Hephaestus is the Greek god of forges, fire, technology, craftsmen, sculptors, volcanoes, and blacksmiths. His symbols are the ax, an anvil, a pair of tongs, hammer, and fire. His Roman counterpart is Vulcan.
Hephaestus' Rivalry with HerEdit
Due to Zeus' giving birth to Athena, Hera was angry at his actions. She then gave birth to Hephaestus. He was an ugly and deformed child. When Hera saw the unsightly appearance of her son, she threw him from Mount Olympus, crippling him forever. Afterwards, Hera spread a false rumor that it was actually Zeus himself who hurled Hephaestus down from Olympus. Hephaestus landed in the sea, where he was found and raised by the Thetis, a kindly Nereid. However, Hera's act of cruelty haunted Hephaestus, and he sought revenge.
After spending nine years under the sea with Thetis, Hephaestus finally rode back to Mount Olympus on the back of a donkey. As he rode into the Olympian Throne Room, all of the gods (especially Hera) were shocked into silence. With him, Hephaestus had brought magnificent new thrones for all of the Olympians. Hera's throne was made from shining pure adamantium, making it particularly beautiful. A very impressed Hera quickly seated herself in it, and instantly, she was tightly bound by invisible and unbreakable chains. The chains grasped Hera so tightly, that she could not breathe, and all of the divine ichor in her veins flowed to her arms and legs. Ares and Hermes tried to convince Hephaestus to release his mother, but the latter remained stubborn and inexorable. Finally, his half-brother Dionysus (the god of wine), decided to take matters into his own hands. Dionysus began visiting Hephaestus' forge from time to time, and peacefully chatting with him. The two gods quickly became friends, and a week later, Dionysus introduced Hephaestus to wine, and finally convinced the intoxicated god to forgive Hera, and took him back to Mount Olympus on the back of a donkey. There, Hephaestus declared his forgiveness of Hera's act of cruelty, releases her. Afterwards, Hephaestus and Hera made peace with each other.
Olympian Riot and Hephaestus' PunishmentEditHera, enraged at her husband's infidelity, decided to start the first (and last) Olympian riot against Zeus. Hera managed to gain the support of Poseidon (who secretly desired to become King of the Olympian gods), as well as Apollo, and Athena. Hephaestus, however, chose to remain neutral, as he deemed his mother's idea of a riot ridiculous. As a result, after Zeus was freed by Briares, the King of Olympus did not punish him.
However, Hephaestus could not bear to see his mother hanging chained right above the terrifying Void of Chaos. As a result, he finally set her free. Hera tearfully embraced Hephaestus, and promised to never to call him ugly ever again. Zeus, however, was infuriated. He violently stormed into Hephaestus' chambers, easily overpowered him, and flung Hephaestus all the way from Mount Olympus to Lemnos (which broke every bone in his body). In time, however, Hephaestus' wounds were healed, and returned to Olympus. Zeus was somewhat ashamed of his past angry fit with his son, and (in a rare act) apologized and welcomed his son back with open arms.
Marriage to AphroditeEdit
The goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, was causing a lot of problems in Olympus due to her radiant beauty. Zeus decided to wed her to Hephaestus to keep her unavailable, though she still had multiple affairs with Ares, the handsome god of war. Though these days the affair is considered old news and everyone just accepts it, however, Hephaestus still finds ways to publicly embarrass his wife and her lover in front of the other gods with elaborate traps and tricks. The first and most famous one was when he caught the two lovers in a magical unbreakable golden net, and then invited the other gods to come and laugh at the unfortunate sight. In the end, however, Poseidon persuaded Hephaestus to release the god of war.
As the Blacksmith of the Olympians, Hephaestus also took part in creating the metal giant Talos, the Colchis Bulls, the Trojan Horse, and other various elaborate automatons. He also built the impenetrable armor of Achilles, a powerful and great tool.
Hephaestus tends to be gruff, and disappointed in life, in people and other "living organisms." He loves his wife Aphrodite, however he is sad and angry at her unfaithfulness. He is very bitter and hateful towards his "perfectionist" mother, Hera, and even once tricked her into sitting on a throne with hidden unbreakable chains. Hephaestus' tendency to bear grudges (namely against his mother) for a very long time make him similar to Hades. Hephaestus is somewhat bitter about his life, and puts his faith in machines rather than people, as machines "can't let you down." However, he appears to have a soft spot for Cyclopes, and seems to be on very good terms with his half-sister Athena, while they both mutually despise Ares. He is also very good friends with Dionysus, who was the only one able to convince Hephaestus to unchain his mother Hera. Hephaestus also greatly admired Daedalus, above all other mortal men. Despite his bitterness, Hephaestus is the lover of many things, such as his unfaithful wife, Aphrodite, his many demigod children (especially Lea) and their mothers. H
He is a huge and ugly lump of a man with his shoulders at different heights (so that he always seems to be leaning) and a huge, bulging, misshapen head and his leg in a creaking steel brace, with a wild brown beard that sparks fire from time to time. He is the only Olympian to show such extreme physical injuries; however, he is also very muscular from working in his forges. According to Leo, Hephaestus' face is red, lumpy and covered with welts, "as if he’d been bitten by a million bees, and then dragged across gravel." Inside his workshop, he wears a jumpsuit smeared with grime and oil with the name Hephaestus embroidered over the chest pocket. When he is on Olympus, however, he is much cleaner and elegant.
- Main article: Vulcan
Hephaestus can change into his Roman counterpart of Vulcan. As Vulcan, he becomes more disciplined, militaristic, and warlike due to the Romans being a more warlike race than the Greeks. he Greeks envisioned Hephaestus as a benevolent and clever being. The Romans believed Vulcan to be the god of volcanoes, giving him greater respect among them.
- Main article: Pyrokinesis
As a son of Zeus, Hephaestus is an extremely powerful god.
- Prowess in Battle: Hephaestus is shown to be very strong (from constantly working in his forges), which makes him very formidable in battle. For instance, he successfully fought against the mighty Giant Mimas in the first Gigantomachy, and managed to bring him down with the help of Ares and Hercules. However, during the gods' massive battle with Typhon, Hephaestus was defeated and knocked out of the sky with such force, that a new lake was created when he landed.
- He excels at fighting with a heavy hammer.
- Pyrokinesis: As the god of fire, he has absolute control over heat, fire, and lava. This is a very dangerous and powerful ability, which is why only children that he chooses have this ability.
- Fire Immunity: Hephaestus is immune to fire and heat, as he works with them constantly.
- Technokinesis: As the god of blacksmiths, he has unbelievable mechanical abilities which are second to none.
- Enhanced Forging: Hephaestus can build any kind of machine out of any kind of material, as well as animate it and make it do things to suit his needs. He can even do this absentmindedly, fiddling with parts and gears when nervous or thinking hard over something.
Aphrodite is Hephaestus' wife but she is notoriously promiscuous with Ares as her most notable lover. Hephaestus constantly tries to trap the two when they are together and humiliate them as he did the first time. However, the smith god himself has had his own number of affairs as well.
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- Hephaestus is the ugliest and most physically injured Olympian.
- Hephaestus is the one who built all of the Olympians' thrones in the Hall of the Gods.
- Another name for Vulcan is Mulciber which means "fire" in Latin.
- In the books Hephaestus is still married where in Homer's account Hephaestus demands his bride-price back after catching his wife Aphrodite and her lover Ares, which means in the modern sense they divorced. Homer also has him remarry the goddess Thalia.
- Hephaestus claims to have once admired the Hekatonknieres.
- The word "Volcano" and "Volcanic" both derive from Vulcan, his Roman aspects' name.
- Hera got pregnant with Hephaestus by herself. This may explain why Hephaestus was deformed at birth. This makes him, along with Aphrodite, the only other Olympian who is not a child or sibling of Zeus.