Is Hermes a Traitor?

Hermes, the Greek god of commerce, thieves, and travelers, has always been a controversial figure in Greek mythology. While some view him as a loyal messenger of the gods, others see him as a deceitful traitor. In this article, we will explore both perspectives to answer the question – Is Hermes a traitor?

The Case for Hermes as a Traitor

One of the most significant instances where Hermes is deemed a traitor is his involvement in the story of Prometheus. When Prometheus stole fire from the gods to give to humans, Zeus punished him by chaining him to a rock and having an eagle eat his liver every day. However, Prometheus was not alone in his suffering; he had a brother named Epimetheus who he warned not to accept any gifts from Zeus.

Despite Prometheus’ warning, Epimetheus accepted Pandora as his wife from Zeus. Pandora was given a box containing all the evils of the world that she eventually opened, leading to humanity’s misery. According to some interpretations of this tale, it was actually Hermes who convinced Epimetheus to accept Pandora despite Prometheus’ warning.

Furthermore, Hermes also played a crucial role in helping Zeus defeat Typhon- one of the most powerful titans who had rebelled against Zeus’s rule. Some argue that by helping Zeus win this battle and maintain his power over all other gods and titans, Hermes betrayed his fellow gods and aided in their suppression.

The Case for Hermes as Loyal

Despite these accusations against him, there are many instances where Hermes has proved himself loyal to both gods and mortals alike. For instance, he often acted as a messenger between different gods and helped resolve conflicts between them.

Moreover, Hermes was also known for protecting travelers on their journeys- an act that earned him great respect among mortals. He was also responsible for guiding souls into the afterlife after they died, showing his compassionate side.


So, is Hermes a traitor? The answer to this question is not black and white.

While some stories paint him as a treacherous figure, others show him as a loyal and compassionate god. It is up to each individual to decide which interpretation of Hermes they choose to believe in.

Regardless of whether one considers Hermes a traitor or not, there is no denying that he remains an essential figure in Greek mythology. His role as the messenger of the gods and protector of travelers has made him an important symbol of communication and protection even in modern times.