Greek messenger god - the one with the winged sandals. He's also the Greco-Roman pantheon's official trickster.

Bisexual, like most of the Greek gods, Hermes has given rise to a number of interesting offspring with various goddesses, nymphs and mortals. Notable among these is Pan, whose mother is sometimes said to be a nymph, at other times a mortal woman. There has even been speculation she was a goat, which is why Pan is so sensitive about it.

Hermes lives to irritate his brother Apollo, whom he considers to be the biggest prat in existence. His favourite trick is stealing Apollo's livestock, which he has done twice now - once with cattle and more recently with sheep. He's also quite good at disguising himself and is accomplished at playing mad old hermits.

He is usually to be found in the company of Pegasus, the famous winged horse. Pegasus is perhaps a little too honest to be a good companion for a trickster, but he and Hermes seem to get along well enough.

Ever since Jesus turned up on Mount Olympus dressed in black with his halo round his neck (see Temptation), Hermes has had a burning passion for him. He never really expected anything to come of this until he accidentally stole Jesus' sheep, Beryl, along with Apollo's flock in The Virgin and the Unicorn. Suddenly Jesus was there in front of him, asking for his sheep back. Hermes, of course, fell over himself to oblige, but his chance really came when Jesus needed rescuing from the roof of one of the buildings on Mount Olympus. There was a space of about a minute in there where Hermes knew he'd achieved the impossible. Then it all fell apart. He seems to be over the whole thing now, but it would take very little to reignite the flame...

Next: Artemis.

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