The Fates were often depicted as ugly hags, cold and unmerciful. But the Fates were not always deaf to the pleading of others. When Atropos cut the thread of King Admetus, who happened to be Apollo's friend, Apollo begged the Fates to undo their work. It was not in their power to do so, but they promised that if someone took Admetus' place in the gloomy world of Hades' domain, he would live. The king's wife, Alcestis, said she would take his place. But Hercules, who happened to be Admetus' guest, rescued her from the underworld, and Admetus an Alcetis were reunited.
The Fates, or Moirae, were the goddesses who controlled the destiny of everyone from the time they were born to the time they died. They were: Clotho, the spinner, who spun the thread of a person's life, Lachesis, the apportioner, who decided how much time was to be allowed each person, and Atropos, the inevitable, who cut the thread when you were supposed to die. Even though the other gods were almighty, and supposedly immortal, even Hera had reason to fear them. All were subject to the whims of the Fates. Ministers of the Fates were always oracles or soothsayers (seers of the future). The Fates were very important, but it is still unknown to who their parents were. There is some speculation that they might be the daughters of Zeus, however, this is debatable.