|“||Words. Words calm Ella down. Words, words, words...||”|
–Ella, in The Son of Neptune.
Ella is a small, red-feathered, and skinny harpy. Her eidetic memory gives her the ability to memorize almost anything she reads. She read parts of the sacred Sibylline Books of Rome before they were destroyed and can recite the prophecies from the books, making her a very valuable person, especially to the Romans. The first full prophecy she recited in the series was about the third book, The Mark of Athena. She is currently in a relationship with Tyson, the Cyclops.
She was first seen with Phineas and, like the other harpies, was cursed to eat only food from Phineas' table. Phineas claimed he wanted to capture Ella because she was the most annoying harpy, more persistent than the rest. The real reason Phineas wanted her was probably that she had read the Sibylline Books. Phineas said, "I was a king once, I could be a king again."
Ella was harassed by the other harpies; whenever she got food, the others would steal it and leave her with nothing unless she could get it to her nest on top of the Multnomah County Library, where she had made a cardboard shelter and lived surrounded by books. This is mainly because she is much slimmer and smaller than all the other harpies.
Ella was found by Hazel Levesque, Percy Jackson, and Frank Zhang when looking to defeat Phineas and see the future. They saw Phineas hit her with a weed whacker and she ran away horrified. He ordered them to bring him a Harpy, and they found her sitting on an elephant statue. They tried to talk to her, and Ella introduced herself, and after saying the origin of her name and saying she didn't like cheese, snatched their cinnamon burrito and went back onto the statue. Ella proclaimed that cinnamon was good but then her harpy sisters attacked her and clawed at her. Percy was determined to help her and told her that they wanted to be her friend and offered to get her more food, and Ella said a bunch of random facts, including some lines of the Great Prophecy. But when Percy said Phineas' name, Ella freaked out and ran away again to the Multnomah Country Library, and huddled in a nest of books in a cardboard shelter. She kept muttering random things, and Percy realized she was quoting books, with Hazel calling her amazing and Frank calling her a genius chicken.
Percy decided that he would find a way to break Ella's curse and defeat Phineas, but Ella said she is too quick for him and that he hurts her, wanting to chain her. Ella didn’t want Frank near her to heal her, but she calmed down and let Hazel pour Nectar on her, healing her. Ella said that Phineas, cheese, and weed whackers were bad. Frank asked if Ella had any weaknesses, and she said that he was blind, but Frank rolled his eyes and Hazel asked again, causing Ella to say that he loses at games of chance since he sees prophecies and god stuff. When they returned to Phineas, Hazel comforted Ella and wrapped her arm around her, since she was the only one who could touch her without Ella screaming and twitching. Phineas ended up being defeated by Percy and even though they hadn’t planned to, Ella decided to come with Percy, Hazel, and Frank, and they helped Ella make a nest of old books and magazines on the boat.
On the boat, Ella recited random lines from Charles Dickens and 50 Ways to Train Your Dog. Ella also listened to Hazel tell her story of how she died, and told Frank to go with Hazel when Hazel entered a blackout. Percy was worried, but Ella told him to not worry about it and that they were sharing memories. That night, Ella told him about sharing and blackouts, which Percy was confused about. When Hazel and Frank woke up, Ella mentioned the biggest blackout in history and said that Hazel will have no more blackouts. When they arrived in Seattle, Ella said that she didn’t like Amazons and that she will find books or a library instead, and flew away. Ella was reunited with the group when they escaped from the Amazons. Hazel yelled for her and she was afraid that she was lost or captured by Amazons, but she landed in the chariot just in time to leave, and stated that Amazons were pointy.
The chariot landed in Vancouver and on the way, Ella said how many miles per hour the chariot was going. They dug through the wreckage when the chariot collapsed and Ella became excited when she found a book in the Amazon shipment box and read it in a tree. Ella corrected Percy when he called ogres Canadians and said they were Laistrygonians. Frank called her smart and Ella agreed, and shyly offered Frank her feather, who stuck it in his pocket. Ella and her friends took refuge at Frank's grandmothers house, and she was nervous when an elephant stared at her. She stayed in the attic and made a nest between two steamer trunks, and read a bunch of Chinese scrolls at once. Ella said that she didn't like potatoes and that starch was bad for ogres, and also watched ogres outside the window. When Frank asked her if she wanted to go to Alaska with them, Ella said some facts about Alaska and said a prophecy in Latin about the son of Neptune drowning. Frank asked about it, but Ella began repeating the word "Moose" instead.
They all escaped when the ogres burned down the house and Ella freaked out when they boarded an airplane, and didn't want to go on, and made a sound like she was being burned. Hazel said she was too valuable to leave behind but then apologized to her, saying she sounded just like Phineas. Ella was now hyperventilating, but Percy said his friend, which was Tyson, was in the woods, and he told her to hide and that he will find her if she hides, and take her to Camp Jupiter, where she will be safe. Ella agreed and also mentioned the Mark of Athena prophecy. Ella ran and hid in the woods. Hazel stated that she will miss her. Tyson and Mrs. O'Leary ended up finding her and taking her to Camp, and took care of her.
Ella reunited with them the next day at Camp Jupiter and she called Tyson strong, and blushed. Ella participated in the battle to defeat Polybotes and dodged missiles, giving Tyson advice while flying above him, telling him that an Earthborn's groin is the most sensitive. Ella later celebrated the Feast of Fortuna with Camp Jupiter and was welcomed as an honored guest at Dakota's table along with a Tyson. Ella sat on his shoulder and ate cinnamon rolls. She said that cinnamon rolls are good for Harpies, and said some things that happened in June 24th. She said it was a good day for those reasons and also said Tyson was a good thing. She glanced at him and blushed and looked away. The next day, Ella and Tyson ran into the Senate and delivered a message from an Aurae in her claws, saying that the Argo II was here.
Ella attends the banquet at Camp Jupiter when the Argo II arrives with the Greek demigods, and goes to sit with them with Tyson and Mrs. O'Leary. Ella becomes scared when boats are mentioned, due to her fear of them. Leo was offended when she compared the Argo II to the titanic, but Hazel quickly defended her and said she was high strung. Tyson said that they needed to take Ella away, but not on the ship. Suddenly, Ella looked straight at Annabeth and began reciting the Mark of Athena prophecy, to Frank's annoyance. Percy tried to tell Tyson to take Ella out for fresh air, but Octavian began questioning her, asking where she knew the prophecy from. Frank and Hazel lied, saying she found it in a book. But Octavian knew that it was a prophecy. Annabeth came to her aid, and Percy requested that Tyson take Ella out for awhile, which she approved of.
Percy later went Tyson an Iris Message and told him to take Ella to Camp Half-Blood, because he was scared the Romans would get ahold of her. Ella arrived safely at Camp and discussed prophecies with Rachel Elizabeth Dare.
Rachel and Grover Underwood mention to Octavian during their meeting with the Romans in Manhattan that Ella has been murmuring lines from the Sibylline Books at Camp Half-Blood and that she is dating Tyson. Octavian believes he has to capture the harpy but Grover and Rachel say that Ella is a free creature and doesn't belong to him.
Ella is mentioned to be scared out of her wits and not offering any advice about the Sibylline books due to her fear. She hated being imprisoned but she knew Octavian meant to capture her, which was all Rachel and Tyson could do to keep her from flying away. Nico di Angelo later dreamed of Ella sitting in the Big House, perching on the couch, feeding Seymour Cheetos. She rocked back and forth, and recited lines from a prophecy: "The fall of the sun, the final verse". She noted that cheese was not good for harpies but was good for leopard heads, which Seymour agreed to.
Later, Ella and Tyson arrived on Rainbow to save Nico, Reyna Ramírez-Arellano, and Gleeson Hedge from Dakota and Leila. Ella said that Tyson was stronger than the Romans. Ella also corrected Dakota when he said it was an hour until sunrise, when Ella said it was actually an hour and twelve minutes. Ella and Tyson then went to escort Coach Hedge to camp to see Mellie give birth.
Ella, Tyson, and Rachel soon go to Camp Jupiter to learn how to reconstruct the Sibylline books.
Apollo suggests that the first line of the prophecy from the Oracle of Trophonius, the words that memory wrought are set to fire refers to Ella and how she memorized the Sibylline Books. They may be in danger of burning.
Ella is seen tattooing the passages of the Sibylline Books onto Tyson‘s back. When Apollo asks her about an attack in four days, she mentions a tomb and death. She recites a line from the books “The Wildcat near the spinning lights. The tomb of Tarquin with horses bright. To open the door, two-fifty-four.“ She then mentions Frank’s stick and the two leave, which she uses as an excuse to continue her tattooing. Frank later reveals that at some point, Ella privately told him a few lines of the prophecy that were only for him.
During the senate meeting the following day, she reads a prophecy off of Tyson‘s back.
During the battle, she and Tyson meet up with Apollo outside the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. After he chooses to summon his sister, the three head to the Temple of Diana. She instructs Apollo on what to do but nothing happens when they complete it. She says he read a line wrong. She and Tyson wait at the temples while Apollo goes to fight.
A few days after the battle she and Tyson are visited by Apollo and Meg at the bookstore to receive a prophecy and say goodbye. Apollo and Meg realize that the prophecy is incomplete and that they must seek out the rest of it, however.
Ella has a particular dislike for cheese but has tremendous knowledge on a multitude of subjects. She likes cinnamon and Iris' macrobiotic jerky, stating that, in her words, "jerky is good for harpies". She reads a lot, memorizes everything she reads, and blurts out random pieces of knowledge word for word. Her home is lined with paper from books she has read. She is often helpful when there is trouble.
Ella is very unusual for a harpy. She is small, skinny, and weak, but extremely intelligent with an eidetic memory. She is intelligent enough to give Phineas scratches on his head while all the other harpies that got near were brutally whacked with a stick. She is eccentric with unusual speech. She refers to herself in the third person, often using memorized facts or passages from books to communicate instead of forming her own sentences.
Ella is anxious and high-strung, probably because she has been bullied for so long by the other Harpies, but now that she no longer stays with the other Harpies, she is gaining confidence. She is intelligent, creative, and resourceful, but often has trouble making herself understood because of her unusual communication style. Ella has a crush on Tyson. She is also rather brave as she doesn't hide when the demigods fight the monsters and Polybotes at Camp Jupiter but instead gives Tyson advice on how to defeat those monsters.
Ella also appears not to like riding on planes as shown when she is reluctant to go on a plane even with monsters behind close behind her.
Although Harpies are generally described as ugly, Ella is an exception, with shaggy bright red hair and feathers as well as coffee-colored eyes and rounded face. She is rather petite compared to the other Harpies. Tyson the Cyclops describes her as very pretty. She is also described as really skinny and is called a "chicken" by Frank Zhang. She never had enough to eat so she's much skinnier than others who are quite plump. She has a healed scar on her back, from when Phineas hit her with a weed-whacker.
- Photographic Memory: Ella's eidetic memory is unusual for a harpy; she can remember anything she has read or heard and speaks multiple languages. Despite her perfect memory for words, she has not mastered the subtleties of language, often jumping from one definition of a word to another, jumping from topic to topic in loose associations. For example, when Percy said to Ella that they were friends, Ella began to talk about the TV show Friends. Her greatest ability is that she can speak prophecies as she has read parts of the Sibylline Books; however, because she moves from topic to topic so quickly, the prophecies she recites are fragmentary.
- Aerokinesis: As a harpy, Ella can control and manipulate the air.
Ella has a crush on Tyson. She blushes when he is around and perches on his shoulder. Percy notices this and says "Tyson, you big charmer, you." Tyson says "Um... no", then Tyson whispers back loudly, "She is pretty." During the Battle, she gives Tyson advice on how to defeat his enemies, rather than hide meaning that she is brave. In The House of Hades, it is mentioned by Grover Underwood that Ella is dating Tyson.
Ella might have had a small crush on Frank; she gave him one of her feathers and blushed when he gave her a compliment. However, they are primarily friends.
When her party first met Ella, Hazel was the only person who could calm her, and when Frank walked up to her she became scared. Hazel (having spent a lot of time with horses) walked up to Ella as if she was a scared animal and healed her wounds with nectar. From then on, Hazel helped calm Ella down whenever she becomes too scared or nervous.
Percy has the original idea that frees Ella. Upon meeting her, he thinks that Phineas' treatment of the harpies is terrible. During Frank and Hazel's simultaneous blackout, the two apparently struggle to hold a conversation. Percy is shown to respect Ella's immense knowledge and takes her feelings into account, as seen when he does not force her onto the plane.
Iris (owner of R.O.F.L., where Percy, Hazel, and Frank find her) states that the Harpies (which would include Ella) are her sisters, and asks Frank not to kill them after prompting that they should seek Phineas for help on their quest.
Iris, when helping Percy, Frank, and Hazel at R.O.F.L., asks that when they find Phineas, that they not kill her sisters, the Harpies, including Ella. Ella is not the same as her sisters. It is shown that she is more intelligent, more independent, and faster than her sisters. She is able to avoid Phineas and his weed-whacker (all except for one incident) because of her speed and agility. She is also shown to be picked on by the harpies, presumably because of her small stature, as shown when they steal the food Percy offered to Ella as a peace offering.
- Ella's official artwork was released four days before her official release date.
- Ella is scared of planes, and boats.
- Ella does not like cheese.
- Ella's name is a play on the Latin word Aella, meaning harpy.
- Ella talks in the third person.