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I am here because when all else fails, when all the other mighty gods have gone off to war, I am all that's left. Home. Hearth. I am the last Olympian.

–Hestia, to Percy Jackson, in The Last Olympian.

Hestia is the Greek virgin goddess of the hearth, home and family. She is the eldest of the Twelve Olympians, the firstborn child of Kronos and Rhea, and the current guardian of Elpis, the spirit of hope. Her Roman counterpart is Vesta.

History

Birth and Rescue

Hestia was the oldest child of Kronos, the Titan-King of Mount Othrys, and his wife, Rhea. When she was born, Kronos was initially willing to be a good father until he realized that Hestia wasn't a Titaness, but a more powerful and beautiful immortal (a goddess) and therefore had the potential to overpower him one day. Fearing the possibility, Kronos quickly swallowed her whole - much to Rhea's horror. However, as an immortal goddess who couldn't truly die, Hestia wasn't killed or destroyed by her father's swallowing her whole, and instead spent her childhood undigested in her father's stomach. She was later joined by her younger siblings (Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon), all of whom were also swallowed shortly after their birth.

Ultimately, Rhea gave birth to her sixth and final child, Zeus, whom she hid away and secretly raised on Crete with Gaia's aid, faraway from Mount Othrys. In place of Zeus, she gave a huge boulder as a decoy for the tired Kronos to eat. After he reached his maturity, Zeus successfully infiltrated Kronos' Palace on Mount Othrys as the Titan-King's new royal cupbearer. Hestia was finally released during the final drinking competition Kronos had with his Titan brothers and nephews, for Zeus poured a potent emetic into Kronos' goblet, which caused the Titan-King to disgorge all the contents of his stomach in reverse order of swallowing. First the boulder, then Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Demeter, and finally Hestia herself. Zeus quickly introduced himself to his elder siblings and all of them quickly escaped Mount Othrys before their father and their Titanic relatives could react.

In Zeus' cave at Mount Ida, Hestia and the other gods accepted Zeus as their leader, and though she initially suggested diplomacy, she was finally convinced to agree with her younger siblings about declaring war against their tyrannical father. Hestia was happily reunited with her mother Rhea, who tearfully embraced her and her siblings and recommended their releasing their Elder Cyclopes and Hekatonkheire uncles from Tartarus first, for the Hekatonkheires could serve as strong allies in their battle and the Elder Cyclopes could forge excellent weapons.

Rescuing the Elder Cyclopes and Hekatonkheires

Her brother, Hades, turned out to be skillful in navigating under the earth and lead them all into Tartarus through a network of Underworld tunnels. There, imprisoned in the maximum-security zone, surrounded by huge bronze walls, and a lava moat, were the Elder Cyclopes and Hekatonkheires. Their guardian Kampê was the most ferocious and fearsome monster in all of Tartarus.

However, the gods overcame their fear and were able to sneak in. Zeus managed to talk to the Cyclops Brontes and convinced him to forge powerful weapons for him and his siblings behind Kampê's back. The three Elder Cyclopes forged three incredibly powerful weapons: the Master Bolt (for Zeus), the Trident (for Poseidon), and the Helm of Darkness (for Hades). With these new weapons, Zeus killed Kampê and Poseidon shattered the chains of the Elder Cyclopes and Hekatonkheires, releasing them. Afterwards, Hades safely guided his siblings and uncles back out of Tartarus. In return for their release, all six of her uncles agreed to fight on the gods' side in the upcoming war with the Titans.

The First Titanomachy

Shortly after their return from Tartarus, Hestia and her siblings officially declared war on Kronos and the other Titans, which resulted in the terrifying 11-year-long Titanomachy. The Titans initially had the upper hand since they were well-armed and much more experienced warriors. However, as the years passed, the gods quickly became skilled warriors as well, and with the help of their new extremely powerful weapons and the aid of the Elder Cyclopes and Hekatonkheires, they finally prevailed.

While preparing for the final battle of the War, Hestia and her siblings ascended to Mount Olympus (the tallest mountain in Greece after Mount Othrys). During the final battle, Zeus used his Master Bolt to shear off the top of Mount Othrys and hurl Kronos from his throne, defeating the Titan King. Shortly thereafter, the gods invaded the ruins of Mount Othrys and finally overwhelmed Atlas, Hyperion, Iapetus, Krios, and Koios.

In the aftermath of the battle, the Elder Cyclopes chained up all of the defeated Titans, while the Hekatonkheires forced them to kneel before the gods. Zeus took their father's Scythe, sliced Kronos into a thousand pieces, and then cast him into Tartarus along with the rest of his followers (except for Atlas, who was forced to hold the sky). The gods chose Olympus as their official residence and the Elder Cyclopes built magnificent palaces there for them all. As a result, the gods started to call themselves the Olympians.

Incident with Priapus

While celebrating the anniversary of her children's victory over the Titans, Rhea organized a grandiose party on Mount Ida on Crete. All gods and neutral Titans were invited, as well as many nymphs and satyrs. After drinking, Hestia wandered out into the woods and fell asleep. Priapus, a minor god of vegetation, spotted the beautiful goddess and wanted to take advantage of her. However, while he was approaching her, a donkey brayed out loudly. Hestia woke up screaming and ran away from Priapus. The feasting Olympians instantly ran to her side and proceeded to harshly beat and berate Priapus, who was never invited to their divine parties ever again. After the event, Hestia declared that she was to be grateful and defined the donkey as her sacred animal.

Prometheus' Punishment

After the war, Hestia decided to become the Goddess of the Hearth and Family. She secretly allowed Prometheus to take some sacred fire from the Olympian hearth, as he desired to give it to humans. Despite this, no member of her family suspected her (or at least, they didn't punish her).

Feeling bad for Prometheus' severe punishment, Hestia protected every mortal pursued, attacked or in trouble if they made it to either a house's or a town's hearth. People of that household or city would be obliged or honor-bound to help and protect them if they asked for it.

Becoming the Last Olympian

Unlike her more prominent younger siblings, Hestia never sought power. When her nephew Dionysus was accepted as one of the Twelve Olympians, she was willingly gave up her throne to him and took to constantly tending the sacred hearth. During any of their massive family feuds, any Olympian could chose to take a break by sitting down next to the hearth with Hestia, whose presence alone was enough to calm anyone near her.

Unlike her siblings, Hestia never desired to marry or become a mother, so she turned down several gods. After Poseidon and her nephew Apollo proposed to her, Hestia talked with Zeus and requested to remain a virgin. His brother respected her enough to allow the petition, while Poseidon and Apollo vowed to punish anyone who would ever attempt to woo her in the future.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The Lightning Thief

When Percy Jackson first arrived at Camp Half-Blood, he saw a young girl stoking next to the hearth and poking the coals with a stick. However, he was ignorant of the fact that she was actually Hestia and didn't pay particular attention to her.

Hestia was later mentioned by Chiron to Percy while discussing the arguments between Zeus and Poseidon: apparently, Chiron had hoped that either she, or Demeter, or Hera would be able to calm down the brothers and get them to see reason.

The Last Olympian

Shortly before the events of the book, Hestia met and talked with Nico di Angelo, the first demigod to talk to her in ages. Hestia first appears as an eight-year-old girl in Westport, Connecticut after Percy and Nico meet Ms. Castellan. She tells Percy that in order to understand his enemy, he must first understand his past. She gives Percy constant visions of Luke's upbringing as a way to gain insight as to what he has gone through and why he made the choices that he did. Hestia tells Percy that sometimes the hardest power to master is the power of yielding before transporting him and Nico to New York.

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Percy Jackson, Hestia's nephew who gave her the Pandora's Pithos

During the Battle of Manhattan at Olympus, Hestia helps Rachel Elizabeth Dare realize her destiny as the Oracle of Delphi and reminds Percy that when all the other gods are away in the fight, hearth and home are what will always remain. Percy entrusts Hestia with the Pandora's Pithos, which Prometheus had given him in order to tempt him into surrender. He claims that she should be its guardian because hope survives best at the hearth.

When Percy is fighting against Luke (possessed by Kronos), Backbiter is tossed into the hearth. When Kronos tries to retrieve it, Hestia appears in the fire and heats the scythe to such a degree that he cannot retrieve it. Percy sees her image in the flames looking disapprovingly at her father. 

After the war, the gods returned to the destroyed Olympus. When her brothers and relatives asks Percy to come closer, Hestia's smile gives him the courage to approach them.

Percy later returns to Camp Half-Blood and sees Hestia tending to the campfire, mirroring the first time Percy saw her when he first arrived at camp. She winks at Percy, implying that she is content not being noticed, as long as some people do notice her once in a while.

The Heroes of Olympus

The Mark of Athena

Hestia, along with most of the other Olympians, was incapacitated (with her personality split between her and her Roman form Vesta) after Leo was manipulated by Gaea into shooting upon Camp Jupiter from the Argo II.

The Blood of Olympus

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 Hestia) of their split personalities. However, as the Last Olympian, Hestia is the only Elder Olympian not to join her siblings, nephews and nieces in the final battle with the Giants in Athens.

Personality

According to Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Hestia's personality is very similar to that of her mother: she is a good-natured, gentle and understanding woman who never says a bad word about anyone. In The Last Olympian, she is far kinder than most other gods, who frequently take offense at the slightest provocation. Her fondest wish is that her entire family can get along. Though she is obviously unsuccessful in maintaining harmony on Olympus, she watches out for each and every deity in the Greek pantheon. This ensured that it was difficult for any of her family to become angry with her, as her earnest disposition was rare and valuable amongst the Olympians.

In The Last Olympian, Hestia is portrayed to be of a calm, relaxing, and humble disposition. As opposed to the twelve enthroned Olympians, she doesn't seek attention or recognition but exists contentedly at the hearth, the final place of solace. Percy is of the opinion that she prefers to remain obscure, as she only leaves her post in times of crisis. Even then, her participation is rather indirect, as seen during the final battle against Kronos. It is implied that Hestia is content not being noticed, as long as some people do notice her once in a while.

​​​​​Hestia is extremely different from her mother in one regard: she had no desire to become a mother herself. Part of the reason was that she still recalled that terrifying moment of being swallowed by her father and could never forget how her mother had wailed in despair. She has concrete evidence that her brother Zeus can be as bad as Kronos, having swallowed his first wife Metis to circumvent the prophecy that the son he fathered by Metis would overthrow him one day and divorced Themis to prevent their marriage from producing offspring that could be more terrifyingly powerful than the gods. Though this can be viewed as being unable to let go of the past, it testifies to Hestia's observation.

Appearance

In The Lightning Thief, Hestia is portrayed as a nine-year-old girl. In The Last Olympian, she is described as an eight-year-old girl with mousy brown hair and fire-red eyes. Percy notices that her eyes are "filled with flames", but they are warm and cozy unlike Ares' eyes. Hestia wears a simple brown dress and a scarf over her head, which gives her the look of a pioneer child.

When Percy encountered her again after he had acquired the Curse of Achilles, he noted that though Hestia still wore the same brown dress, she appeared as a grown woman. After the final battle against Kronos, she took the form of a girl again. Her smile gave Percy the courage to approach the gods.

According to Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Hestia was beautiful and perfectly proportioned in an unpretentious way. She had an honest smile, intelligent, warm brown eyes, and black hair that framed her face in ringlets. Her body  radiated power. Her scent was delicious, smelling like wood smoke and toasted marshmallows. Hestia usually kept her hair tucked under a linen shawl, wore plain dresses, and never used makeup. Though she wasn't as beautiful as her younger sisters, her charm was such that both Poseidon and Apollo proposed to her.

The differences in Hestia's physical description throughout the novels could be attributed to the fact that, as a goddess, she has the ability to assume any shape she desires, though it must be noted that she retains her beauty and sweet charm no matter what physical manifestation she adopts.

Attributes

  • Her attributes are the fire and cloak.
  • Her sacred animal is the donkey.

Vesta

Hestia can change into her Roman counterpart, Vesta. As Vesta, she becomes more disciplined, militaristic, and warlike. Hestia was envisioned by the Greeks as the gentle goddess of domesticity whereas Vesta was considered to be the stern guardian of the Roman state. In ancient times, the Vestal Virgins were maiden priestesses who maintained the sacred fire housed inside the Temple of Vesta. It is possible that they are the Roman counterpart of the Hunters, but were less aggressive and didn't fight.

Abilities

As an elder Olympian, Hestia is an extremely powerful goddess in her own right. She is more powerful than the several younger Olympians, but less powerful than her younger siblings (Demeter, Hera and the Big Three). In The Last Olympian, Hestia herself claimed to be "the least of the gods". Despite this statement, her strike in the final battle against Kronos testified her strength.

  • Pyrokinesis: As the Goddess of the Hearth, Hestia has divine authority and absolute control over fire. The fire that she tends to seems to glow "more richly red than a normal fire". During the final battle against Kronos, her flames heated up Kronos's Scythe to the extent where he was forced to drop it and his host's hands were seared despite Luke was near-invulnerable from the Curse of Achilles. After her father was destroyed, the scythe liquefied into molten metal and trickled into the hearth's coals. This was impressive, given that the scythe had been forged by Gaea to strike down the mighty Ouranos.
  • Bond Manipulation: As the Goddess of Home and Family, all things related to domestic and familial relationships are under Hestia's jurisdiction.
    • Past Visions: Hestia has the power to know and share family-related visions of an individual's past. She showed Percy visions of Luke's past to know his enemy better and reminded the former his own happy memories to encourage him to fight.
    • Home Teleportation: Hestia has the power to teleport people back to their own home. She teleported Percy and Nico back to Percy's home.
    • Serenity Inducement: Hestia can induce potent feelings of tranquility in others, enabling her to keep everyone who surrounded her at total ease. She inherited this ability from her mother.
    • Food Generation: Hestia can generate or conjure delicious food, manifesting them anywhere she desired. Percy described the taste of her food as "the kind of home-cooked meal people are supposed to have but never do".
  • Hearth Guardianship: As the Goddess of the Hearth, any past mortal pursued, attacked or in trouble would be under Hestia's special protection if they made it to either a house's or a town's hearth. Her hearth on Olympus is still acknowledged by all the other gods to be "neutral territory", where anyone can go to for rest and none of them can fight one another.
  • Shapeshifting: As a goddess, Hestia can change her form. In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, she transformed into an eagle to escape from Kronos' Palace and into a bat to sneak into Tartarus' maximum-security zone.
  • Intelligence: Hestia is shown to be a wise goddess of excellent understanding. In The Last Olympian, she provided Percy, Nico and Rachel with useful advice regarding their enemies and how they could effectively fight back.
  • Culinary Arts: Hestia is an excellent cook and baker. In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Zeus noted that she toasted perfect marshmallows that were neither too soft nor too crispy.

Relationships

Family

Hestia developed a good relationship with her aunt Themis, who resembles her in personality. She considers Themis her favorite aunt.

Hestia is the only deity to have an amiable relationship with every other Olympian, even the vain Apollo (who once proposed to her), the conceited Aphrodite, the violent Ares, and the grim Hades. She is empathetic to all her siblings and their children, consoling, cheering and supporting every single god and goddess in Olympus. Due to these actions, everyone in her family watches out for her when they can and it is acknowledged that their protection ensures that she isn't one to be trifled with, for her family willingly protects her and issues severe punishment on her behalf on those who offend her.

Hestia proved to be a kind aunt to her demigod nephews Percy Jackson and Nico di Angelo, helping them during the Second Titanomachy and giving them sincere encouragement to stand against the seemingly insurmountable odds.

Etymology

Her name means "hearth" in Greek.

Trivia

  • Hestia would be the last Olympian if the thrones of the gods are destroyed, as her power is enshrined in the hearth.
  • Although Hestia is the goddess of the hearth and home, her younger sister Hera is the goddess of family and home. It is confirmed that the two share jurisdiction over domesticity.
  • In ancient times, Hestia received the first offering at every sacrifice in the household, and, at feasts, the first and last libations were dedicated to her.
  • Despite her statement in The Last Olympian, Percy thinks that Hestia never had a throne and always kept to the hearth because it was "more her style" in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods.
  • When asked to describe Hestia's cabin, Rick Riordan said that she has no cabin because it “just isn’t her style”. This would make Hestia the only Elder Olympian who doesn't have a cabin at Camp Half-Blood.
  • 46 Hestia, a large, dark main-belt asteroid, is named after her.
  • According to Greek mythology, of all the gods and goddesses, Hestia was considered the gentlest, kindest and most forgiving deity with a discreet nature.
  • Hestia is one of only three current Olympians who is a virgin, the other two being Athena and Artemis.
  • Hestia was the second of the Olympian deities to meet Percy, but the last one to be identified as such (Percy met Dionysus in Chapter 5 of The Lightning Thief and spotted Hestia in her nine-year-old form in Chapter 6, but she wasn't identified until The Last Olympian).
  • Vesta, the second largest object in the asteroid belt, is named after her Roman counterpart.
  • Vesta family, a group of asteroids, is named after her Roman counterpart.
  • 4 Vesta is an asteroid named after her Roman counterpart.
  • Her Egyptian equivalent would be Anuket.

Gallery

Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Core Series: The Lightning Thief | The Sea of Monsters | The Titan's Curse | The Battle of the Labyrinth | The Last Olympian
Main Characters: Percy Jackson | Grover Underwood | Annabeth Chase | Tyson | Clarisse La Rue | Thalia Grace | Nico di Angelo | Chiron | Luke Castellan | Rachel Elizabeth Dare
Minor Characters: Travis Stoll | Connor Stoll | Mrs. O'Leary | Silena Beauregard | Charles Beckendorf | Sally Jackson | Paul Blofis | Blackjack | Zoë Nightshade | Bianca di Angelo | Juniper | Michael Yew | Ethan Nakamura
Olympian Gods: Zeus | Hera | Poseidon | Demeter | Ares | Athena | Apollo | Artemis | Hephaestus | Aphrodite | Hermes | Dionysus | Hades | Hestia
Minor Gods: Amphitrite | Ariadne | Hecate | Iris | Janus | Morpheus | Nemesis | Pan | Persephone | Triton
Titans: Kronos | Atlas | Calypso | Iapetus | Krios | Hyperion | Oceanus | Prometheus
Related Content: Rick Riordan | The Lightning Thief (film) | Sea of Monsters (film) | The Demigod Files | Demigods and Monsters | The Ultimate Guide | The Heroes of Olympus
The Heroes of Olympus
Core Series: The Lost Hero | The Son of Neptune | The Mark of Athena | The House of Hades | The Blood of Olympus
Main Characters: Jason Grace | Piper McLean | Leo Valdez | Percy Jackson | Frank Zhang | Hazel Levesque | Annabeth Chase | Reyna Ramírez-Arellano | Nico di Angelo | Gleeson Hedge
Secondary Characters: Hylla Ramírez-Arellano | Dakota | Tyson | Ella | Octavian | Halcyon Green | Dr. Howard Claymore | Alabaster C. Torrington | Lamia | Iapetus/Bob
Minor Characters: Rachel Elizabeth Dare | Grover Underwood | Thalia Grace | Fleecy | Mrs. O'Leary | Kinzie | Arion | Calypso | Lou Ellen Blackstone | Chiron | Will Solace | Tristan McLean | Don | Julia | Jacob | Michael Varus | Burly Black | Medea | Midas | Lityerses | Phineas | Otrera | Echo | Narcissus | Sciron | Pasiphaë
Olympian Gods: Zeus | Hera | Poseidon | Hades | Ares | Demeter | Athena | Apollo | Artemis | Hephaestus | Aphrodite | Hermes | Dionysus
Minor Gods: Achelous | Aeolus | Asclepius | Boreas | Eurus | Hecate | Iris | Hypnos | Keto | Khione | Kymopoleia | Mithras | Nemesis | Nike | Notus | Phorcys | Serapis | Thanatos | Triptolemus | Zephyros
Roman Gods: Jupiter | Juno | Neptune | Pluto | Mars | Minerva | Ceres | Lupa | Bellona | Fortuna | Janus | Terminus | Vulcan | Mercury | Apollo (Roman) | Diana | Venus | Bacchus | Pomona | Aquilon | Hercules | Cupid | Auster | Favonius | Letus | Victoria
Giants: Enceladus | Porphyrion | Alcyoneus | Polybotes | Ephialtes | Otis | Damasen | Clytius | Mimas | Orion | Hippolytos| Thoon | Periboia
Undead: Gray
Primordial Gods: Gaea | Tartarus | Ourae | Nyx | Chaos | Ouranos | Akhlys | Hemera | Elpis | Spes
Monsters and Magical Creatures: Cynocephali | Gorgon | Gryphon | Harpy | Basilisk | Lycanthrope | Gegeines | Cyclops | Katobleps | Unicorn | Giant Eagle | Ichthyocentaur | Satyr/Faun | Storm Spirit | Laistrygonian Giant | Lares
Related Content: Rick Riordan | Haley Riordan | Percy Jackson and the Olympians | Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Ultimate Guide | The Demigod Files | The Demigod Diaries | The Son of Sobek | The Singer of Apollo | The Staff of Serapis | Percy Jackson's Greek Gods | Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes | The Crown of Ptolemy | Demigods & Magicians | Demigods of Olympus | Percy Jackson Demigod Collection
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