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This is the first episode with Ares, though he does not appear in the flesh. He appears as a skull superimposed over the moon with an evil laugh, and later possesses Prince Pentheus.
Nitpick: In this episode, Nestor says that his father is having coffee imported (a new import and they are the first to have it so far). Coffee did not start reaching the Middle East and Europe until the 15th century, long after Hercules' time.
This episode marks the third appearance of Tiresias.
Dionysus never appears in human form in this episode.
We learn that while Hercules is hostile to most of the Greek Gods, he considers Dionysus better than most.
Priest: For over a thousand years, Dionysus has watched over Meliad. And each year, we have celebrated with this holy festival. Now, you have been selected to play its most sacred role. Tonight, when the moon reaches its full height the new wine will flow over your lips and with it Dionysus himself. Then, you will know his will either to confirm King Iphicles' reign, or to end it. If you must spill the king's blood, don't think.
Pentheus: All right, good priest. There's no point in scaring these pretty girls. Let them go and enjoy their preparations.
Nestor: Tell me about your adventures, Hercules. Danger around every corner? Death up every tree?
Hercules: Sometimes, not usually up a tree, though.
Nestor: I've always wanted to be a hero... Killing monsters, fighting all sorts of battles.
Hercules: Well, believe me, battles and killing make better stories than they do memories. Besides, your time will come. It's Prince Nestor, now. Someday, it'll be King Nestor.
Nestor: Me? No. That's for my older brother, Pentheus. He's the heir to the throne.
Hercules: Well, that's just as well. You know what they say about power.
Nestor: No, what?
Hercules: Well, that it corrupts. Makes men into demons.
Tiresias: (as the people try to get to the wine corrupted by Ares) Go on! Get out! Vamoose! Scram! Ain't you people got homes? Look, it's not my idea. If it were up to me, I'd be filling goblets and watching you idiots drop like flies.
Hercules: No. You are not coming with me.
Tiresias: Oh! You bet I am! Everyone in this city's now so happy, it makes me sick!
Phegus: (bragging about beating Hercules) Sure, I did Hercules.
Man: Phegus, you're lying! You never defeated Hercules.
Phegus: I sure did! Why, I wiped the streets with him. I had him begging for mercy! Hey, he had more mama's blood in him than Zeus!
Camilla: I'm sorry, Hercules. I wish I had more to tell. But at least, now you understand why there had to be so much secrecy. If anyone in the kingdom knew that I had called you here, they would think that I was trying to deny Dionysus' will, and I'd never do that. If it truly is my husband's time to go, then I must abide by that. But it just can't be. He is the finest king that Meliad ever had. It's not his time to die. Nightmares, feelings of gloom, huh?! Maybe, there's nothing wrong at all. Maybe, I'm just being silly.
Hercules: No. You're not being silly. I ran into an old friend of mine a little while ago. It's a long story, but if he's here, there's a good chance trouble's here, too.
Hercules: Oh, I will never... Drink.. Again.
Nestor: Hercules! I have to find Hercules. I was told he was here. Hercules?
Nestor: Look, I need to talk-
Hercules: Shhhhh. Not so loud.
Nestor: It's called coffee. My father just started importing it from the East. We're the only kingdom in all the land that has it.
Hercules: No offense, but this isn't something to brag about.
Tiresias: It is if Dionysus wants the king to rule for another year.
Hercules: And, if he doesn't?
Tiresias: Well then, The festival becomes my kind of bash! Oh! The new wine drives the maidens into a murderous frenzy, and they slaughter the king! Aww, it's fantastic! Especially for the prince. When the king dies, the maidens crown a new king with a night of unbridled passion! Ahhhh, girls, wine, murder, mayhem! What more do you want?
Tiresias: Oh! Ah! It's just as well! I brought this goatskin full of wine! A little bit of the hair of the dog that bit you, huh?! I got some. Got some pork rinds to go with it! Or, how about some fish, huh? Or, garlic toads as well. Stick to your ribs like dung to a loincloth.
Hercules: A festival for Dionysus, huh? Ah, I guess that old lush isn't as bad as most of the Gods. Besides, maybe someone there will have advice on hangovers. So, what goes on at this festival?
Nestor: Basically we pray to Dionysus to bless the new wine, then everyone drinks! You don't have to drink, Hercules. Only the virgins have to drink.
Hercules: (when asked for his aid) So, what's your problem exactly?
Nestor: I don't know, exactly.
Hercules: Well then, what's your problem vaguely?
Nestor: I don't know that either. My mother didn't say. She just told me to invite you to the Festival of Dionysus and, well, not to take no for an answer.
Hercules: (as they are attacked by the palace guard) Nestor, do you have any idea what you're doing?
Nestor: (attempting to defend himself) None whatsoever.
Hercules: (seeing Ares' image superimposed over the moon) Ares, you stinking coward. I should have known you'd be behind this.
In Greek mythology, a Satyr was a being that was part human and part goat. The bottom half was the goat and the upper half was human. There have been other interpretations of what parts were animal parts and what parts were humans but the show ran with the traditional image.
In Greek mythology, Ares is the god of war. In the series, he gets a more prominent role in the later seasons. Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera.
Greek Mythology: Dionysus
Dionysus was one of the many sons of Zeus, born from the mortal woman Semele. Zeus offered to grant her a wish as a sign of his favor, and swore by the River Styx to give it to her, whatever it might be. She asked Zeus to show her his real, Godly form to her. He begged her to choose something else, since the sight would destroy her. She insisted, and his divine presence caused her to burst into flames. The baby Dionysus was pulled from her ashes by Zeus, who sewed him into his thigh as a substitute womb. Once Dionysus was developed enough Zeus 'gave birth' to him. Later, Dionysus, or Bacchus, as he was known, traveled over the world gathering worshipers. But King Pentheus of Thebes refused to believe in his Godhood, and had him arrested. Pentheus' womenfolk, including his mother, were driven into a "Bacchic" frenzy and tore Pentheus to pieces thinking in their madness that he was an animal for sacrifice in retribution for his refusal to acknowledge Bacchus. This story can be read in the play The Bacchae by Euripides.
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