The Hekatonkheires or Hecatonchires (Ancient Greek: Ἑκατόγχειρες) "Hundred-Handed Ones", were figures in an archaic stage of Greek mythology, three giants of incredible strength and ferocity that surpassed that of all Titans whom they helped overthrow. The three Hekatonkheires became the guards of the gates of Tartarus.
Two of the three have been featured in the God of War series so far.
The Hekatonkheires were children of Gaia and Ouranus. They were three creatures with hundreds of arms and fifty heads. They were thus part of the very beginning of things in the submerged prehistory of Greek myth, though they played no known part in cult. Their names were Briareus (or Aigaion/Aegaeon), the "Vigorous" or the "Sea-Goat", Cottus the "Striker" or the "Furious", and Gyges (or Gyes) the "Big-Limbed". If some natural phenomena are symbolised by the Hecantonchires then they may represent the gigantic forces of nature that appear in earthquakes and other convulsions or in the motion of sea waves.
Soon after they were born their father Ouranus threw them into the depths of Tartarus because he saw them as hideous monsters. In some versions Ouranus saw how ugly the Hecatonchires were at their birth and pushed them back into Gaia's womb, upsetting Gaia greatly, causing her great pain and setting into motion the overthrow of Ouranus by Cronos, who later imprisoned them in Tartarus.
The Hecatonchires remained there, guarded by the dragon Campe, until Zeus rescued them, advised by Gaia that they would serve as good allies against Cronos and the Titans. During the War of the Titans, the Hecatonchires threw rocks as big as mountains, one hundred at a time, at the Titans, overwhelming them. While Gyges and Cottus sided with the Gods, Briareus is known to be the one to betray them and joined the Titans. After Briareus' defeat, he was buried under Mount Aetna.
In God of War Series
In God of War: Ascension
After the Great War, Aegaeon pledged a blood oath to Zeus, only to later betray him. The Furies weren't pleased by this betrayal and thus hunted him down, to torture him without end as they saw death would be too merciful for such a crime. He became an example to all, and a prison for those who followed his example of breaking a blood oath of the gods.
Six months after he was tricked into killing his wife and child, a younger Kratos finally finds a way to break the blood oath that binds him to the God of War, Ares. After taking matters into his own hands, Kratos is sentenced to a life of madness with the Furies, caged in a Titan sized prison for the living damned; built within and around the Hekatonkheires. As he escaped the torture of Megaera, he chased her in an attempt to find the exit of this damned place, only to be attacked by her minions and later by the prison itself. The parasites used by Megaera enter an arm of the Hekatonkheires, which causes the fingers to mutate and grow, moments later a monster with giant tusks bursts out the palm of the hand, using the four remaining fingers (the two in the middle are turned to his back), become his claws. As Kratos goes further into the prison to escape many arms of the Hekatonkheires try to kill him while the rest of the giant slowly mutates. Eventually, after chasing Megaera to the Hekatonkheires' head, Kratos battled her as she mutated the head of Aegaeon and tried to get it to eat Kratos. As this happens, it is possible to see Aegaeon's eye move around to see what is happening to him showing he was still alive after being transformed into a prison.
Soon another one of the mutated arms attacked, but Kratos tricked the head into biting it, which gave him the perfect position he needed to jump at Megaera and kill her. Her death results in the simultaneous death of Aegaeon as well, this act put an end to the Hecatonchires centuries old torture.
In God of War ComicsAfter arriving on the island where the Ambrosia is being kept, Kratos encounters a waking yet hungry Gyges, one of the three Hecatonchires, who was the island itself and has remained dormant. There he waited, until Kratos returned during his quest to acquire the Ambrosia once more. The island then revealed that, years ago, on Kratos' first quest for the Ambrosia, a hundred of his arms were burned off in his battle with Helios' Champion, after which they vowed vengeance for his actions. Kratos, however, escaped the vines of Gyges and revealed that he intended to destroy whatever Ambrosia left on the island, as disciples of Ares desired to use it to revive their fallen God. Gyges pleaded to Kratos not to destroy the Ambrosia, as it kept him immortal, but saw his pleas fall on deaf ears, as Kratos used the Flames of Apollo to set the island ablaze. As Gyges' life ended in agony, the Tree of Life and all its Ambrosia had been incinerated.
- In Greek mythology, the Hecatonchires are said to be three hundred-handed giants that kept the Titans imprisoned, in the God of War series, however, the Hecatonchires is a Titan-sized prison built in the body of Aegaeon, one of the three brothers.
- The other name for Aegaeon is Briareus (which he is often called), the Hecatonchire Kratos faces goes by the name Aegaeon.
- In the God of War Comics, Gyges is seen to have uncountable amount of eyes and mouths, as the myth tells of the creature to have many heads. Aegaeon in God of War: Ascension, has many more arms and one official head, however, the heads that appear out of his hands may account for some of the dormant 50 heads. Cottus has yet to be featured in the series.
- It is odd to notice that Gyges has lots of heads and mouths, but only 4 official arms and 2 official legs, and Aegaeon has lots of arms, but only 1 official head (maybe 3 dormants counting the monster coming out of his infected hands) and 2 official legs. So maybe Cottus may appear in future God of War Series as a Hecatonchires with both lots of arms and heads, but instead may have lots of legs, or the combination of the three.