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Hey boss, found you, good. Hermes, at your service. Pleasure! You are the talk of Olympus! Normally I wouldn't get mixed up, but for you, I will be making an exception. Now, come on, we both got places to be!
~ Hermes

Hermes is the Olympian God of Commerce, Trickery, and Travel, as well as the messenger of the gods. He works with Charon to guide souls to their proper place in the Underworld, with Hermes delivering the souls to Charon, for him to ferry them down the Styx the rest of the way (giving Hermes the title of psychopomp, or someone who guides souls to the afterlife, which he and Charon share). He offers boons that enhance Zagreus's speed in various ways, including attack speed and special speed. His boons can also improve Zagreus's dash and cast recovery.

Hermes is one of five Olympian gods (the other four being Demeter, Zeus, Poseidon and Aphrodite) who will not appear in the very first run of a save.

In Hades II, Hermes has become a spy for Olympus and has inflitrated Chronos's army to gain an edge in the fight against him. Despite this, he will provide his boons to Melinoë in her fight against Chronos.

Characteristics and Personality

Messenger of the Gods, God of Merchants, and Tricksters, Hermes rushes in to help Zagreus escape. Hermes is quite talkative, frenzied, and rarely pauses to take a breath. Despite his other duties, he is also a psychopomp tasked with guiding the souls of the dead alongside Charon.

Hermes is free-spirited, has a bright personality, and is an animated and chatty god. He is well-informed and more aware of the situation than any other Olympian. Hermes speaks extremely quickly, without pauses, making it difficult at times to keep up with him, and causing some things to slip by less attentive ears. His rapid speech is due to the fact that he is always overloaded with messages to deliver.

He has a genuine camaraderie with his colleagues guardians of the dead, even appeasing the feared Charon, who is inaccessible even by underworld standards. Charon doesn't seem to find Hermes' energy tiring, and seems to enjoy his company, although Thanatos and many others think that he is irritatingly excitable to listen to.

Despite the nature of his job dealing with the dead, he is very vivacious. He is a jovial, mischievous god. Even though Hermes seems to be an "open book", he is the most "secretive" among the Olympians, revealing that not even his fellow Olympians know that he is helping Zagreus, and later Melinoë, and he will omit and keep certain information in secrecy for his own benefit. Although he is Zeus's accomplice, he is hiding the fact that he knows Persephone has returned to the underworld and will keep his mouth shut about it, no matter what it costs.

Physical description

Hermes wears wings on his head and a smaller pair on each of his ankles and boots. He wears a slight smirk, is shown with his caduceus in his hands, and has legs that are firm and adapted for running. He wears a cream-colored chiton held by multiple belts, and with his wing symbol on top, and carries a pouch full of parchments, letters, and trinkets he needs to deliver. He also has a turtle inside his satchel, which is one of his symbolic animals.

His appearance drastically changes in Hades II. Hermes now wears a black toga with orange and golden details hanging over his right shoulder with his left chest exposed, in a contrary way to Zagreus's own attire, and the hem also has chthonic wings as a pattern. It is held in place by his old belt, which is now further decorated with a golden medallion with a chthonic wing on it. He maintains his scarf and bands on his right leg and left wrist, adding now a golden bracelet on his right wrist. He wears rings on some of his fingers. His caduceus now has two little fabrics tied on it and his satchel remains the same, albeit emptier than before, fully exposing his turtle companion. His hair is now longer and darker, being tied into a tiny ponytail by a brown band, and he has a slightly paler complexion, hinting he hasn't been under the sun as much as before. He also no longer uses earrings. His field model shows his sandals are different than the ones he wore in Hades, since now his toes are exposed.

History

Past

Even when he was just born, he was incredibly mischievous. With his playful nature, he jumped out of his swaddling clothes and stole Apollo's cattle. To prevent his brother from chasing him, he even threatened to plunder Apollo's temple. What is most known about him is that he is the god of roads, businessmen, and thieves. He once stole the scepter of Zeus, the trident of Poseidon, Apollo's bow, and Ares's sword. His swiftness and dexterity made him the embodiment of vigor, and he was later christened as a messenger of the gods.

He also accompanied the souls of the dead to the underworld of Hades and closed their eyes with the snake rod in his hand. He met Charon, a creepy figure, and they ended up becoming great friends.

Hades

Hermes comes to be aware of Zagreus's escape attempts and lends his own help. However, he requests that his involvement remains hidden, as no one else besides Charon, Skelly and Zagreus himself know he's helping.

He comments on a multitude of different subjects, from his family and colleagues to work related matters, namely his job as a psychpomp, and commonly speaks as if delivering a message, sometimes doing truly that.

Upon Persephone's return to the Underworld, Hermes is aware of the fact, but won't spread the news unless asked to, keeping it to himself in the mean time.

Epilogue

At first skeptical to join given his non-official involvement, Hermes nonetheless comes to the feast and enjoys it with Charon.

He becomes aware of Zagreus' new "escaping arrangement" with Hades, and keeps it to himself.

Affinity

If given Nectar, Hermes will give you the Lambent Plume.

Hermes' affinity gauge is maxed out at 8 hearts.

Favor

Hermes' favor requires speaking with him while having the Lambent Plume equipped and max leveled to 3*. It does not matter how many stacks of its bonus you have.

Codex entry

Codex
'...One of the free-spirited sons of Zeus, he is patron to travelers, traders, even tricksters. Youthful in spirit and appearance, he could be mistaken for a common lad, if not for his extraordinary swiftness. None whom I know approach his agility or athleticism. He puts this peerless skill to a specific use, serving as the messenger of Olympus. Vast distances are nothing to him. Yet, there is something more to Hermes: He is the only god upon Olympus who dutifully serves the Underworld, in addition to his Olympian affairs. The Underworld is an orderly place, but the souls of the dead must first be brought to its brink. He has much to do with this. He seems to have ingratiated himself to the boatman, Charon -- notoriously unapproachable even by the Underworld's own. Thus, it is my belief that Hermes, besides his many talents, is the god of more than he appears.'

Book of Shadows entry (Hades II)

Codex
'Amongst Olympians, you know him well. His business often takes him to the edge of the Underworld, and sometimes farther below. His swiftness is renowned, but little else. His kin on the mountain underestimate him. Long has this proven to your benefit, and to this realm's.'

Trivia

  • Hermes is the first among the Olympian Gods to become aware of Zagreus' existence due to his frequent work-related visits to the Underworld.
    • While in the majority of his lines it's obvious he's in Olympus or the surface, others seem to be face-to-face interactions with Zagreus, which would make him the only Olympian who knows Zagreus in person before the feast.
    • Hermes seems to be the only Olympian God that Zagreus actively interacts with that knows that Zagreus is continually "failing" to get out of the Underworld. How he attained this information is unknown, but could be attributed to his speed and access to Charon on a normal basis. He also states that he is fine with keeping the information secret, possibly due to his "God of Trickery" nature.
  • He is the only one among his siblings to never have a chance of appearing in the first run.
  • He's the only Olympian god aware of the Pact of Punishment and its contents.
    • This implies he was possibly present when the Pact was first created.
  • Hermes is the only character in the first game wearing footwear, specifically boots.
    • During the second game, Artemis also seems to be wearing boots.
    • He mentions Hephaestus was the one who made his sandals.
  • Alongside Chaos, Eurydice, Hades and Patroclus, Hermes is one of the only characters to ever comment on someone else's keepsake, namely Charon's and Skelly's. He's specifically the only Olympian god to do that, and also the only one to ever comment on two different keepsakes.
  • Hermes can come to comment on some of the shades Zagreus befriends, notably Orpheus and Eurydice. This would be because, according to the myths, he was the one who guided them in their way out of the Underworld. He also mentions he and Eurydice "didn't get a proper send-off last [they] met", reflecting how he was the one that had to then drag her back down after Orpheus failed, which Eurydice herself says.
    • Although he doesn't name anyone, Hermes also comments on a shade he brought who was killed by a spear, was constanly lying and cheating and is still making ammends to this day. This is likely Sisyphus, who is said Hermes had to drag down to receive his punishment after cheating death the second time. Alternatively, it could be a reference to Odysseus, famous for lying and who was killed by his son Telegonus with a spear; however, Odysseus is never present in the first game for us to be sure what ammends is Hermes talking about. Based on what we know from Hades II so far, Hermes might have been talking about Odysseus' infidelity and his break up with Penelope in death.
  • As evidenced by one of his quotes, Hermes is the one that guides Persephone to Olympus. According to the myths, this task was shared with fellow goddess of roads and travels, Hecate, who would guide Persephone through the Underworld while Hermes would guide her during the other half of the way. Since Hecate doesn't appear in Hades, it's possible Hermes is guiding Persephone through the whole trip.
    • In Hades II, Hermes says that it was because Persephone didn't appear when he was meant to pick her up that he realized something was wrong in the Underworld, hinting he still had to wait for her at the Underworld's entrance. This indicates Persephone travelled to the entrance alone or, more likely, by hitching a ride from Charon.
  • In the first game, Hermes may be told to not speak if the player so chooses. He can be allowed to speak again if the player wants as well.
  • In his Codex entry, Achilles starts by saying that Hermes is the "patron of travelers, trades, even tricksters", but ends with saying "is the god of more than he appears". This likely references how in Greek Mythology, Hermes is, in fact, the god of many things; however, he's mostly famous and praised for his divine speed, his tricks and his relation to commerce and roads, which is possibly why the game mentions only these.
    • Aside from the previously mentioned domains, Hermes is also the god of boundaries, sailors, thieves/stealing, stealth, luck, gambling, wealth, some types of initiation, athletes, gymnastics, shepherds, sacrifices, hospitality, friendship, buildings, knowledge and learning, cunning, deceit/lying, disguise, language, communication, oratory, heralds and messages, music, wit, humor, politics, fertility, magic, medical herbs and sleep. He also guided dreams, is a guardian of doors and introduced/created the alphabet.
      • The majority of his functions are actually shared with some other god, and Hermes himself is mostly considered a minor god in those cases. Furthermore, many are especially shared with Apollo, the one who is said gave him most of his divine powers.
      • As the God of Deceit/Lying and Trickery, Hermes is aware of the pomegranate lie crafted by Persephone, and subtly hints about it to Zagreus.
      • As the God of Boundaries, Hermes has a brief fourth wall breaking moment where he explains he insisted the in-game timer be stopped during conversations. He likely insisted the same rule be added for Tight Deadline during the making of the Pact of Punishment.
    • Being a Psychopomp, Hermes was said to be Half-Chthonic sometimes. His status as a psychopomp was also the first recorded aspect of him and from there came many of his other domains.
      • Hades II especially focuses on this side of him, with him working in secret alongside the Chthonics and dressing in Underworld associated garments.
    • Although not directly a god of cooking or anything of the sort, it's said Hermes once cooked a meal to all Olympians, and his son Cérix would do the same to the King of Athens of his time.
      • The recipe he accidentally starts saying to Zagreus might be a reference to this. Otherwise, it just shows how overworked he is.
    • Although not an official God of Strength, it's said Hermes once defeated Ares in a boxing match. Hermes is also the father of Palaestra, the Goddess of Wrestling, and Autolycus, the one who taught Heracles wrestling.
  • Hermes seemingly acts as an older brother figure to Melinoë. Coincidentally, he dresses similarly to Zagreus, Melinoë's real older brother.
  • His sprite portrait has his toga covering his right side, while his field model has his toga covering the left side.
  • The player can unlock the Shrines of Hermes, which are the surface counterpart of the Wells of Charon.
    • These shrine will have Chellen on them to symbolize it's from Hermes, as well as the serpents of his caduceus and wings.
    • The player is able to purchase items from Hermes and he'll appear and drop them off, a reference to his messenger duty. He either drops them after a few chambers, or right away if the player pays a bigger price.
    • This not only comes from his connection with Charon, but also from his own domain as the God of Commerce and Trade.
  • Hermes' elemental boon affinities are mostly earth and air, a reference to his connection to the earth, mostly attributed to his psychopomp role, and his swiftness and ability to fly.
    • His Sprint being fire-elemental likely comes from his closeness to Apollo and how Apollo once beat him in a race during the first Olympic games.
    • His Infusion Boon is affected by all elements, a reference to his status as God of Boundaries and Travels that gives him access everywhere.
  • Hermes is frequently shipped with Charon within the fandom. Their ship name is Charmes or Speedboat.
    • Hermes's VA, Andrew Marks, is a fan of this ship himself and has stated he voiced Hermes with such intents in an interview.[1]
    • So far, they're the most popular non-canonical ship in the fandom. In general, they're in third place, after Thanzag (Thanatos x Zagreus) and Patrochilles (Patroclus x Achilles).
    • Hades II seems to further develop their relationship in comparison to the little hints in the first game, as both express extreme concern over the other and a mutual longing.

Additional notes

For additional information on Hermes that does not pertain to Hades, see Wikipedia's article: Hermes

References



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