Hades is a master manipulator who much prefers to do things from the shadows than engage in hand-to-hand combat. Though bitter about his imprisonment in hell, in comparison to the heavens and the sea – the realms of his brothers – he watches and waits for his chance to strike at Zeus. When the humans tear down the statue of Zeus above their harbor, Hades appears to them, destroys them all, and sinks Perseus’ boat. He then persuades Zeus to let him do more damage, by convincing his brother the humans will learn respect for the gods once more. In reality, Hades intends to arouse their fear; fear feeds him power, not the other gods. When it becomes clear Perseus intends to thwart his intentions and kill his kraken, Hades convinces a king punished by the gods to do his will and kill Perseus. He uses cruel, manipulative words to do this (you failed to kill this child of Zeus, so you murdered your wife for no reason; but here’s your chance to even the score). In the second film, Hades kidnaps and imprisons Zeus to drain his power to fuel their father’s restoration, but he also finds it hard to watch Zeus being abused by his son and puts a stop to it. He can’t stand by and watch him beaten mercilessly. Hades makes many of his decisions from an emotional place—revenge, wrath, and also forgiveness. When Zeus asks him for forgiveness, Hades gives it to him—and immediately switches sides. He gives his brother enough life force to save him (temporarily) so they can fight for the very humans he wanted to destroy a few years earlier. He makes impulsive decisions under stress, including his battle tactics.

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Hades suffers from a crippling envy and resentment toward his brother for possessing what he cannot have—Zeus tricked him and banished him to the underworld, while he rules on Olympus, so Hades decides to do everything in his power to get back at him. He makes all his decisions from his emotions—his resentment, and later, his acceptance of Zeus asking forgiveness and begging Hades to forgive him. He has stewed in his own juices for centuries, and gleefully takes the chance to get back at Zeus by stealing his prayers away from him. Darkly morbid, negative, and even cruel, Hades thinks up nasty punishments for the humans, including unleashing his kraken and demanding they sacrifice their princess to it. But he also had a lot of fearful motivations – once he realizes what he’s done in releasing their father from his centuries-old imprisonment, fearful for his life, he reunites with Zeus and fights alongside him to defeat him.