Once Upon a Time's Version of Hades Is So Bad It's Kind of Great

Illustration for article titled Once Upon a Time's Version of Hades Is So Bad It's Kind of Great

When Once Upon a Time left us in December, it did so with the promise that the main cast would be journeying into the underworld. Now, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, we know what Hades will look like come March. It’s pretty stupid.


In the still above, it looks like Greg Germann accidentally stepped in front of a bright blue light bulb. At some point we’re going to have to confront the completely ridiculous theology of Once Upon a Time. Because either Hades and Satan are the same (which seems to be the route executive producer Edward Kitsis is taking, saying to EW, “Hades is a very dangerous fellow, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun being the Devil.”) or Once Upon a Time exists with both Christian stories (KING ARTHUR AND THE HOLY GRAIL) and ancient Greek ones.

However, this blue-flame look is so much like the Hades from Disney’s Hercules, that I assume that’s the character they’re writing. And Germann does have enough smarm to pull off a credible James Woods. Of course, then you’re inviting a comparison to Woods, whose Hades is damn near perfect. Which feels like yet another mistake for Once Upon a Time. Indeed, it seems this show runs entirely on mistakes.

Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.



Hades is not the Devil. In Greek myth, he’s the lord of the entire underworld, including the Elysian Fields as well as Tartarus and everything in between. He’s not “evil,” he’s just the king of the dead. But Western fiction keeps getting this wrong, from Disney’s Hercules to Lost Girl to plenty of others. (But props to Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess for a more accurate portrayal of Hades.)