Hera (Ήρα in Ancient Greek, meaning "Lady of the House") is the Greek goddess of air, familial love, heaven, marriage, commitment, motherhood, and women. She is the elder sister and wife of Zeus, therefore making her Queen of the Olympus. She is one of the daughters of Rhea and Kronos. Her Romancounterpart is Juno. Hera is portrayed by Erica Cerra in the film version of The Lightning Thief.
Zeus, Hera's husbandAfter accepting Zeus, Gaea gave Hera the golden apples of immortality as a wedding gift, which she placed in her garden at the western edge of the world. Hera employed theHesperides, daughters of Atlas, to guard the tree, but as the nymphs would occasionally pluck an apple from the tree themselves, she also put a one hundred headed dragon named Ladon there as well. This orchard was later named The Garden of the Hesperides.
Over time, Zeus was very unfaithful to her, and had many children with mortal women such as Jason Grace, Thalia Grace, and Hercules. This, understandably, frustrated Hera to no end, and she devoted most of her time to keeping Zeus in sight, as well as making the lives of the mistresses and illegitimate children miserable.
Hera gave birth to Hephaestus, god of fire and the forge without the aid of any man, but when she saw his unsightly appearance, she threw him from Olympus, crippling him forever. This act of cruelty haunted Hephaestus, and was a factor in his bitterness with life and the fact that he preferred to work away from his family in his many forges in active volcanoes.
Other versions of the story say that Zeus was the one who cast him off Olympus, but Hephaestus himself seems to believe that Hera only blames him to "make her seem more likable." Later in life, Hephaestus gained revenge against Hera for rejecting him by making her a magical throne which, when she sat on it, did not allow her to leave. The other gods begged Hephaestus to return to Olympus to let her go, but he repeatedly refused their pleas until Dionysus the god of wine and another son of Zeus, got him drunk and took him back to Olympus on the back of a mule. Hephaestus released Hera after being given Aphrodite, goddess of love, as his wife.
When Eris, goddess of strife, threw the Apple of Discord into the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, bearing the inscription "for the fairest," Hera was one of the candidates to claim it.Paris, prince of Troy, was chosen to judge between the three most beautiful goddesses, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Hera offered Paris a reward if he chose her as the fairest, willing to give him rule over Europe and Asia. She lost however, to Aphrodite, because of the bribe the goddess of love had offered Paris (the love of the most beautiful woman in Greece, Helen). Hera engaged along with Athena on the Greek's side in the Trojan War in revenge against Paris for rejecting them.
She helps Percy multiple times; by feeding Annabeth's group, by banishing Janus, by paying to give the group a free pass through the Triple G Ranch, and by helping Percy kill Geryon by causing his arrow to fly straight.
However, Annabeth accuses Hera of only wanting a "perfect family," after Hephaestus had told her the story of how she threw him from Olympus. Annabeth also claims that Hera doesn't think much of her brother Hades and his family and is very dismissive of Nico and his problems. Hera responds with rage and says that Annabeth "will be sorry" for being so disrespectful towards her. She proceeds to curse Annabeth with her sacred animals, causing cows to bother her all year by having them defecate everywhere.
Hera claims that her jealous behavior is all in the past now and that she and Zeus have received some "excellent marriage counseling." Nevertheless, when Percy mentions Thalia, Hera casts a dangerous look and refers to "her" with a sneer. Interestingly, when Hera mentions 'the last time' her husband had a child with another woman, this would have been a reference to Jason Grace, since he was born after Thalia. However, Jason was also given to Hera as a "peace offering" from Zeus, so she might have excused Jason and only been referring to Thalia, whom she has a great deal of spite for.
Hera joins the gods in the battle against Typhon. A statue of Hera almost falls on top of Annabeth as Olympusbegins to crumble. Thalia pushes Annabeth out of the way in time, but the statue lands on her leg and she is unable to follow Percy and Annabeth as they confront Kronos/Luke. Annabeth assumes that Hera was trying to kill her, but this could just be an over reaction based on an argument they had in The Battle of the Labyrinth. After the battle is over, Hera, somewhat disdainfully, congratulates the heroes on their triumph. She seems to force Ares to thank them as well, showing that she is grateful to them despite her general dislike of demigods.
Before the book begins, she is trapped by Khione in a cage that drains her power to awaken Gaea and bring Porphyrion. She mostly appears in dreams and other messages to get Jason, Piper, and Leo to free her. After she is freed by Leo and Piper, she tries to kill Porphyrion transforming into her Divine Form. However, Jason makes the mistake of looking at her and presumably dies. She is very surprised seeing Jason being brought back to life by Piper after having (presumably) died. This is probably because the Doors of Death having been opened. She went against Zeus' orders when she contacted Jason, even after being saved. Throughout it she reveals more about herself and her view on things. She confesses to often never understanding Zeus' moods, but that his current actions are baffling even to her bordering on paranoia. She admits to Jason that she is so bitter towards heroes because she does not have any of her own demigod children. She also states that she is disappointed with both of her sons, Ares and Hephaestus. She becomes Jason's patron goddess, whether Jason likes it or not.
Hera, in her Roman aspect of Juno, appears to Percy in the form of an old 'hippie' woman calling herself June. She tells Percy, who at the time was running away from Medusa's two sisters, that he has a choice. He could continue to the ocean where he would be safe from the snake women and live in safety, but doing so would leave her at their mercy; or he could carry her to the entrance of Camp Jupiter, and live a life of pain and possibility. Percy picks her up and carries her to the entrance before using his power over water to destroy the Gorgons. June introduces him to the campers as Percy Jackson, a son of Neptune, and shows her godly form to everyone on site, who bow in respect (except for Percy, who didn't feel she deserved his respect because he had to carry her for so long, almost getting killed along the way). Percy asks her for his life and memory back, but she declines saying he has to succeed at camp before handing him over to the Roman campers and disappearing in a shimmer of light.
She reappears in Percy's dream to talk with him and answer a few of his questions with no ill will, despite Percy's aggressiveness. She warns him Annabeth (Percy's girlfriend) will be the one who will cause the most trouble in the future.
Hera seems to be a motherly goddess, likely because she is the goddess of women, marriage, and children. She is, however, very proud and jealous when provoked, insulted or shown unfaithfulness. When cross, even Zeus can be afraid of his wife. She has huge dislike towards Annabeth Chase as she stated some facts about her true nature and other demigods, especially the demigods of her husband. There is an exception she does not show this dislike to Jason probably because she is his protector. According to Hephaestus, she only likes "perfect families," and her throwing him off of Olympus has made him very, very bitter towards his mother. Hera carries great loathing for the illegitimate children and mistresses of Zeus, though for good reason. She is seen as often aware of Zeus' various affairs, many times thwarting them and tricking him into getting what she wants. Though perhaps her anger should be more keyed toward her husband, Hera seems to gain revenge by punishing the women involved as well as the children that result from his affairs. As goddess of marriage, Hera is "used to perseverance," and is always reconciled with Zeus despite his frequent infidelity. She expresses sadness over the loss of faith seen in the minor gods, and reminds Percy's group to always look at the big picture.
Although she often seems very proud and yet bitter, in The Lost Hero it is strongly implicated that Hera knows her duties as queen of the Olympian family and takes them seriously, going against her husband's will and devising a plan to unite Greek and Roman demigods whom she personally dislikes. She is ready to overcome her own wishes in order to save the gods and Olympus and thus, the Western civilization.
She also admits to Jason that she secretly envies the demigod children of the other gods, claiming that they help them connect with the mortal world in ways she can't. She will never have any of her own, however, because as goddess of marriage it is "not in her nature to be faithless." It is this part of her, though, that allows her to be merciful where the other gods cannot, as demonstrated by her favoring of the pure mortal Jason, who had no divine parent to guide him.
In The Son of Neptune, she is far more patient with Percy than before. Visiting in a dream, but only complaining when Percy tried to attack her and never showing any signs of anger.
Hera has long chocolate brown hair woven into a braid with gold ribbons, and wears a simple white dress that ripples like oil on water when she moves. She has brown eyes. She is tall, graceful, very beautiful, and looks likean average Mom, according to Percy. Hera is supposedly a very intimidating sight with eyes glazed with power.
- Hera has the standard powers of a goddess.
- Hera is able to conjure food as shown in the Labyrinth.
- Hera is able to make things clean and orderly like a mother.
- When she was in her Roman form, Juno, she stopped time to talk to Jason in private. It is unknown if she can do this in her Greek form.
Although she is a matron goddess, Hera is known to regain her virginity every year by a sacred bath so she can celebrate her hierogamy (sacred marriage) to Zeus. She is one of the most beautiful goddesses on Olympus and was often desired by others. Despite his many infidelities, Zeus was very jealous and punished anyone who dared to approach her, such Kings Ixion of Thessaly and Porphyrion of the Giants.
Some of Hera's symbols are:
- The peacock (animal)
- Pomegranate (fruit)
- Lotus staff (symbol)
Hera is played by Erica Cerra. She makes a brief appearance near the end of the movie, attending the Olympian Council.
- Hera's name is an anagram of her mother's name, Rhea.
- Hera is derived from ἥρως or heros which means "defender, protector" in Ancient Greek.
- The month of the year is named after Hera's Roman counterpart which is incidentally when many women choose to get married