|“||I’m the god of Rome, child. I am the god of military might used for a righteous cause. I protect the legions. I am happy to crush my enemies underfoot, but I don’t fight without reason. I don’t want war without end.||”|
Mars is the Roman counterpart of Ares. As Mars, he becomes more disciplined as well as even more militaristic and warlike, which is shown by his focus on martial victory rather than sheer conflict. While the Greeks envisioned Ares as a brutal and fearsome being, one who relished conflict, the Romans viewed Mars as a guardian, one who brought honor and strength in battle and was considered to be the greatest of the gods after Jupiter. The planet Mars was named after him. They named the planet after him as the Romans thought that Mars looked like a blood spot in the sky.
Mars is the god of war, and one of the most respected and revered gods of the Roman pantheon. He is the son of Jupiter and Juno. According to some sources, Mars is the father of Romulus and Remus by the Vestal Rhea Silvia. Because he was the father of these legendary founders of Rome, and thus of the Roman people, the Romans honored him as Mars Pater ("Father Mars"), often styling themselves 'sons of Mars'.
The fiercest and most ravenous creatures were consecrated to Mars: the horse, for his vigor; the wolf, for his rapacity and quickness of sight; the dog, for his vigilance; and he delighted in the pyre, the cock, and the vulture. He was the reputed enemy of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and arts because in times of war they are trampled on, without respect, as well as learning and justice.
As the god who strode with a warlike step to the battlefield, he was called Mars Gradivus (from gradus meaning "step"), it being popularly believed by the Romans that he himself marched before them to battle, and acted as their invisible protector. As the presiding deity over agriculture, his name was styled Sylvanus, whilst in his character as guardian of the state, he bore the name Quirinus. To commemorate a victory, Mars Victor ("the victorious") received a sacrificial offering of a bull (taurus). His characterization as Mars Ultor ("the Avenger") was relatively new compared to the others; the cult was created by Augustus (the first Roman Emperor) and was centered in the Temple of Mars Ultor, located in Augustus' personal forum. In his days as an agricultural deity, Mars was apart of the early Capitoline Triad (otherwise known as the Archaic Triad), along with Jupiter and Quirinus, the latter of whom had no Greek equivalent.
Unlike Ares, Mars always had a commanding presence among the Roman forces. Countless soldiers stormed into battle chanting his name, and more often than not, they emerged victorious.
Ancient monuments represent this deity as of unusual stature, armed with a helmet, shield, and spear, sometimes naked, sometimes in a military habit; sometimes with a beard, and sometimes without. He is often described riding in a chariot, drawn by furious horses, completely armed, and extending his spear with one hand, while, with the other, he grasps a sword imbued with blood.
Mars appeared after the War Games to claim Frank Zhang in person, and to give him the quest to go to Alaska and free Thanatos, the god of death. He also includes Percy Jackson in the quest, saying Percy needed to learn respect for him. He appears to be different from Ares, because he only likes war if it is for a reason, and disliked endless carnage, something Ares appears to thrive on. He also appears to be more of a strategist, as seen when he gives Frank "The Art of War", a famous book on war strategies.
After a possessed Leo Valdez fired on New Rome, Frank was plagued by voices from the two aspects of his father: Mars and Ares. Mars continually demands that Leo pay for treason against Rome, urging Frank to kill the son of Hephaestus.
It is revealed that as soon as the fighting had broken out in Camp Jupiter, the two war god's voices would continuously yell in Frank's head. Ares and Mars would continuously yell at each other and only agreed on few things like killing Leo and Triptolemus. To save Hazel and Nico di Angelo Frank asked his father for a snake to repair Triptolemus' chariot. The gods refused, claiming Frank needed to show he was worthy of the god's favor. Frank decided to rid Venice of the Katoblepones to earn the snake.
After Frank defeated all the katoblepones in Venice, Mars appears claiming Frank's act of bravery brought peace to both of his forms for a short period of time. He gives Frank a Burmese python then tells him to hurry back to his friends. Shortly after departing Mars suffers a terrible headache due to his greek half is fighting for control and explodes in a red mushroom cloud.
Mars has a flat-top hair cut. His face is covered with knife scars and he wears night-vision goggles that glow from the inside or sunglasses to cover his flame filled sockets. Mars wears military uniforms of various countries, he keeps things simple and sports whichever one best suits the occasion.
While Ares is trying to take control over Mars, he was seen briefly wearing a toga with a sword then a biker's jacket and jeans with a rocket launcher. Neither god of war has a very flattering haircut.
Mars despises war without reason and fighting with skill alone. He uses strategy in battle and urges his children to do the same. He is more mature than his Greek form and has a sense of honor. He is a rather informal and to-the-point kind of deity, preferring to do away with formal speech and wastes no one's time with his presence any longer than he has to.
Due to his extremely long life, he envies the lives of mortals, being able to die as opposed to his status as an immortal Olympian god. He believes that the brevity of human life is what makes it special, a lesson that he passes onto his son, Frank Zhang. He tells the young warrior that the little time he and other mortals have is what makes each decision special, exciting almost. Having seen millennia of death and suffering, Mars values life and strives to protect those he cares about despite the constraints he has on him as a god, and therefore he has been forced to watch for far too long as the mortal lovers he's had and his demigod children have passed away. He also respects the laws of death and encourages his son to let his grandmother die on her own terms. He deeply cared about Frank's mother, Emily Zhang, and respected both her and her mother as fellow warriors, showing some of his little-seen compassionate and caring side.
As a son of Jupiter, Mars is a very powerful god, even more so than his Greek counterpart, as he becomes more disciplined and militaristic, to the point that he was one of the most important and respected of the gods of the Roman pantheon, even more so than Neptune and Minerva themselves, second only to Jupiter himself.
- Warfare: Mars is an expert in all areas of warfare.
- War Manipulation: As the God of War, Mars has the power to influence all forms of conflict including mental, physical, spiritual and conceptual ones, regardless of the area and numbers involved, control how they progress and draw power both from the conflict alone as well as the dying. Mars is naturally, extremely skilled in all form of fighting, weapons and both strategy and tactics as well as statistics of war. Mars can start conflicts by influencing people or events, rise personal and fanatical armies, control and create weapons of every kind and even grant others extensive abilities of combat. Mars has the incredible power to invoke war and chaos within an enormously large radius, ranging from a city to an entire continent. With this power, he has full control over the city or continent that is in war and chaos at the time.
- Telumkinesis: As the god of war, Mars has a great amount of control over weapons.
- He can conjure and use any weapon. He knows everything about a weapon when he sees it.
- He boasts that his physical strength is infinite.
- He can place curses on weapons.
- He can disarm his opponents.
- Odikinesis: Mars has control over feelings and emotions of war (such as hate and rage), and frequently induces them in order to start fights.
- Pyrokinesis (limited): Mars is shown to have some control over fire, especially whenever he makes his appearances. It is unknown to what extent he can control fire.
- Necromancy (limited): The losing side of each war has to give Mars a fraction of their dead.
- Mars' Blessing: Mars' blessing gives the person blessed near invulnerability. He gives his blessing to people who show tactics and leadership than just sole battle skills. He bestowed this blessing onto his son Frank in The House of Hades, when he killed all the katobleps in Venice.
- Martes and Mardi, meaning Tuesday in Spanish and French respectively, were named after the god of war.
- In The Son of Neptune, Mars claims that he can't recall his fight with Percy as Ares, yet he later recounts Percy's being told his fatal flaw by Athena, something only Ares could have overheard. It is possible, however, that he knows this merely because he's a God of War, making fatal flaws his business.
- The planet Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. It has been named after Mars, the god, because of its blood-red color and Mars being the god of war.
- The month of March (from Latin Martius) is named after him.
- A Roman historian and senator, Tacitus, associated Mars with the Norse god Tyr.