In Greek mythology, Hera was known as the Queen of the Gods, wife, and sister of Zeus, the King of the Gods. Hera was the goddess of marriage and women. Hera was Hercules's step-mother and his enemy. When Hercules was born, she sent two serpents to kill him, but he was found instead playing with them as if they were toys. She also is involved in the origins of the Milky Way when Zeus tricked her into nursing Hercules and she tore him away from her once she recognized who the baby was, severely wounding her.
In the 1997 film Hercules, Hera is portrayed as the mother of Hercules. In actual mythology, Hercules' mother was a mortal woman (Zeus, despite being married, had children with numerous other women), and the jealous Hera acted as an antagonist to Hercules (much like Hades in this version).
In contrast to this, the Disney version portrays Hera as a loving and kind mother to Hercules. She appears to be somewhat overprotective of him, as evidenced when she objects to her Husband Zeus letting the newborn Hercules play with his thunderbolts. Hera does not seem to be as unfriendly to Hades as the other gods in the series, as shown when she persuaded Zeus to attend Hades' pool party.
- Hera was one of the most heavily re-interpreted Olympian Gods in Disney's version of the story. In the original Greek Myth, she was not Hercules mother, but rather his stepmother, after Zeus had an affair with his mortal mother. She was known to have hated Hercules with a passion, going so far as to try to kill him on multiple occasions. She was ultimately the cause of what caused Hercules to kill his wife and children, leading up to his 12 labors.
- As portrayed in the movie, while she loves her husband, Hera often serves as both Zeus' conscience and his voice of reason, persuading him in matters that he approaches with less than appropriate actions.