|“||I am the savior of Rome! I was promised!||”|
Octavian was a Roman legacy of Apollo and the Augur of Camp Jupiter. He was one out of several people to have the gift of prophecy. Octavian was also a centurion in the First Cohort. During the Siege of Camp Half-Blood, he dies after accidentally shooting himself out of an onager aimed towards Leo Valdez, who was making sure Gaea was destroyed, therefore helping to defeat her.
Octavian was a legacy, born into a family who are descended of the god Apollo who have been attending Camp Jupiter for a century.
Incredibly ambitious, Octavian rose though the ranks and eventually became the co-centurion of his cohort. He gained the position of Augur during this time as well. After the disappearance of Jason Grace, he began activity aiming at becoming praetor.
Reyna Ramírez-Arellano tells Hazel Levesque that after she questions Percy Jackson, she will send him to Octavian who will consult the Auguries and decide what to do with him after conferring. The first time Octavian meets Percy is at the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus while Octavian is performing an augury. Octavian uses stuffed animals for this, leading Percy to describe him as a "teddy bear murderer". Octavian then tears apart Percy's pillow pet. At this time, Octavian is blackmailing Hazel into voting for him in the upcoming election for the Praetor, what information Octavian had on Hazel is unknown.
During the war games, Octavian is defeated easily by Percy Jackson. Despite this, Frank Zhang suspects of killing Gwen. Frank notes that Octavian was the only one without a pilum, which was the weapon used to kill her from behind. Gwen returns from the dead, claiming that she saw a man who was asking for a coin to cross the River Styx, but she just turned and left. Frank pulls the pilum out and the wound heals automatically.
Mars appears on the field a moment later to issue a quest, saying that his son, Frank, will lead it. He also orders Percy to go for the quest to learn to have some respect for Mars. Octavian claims that they need a prophecy and states that he will go fetch his stuffed animals for one. Mars simply writes down a prophecy. The prophecy is extremely blunt and Octavian protests, declaring that prophecies must be wrapped in riddles. When Mars pulls a grenade from his belt and threatens him, Octavian quickly changes his tone and treats the order as an actual prophecy.
Octavian attends the Senate meeting discussing the quest, where he tries to convince the others not to provide Percy, Frank, and Hazel supplies on their trip, saying it is the traditional Roman way. He also tries to not let Hazel go on the quest as he claimed that since the Fifth Cohort was the worst cohort at that time, she considered to be unlucky. However, Reyna allows all three of them to go and for them to use the The Pax for their quest.
After the battle against the Giant Army, Percy is raised on a shield as the Roman campers chant "Praetor!", electing Percy to the position, much to the irritation and unhappiness of Octavian, who wanted to be praetor himself. At the Feast of Fortuna, he gives Percy his tattoo marking his first year of service to the legion. He later pronounces ill omens and that Camp Jupiter will have hard times, but will be saved by an unexpected hero.
At the senate meeting the following day, Percy informs all of Rome about the existence of Camp Half-Blood and that he is, in fact, a Greek. He also informs Rome of the imminent arrival of the Argo II, whose passengers were coming to help fight against Gaea. Octavian was one of Percy's fiercest opponents at the meeting, claiming that Greeks were Rome's enemies, and shouldn't be trusted. He demands that the Romans take military action against the Greeks, saying that they should destroy them before they have a chance to land. When Percy says that the Greeks are peaceful and that Jason Grace is on board, Octavian accuses him of lying. Percy then swears on his life that it is not a trick, and Octavian promises to hold him his word.
Once the ship comes into view, he says in a rage, that the omens are horrible and "Beware Greeks bearing gifts!". He points at Percy, accusing him of leading the Greeks to the camp. However, Reyna says that they will allow them to land and that they will meet them, but the Legion forces would stand by and be ready if it was a trick. After they agree to give the "Greeks" peace, Octavian walks out of the senate in disgust.
Octavian coldly greets the Greeks and Jason when they come off the Argo II. In effort to make some kind of peace, the Greeks and Romans sit for dinner. Octavian questions how relaxed the Romans could be with a warship flying over head, but his concerns are ignored. Over the course of the meal, the Greeks seemingly validate Octavian's mistrust of them. He is silenced multiple times, first with Piper using charmspeak, then when Percy wields his new found power as praetor. Percy offers to give back Jason his praetorship, calling it "no biggie," Octavian becomes outraged saying, "The praetorship of Rome is 'no biggie?'"
While talking about the quest, Ella says states the Mark of Athena prophecy. Octavain recognises it as a prophecy, however, Annabeth attempts to make him believe it is not one. The seven have Ella leave the conversation, out of concern for Octavian's intensions.
When Leo Valdez is possessed by an eidolon, he unwillingly attacks New Rome and Octavian is one of the first to retaliate. Having predicted the attack, he is quick to order return fire. The seven rush back to the Argo II, and quickly leave the chaos, causing the Romans to pursue them. In the wake of the attack, Octavian rallies the Romans, believing that the Greeks intended war, unware of Leo's possession.
In Charleston, the Romans find the seven thanks to their giant eagles' ability to sniff out demigods. Octavian confronts Annabeth, Piper, and Hazel, who attempt to explain Leo's possession. Unforunately, having been alerted to Piper's charmspeak, Octavian has blocked his ears and cannot hear them. Percy controls the water to trap Octavian in water, non-lethally, to stall him and the other few centurions with him.
Octavian accompanies Reyna during her meeting with Rachel Elizabeth Dare and Grover Underwood. It is later revealed that the building they met at is Nero's Tower. Octavian states the message is the only reason the two emissaries aren't dead. He insists Rachel and Grover be checked for weapons and demands that they surrender.
When Reyna hands him the letter that was sent from Annabeth Chase in Tartarus, Octavian is convinced that it is a "Greek trick". He tells Reyna that she is crazy for believing what the Greek said are true. He pleads with her not to go, despite the fact her departure would be advantageous to his pursuit of power.
He doubts that Rachel is the Oracle of Delphi. Rachel tells the Romans that Ella, the harpy, has read the Sibylline Books. Which proves to Octavian that Greeks are liars, as they previously said she couldn't speak prophecies. Octavian yells about how the Greeks always lie and that they "stole" the harpy. Reyna agrees to go to Greece to retrieve the Athena Parthenos. Octavian tells her that it's insanity and that the augur is in charge while she is gone which Reyna protests to. Once Reyna leaves, he tells the rest of the Roman officers that the legion is changing their plans.
Octavian is seen in a dream from Reyna inviting Bryce Lawrence, who had been expelled, back into the legion as a probatio in the Fifth Cohort. At this point, he holds the rank of Pontifex Maximus. He is then seen at the Roman base camp recruiting monsters and exiled legionnaires to attack Camp Half-Blood. Octavian says that he is preparing for the arrival of several onagers (obtained from the financial support of god-emperor Nero and the Triumvirate Holdings) and once they are ready he will attack.
Octavian sends Michael Kahale, Leila and Dakota to arrest Reyna. Reyna notes that such choices seem strange as the three are good-natured officers. Dakota and Leila betray Octavian, seeing Reyna as their true leader. Dakota and Leila then go about ruining Octavian's plans by attacking the monstruous allies Octavian has brought in.
During the battle, Octavian goes up to Nico di Angelo, Will Solace, Cecil Markowitz, and Lou Ellen Blackstone when they were seen and orders his monsters and troops to attack them. However, Nico easily defeated them with help of Will Solace. He tried to start the invasion on Camp Half-Blood by firing onagers at the camp but they had already been sabotaged by Cecil and missed instead. The Greek forces then arrive along with many dryads, and other nature spirits as well as Tyson and his Cyclopes. Reyna then returned the Athena Parthenos moments before Gaea awakes at the camp, bringing peace between the Romans and Greeks, while the monsters turn against the demigods.
After Gaea's awakening, Octavian decided to attack her instead. He attempts to fire an onager at Gaea who was being lifted into the sky by Festus and Leo. He is then confronted by Will and Nico who try to convince him not to fire, seeing that his robes are caught in the onager's mechaism. He says Apollo spoke to him himself, telling him that he would save Camp Jupiter. Due to his distressed mental state, it is unclear if Octavian is aware of his imminent demise. Michael Kahale then comes to him and guards Octavian. They say a farewell. The Augur then fires, sending the payload and himself flying towards Gaea and Leo Valdez, shrieking in horror and dying on impact. According to Leo, he heard a comet screaming like a little girl flying towards him, to his surprise and confusion.
Octavian was hailed as a hero, as his attack may have helped permanently defeat Gaea and save the world. However, the Seven are left wondering if it just killed Leo instead with Nico feeling particularly guilty, as he didn't prevent Octavian's death. He rewatched a video of what happened several times but couldn't tell where he hit. Fortunately for Leo, Festus managed to resurrect Leo by injecting him with the Physician's Cure shortly thereafter.
Rachel Elizabeth Dare mentions him when she discovered that the Triumvirate Holdings were the ones who supplied Octavian with those siege weapons, Apollo recalls that he dealt with the last triumvirate that included his son, the original Octavian.
Apollo states that after the death of Caesar Augustus, whom Apollo was proud of, his descendants became increasingly arrogant and unstable.
Apollo mentions Octavian during the funeral of Jason Grace, mentioning that he feels little to no sympathy for his late descendant. His position as augury has also not been filled. After the funerals for those who died during the Battle of San Francisco Bay, Reyna mentions she once considered him as a romantic partner, much to Apollo’s horror.
Octavian was an arrogant, jingoistic, condescending, machiavellian individual. Much like the Roman ideal, he was ambitious and followed the rules, at least on the surface. Unfortunately for any one who crossed him, Octavian was highly intelligent, callous, cunning, and manipulative. Octavian was deeply knowledgeable of Roman history, including the fact that the Greek demigods were once enemies of the Roman ones. At times, he is portrayed as a potential threat if one became enemies with him. Percy Jackson, however, is unimpressed by him.
Octavian seemed to want to protect Camp Jupiter and its legionaries. His plan of attack against the Greek camp notably involved no Roman demigod casulties. Octavian was willing to delay the attack in order for this specific plan to be used. Octavian demands respect towards his people's rules, traditions, and culture, though he is seen to be willing to adjust to new methods (such as using stuffed animals instead of real ones in his auguries). While Octavian has the same general bias against Greek demigods that the rest of the legion has, Octavian grows increasingly hostile towards them over the course of the books.
Octavian often has an air of desperation about him, raising his voice constantly, and reacts dramatically to situations. Most of the time he was able to insult others discretely. He is also, occasionally, able to win favor in the Senate, even over Reyna herself.
Octavian was also shown to be ruthless, perhaps even sadistic, as he did his best to painfully burn Percy when giving him his SPQR tattoo. Octavian seemed to value cruelty in others too, since he allied himself with the infamously brutal Bryce Lawrence, and also wanted Nico di Angelo as an ally, since he claimed to see a decent amount of ruthlessness in the son of Hades, which Octavian greatly appreciated.
In The Blood of Olympus, Octavian is shown as narrow-minded, arrogant, and downright foolish, as even the gods (mainly Apollo) condemn him and his actions. He disobeys Reyna's orders and recruits disloyal mercenaries and demigods of doubtful and malicious character. His rage towards the Greeks and rash actions ultimately lead him to his horrific death.
Throughout the series, Octavian's mental health significantly deteriorates, culminating in the final battle. At this point, Octavian appears to have gone completely insane and was beyond any and all reason at the time of his death. The rising of Gaea, his failure to destroy the Greeks in time, the return of Reyna with the Athena Parthenos pushing him over the edge into complete madness. During his final confrontation with Nico and Will, his laugh is stated to be "brittle and quite insane". Octavian takes the storm caused by Jason as a sign from the gods that he's doing the right thing and declares everyone who is not supporting him to all be traitors. That being said, some of Octavian's words seem to indicate he knows of his imminent death and that he believes that he needs to attack Gaea in order to become a hero.
Octavian was a skinny 18-year-old youth with blond hair, crazed blue eyes, and skin as pale as Nico's. Octavian's usual attire consisted of a white toga over a blue shirt and jeans or cargo pants. It is also mentioned that Octavian reminded Percy of someone, which means he could most likely be referring to Luke Castellan. He often held a ceremonial knife and stuffed animal on hand. His tattoo was composed of a lyre, the symbol of his ancestor Apollo, with SPQR inscribed above seven lines which represented seven years meaning that he had been attending Camp Jupiter since he was 11.
When he appointed himself Pontifex Maximus in The Blood of Olympus, Octavian donned Imperial Gold armor and jewelry, along with flowing purple robes. According to Nico, Octavian looks like a watered-down, unhealthy version of Will Solace – like a photo that had been copied too many times, without anything in him that makes a child of Apollo special.
- ADHD: Like most demigods and legacies, Octavian possesses inborn supernatural battle reflexes and senses that he uses to analyze the fighting style of his opponent.
- Oratory Skills: Octavian is a very skilled orator (something even Percy himself acknowledges in The Son of Neptune), effectively using words to achieve his goals. Most of the time he is able to insult others discretely, which is how Octavian is occasionally able to win favor in the council, even over Reyna herself at times. One of the very few characters to surpass Octavian in oratory skills is Nero.
- Fighting Skills: As the Centurion of the First Cohort, Octavian has some combat skill, but he was effortlessly defeated by Percy during the war games in The Son of Neptune and was described by many to not look like the fighting type.
As stated in The Hidden Oracle, Octavian and Apollo has several conversations prior to the events of The Heroes of Olympus. About a year before The Blood of Olympus, Apollo agreed to support Octavian and granted him his blessing. However, Apollo later rescinded his support when Octavian chose to pursue war over peace. Later, Apollo is distressed by and disgusted with Octavian, referring to him in the objective term, "that thing," which indicates his complete depersonalization from Octavian, in effect, disowning him.
In The Tyrant's Tomb, Apollo is shown to have little to no sympathy for Octavian's demise and continues to be disgusted by him.
Hazel openly hates Octavian due to his manipulative nature. Octavian tries to get her to vote for him so he could become the new Praetor by dropping a few hints that he knows about her past and that she was dead once, claiming that it would be horrible if the rumors about her turned out to be true.
Octavian strongly disliked the son of Poseidon, and the feeling is mutual. He didn’t trust Percy because he is a child of the Greek gods, as opposed to the Romans, thinking that the Greeks are working with the forces of Gaea. He is also upset when Percy is elected praetor over himself. When the two first met, he sliced open Percy's panda pillow pet, much to Percy's dismay because he had grown fond of it. Percy also quickly understands how powerful and domineering Octavian can be with his words.Octavian shows his hatred of Percy after the latter tells everyone not to attack the Greek demigods when they land, but he still tries to rally them to attack. Percy utterly detests Octavian for his power hungry ambitions and schemes against Greeks. Percy enjoys using his superior rank of Praetor to silence him on at least one occasion.
While the two never seem to spend much time together, it is clear that Octavian believes Reyna is not a good or fit leader. He often complains about Reyna not allowing a quest to find a book of prophecies (the Sibylline Books) that he is obsessed with. He also feels that she has let a power vacuum form during Jason's absence. He manages to make any unfavorable decision (such as making Frank a centurion) seem like it was all Reyna's idea and he is only following orders. Whenever Reyna makes a decision he approves of, he tries to make it seem like it was all his idea.
In The House of Hades, Octavian scoffs at Reyna's quest to Greece and directly disobeys her orders to not attack Camp Half-Blood. Reyna is shown to be annoyed with Octavian and she and Frank joke that their first act as co-praetor will be to launch Octavian out of a catapult.
In The Blood of Olympus, he no longer recognizes Reyna as praetor because she broke the law of entering the Mediterranean region and because she threatens his new power.In The Tyrant's Tomb, Reyna mentions to an utterly horrified Apollo that she had once considered Octavian for a possible romantic partner.
As seen in The Son of Neptune, Octavian, much like most others at Camp Jupiter, thinks of Nico as just a somewhat creepy traveling outcast, considering the Ambassador of Pluto to be as harmless as a Faun. However, Octavian does grow suspicious when Nico seems to know about Alcyoneus in the meeting.By The Blood of Olympus, Nico comes to absolutely despise the self-proclaimed Pontifex Maximus (to the point that his throat "constricted with hate" while just thinking about Octavian), and even considers personally assassinating Octavian without any qualms. Nico notes how different Octavian is from his love interest Will Solace, despite them both being a descendant of Apollo and describes the former as looking like a watered-down, unhealthy version of Will, without anything in him that makes a child of Apollo special. Octavian, on the other hand, seems to have finally come to appreciate what a powerful ally Nico could potentially be for him, as he claims to see a decent amount of ruthlessness in the son of Hades, which he also greatly appreciates. Hence, Octavian promptly attempts to sway the son of Hades to his side, arguing that the Greeks hadn't ever actually done anything for the former. Octavian claims that he can beat any offer the Greeks might have given Nico, and assures him a place in New Rome in return for Nico siding with him and allowing the Romans to win. Nico, however, doesn't even consider the offer, declines right away, and promptly tells all of the assembled demigods to listen to what Reyna has to say, just as she arrives with the Athena Parthenos in tow. Nico is later present when Octavian intends to shoot an onager at Gaea, and clearly sees that doing so will result in Octavian's death. However, it is at that moment that Nico recalls what his father Hades had told him, about some deaths that cannot and should not be prevented, and Nico needing to act when the time comes. Hence, for the first time, Nico decides to trust the wisdom of his father, and stops Will Solace (who stares at him in disbelief) from trying to prevent Octavian's plan, and subsequently witnesses the augur's horrific fiery demise, along with the death of Leo and destruction of Gaea. While Nico isn't at all saddened by Octavian's death, he is very guilt-ridden, since Nico feels that him choosing not to prevent Octavian's death unnecessarily cost Leo his life, something that he is unable to forgive himself for. Nico is also horrified of Will now possibly thinking of him as a monster for letting Octavian die, but is extremely relieved to learn of that not being the case.
- In The Blood of Olympus Octavian dies by launching himself with an onager, which is similar to a catapult, which is a bit of dramatic irony, as in The House of Hades, Frank said that their first order of business should be launching Octavian away in a catapult.
- If Apollo is to be trusted, he saved the world by helping to defeat Gaea.
- In The Son of Neptune, Hazel notes that Octavian's family has been sending recruits to Camp Jupiter for over a century.
- Octavian is one of the names of Caesar Augustus, the first Roman emperor and a member of the second Triumvirate. According to him, everyone says he bears a remarkable resemblance to Augustus. Octavian states Augustus is his namesake and later says that he is a descendant of the emperor himself.
- His name could also be derived from Octabus, Latin for eighth.
- Octavian hoped to make Nico di Angelo, son of the Greek god Hades his ally, which is very ironic, considering his hatred towards Greek demigods and the fact that Pluto isn't a popular Roman god.
- The Ancient Romans used the entrails from sacrificed animals to determine the advisability of any chosen endeavor and event just as Octavian does with stuffed animals. As a ritual before meeting the oracle, the ancient Greeks did as well.
- Octavian is obsessed with the Sibylline Books and, potentially, with the idea of controlling the future as he states, "We will rule the future" in The Blood of Olympus.
- Although it is never stated how many generations Octavian is from Apollo, his family has been at Camp Jupiter for over a century, so he is at least fourth-generation.
- Despite earlier texts naming Octavian as a legacy of Apollo, Rachel Elizabeth Dare calls him a son of Apollo.
- Despite Octavian being a legacy of Apollo, Percy states he looks familiar and many have theorised this is a reference to Luke Castellan, son of Hermes.
- In spite of being a legacy of Apollo, Octavian seems to favor violence and is quite bloodthirsty, a common trait of Ares/Mars' demigod children.
- Despite the fact Octavian is referred to as an Augur, Augury is the ancient practice of divination through watching birds and the heavens. A diviner who foretells the future through the entrails of animals is properly referred to as a haruspex.
- The ancient Roman figure Octavian supposedly broke off Alexander the Great's nose from his mummy and stole his signet ring.
- Octavian bears an slight resemblance to Luke Castellan as both have blonde hair and blue eyes, both oppose Percy Jackson, and both struck the final, killing blow against the main antagonist of their respective series which killed themselves in the process. Though unlike Octavian, Luke redeems himself by sacrificing himself to defeat Kronos and makes peace with Percy before he died. Octavian's sacrifice was unintentional.
- Octavian has certain similarities with Star Wars character Borsk Fey'lya:
- He is a brilliant orator, who is adept at manipulating events to his favor.
- Both believed that the current leader of their government was less than perfect (Reyna Ramírez-Arellano Mon Mothma)
- Both made a selfish grab for power, dividing their people when they should have been united against a common foe (Gaea, Thrawn).
- Both were given advice by a onetime leader of their people that they ignored. (Octavian was advised by Praetor Percy Jackson to ally with the Greeks, Fey'lya was warned by former President Leia Organa Solo about the impending Yuuzhan Vong invasion.)
- Both are known for spreading discord about a particular group of people (Greeks, humans).
- Both had rivals that were wrongly accused of treason (Demigods of the Prophecy of Seven, Gial Ackbar)
- Both held the title of Senator.
- Both threateningly warned one of their colleagues that they were close to committing treason before they undertook a particular task (Octavian before Reyna departed for Greece, Fey'lya before Elegos A'Kla aided Leia in her fact-finding mission about the Yuuzhan Vong).
- Both held high-ranking positions in a new form of an old government (New Rome to the Roman Empire, the New Republic to the Galactic Republic)
- Both have been recognized as dangerous enemies by those who are supposed to be their allies.
- Both are selfish and power-hungry leaders, but also charismatic.
- Both also died in an explosion. However, Fey'lya redeemed himself by sacrificing his life to save lives; Octavian did not.
- Octavian is the first character that might be considered a villain in the three Camp Half-Blood series to be a legacy of Apollo and a skilled orator (the second being Nero). While Octavian is straightforward and discreetly insulting, Nero is far more sly, composed, and persuasive with his words.