Hades is a beloved roguelike action game that’s unique in many ways, but especially in how it integrates death naturally into the narrative. This, combined with the game’s smooth combat, beautiful graphics, and unique soundtrack, makes for a title that’s captured the hearts of many players.
Perhaps what makes Hades stand out from other titles in the genre, though, is its approach to the relationships of Greek mythology. While romance and friendships aren’t the primary goals of the game, they serve an important narrative function, as well as being well-written and compelling. As such, some of Hades‘ relationships are better than others, in terms of their development and story significance.
Updated on January 11, 2023 by Stacie Rook: Hades is officially getting a sequel, Hades II, and from what’s been shown in the first trailer (via YouTube), it seems that protagonist Melinoë has many complex relationships, just like her brother Zagreus. These connections are part of what made the first game so beloved, though some are better thought of than others.
Zagreus And Dusa
Dusa isn’t a typical Gorgon; instead, she’s a nervous yet dedicated body-less entity, who keeps things running smoothly in the House of Hades. While she initially seems to have a crush on Zagreus, pursuing her romantically reveals that she only wishes to be close friends with him.
While this is endearing, and Dusa is a steadfast ally to Zagreus, the pair’s friendship is unfortunately not as well-developed as some of the other platonic relationships in the game. This seems like a missed opportunity, as Zag and Dusa had far more potential.
Persephone And Hades
A pair of Greek gods constantly misrepresented in media, Hades and Persephone are protagonist Zagreus’ parents, and their mythological relationship has been widely explored in popular culture.
While in the game Hades and Persephone are interesting individuals, their love story with each other is not nearly as layered as their respective connections to their son. This is likely because their story has been retold so many times, meaning that their relationship in Hades doesn’t feel as innovative as some of the game’s other pairings.
Orpheus and Eurydice
The love story of Orpheus and Eurydice has been explored in many works of art, including the musical Hadestown, but in Hades, the duo’s personalities seem at total odds with one another. The game positions Eurydice as a compelling and fun character, a direct contrast to Orpheus’ overwhelming woe.
Hades explains that Orpheus didn’t give Eurydice credit for her own musical skills, and instead referred to her simply as his muse, which undermines Eurydice’s abilities. Given these slights, it seems likely that Eurydice would be better off finding a new love in the Underworld rather than reuniting with her old one.
Eurydice And Zagreus
The friendship between Eurydice and Zagreus is really well done, and it uses Hades‘ status as a game where each playthrough is different to its advantage, allowing the pair’s relationship to develop over time. Eurydice is intelligent, warm, and beautiful, and her singing skills are fantastic.
Eurydice offers Zagreus a delicious meal in Asphodel that helps him on his quest, and he slowly gets to learn about her life story. Eurydice is one of the most underrated characters in Hades, and her friendship with Zagreus allows her to shine outside of her more traditional mythological narrative with Orpheus.
Achilles And Zagreus
Zagreus’ close friendship with Achilles is enforced by the fact that the two have known each other for a long while, and Achilles has trained Zagreus to face any monster he encounters in the depths of the Underworld.
Zagreus clearly wants to help Achilles find happiness in his afterlife, and Achilles is also there to offer words of wisdom in return. Their friendship is one of shared respect, and is long-lasting and deep. It’s these factors that make the dynamic great, as Zagreus and Achilles embark on their respective journeys.
Zagreus And Megaera
The romance between Zagreus and Megaera, one of the three Furies, is a lot of fun. An embodiment of the enemies to lovers tropes, the couple already have a history at the game’s outset, and there is a lot of chemistry between them.
Over time, Zagreus can win Meg’s favor enough to secure a bond with her, but players still get to battle against her from time to time in Tartarus. Zag and Megaera both clearly enjoy having the chance to fight against one another, and this aspect of their dynamic is just one of many which make them well-suited.
Zagreus And Thanatos
The relationship between Zagreus and Thanatos is all about balance. The two complement each other well, as Thanos is the stoic personification of death, and Zagreus is basically the god of blood and/or life.
When Hades starts, the two are shown to have already had a close friendship bond, and they slowly begin to realize their romantic feelings for one another, which results in a beautiful romantic relationship developing in one of Hades‘ most iconic scenes. Thanatos and Zagreus’ relationship pairs attraction with a deep emotional connection.
Zagreus, Thanatos, And Meg
The relationship that perfectly sums up Zagreus as a character is that which he shares with both Thanatos and Megaera. One of the best things about Hades is that Zagreus is not made to choose between his love interests Thanatos and Meg, and players will face no negative repercussions for pursuing them both.
This is a rare thing in video games, and the trio’s connection has become a great instance of polyamorous representation. Zagreus has different yet equally fascinating connections to both Than and Megaera, and pursuing them both also leads him to have great conversations about love with many other characters.
Achilles And Patroclus
While the new relationships explored in the game with Zagreus and his lovers and friends are great, the most satisfying romance of all is the one between Achilles and Patroclus.
While the mythology surrounding the two heroes is a tragic one, the game gives Achilles and Patroclus a beautiful resolution to their story. It’s a happy ending to a story that has been sad for centuries. Reuniting these two is one of the most difficult storylines as players must complete many other quests and favors to get to this one, but it’s also one of the most rewarding.