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I enjoy tearing down the proud and powerful, and there are none who deserve tearing down like Gaea and her giants. Still, I must warn you that I will not suffer undeserved success. Good luck is a sham. The wheel of fortune is a Ponzi scheme. True success requires sacrifice.

–Nemesis to Leo and Hazel, in The Mark of Athena

Nemesis (Greek: Νέμεσις) is the Greek goddess of retribution, vengeance, balance, and justice. Her Roman counterpart is also called Nemesis for revenge does not change from Greek to Roman myths, as revenge is universal, though she may also be equated with Invidia.[1]

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The Battle of the Labyrinth

Although she was not seen in the series, she is the mother of Ethan Nakamura. Ethan tells Percy Jackson who his mother was right before swearing allegiance to Kronos and supplying the last piece to revive him. He tells Percy that he lost his eye shortly after learning who his mother was, saying that he found out what the meaning of the proverb, "An eye for an eye" the hard way. Later, Dionysus mentions that several of the minor Gods are joining the Titans during the Second Olympian War, including Nemesis.

The Last Olympian

While Ethan joins Prometheus in a peaceful talk with Percy Jackson, he claims that he and his mother are not respected. Percy calls Nemesis the goddess of revenge and wonders why she deserves respect, but Ethan tells him that she is also the goddess of balance as she causes the downfall of people with too much good luck. He also tells Percy that Nemesis took his eye as payment for he would one day bring respect to the minor gods. While Ethan saw an eye as a small price to pay, Percy does not see Nemesis as a loving mother for taking her child's eye.

Later, as Kronos starts to destroy the thrones of the gods in Olympus, Percy reminds Ethan that his mother was the goddess of balance and that total destruction is in fact, not balance. This convinces Ethan to turn away from Kronos, and attack the titan but he is eventually killed when Kronos tosses him off Olympus for betraying him. However, just like Nemesis promised, Ethan was able to bring respect to the minor gods by giving Percy the inspiration to ask for this change instead. Nemesis is one of the gods to receive a cabin at Camp Half-Blood .

The Heroes of Olympus

The Mark of Athena

Nemesis appears in The Mark of Athena on the same island as Narcissus, Echo, and Narcissus's fan club. Leo and Hazel find her opening fortune cookies and changing the fortunes from optimistic to pessimistic (although she does leave alone the fortunes which she believes are enough). Leo initially perceives her as his Aunt Rosa, while Hazel sees her as her former teacher, Mrs. Leer; each is someone the demigod in question hated. Nemesis reveals that, after Leo bombed New Rome with the Argo II, the gods of Olympus blamed Hera for the budding civil war between the demigods, causing the goddess to flee from Olympus. Nemesis states that because of this, they can expect no help from Hera, and instead, offers her aid to Leo and Hazel, as she considers it her duty to tear down the proud and powerful, and she counts Gaea and the giants as the worst of that category.

Nemesis tells Hazel that she must save Nico by July 1 at the latest, and informs Leo that he will soon face a problem he can not solve. Nemesis offers him her help, though she warns that it will come with a painful cost. She gives Leo a fortune cookie, stating that when he opens it, he will have the answer to his problem. With that, she sends the two demigods off to find Narcissus and Echo.

Later, in Rome, Leo finally breaks open his fortune cookie to find the code to unlocking an Archimedes Sphere (though Nemesis is apparently irritated that he used the cookie to find a code). Though he successfully activates the sphere and saves Frank and Hazel from the eidolons, Leo is wracked with guilt shortly after when Percy and Annabeth fall into Tartarus, believing that the loss of the two demigods was the price he had to pay for rescuing his two companions earlier. He then keeps Nemesis' word, telling her he will defeat Gaea and the giants as the rest of the Seven and Nico di Angelo set sail for the the House of Hades.

The Trials of Apollo

The Hidden Oracle

Nemesis is mentioned to be the mother of Damien White.

Personality

Nemesis always pays her debts, good or evil.

Ethan, to Percy

Nemesis is seen as a cold and even cruel goddess whose ruthlessness is not exempt from even her own children as shown when she took her son's eye as part of their deal. However, Nemesis does have a strong sense of honor as exemplified when she swore to her son that he would gain recognition from this same agreement. She enjoys tearing down the proud and powerful. Overall, she appears to be both fair and intense.

Appearance

Nemesis has short, curly black hair. She wears a red jacket, black jeans, black boots, and carries a whip as well as owning a motorcycle.

Much like Aphrodite, who appears as someone the viewer loves, Nemesis will appear as someone the viewer wants to take revenge on. For example, when he met Leo, Leo thought she looked like Aunt Rosa, one he wanted to take revenge on. This means that she will always look different to different people. Even if the observer sees this person, Nemesis' clothes do not change and Nemesis herself does not seem to know who she is perceived as.

Attributes

  • A scale : Symbolizes the balance that Nemesis brings.
  • The Wheel: Symbolizes the rapidity with which Nemesis executed justice. It also represents the wheel of fortune.
  • The rudder, balance and cubrit: The emblems of the manner in which Nemesis guided, weighed and measured all human events and her ability to steer lives in two directions.
  • The whip or sword: The symbol of the whip or sword represents the right of Nemesis to 'give what is due'.
  • The swan: The animal that she transformed to in order to escape Zeus‘ romantic advances.

Abilities

  • She has the standard powers of a goddess. However, as her powers were able to affect even the Gods, in some fashion, it can be stated that is considerably more powerful then her status as a non-Olympian suggest much as her brothers Thanatos and Hypnos.
  • Retribution Manipulation: As the goddess of retribution, Nemesis is able to control and manipulate retribution.
  • Venegance Manipulation: As the goddess of vengeance, Nemesis is able to control and manipulate vengeance.
  • Tychokinesis: As the goddess of balance, she will provide bad luck to anyone with too much good luck. She may also be able to provide good luck to anyone with too much bad luck.
  • Justice Manipulation: As the goddess of justice, Nemesis is able control and manipulate justice. No one seems to be immune to this, as her powers were able to effect even the Olympians, as it was the deal she made with her son Ethan that shifted the war and finally revived Kronos and made the Demigods recognized as she promised.
  • She can apparently tell someone their destiny as long as she receives adequate payment in return, as she told Ethan he would bring the minor gods respect in exchange for his eye.
  • Punishment Manipulation: Nemesis can create and manipulate punishments, controlling the severity of punishment, chancing the type of punishment from any action or even punish actions which usually result in rewards such as when she punished Narcissus.

Known Children

Relationship

Ethan Nakamura

Nemesis never claimed Ethan so Ethan end up get stuck in the Hermes' Cabin, similar to what happened with many other demigods at Camp Half-Blood.

At some point, Ethan met Nemesis one day, and she promised that he would one day balance the world's power, in exchange for his left eye. She took his left eye and he wore an eye patch over it.

Trivia

  • The word "Nemesis" is now often used as a term to describe one's worst enemy, normally someone or something that is the exact opposite of oneself but is also somehow similar.
  • Nemesis is also called the goddess of balance, she makes sure no man has too much good in his life to prevent hubris.
  • Ironically, Grover mentions in The Lightning Thief that Nemesis as the "God of Revenge" may be a possibility for Percy's parentage instead of one of the Big Three.
  • In The Last Olympian, Nemesis's symbol is a set of scales, as seen on Ethan Nakamura's burial shroud. In The Mark of Athena, Leo says a broken wheel is also her symbol, as it is in her cabin at Camp Half-Blood.
  • On Rick Riordan's website, Nemesis is said to be sisters with the Roman form of Tyche, Fortuna. Whether this is true only for the series or if Rick Riordan made a mistake is unknown.
  • It is odd that Ethan's burial shroud had scales under crossed swords when Nemesis is sometimes pictured with a whip in one hand and scales in the other.
  • The woman depicted on the New York state flag, holding the scales and sword, is believed to be based on Nemesis. However, it is Dike the goddess of Moral Justice, or in some cases Dike's mother Themis.
  • A statue of Nemesis or Dike's mother, Themis, is sometimes seen in courts of law to represent the balance of justice.
  • Despite Invidia being Nemesis' Roman form, she herself states that she is called Nemesis in both Rome and Greece as revenge is universal.
  • Her Roman name, Invidia, is Latin for Envy, one of the seven deadly sins.
  • Her Norse equivalent is either Vidar or Forseti.
  • According to mythology, Zeus once fell madly in love with Nemesis but she avoided his advances by turning into a goose.
  • Other legends tell that as a result of her union with Zeus assuming the form of a swan while Nemesis was in the guise of a goose. She laid an egg from which Helen of Troy hatched.
  • Nemesis is associated with hubris, which might mean that her children have this as their fatal flaw.
  • She played a part in the story of Echo and Narcissus.
  • A festival named after her called Nemeseia was held at Athens in Ancient Greece. It involved torch races.
  • Her name's origins, nemêsis and nemô, mean "dispenser of dues."
  • Her Egyptian equivalent is Ma'at.

Gallery

References

  1. The Mark of Athena, chapter 6.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Core Series: The Lightning Thief | The Sea of Monsters | The Titan's Curse | The Battle of the Labyrinth | The Last Olympian
Main Characters: Percy Jackson | Grover Underwood | Annabeth Chase | Tyson | Clarisse La Rue | Thalia Grace | Nico di Angelo | Chiron | Luke Castellan | Rachel Elizabeth Dare
Minor Characters: Travis Stoll | Connor Stoll | Mrs. O'Leary | Silena Beauregard | Charles Beckendorf | Sally Jackson | Paul Blofis | Blackjack | Zoë Nightshade | Bianca di Angelo | Juniper | Michael Yew | Ethan Nakamura
Olympian Gods: Zeus | Hera | Poseidon | Demeter | Ares | Athena | Apollo | Artemis | Hephaestus | Aphrodite | Hermes | Dionysus | Hades | Hestia
Minor Gods: Amphitrite | Ariadne | Hecate | Iris | Janus | Morpheus | Nemesis | Pan | Persephone | Triton
Titans: Kronos | Atlas | Calypso | Iapetus | Krios | Hyperion | Oceanus | Prometheus
Related Content: Rick Riordan | The Lightning Thief (film) | The Sea of Monster (film) | The Demigod Files | Demigods and Monsters | The Ultimate Guide | The Heroes of Olympus
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 | Iapetus/Bob
Minor Characters: Rachel Elizabeth Dare | Grover Underwood | Thalia Grace | Fleecy | Mrs. O'Leary | Arion | Calypso | Lou Ellen Blackstone | Chiron | Will Solace | Tristan McLean | Don
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 | Pomona | Aquilon | Hercules | Cupid | Auster | Favonius | Letus | Victoria | Orcus
Giants: Enceladus | Porphyrion | Alcyoneus | Polybotes | Ephialtes | Otis | Damasen | Clytius | Mimas | Orion | Hippolytus | Thoon | Periboia
Undead: Medea | Midas | Lityerses | Gray | Phineas | Otrera | Echo | Narcissus | Sciron | Pasiphaë
Primordial Gods: Gaea | Tartarus | Ourae | Nyx | Chaos | Ouranos | Akhlys | Erebos | Hemera | Elpis | Spes
Related Content: Rick Riordan | Percy Jackson and the Olympians | Demigods and Monsters | 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
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