Hercules had one final labor to perform before his obligation to Eurystheus was fulfilled. Never satisfied, Hera devised the most difficult of all tasks for her husbands son. The king of Tiryns asked the hero to bring Cerberus, the three-headed hound which guarded the gates, from the underworld where it was believed all mortal souls were sent before settling into a final resting place. It was easy to enter the underworld, but impossible to get out. It was Hercules mission to go there, capture the monster and bring it out of that place and back to Eurystheus.
To reach the underworld which was ruled by the Olympian Hades, Hercules sought the help of his longtime protector, Athena. She enlisted the assistance of her brother Hermes whose mission it was to conduct the souls of the dead to the Realm of Hades. Together they guided them to a place near Sparta into the depths of the earth. They left him by the river Styx where he was ferried across by the boatman Charon. When he finally reached Hades and his wife Persephone, he was given permission to take Cerberus alive. Also, he was not allowed to use any weapons in his capture.
While the monster Cerberus was fierce indeed, it was really no match for Hercules. He covered himself with his lion-skin cape and grabbed Cerberus around the necks of its three heads. The heads were covered with snakes which tried unsuccessfully to loosen the grip. The monster struck at the hero with its dragon tail and injured him, but not enough to set it free. Hercules finally subdued the beast and dragged it up from the Realm of Hades and finally back to Tiryns and Eurystheus.
True to his nature, the cowardly Eurystheus hid from the ferocious Cerberus and made Hercules take him away. The hero was more than happy to comply with this request and returned the beast to the gates of Hades. Thus having completed his ten acceptable labors, Hercules was released from his obligation to the king and at long last allowed to pursue his own happiness. He still had many adventures ahead of him in his quest for immortality and many obstacles to overcome, but he had served his penance and was free from his bondage. Eventually he did achieve an eternal life and took his place on Mount Olympus with the other gods of Ancient Greece.