Orpheus was a hero who entered the underworld of Hades to rescue his wife.


Orpheus entered the underworld, the land of the dead to rescue his loved from Pluto. He carried a willow branch with him into the underworld, which symbolized grief, melancholy and suffering.[1] Orpheus was an expert lyre musician, a skill that moved the ruler of Hades to granting his request, if only for a short time.

Orpheus could likely have moved even Samhain, if he had the chance to play before him. It is said that while Alexander isn't bad on the flute, he is no where as good a musician as Orpheus, in contrast Samhain would not be amused by Alexander's amateurish playing.[2]

Orpheus apparently never met Samhain as before Alexander no man had successfully defeated him.[3] ...and no one who had come before him, had ever returned from the Underworld.[4]

Behind the scenesEdit

In Greek myth Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet. His instrument of choice was a lyre. He once travelled to the underworld to rescue his wife, Eurydice. His music softened the hearts of both Hades (Pluto) and Persephone. The gods agreed to allow her to return to earth on one condition, that she follow him, and that he never look back at her until both had reached the surface. Unfortunately, when he reached the surface, he looked back, before she had made it out, and she vanished forever.

While the underworld/land of the dead is mentioned in the King's Quest Companion, 2nd Edition, it is usually a reference to Hades ruled by Pluto rather than the 'Underworld' of the Green Isles.

Alexander's journey to save the parents of his loved Cassima in KQ6 is also a nod to the Orpheus story.[5] Though, KQ6 does make a nod towards Orpheus himself if you try playing the flute to Samhain. However, whereas Pluto is married, according to KQ6, Samhain is eternally mateless and without companionship. However, it is unlikely that Orpheus encountered Death as personified by Samhain, as by Samhain's own admission, from the moment he ruled the Realm of the Dead his heart has never been softened, and he has never shed a tear. The KQ6 Hintbook also states that before Alexander no other mortal had successfully defeated Death, nor lived to tell of their journey before him.


  1. KQC, 2nd Edition, pg 522
  2. Narrator (KQ6): Alexander isn't bad on the flute, but he's hardly Orpheus! Death is unlikely to be amused by his amateurish playing!
  3. KQ6 Hintbook, pg 53, 54
  4. KQC4E< pg 293
  5. Interaction, Winter 1992, pg 37
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