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Don't lose hope, Frank. Rainbows always stand for hope.

–Iris to Frank Zhang, in The Son of Neptune.

Iris is the Greek goddess of the Rainbow and the messenger for the gods. She occasionally delivers messages for demigods as well. Iris is the owner of Rainbow Organic Foods & Lifestyles. Her Roman counterpart is Arcus.


Early life

Iris is the daughter of minor sea god Thaumas and the Oceanid Electra. Her twin sister is Arke, who served as a messenger for the Titans in the first war and was thrown into Tartarus by Zeus after ripping her wings off.

Iris is married to Zephyros, the God of the West Wind. They had a son named Pothos, who served as an attendant to Aphrodite.

Becoming the Messenger of the Gods

Iris links the gods to humanity, traveling from one end of the world to the other, and into the depths of the sea and Underworld. In the Underworld, her duty is to collect water from the River Styx for the swearing of solemn oaths.

In the myth of the Abduction of Persephone, Iris was sent by Zeus to Demeter asking her to resume her duties so the earth wouldn't become barren.

Iris was the one sent to free or distract Eileithyia, the birth goddess, so the Titaness Leto could give birth to Artemis and Apollo.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Throughout the series, Iris' services are called upon by throwing a drachma into a mist, allowing many characters to communicate with each other.

The Sea of Monsters

Iris is mentioned to be on good terms with Hermes, as they are both messenger gods.

Chiron mentions that he and Iris have been friends for a millennium, to the point she allows him to listen in on her messages. He asked her to notify him if anything strange happens in the Miami area, which allowed him to rescue Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, Grover Underwood, and Tyson after Percy Iris-messages Camp Half-Blood from the Princess Andromeda.

The Battle of the Labyrinth

Bianca di Angelo gives an Iris Message to Percy, and in her second one, she must have told Iris it is important or something, as Percy didn't need to even put in a drachma when it came to him.

The Last Olympian

After the defeat of Kronos, a cabin is built for Iris' demigod offspring at Camp Half-Blood due to Percy's request to give the minor gods their own cabins instead of their children being crammed into the Hermes' Cabin.

The Heroes of Olympus

The Lost Hero

Iris is the mother of Butch in the series. Even though Zeus forbade the gods to interact with the surface, Iris still sends Iris Messages for the demigods; making an exception for her as a messenger. The demigods also use her to contact their allies.

The Son of Neptune

Percy tried to contact Annabeth through Iris Messages, but he couldn't because the line had been blocked by Hera. Iris is first shown when a huge rainbow appears before the army of monsters, led by the giant Polybotes approaching San Francisco. They attack the light, but it burns their bodies, and melts the weapons into rainbow colors. She then throws a gluten-free, no-sugar-added, vitamin-enriched, soy-free, goat-milk-and-seaweed-based cupcake simulation (which the monsters first assume is a grenade and which both parties assume is a Ding Dong) at the horde when they demand food. She says that she has eased up on her duties as messenger of the gods and has opened a chain of stores called Rainbow Organic Foods & Lifestyles (R.O.F.L). The stores are described as having "bins of nuts and dried fruit, baskets of apples, and clothing racks with tie-dyed shirts and gauzy Tinker-Bell-type dresses." The entire store is adorned with wind chimes, crystals, geodes, dream catchers, macramé, and other "strange stuff." Iris tells her employee Fleecy (who she now has handle Iris-Messaging) to give an ailing Percy "green tea with organic honey and wheat germ" for his memory sickness. Hazel goes with them so that Iris could have a private talk with Frank.

She encourages Frank to reject the quest and his destiny, live without the gods, while showing him visions of his past to try to explain his gift. She also offers to hire him, but he declines. She prompts him to seek Phineas and ask him for help, but not to kill her sisters, the harpies. She also instructs him to use his spear to kill the basilisk. Her last words of advice come with a prophecy - he will die holding his piece of tinder, but he will live longer if he gives it to someone he cares for. She gives Percy Jackson a tie-dyed "masculine accessory bag" (a purse) that she states looks "good" on him before they leave to continue their quest.


Iris is a free spirit. She is a strictly non-violent goddess who only attacks in self-defense. If she is asked nicely and not too busy, she sends messages for the demigods.

Iris is upset that her service-oriented job had left her with no identity, as there are no shrines to her or a sacred animal. Because of this, she opened up her own store and is doing what she wants to do, like giving advice to demigods.


Iris has olive-colored skin, long black hair, and warm brown eyes. She is said to bear the golden wings of a butterfly.

As a goddess, Iris can change her form. She sometimes appears as a middle-aged woman with glasses. She reminds Frank of his mother by the way she smiles, with one side of her mouth, her eyes and the way she tilts her head like she's considering a question.


Arcus is Iris' Roman counterpart. As Iris is a free spirit who only attacks in self-defense, it is unknown if she becomes more militaristic and warlike in her Roman aspect.

Iris appears in her Greek form even though she meets Roman demigods.


Iris is considered a minor goddess.

  • Photokinesis: As the Goddess of the Rainbow, Iris has the divine authority and absolute control over rainbow.
    • Rainbow Generation: She is able to create or generate rainbows.
      • Pyrokinesis: She can use light from her rainbows to create multicolored flames and burns to ward off enemies.
      • Energy Blasts: She is able to unleash blasts of multicolored energy from her rainbows, causing great damage in structures like buildings.​​​​​​
      • Blindness Inducement: Through utilizing her rainbow's light, she can blind enemies.
      • Hallucikinesis: Through utilizing her rainbow's light, she can create illusions.
  • Superhuman Speed: Due to her status as the Messenger of the Gods, Iris can move at supersonic speeds. She travels with "the speed of wind" from one end of the world to the other.
    • Transgressing Realms: Due to her status as the Messenger of the Gods, Iris can freely go into any realm without an invitation, even the Underworld.
  • Control of Animals: Iris has control over her sacred animals pegasi, being able to summon them.


Iris is able to create Iris messages. To Iris Message someone, you must find or make a rainbow (easier in modern times with the advent of the water hose with which someone can get a fine spray) and throw a drachma through it. As shown in The Sea of Monsters, messages can be sent non-verbally. Then, you need to say: "O, Iris, Goddess of the Rainbow, accept my offering."  ​​​​​​Then name who you wish to speak to and where they can be found.

It has changed in The Son of Neptune, instead you can use Fleecy's direct number: "O Fleecy, do me a solid. Show me:__________________" Then name who you wish to talk to and where.

Iris sometimes allows Chiron eavesdrop on some Iris-Messages, as shown in The Sea of Monsters.

During the Great Imperial War, Iris-messaging is blocked by Triumvirate Holdings using the god Harpocrates until he is convinced to willingly fade in The Tyrant's Tomb.


  • Pitcher: Iris wields a pitcher of water originating from the River Styx, which she uses to put the person who still lies despite promising to tell the truth to sleep. 


  • As a messenger goddess, Iris one of the few gods who are able to travel to the Underworld, the other is Hermes.
  • Curiously, Iris could be a rich goddess as she gets a drachma (probably of gold) every time someone contacts her service of messages.
  • Roman demigods don't use Iris-Messaging, as by the time that Rome conquered Greece, they used more advanced methods such as "giant eagles" or their road system.​​​​​
  • The Iris Nebula is named after her.
  • Iris, the colored part of the eye, is named after her.
  • Iris, a shade of the color blue, is named after her.
  • Iris is a species of flowering plants with rainbow colored flowers, named after her.
  • Even though Iris is a Greek Goddess, Iris mentioned that she was deciding between Taoism and Buddhism as a religion.
  • Iris is often described acting as the intermediary between Hera and Hypnos.
  • Iris appears as a character in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest.
  • Iris and the Egyptian goddess Isis, another rainbow goddess, have similar names.


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
Secondary Characters: Sally Jackson | Travis Stoll | Connor Stoll | Mrs. O'Leary | Silena Beauregard | Charles Beckendorf | Paul Blofis | Blackjack | Zoë Nightshade | Bianca di Angelo | Juniper | Ethan Nakamura
Minor Characters: Gabe Ugliano | Tantalus | Frederick Chase | Michael Yew | May Castellan | Austin Lake | Kayla Knowles | Maria di Angelo | Will Solace
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
Mythical Creatures: Minotaur | Centaur | Furies | Satyr | Cyclops | Manticore | Ophiotaurus | Nemean Lion | Empousa
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 Trials of Apollo | Percy Jackson Demigod Collection | The Lightning Thief: Illustrated Edition | Disney+ Series
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 | Iapetus/Bob | 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
Minor Characters: Rachel Elizabeth Dare | Grover Underwood | Thalia Grace | Clarisse La Rue | 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 | Zombie
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