|“||I once warned you, Percy Jackson, that to save a friend you would destroy the world. Perhaps I was mistaken. You seemed to have saved both your friends and the world.||”|
Athena is the Greek virgin goddess of wisdom, civilization, mathematics, warfare, city defense, strategic, law and justice, crafts, the arts, and skill. She is often portrayed as a companion of heroes and is the patron goddess of heroic endeavour. Athena is the daughter of Zeus and Metis. Her Roman counterpart is Minerva.
Athena was the daughter of Metis and Zeus. A prophecy had once foretold that Metis would give birth to a son more powerful than his father, which was the god Zeus. This posed a problem as Metis was already pregnant with their first child. To prevent the prophecy from taking place, Zeus tricked Metis into taking the form of a fly and swallowed her. What Zeus did not know, was that Metis was pregnant with their daughter at the time.
Over time, however, Zeus eventually began experiencing terrible headaches so Hephaestus offered to put Zeus out of his misery by splitting open the latter's head with his awl and hammer. While most of the other Olympians held Zeus down on his throne, Hephaestus banged his awl on his father's head with a mighty blow, creating a fissure, thick enough for Athena to squeeze her way out, after which she grew into a full-size goddess, much to the astonishment of the other gods. Hephaestus subsequently stitched up the fissure in Zeus' head!
Despite the misgivings of the other gods, Zeus insisted that they welcome Athena into their ranks, and she officially became one of the Olympians, as well as the Goddess of Wisdom and Warfare. She taught the Greeks numerous skills essential for their evolution, such as mathematics, utilizing the oxen to plow their fields, and artisan activities such as weaving. She also invented the bridle, which enabled men to tame horses to be effectively used. Despite her being the Goddess of Warfare, Athena did not actually enjoy combat, but rather accepted it as an inevitable necessity at times, and was more focused on minimizing casualties and achieving victory through wise strategies. Hence, she quickly became Zeus' favorite daughter.
Shortly after her emergence from Zeus' head, her father sent her to live with the nymphs of Lake Tritonis, since their warlike nature and aestheticism appealed to her. Athena would get along famously with them and would come to become a master of both armed and hand-to-hand combat under their tutelage. Her dearest friend, however, was a girl named Pallas, the only nymph who could match the prodigiously skilled Athena in combat.
Eventually, they engaged in yet another sparring match, but they fought with such speed and intensity, that Zeus, who happened to be watching them at the time, mistook it for a genuine mortal duel. Worried for his daughter's safety, Zeus appeared in the sky right behind Athena and held up his fearsome Aegis shield, which greatly unnerved and startled Pallas. Athena proceeded to disarm her friend of the javelin and counterattacked, stabbing at Pallas' gut. Her startled friend was too slow, however, and Athena ended up accidentally fatally piercing her with her sword.
A devastated Athena honored her best friend with a sacred monument, building a wooden replica of Pallas and draping a small section of her Aegis cloak over its shoulders. This statue would eventually end up in the city of Troy, becoming known as the Palladium (Place of Pallas) shrine, with women being allowed to claim sanctuary there from Athena, while men were forbidden from even looking at the statue. Since Pallas' statue greatly resembled Athena herself, confused people would eventually begin referring to the goddess herself as "Pallas Athena," which the goddess encouraged, as it helped her keep Pallas' memory alive.
Athena was also known as "Athena Parthenos" ("Athena the Virgin"), which was how she was worshiped at the Athenian Parthenon. This would also be the name of her statue that stood there, which eventually becoming the most famous Greek statue of all time. When she leads in battle, she was known as "Athena Promachos,"
Hephaestus and Erikthonius
Hephaestus had managed to develop strong unrequited feelings for Athena, all the more because they had similar interests in tool and crafts respectively, as well as a penchant for solving mechanical problems. Unfortunately for him, however, Athena, as one of the Virgin Goddesses (along with Hestia and Artemis), was incapable of romance, and never desired to marry anyone. A lovesick Hephaestus would not be deterred, however, and persistently followed and flirted with the beautiful goddess, finally flinging himself at Athena, wrapping his arms around her waist, tearfully burying his face in her skirt. In the process, some of his divine sweat and tears rubbed off on Athena's bare leg where the skirt was parted, much to her chagrin. She kicked Hephaestus away and snatched up a piece of cloth to wipe the godly moisture off of her, hurled the cloth off Olympus, and ran away from her persistent admirer.
The cloth, containing the essence of both Hephaestus and Athena, would subsequently transform into a mortal baby boy Erikthonius, a mortal child of both gods. Athena placed her son into a wooden chest, along with a magically conjured serpent, with the intention of Erikthonius's godly qualities eventually being enhanced by the serpent, making him immortal. Athena then took the chest to the Athenian Acropolis (her most sacred place) and gave it to the daughters of Kekrops (the first king of Athens), and warned them not to open it. While the princesses agreed, they would be overcome with curiosity after only one night, they opened the chest. However, seeing Erikthonius and the serpent rendered them insane, and they promptly jumped off the side of the Acropolis' cliffs, plummeting to their deaths. As a result, the spell was broken before Erikthonius could become immortal, and the serpent slithered away, inducing Athena to raise him herself. Athena would eventually take out her vengeance on the girls' father, Kekrops, whom a grown-up Erikthonius would banish, usurping his Athenian throne.
While Athena remained a virgin goddess, she did end up having quite a few demigod children afterward, with them being conceived when her divine thoughts meet the mortal ingenuity of the men she favors, a love which she believes to be the of the purest kind. Her children are then born in the same way she was, quite literally making them brainchildren. It is unknown if any other goddess can give birth to children in a similar way. One of her most famous demigod children would be Daedelus.
The goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, was causing a lot of problems on Olympus due to her radiant beauty. Hera, feeling that her godly family was about to unravel, was determined to prevent that, and hastily ordered the other Olympians to silence themselves. As the goddess of marriage, she felt an obligation to pick the perfect husband for the new goddess and proclaimed that such a perfect match was her son Hephaestus, much to Ares and Aphrodite's dismay. Hephaestus himself was so surprised, that he fell off of his throne because he thought that this would never happen. Athena was quick to agree with Hera as well, pointing out that if Aphrodite were to marry anyone else, all of the other male gods would never stop fighting about it, while it would be nearly impossible for them to be jealous of Hephaestus. Hence, Zeus married both of them right then and there, with Hephaestus promising to be a loving husband.
When her father Zeus decided to create the irresistible Pandora (in order to punish Epimetheus for his brother Prometheus' actions), Athena helped by gifting the girl with cleverness and curiosity, as well as teaching her weaving and crafts.
Inventing the Flute
One day, Athena, while walking in the woods near Athens, discovered a nest of hissing snakes, giving her a sudden idea for a musical instrument, which she would fashion from a hollowed out reed with holes, thereby creating the first flute.
Proud of her achievement, Athena took the flute up to Mount Olympus, eager to perform in front of the other gods. As soon as she started playing, however, Aphrodite, Hera, and Demeter began giggling and whispering to each other, with Demeter and Aphrodite eventually pointing out that Athena's facial features comically contort while she plays. An embarrassed Athena fled in humiliation, and hurled the flute off of Olympus, cursing it to give the worst fortune to the next person to play it.
Since the flute landed in Asia Minor, that person would end up being the satyr Marsyas, who was so stunned by the beautiful music that it created (since it had been filled with the breath of Athena), that he actually challenged Apollo to a music competition. Due to Athena's curse, however, Marsyas lost and was subsequently flayed alive by a victorious Apollo, though Apollo denies that in the first book of The Trials of Apollo, implying that he did not actually flay the Satyr alive but did kill him, although the truth remains unknown.
One night, Athena would go to a swimming hole in central Greece, for relaxation purposes. However, while the naked goddess stood bathing under a waterfall, she heard the cry of a mortal man named Teiresias, who had accidentally come across her. The startled and embarrassed Athena promptly blinded Teiresias. However, since he was very apologetic, the goddess sympathetically sent birds and snakes to lead and protect him (granting him the ability to understand their language), and also gave him supernatural powers of precognition, which lead to Teiresias becoming a great prophet shortly thereafter.
One day, when Hephaestus pretended to depart for Lemnos, Ares and Aphrodite retired to the latter's bedroom but were imprisoned and immobilized by an unbreakable golden net as soon as they jumped into bed. A returned Hephaestus then proceeded to lead the rest of the gods into his bedroom, determined to humiliate the cheating pair. Athena took the chance to jeer at Aphrodite.
Rivalry with Arachne
A long time ago, the mortal Arachne challenged Athena to see who could create the best tapestry. Athena then disguised herself as an old woman and tried to warn Arachne that it would be foolishness to challenge a goddess, but Arachne persisted and stated that if she lost, she would accept any punishment. Enraged, Athena revealed herself and accepted the challenge as she herself had invented weaving. Each of them then made a tapestry. Athena's tapestry was of the gods together in glory and joy while Arachne's showed the gods making fools of themselves. While Athena reluctantly admitted the contest was a tie, Athena was so infuriated by this deliberate insult to the gods that she destroyed the tapestry in rage and mercilessly beat on Arachne and was declared the winner but was furious when the citizens laughed at Athena's beating up Arachne and turned her wrath against them.
Arachne was filled with guilt and hung herself. Athena, after seeing Arachne's body, felt responsible for her death and decided to do her a favor. She turned Arachne into a spider so that she and all her children would be expert weavers forever. In other versions of the myth, Athena transformed Arachne into a spider directly after the contest as part of Arachne's punishment.
Be it whatever reason, ever since then, every child Athena has suffered a deep fear of spiders. They are very paranoid that every spider they see is out to get them and avenge Arachne. Most of the time, this is true as spiders are shown to be hostile to them.
Rivalry with Poseidon
For many eons, Athena and Poseidon have had a rivalry between them, which can be traced to the time when they competed for the position of patron of the city of Athens (called Attica at that time). The leader of the city asked the two gods to bestow a gift for the newly constructed city. Poseidon created a salt-water spring and horses, while Athena gave them the olive tree. Seeing that the olive tree was more useful than the salt-water spring and horse, the leader of the city Kekrops made Athena their patron goddess. A temple known as the Parthenon was dedicated to her, and the new city took the name of Athens in her honor.
Another time which marks a conflict between the two Olympians was when Athena transformed Coronis (whom Poseidon was trying to seduce) into a raven. As a result, a furious Poseidon longed for revenge. Hence, he took Medusa, his new lover, into Athena's temple. Furious with Poseidon and Medusa for doing such disgusting and disturbing acts in her temple, Athena turned Medusa into a hideous creature who had the additional curse of turning anyone who looked into her irresistible eyes into stone. As Medusa's sisters had helped her get inside the temple, they too were transformed. Collectively, the three sisters are known as the "Three Gorgons." Yet another time both of them were at odds about Odysseus. While Poseidon was furious with him for blinding his son Polyphemus, Athena favored him above all other mortals and was always willing to aid Odysseus when he needed it most.
Though it seems unlikely that Athena and Poseidon would ever cooperate, this did happen when the chariot was invented, as Athena had built the chariot itself and Poseidon had created the horses needed to pull it. Poseidon and Athena were also on the same side during the Trojan War, as they had both supported the Greeks.
Athena's rivalry with Poseidon seems to be the basis of her dislike for Percy Jackson, Poseidon's son. Their parents' rivalry does not seem to affect Percy and Annabeth Chase. Athena, however, tells Percy that she does not approve of their relationship, and has told him to stay away from her daughter on several occasions. At the end of the series, she seems to be more civil towards Percy, though she does singe his clothes as a warning, should he ever hurt Annabeth.
Fed up with her husband's infidelities and dictatorial ways, Hera decided to start a coup d'etat, and Athena was among those (Apollo and Poseidon) who assisted her in her plans - providing the magical ropes with which they used to tie Zeus up so he could not escape. Unfortunately for them, the sea nymph, Thetis, heard Zeus' cries for help, but she only agreed to help free him after he promised to be merciful to the rioters. With the combined help of Thetis and Briares, Zeus was freed of Athena's magical ropes, and subsequently grabbed his lightning bolts and stormed into the throne room where the gods were having their meeting. After unleashing his divine wrath upon them, he punished almost all the rebels for their treason.
Apollo and Poseidon were temporarily stripped of their godly powers and immortality, and forced to work as laborers on Earth for years. Hera was tied up and suspended on a rope across the abyss of Chaos, and subjected to Zeus' daily threatening of blasting the rope to let her fall into the nothingness and be dissolved. Fortunately for Athena, she managed to completely evade punishment by talking herself out of it.
During the 10-year long Trojan War, Athena (along with Hera and Poseidon) supported the Greeks, most often the hero Odysseus, whom she finally gave the idea of the Trojan Horse. She also helped the hero Diomedes defeat Ares in a duel. It was also known that she and Ares engaged in single combat and Athena emerged as the victor, forcing Ares to flee the battlefield after Zeus allowed the Olympians to directly participate in the war. She would later assist Odysseus again multiple times during his long journey back home to Ithaca.
She is seen when Annabeth is being lured by the Sirens, described as wearing hiking boots and jeans and casual clothing. She was sitting with Luke and Annabeth's father, Frederick Chase, supposedly at a picnic in the redesigned Manhattan that Annabeth designed.
|“||There is always a way out for those clever enough to find it.||”|
–To Percy Jackson
At the winter solstice, when Zeus asks the room if Percy should be left alive as he could be dangerous, Athena, along with Ares and Dionysus (half-heartedly), do not raise their hands to defend him, but they were out-ruled by the majority. Athena later tells Percy not to judge her too harshly and that he is a big risk to take. Percy replies by saying, "So you're saying you shouldn't take risks?" She concedes to his point but then informs him of his fatal flaw, which is intense personal loyalty. Percy is outraged by the thought that a desire to help those he loves could be considered a flaw, but Athena tells him that the most dangerous flaws are those that are good under the right circumstances and that as a hero of a prophecy his flaw could cause the downfall of the world. Percy wants to argue, but is left speechless, thinking "she is pretty darn smart".
Athena was "pretty darn smart," and Percy makes a note that she would be one of the worst gods to have as an enemy, as she is smart and would not make a mistake or act rashly, but would just keep hunting you down. The goddess leaves after warning him that she does not approve of his relationship with her daughter, Annabeth.
Athena knows that Typhon is a distraction and that Kronos sent him through the United States to get them away from Olympus, so he could send his army to overtake it. She convinces Zeus to send Hermes to tell them that it is a trap and gives them information. She tells Annabeth to "Try Plan 23" and Percy to "Remember the rivers," and also to stay away from her daughter. However, the demigods from Camp Half-Blood defend their parents' thrones and many die in the process.
Athena later tasks Annabeth as the designer to rebuild Olympus. She praises Annabeth's abilities to everyone making Annabeth very proud. She also votes for awarding Percy immortality, though she turns to look at Annabeth when she says this and most likely noticed her stricken expression at the thought of losing Percy. After the council meeting, Athena privately talks to Percy saying that she could have been wrong about him, but not necessarily say she was. Later, Athena asked why Percy would give up immortality and he first says that he could not leave Annabeth and then quickly adds that he could not leave Grover Underwood either. She then quickly tells Percy to "spare her" and disappears in a column of flame that singes his shirt.
While flying to Camp Jupiter on the Argo II, Annabeth became nervous and wished she could pray to Athena, but that was impossible. She also mentioned a meeting with her mother about a month ago, where she was given the worst present of her life from her meeting. The Romans, after conquering the Greeks, decided to crush their rivals by stealing the Athena Parthenos, breaking their and Athena's spirit. The Romans changed Athena and reduced her to a goddess of crafts and wisdom, taking away her title as a war goddess and replacing her with other gods like Bellona and Mithras, much to her anger. Since her counterpart, Minerva, was a strict maiden, Reyna, Octavian, Terminus, and the other Romans at New Rome were distraught to see her daughter Annabeth, calling it scandalous.
While on the Argo II on the way to Rome, Annabeth recalls her meeting with Athena prior to the beginning of the journey. Annabeth thought she saw her mother near Sweet in America where she was studying a map, wishing that Odysseus was there to aid her. Annabeth tried to talk to her, but she was in the form of Minerva and had no recollection of Annabeth as her daughter. She claimed that the Romans reduced her importance, but Annabeth states that Athena is not about revenge. As Minerva however, the goddess only seems to crave vengeance for how they disgraced her. When Annabeth asks for help on locating Percy, she says that since Percy has allied with the Romans, he should perish with them and then she hands Annabeth a coin. She then tells Annabeth to avenge her and to "follow the mark," before restating she needed to find the way home.
In Charleston, Aphrodite states that Athena was affected the most by the splitting of the Greek and Roman gods, because she was the most worshiped Greek god, being the patron of Athens itself. Later, in the lair of Arachne, Annabeth states that Arachne was better than Athena in the weaving of tapestries and starts to doubt her mom's ability as several of Arachne's weavings are better than those of her mother. After trapping the spider in a Chinese finger-cuff that she got Arachne to weave, Annabeth gloats on how the arachnid had done a great service to Athena by protecting the Athena Parthenos, but Arachne decides to destroy her lair instead of seeing Annabeth win. Before the floor completely caves in, the Argo II blasts a hole in the ceiling and saves Annabeth as Arachne fell into the pit to Tartarus. They load the statue of Athena onto the Argo II, but Arachne managed to pull Annabeth and Percy into the pit using her thread that was still attached to Annabeth.
Athena appears in Annabeth's dream while she is in Tartarus with Percy, telling her that she has done well in her quest to retrieve the Athena Parthenos. However, she also tells her that the statue has to be returned by the Romans at Camp Half-Blood, in order to seal the rift between both camps.
When Reyna fights the giant Orion, her sheer bravery greatly impresses Athena, who gives her part of Aegis for her cloak. Aegis shields Reyna from a powerful blast and she is stunned when Athena speaks to her to tell her about giving her Aegis. During Reyna's subsequent attack on Orion, she can sense both Athena and Bellona supporting her, though neither appears in person to help. Instead, they give Reyna the strength she needs to kill Orion on her own. Reyna is able to use her Aegis-infused cloak to strangle Orion to death.
When Reyna, with the help of six pegasi, finally manages to place the Athena Parthenos on Half-Blood Hill, golden light ripples across the ground, seeping warmth into the bones of both Greek and Roman demigods and curing all of the Olympians (including Athena) of their split personalities. As a result, Athena promptly arrives in Athens to participate in the final battle with the Giants. She is dressed in golden full Greek battle armor and helps her daughter Annabeth slay Enceladus, after which Hades sends his body back to Tartarus. Athena's sanity is fully restored and no longer afflicted between her vengeful Roman counterpart, Minerva.
After the Giants' defeat, Athena is seen later rebuking the advancements of Hermes with her fearsome Aegis shield, and gives advice to the Olympian council (giving Jason a glance of approval) when the demigods are trying to decide on the best way to reach Camp Half-Blood in time to stop Gaea and the Romans from attacking. She watches as Zeus hurls the Argo II back to Camp Half-Blood.
When facing the god Serapis, Annabeth finds that Athena has removed all of her books from her backpack and left her a square of ambrosia and her magical Yankees cap instead. Annabeth is stunned as the cap hasn't worked since her argument with Minerva and realizes that if Athena herself is getting involved, Serapis must truly be a major threat. Using her restored cap, Annabeth and Sadie Kane are able to defeat Serapis and Annabeth interprets the return of her cap as a message from Athena that her days of using stealth to defeat an enemy aren't over yet and she will need it in the future.
Magnus Chase mentioned her as the mother of his cousin Annabeth.
As the goddess of wisdom, Athena is exceptionally brilliant, quick-witted, and disciplined. She always takes precautions before acting and is the type of person who disapproved of taking considerable risks, which was the reason for her voting against letting Percy's live in The Titan's Curse. Though this obviously left him with a negative opinion of her and made her seem somewhat cold and calculating, he was still forced to concede with the reasons for her perspective and her opinion of his weaknesses. He actually noted that she might be the worst enemy someone could make, for she would never give up or make a rash mistake simply because she hated you. In battle, Athena is a fierce, astute, and extremely unpredictable warrior and tactician. Despite her calm and reserved demeanor, she could become intensely focused in a duel, to the extent where one could easily believe that she and her sparring partner were actually fighting to the death. An example of this could be seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, where she sparred with her friend Pallas so viciously that a concerned Zeus intervened, which in turn led to Pallas' brutal death. Athena was renowned for her frequent assistance of heroes on their quests, even if those heroes weren't her own children (such as Reyna, whom she grants part of her own Aegis and her strength in the battle with Orion). She is able to put aside personal grudges (at least for a time) to either help those who were in desperate need or to serve the greater good of all. As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, despite Bellerophon being a son of Poseidon (one of her bitterest rival), she still assisted him to capture and tame Pegasus, which in turn set him on the path to becoming a famous hero. She also helped Percy while he was in the Hoover Dam in The Titan's Curse, though she still voted against his survival. Furthermore, Athena has a soft side for those who seek knowledge and tries to help them as much as she can. Examples of this include Perdix and Frederick Chase, whom she protected and greatly supported.
Athena had a sense of fairness and justice that even her own children weren't exempt from, an example being how she punished Daedalus for killing Perdix by branding him with a partridge (the mark of a murderer). This even extended to those who had offended her, as shown by how despite her great anger towards Arachne, she still found Arachne's fellow citizens, who had benefitted from her and still quickly turned on her after she mercilessly beat on Arachne, to be disgusting for having laughed at her. It was her moral principles that serve as part of the reason why Athena didn't have a good relationship with Ares, as she considered his violent and bloody version of combat tasteless. She also didn't get along well with Aphrodite, for her serious and dignified nature caused her to find the goddess of lust somewhat shallow and conceited. However, she shared a decent familial relationship with her half-sister Artemis, to the point where the two virgin goddesses often had conversations, for they shared somewhat similar personalities.
As far as gods go, Athena could be helpful, sympathetic, and kind to even those who had initially offended her. An instance could be seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods: once she blinded Teiresias, a mortal man who saw her bathing naked. However, after he explained his lack of nefarious intentions and how truly apologetic he was about the incident, her anger cooled and she gave him a staff and the ability to understand the language of the birds. Even against Arachne, who had earlier greatly offended her for challenging her to a waving contest and mocking the Gods with her tape, after she hung herself in shame, she had enough compassion to turn her into a spider so she and her children could be expert weavers.
However, as demonstrated by Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Athena can be prideful and stern, having a dark side like the other deities: she transformed Medusa and her sisters into the fearsome Gorgons just to get back at Poseidon, who had committed provocative acts in Athena's temple with his lover. Another example would her cursing the very flute that she had created only because playing it grotesquely altered her facial features, which in turn induced her fellow goddesses to tease her. There is also the instance where Paris picked Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess instead of her or Hera - she took the side of the Greeks in the Trojan War and did everything within her power to bring him down, which is a testament to her vanity and her capacity for vengeance. In The Mark of Athena, where Annabeth admits that the first thing all of Athena's children learn is that "mom is the best at everything and that any thought to the contrary is not taken well", showing that even her children aren't immune to the effects of her vanity.
Despite her flaws, Athena still had highly admirable qualities: she loves all of her demigod children and is actually the only known deity who claims her children at birth. She considers Annabeth her greatest pride and joy, often giving her gifts for her quests and closely worked at her side. In one of Percy's dreams in The Battle of the Labyrinth, she was shown to have blessed both her son Daedelus and her grandson Perdix. Such instances all testify to the fact that, despite her warlike and no-nonsense nature, Athena was still a caring mother to her children.
Last but not least, Athena is able to admit that she was in an error, something that it wasn't within the nature of most deities, even remotely close. This was shown in The Last Olympian when she confessed to might have been mistaken about Percy being a danger to the world. Hence, it can be said that though Athena could be as prideful as her father Zeus, she was still a goddess who was worthy of respect and admiration, for it was not within the nature of most deities to help the children of their rivals in any way.
In Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, Perseus described Athena's face is beautiful but also somewhat scary, the way a warrior goddess should look. Unlike any dull grey item on the Gray Sisters island, her storm-grey eyes are bright and "full of fierce energy." Percy also realized through her cold grey stare that she would make a terrible enemy. Athena was viewed to be one of the most beautiful goddesses of all, given how she was perfectly capable of attracting male attention, but she employs her powers to do horrible things to them if they don't leave on her first warning. He immediately recognized the brunette goddess as Annabeth's mother, to the extent where he almost addressed Athena as her daughter. In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Athena is described as wearing elegant flowing gray robes, Greek battle armor, and an Imperial Gold helmet on her head, which is decorated with pictures of gryphons, and sphinxes. In Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, Athena wears a long white sleeveless dress, and held a spear and rectangular shield in her hands, with both items "glowing with magic."
In The Sea of Monsters, Percy sees a Siren-induced image of Athena and describes her as a beautiful blond woman with a strong resemblance to Annabeth. Though she was casually dressed (blue jeans, a denim shirt, and hiking boots), there was something about her that radiated power. Hence, he immediately recognized her for who she was. In The Titan's Curse, Athena made her first appearance as a park ranger, with long black hair, pulled back in a ponytail and tinted glasses. When she took off her glasses, Percy saw that she had startlingly grey eyes.
Later on, when he arrived on Olympus, Athena was described as a beautiful woman in an elegant white dress. In The Blood of Olympus, while helping her daughter battle Enceladus, Athena wears Imperial Gold armor overflowing white robes while wielding a spear and bronze Aegis shield, which sometimes change shape into a glowing mantle that glitters "as if woven through with filaments of Imperial Gold."
As a goddess, Athena could change her appearance at will, though she retains her stunning beauty and dignity no matter what physical manifestation she chooses.
- Main article: Minerva
Athena can change into her Roman counterpart of Minerva. Unlike the other gods, she is less warlike and militaristic, being instead a goddess of crafts and wisdom. Because the Romans depicted Minerva as a more cerebral and demure goddess, she dislikes the Romans despite being a Roman god, as they took away all her military importance and stole her statue. Minerva remains a Virgin Goddess in this form, but refrains from having any children at all, unlike Athena who is able to have "Brain Children."
Athena is known to be one of the most powerful daughters of Zeus, hence being an extremely powerful goddess. Due to her considerable influence, she bears a greater level of worship than most of the Olympians, which contributes to her powers greatly. The only Olympians to surpass her are the six oldest Olympians (the Big Three, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia). She is at least equal to Apollo and Artemis and may even surpass them..
- Divine Wisdom: As the Goddess of Wisdom, Athena is extremely wise, intelligent, and knowledgeable, constantly coming up with brilliant strategies. Hence during the creation of Pandora in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, she was the one to gift the girl with cleverness and curiosity. Due to her wisdom, she was the one Zeus trusted to check on the imprisoned Titans in Tartarus. However, Athena tends to measure the odds without taking her own or others' feelings into account, leading to her voting to destroy Percy in The Titan's Curse (but she was outvoted). This makes her come across as cold and callous, but it demonstrates how much she values wisdom.
- Strategist: As the Goddess of Strategy, she is an exceptionally skilled tactician, greater than even Ares. Her genius-level intelligence, her astuteness, and her superb capacity for calculation make her a frightening and supremely dangerous opponent in a fight. Zeus obviously admires and recognizes her incredible tactical skills, since he wouldn't let her leave the battle with Typhon because she was his best strategist. She was also able to see in The Last Olympian that Typhon was only a decoy in Kronos' plan to defeat the gods. Unlike Ares, Athena only uses violence as a last resort after thinking things through and planning for the long term before acting. She isn't prone to outbursts of aggression or overconfidence and wouldn't make a pathetic mistake because she hated her target or held emotional opinions - if she made a plan to destroy an enemy, that plan would never fail. In particular, Percy Jackson speculated that she would make an enemy ten times worse than Dionysus (powerful and dangerous when aroused to breaking point) and even rivals in battle to Poseidon (one of the three mightiest Olympians of all).
- Prowess in Battle: As the Goddess of Battle, Athena is a superb warrior and a complete master of both armed and hand-to-hand combat, but frequently uses her wisdom to overcome her opponents instead of sheer force. As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, she learned all of her great combat skills from the nymphs of Lake Tritonis. As a result, she and her best friend Pallas would frequently engage in sparring matches, which were described as so intense that Zeus finally intervened, worried for his daughter's safety. During the Trojan War, Athena managed to defeat Ares singlehandely and force him to flee the battlefield. During the First Giant War, she was able to defeat the fire-breathing Enceladus (the most cunning Giant) with the help of Hercules and later helped Annabeth defeat him again in The Blood of Olympus.
- Telumkinesis: As the Goddess of Battle, Athena has great control over any weapon, much like Ares.
- Weapon Conjuration: She can conjure and use any weapon, though she prefers to use her spear and Aegis.
- Weapon Omniscience: She knows everything about a weapon when she sees it.
- Weapon Curses: She can place curses on weapons.
- Disarmament: She can disarm her opponents with a gesture.
- Curses: As the Goddess of Battle, Athena can place horrible curses on objects. As seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, she cursed a flute to give the worst fortune to the next person to play it, which ended up with the satyr Marsyas getting flayed alive by Apollo. She later cursed Teiresias with permanent blindness. As shown in The Battle of the Labyrinth, Athena cursed her son Daedalus, branding him with the scarlet partridge-shaped mark of a murderer that would never fade.
- Craftsmanship: As the Goddess of Crafts, Athena is an incredibly skillful craftswoman. As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, she was responsible for teaching Pandora weaving and crafts. As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, Athena helped Jason by drawing up blueprints for the Argo and later carved its magical prow herself.
- Weaving: Athena is best known for her talent in weaving, the very art of which she invented. In the Olympian riot in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Athena made magical ropes capable of restraining Zeus himself. During her contest with Arachne, she wove a flawless tapestry that was "majestic, breathtaking, and radiated the power of the Olympian gods", and Athena ultimately prevailed in the contest.
- Inventions: While not quite as good at inventing things as her half-brothers Hermes and Hephaestus, Athena notably invented the first flute in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, which played so beautifully for being filled with her divine breath, that it enabled satyr Marsyas to temporarily hold his own in musical competition with Apollo. Athena also created the Mark of Athena coin, which guides her demigod children to her Athena Parthenos statue.
- Item Teleportation: She was able to teleport items, such as take Annabeth's books out of her bag and replace them with her Yankees cap along with a square of ambrosia.
- Audiokinesis: Being a goddess of the arts, she has an affinity for arts and music, though not quite on par with that of her half-brother Apollo. She has disciplined the following abilities:
- Memorization: She can never forget what she hears.
- Persuasion: She is shown to be very eloquent, as she avoided punishment from the Olympus Riot. It is speculated that she even could manipulate Zeus.
- Life Creation: Athena has demonstrated the ability to manipulate reality itself to a considerable extent, since she was able to conjure up a magical serpent, which was intended to enhance the godly qualities of her son Erikthonius in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods.
- Transfiguration: Athena is very gifted in the power of transfiguration. As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, she transformed Medusa, Euryale, and Stheno into the first Gorgons, Coronis into the first raven, Arachne into the first spider, and Perdix into a partridge.
- Mystiokinesis (limited): Athena has control over magic, though not as much as Hecate. She infused her power on the Athena Parthenos statue (which acts as an incredible barrier and restorer), and enchanted a yankee cap with the power of invisibility.
- Chlorokinesis (Limited): Though not as powerful as her aunt Demeter and her half-brother Dionysus, Athena has a degree of control over fauna. As such, she can influence the growth of certain plants, such as olive trees.
- Control of Animals: Athena appears to have a high level of control over animals sacred to her, such as owls and serpents. As seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, she would later have birds and snakes follow and lead Teiresias, while also granting him the ability to understand their speech.
- Shapeshifting: As a goddess, Athena has the power of shapeshifting. As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, she could even transform herself into pure intelligence (a skill she had learned from her mother Metis) in order to travel from Zeus' stomach into his head. When she first approached Arachne, she transformed herself into an elderly woman. In The Titan's Curse, Athena appeared as a park ranger at the Hoover Dam. In The Last Olympian, she took the guise of an owl.
- Her attributes are her spear, the armor, the helmets, the olive trees, the Aegis and the Gorgoneion.
- Her sacred animals are the owls and serpents, which represent the wisdom of the sky and earth, respectively.
- Athena is the patron goddess of Athens, which was named after her.
Although she is counted as a virgin goddess, Athena can conceive demigod children by joining her mind with her mortal lovers. This means the offspring are literally "brain children." It is believed that this ability was influenced by the fact she came out of Zeus' brain. Her demigod children are "gifts" to the men she favors, and the purest kind of love that one could give upon. Also, Athena can mix her essence with other gods' to have children, but this only happened once and accidentally.
|Metion||Daedalus, Eupalamus, and Sicyon|
|Augustine Washington||George Washington|
|Jean Bartholdi||Frederic Bartholdi|
|Frederick Chase||Annabeth Chase|
|Mr. Pace||Malcolm Pace|
Athena has shown to be the most active goddess, secretly protecting her children from monsters. She also gives them to heroes who earn her admiration.
- She gave Annabeth a protection from monsters when she ran away until meeting Thalia and Luke.
- She gave her son Daedalus and her grandson Perdix her blessing of wisdom.
- She gave pieces of Aegis to several of her chosen heroes in the past.
- Impressed by sheer bravery, she grants Reyna pieces of Aegis to help her in the battle with Orion.
- She also is said to have lent Reyna her strength along with Bellona, even though she didn't appear in person.
Athena is played by Melina Kanakaredes. She played a more major role than the other gods at Olympus, besides Zeus and Poseidon. She was seen talking to Zeus about the threat of war between the gods if Master Bolt is not returned, trying to convince him that 'war is not the answer.' When peace is declared by Zeus, Annabeth says 'Hi, mom,' and Athena tells her that she is very proud of her.
While they were in the Parthenon, Percy sees 'Athena' written in Greek at the foot of her statue, and when he tells Annabeth, she wonders whether her mom really looks like the statue. Percy, in response, tells her 'We'll find out,' indicating that he is confident they will survive the quest and make it to Olympus.
Annabeth also mentions that her mother had been speaking to her telepathically to help her, similar to how Poseidon spoke to Percy, saying that even though she had not seen her, she still felt close to her mother.
The film version of Athena is less strict and did not show any sign of not liking Poseidon or Percy (even though Annabeth claimed that their parents "hate each other"). She even states that "War is not the answer," This is perhaps a little paradoxical, as she is a goddess of war. However being the goddess of strategy, she knew that a war between the gods was not the answer and would only lead to unneeded sacrifice.
Melina Kankaredes didn't return to The Sea of Monsters film.
- Like many of her Olympian siblings, her name starts with an A.
- The first letter of her name 'A' is the same as the first letter in her daughter's name.
- In the series, she is described to be grey-eyed, which is her famous nickname.
- According to Aphrodite, Athena is the most Greek among the gods.
- Much like Aphrodite, Athena's shapeshifting ability has been emphasized more than the other gods.
- Athena is one of only three current Olympians goddesses who is a virgin, the others being Artemis and Hestia.
- She is also the only Greek Virgin goddess who has children.
- As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods and The Blood of Olympus, both Hephaestus and Hermes have unrequited feelings for Athena.
- In the series, Frederic Bartholdi designed The Statue of Liberty as a representation of his mother, Athena.
- Her favourite hero was Odysseus, who won the Trojan War through cleverness instead of strength.
- Her hair color is brown in The Titan's Curse, but it was blonde in The Sea of Monsters. This is likely due because the Athena who appears in Sea of Monsters is only Annabeth's perception and not the actual one.
- Athena most important festival was the Panathenaea, which was celebrated annually at Athens.
- She also is the Sparta, where she was called "Athena Poliachos, meaning "Athena Protector of the City."
- Pallas, one of the largest asteroids in the asteroid belt, is named after Pallas Athene Parthenos, one of Athena's alternative names.
- Minerva, her Roman counterpart, is displayed on the medal of honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the United States Government.
- She also appears on the state seal of California.
- Her Norse equivalent would be Freya or Nerthus.
- Her Egyptian equivalents (in terms of attributes) are Seshat, Isis, Thoth, and Neith.
- According to Homer's account in the Illiad, Athena was a fierce and ruthless warrior. In the Odyssey, she was angry and unforgiving. In the course of the Trojan War, she struck Ajax the Lesser with madness.
- In some Greek myths, Athena also was a goddess of magic.
- According to some sources, Athena was praised for her compassion and generosity.
- According to Greek mythology, Zeus trusted Athena to wield Aegis and his thunderbolt.
- In Greek mythology, the goddess Athena never had any children except for Erichthonius.
- In the sequels of the 2006 Disney movie The Little Mermaid, Queen Athena is said to be the mother of Ariel. Since Triton, Ariel's father, is named after the Greek merman, who was the son of Poseidon, it may be concluded that Athena is also named after the Greek Athena.
- ↑ The Mark of Athena, page 32