Surely the name Hera Palace rings a bell for those that follow The Penthouse: War in Life. Focusing on the story of multiple elite families in Seoul, the audiences have been heavily hooked since the storyline is presented with lots of twists and turns. But for those who don’t know, Hera Palace is the name of a 100-story luxury apartment complex in the drama that has just started airing its third season. Not merely a name, the appearance of the Hera Goddess in this drama is also often spotted through the form of a grand statue placed in the lobby of Hera Palace. Nevertheless, do you know who is the actual figure behind the owner of this enchanting name?

Known as the Goddess of Marriage in Greek mythology, Hera is the Queen of the 12 Olympians. She is depicted as a figure with beautiful and captivating eyes, soft white skin, and elegance. A cylindrical crown on her head elevates her whole look, making her appearance more exquisite. Thus, it is no surprise that Hera represents the concept of the ideal woman.

Because her purpose in life was to get married, Hera deems marriage as something that is sacred. That’s why when Zeus fell in love with other women, she would be furious because she felt that it was a form of disgrace for herself. 

However, her anger and jealousy were not aimed against Zeus. Instead, she vented her resentment to other women who caught Zeus’ attention, along with their descendants. These words were proven from her deed towards Hercules, the son of Zeus and a mortal named Alkmene. When Hera found out about Hercules’ whereabouts, she constantly made Hercules’ life miserable. Hercules then became frantic and killed his wife and children. 

A similar incident also occurred to Lo, the daughter of Inachus and Melia. When Hera found out that Zeus fell head over heels for Lo, she couldn’t stay still. As one of the other women who captivated Zeus’ heart, Hera cursed Lo by turning her into a cow. If you think the vengeance acts stopped there, you’d be very wrong because there’s actually quite a list of Hera’s revenge victims. Leto, Paris, Echo, and Alkmene are some of the other casualties in the queue

Now that you’ve heard a snippet of who Hera really is, do you think that her life story influenced the plot of The Penthouse? Was the apartment named after her simply because she was known for her impeccable beauty? Or was it because there are more stories to be told?

Two things. Greed and disloyalty. The Penthouse reflects the evil traits of humans in real life. Other than those two, one of the traits that are primarily showcased in this suspenseful drama is jealousy. It may sound quite predictable, but this trait encourages the characters to justify any means to achieve their ambitions. Ranging from extortion, threats, bullying, and even murder, it gets more and more intense every season. When one’s feeling hurt, that person would try to make the other feel the same thing, or even worse. 

Jealousy is indeed an unavoidable part of human nature. It is relatively normal for us to feel such a thing. Resembling the life that Hera lived, it seems that jealousy and revenge have possessed and taken control of their lives. Although her existence is neither described nor shown in the drama, it appears to some people that the appearance of her statue was not only there to welcome the Hera Palace residents. 

Words by: Nat Padma
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Sources: Greek Boston, Britannica, World History