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Ares   Mars    

Life of only precious because it ends, kid. Take it from a god. You mortals don't know how lucky your are.

–Mars to his son, Frank Zhang, in The Son of Neptune.

Mars is the Roman counterpart of Ares. As Mars, he becomes more disciplined and strategic 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 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 as the Romans thought that Mars looked like a blood spot in the sky.

Frank Zhang, his son


Mars is the god of war in Roman religion, born to Jupiter and Juno, and was one of the most widely respected and revered of all the Roman deities. He was father to Romulus, the founder-king of Rome, by Rhea Silvia, making him by extension a father of the Roman people, the Romans honoring him as Mars Pater ("Father Mars") and so styling themselves 'sons of Mars'. Mars also functioned as a god of the citizen-soldier who farmed his own land, thought to protect their crops and livestock from disease when they went into battle. This was unlike his Greek equivalent, Ares, who was largely disdained and viewed with contempt.

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, 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 an agricultural deity, he 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. Mars was also apart of the early Capitoline Triad (else called the Archaic Triad), along with Jupiter and Quirinus, the latter of whom had no Greek equivalent.


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.

The Heroes of Olympus

The Son of Neptune

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 a copy of The Art of War, a famous book on war strategies.

The Mark of Athena

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.

The House of Hades

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 Katobleps 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.

The Trials of Apollo

The Burning Maze

When talking about Palm Springs, Apollo says the landscape was only slightly more hospitable than the planet Mars, but adds that the Roman god wasn't much of a host either.


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.[1]


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 of the katobleps in Venice.
  • Forceful Transformation: As a reward for his son, Mars was able to transform a katobleps into a python for Triptolemus' use.

Known Children

Immortal Children


Venus Cupid, Timor, and Metus

Demigod Children


Emily Zhang Frank Zhang
Rhea Silvia Remus and Romulus
Unknown Julius


Ares, his Greek counterpart

  • Martes and Mardi, meaning Tuesday in Spanish and French respectively, were named after the him, as is the month of March (derived from the Latin Martius).
  • 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 the god Mars because of its orange-reddish color due the soil containing iron oxide (rust) particles.
  • The Roman historian and senator Tacitus associated Mars with the Norse god, Tyr.


The Heroes of Olympus
Core Series: The Lost Hero | The Son of Neptune | The Mark of Athena | The House of Hades | The Blood of Olympus
Main Characters: Jason Grace | Piper McLean | Leo Valdez | Percy Jackson | Frank Zhang | Hazel Levesque | Annabeth Chase | Reyna Ramírez-Arellano | Nico di Angelo | Gleeson Hedge
Secondary Characters: Hylla Ramírez-Arellano | Dakota | Tyson | Ella | Octavian | Halcyon Green | Dr. Howard Claymore | Alabaster C. Torrington | Lamia | Iapetus/Bob
Minor Characters: Rachel Elizabeth Dare | Grover Underwood | Thalia Grace | Fleecy | Mrs. O'Leary | Kinzie | Arion | Calypso | Lou Ellen Blackstone | Chiron | Will Solace | Tristan McLean | Don | Julia | Jacob | Michael Varus | Burly Black | Medea | Midas | Lityerses | Phineas | Otrera | Echo | Narcissus | Sciron | Pasiphaë
Olympian Gods: Zeus | Hera | Poseidon | Hades | Ares | Demeter | Athena | Apollo | Artemis | Hephaestus | Aphrodite | Hermes | Dionysus
Minor Gods: Achelous | Aeolus | Asclepius | Boreas | Eurus | Hecate | Iris | Hypnos | Keto | Khione | Kymopoleia | Mithras | Nemesis | Nike | Notus | Phorcys | Serapis | Thanatos | Triptolemus | Zephyros
Roman Gods: Jupiter | Juno | Neptune | Pluto | Mars | Minerva | Ceres | Lupa | Bellona | Fortuna | Janus | Terminus | Vulcan | Mercury | Apollo (Roman) | Diana | Venus | Bacchus | Pomona | Aquilon | Hercules | Cupid | Auster | Favonius | Letus | Victoria
Giants: Enceladus | Porphyrion | Alcyoneus | Polybotes | Ephialtes | Otis | Damasen | Clytius | Mimas | Orion | Hippolytos | Thoon | Periboia
Undead: Gray | Zombie
Primordial Gods: Gaea | Tartarus | Ourae | Nyx | Chaos | Ouranos | Akhlys | Hemera | Elpis | Spes
Monsters and Magical Creatures: Cynocephali | Gorgon | Gryphon | Harpy | Basilisk | Lycanthrope | Gegeines | Cyclops | Katobleps | Unicorn | Giant Eagle | Ichthyocentaur | Satyr/Faun | Storm Spirit | Laistrygonian Giant | Lares
Related Content: Rick Riordan | Haley Riordan | Percy Jackson and the Olympians | Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Ultimate Guide | The Demigod Files | The Demigod Diaries | The Son of Sobek | The Singer of Apollo | The Staff of Serapis | Percy Jackson's Greek Gods | Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes | The Crown of Ptolemy | Demigods & Magicians | Demigods of Olympus | Percy Jackson Demigod Collection