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Medusa is one of the Three Gorgons, sister of Stheno and Euryale. While they are all hideously ugly, Medusa is the only one among them with the power to petrify people with her gaze.


Pegasus, her son

Athena, the goddess who cursed her

Medusa was a daughter of Phorcys and Keto, and was once a priestess of Athena. Poseidon was bitter at Athena for recently turning his beloved Koroneis into a raven, so he decided to get back at her by becoming obsessed with the beautiful girl. Despite being warned about sea gods by her sisters, she was actually flattered that Poseidon liked her. He took her to a town's temple for Athena. As a result of the two getting romantic at the foot of the statue of her, the infuriated and disgusted Athena cursed Medusa, much to Poseidon's horror and dismay. The girl's hair was turned into serpents and any mortal who would look upon her gaze would turn to stone. Eventually, she ended up living in a cave far from civilization with just her sisters, Stheno and Euryale, the three were called the Gorgons. Medusa's sisters were eventually made immortal, though they do not have the power to turn people to stone like her.

Medusa had two children with Poseidon, Chrysaor, who was born from her neck, and another child, Pegasus. At first, these two children were trapped inside her after she was turned into a monster but were later born from her blood when Perseus beheaded her while the Gorgon was asleep. The hero would subsequently use Medusa's severed head to defeat Poseidon's ferocious sea monster saving his future wife, Andromeda, in the process.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The Lightning Thief

Posing as an old Middle Eastern lady named Aunty Em, Medusa lures people into her "Emporium" and then turns them into statues by making them look at her face, usually directly at her eyes. She wears a veil to hide her face and snake hair. She pretends to take a photo of her victims and lifts the veil to uncover her head, thus turning her victims to stone. Medusa turned many people and creatures into statues, including Grover's uncle.

At one point, Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, and Grover Underwood are lured into the shop by the smell of food during their Quest. Grover notices that a statue in the shop looks like his uncle, which arouses his suspicion as his uncle had been missing for a long time. Medusa feigns kindness, by giving them food and talking to them about her shop. She also mentions that her sisters are gone. (They faded because people forgot about them.). She then tries to get them to pose for a photograph and turn them into statues.

Grover realizes that the suspicious statue is indeed his uncle. Annabeth and Grover realize who Aunty Em really is. They try to convince Percy that they should leave. Percy, however falls for Medusa's kind words and refuses. A few minutes later, Percy realizes that "Em" sounded like the letter "M" which stood for Medusa.

At this point, Medusa reveals herself. It becomes too late to escape, so the trio decide to fight Medusa. After a brief struggle, Percy defeats Medusa by severing her head with Riptide, his celestial bronze sword, using a polished bronze ball as a mirror. He then sends the head, left behind as a spoil of war, to Olympus via the Hermes Express.

When Percy returns the Master Bolt to Zeus, Poseidon informs to expect a package when he returns home. Shortly thereafter, the package containing Medusa's head is dropped on Percy's bed and, understanding the god's intent, Percy offers to use it to get rid of his abusive stepfather Gabe Ugliano. Sally Jackson refuses, stating that she needs to find her own courage, but Percy nevertheless leaves Medusa's head with her. A week later, Percy receives a letter from Sally in which she reveals that she had used Medusa's head to turn Gabe into a statue which she sold as a sculpture called The Poker Player. From the sale, Sally was able to get enough money to start a new life and she ensures Percy that she has disposed of Medusa's head rather than use it again.

The Sea of Monsters

While in the cave on Polyphemus' Island, Percy runs past life-sized cement sheep that he recognizes as the work of Medusa.

The Last Olympian

However, Kronos uses Medusa's lair as his base in the Battle of Manhattan. While speaking to Ethan Nakamura, Kronos mentions that unfortunately for him, Medusa has not yet reformed since Percy had defeated her four years ago.

May Castellan is also shown to have a TY Beanie doll of her that she calls "Mrs. Medusa."

The Heroes of Olympus

The Son of Neptune

Medusa's sisters, Stheno and Euryale, try to chase down and kill Percy Jackson, the last person to kill Medusa who is mentioned to still be in Tartarus. One Gorgon even looks like her sister, Medusa. She is shown to be scared she would turn to stone by seeing her own reflection. The two become mad at Percy for believing that they can turn him to stone like their sister.

The Mark of Athena

When Chrysaor boards the Argo II, Percy notes that his accent seems familiar and wonders if they've ever met before. Annabeth explains that it seems familiar because they had killed Chrysaor's mother in New Jersey. Percy finally realizes that Medusa is Chrysaor's mother and he comments that it must suck for Chrysaor. Chrysaor explains that when Athena changed Medusa into a gorgon, her two children were trapped inside of her body unable to be born until Perseus cut off her head. When he did, Medusa's two children sprang out: Pegasus and Chrysaor. Percy questions why he's never heard of Chrysaor if he's Medusa's son and Chrysaor explains that because his brother is Pegasus, he tends to get forgotten.

The House of Hades

Annabeth feels that it would be better to look at Medusa's face than to see the horrors of the Mansion of Night.

The Trials of Apollo

The Dark Prophecy

Thalia Grace's shield is imprinted with the gruesome visage of Medusa. Apollo realizes that it's not the original as that would turn him to stone, but the replica is so good that it scares Commodus' Germani into cowering away.


Medusa is actually kind to Percy in The Lightning Thief in her own strange way. She wants him to stay with her forever by becoming a statue. Annabeth reveals that Medusa and Poseidon were former lovers (also mentioned in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods). Since Percy is Poseidon's son, Medusa does not want him to suffer. Yet, when Percy and his friends decide to fight her, she attacks him and gets killed in the process.

On the other hand, Medusa harbors a strong hatred against the family of Athena. Athena turned her into the fearsome monster she is. Medusa wants to turn Annabeth into a statue and destroy her, because she is a daughter of Athena. This way, she hopes to take revenge on Athena. However, she is unable to do so.

Poseidon, her former lover


As seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Medusa used to be a beautiful woman. After Athena cursed her, however, Medusa was transformed into a tall woman with slithering green vipers for hair (which gave off a nauseating "reptilian smell"), long hands with sharp brass talons, and bat-shaped wings of Imperial Gold.

According to Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, when Perseus encountered Medusa, she wore a simple white chiton. Her belly was swollen, as she was pregnant with Pegasus and Chrysaor. Her face had tusks like a wild boar's jutting from her mouth, Her lips were curled in a permanent sneer. Her eyes bulged, making her look vaguely amphibian. According to Perseus, her features were misshapen and disproportionate and made her look very grotesque. Hence, a reflection of Medusa's face was akin to an optical-illusion picture that makes observers dizzy and nauseous when stared at for too long, only "a thousand times worse." When she briefly awakened, Medusa shrieked "like an electrocuted jackal" while lunging at Perseus.

In The Lightning Thief, she wears a long black gown, and her face is a shimmering pale circle under her black veil. In disguise, her body looks normal, but once she takes the disguise off, she reveals she has green snakes instead of hair. She speaks in a Middle Eastern accent, which her son Chrysaor is seen to have inherited.


  • Gorgon Petrification: If someone looks into Medusa's eyes, they turn to stone. She is said to be petrify people due to her uglyness.
    • Post-Mortem Petrification: Her head can still be used to petrify people after it has been removed from her body.
  • Snake Hair: She can use the snakes in her hair as an offensive weapon.
  • Talons: Her hands turn into sharp claws that can tear through flesh.
  • Charmspeak: She has an extremely persuasive voice; she could slightly charmspeak.
  • Gorgon Blood Properties: As is the case with all Gorgons, blood from her right side can cure anything, but the blood from her left side is deadly, as it killed Phineas even when the Doors of Death were open and under Gaea's control.

Medusa and her statues.

As the child of two ocean dieties, it can be inferred that she may have or have had other powers.

Known Victims of Medusa

  • Ferdinand - He was enticed into Medusa's lair during his quest to find Pan.
  • Gabe Ugliano- After her head was cut off.
  • Hydra- In The Lightning Thief (film), Grover Underwood used the head of Medusa to turn the Hydra to stone at the Parthenon in Nashville.
  • Hysterical Woman and her husband - In The Lightning Thief (film), a woman was with Annabeth Chase when they first encountered Medusa. She opened her eyes and was turned to stone while holding Annabeth's hand. She also claimed that her husband was turned into stone before her.
  • In both the film and book versions of The Lightning Thief, Medusa's lair is filled with statues of people that had been turned to stone by Medusa. In the book, one of them is a girl holding an Easter egg basket.



Aegis is a bronze shield that has an imprinting of Medusa, given to Zeus by Athena as a gift. Thalia Grace owns a replica of this shield, which is activated by tapping a silver bracelet on her arm.


  • In mythology, Medusa was said to be the only mortal sister of the Gorgons, but in the series she is treated as a monster. Additionally, in some versions of her myth, she and Poseidon were not lovers, but Medusa was instead a victim of rape by Poseidon. Her curse was indeed set by Athena due to the act being committed in her temple, although few myths say this was so no man could ever look upon Medusa again so she would never suffer the same way as before.
  • Some depictions of Medusa describe her as half woman and half serpent, with her hair being a mass of poisonous snakes and having a long serpent's tail as the lower part of her body.
  • In the film, when Medusa is turning someone to stone her eyes glow a silver white color and her snakes hiss in unison at the victim.
  • According to The Son of Neptune, Medusa's mother says she is the most hideous one in the family, of the three Gorgons.
  • Medusa and her sister Stheno both have green snakes for hair while Euryale has coral snakes.
  • A group of living organisms belonging to the Cnidarian family are named Medusa, since they have tentacles hanging like the snakes in Medusa's hair.
  • Blind people, as well as immortals are immune to her curse.
  • The origin of Medusa in which she was cursed by Athena comes from Metamorphoses, written by the Roman poet Ovid.

See also

Species: Amphisbaena | Apollo's Cattle | Blemmyae | Basilisk | Carnivorous Sheep | Centaur | Cyclops | Cynocephali | Dragon | Drakon | Empousa | Eurynomos | Feather-Shooting Bird | Fire-Breathing Horse | Flesh-Eating Horse | Gegeines | Geminus | Giant Eagle | Giant Scorpion | Giant Snake | Ghoul | Gorgon | Gryphon | Harpy | Hellhound | Hippalektryon | Hippocampus | Hydra | Hyperborean Giant | Ichthyocentaur | Karpoi | Katobleps | Keres | Khromandae | Laistrygonian Giant | Leucrotae | Lycanthrope | Makhai | Merperson | Myrmekes | Nikai | Pandai | Pegasus | Pit Scorpion | Satyr | Scythian Dracaena | Sea Serpent | Siren | Strix | Stymphalian Birds | Tauri Sylvestres | Telekhine | Troglodyte | Unicorn | Vrykolakai | Yale
Friendly Monsters: Argus | Blackjack | Briares | Bombilo | Chiron | Cottus | Don | Ella | Festus | Gleeson Hedge | Gray | Grover Underwood | Guido | Gyges | Lysas | Mrs. O'Leary | Ophiotaurus | Peaches | Peleus | Porkpie | Rainbow | Scipio | Tyson | Tempest | Sssssarah
Enemy Monsters: Antaeus | Agrius and Oreius | Arachne | Cacus | Carthaginian Serpent | Charybdis and Scylla | Chimera | Chrysaor | Clazmonian Sow | Colchis Bulls | Echidna | Euryale | Geryon | Kampê | Karkinos | Kekrops | Lamia | Manticore | Medusa | Minotaur | Nemean Lion | Polyphemus | Python | Skolopendra | Sphinx | Stheno | Sun Dragons | Typhon | Trojan Sea Monster
Neutral Monsters: Cerberus | Erymanthian Boar | Gray Sisters | Furies | Ladon | Orthus | Sybaris