A “Hercules” Mystery: Why Can’t Mortals Live on Mount Olympus?

Warning: contains spoilers from the 1997 film***

Hercules was born on Mount Olympus as a god. However, when Hades has Pain and Panic abduct him, they give him a potion in a bottle that would make him remove not only his immortality, but also his powerful strength. Luckily, a couple finds him and raises him with loving care.

The gods do try to look for him, too, but they discover that he has become mortal. Therefore, they cannot let him back. Years later, when Hercules has grown, he discovers that he was found and where he actually came from. The Zeus statue reveals that he was stolen and that only gods can live on Mount Olympus.

So, why is it like that? There could be a reason in the original myth. But, of course, it could differ in the Disney movie. After all, Disney does drastically change stories from the original sources as well as sugarcoat them a lot.

My guess is… could there be something on Mount Olympus that makes it unsafe for mortals to be there too long? At the end of the film, Hercules is brought back to Mount Olympus with Meg, his love interest. Meg stands outside of it, unharmed. And, of course, she was never a goddess.

But what if she stayed there for days, weeks, months, years, and so forth? Would she die, despite science playing little to no role in Disney movies?

The person who has a YouTube channel called, “Brookshow,” video pointed out that Zeus could change that law of only gods getting to live on Mount Olympus.

He also pointed out how the sultan in “Aladdin” (the animated film) could change the law about the princess having to be married by a certain time.

Which brings me to my next point: during the number of “A Whole New World,” Aladdin and Jasmine ride on the magic carpet high into the sky, – where in real life, they would have died due to the small amount of oxygen—especially when they are above the clouds. Actually, it’d occur before the first chorus would begin. But let’s be thankful that cartoon logic wins, and realism is out.

The “Aladdin” sequels and TV series also show that the characters in Agrabah live in the same universe (and somehow, time) as those in “Hercules,” including the titular character himself. There is even a crossover between the two called, “Hercules and the Arabian Night.”

So, obviously, people (or mortals, as what the gods refer to them as) can breathe high up in the sky. But do the gods need to have other basic needs that us mortals would die without?

They don’t have much of a shelter, as revealed in the opening of “Hercules,” when Zeus, Hera, and the other gods are adoring him not long after his birth. Do they have to cover up in cold weather? Do they have to eat what people do?

Unless the answer is, “no,” to all of these it’s also possible that Zeus won’t change that law for unknown reasons. After all, he is the chief deity—so he could get back at anyone attempting to question his authority, despite his and Hera’s sadness of how they couldn’t take Hercules back, because he’d turned mortal. The muses even pointed out that they had to watch him grow up on Earth in the reprise of “The Gospel Truth.”

I think to myself, at least he was safe and being raised by a loving couple. If he hadn’t been found, he would’ve died within days, or even hours. Then that’d be the end of a (dull) story. He also could’ve gotten into the wrong hands, where he was taken in, but abused. Then the story would’ve been different.

Zeus and Hera did not abuse their powers—they showed compassion for Hercules (both at the beginning and end of the film) and the other gods.


As far as I know, the only reason revealed as to why mortals can’t live on Mount Olympus is because it’s strictly for the gods. The Zeus statue Hercules meets at the temple, when he wants to know where he belongs, states that. After lightning strikes the statue, it seems to pass on information from the actual Zeus.

My guess about Mount Olympus being too dangerous for mortals to reside on, and the questions about if the gods can survive without the basic needs to live could be true—or false.

Published by Sunayna Prasad

I enjoy writing stories, creating artwork, watching movies and TV shows, cooking, and traveling. These are the topics of my posts. I also publish books, where you can learn about them on my website, www.sunaynaprasadbooks.com. Be sure to copy and paste the link and subscribe to my newsletter on the email list button on the homepage.

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