Ariadne was a princess of Crete, daughter of King Minos and Pasiphaë. She is known for helping the hero Theseus find his way through the Labyrinth. Ariadne is the wife of Dionysus, who made her immortal. She is the Greek goddess of Labyrinths and Paths.
Ariadne was one of four daughters born to Minos, king of Crete, and his wife, the sorceress Pasiphaë. Though loving towards his children, her father was especially cruel with his subjects, best demonstrated in his requiring Athens to send seven youths and seven maidens to Crete as tribute to be eaten by a horrifying monster called the Minotaur.
Ariadne was taught math and science by Daedalus. Over the years, the two had become friends. He listened as she complained about her parents. Daedalus had built the Labyrinth and decided to teach her how to navigate it safely. After Daedalus had been imprisoned, Ariadne sneaked into the maze to visit him at least once a week.
Adventure at the Labyrinth
Theseus, son of Poseidon and prince of Athens, vowed to put an end to this tribute, resolving to go to Crete and slay the Minotaur. To that end, he took the place of one of the seven youths chosen to go to Crete. When he and the other tributes arrived, Ariadne saw Theseus and immediately fell in love with him. Desperately wanting the hero to live, she asked Daedalus a way to defeat the Minotaur. Later, Ariadne approached Theseus and offered to help him in his quest, though in exchange, he would take her with him back to Athens and marry her, to which he agreed.
Ariadne gave directions, a sword and a ball of magic yarn to Theseus, so he could find his way through the Labyrinth by leaving a string to follow his way back. After those methods failed him, Ariadne used her ability to see through the Mist to guide Theseus through the maze safely, enabling him to slay the Minotaur. Once he had done so, he, Ariadne, and the other tributes hurried to their ship and sailed away.
Abandonment in Naxos
After they were out to sea, Theseus grew bored of Ariadne. It is unknown why: maybe he didn't like her at all and resented her for making him take her away as his wife, even though he owed it to her and she threw everything away to save him and his friends. They stopped at the island of Naxos and Theseus had an idea: he would simply leave her and go home to Athens without her. The night when they were sleeping, Theseus woke up the crew but didn't wake Ariadne. He let her sleep while he and the others set sail without her.
Ariadne awoke alone, looked around the beach, and called for Theseus until she saw the sail on the horizon. Figuring out that he had left her there, she collapsed on the ground and sobbed. Angry and heartbroken, Ariadne cursed Theseus and pleaded to the gods to make him forget to change the sails from black to white. They answered her pleads, as Theseus' stepfather, Aegeus, believed that his son was dead, threw himself into the sea and drowned.
Marriage to Dionysus
By that time, the young god Dionysus was the guardian of the island of Nexos. He found Ariadne and came upon her while she was weeping. He listened to her story and comforted her, becoming determined to make the poor girl happy again. She laughed of Dionysus' tales about his adventures with pirates. Over time, the two fell in love and married. All their children were demigods by their father and legacies by Ariadne. She remained faithful to Dionysus until her death.
After Ariadne died, Dionysus descended into the Underworld and brought her back to life. Dionysus then brought Ariadne up to Mount Olympus, where Zeus made her immortal at his son's request. Her wedding diadem was set in the heavens as the constellation Corona.
Dionysus despises heroes because of what a 'hero' (Theseus, Percy Jackson's half-brother) did to his wife. He later tells Ariadne's story to Percy when he catches the demigod riding Blackjack and trying to go on the quest with Zoë Nightshade, Thalia, Bianca, and Grover. Dionysus then decides to let Percy go on the journey he wanted, hoping that he will get himself killed because he won't have to worry about him then.
Ariadne appears briefly at the end of The Titan's Curse, walking arm-in-arm with her husband on Olympus. Percy notices she is a beautiful woman and that was the first time he had ever seen Dionysus happy.
The Battle of the Labyrinth
During a great part of the book, Luke Castellan tried to find Ariadne's string to travel through the Labyrinth with the Titan Army. He eventually found and used the string. However, the Titan Army lost Ariadne's string after Kampê's death.
While helping Percy figure out the best way to navigate through the Labyrinth, Hephaestus mentions that Ariadne didn't possess even a drop of godly blood. This is ironic considering that her father was a demigod and her mother an immortal, actually making her about 3 quarters of a goddess. However, Hephaestus may have been trying to emphasize the usefulness of Ariadne's clear sight to Percy, as that was his point.
Ariadne is smart and helpful, but very passionate, loyal and emotional. She was the daughter of a rich king, would presumably marry a king, and could have whatever she wanted, but threw it all away for save and be with the man she loved. When the man abandoned her, she cursed him for betraying her trust. She remained faithful to her husband, even after many centuries. Although that faithfulness is lovewise, as both her and Dionysus participated in intercourse parties.
According to Percy, Ariadne has a strange sense of humor.
Ariadne is a very beautiful woman with light skin. In some myths, she has long, curly black hair, and green eyes. In others, she had wavy light brown hair and brown eyes. Her beauty was enough to have snared Dionysus' heart.
Ariadne has the standard powers of a goddess.
- Lavýrinthoskinesis: As the Goddess of Labyrinths, Ariadne has absolute control and divine authority over labyrinths.
- Mystiokinesis (possibly): Since her mother is a powerful sorceress, Ariadne might be able to use magic, which she could have used to make a magic ball of string and curse Theseus' return to Athens.
- Weaving: Ariadne made a long ball of string to use to navigate the Labyrinth. Some say her skill is even greater than Athena's.
- Clear Sight (formerly): Aiadne was one of the few mortals with the ability to see through the Mist. Her ability was stronger even compared to demigods, to the point that she could navigate through the Labyrinth and foresee its various traps.
- It might have been that Ariadne possessed clear sight because she was a Legacy both of her parents.
- Ariadne was one of the most important Cretan goddess before being absorbed into the Greek pantheon.
- Despite her dominance and control over the labyrinth, she does not feature directly controlling it in the books.
- It is unknown what made Theseus "dump" her, or if it was just a misunderstanding or an accident as there are many different versions of the myth. Considering the way Dionysus tells the story, however, it is most likely that Theseus simply abandoned her on the island, though a deity's word can be misleading.
- Some say Theseus was told by Dionysus himself that Ariadne was to be left on Naxos and be his wife. In this version, Theseus was so grief-stricken at losing Ariadne that he forgot to raise the white sails.
- Others state that Theseus abandoned her because she was already wedded to Dionysus.
- She is also considered the goddess of everything Dionysus is.
- Her roman counterpart is Arianna or even Libera, a minor goddess of wine and chthonic attributes.