Golden Apples are recurrent items in the series. They are fruit endowed with magical qualities.
Eris was uninvited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis and felt angry and insulted, thus she came up with a plan: she inscribed a golden apple with the phrase "For the Fairest" or "For the most Beautiful" on it and tossed it into the throne room, causing the goddesses to fight over it. The match was narrowed down to three famed goddesses: Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera.
Zeus became angry over their fighting, and sent them to the mortal, Prince Paris of Troy. Paris decided who got the apple. The goddesses offered him gifts of knowledge (Athena) and the world itself (Hera), but he chose Aphrodite as she had promised him the most beautiful woman (Helen of Sparta, later known as Helen of Troy). As Helen was already married, when she left the Greeks followed her across the ocean and the Trojan War had begun.
- Main article: The Garden of the Hesperides
A Tree of Golden Apples grow in the Garden of the Hesperides. They are guarded by Ladon, who is cared for by the Hesperides. As one of the Twelve Labors, Hercules stole one of these apples with the help of Atlas.
Two years before the start of the series, Luke was given a quest to steal one of the golden apples from the Garden of the Hesperides, but he felt the task was unfit for him because the task had already been completed by Hercules in the old stories. He failed in his task however and for his efforts received a scar on his face.dream, Percy saw the first attempt by Hercules to steal the golden apples. It revealed he got the idea of tricking Atlas from the Hesperide Zoë as well a hairpin that became Riptide. He never even acknowledged her in the legend and she was disowned by her family.
During an interview with the Stoll Brothers, they talk about a prank where they spray painted a mango gold, wrote "For the hottest" on it and tossed it into the Aphrodite Cabin. This was based on how the Trojan War started, as Eris threw a golden apple that said "For the fairest". The members of the cabin started fighting each other, much like the Apple of Discord caused the three goddesses to fight each other when Eris had tossed one into the throne room. The Aphrodite cabin got back at them by covering Travis in permanent makeup and making all of Connor's clothes two sizes too small.