Cerberus

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Cerberus

CerberusOriginal.png

Character Data
Also known as: Κέρβερος (Kerberos)
Japanese Name: ケルベロス
Romanised Name: Kerberos
First Featured in: Not Featured Yet
Cryptid Data
Classification: Mythical Animal
Cultural Origin: Greek
First Recorded Appearance: c. 700 BC
Animal Based On: Dog, Snake
Read More: Cerberus
Conservation Status: Uma label.png
Cerberus

Cerberus is a type of Friend that was first revealed on Twitter.

Appearance

Cerberus has cyan shiny eyes, wears blue eye liner and has a blue scar across her right eye. She has long, messy dark purple hair that fades to black towards the tips and has a distinctive black color on the middlemost bang. Her hair is arranged in a pair of twin tails, each of them resembling a dog head with shiny cyan eyes, complementing that look with spiked hair bands that resemble a pair of spike chokers. She has a pair of pointy black-tipped animal ears and a serpent tail, showing a large portion of fur at the start of it and a smaller one at the tip.

Cerberus wears a black bandeau top with three ribbons of different colors attached to it: purple, violet and blue, with the violet one having longer laces. She wears long black fingerless gloves with fold-over cuffs and a black spike choker with a name tag in the shape of a bone that says 'Japari Hell' on it. On the bottom, she wears black ripped shorts, black pantyhose with a pair of belts on her thighs and black lace-up spiked boots.

Origins

Cerberus (originally Κέρβερος, or Kerberos) is the name of a multi-headed dog in Greek mythology which guards the gates of Hades, so that the souls of the damned, the Shades, are unable to escape. Cerberus was most often depicted with three heads, though in early texts, he was often said to have many more.[1] In addition to his multitudes of heads, Cerberus was often said to have the tail of a serpent and a mane comprised of the heads of snakes, though his serpentine features are less well-known.[2] Cerberus's snake-like qualities are thought to potentially have been inherited from his parentage, with his mother being the half-snake Echidna, mother of monsters, and his father being Typhon, who had multiple snake heads. Additionally, multi-headedness was a common trait among his siblings, with the Lernaean Hydra among the most notable examples. Cerberus was a popular subject in Greek mythology, and often accompanied depictions of the Underworld serving his master, Hades, the god who ruled over the realm of the dead. He welcomed the newly deceased into Hades with excitement and fervor, though he would ferociously eviscerate any of the dead who attempted to leave, along with any of the living who desired to leave after they had entered.

Despite this terrible and horrifying nature, Cerberus was primarily a loyal servant to Hades, rather than a cruel beast who acted upon malice, and was steadfast in upholding his duty under the direction of his master. And in spite of his great power, many Greek heroes triumphed over Cerberus, such as Orpheus, who used his lyre to put the Hound of Hades to sleep during his quest to revive his lost love Eurydice. Most famous of his appearances, however, is that of the myth of the Twelve Labours of the demigod Heracles. For his twelfth and final Labour, Heracles was tasked with conquering the beast by dragging Cerberus out of Hades and presenting him to Eurystheus, his rival, who deemed the feat impossible. Heracles was permitted by Hades to drag Cerberus out of Hades to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable trial, so long as he did so without the use of a shield or iron. In response, Heracles used a lion-skin as a replacement shield and a wooden club rather than an iron blade in order to do battle with the legendary beast.[2]

Cerberus also has an important place in later literature. Described by the Roman poet Virgil as being "ravenous", Cerberus eventually came to be associated with gluttony, which lead to his eventual appearance in Dante's Divine Comedy. In Inferno, the first part of the Divine Comedy, Cerberus resides within the third circle of Hell, where he represents gluttony, and devours the sinners who have been convicted of the deadly sin.[3] Servius, and later, the Vatican Mythographers, would even state that the name of Cerberus came from creoboros, which meant "flesh-devouring", further alluding to this connection. However, most people know Cerberus from his many appearances in pop culture, most notably of which is Disney's animated film Hercules, where he fills a loosely similar role as he did in classic myth. Cerberus appears frequently in video games and works of fantasy as either a singular monster or race of monsters, and often lends his name to all manner of fictional persons, places, entities, or objects, with varying degrees of relation to or inspiration from the mythical monster.

Trivia

  • Cerberus is the first mythology-based Friend to come from a mythology outside of the Asia-Pacific region.
  • A genus of snakes is named after Cerberus, likely in relation to their common name of dog-faced water snakes, combined with Cerberus's own serpentine qualities.

References

  1. Cerberus. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12th, 2018 from http://www.greekmythology.com
  2. 2.0 2.1 Atsma, A.J. (n.d.). Kerberos. Retrieved October 12th, 2018 from http://www.theoi.com
  3. "Cerberus, monster cruel and uncouth, ⁠With his three gullets like a dog is barking ⁠Over the people that are there submerged."⁠, Inferno, Canto VI, 13–15 (tr. Longfellow).
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