Heracles was the son of Zeus and Alcmene and is the best known of the Greek heroes also known as Hercules in Roman mythology. The name Heracles means "Hera's Glory". Heracles came to be as Zeus needed a mortal champion in the war against the giants, he fathered Heracles with Alcmene the Theban queen. It was intended that Heracles would become the ruler but Hera frustrated Zeus's plans and Heracles become the slave of Eurystheus the king of Tiryns. Heracles then was struck by madness in the course of this Heracles killed his wife and their three sons. To atone for his terrible deeds he undertook what is known as the twelve labours of Heracles.
These labours were;
For completing his tasks Heracles gained immortality, none of the other heroes ever gained this honour. Heracles death on earth was caused by the Centaur Nessus who gave the heroes second wife a poisoned garment or Heracles to wear. Heracles realizing that his death was near consulted the Oracle at Delphic which told him to build a funeral pyre in Thessaly. When the time came Heracles climbed atop of the pyre and Zeus sent a bolt of lightening and lit, and Heracles took his place amongst the gods.