|“||Don't lose hope, Frank. Rainbows always stand for hope.||”|
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.
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.
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.
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.
It was possible that Iris was neutral in the Second Titan War because she was too busy carrying messages. She wasn't listed among the many minor deities who had switched over to Kronos' side.
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.
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.
- Rainbow Generation: She is able to create or generate rainbows.
- 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.
Iris sometimes allows Chiron eavesdrop on some Iris-Messages, as shown in The Sea of Monsters.
- 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.