Hera was Zeus' sister and wife. She was brought up by the Titans Ocean and Tethys, despite the nickname "cow-faced" (in some translations - "ox-eyed") which seems to have stuck with her through the ages, she was very beautiful, in fact she was one of the three contestants in the Judgment of Paris which led to the Trojan War. But her personality was not as attractive, she was petty and cruel and is most often shown administering some sort of revenge on one of Zeus' lovers. In one, and only one, myth is shown as a noble and gracious protector of heroes and inspirer of heroic deeds, the Quest of the Golden Fleece.
As might have been expected Hera's marriage to Zeus was not to her liking, after Zeus had courted her unsuccessfully for some time, he turned to trickery. Changed himself into an injured bird, Hera, feeling sorry for it, held it to her breast to warm it, Zeus, taking advantage of the situation raped her. She then married him to cover her shame.
Zeus was anything, but a faithful husband, so Hera, in her turn was not a loyal wife. Once she even convinced the other gods to join in a revolt against Zeus. Her part was to drug Zeus, and in this she was successful. The gods then bound the sleeping Zeus to a couch taking care to tie many strong knots. They had not, however, planned what to do next and began to quarrel over who would take Zeus' place. Briareus overheard the arguments, still full of gratitude to Zeus, he came to his help and was able to quickly untie the many knots. Zeus sprang from the couch and grabbed his thunderbolt. As the gods fell to their knees begging and pleading for mercy, he seized Hera and hung her from the sky with gold chains. She wept in pain all night but, none of the others dared to help her. The weeping kept Zeus up and the next morning he agreed to release her if she would swear never to go against him. She had little choice but, to agree. While she never again rebelled, she often intrigued against Zeus's plans and she was often able to outwit him.
Hera was the goddess of marriage and protector of married women. Her sandals, chariot and throne were all of pure gold, but that was not uncommon with the gods. Her animal is the cow, the peacock, and sometimes the cuckoo, her birds. Hera had her own messenger - the fleet- footed Iris (rainbow). Argos and Sparta were her favorite cities. She had no distinguishing featured and can only be identified in artistic representations by either inscription or context.