The myth of Hercules: 12 labors in 8-bits - Alex Gendler | Summary and Q&A

September 25, 2018
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The myth of Hercules: 12 labors in 8-bits - Alex Gendler


Hercules completes 12 impossible tasks to atone for a crime, battling monsters and forces while reshaping the world's order.

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Key Insights

  • ๐Ÿ˜€ Hercules faces the wrath of Hera and embarks on 12 challenging Labors to regain his honor.
  • ๐Ÿ“ถ Each Labor showcases his incredible strength, bravery, and intellect in overcoming mythical creatures and tasks.
  • ๐Ÿ˜ค The Labors of Hercules symbolize the hero's journey, redemption, and the triumph of good over evil.
  • โ‰๏ธ Mythology intertwines with human emotions, as Hercules battles internal and external demons in his quest for redemption.
  • ๐Ÿ›Ÿ The Labors not only serve as mythic trials but also highlight Hercules' growth, humility, and transformation into a divine figure.
  • ๐Ÿ˜€ Hercules' Labors resonate with universal themes of facing challenges, seeking forgiveness, and finding redemption through perseverance and courage.
  • โ“ The epic tale of Hercules' Labors showcases the enduring impact of ancient myths on contemporary storytelling and moral lessons.


Hercules, son of Zeus and champion of humankind, gazed in horror as he realized he had just committed the most unspeakable crime imaginable. The goddess Hera, who hated Hercules for being born of her husbandโ€™s adultery, had stricken him with a temporary curse of madness. And his own family were the casualties. Consumed by grief, Hercules sought... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why did Hera curse Hercules?

Hera cursed Hercules out of hatred for being born of her husband Zeus' adultery with a mortal woman, leading to the tragic events that followed.

Q: How did Hercules defeat the many-headed Lernaean Hydra?

Hercules defeated the Hydra with the help of his nephew Iolaus, who cauterized the necks of the Hydra's heads to prevent them from regrowing.

Q: What was significant about the symbol of the Nemean lion's hide?

The Nemean lion's hide, worn by Hercules, proved his strength and prowess as a hero, instilling fear in King Eurystheus and symbolizing his victories.

Q: How did Hercules finally manage to capture Cerberus, the three-headed hound?

With the help of Hermes and Athena, Hercules descended into the underworld and subdued Cerberus by grabbing all three of its heads at once, fulfilling his final task.


This video tells the story of Hercules and his labors, which he undertook as a means of atoning for his unspeakable crime committed in a fit of madness. Hercules faced ten impossible tasks set by King Eurystheus, all of which pitted him against formidable monsters and forces. He battled the Nemean Lion, killed the Lernaean Hydra, captured the Ceryneian Hind, and trapped the Erymanthian Boar. Hercules also cleaned the Augean Stables, defeated the Stymphalian Birds, the Cretan Bull, and the horses of King Diomedes. He retrieved the belt of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, and stole the magical red cattle from Geryon. Hercules then had to complete two additional tasks due to technicalities: obtaining golden apples from the garden of the Hesperides nymphs and bringing back Cerberus, the three-headed hound guarding the underworld. After successfully completing these twelve labors, Hercules not only redeemed himself and his family but also helped shape a world where humanity could flourish.

Questions & Answers

Q: What caused Hercules to undertake the ten labors?

Hercules committed an unspeakable crime in a fit of temporary madness, which was caused by a curse from the goddess Hera. Seeking atonement, he approached the Oracle of Delphi, who instructed him to undertake ten labors as a path to redemption.

Q: Who set the ten labors for Hercules?

King Eurystheus, Hercules' cousin and a favorite of Hera, set the ten impossible tasks as a means to humiliate and belittle Hercules, who he envied and resented.

Q: How did Hercules manage to defeat the Nemean Lion?

The Nemean Lion, with its golden fur impervious to arrows, proved a formidable opponent. However, Hercules cornered the lion in its dark cave, stunned it with a club, and eventually strangled it with his bare hands. He then used one of the lion's own claws, as suggested by the goddess Athena, to skin the beast.

Q: How did Hercules defeat the Lernaean Hydra, a serpent with multiple heads?

The Hydra was a relentless adversary since it would grow back two heads for every one cut off. However, Hercules and his nephew, Iolaus, devised a strategy to cauterize the necks of the Hydra with fire to prevent the heads from regrowing. They successfully defeated the Hydra, and its remains were immortalized as the Hydra constellation.

Q: What was the challenge of capturing the Ceryneian Hind?

The Ceryneian Hind was an incredibly fast female deer that could outrun an arrow. Hercules spent a year tracking the hind until he managed to trap it in the northern land of Hyperborea. However, upon discovering that the hind was sacred to Artemis, he vowed to return it. When he presented the hind to King Eurystheus, he demanded to keep it, but as soon as Hercules let go, the animal ran back to Artemis, thus fulfilling his promise.

Q: How did Hercules clean the Augean Stables in one day?

The Augean Stables had not been maintained for ages, and the task of cleaning them seemed impossible. However, Hercules conceived a clever plan. He dug massive trenches and rerouted two nearby rivers to flow through the stables, effectively washing away the filth and leaving them spotless. Augeas had expected Hercules to fail, but he succeeded and also claimed one-tenth of the livestock as agreed.

Q: How did Hercules defeat the Stymphalian Birds, the Cretan Bull, and the horses of King Diomedes?

Hercules faced three more formidable opponents in these tasks. The Stymphalian Birds had nested in an impenetrable swamp, but with the help of Athena's special rattle, he managed to startle the birds into the air, allowing him to shoot them down. As for the Cretan Bull, known for its mad rampage, Hercules defeated it using a chokehold from behind. King Diomedes, who had trained his horses to devour his guests, was subdued by Hercules, who then wrestled him into his own stables. The ensuing feast calmed the horses enough for Hercules to bind their mouths.

Q: What was the challenge Hercules faced with Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons?

Hercules was tasked with retrieving a belt given to Hippolyta by her father, Ares. Hercules sailed to the Amazon land of Themyscira prepared for battle, but the queen was so impressed with his heroic deeds that she willingly handed over the belt, recognizing his valor and strength.

Q: How did Hercules obtain the magical red cattle from Geryon?

Geryon, a giant with three heads and bodies, possessed a herd of magical red cattle that Hercules had to steal. En route to the island of Erytheia, Hercules shot an arrow at the Sun out of annoyance from the desert heat. The sun god Helios, admiring Hercules' strength, lent him his chariot for the journey. Hercules fought off Geryon's herdsman and his two-headed dog before ultimately killing the giant and seizing control of the cattle.

Q: Why did Hercules have additional tasks to complete after the twelve labors?

Eurystheus claimed that two of Hercules' labors did not count. The Hydra didn't count because Hercules had received help from his nephew, Iolaus, and the cleaning of the Augean Stables didn't count because Hercules had accepted payment. As a result, Hercules had to complete two more tasks to officially fulfill his obligations.

Q: How did Hercules retrieve the golden apples from the garden of the Hesperides nymphs?

To complete his eleventh task, Hercules had to retrieve golden apples from the garden of the Hesperides nymphs. He began by capturing the Old Man of the Sea, a shape-shifting water-god who knew the garden's location. With the Old Man's help, Hercules found the titan Atlas holding up the heavens. He offered to take Atlas' place temporarily, and Atlas agreed to retrieve the apples. However, Hercules tricked Atlas into resuming his burden, allowing Hercules to escape with the golden apples.

Q: What was Hercules' final task related to Cerberus, the three-headed hound?

Hercules had to bring back Cerberus, the fearsome three-headed hound guarding the underworld, for his twelfth and final task. With assistance from Hermes and Athena, Hercules descended into the underworld, where he met Hades himself. Hades agreed to allow Hercules to take Cerberus back to the living world on the condition that he accomplished the task without using any weapons. Hercules managed to overpower Cerberus by grabbing all three of its heads simultaneously, and he presented the hound to a horrified Eurystheus to complete his labors.


The story of Hercules and his formidable labors demonstrates the hero's incredible strength and determination to atone for his past mistakes. Through these tasks, Hercules not only redeemed himself but also played a pivotal role in shaping a world where humanity could thrive. Each labor showcased his strategic thinking, resourcefulness, and ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges. Furthermore, Hercules' exploits served to establish order by defeating chaotic and monstrous forces, contributing to the triumph of civilization over primordial chaos.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Hercules, cursed by Hera's madness, seeks atonement through 12 Labors assigned by King Eurystheus.

  • Tasks range from slaying beasts like the Nemean Lion to capturing creatures like the Ceryneian Hind.

  • Hercules overcomes each challenge with wit and strength, culminating in bringing back Cerberus from the underworld.

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