Heracles had extraordinary strength and courage, but was not particularly intelligent. He acts without thinking and is prone to fits of rage which usually end in death for his opponent. He wears a lion skin (made from the Nemean Lion) often accompanied with a club. Hercules was an extremely passionate and emotional individual. He will also go to great lengths to help his friends. Heracles was very much hated by Hera, the wife of Zeus, because he was Zeus's son. Hera tried to kill him many times, from the time of his birth to the time of his "death" as a mortal.
One of the things he is most known for are the twelve labors he had to complete for King Eurystheus. These were a series of "labors" that were given to him to purify him after he was cursed with madness by Hera, causing him to murder his wife and son. His labors include:
- Slay the Nemean Lion.
- Slay the Hydra.
- Capture the Ceryneian Hind.
- Capture the Erymanthian Boar
- Clean the Augean Stables in a day.
- Slay the Stymphalian Birds.
- Capture the Cretan Bull
- Steal the Man-Eating Mares of Diomedes.
- Obtain the Girdle of Hippolyta.
- Obtain the cattle that is owned by Geryon.
- Steal the apples of the Hesperides.
- Capture and bring back Cerberus.
After completing his labours, Heracles joined up with Jason and the Argonauts in his quest for The Golden Fleece. Heracles later helped the Gods fight the Giants (who were the children of Gaia that were fertilized from Uranus's blood) led by Alcyoneus and Porphyrion in a plot to restore the Titan rule, freed Prometheus, defeated Antaeus, lost to Dionysus in a drinking contest, and ended up mating with a half-woman, half snake creature to reclaim his horses.
When Heracles takes Deianara as his wife, the centaur Nessus offers to help Deianeira across a fast flowing river while Heracles swims it. However, Nessus is true to the archetype of the mischievous centaur and tries to steal Deianara away while Heracles is still in the water. Angry, Heracles shoots him with his arrows dipped in the poisonous blood of the Lernaean Hydra. Thinking of revenge, Nessus gives Deianara his blood-soaked tunic before he dies, telling her it will "excite the love of her husband".
Several years later, rumor tells Deianeira that she has a rival for the love of Heracles. Deianeira, remembering Nessus' words, gives Heracles the bloodstained shirt. Lichas, the herald, delivers the shirt to Heracles. However, it is still covered in the Hydra's blood from Heracles' arrows, and this poisons him, tearing his skin and exposing his bones. Before he dies, Heracles throws Lichas into the sea, thinking he was the one who poisoned him (according to several versions, Lichas turns to stone, becoming a rock standing in the sea, named for him). Heracles then uproots several trees and builds a funeral pyre which Poeas (the father of Philoctetes) lights. As his body burns, only his immortal side is left. Through Zeus' apotheosis, Heracles rises to Olympus as he dies. No one but Heracles' friend Philoctetes (Poeas in some versions) would light his funeral pyre (in an alternate version, it is Iolaus who lights the pyre). For this action, Philoctetes (or Poeas) received Heracles' bow and arrows, which were later needed by the Greeks to defeat Troy in the Trojan War. Philoctetes confronted Paris and shot a poisoned arrow at him. The Hydra poison would subsequently lead to the death of Paris. The Trojan War, however, would continue until the Trojan Horse was used to defeat Troy.
As for Heracles when he is brought to Mt. Olympus, Hera ended up dropping her vendetta against him and Heracles ends up marrying Hebe.
As a demigod, he had these natural abilities.
- Attention Deficit Disorder and possible dyslexia. (described by Rick Riordan in the Percy Jackson fictional series of books)
- As a child of the Zeus, his abilities are much more potent than other demigods. (")
- His superhuman strength is legend.
- As a child of Zeus he has the same weather and sky abilities but to a lesser degree.
- Can control lighting to an extent
As a god he is presumed to have his demigod powers enhanced along with the standard powers of a god.