alert and keep their pretty young daughters close, for the less savory side of Hades is dangerous when he starts working the room!


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