Firegod and god of the blacksmiths and volcanos, Hephaestus could make anything through his excellent craftmanship.
He was ugly and deformed, and was originally thrown off Mount Olympus at birth when his mother Hera or father Zeus saw him. Sometimes Hera is considered his only parent, just like Zeus was the only parent to Athena. The jealous Hera was said to have given birth to Hephaestus as a revenge for Zeus nerve to make a child by himself.
Hephaestus was married to Aphrodite or one of the Graces, Aglaia, and his workshop was under the volcano Etna on Sicily where the Cyclops were his helpers, making Zeus' lightnings. In some stories his wife is the pleasant goddess Charis.
As a character, Hephaestus was often ridiculed because of his appearance, but as an artist he was much admired. He made the most beautiful jewellery for women, and splendid weapons for men.
He was strongly connected to the island Lemnos, since one of the myths tell us a different version of how he became limp. At one of Zeus and Heras many arguments he tried to intervene, upsetting Hera so much that she threw him off the Olymp. After falling all day he ended up on the island, where the people looked after him.
In Athens he was celebrated together with Athena at the Chalkeia festival.
The Romans called Hephaestus Vulcanus.