Ariadne was a princess of Crete, daughter of King Minos and Queen Pasiphaë. She is most commonly known for helping the hero Theseus find his way through the Labyrinth, but the hero ultimately abandoned her on the island of Naxos; there she was found by the god Dionysus, who made her his immortal wife.
Ariadne was one of four daughters born to Minos, king of Crete, and his wife, Pasiphaë. Her father, though loving, was especially cruel, best demonstrated in his' requiring Athens to send seven youths and seven maidens to Crete as tribute, so as to be eaten by a horrifying monster called the Minotaur.
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 him to live, she 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. The son of Poseidon agreed to do so, and so she gave him a sword and a ball of magic yarn to help him find his way through the Labyrinth. 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.
After they were out to sea, it is said Theseus grew bored of Ariadne. It is unknown why or what caused this. Maybe he didn't like her at all, and resented her for making him take her away, even though he owed it to her, as she had thrown everything away to save him and his friends.
They stopped at the island of Naxos and Theseus had an idea. He didn't want to have Ariadne for a wife, so he would simply 'dump' her, and go home to Athens without her, and he would never be bothered with her again. That night, when they were sleeping, Theseus woke up the crew, but didn't wake Ariadne. He let her sleep, and he and the others set sail without her, leaving behind the beautiful girl that had saved their lives. (Later versions state that Theseus actually left Ariadne at Dionysus' request, as the god had fallen in love with Ariadne and wished to make her his wife. Unwillingly, but unable to refuse a god's wishes, Theseus set sail while she was sleeping.)
Ariadne awoke, and she was alone. She looked around, and ran along the beach, calling for Theseus. She saw the sail on the horizon, and she knew that he had left her there. She collapsed on the ground and sobbed. Angry and heartbroken, she cursed Theseus and pleaded to the gods to make him forget to change the sails from black to white. They answered her pleads, and Theseus' father, Aegeus, believing his son to be dead, threw himself into the sea and drowned. (In other version of the myth, Theseus was so grief-stricken at losing Ariadne that he forgot to raise the white sails.)
Dionysus was the guardian of the island, and came upon Ariadne while she was weeping. He comforted her, and was determined to make the poor girl happy again. Over time, he healed her broken heart, and they were married; the god even took her wedding diadem set it in the heavens as the constellation Corona. She remained faithful to Dionysus, and after she died, he descended into the Underworld and brought her back to life; he then brought her up to Mount Olympus, where, at Dionysus' request, Zeus made her immortal.
Dionysus despises heroes because of what a 'hero' (Theseus, Percy's half-brother) did to her. He later tells Ariadne's story to Percy Jackson, when he catches him riding Blackjack and trying to go on the quest with Zoë, Thalia, Bianca, and Grover. Then Dionysus decides to let Percy go on the journey he wanted, hoping that he'll get himself killed because he won't have to worry about him then.
Ariadne then appears briefly at the end of The Titan's Curse, walking arm-in-arm with her husband on Olympus. Percy notices she's a beautiful woman, and that this was the first time he had ever seen Dionysus happy.
Ariadne is a very kind person, and was willing to throw away everything she had for a total stranger. She loved Theseus, but he was still a stranger. She was the daughter of a king, would presumably marry a king, was rich, very beautiful, and could have whatever she wanted. But she threw it all away for one man.
Though Ariadne was a kind girl, when the man who she loved abandoned her, she cursed him for his faithlessness. 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. Some say Theseus was told by Dionysus himself that Ariadne was to be left on Naxos, as he had chosen her to be his wife. Others state that he abandoned her because she was already wedded to Dionysus. 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.
Ariadne is very beautiful, enough to have snared Dionysus' heart, and beautiful enough to convince Theseus to take her with him. In some myths, she has long, curly black hair, light skin, and green eyes. In others, she had wavy light brown hair, brown eyes, and light skin.
- Mystiokinesis (possibly): Since her mother is an immortal sorceress, she may be able to use magic.
- Lavýrinthoskinesis: As the goddess of Labyrinths, Ariadne has absolute control and divine authority over Labyrinths, being able to navigate through a labyrinth with little problem.
- Weaving: Ariadne made a ball of string for her lover, Theseus, to use to navigate the Labyrinth. Some even say her power is even greater than Athena.
- In The Battle of the Labyrinth, when helping Percy figure out the best way to navigate through the Labyrinth, Hephaestus mentions that Ariadne did not possess even a drop of godly blood. This is ironic considering that her parents, Minos and Pasiphaë, were both demigods, children of Zeus and Helios, respectively.
- However, Hephaestus may have been trying to emphasize Ariadne's clear sight to Percy, as that was his point. It might have been that Ariadne possessed this ability because she was three-quarters divine.
- All her children with Dionysus were appearently mortal (possibly demigods by their father and legacies since their mother), as they were born before she became a goddess.