Deianeira in "Hercules in the Underworld"
|Portrayed By||Tawny Kitaen|
|Series||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys|
|First Appearance||Hercules and the Circle of Fire|
|Last Appearance||"When a Man Loves a Woman"|
|Cause of Death||Killed by Fireball|
Deianeira of Thebes was the first wife of Hercules. They met when Hera stole fire from mortals. Together, Deianeira and Hercules traveled to see Prometheus and then to Mt. Aethion where they were able to restore fire. On their journey, they fell in love (Hercules and the Circle of Fire).
When Hercules went with Iole to help the town of Gryphon, Deianeira became convinced that she would lose her husband to the younger woman. She gave Hercules a cloak that was soaked with the blood of Nessus thinking it would protect him. Instead, Hera enchanted the cloak so it attacked Hercules. Hercules dove into the hole to the Underworld in Gryphon and the townspeople, thinking he had died, send a Runner to tell Deianeira about the incident. Blaming herself for Hercules' "death", Deianeira threw herself from a cliff. She died and ended up in the Elysian Fields. Hercules found her there and made a deal with Hades to bring her back to the land of the living (Hercules in the Underworld).
Deianeira was killed, along with her children, by Hera. The goddess used a series of Fireballs to destroy their home (HTLJ "The Wrong Path"). Sometime later, Demeter sent Hercules to the Underworld to retrieve her daughter, Persephone. There, Hercules encountered Deianeira and his children. Hades offered Hercules the chance to take Deianeira back to the land of the living. In order to do so, he would have had to have left Persephone in the Underworld thus subjecting mortals everywhere to starvation and cold because of Demeter's anger to the loss of her daughter. Deianeira told Hercules she understood and that the Earth needed him they parted again. Hercules asked Hades to erase her memory of the encounter so she could be happy in the Elysian Fields (HTLJ "The Other Side").
When Hercules later fell in love with Serena, the demi-god visited Deianeira and his children in the Underworld. Though Deianeira was deeply saddened by Hercules's new love she realized he had to move on and she eventually blessed the new union: overseeing the wedding with her children (HTLJ "When a Man Loves a Woman").
Mythological basis Edit
- Deianeira was the daughter of Oeneus, the king of Calydon. In some versions, she was an excellent charioteer and her battle skill drew Heracles to her.
- Deianeira caused Heracles's death with a poisoned shirt (thinking it was a love potion) and then committed suicide upon realizing what she has done. Her four sons by Heracles survived and went on to lead the Dorian invasion of southern Greece, eventually founding the royal houses of Sparta and Macedonia.
- Heracles and Deianeira's four sons- the greater Heracleidae- were Hyllus, Ctesippus, Glenus and Oneites. Their daughter was named Macaria.