Megara (better known as Meg) is the deuteragonist from Disney's 1997 animated feature film, Hercules.
Meg is a free-spirited, independent, and quick-witted woman who is also hurt and bitter due to having her heart broken by her boyfriend in the past.
She is also cynical, snarky, and world-weary, making her atypical among Disney's lead females. She plays enough of a heroic part in the movie to be classed as a heroine, rather than just a romantic interest.
She has a very low opinion of men in general since her experiences with them have been mostly negative. While Hercules falls for her at first sight, far from falling for him on the spot, she seduces him with her good looks and then she dismisses him as putting on an 'innocent farm boy routine' and it is not until they spend actual time together that she begins to develop feelings for him.
Meg is afraid of heights but overcomes her fear at the end of the film in order to save Hercules.
In their first meeting in the episode Hercules and the Aetolian Amphora, Meg wants to forget all about her ex-boyfriend (later shown to be Prince Adonis) and shows very little to no remorse in using her sex appeal to manipulate the young Hercules into helping her steal a jar of Lethe water.
Her attire is almost identical in this episode except that her skirt is much shorter. At the end of the episode, her memory is wiped, explaining how she and Hercules met 'for the first time' in the movie.
Megara has a slender body with long, dark auburn hair tied into a high ponytail with its most notable feature being the curly bangs on its tip. She has purple eyes with lavender eyelids. She wears a lavender Greek dress with golden straps, a long skirt with the hem ending just above her orange-sandaled feet, and two purple sashes; a tight one under her bust to give her a tiny waist and a loosened one tied at her right side by a golden spiral pendant around her wide hips, which swing seductively from side to side throughout the film.
In the film, Meg, who was madly in love, sold her soul to Hades in order to save her beloved boyfriend's life. But shortly afterward he left her for some other woman, abandoning her and leaving her heartbroken and a prisoner of Hades. This leaves Meg feeling trapped and she vowed to never fall in love again and embittered her towards men.
She is first introduced when she is being harassed by Nessus the centaur in a river, who shows perverse interest in her. Meg had attempted to capture him and bring him to Hades. However, Hercules steps in on her behalf and saves her by fighting Nessus, while she looks on in the midst of wringing water out of her hair and talking to Phil. After Hercules has won, he tries to strike up the conversation with her and she introduces herself before leaving. Afterwards, she is encountered by Hades, who mentions an additional two years to be added to Meg's contract as a result of her failure, leading her to throw the blame on Hercules, whom Hades thought was killed years ago after ordering his lackeys, Pain and Panic, to dispose of him. Megara is then recruiting in Hades' resurrected ambition to destroy Hercules.
She shows up again telling Hercules about two little boys (actually Pain and Panic) trapped under a boulder. When he goes to the rescue, she watches him from Hades' lair as he rescues the children and takes on the Hydra. Hercules manages to defeat the beast, and Meg is shown to be, for the first time, impressed by his determination.
When Hercules goes on a winning streak against all of Hades's summoned monsters and becomes a famous hero, Hades resorts to deciding to use Meg as a pawn to find out Hercules's weakness. Although she refuses the job at first, Hades gets her to agree by promising her freedom if she succeeds or if not, her soul will stay with Hades forever. Thus, she pays Hercules a visit and manipulates him into going out with her.
By the end of the day, Meg has clearly fallen for Hercules. However, when reminded of the plan to seduce him by Pain and Panic in their disguises, she attempts to do so but fails. After a conversation that almost leads to a kiss, Phil and Pegasus find them and interrupt it and drag Hercules home, though not before he gives her a flower. She then realizes her feelings for him and tries to deny it to herself. Hades then comes in, asking her for Hercules's weakness. She proudly declares he has none, and that she no longer wants to be part of his plans to destroy him because she loves him. Unfortunately, through their purely intense and close romance, Hades comes to realize that Meg is Hercules weakness.
Hades interrupts Hercules' training, talks and snaps his fingers, making Meg appear. Before she can finish trying to plead with Hercules not to fall for the trap, Hades snaps his fingers and she disappears, tied up and gagged by smoke, then reappears with another snap of Hades' fingers. He uses Meg to try to get Hercules to give up his Deity-like superhuman strength for twenty-four hours in return for Meg's safety and well-being from any harm whatsoever. Meg shakes her head frantically, trying to convince Hercules not to make the deal, but he does not listen. When Hades sets Meg free, he then forces her to watch Hercules getting humiliated by Pain and Panic. Deeply heartbroken and feelingly crushed, the now severely weakened Hercules loses the will to fight the Cyclops that Hades unleashes upon him. Meg finds and unties Pegasus and battles her fear of heights to find Phil, persuading him to come back and help Hercules regain his self-confidence and bravery.
After Hercules manages to defeat the Cyclops using his wits, Meg sees a pillar collapsing onto him and, in a moment of selflessness, leaps to push him out of the way. Unfortunately, this means she is crushed by the pillar instead, sustaining huge internal injuries. This breaks Hades' contract, meaning that Hercules regains his strength. When Hercules asks Meg why she would do something so dangerous, she finally admits that she loves him, stating "People always do crazy things... when they're in love". Touched by her equally strong and genuine romantic feelings for him, Hercules promises Meg that she will survive and leaves her in Phil's care while he goes to stop Hades from taking over Mount Olympus.
After saving Olympus, Hercules races back to be with Meg rather than chasing Hades but arrives seconds after she has passed away from her injuries. He then travels to the Underworld and strikes a deal with Hades; trading his freedom for her life. Hades accepts, and allows Hercules a chance to enter the River Styx to retrieve Megara's spirit. His sacrifice grants him the status of a "true hero", turning him into a god and allowing him to rescue Meg without dying in the process. Hades is subsequently defeated, and Megara's spirit is returned to her body. After she awakens, Hercules confesses his love for Megara, just before the two are brought to enter Olympus on a cloud, where she, being mortal, cannot follow. However, Hercules realizes that he wants to be with Meg, and gives up his chance to be a deity on Mount Olympus in order to live a complete mortal life on Earth with her. After choosing that path, Pegasus now has hugely warmed up to her; whereas in the beginning, he did not like her at all. Meg goes on living a happy and joyous life with Hercules as his beloved wife.
- Meg's family relations differ very much between the movie and the original myths. Where some relatives are her step-in-laws (such as Hera) and some are her half-siblings-in-law (Apollo, Ares, Hephaestus, Hermes, Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, and in some versions Nemesis) or her full siblings-in-law.
- Megara's role could be considered a combination of both Megara and Deianira, Hercules's respective first and second wives from the original myths; she has the name of the former, but her run-in.
- While in the Disney version Amphytryon and Alcmene are her adopted father-in-law and adopted mother-in-law, in the original myths Alcmene was her mother-in-law and Amphytryon was her stepfather-in-law.
- Meg is recognized for her unusually purple-colored eyes. Originally, they were intended to be blue but were changed to purple as film production progressed.
- Susan Egan, the actress who voiced Meg, is also famous for her portrayal of Belle in Broadway's Beauty and the Beast.
- Meg is known for her unique appearance, which differs from the "traditional" Disney style of animation. She has thick hair, a very slender waist, lengthy eyebrows, and a more angular stature.
- At the end of Hercules' end cr s, a thank you to the entire team is slotted in, which includes one of Meg's signature lines, "It's been a real slice".
- Megara was the first heroine since Belle to have the same voice actress do her speaking and singing voice.
- Although she is an unofficial Disney Princess, Megara actually was a princess in Greek Mythology and is also a princess by marriage since she married Hercules in the TV series.
- Meg's last full speaking line in Hercules is "Congratulations Wonder Boy, you'll make one heck of a god." The last word she says in Hercules is "Look" during "A Star Is Born".
- For an unknown reason, on the cover of the VHS Cassette bow for Hercules, Megara has a magenta dress (instead of lavender) and dark brown hair (as opposed to auburn).
- Megara was supposed to appear in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days but was removed for due to space restrictions. Her profile sprite was found through codes.
- Megara is a name of a town in Greece.