- This article is about the pantheon of gods. You may be looking for the book, Percy Jackson's Greek Gods.
The Greek Gods are a race of immortal beings who control the forces of nature and human endeavors. The majority are the descendants of the older titans, their ancestors and chief enemies. There are currently twelve major gods, the Olympians, who rule over the universe, all of whom are under the rule of Zeus (or his Roman form Jupiter), god of the sky. There are many other minor gods who serve smaller but necessary purposes in the world. Despite their immense power, they are subject to divine laws, and, in theory, cannot break oaths sworn upon the River Styx. However, due to their immortal nature, breaking such oaths does not have severe consequences to them although it may have consequences on people they care or cared about.
HistoryThe six elder Greek gods and goddesses were Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus, because they were the sons and daughters of the two rulers of the Titans: Kronos and Rhea.
Fearing his children would overthrow him in the same way he had done to his own father, Kronos devoured his first two sons and his three daughters almost immediately after they were born. Hestia first, then Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. He would have devoured Zeus as well, but Rhea, unable to bear the pain of losing another child and seeing her husband now for the monster he was, entered into an alliance with Gaea, who smuggled her son away to safety, and gave her husband a rock instead to devour in which he ate without looking.
After years in hiding, Zeus was finally old enough and strong enough to overthrow his father. He returned to Kronos' palace to free his siblings who, being immortals, remained alive and undigested within their father’s stomach. Disguised as a titan, Zeus tricked Kronos and using a mixture of mustard and nectar, Zeus freed his family by smuggling the concoction to Kronos and forcing him to regurgitate his children and used a different potion to knock out the other titans in order to escape without opposition.
Having freed his siblings, as well as the Hekatonkheires and the Cyclopes whom Kronos had re-imprisoned in Tartarus, Zeus led a rebellion against the Titans. Most of the titans remained neutral with the exception of Iapetus, Krios, Koios, Hyperion and Atlas. In gratitude, the Cyclopes forged the Big Three's symbols of power: the Master Bolt, the Trident, and the Helm of Darkness, while the sheer strength of the Hekatonkheires proved to be a great advantage against the Titan army.
The final blow was delivered when Zeus, using his father's own scythe, cut Kronos into a thousand pieces and dropped them in Tartarus where he would never rise again. The other titans were also cast down to Tartarus with the exception of Atlas who was forced to hold up the sky for the rest of eternity. This marked the end of the Titan age and started the Olympian age.
The Olympians have been challenged many times for their control of the world, but they have always managed to stabilize their rule, often with the help of their children, the demigods. This is exemplified when the Giants rebelled against the gods, and Hercules, the son of Zeus, helped them vanquish the Giants as the giants could be killed easily if they are fought with the help of a demigod.
The gods were also challenged by Typhon the storm giant who was the last and arguably most powerful son of Gaea and Tartarus. The gods, upon seeing the big monstrosity fled all the way to Egypt except Zeus who tried to fight the monster. He was overwhelmed eventually and had his divine tendons torn off. Zeus eventually managed to get his tendons back with the help of a few other gods and then, using trickery, he managed to hurl a mountain on top of the storm giant and imprisoned him this way.
Zeus married his sister Hera, and subsequent children ― Ares, Hephaestus, Hebe, Eileithyia, and Enyo ― followed. From affairs, the other gods and goddesses were created. However, it was never stated when Aphrodite was born from Ouranos' remains in the sea. She may not have formed until Zeus and his siblings were fully grown, harmonizing some myths which say she is a daughter of Zeus.
Like the Romans, the Greeks have demigod children and a camp to train them. Unlike the Romans they have some involvement in the demigod's lives not being so much a stickler for rules like their Roman counterparts. They can also walk the mortal world without a host.
Gods as well as most other immortal beings, in their natural, fully empowered form, are radiant with a divine light so intense that no being less than a god can look upon it without disintegrating to ashes. To interact with mortals and heroes, the gods take on a lesser form which can be safely observed. Gods can instantly call back this power any time they desire, and may even revert involuntarily to their Divine Form if experiencing intense emotions. According to Hephaestus, the only time a god’s full essence and power is ever in one place is when they are in their Divine Form. They have eternal youth and the ability to control their physical age. They are all stunning and beautiful in their own right, though they can sustain irregularities from severe injury (such as Hephaestus).
The danger posed when looking at gods in their Divine Form can be observed in The Lost Hero, when Hera unleashes her Divine Form, which was strong enough to kill all the monsters in her vicinity. However, Jason Grace looks at Hera's Divine Form for only a second before supposedly dying. Piper McLean utilizes her ability to charmspeak by calling out to Jason's soul to return to his body and managing to bring Jason back to life, something Hera said was impossible though the reason for this is because Death was chained at the time.
The gods are supernatural beings with a variety of magical powers, such as control of the weather and seas. In addition to their immortality, all gods draw most of their power from their sphere of control or domain, but they all share certain powers, and even abilities specific to their individual domains can sometimes overlap. A case in point is the one of Morpheus and Hypnos who both have control over dreams and sleep.
Each of the Big Three, after overthrowing the Titans, took one of the three largest physical domains on Earth (the heavens, the ocean, and the Underworld). This is why the Big Three are the most powerful and influential gods on Olympus.
Gods possess a nearly limitless amount of magical control over their domain, as well as many general powers including levitation, teleportation, telepathy, physical abilities such as strength and stamina which surpasses those of mortals and manipulating the elements among other vast amounts of control over the world. The limits of a god's power in this regard is unknown, as is to what extent they can cross into the domain of another. Since their true, Divine Form is far too powerful to be looked upon by mortals or demigods, all gods can shapeshift into any form that they desire- even animals, as stated by the myths and the series.
However, gods are not all-powerful. They can tire or be overpowered by immortals and even powerful demigods. If they choose to engage in a physical battle they can be injured through the proper weaponry. Percy Jackson was able to wound Ares, destroy Hades' minions, and defeat Hyperion all in combat, through the use of his own powers. However, because gods can exist in many places at once, only a fraction of their power is used in combat against demigods. If their power is all in the same place at once, their divine form will eradicate all beings lesser than them.
Gods can appear in multiple places at once, so long as their domain is being invoked. Dionysus, for example, was able to manifest at a party despite the fact that his true self was buried under a mountain. It is unknown how many of these "copies" can be made at once, or what powers the god retains while in this state. According to Hephaestus, the only time a god’s essence is ever in one place is when they are in their Divine Form.
Gods consume a divine food and drink called nectar and ambrosia. It is too powerful for mortals to eat under normal circumstances as they will literally burst into flames, yet in some myths, the gods have used nectar and ambrosia to bestow immortality upon a mortal, though it's more likely that the nectar and ambrosia are specially prepared for a mortal. Demigods, however, can consume small amounts of both in order to regain strength and heal wounds, though too much will make them ill or destroy them in the same way it would a mortal.
Gods also adapt to their host country's culture when they move with Western Civilization, and if they stay long enough it can become a permanent part of their aspects. The gods are also able to speak multiple languages. For example, Aphrodite can speak French, as it is the language of love and she is the goddess of love and beauty. Boreas can also speak French, but that is because he lives to the north in Quebec, and the official language of Quebec is French.
As revealed in the Trials of Apollo, Gods can impart their power onto others to create new gods but only minor gods for with each new god created, the older god loses an equal amount of power.
As they follow the flow of Western Civilization, the gods will change slightly to reflect the culture of the country they currently reside in. Normally, this change has only a small effect and is not permanent. Such changes include Zeus wearing designer suits and Apollo's chariot becoming a sports car. However, the gods have resided in Rome almost as long as they ruled from Greece, and therefore each god has a permanent Roman aspect to themselves that they can change into. In this form, the gods became more disciplined, warlike, and militaristic ― the characteristics associated with the ancient Roman Empire.
As Roman gods, they rarely interacted with mortals or had affairs with them. When they did, however, these relationships produced Roman demigods who knew of their godly parent only by their Roman name, spoke Latin, and possessed a disciplined, ferocious and orderly quality not present in the Greek demigods at Camp Half-Blood, as they were the children of Roman gods. These Roman demigod children were sent to be trained by Lupa at The Wolf House, somewhere near San Francisco.
While the gods are normally in harmony with both of their forms, this can change if their Greek and Roman children begin to know about, consequently, resent, and finally declare war on each other. Because both camps call their godly parents for help, both their Roman and Greek forms are at odds with each other, giving the gods splitting headaches, indecision, and focus problems. They are also slightly schizophrenic. If, for example, a god in his Roman aspect appears before a demigod who thinks about the god in his Greek aspect, the god's form will flicker back and forth from his Roman and Greek forms - apparently causing intense headaches - until the god is able to settle back into one form.
The deity most affected by this conflict is Athena, who was stated to be the most Greek of all gods, and therefore, the one who has the most difficult time being a Roman deity.
While this aspect conflict happens to most of the gods, there are other gods who are unaffected by this split. Such gods are Aphrodite and Nemesis - as both love and revenge are universal for Greeks and Romans - and gods who have only one aspect, such as Bellona, the purely Roman goddess of war. Hercules, on the other hand, is not as affected by this split as the other gods, since his Greek and Roman aspects are more or less the same.
However, when an individual god's child shows or highlights high bravery or brave act they will settle into one aspect of themselves, allowing the conflict to end though it only last for a short while, this happened twice with Frank Zhang showing bravery, thus bring his father, Mars, to a settled persona and also occurred with Hazel Levesque's father, Pluto, as when she showed a brave act against Sciron, he appeared to her as Pluto showing that his persona had settled into one aspect.
It has also been noted that minor gods and goddess are significantly less affected by aspect conflict due to lack of prayers and worship with the only notable effect being minor headaches.
Seemingly exclusive to Artemis and Apollo by returning to their birthplace - Delos - they are protected against this aspect conflict. Although any and all powers they attempt to utilize outside their home is nullified.
Despite their primal powers and divine authority, gods are bound by certain laws that they have sworn to on River Styx. Some of these rules are laid down by Zeus and others are just in the nature of being a god. Only a few of these rules have been explored. It is unknown if a god is physically unable to break the law or if there is an extremely dire consequence for doing so. However, Poseidon stated to Zeus that they are forbidden from stealing each other's powers and Zeus didn't even seem to consider the possibility Poseidon himself did it.
- No god can directly steal the symbol of the power of another. This applies to both the Titans and Olympians. As mortals and demigods are free from this rule, this is the reason why Zeus knew a hero or mortal had stolen his Master Bolt.
- No god can enter the domain of another unless invited by the lord/lady of said domain (unless their domain overlaps). The only known gods to freely travel the worlds are Hermes and Iris, both of which are the messenger deities. Hecate, in some cases, is said to be honored and allowed to freely travel in all of the three major domains for her help in the First Titan War.
- It is stated by Chiron that immortals can only fight demigods after being challenged or attacked first (however, the Titans have been shown to ignore this rule as Kronos and Hyperion both attacked Percy first in The Last Olympian). It is likely, though, that this rule is not compulsory.
- Gods are limited to how much they can interfere in mortal affairs. This rule is a decree of Zeus. It also depends on how much Zeus enforces it or knows about it. Some gods have violated this rule without incurring any punishment, such as Apollo in The Titan's Curse, or Hera in The Battle of the Labyrinth.
- The Big Three were banned from having children after World War II as any one of their children would be responsible for the Great Prophecy. Zeus broke it by siring Thalia Grace, and Poseidon followed suit by having Percy Jackson. Hades was the only god of the Big Three to keep true to his oath which Percy found ironic and not sire any more children, as his two youngest children, Bianca and Nico di Angelo were already born before the oath was made. This rule was dissolved at the end of The Last Olympian at Percy's request for he had fulfilled the prophecy.
The gods do possess some weaknesses, physical or otherwise. They can be injured by supernatural weapons, but are invulnerable to conventional physical attacks. If a god's domain is attacked, he/she may weaken, age, and take the form to represent their current state of said domain. Gods can also fade from existence — either from a lack of worship or the diminishing of their domain (such gods are Helios, Selene and Pan respectively).
A god can survive a lack of worship or loss of their domain so long as their will to live is strong enough. Otherwise, they will fade. However, even if their will is strong enough they won't be powerful enough to maintain a physical form, as Kronos was able to survive, due to sheer willpower, yet remain powerless in Tartarus. If their thrones (or other sources of power) are destroyed, they will also fade along with it or become so weakened that they can no longer take a physical form, as stated in The Last Olympian by Prometheus.
Gods are, in general lustful — with the exceptions of the maiden goddesses and wives such as Hera and Amphitrite — and often have many illegitimate children, both immortal and demigod. Most gods also tend to be petty or immature and a lot of them are arrogant and underestimate their opponents, for example Ares underestimated Percy and that resulted in him being defeated by the latter. Because the gods are immortal, they feel little reason to change or adapt (except to adapt to their current home) as a result they often lack maturity or sense of personal growth, often resulting in many broken promises.
In addition, the gods can be very prideful of the things they do or the choices they make. They are often too proud to admit when they need help or when they have committed mistakes, instead believing themselves to be beyond help from regular mortals and demigods. Gods generally believe that they should be feared and respected. Due to their pride, they see admitting they need help as a sign of weakness. Furthermore, the gods will show signs of contempt towards the children of their enemies, sometimes even if those children are the offspring of other gods, most likely since Divine Laws prevent gods from attacking each other directly and thus do fight through their demigod offspring. It is these traits that often cause many beings, both mortal and immortal alike, to hate the gods and the reason why the gods are occasionally viewed as being no better than the Titans.
If a god or goddess is magically bounded or trapped in a magical prison of some kind, his or her power is useless, as the magical bindings act as an anchor keeping them in place, akin to a bear caught in a trap. Some examples of this are the situations of Hera and Artemis in The Lost Hero and The Titan's Curse respectively as well as Hephaestus trapping Aphrodite and Ares together in a magic net in older myths.
The only known way to permanently defeat a god is to scatter their essence. This happened to Ouranos, Kronos and Gaea. If they are defeated in a way that scatters their essence enough, they will be unable to reform and create a consciousness or a body ever again.
List of Gods
Major Olympian Gods and Goddesses
Minor Gods and Goddesses
- The Muses
- According to Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, gods are a more advanced race of immortals than the Titans. Due to this, Kronos, knowing that his children would soon become too powerful for him to control, chose to swallow them.
- Even though the Olympians can alter their height at will, they are not usually seen to be taller than 20 feet. However, in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, when Minthe infuriates Persephone, she grows 50 feet tall; when Erysichthon infuriates Demeter, she grows 100 feet tall, and when Typhon infuriates Zeus, he grows over 1,000 feet tall (until he is half as tall the Storm Giant himself).
- In The Son of Neptune, after Percy takes a ride with an Inuit Indian (who tells him about Inuit myths and gods), Percy starts to believe that other gods beyond Greeks-Romans might possibly exist, but given that his life is already quite complicated, he prefers to not think much about it. He later meets other Gods following the second Giant war.
- It is still a mystery if there are other forms that the gods have adopted due to the transfer of the flame of civilization. They may have taken other names and other mythical forms or they might have simply adopted mortal forms where the flame was strongest, such as Fred (Apollo's disguise) and June (Hera/Juno's disguise)
- It is unknown apart from the stories of Greek mythology if the gods had any other children with other gods. This might be possible, but those gods may have far smaller roles than the minor gods. These beings have been named "godlings" in the series. This term may also apply to demigods. Godlings appear briefly in the series, and they only appear in Olympus.
- Gods do not have DNA, as they are beings of magic and power. Due to this, romantic relationships between children of 2 different gods aren't ever incestuous.
- The metaphysical concept of a monotheistic God was briefly mentioned in The Lightning Thief and The House of Hades. The Devil is briefly mentioned in the latter book as well.