Heracles is a Greek God and the son of Zeus and the mortal woman Alcmene. He is the god of Strength, Bravery, and Heroes. He was once a demigod and is still widely regarded as the greatest demigod hero to ever live. He was made a god upon his death as a reward for his many achievements in life. He is also the wife of the goddess Hebe, Goddess of Youth.
Meeting Zoe Nightshade
When Heracles, as part of his twelve labors, was tasked with stealing a Golden Apple from the Garden of the Hesperides, he was unable to get past the Ladon to steal one. Furthermore, as Hera hated him, stealing from her tree would have allowed her to kill him on the spot.
Zoe Nightshade was a Hesperide whom Heracles met on his quest and who grew very close to him. She told him that he would never be able to steal the apple, and he should bargain with Atlas to convince him to steal it instead. Zoe herself couldn't steal it as she would be banished. Knowing this, Heracles chose to fight the Ladon himself rather than risk her. She gave him a gift, the sword Anaklusmos, to wield in the fight.
Unfortunately, Zoe was correct that Heracles was unable to defeat the Ladon. He escaped, but he was forced to use Zoe's plan.
Afterward, he completed his task. However, he was unable to give Zoe credit for the scheme, as it would have invalidated the task entirely. He had learned from previous quests that any help would be seen as cheating and resulted in the labor getting disqualified. Therefore, he chose not to reveal her involvement.
Heracles later discovered that Zoe was banished for helping him, and he viewed his inability to help her as one of the greatest failures of his life.