Tristan Strong Not part of Riordanverse

The following article/section is from the Tristan Strong continuity under Rick Riordan Presents and not the Riordanverse canon.

For the demigod son of Thor, click here.

John Henry is an African American folk hero. He was born as a mortal and became an einherji in 1871 C.E.


John Henry was a freed slave who worked for a railroad company building training tracks. One day the company made a drill to speed up the process and John Henry challanged to to a contest so the workers could keep their jobs. He won but died of exhaustion soon after.

Another version of the story states John Henry was a former slave who became a sharecropper after being freed. However he was jailed on a minor offense and worked on the tracks as a sentence.

He eventually became a god and defended MidPass from the forces of Maafa.

Tristan Strong series

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

Tristan Strong dreams of him and Brer Rabbit exhausted from a battle. He picks something up and tells it to find something.

About a year later he confronts Tristan Strong and demands Eddie’s Journal. When Tristan says he lost it and wants to go home, he gives the boy an accusing look and as Tristan scolds them and tells the gods his story, he and the others stare in shock as butterflies reenact his story and they realize he is an Anansesem. He explains that it is a story teller gifted with Anansi’s power and tells Tristan something about his story does not add up before dismissing him. He also praises Gum Baby for bringing Tristan to them. After eating Tristan returns to him and he vetoes Ayanna’s request to find more Midfolk and she storms off. He tells Tristan the dangers the iron monsters pose and their recent intelligence, he think it is their leader, an idea that followed the gods to MidPass. He then tells Tristan they have a plan. He takes him to Brer Rabbit and they are joined by Sarah, Rose, and Ayanna. They listen as the lagomorph explains his plan to have Anansi fix the hole. He vetoes it but after learning that Brer Rabbit and Anansi were working on a Story Box when the iron monsters attacked. After learning Tristan can find it he agrees to the plan. When he says no he takes the boy for a walk and they talk about boxing and how he was forced to box for his boss’s entertainment after a long days work. He gives Tristan the journal‘s tassels but gets ready for battle when an iron monster is seen on it.

He shows rear and calls Brer Rabbit for help, but can’t due to the rabbit losing control of the Thicket. He gives Tristan a pair of magic gloves to help him fight off the incoming fetterlings. The tide goes in there favor until Brer Rabbit warns them of a large fetterling coming at them. When it breaks through he is joined by Rose, Sarah, and Brer Rabbit. The gods urge Tristan to go on the quest.

A day or two later the Thicket burns and he handles an evacuation while fighting off iron monsters. He sees Tristan‘s message. He arrives at the Golden Cresent with a boat of refugees ready to fight. He does so and hold them off before eventually being overw by the sheer numbers of iron monsters. After the battle he congratulates Tristan and is shocked to learn Anansi has been impersonating Brer Rabbit for months. He expresses his rage at the revelation.

Before Tristan goes back to his world, he says goodb the him as he is trying to build a bridge between MidPass and Alke. He reveals Nyame’s Palace has let the Midfolk stay in Alke until MidPass is repaired. Tristan promises to bring him a Muhammad Ali poster when he returns.


John Henry was a large Black man with arms of mahogany, fists like rocks, and shoulders broader than mountains. He wears blue overalls with a strap undon over a white collared shirt.

His hammer's smooth handle was like a log with carving edged up and down the wood.


John Henry is shown to be caring to his friends and intimidating to his enemies.


  • Hammer Proficiency: John Henry is skilled with a hammer.


  • John Henry is the second character to be mentioned in both a Rick Riordan and Rick Riordan Presents series, the first being Indra. John Henry is the first Magnus Chase character to appear in a Rick Riordan Presents title.
Tristan Strong series
Books: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky | Tristan Strong Destroys the World
Main Characters: Tristan Strong | Ayanna | Chestnutt | Gum Baby | Uncle C
Secondary Characters: High John | Thandiwe | John Henry | Eddie Garvey | Maafa
Minor Characters: Alvin Strong | Mrs. Strong | Walter Strong | Nana Strong | Fezile | Netta | Old Familiar
African American Gods: Brer Rabbit | Rose | Sarah | Brer Fox | Brer Bear | Tarrypin | Sis Crow
West African Gods: Anansi | Nyame
Creatures: Haint | Fetterling | Brand Fly | Hullbeast | Abiyoyo | Mmoatia
Related Content: Kwame Mbalia | Rick Riordan Presents

Start a Discussion Discussions about John Henry

  • John Henry

    2 messages
    • -Let's see, I'm very confused right now, look at the John Henry wiki, and I was asked a question ....¿ He is a Nordic demigod son...
    • He’s a demigod in the main canon & a god in the Tristan Strong series. I think we should make separate pages for the two canons.
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