|“||Perhaps you feel for the Greeks as I felt for Artemis - a guilty fascination, an admiration that turns to love. But too much love is poison, especially when that love is not returned. If you do not understand that already, Reyna Ramirez-Arellano, you soon will.||”|
–Orion to Reyna
Orion is the giant son of Gaea born to oppose the twin archers, Apollo and Artemis. Unlike his siblings, Orion doesn't have dragon-like legs and is quite handsome, to the point that he could have passed as an extremely tall human.
Orion was a giant born to oppose Apollo and Artemis. Though not explicitly stated in the series, it is implied that Orion didn't participate in the First Giant War with his brothers, as he was still alive working for King Oinopion of Chios as the royal hunter. However, when Orion attempted to court the king's daughter Merope, Oinopian had him blinded and exiled from Chios.
After blindly stumbling around Greece, Orion eventually ran into Hephaestus, who sympathized with the giant's plight. He restored Orion's sight by creating mechanical eyes for him which were even better than his original ones.
After settling on the island of Delos, Orion met and befriended Artemis, who was impressed by his hunting skills so much that she allowed him to join the Hunters as the first-ever male. He knew his boundaries around the girls, and kept his distance at all times when necessary.
Soon, Orion's admiration for Artemis grew into love. Fearing that his sister would fall for the giant's charm and turn back on her vows of maidenhood, Apollo drove Orion insane with the urge to hunt every beast on earth. This was out of place with the Hunters' way of life, and it even drew the attention of the sleeping Gaea, Orion's mother. The earth protogenos summoned a Giant Scorpion to sting Orion, its poison finally putting an end to his life.
After searching for him, Artemis found Orion's lifeless body surrounded by dead critters. To honor her fallen friend, Artemis made a constellation of Orion with the giant scorpion nearby to immortalize his story for all eternity.
However, Orion eventually reformed from Tartarus centuries before the other Gigantes would return. Now on Gaea's side again, he rampaged across the mortal world for centuries. Zoë Nightshade would try to hunt him down and kill him again, but Orion always made sure to never be around at the same time as Artemis.
He was sent by Gaea to hunt down Nico di Angelo, Reyna Ramírez-Arellano, and Gleeson Hedge throughout their journey to restore the Athena Parthenos. He nearly captured them at several points, but they either Shadow Travel away before he had the chance, or were saved by allies (e.g., the Hunters of Artemis, the Amazons). He also killed countless numbers of Hunters and Amazons after they tried to ambush him, including Phoebe, who was with Artemis when Orion first lived. However, he was beaten up by the Amazons and Hunters, but escapes with his life. When Reyna is resting with the pegasi that are going to transport the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood, he shot Blackjack with an arrow, and shot an exploding arrow into the deck of the boat next to them. Reyna prepared to sacrifice herself and kill Orion. She threw her dagger and impaled him through the heart though the blow didn't kill him. She jumped on the exploding arrow, setting it off, hoping that her body would take the explosion and that the pegasi will be able to complete the journey. However, as her cloak was infused with the power of Athena, being part of Athena's Aegis, she only feels a slight nudge. Though Orion did not die, Reyna then jumped on Orion's back and strangled him with her blessed cloak, while Bellona, her mother, provided her extra strength. She then threw away his spoil of war, feeling that he deserved to be forgotten.
Reyna explains to Apollo and Meg McCaffrey that she knows Thalia Grace because they fought Orion together in Puerto Rico. Reyna mentions that both the Hunters of Artemis and the Amazons lost a lot of good women to Orion in the battle and the shared experience created a lasting friendship between Reyna and Thalia.
In The Blood of Olympus, Orion is a ten feet tall (the shortest of the giants), very muscular, and handsome giant, far handsomer than any of his giant brethren, to the point that Orion could have passed as an extremely tall and handsome human, since he is also the only giant without dragon-like or serpentine legs. Orion's skin is the color of wheat toast, while his dark hair is undercut, swept into spikes on top. Due to his bronze mechanical eyes, Orion appears to be wearing military night vision goggles, which are embedded in his eye sockets. As he regards a target, focusing rings on his eyes spin and click, while targeting lasers from them flash from red to green. According to Reyna, Orion can smile so dazzlingly that it can be hard to remember he is a ruthless enemy. He wears black leather breeches, a jerkin, with a hunting knife on his belt, and a black composite bow and quiver on his back, all of which make him look like "Robin Hood's evil, better-looking twin", according to Reyna.
After fighting with the Hunters and Amazons, however, Orion had mottled grey and pink scar tissue on his arms and face, so he looked like a "bruised peach in the process of rotting", while his left mechanical eye was damaged and dark. His hair had burned away, leaving only ragged patches. His nose was swollen and red from the bowstring that Nico had snapped in his face. Much to Reyna's dismay, however, Orion still had his smug smile, with his white teeth flashing in his ruined face.
His huge bow is described as being "almost as fancy as his eyes", with multiple strings running through a series of pulleys that look like miniature steam train wheels. The grip of his bow is polished celestial bronze, studded with dials and buttons.
- Prowess in Battle: Orion is an extremely powerful and skilled warrior, one of Gaea's most dangerous sons.
- Enhanced Strength: Orion has enhanced physical strength, and easily sent Hylla flying across a street by striking her with the butt of his massive bow.
- Archery: As the bane of both Apollo and Artemis, Orion is an extremely formidable archer, and the only known one whose skills rival those of the Olympian twin archers.
- Hunting: Orion is an extremely skilled hunter, rivaled only by Artemis herself. He was able to track Reyna, Nico and Hedge through the entire Atlantic Ocean and a majory of the east coast.
- Enhanced Vision: Orion's mechanical eyes offer him much better vision than his original eyes ever did, while their targeting lasers make his aim perfect. When he looked at Reyna, she got the uncomfortable impression that he was seeing much more than her form; her heat signature, her heart rate, and her level of fear.
- Water Walking: Orion had the extremely rare ability to walk on the surface of water without sinking, as seen when he approached Reyna in their final confrontation.
- Giant Invincibility: As a giant, Orion can only be killed by a god and demigod working together, and when he is harmed by anybody else, he heals at an accelerated rate. However, as seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Gaea managed to create a giant scorpion whose venom was lethal to Orion, ultimately leading to the giant's death though this could have been because Gaea was a protogenoi. In The Blood of Olympus, Orion is killed again by the combined efforts of Reyna, Bellona, and Athena.
- As the bane of both twin archers, Orion is the only giant to be the bane of two Olympians at once.
- Thus, it is possible that the aid of two gods is required for a demigod to kill Orion; when Reyna killed him, she was both empowered by her mother Bellona and wielded the Aegis infused with Athena's power.
- It is implied that the only reason Orion is as insane and hateful as he is, is because Apollo cursed him for falling in love with Artemis seeing as he never showed such behavior in the past. His time in Tartarus may have made this even worse.
- Orion was the first ever male Hunter of Artemis.
- Strangely, Orion's original death was caused by the hands of his own mother, Gaea. Even more odd is the fact that despite being a giant, he was killed by something other than a god and demigod working together (though Gaea may have specifically created the scorpion to be capable of killing Orion).
- In the myths, Orion is generally depicted as a son of Poseidon and gifted with the power to walk on water. Mythology tying him to Gaea, which Rick Riordan most likely drew upon, involved him being born from a oxhide Zeus, Poseidon and Hermes buried in the earth for ten days after urinating on it.
- Orion and his half-brother Hyperion are the only two characters who are not related to a sea deity to have the ability of walking on water without sinking.
- The Orion Constellation, one of the most recognizable constellations in the night sky, is named after Orion.
- The Maya refer to him as Ak'ek.
- While depicted as an antagonist in the series itself, it appears that Orion, like Damasen, chose not to fight the Gods in the first Giant War and that he only much later met Artemis.
- Percy Jackson's Greek Gods pg. 1172