Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos (also known as The Fates or The Moirai) are the three divine personifications of destiny. They control the metaphorical thread of life for every living thing from birth to death. Their Roman counterparts are the Parcae or Fata.
Rick Riordan chose two different versions of the Fates' parentage. According to Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, the Fates are the children of Zeus and his second wife, the titaness Themis. Their father is so afraid of them that decided to divorce their mother in fear of conceiving more powerful children.
The Fates were the responsables to punish Calypso, who sided with her father Atlas and other Titans against the gods. Every few hundred years, the Fates send Calypso someone that can never stay for long and will always be someone that she can't help falling in love with.
When their school year ended, Percy Jackson and Grover Underwood were taking a bus from Yancy Academy back to Manhattan, the bus broke down on a stretch of country road. On the other side of the highway was an old-fashioned fruit stand occupied by three old ladies sitting in rocking chairs, knitting a huge pair of socks using an electric blue yarn. The lady on the right and left were each knitting a sock, while the middle one was holding the yarn. They were looking right at Percy when the middle one took out her scissors, a large, gold and silver long bladed one similar to shears, and cut the yarn. The resulting snip could be heard over the four lanes of traffic. They balled up their yarn afterwards. Seeing this, Grover was extremely scared and thought the yarn was Percy's lifeline, and that he was going to die soon.
The Fates were mentioned by Artemis while Zoë Nightshade was dying. Percy asked the goddess why she could not heal Zoë of her wounds. Artemis replied that life is a fragile thing and if the Fates will the string to be cut, there is little she can do but try.
Right before Percy is about to decide if he will stay with Calyso or go back to Camp Half-Blood, Calypso explains the nature of her punishment. She claims the Fates are cruel as they always send someone that would break her heart in the end. Right after she offers Percy the chance to stay, she says that she wasn't going to but did it anyway, something that the Fates may have known she would always do.
The Three Fates appeared on Olympus to take away Luke Castellan's body after the end of the Second Olympian War. One of them looked at Percy and he saw his life flash by. She said "It is done", holding up the snippet of blue yarn. Percy knew instantly that it was the same blue lifeline that he had saw them snip four years ago. Percy at first thought that it was his lifeline, but then realizes that it was Luke's, the life that had to be sacrificed to set things right. After Luke's body was taken away, Hermes says that "no one can tamper with fate, not even a god".
The Fates are seen during the final battle with the giants, mercilessly beating the giant Thoon with their bronze clubs, just like they did in the past. After the giant battle, Zeus tells them to give Apollo a punishment, which they are eager to do.
Percy described the Fates as ancient women with silver hair and bony arms. They wear cotton dresses and have their hair tied back in a white bandanna.
Being the ones responsible for manipulating the fate of every single being in the world, the Fates' status is above that of any monster, titan or god since it was stated that not even a god can defy fate. Protogenos are the only beings who dare to challenge the Fates.
- Control over Fate: The Fates can change and control the destinies of both mortals and immortals.
- Prowess in Battle: The Fates are formidable in battle. They defeated the giants Agrios and Thoon by clubbing to death twice. Jason described it as a very fearsome sight.
The Greek word "Moira" literally means "part or portion", and by extension one's portion in life or destiny.