Leto is the Titaness of Motherhood and Demurity. She is the Protector of the Youth. Her Roman counterpart is Latona.
Leto was born from Koios and Phoebe, the First Oracle of Delphi. As the Titan Protector of the Young, Leto became the "world's first babysitter". She was very popular with all the Titans since she would help them babysit their children.
Birth of Apollo and Artemis
Like all the Titanesses, Leto didn't want to marry her cousin Zeus since he swallowed her previous wife, her cousin Metis. However, after he married his sister Hera, Zeus came to fall in love with Leto, who was charmed her into having an affair with him, which concluded with her becoming pregnant with twins. When Hera found out, the Queen of Olympus cast a curse: no land with roots in the earth could receive Leto when it was time for her to give birth, and yet Leto could only give birth on land.
Due to this curse, Leto was driven from land to land, but unable to find a place to rest and give birth. While trying to consult the Oracle of Delphi for advice, she caught the attention of Python and barely escaped. Leto found refuge on the floating island of Delos with her sister and niece and convinced the inhabitants to let her give birth there. With the help of almost all the goddesses (except Hera), Leto first delivered Artemis, who helped her deliver Apollo after several days.
Leto came to establish a reputation that she was a personage to be treated with all reverence, for no one could behave inappropriately towards her without incurring the wrath of her powerful children. When she was traveling to Delphi to visit her son, the giant Tityos attempted to abduct her, but Apollo intervened and slew him with arrows and even ensured that Tityos' soul was tormented for all eternity as punishment. When Queen Niobe of Thebes slightly slandered Leto by claiming that she was better than the Titaness for she had fourteen children (seven sons and seven daughters) while Leto only had two, the indignant Apollo and Artemis slew all of Niobe's children, with the exception of the youngest daughter.
Leto was mentioned by her father, Koios, to Iapetus in Tartarus. He claimed that his daughter would likely fight for vengeance alongside the Titans after the way Zeus treated her even after she bore him two fine twins. It is implied in the same book that Leto was forced to reform at some point, as her father Koios stated that peaceful titans take longer to reform, hence why Iapetus hadn't seen her in a very long time. The exact reason, point in time, or ramifications of this aren't clear.
Leto was mentioned by Apollo. He told Leo the story of his and Artemis' birth and that Hera made every nature spirit turn her mother away so she couldn't give birth anywhere.
Her son Apollo mentions her frequently throughout the book. He recalls that she used to call him 'a special snowflake'.
After Apollo drinks from the two springs of memory and forgetfulness to prepare for his trip into the cave of the Dark Oracle, he begins hallucinating and one of his visions is of Leto kneeling and pleading with Zeus to end Apollo's punishment and allow him to return to Olympus. However, Zeus refuses and says that his real test is yet to come.
In The Dark Prophecy, Leto was described to have bronze arms and long golden hair that zigzagged down her back in an elaborate ladder weave. Her skin glowed against her white sundress.
Leto presumably possesses the standard powers of a Titaness.
- Motherhood: As the Titaness of Motherhood, Leto has divine authority and absolute control over fertility.
- Reproduction Manipulation: She has the power to manipulate and control the process in which parents produce offspring. Her children belonged to a new divine race, more powerful than she was.
- Archery: Like her brother Lelantos, Leto is well renowned for her archery skills, a trait her children inherited, though they far surpass her own.
- Titanic Divine Form: As a Titaness, Leto has the ability to incinerate any being lesser than a god/Titan only by being present.
- Titanic Energy: Like all Titans, Leto has the ability to blast things hundreds of yards away from herself with a yell or a wave of the hand.
- Enhanced Durability: Despite being heavily pregnant, Leto managed to travel for many months and escape from powerful monsters like Python.