The Labyrinth is a self-aware, self-expanding maze with a malevolent consciousness given to it by Daedalus against the warnings of Apollo. Over the centuries, it expands all over the planet, honeycombing beneath the planet's surface like an invasive root system. The Labyrinth connects many locations different locations on Earth and time can run differently within, making a few minutes in the Labyrinth an hour in the outside world or even a couple of days traveling turn into several days in the outside world. The Labyrinth is constantly shifting and attempting to kill its inhabitants.
The Labyrinth can only be safely navigated by a mortal with Clear Sight who is able to see the traps and correct passages to take. Satyrs can also navigate through the Labyrinth using their enhanced senses of smell, but they aren't as accurate as a clear-sighted mortal, can get lost and take longer to navigate. Other ways of successfully navigating are Ariadne's String and following a mechanical spider created by Hephaestus. The Labyrinth's ever shifting and changing nature makes it impossible to map.
According to Annabeth Chase, "the Labyrinth can lead you almost anywhere. It reads your thoughts. It was designed to fool you, to trick you and kill you." However, a powerful enough or determined user can make the Labyrinth work for them instead of against them, bending the maze or parts of it to their will. When Pasiphaë breathes life into the Labyrinth again, she makes it her domain, putting the maze under her control. After receiving training in magic from Hecate, Hazel Levesque is also able to take control of the Labyrinth to battle and defeat the evil sorceress. Following her defeat at Hazel's hands, Pasiphaë appears to lose control over the Labyrinth. Similarly, Medea is able to take control of part of the Labyrinth and turn it into the Burning Maze during her efforts to make Caligula the new sun god.
The Labyrinth is originally tied to the lifeforce of its creator Daedalus and it collapses when he died, although Annabeth Chase later suspects that some caves she's trekking through in search of the Athena Parthenos are a part of the Labyrinth that didn't die with Daedalus. The sorceress Pasiphaë "breathed life" into the Labyrinth during the Second Giant War, causing it to reopen. Pasiphaë states that "it will spread under the skin of the earth once more." Subsequently, according to Apollo, the Labyrinth rebuilt itself.
Following the restoration of the Labyrinth, it seems to be less malevolent, feeling less evil and deadly. While traveling through it, Apollo notes that the the air seems fresher as if the maze hasn't been chewing up quite so many bodies, the walls don't radiate the same malignant heat and they aren't oozing blood or slime either. Apollo notes that in the old days, you couldn't take a step inside without sensing the Labyrinth's all-consuming desire: I will destroy your mind and your body. Now the Labyrinth gives off a sleepier, less virulent message: Hey, if you die in here, that's cool. However, after the Labyrinth sends him to Delphi and Python, Apollo realizes that the maze is still as malevolent as ever and that it is simply acting subtler now.
The Labyrinth was originally built for Crete after the birth of the Minotaur after Pasiphaë had an affair with the Cretan Bull due to Minos not sacrificing it. Minos got this idea after consulting the Oracle of Delphi. In order to protect its secret, Minos imprisoned its inventor, Daedalus, inside but gave him his own workshop. Despite the warnings of Apollo, Daedalus gave the maze its own malevolent consciousness. Daedalus eventually flew out of the Labyrinth by making wings for him and his son, Icarus. Theseus managed to track through the Labyrinth using the string of Minos' daughter, Ariadne, and make it back after slaying the Minotaur.
Over time, the Labyrinth continued growing, spreading beyond even Daedalus' ability to control. Following the murder of Minos, Daedalus retreated back into the Labyrinth to hide and avoid death and the punishment that he knew was coming for him for his crimes.
Eventually, the Labyrinth moved to the United States of America along with the Olympian gods although it continued to extend all around the world. One entrance to the Labyrinth opened on Zeus' Fist in Camp Half-Blood where it was eventually found by Luke Castellan during his time at the camp. However, he was unable to navigate the Labyrinth and kept his discovery a secret.
While arguing with Annabeth Chase about killing the Minotaur, Percy Jackson remembers that there was only one in the stories and that it had been killed a long time ago by Theseus in the Labyrinth. Annabeth explains that the Minotaur is the same one that Theseus had killed in the Labyrinth as monsters eventually reform after being killed.
Clarisse was given a secret mission by Chiron to investigate the Labyrinth. Kronos had also been sending scouts ahead to find ways into camp through the Labyrinth, though with no success. However, all that Percy heard about Clarisse's absence is that she was on a "secret mission." During her time in the Labyrinth, Clarisse found Chris Rodriguez near her mother's house and eventually took him to camp after trying to heal him herself.
Nico di Angelo also found an entrance to the Labyrinth near Zeus' Fist. After running away from Camp Half-Blood into the woods, Percy and Annabeth followed him, but couldn't find him anywhere. This was because Nico had entered the Labyrinth, and had started being trained in using his Underworld abilities by King Minos.
As Olympus moved west, so did the Labyrinth. Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, Grover Underwood, Tyson, and Rachel Elizabeth Dare attempted to navigate through the Labyrinth, with varying degrees of success.
Entrances to the Labyrinth could be found all over the United States of America and were marked with a Delta (Δ), the symbol of Daedalus. In addition, the Labyrinth increased in size constantly. Its life force was connected to Daedalus, so when Daedalus died, the Labyrinth also collapsed.
The Labyrinth gained a mind of its own and eventually grew out of Daedalus' control, since it began to grow and expand on its own. When Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson tried to get some sleep, they could hear the walls shifting around them. The walls were also constructed of many different materials from stone to concrete. Annabeth incorrectly assumed that Daedalus' Workshop was in the center of the maze, the oldest part of the maze, but was actually surrounded by futuristic walls and doors.
Time in the labyrinth was impossible to tell since time inside did not correspond with outside time. When Percy and Annabeth fell into the labyrinth near Zeus' fist, they thought they were down there a few minutes, but they were actually missing for hours after the game ended. Once Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson found their way out of the maze after what seemed like only a few days, in reality two weeks had gone by, which caused Grover's deadline to find Pan already past. Distance was also distorted, as someone could walk around in the maze and exit almost anywhere. Percy and his group after entering the labyrinth in Texas, were able to exit at Mount Saint Helens in a very short amount of time with some help from Hephaestus' spider.
Two ways of navigating the maze are shown in the series, the first being Ariadne's String (invented by Daedalus and given to Theseus) and the second being with the help of a clear sighted mortal. Rachel Elizabeth Dare demonstrates this in by seeing a slight lighting in the floor guiding them to Daedalus' Workshop.
The Labyrinth was destroyed at Daedalus' death because it was tied to his life force.
While trekking through caves in search of the Athena Parthenos, Annabeth Chase can't help but feel that the caves are a part of the Labyrinth. Annabeth remembers that when Daedalus had died, the Labyrinth collapsed, but she wonders if that was only in America and this is an older version of the Labyrinth. Annabeth also considers the idea that the Labyrinth might be able to regenerate like monsters which would make sense as it is an archetypical force - something that could never really die. However, Annabeth decides not to dwell on the idea.
Pasiphaë remakes the Labyrinth or as she said "breathed life into the labyrinth." Daedalus is credited with the Labyrinth and it was believed that the Labyrinth collapsed during the Battle of the Labyrinth as Daedalus died, but Pasiphaë was alive and she awakened the Labyrinth once more saying that "it will spread under the skin of the earth once more." Pasiphaë traps Leo Valdez and Hazel Levesque in the Labyrinth, but Hazel manages to manipulate the Labyrinth to take them back to the sorceress who she then drops into a bottomless pit.
Later, discussing how to get Reyna back to Camp Half-Blood with the Athena Parthenos, Hazel suggests using the Labyrinth as an option since it can take you anywhere. Percy and Annabeth instantly shoot down the idea, remembering how dangerous the Labyrinth was when Daedalus was still alive and knowing that it could be worse now if Pasiphaë was able to remake it in the way that she wants. Annabeth also points out that the tunnels are too small for the statue to fit in them.
In order to give them an edge over Nike in her twisted version of the Olympic Games, Hazel raises part of the Labyrinth to the surface and manipulates it. Hazel uses her control over the Labyrinth to create an ever-shifting landscape successfully giving Frank, Percy and Leo a more level playing field. However, when Hazel is attacked by a Nikette and injured, her control over the Labyrinth is broken and it fades away around the demigods.
To Apollo's shock, Camp Half-Blood decides to hold the Three-Legged Death Race in the Labyrinth. Austin Lake explains that the Labyrinth reopened during the war with Gaea and the camp has been trying to map it ever since. Apollo finds the idea impossible and insane, calling the Labyrinth a malevolent sentient creation that can't be mapped or trusted. Austin insists that the Labyrinth has been different since Daedalus' death and that it feel so evil or deadly.
On the morning of the race, a test group sent through the Labyrinth ends up in Peru. When the race starts, the meadow where everyone is gathered simply opens up and dumps all of the participants into the Labyrinth. During his and Meg's trip through, Apollo senses what Austin means as the air seems fresher as if the maze hasn't been chewing up quite so many bodies, the walls don't radiate the same malignant heat and they aren't oozing blood or slime either. Apollo notes that in the old days, you couldn't take a step inside without sensing the Labyrinth's all-consuming desire: I will destroy your mind and your body. Now the Labyrinth gives off a sleepier, less virulent message: Hey, if you die in here, that's cool. Apollo complains to Meg about his attempts to warn Daedalus against giving the maze a malevolent consciousness.
After following a path with volcanic fumes, Apollo and Meg arrive in Delphi, the place that Apollo least wants to go. Hiding from Python, Apollo realizes that the Labyrinth is still evil and designed to kill, it is simply acting subtler now. After Meg snatches the golden apple from the cavern, the two witness Nero meet with Python after also using the Labyrinth to reach Delphi.
After Apollo and Meg nearly fall to their deaths, the Labyrinth saves them by dropping the two into a mound of garbage bags in a vegan bakery basement. The two reenter the Labyrinth, collect the last golden apple and emerge in the Camp Half-Blood woods.
After Meg spoke a prophecy to determine their next move, she and Apollo realize that the third emperor is in the American Southwest and they need to get there through the Labyrinth. Based on a line about a cloven guide, Meg summons a satyr to lead them through the Labyrinth and ends up summoning Grover Underwood.
Apollo and Meg have been traveling through the maze for two days with Grover Underwood as their guide. Grover recalls his previous journey through with Percy and Annabeth and warns that the Labyrinth has a mind of its own. They get attacked by Strixes along the way.
A few days later, after obtaining Caligula's Sandals, Grover, Meg, Crest and Apollo go into the Labyrinth to find and free Herophile. They find her, but are captured by Medea and her forces, but are soon saved by Piper and the Meliai and free Helios from his granddaughter‘s control.
Apollo and Meg's adventure in the Burning Maze is mentioned.
List of Rooms in the Labyrinth
This room has paintings of the Roman gods at a feast on one wall. There is a fountain that doesn't work in the middle and mosaic tiles all over. This is where Janus tried to make Annabeth choose the left or right door until Hera intervened and sent Janus away.
This classroom-like room is where the sphinx has her gameshow. There was a grading machine in the corner, but Tyson ripped it off and threw it at the sphinx. There were also skeletons on the walls, probably of her victims who lost.
This chamber looked like the bottom of a giant well. A narrow ramp spiraled up the side of the rough brick wall, at the top was a domed ceiling leading to the surface. According to Grover Underwood, the chamber wasn't originally there before, he suspected that the Labyrinth was helping them get to Aeithales.
Caligula asked Medea use her magic to collect the flaming essence of her grandfather, Helios, the original sun god who faded away, so he could become the new sun god. The fire inside the Labryrinth caused flames to pop up all over southern California resulting in natural disasters like wildfires and droughts. The heart of this Burning Maze is where Herophile was being held captive, she was chained on a rock over a pool of Helios' Ichor. Medea had to mix Apollo, whom Zeus turned human, into the ichor to complete the spell. But she died and Helios was returned to the ether of Chaos, this resulted in the maze's collapse.
List of Known Entrances
- Zeus' Fist (Camp Half-Blood, Long Island, Farm Rd, 3.141, NYC)
- Alcatraz (Briares' prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, California)
- Tartarus (in the depths of the Underworld)
- Triple G Ranch (somewhere in Texas)
- Mount Saint Helens (an active volcano in Washington State)
- Marriott Basement (a hotel in NYC mainly in Manhattan)
- Mount Tamalpais (the Titan Army base in San Francisco)
- Western Museum of Mining & Industry (somewhere off a highway in Colorado)
- Pan's Cave (Calderon Cavern in New Mexico)
- Antaeus' Arena
- Phoenix, Arizona (Near Clarisse La Rue's mother's house)
- The House of Hades
- Dilapidated shopping malls with only discount Halloween stores and questionable Chinese food buffets
- A manhole in Rome
- A clown camp near Buffalo, Minnesota
- A bathroom
- An area near Aeithales (temporary)
- Hall of Records at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles
- Bear pit in the Griffith Park Zoo