|“||I thought Spartans fought with honor. And yet you seek to kill me when I have no way to defend myself? Not fair! But you have your own sense of honor, right, Kratos? And what has that honor brought you? Nothing but nightmares of your failure. Today you may defeat me, but in the end, Kratos, in the end you'll betray only yourself.||”|
–Hermes' last words to Kratos.
Hermes is the Olympian God of Travelers, Messengers, Thieves, Commerce, Sports, Athletics, and Speed. He is the son of the King of Olympus Zeus and the Pleiades Maia. He is also the father of Ceryx, the messenger of Mt. Olympus.
In Greek mythology, Hermes is the messenger of the gods and additionally, a guide to the Underworld. As an Olympian god, his sphere of influence was vast; he was the patron of boundaries (and the travelers who cross them), shepherds and cowherds, thieves and liars (and their cunning), orators and wit, literature and poets, athletics and sports, weights and measures, invention, general commerce, profit and good luck. He also acted as the messenger of Hades, guiding departed souls to their final resting place and carrying messages between the Underworld and Olympus. Another of his duties was to take Dreams from the God Morpheus and deliver them to the mortals.
His symbols include the tortoise, the rooster, the winged hat, the caduceus and his winged sandals. He was the son of Zeus and the Pleiades Maia, a daughter of the mighty Titan Atlas. His Roman counterpart was Mercury.
Hermes was born sometime after the first Titan War to Zeus and a goddess named Maia. He matured rapidly and within a few minutes of his birth stole the cattle of Apollo and invented the lyre. He even thought of a clever way to cover up his crime: tying bundles of grass to the cows' feet and leading them backward out of the pasture to make it look like something had been led into the pasture, but not away from it.
Despite this, Apollo found out and went to Zeus for justice. When brought before his father, Hermes attempted to charm Zeus into letting him go by telling him he was just an innocent new born baby. Undeceived, but amused by the child's boldness, Zeus instead forced him to compensate Apollo, which Hermes did by presenting him with the lyre
In the God of War Series
During the Great War, Hermes is one of the gods who fought the Titans and is seen dodging a boulder thrown at him by one of them. He bore witness to his father Zeus using Blade of Olympus to banish the Titans to Tartarus for all eternity.
Wager of the Gods
Hermes, much like his brethren, was briefly seen competing in the wager of the gods, a contest in which each god chose one mortal to represent themselves in a search for Ambrosia. He was later seen with Poseidon, watching as Kratos, Ares' champion, slaughtered many enemies in his path. His confidence in his own champion, Danaus, proved infallible, as he continually taunted his fellow gods about his champion being the one to steal the Ambrosia. Unfortunately for Hermes, Danaus later met his end at the hands of Hades' champion, Alrik.
Hermes' son Ceryx faced Kratos in battle, and was killed. Hermes himself seemingly did not appear, although one theory about the identity of assassin who killed Argos, claims that he was Hermes himself in disguise, since the Greek myths detailed it was he who slew Argos in the name of Zeus. If this theory is correct, it means nearly all the gods of Olympus plotted against Kratos.
God of War II
Hermes briefly appears at the end of God of War II, where he is seen talking to the other Gods.
Hermes has a major presence and is one of the main characters in the Official Novelization for God of War II, where he is tricked into having seen Kratos while the latter was visiting Typhon's Lair, and due to Zeus, who had been consumed by fear,'s disbelief at Kratos being even possibly alive, Hermes ends up being expelled from Olympus and exiled, and replaced with the Goddess Iris, who tries to keep herself in the position and on Zeus' good graces by manipulating other Gods as well as Zeus himself in order to prevent Hermes from reattaining his position.
Hermes constantly flies around Greece looking for news that could disprove Iris and restitute him to his position as the Messenger, something that both annoys and pities his sister, Athena. Hermes eventually visits the Sisters of Fate on their palace and manages to obtain crucial information for his return to Olympus, as well as giving the Sisters more reasons to be wary of Kratos.
Near the climax of the novels, Hermes skillfully manages to put Iris in a bad light once he re-enters Olympus, and reveals her lies, placing himself back as the Messenger of the Gods, as well as forcing Poseidon, who had sent the Kraken to kill Kratos, to ultimately stop lying to Zeus, thus redeeming himself just before the beginning of the Second Titanomachy.
- Kratos: "To catch a fly from the ass of Zeus is not worth my time, Hermes."
- Hermes: "A coward's words, Kratos. You don't try to catch me, because you know you can't!"
- ―Hermes and Kratos conversing.
Hermes was one of the Gods who battled Kratos and the Titans when they were ascending Mount Olympus. Hermes had leapt down from the balcony and ran straight down the mountain itself. He was not seen since.
During his first encounter with the Labyrinth, Kratos eventually ran into Hermes directly (who just happened to be standing on a part of the Labyrinth at the time; possibly waiting for Kratos), who taunted him about his quest for vengeance and boasted his own speed. After briefly trading insults with Kratos, Hermes ran up the Chain of Balance linking the Underworld and Olympus, with Kratos in pursuit.
Reappearing in the Chamber of the Flame, Hermes again taunted Kratos about his lack of speed. He then led Kratos around the outside of the Olympian Citadel on a perilous chase, with Kratos dodging incoming projectiles. Eventually, Kratos managed to finally corner Hermes by launching a boulder from a catapult; chaining himself to the boulder with his blades. The boulder smashed into an Athena statue, which Hermes had previously perched himself on, and caused the statue to come crumbling down on a nearby building with the two clinging to it.
Unfortunately for Hermes though, the wounds that he had suffered from the crash had left him critically injured and exhausted. Now unable to escape his enemy, Hermes ultimately decided and attempted to defeat Kratos in combat, using his formidable speed and agility to his advantage however, he would be forced to continually stop fighting to catch his breath. Upon his defeat, Hermes mocked Kratos one final time, stating in the end he would betray only himself. Kratos then overpowered him and severed his half-brother's legs in order to claim his winged boots. With his ultimate death, Hermes' corpse dissolved into a swarm of disease-carrying flies that flew across Olympus; covering the land with pestilence and causing the deaths of several of Olympus' servants in the process.
Hermes is shown as being playful and childish. He is greatly arrogant and boastful of his own speed, thinking that Kratos has no chance of catching or defeating him. He acts quite laid-back most of the time, frequently flipping his coin when idle. He is also fairly talkative, taunting Kratos about his tendency to kill family members, his quest for vengeance, and his inability to match Hermes' speed. However, it appears that this light-hearted demeanor masks an intense hatred, which occasionally becomes evident in his dialogue with the Spartan and especially manifests itself when he is forced to confront Kratos in battle. It is possible this is due to the fact that Kratos has killed his son Ceryx. Like most of the gods defeated in the game, he remains defiant to the end, laughing at Kratos' "own sense of honor" and insisting that the Ghost of Sparta will only betray himself in the end.
Powers & Abilities
For all of his unique powers and abilities, Hermes is rather vulnerable. In fact, for all of his boasting, he is actually one of the few gods that Kratos defeats rather easily and without much effort. Hermes mainly relied on his speed and agility in combat, knowing full well that he could never hope to win against Kratos in a straight fight. Likewise, Kratos appears to view Hermes as more of a pest than a serious threat, only engaging in battle with him after incessant taunting and provocation. Overall, Hermes, despite his limitations, still proved to be an impressive and skillful individual.
- Vast Superhuman Speed: By wearing his winged boots, Hermes' already impressive agility and speed are magnified to beyond superhuman levels and allow him to become virtually untouchable in combat. While wearing the boots, Hermes displayed his enhanced agility by performing amazing feats such as:
- Sprinting at breakneck speeds
- Leaping (and possibly gliding) for great distances and making precise and accurate jumps.
- Defying gravity (being able to run up and across vertical and horizontal surfaces respectively)
- Superhuman Durability: As one of the Olympians and the messenger of the Gods, Hermes was highly resistant to most forms of physical damage. Although he himself was nowhere near as powerful as many of the other gods, Hermes was still very powerful in his own right.
- Superhuman Agility: Along with speed Hermes´s most famous attribute was his immense physical agility. He was able to leap on great distance both horizontally and vertically, doing immpresive gymnastic moves quickly climbs and was able to use his agility tocombat effectively.
- Immortality: As one of the Olympians and the messenger of the Gods, Hermes was immortal.
- Power Conjuring: Hermes may also have had the power of conjuring the elements, as seen at the end of God of War II, Hermes had fire protruding from his hair and winged sandals. However, in God of War III, Hermes has bright light for hair that is sometimes seen with flames emanating from it.
- Wisdom: Combining his agility with his physical abilities, he was able to utilize the environment around him as a means to gain the upperhand over his opponents; making him show signs of an impressive intelligence; showing that he is one of the more clever and creative of the gods (while most of the gods, despite being very creative in their own ways, were mostly blinded by the evils that were infecting them as well as their arrogance).
- He is voiced by Greg Ellis.
- He is a grandson of Atlas, since his mother, Maia, who is one of the Pleiades, is Atlas' daughter.
- In Greek mythology, Hermes wore winged sandals which allowed him to fly. However, in the God of War Series, not only does he wear boots instead of sandals, but they appear to only give him the power to speedily run along any surface. This is noted when Hermes runs along a rope to the Statue of Athena which he perched himself on, and when Kratos smashed into the Statue with the boulder, which Hermes tried to cling onto desperately. In both instances, Hermes should have been able to fly. At first, on top of the statue, and secondly, to stop himself from crashing. However, it is possible he was trying to keep his game between him and Kratos fair enough to his liking and that the boots can indeed grant flight, as evidenced by Kratos using the boots to perform aerial evasions in conjunction with the Wings of Icarus.
- Hermes also lacks a caduceus, a wand that most depictions of Hermes are always seen with. Instead, Hermes possesses a gold coin, which he occasionally flips with his fingers, and which can also be collected as an item. Even though the caduceus wand itself is missing, you can still see its symbol on Hermes' chest. He may have passed it down to his son, as Ceryx was seen with it, and was destroyed along with Ceryx himself. In the novel, Hermes does posses a caduceus and uses it to create an image of Kratos who is about to jump from the Suicide Bluffs, thereby warning Athena of her pet mortal.
- Hermes' coin is one of the Godly Possessions and, if collected, can grant ten times the collected amount of orbs in a follow up playthrough in Bonus Play.
- Despite his speed and agility, Hermes' stamina was noticeably far from infinite. While he was able to lead Kratos on a long chase, he eventually showed signs of fatigue, which lead to him being cornered and ultimately defeated.
- The evil from Pandora's box that Hermes was likely infected with was most likely Pride; He displays these traits by his constant taunting and boasting towards Kratos while still refusing to fight him at the same time. Hermes also appears to be incredibly vain, as he speaks of himself as the most handsome of all the gods in the novel.
- Hermes makes his physical debut in God of War II, but was not identified by name nor had any lines until God of War III.
- Not counting the non-canon Betrayal, Hermes is one of only three gods in God of War III killed by Kratos that he had not previously been seen interacting with. The other two are Hephaestus and Hera (Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades had all aided him in the original game, with Kratos also battling Zeus twice before in God of War II, while the Ghost of Sparta had saved Helios from his capture by Atlas in Chains of Olympus).
- Hermes is surprisingly one of the easiest bosses in the game due to the fact that he mostly relies on speed, and not strength, and although he is definitely fast, he can still be attacked from a distance, somewhat making the fight easier for Kratos (and the player).
- In one of the early trailers for God of War: Chains of Olympus, when the sun disappears, Hermes along with Zeus, Athena, and Poseidon, can be seen sitting on the clouds.
- In the novel, it is shown that Hermes is somewhat attracted to Athena. He does, however, state that he was just bantering with his favorite sister, although he describes her as the most beautiful of the goddesses.
- He is mentioned in Chains of Olympus by Eos, who wishes Kratos to "Go with the speed of Hermes."
- Hermes is the only God in God of War III that Kratos kills with the Blades of Exile.
- Hermes, alongside other God of War characters, is featured in Destiny of Spirits.
- Tacticus, a Roman historian and senator, associated Hermes's Roman equivalent Mercury with the Norse god Odin.
- Of all the gods that appear in God of War 3, Hermes and Hades appear to be the most loyal to Zeus. Poseidon was secretly investigating Zeus's paranoid behavior, Helios offered to help Kratos in exchange for his life (though in the end he chose death over giving Kratos information), Hera didn't blame Kratos for going after her husband, and Athena, Hephaestus, and Aphrodite both fully supported Kratos's crusade against Zeus, though former two both ended up betraying Kratos for their own personal gain.
- The God of War II novelization implies that Hades secretly supported his wife Persephone's attempt at destroying Olympus. If this is the case, Hermes is likely overall the god most loyal to Zeus, which is somewhat ironic given that in mythology he is an example of the trickster god archetype