Hades (Scroll Down to see Demeter)
Roman Name: Pluto
Hades was the God of the Underworld, the God of Wealth, and the King of the Dead. Hades was also called the "Rich One" because all of the grounds treasures were his. He got his share, the underworld and to rule over the dead, from among the three brothers in the Olympians.
He almost never left the underworld and nobody ever wanted to invite him away from there. He wasnt welcome in many places.
Once a person died, his soul would float down to the underworld. Hermes would guide them down to the river, Styx. From there, they would be left with Charon, the ferryman. The souls had to pay a toll to Charon because he was so greedy. If they didnt have the toll, he just simply wouldnt take them. If they couldnt cross, they would be left to wander until they found the paupers entrance to Hades. Once inside the realm of Hades, they never came out. A three-headed dog named Cerberus guarded the gate. This is why, when a man died, they used to put a coin under his tongue.
His wife was Persephone. He had carried her away from the earth and made her his queen. This is the story of how it happened:
Persephone, or Why There Is Winter
Persephone, as it was already stated, was the Queen of the Underworld. But she wasnt happy; she was beautiful, but she stayed silent. And she wasnt in the Underworld at her free will- Hades had kidnapped her from her mother, Demeter.
Persephone grew up on Olympus, and where ever Demeter went, Persephone was with her. When Persephone danced, flowers grew and blossomed. She was also so beautiful, that even Hades noticed her and wanted her for his wife. Hades knew the Demeter would never agree to give her daughter to Hades, so he stole her.
One day, while Persephone and her mother were out in a field collecting flowers, she wandered a little too far away. The ground split, and Hades came up riding a black chariot drawn by black horses. He grabbed her, and just as suddenly as he appeared, he was gone. The ground closed right after him.
Demeter saw no sign of her daughter anywhere, and wept. And being the goddess of harvest, nothing could grow while she was sad. Many people went without food, and they starved.
Down in the Underworld, Hades put Persephone on a black marble throne and gave her precious stones and gold, but she didnt like it/them at all, let alone find any joy in them.
Around Hades palace, were gardens with plants, but no blossoms. There was only one tree in his realm- a pomegranate tree. The gardener would try to tempt Persephone with the juicy fruits that grew there, but she wouldnt eat them.
On Earth, as Demeter looked for Persephone, flowers, trees, and fields got cold and wilted. Because Demeter was the goddess of Harvest, nothing could grow while she was sad. Demeter even asked the sun, Helios, if he had seen what happened, but he said there was a cloud blocking his view.
Demeter also heard that there was a boy that had witnessed the kidnapping. She went to Triptolomus, because his brother was the witness. His brother said he heard screams and saw some of his pigs fall into a void, and from this little information, Demeter understood what happened.
Demeter went to Zeus and told him he would never again make the Earth green if he didnt command Hades to give Persephone back. Zeus sent Hermes to Hades and he had to listen to him- he was, after-all, the Lord of the Universe.
Right then, the gardener went up to Hades and re-ported to him that Persephone had eaten some food from the Underworld, and Hades smirked. He knew she had to return to him.
As soon as Persephone returned to Demeter, she blessed the harvest again. But the happiness was short because Persephone had to admit that she had eaten the seeds.
When Zeus heard this, he arranged an agreement. Persephone would return to Hades realm for one month per every seed she had eaten, which was three.
But Demeter was nice and didnt want man to suffer or starve in winter. She lent her chariot and grain to Triptolemus and she taught man how to grow crops and store food.
This is why we have winter. For the three months when Persephone is away from her mother, and when she returns, the land bursts into bloom.