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Hades (ハーデス, Hādesu) is a Greek deity, brother to Zeus and Poseidon, and the dark ruler of the Underworld (冥界, Meikai). He serves as the main antagonist in the last story arc of Saint Seiya, The Hades Chapter, and a posthumous antagonist in Saint Seiya Next Dimension. In another entry, Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, he serves as one the three main antagonist (alongside Mephistopheles yohma and Alone ). He is the overall main antagonist of saint seiya franchise.
Within the Saint Seiya universe Hades still plays the role of ruler of the Underworld, but is an ancient enemy of Athena and her warriors known as her Saints. Hades bears a special grudge against all Bronze Saints who have worn the Pegasus Cloth. He wishes to wipe out all of humanity by turning the Earth into a desolate frozen wasteland for disobeying the gods and polluting their world.
Age of Myth
As with Greek mythology, Hades is one of six children born from the union of the titans, Rhea and Cronus. Unlike his other siblings: Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter and Hestia, Hades is not an Olympian God but instead rules over existence itself alongside his brothers and the goddess Athena. While Zeus ruled over the sky and heavens, Poseidon controlled the seas and Athena became guardian deity of Earth, Hades was entrusted with ruling over the land of the dead consisting of both Tartarus, where sinners are sent to suffer, and Elysion, home of the virtuous and honest. It was during this time that he recruited the Primordial Gods Thanatos and Hypnos as his personal generals.
It was during the age of myth that Hades fought the then current Pegasus Saint who had mortally wounded the god. Worrying for the state of his appearance, as well as his life, caused Hades was thrown in a state of trauma, deciding to forever retreated within Elysion until the world had been conquered by his subordinates.
Hades takes possession of the purest human alive, Alone. Knowing full well that he is the childhood friend of Tenma (Seiya's past incarnation), he and Pandora initiated another Holy War against the Sanctuary. At some point during this conflict, Tenma managed to wound Hades forever cementing his hatred of the Pegasus Saints. Any more details regarding Hades' role in the 18th Century has yet to be seen.
Hades initiated an invasion on Athena's Sanctuary by resurrecting the fallen Gold Saints as his Specters. Among the ranks were Aries Shion, Gemini Saga, Capricorn Shura, Aquarius Camus, Cancer Deathmask and Pisces Aphrodite. He tasked them with the goal of slaying Athena so he may take ownership of her soul in the Underworld, something the Specter Saints succeed in accomplishing though not without helping her awaken the Eighth Sense to enter the Underworld.
While Seiya, Shun, Hyoga, Shiryu, Ikki and Gemini Kanon all trudged towards Hades' palace, they faced many of his Specters along the way. Seiya and Shun made it to the palace first but upon reaching the palace, Shun is possessed by Hades due to having a pure heart. Seiya is disposed of by the Three Judges while Ikki tries to kill Hades but finds himself unable to due to knowing he would have to kill the brother he loves.
Despite Shun trying to resist Hades' hold over himself, it's no use and Hades takes full control. Hades is then confronted by Athena and Virgo Shaka who manage to force Hades back with Athena going to Elysium to chase him down. Athena's elite Bronze Saints are unable to reach Hades in Elysium due to the Wailing Wall blockading their entrance but once all the Gold Saints reunite and use all their power to destroy the wall, the elite five pursue Hades to rescue Athena.
In Elysium lies Hades' true body guarded by his two generals, Thanatos and Hypnos. After an arduous struggle with the twin gods, Seiya and Ikki reach the blood vase that Athena is trapped inside of and find Hades' coffin that he is resting inside of. Awakened, Hades immediately attacks them and stops them from allowing Athena's blood to be absorbed by the vase.
Eventually, Athena breaks free from her vase and enters the fight but Hades still proves too much for her. Trying to convince her that humanity must be eradicated to honor the gods and save the Earth and the greater universe from their pollution, Athena refuses his persuasion which angers him as he attacks her again. Pinned down and about to killed by Hades, Seiya rushes in to protect Athena and punches him with such force that he sends Hades flying into a wall, bleeding from the forehead, something Hades curses.
Despite Seiya's brief overpowering of Hades, he ends up impaled and cursed afterward, something that makes Athena cry in grief. Rejuvenated by Seiya's sacrifice, the remaining Bronze Saints all burn their Cosmo to empower Athena's staff which she then uses to impale Hades which seemingly kills him.
Much like the previous antagonist of Saint Seiya, Poseidon, Hades does not invade the Earth directly as he prefers to take possession of a human being. Every 243 years Hades can enter the world of humans and fight against Athena for control over the world. However, due to his pride and narcissism as well as the trauma of near death caused by the Pegasus Saint from the 18th Century, Hades refuses to engage his opponents directly, opting to instead manifest his spirit inside the body of the purest and most soft-spoken adolescent boy on Earth. The teenager in question would also have to be incredibly handsome.
During the previous Holy War of 1747 Hades' avatar was the young painter named Alone, while in the more recent 20th century he toke control of the Bronze Saint, Andromeda Shun, one of main protagonists of the original Saint Seiya story. Surprisingly enough, Shun bears a striking resemblance with the malevolent god.
The god of the Underworld is served by three great generals: the God of Death Thanatos, the God of Sleep Hypnos, and a woman called Pandora, who acts as a messenger and deliverer of the god. It is Pandora's task to release Hypnos and Thanatos from their imprisonment so as to initiate the nest Holy War on Earth. Recently, another sibling of Thanatos and Hypnos is shown to serve Hades, her name being Kers.
The Specters, Hades' Holy Army
The most powerful warriors under Hades' authority are The Specters, the equivalent to Athena's Saints. Specters can be identified do to their black and dark mauve armors, called Surplices (冥衣（サープリス） Sāpurisu, meaning "Dark Mantle"), as well as their battle mastery over Cosmo, the energy which gives all beings in the saint Seiya universe their powers. The Specters' titles are attributed to them after a star (heavenly or earthly), a quality of said stars, and a guardian spirit.
There are 108 Specters in total, 36 Heavenly Stars and 72 Earthly Stars. The Heavenly Star Specters reside within the underworld itself and serve as jailers, while the Earthly Star Specters are sent during incursions to land of the living in order to impose Hades' will. The three most powerful Heavenly Star Specters are referred to as Hades' Magnates, who serve the god as wardens for his various prisons.
Average foot soldiers within Hades' army are called Skeletons. They perform menial tasks, wear weaker types of Surplices, have very little control over Cosmo and are armed with sickles for battle.
Hades is a very stern deity that takes his duty with extreme sincerity. As such, Hades takes personal offense to the gods being slighted. Moreover, he holds humanity with disdain for polluting their world and fearing they may pollute outer space itself. Regardless of his hatred for humanity, he does love his niece, Athena, and offers her numerous times to be sparred and convince her of his misanthropy. He even extends that courtesy to her elite Bronze Saints but he is nonetheless cruel towards them as he viciously hacked them with his blade. Hades went so far as to personally curse Seiya for daring to draw blood from him by impaling him and forcing him to live out the rest of his days as a cripple.
Recently, Hades agreed to his father's request that he spare Leo Aiolia for being such an honorable opponent in exchange for obtaining his Dunamis to restore his lost body. Interestingly, Seiya comments there is such sadness in Hades' deep blue eyes implying there is something tragic that has happened to him in the past.
Abilities and Attributes
Despite being a villain, Hades has the tendency to posses a human with the most pure heart who was born during the time of his reincarnation as his vessels.