|“||Everyone has ghosts, deaths that you regret.||”|
–Melinoe, to Percy in The Sword of Hades.
Melinoe is the Greek goddess of ghosts, nightmares and funerary rites (often confused with Hecate and Angelos). She wanders the earth every night with a train of ghosts who scare anyone in their path. She is the daughter of Persephone although her father is not confirmed.
The Sword of Hades
Melinoe became dissatisfied with Hades's rule over the Underworld and the fact she cannot haunt the mortals of the human world by day. She opted for Kronos to rule, as she was promised that she would be able to haunt people whenever she wanted.
Melinoe shows the demigod Ethan Nakamura the way out of the Underworld after he stole the unfinished Sword of Hades with the intention of resurrecting many of the Titans from Tartarus. On the appearance of Percy Jackson, Thalia Grace, and Nico di Angelo, she takes on the form of the latter's mothers to confuse and torture them. However, she didn't fool Percy, who breaks the illusion. He swings at her with his sword and she dodges, only to be hit by Thalia with an arrow. She then vanishes into the Mist.
Melinoe is a goddess of frightening appearance. Her left side is black and hardened like a mummy, while her right side is pale and chalky as if she were drained of all her blood. Her eyes are empty black voids. She wears a golden dress and a golden shawl.
Seeing her true form is unlikely, as Melinoe can appear as whoever she wants. The illusion is so strong that even when normal, her immediate victims still see her as the ghost.
Melinoe has the standard powers of a goddess. She is considered to be a minor goddess.
- Necromancy: As the Goddess of Ghosts and Necromancy, Melinoe has divine authority and absolute control over the dead, though to a somewhat lesser extent than Hades, but bigger when it comes to ghosts. She is more comfortable using the dead than Hades, therefore exploring this power to a greater extent; as he would use mindless skeletons and she would use ghosts.
- Emotional Shapeshifting: When she hunts people in their nightmares or if a person directly confronts her, Melinoe can take on the appearance of the dead people in a person's life. She uses guilt and anger from the person as an advantage in battle. She has been known to transform into Beryl Grace and Maria di Angelo while she confronted Thalia Grace and Nico di Angelo, respectively. As a goddess she can obviously turn into anyone.
- Nightmare Manipulation: Melinoe has divine control over nightmares and making others' phobias come true.
- Mist Control: Melinoe can manipulate the Mist to transport herself to other places instantly.
- Umbrakinesis (limited): Melinoe has some control over darkness but not fully since she is not a goddess who has divine authority over it like Hades.
Her name means "Dark Thought" in Greek. It can also mean "Propitated-Minded", possibly referring to her funerary aspect.
- Melione's actions are said to be the reason why dogs bark at nothing at night.
- Though it is unknown exactly who Melinoe's father is, it is important to note that the Orphics believed that Hades/Pluto and Zeus were the same god. This is because Zeus was portrayed as having an incarnation in the underworld identifying him as being Hades, leading to Zeus and Hades essentially being two representations and different facets of the same god and extended divine power.
- The Orphic Hymn to Melinoe references this by mentioning that Persephone was impregnated upon the bed of Zeus Kronion in the Underworld by the River Cocytus. The idea of defining Zeus as Hades has been present in Ancient Greek literature from Homer to Nonnos. Hence, the Orphics stating Zeus Kronion impregnating Persephone in the form of Plouton, was just a reference to Hades having a role that links him to being both Zeus and Plouton in the Orphic Mysteries.
- Although Nico calls himself the Ghost King, Melinoe is actually the legitimate Ghost Queen.
- Melinoe's appearance is similar to the Norse goddess Hel since one-half of their body is withered and the other half is pale. They also share scope as an Underworld goddess.
- She and Babi, the Egyptian god of Baboons, are wandering Underworld deities disseminating negative emotions at night, although her Egyptian counterpart is probably Nephthys.
- She would often, alongside Hecate, be called upon during necromantic rituals; as they both rule over them.
- Her name means "Dark Thought" in Greek
- Virgin Mother Goddesses Of Antiquity by Marguerite Rigoglioso (2010), Palgrave Macmillan Publishing, ISBN:978-1-349-38159-3
“MELINOE.” MELINOE - Greek Goddess of Ghosts, www.theoi.com/Khthonios/Melinoe.html.