Hades is the Greek ruler of death and the afterlife and the god of the Underworld. Hades, is not the god of death. Hades is the ruler of the dead and the Underworld, but technically this isn’t his role. Thanatos is the God of death. With Thanatos being the god of death, Hades feels caged and stuck because he is not recognized as the god of death.
Hades, at one point, commanded respect from Greek gods since he used to be a god as well. Hades’ brothers Zeus and Poseidon feel they earned that right by killing the guards of the gods. There was a war that lasted ten years called the Titanomachy. They all drew lots to divide up the realms and cosmos of the world. With Hades being the worst acting one of them all he ended up with the underworld and to rule over the dead. Zeus became the god of Olympus, the sky, and king of the olympian gods. Poseidon became the god of the sea. To find comfort, he puts his energy into trying to obtain a larger population in the underworld and doing everything to keep any one of the deceased from leaving.
In the long run, Hades ends up ruling over everything, including the good, the bad, and the indifferent. Most citizens of ancient Greece are not concerned with Hades. Since Greeks are polytheists, they were more concerned with other gods and took them into account instead of Hades. For example, they would ask Aphrodites for love blessings, and blessings for matters of the heart. Ares, the goddess of war, was more important to the Greeks than dealing with Hades and death. They felt like this because eventually, everyone will come into contact with death, the God Thanatos, and Hades.
Hades rules the Underworld with his queen, Persephone. He is given the job of judging and torturing the deceased in the Underworld. This was a job he assigned to one of his workers. Like death, he is not moved or changed by grief stories, or of sorrow. It only refers to the large realm of death that he rules. Hades is the original, “He Who Must Not Be Named”. It is also said that he is not to been seen either unless Thanatos has come to take you to the underworld where you will then meet Hades. People not only wouldn’t articulate his actual name but would also refer to him by Euphemisms.
When speaking of Hades or giving him an offering, it’s traditional to avert one’s eyes at the same time. Eye contact is looked down upon. The gates of the underworld are also called Hades and are guarded by Cerberus, a three-headed dog.
The god of wealth is Hades, He is also named Pluto because of the metals mined from the earth. He ended up having several things he was ruling over, not only the dead but also everything in the underworld, including seeds, grains, gold, and silver. It wasn’t as bad as it is made out to be. People ended up naming the underworld after him, calling it Hades.
Another name he has to go by is Pluto — this means ‘the rich one,'” He is linked to his wife Persephone, who is the god of fertility and crops, she gives a pretty good deal. With him being married to the god of fertility he has an input of what comes up from the ground. Hades sounds like he has a pretty cool thing going on.
Hades is even seen as a serious, strict god in greek literature and his three-headed dog Cerberus has always been seen by Hades side and will forever remain in the underworld.
Hades doesn’t draw people or trick them into the underworld the way the devil does in other religious beliefs about the underworld and its domain. Hades is a ruler, not a fallen angel like Satan. Hades rules over anything that falls in his lap. The dead, good and bad, and prevents them from being able to escape. The story, most famous about Hades is about a brief invasion outside of his kingdom. It discusess the capture of his wife, the goddess Persephone, daughter of Demeter and Hades sister, and Zeus. Hades was very smitten with Persephone and a little lonely in the underworld, That’s when the god of the underworld and he who receives many guests made his swoop. Hades tempted her with a beautiful flower, seized her when she bent down to pick it, then drew her into the depths to rule by his side.
I touched on the story of Hades kidnapping Persephone in My article about Hekate, Hekate heard the cry of Persephone’s mother searching for her daughter after Hades kidnaped her from the physical realms. She [Persephone] was filled with a sense of wonder, and she reached out with both hands to take hold of the pretty plaything. And the earth, full of roads leading every which way, opened up under her …
Hades was in his chariot drawn by immortal horses. The son of Kronos. He snatched her up against her will, put her on his golden chariot, and drove away as she cried.
The kidnapping didn’t fly with Demeter, the goddess of grain and agriculture, who mourned the loss of her daughter and neglected her duties, this created a famine in the land. The famine threatened humankind and so, after the god-to-god bargaining — after all, the gods couldn’t let humans die off; who would praise them? — the brothers Zeus and Hades agreed that Persephone could leave the underworld every year for six months to be with her mother.
The only stipulation was that Persephone had to be brought back to Hades every six months, as an agreement and was sealed when Hades tricked Persephone into chowing down on a pomegranate, the magic of the pomegranate mandated her return to the underworld.
Whenever Persephone returns to the underworld for the winter, crops suffer as Demeter mournes.