|“||Bravo! Bravo! Our hero has arrived. Applause for another bastard child of Zeus, just in time for the final act.||”|
In Greek Mythology, Hera was the goddess of marriage, protector of women, and Queen of the Gods. Wife to Zeus and also one of the original six Olympian gods, Hera is sister to Zeus, Poseidon, Demeter, Hades, and Hestia as well. As Zeus' wife and queen, Hera was frequently enraged by her husband's constant adulterous escapades, and she often went out of her way to punish his mistresses and illegitimate children. She had a particular hatred of Hercules, and famously orchestrated most of the hardships and tragic events of his life, including his famous Twelve Labors. With her husband Zeus, Hera was the mother of Ares, Hebe, Eileithyia, and Eris. Hephaestus was also sometimes called a son of Zeus and Hera, but other accounts say that she gave birth to him without a father after Zeus brought forth Athena seemingly without a mother.
Her Roman equivalent was Juno.
In the God of War series
Again without appearing herself, Hera is mentioned when her favorite pet, the giant beast Argos, tries to stop Kratos. After it is killed by an unknown assassin, Kratos is blamed by the Gods for its murder, at the same time being stopped from uncovering the truth.
|“||You look terrible, dear.||”|
Kratos meets Hera well into his conquest of Olympus, though by this point she is in a drunken stupor. She despises Kratos for what he is doing to the world, and also expresses her hatred for her husband, Zeus, for having another bastard mortal child. Although she seems to enjoy the prospect of Zeus' death, she tells Kratos that she can't let him try to take Pandora, and ironically sends out Hercules into the Arena as her champion to kill Kratos. Watching as they do battle, she enjoys the very sight of it, laughing intensely.
Sometime later, Kratos finds her again in her garden, weakened by the plagues that are killing her plants. Blaming him for her garden's state, she yells to Kratos that he is destroying the entire world with his actions, even attempting to ineffectually strike him in the process. After Kratos repels her, she staggers away, declaring that his "simple mind" will never find a way out of her gardens.
In order for Kratos to reach and extinguish the The Flame of Olympus, he must pass through the marble-walled maze, even taking Hera's Chalice to activate a statue in aiding his passage. As he nears the end of the garden, he comes across Hera once more. She goads Kratos by calling Pandora 'the little whore', causing him to lose control, snapping her neck and silencing her voice forever. With her death, all flora in all of Greece withers and dies.
In death, Hera becomes Kratos' involuntary aid in escaping, as he uses her corpse to weigh down several pressure plates.
Hera, as a goddess, was immortal and presumably possessed many godly powers. However, the exact abilities Hera may possessed are not shown at all, and due to her very quick death, it can be concluded that this particular interpretation of the character is one of the weaker Olympians. It can also be assumed that because of the death of numerous Olympians and the present plague, this weakened Hera to such a point that she could be easily killed. It probably did not help that she was heavily intoxicated by alcohol and was in a state of intense depression. This version of the character is also made to be the Goddess of plant life (although that role belongs to Demeter), resulting in the death of Greece's plants after her own death.
- Hera is voiced by Adrienne Barbeau.
- After her second encounter with Kratos, the first in the gardens, Hera throws away her chalice, leaving it for Kratos to be picked up freely. Due to the role of its embedded jewel in solving the subsequent puzzles, it is the only mandatory Godly Possession in the game.
- It would seem that Hera has somewhat of an attraction to emeralds. Both the necklace retrieved by Kratos in Pandora's Temple in God of War, as well as the chalice she is seen drinking from in God of War III, have a large emerald set in them.
- Based on the murals throughout Olympus, as well as her statue in Pandora's Temple, it can be inferred that Hera's aged image is the result of her becoming weaker due to the deaths of the other gods, as well as that of plant life. Her early concept art also depicted her as being younger looking and very similar in appearance to her portrait in the hall of the Flame of Olympus.
- Given her constant drinking, the Evil of Pandora's box that infected Hera was most likely Gluttony. Her pompous behavior may also indicate Sloth.
- Strangely, when Kratos kills Hera, her plague involves the death of the plants on Greece, but she is not the goddess in control of nature. That role belongs to her sister Demeter. It is possible that since Demeter did not appear in the game, her role as goddess of nature and plant life was given to Hera instead. However, it is stated by Hera that her power is merely keeping the plants in her garden alive, as they are already dying from a lack of sunlight, and she didn't say she protected the plants all around the world, since Demeter was responsible for them, not Hera and it was possible that Demeter was also dead when Hera was killed since they were both Goddesses of Flora and now every plant in Greece is dead.
- The peacock was the sacred animal of Hera, and peacock feathers can be seen adorning several of her possessions throughout the game, such as her crown and her throne in the Forum.
- Hera's drinking may be attributed to the god Dionysus who was the God of Wine.
- Hera hated all children of Zeus, especially Hercules. She made his life the worst it could be, yet she chose him as her champion in battling Kratos. This may be due to the fact that battling Kratos would be a suicide mission, given the deaths of her two brothers: Hades and Poseidon. Knowing he would die in the process, Hera uses this opportunity to finally get him killed. Her enjoyment is shown through her laughter and multiple side comments.