Study Guide

Hermes (Mercury)

  • Profile

    Hermes is the messenger of the gods and the guide to the dead, so he's a busy guy. If you manage to catch him on a coffee break, though, you should totally have a chat with him. He has traveled almost everywhere and has a ton of good stories to tell. You better watch your wallet, though. Hermes is easy to get along with in general, but (being the god of thieves) he's also known for finding sneaky ways of stealing anything that catches his eye.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Hermes

    Nickname

    Mercury (to the Romans)

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    Mount Olympus

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    Messenger of the Gods
    Guide to the Underworld
    God of Thieves and Trickery
    God of Travelers

    Education

    Ha! I'm amazing; I invented the lyre on the day I was born. What do I need with school?

    Beliefs

    Political views

    Go Zeus!

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Zeus (dad), Maia (mom)

    Siblings

    My dad has tons of children: Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Dionysus, Hebe, Athena, the Muses, Persephone, and more.

    Children

    Pan, Hermaphroditos, Priapos, Lykos, Pherespondos, Pronomos, Eleusis, Autolycus

    Friends

    Apollo
    Zeus (well, he's more of a boss than a friend)

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Married to Peitho, goddess of persuasion (We have an open relationship.)

    Interested in

    Friendship
    Dating

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Alias
    Psych
    The Riches

    Quotations

    "The person who steals bread during a famine is not treated as a thief."
    – Cat Stevens"

    "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected."
    – Mohandas Gandhi

    "Been caught stealing, once when I was five."
    – Jane's Addiction

    Books

    Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
    Household Tales by Brothers Grimm
    The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
    The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
    The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain
    The Odyssey (I taught Homer everything he knows)
    The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen Lucas
    Animal Farm by George Orwell

    Music

    The Police, Message in a Bottle
    LMFAO, Party Rock Anthem
    The Marvelettes, Please Mr. Postman
    Tom Petty, Free Fallin'
    Bob Dylan, Like A Rolling Stone
    Lady Gaga (I'm a monster)
    Elvis Presley, Return to Sender
    The Box Tops, The Letter

    Movies

    Robin Hood
    O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    The Sting
    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
    Catch Me if You Can
    Ocean's Thirteen
    Trains, Planes, and Automobiles
    Fantastic Mr. Fox

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Stamps
    Trains
    Airplanes
    Feasts
    Secrets
    Singing telegrams
    The lyre

    Interests

    Flying
    Pick pocketing
    Traveling
    Letter writing (it's a dying art)

    Groups

    Gods of Olympus
    I will go slightly out of my way to step on a crunchy looking leaf
    Everything Can Be Answered With a Simpsons Quote
    When I realised the word "bed" looks like a bed, my mind was blown.

    • Spotter's Guide

      Don't blink or you might miss Hermes. He's always whizzing to and from Mount Olympus at lightning speeds. His duties as messenger of the gods and guide to the dead keep him constantly on the go. It's a good thing he's got those winged sandals, or he'd probably never get it all done.

      Physical Description

      Sex: Male
      Age: 30s-40s
      Build: Lean and athletic
      Complexion: Fair
      Hair color: Strawberry blondish
      Facial hair: None
      Scars/marks/tattoos: None
      Jewelry and accessories: Kerykeion or Caduceus (A winged staff with two snakes intertwined around it)
      Clothing: Winged Cap; winged sandals
      Armor: None
      Type of weapon: None

      Typical Companions

      Messengers
      Heralds
      Thieves
      Shepherds
      Merchants
      Travelers
      Tortoises
      Hawks
      Birds of omen

      Other Notes

      Known hangouts: Borders; roads; gymnasiums; banquets; athletic events; near strawberry trees; near crocus flowers; rustic music festivals; the Underworld

      Escape vehicle: His winged sandals; dreams

    • Sightings

      Dec 20, 0799 - Dec 20, 0599

      The Odyssey

      The ancient Greek writer Homer included many of the gods of Olympus in The Odyssey, the story of the hero Odysseus. Hermes was one of the gods who helped Odysseus return home to Ithaca. Hermes warned Odysseus that the witch Circe would turn him and his men into animals and that he should eat a special herb to protect himself. Hermes also delivered a message from Zeus to the nymph Calypso, ordering her to release Odysseus from her island.

      Dec 20, 0799 - Dec 20, 0599

      The Iliad

      Homer brings the gods into The Iliad as well, which tells the story of the mythic Trojan War. Most of the gods of Olympus take sides in the human war: Hera, Athena, and Poseidon are rooting for the Greeks, while Aphrodite, Ares, and Apollo fighting for the Trojans. Hermes plays only a small role in the epic poem, guiding the Trojan king to the body of his dead son, Hector in Book 24.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Oresteia

      The Oresteia is a trilogy of tragic plays (Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, and Eumenides) by the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus. These plays are about how Orestes and his sister Electra take revenge on their mother for killing their father. As in any good Greek tragedy, the characters call on the gods for help, and Apollo and Athena become pretty involved in the third play. Hermes is also involved because Orestes wants to use trickery to get his revenge, so he calls upon the trickster god to be his ally.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Aeneid

      In the Roman poet Virgil's epic poem, Mercury (a.k.a. Hermes) plays his normal messenger role. Here, he delivers messages between Jupiter (a.k.a. Zeus) and Zeus's mortal son Aeneas. See Book 4 for an example.

      Dec 20, 2019

      The Metamorphoses

      The Roman poet Ovid collected all kinds of wild stories about the gods The Metamorphoses. Here you'll find myths about Mercury, including the story of how he stole Apollo's sacred cattle.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series

      Percy Jackson has run-ins with all of the gods of Olympus, including Hermes. We meet Hermes in the first book, The Lightning Thief, and he's pretty friendly, though maybe not the best father. However, as the series progresses, we find out that one of his mortal sons is a villain.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      God of War

      The Greek gods make it onto the PlayStation in the God of War video game trilogy. The mortal hero of the games, Kratos, butts heads with the gods of Olympus, including Hermes. In God of War III, Hermes is one of the bosses (albeit a speedy one), and Kratos kills him.