Study Guide

Hephaestus (Vulcan)

  • Profile

    Hephaestus (Vulcan) is the god of fire, blacksmiths, stonemasons, technology, and volcanoes. Interestingly, he is also one of the very few gods who isn't a hottie. He's been called all sorts of things: short, misshapen, ugly, lame… It's enough to make a guy feel insecure. And insecure he is. His looks caused his mom, Hera, to toss him off of Mount Olympus when he was born, they caused Athena to reject his advances, and they cause his ultra-gorgeous wife, Aphrodite, to constantly cheat on him. Hephaestus may not be good looking, but he's famous for making beautiful and fabulous things. Aphrodite's girdle, Eros' bow and arrows of love, Achilles' impenetrable armor, and the sun-chariot of Helios are all the products of Hephaestus' forge.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Hephaestus

    Nickname

    Vulcan, Vulcanus, Hephy, Mr. Smith

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    Mount Olympus, though the island of Lemnos is like a second home

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    God of Fire, Blacksmiths, Craftsmen, Technology, and Volcanoes

    Education

    Self-taught

    Beliefs

    Political views

    I'm a Zeusian

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Zeus (dad) and Hera (mom), or maybe Hera by herself, but she isn't much of a mom to me

    Siblings

    Hebe, Ares, Eileithayia, Typhaon, The Kharites

    Children

    Erichthonius (by Gaia)
    Pandora (sort of… I made her)

    Friends

    Orion

    Enemies

    Hera, my "loving" mother
    Ares, my wife's lover

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Married (unhappily) to Aphrodite

    Interested in

    My wife (but she's not interested in me)

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Made In America
    Build It Bigger
    Flying Anvils

    Quotations

    "Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one."
    – Bill Gates

    "Armor, n. The kind of clothing worn by a man whose tailor is a blacksmith."
    – Ambrose Bierce

    "The smith, a mighty man is he,
    With large and sinewy hands;
    And the muscles of his brawny arms
    Are strong as iron bands."
    – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Village Blacksmith"

    "Don't dance on a volcano."
    – French Proverb

    "There is nothing more humiliating than loving someone so much that you forgive the infidelities."
    – Princess Diana

    "When you're a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you're not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You'll know it's there, so you're going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back."
    – Steve Jobs

    Books

    Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan
    The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth by Alexandra Robbins
    The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
    When Your Lover is a Liar by Susan Forward
    I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    Make magazine
    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
    Backyard Blacksmith by Lorelei Sims
    Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

    Music

    What Goes Around by Justin Timberlake
    Forget You by Cee Lo Green
    Lovefool by The Cardigans
    Volcano by Jimmy Buffet
    Your Cheatin' Heart by Hank Williams
    Mother by John Lennon
    I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye
    Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses
    Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash

    Movies

    Revenge of the Nerds
    Napoleon Dynamite
    Iron Man
    Beauty and the Beast
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    WALL-E
    Joe Versus the Volcano
    Dante's Peak
    The Elephant Man
    Star Wars
    The X-Men movies
    Terminator 2: Judgment Day

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Flame throwers
    Monster trucks
    Volcanic eruptions
    Power tools
    Fireworks
    Video games
    LEGOs
    Ugly dolls

    Interests

    Blacksmithing
    Metallurgy
    Technology
    Robotics
    Volcanology and plate tectonics

    Groups

    Gods and Goddesses of Olympus
    Modern Blacksmiths of America
    Volcano Lovers
    United Auto Workers
    Victims of Infidelity Support Group
    Nerds of Olympus

    • Spotter's Guide

      You're looking for Hephaestus, huh? Well, he's not too hard to pick out of a crowd. Not to be rude or anything, but he's kind of an ugly guy. Compared to the other gods, he's short and hunched over, and he walks with a limp. As a blacksmith, though, he's super buff. You won't be able to miss this god's muscles. You should really swing by Hephaestus' forge and go have a talk with him. He's a good guy and, well... he doesn't exactly have a lot of friends.

      Physical Description

      Sex: Male
      Age: Middle aged
      Build: Short, muscular, hunched over
      Complexion: Pale, though sometimes a bit covered in soot
      Hair Color: Brown, black, or gray
      Facial Hair: A full beard
      Scars/Marks/Tattoos: Burns, soot stains, and a lame foot
      Jewelry and Accessories: Rarely seen without his blacksmith hammer and anvil
      Clothing: Loincloth
      Armor: Though he makes armor, he doesn't wear it; armor gets in the way of his work
      Type of Weapon: Hammer, axe

      Typical Companions

      • Cyclopes
      • Automatons (clockwork robots)
      • His wife, Aphrodite
      • Eros (Cupid), Aphrodite's son

      Known Hangouts

      • The Forge a.k.a. his blacksmith workshop
      • Lemnos, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, where he lived after Hera cast him off; Hephaestus made the island his second home and has his forge here under a volcano
      • Automotive factories, Detroit
      • Near volcanoes (everyone likes an excuse to visit Hawaii)
    • Sightings

      Jan 1, 1970 - Jan 1, 1970

      The Iliad by Homer

      Hephaestus forges some top-notch armor for the kick-butt hero Achilles in this epic poem.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus

      The smith god reluctantly chains the Titan Prometheus to a rock in this classic Greek tragedy.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Aeneid by Virgil

      In Book 8, the goddess of love uses her feminine wiles to get her husband to forge fabulous armor for her son, Aeneas.

      Dec 20, 2019

      The Metamorphoses by Ovid

      The Roman poet Ovid collected all kinds of wild stories about the gods in The Metamorphoses. Here you'll find myths about Vulcan (a.k.a. Hephaestus), but be sure to check out Book 4, where Vulcan catches his wife cheating with Mars (Ares).

      Dec 20, 2019

      Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto

      Mars and Venus just can't live down their affair. In this epic poem, the net Vulcan used to catch the lovers is stolen. Unfortunately for the thief, he's caught in the net himself.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Fantasia

      The blacksmith god gets to work in Disney's Fantasia. He's busily making lightning bolts for Zeus to toss at the drunken Dionysus. Watch his scene here.

      Dec 20, 1968

      Thor #129 – Marvel Comics

      The Greek god of fire makes an appearance in this comic book starring the Norse god of thunder. According to these comics, Hephaestus' blacksmith hammer may be the equal of Thor's hammer, Mjolnir.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

      Hephaestus is mentioned in places throughout the series, but only puts in an appearance in three books: The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.

      Dec 20, 2019

      God of War III

      Hephaestus is a major character in the third installment of this video game series. The game's antihero, Kratos, kills Hephaestus in the end, though (along with almost all of the other Olympians).

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan

      Hephaestus and his mechanically-minded kids also show up in Riordan's second Percy Jackson series, especially in the first book, The Lost Hero. His demigod son Leo is one of the stars.