Select Page

The Lernean Hydra

The Lernean Hydra By Rafael Jimenez Period 6, Franklin HS Throwback Introduction Hera has been trying to kill Hercules and had another plan on how to kill him. It would take some time though because she didn’t want Zeus to find out that she had killed his own son. Hera went to Hercules and then messed with his mind and when he saw his wife, he bashed her head in. Then when he saw his children, he bashed their heads in too. Hercules had prayed to the god Apollo for guidance, and the god’s oracle told him he would have to serve Eurystheus for twelve years, in punishment for the murders of his own family. As part of his punishments, he had to perform twelve labors, that were so difficult that they seemed impossible.


The Labor I Chose The second labor of Hercules was to kill the Lernean Hydra. From the waters of the swamps near a place called Lerna, the hydra would rise up and torment the countryside. A huge serpent with nine heads it attacks with poisonous venom. This beast wasn’t easy, for one of the nine heads was immortal and indestructible. First, Hercules attracted the creature from its den by shooting flaming arrows at it. Once the hydra came out, Hercules went at it. The hydra was not easily killed, it wounded one of its coils around Hercules’ foot and made it impossible for him to get out.

With his club, he attacked the heads of the hydra but right when he smashed one head, two more would bust out open and a fourth one in its place. The hydra had a friend of its own, a huge crab began biting the trapped foot of Hercules. Quickly trying to kill it with a hit of his club. Hercules called on Iolaus to help him out of this. Each time Hercules hit one of the hydra’s heads, Iolaus held the torch to the headless tendons of the neck. This prevented the growth of other heads and finally, Hercules had the chance to get out. Once he destroyed the eight mortal heads Hercules chopped off the ninth which was the immortal head. Then he buried it at the side of the road leading from Lerna to Elaeus and he covered it with a heavy rock. As for the rest of the headless hydra, Hercules slit opens the body and dipped his arrows in the venomous blood. When he came back the guy Eurystheus was not impressed with Hercules defeating the hydra. He said that since Iolaus had helped him, this labor should not count as one of the ten. Even though this didn’t seem to matter much to anyone else the authors still gave him all of the credit.