|“||Oh, go talk among yourselves. I don't care. Just remember that without my help, your quest will fail. And everyone you love in the world will die. Now off with you! Bring me a harpy!||”|
–Phineas in The Son of Neptune.
Phineas was a Roman demigod son of Neptune. He had the gift of prophecy and could see the past and the future. Ironically, he could not see the present as his blindness restricted him from seeing what was happening around him.
Phineas was a son of Neptune who lived in the city of Salmydessus on the Black Sea with his two children and his wife, until her death. Phineas was able to see the future, as he had the power of prophecy. He would tell people of things the gods were planning, causing Jupiter to become enraged. As punishment, Jupiter caused Phineas to become blind and placed him on an island with a buffet of food. However, whenever he would try to eat the food, harpies would swoop down and take the food from him. He was forced to face this punishment until Jason and the Argonauts arrived on his island and sent the Boreads after the harpies, but spared their lives as a favor to Iris, the rainbow goddess. In return for their deeds, Phineas told the Argonauts how to pass the Symplegades, rocks that would randomly crash together and kill anyone trying to get past them. The cause of his death was extreme hunger.
Phineas was brought back to life by Gaea. He chose to settle in Portland, Oregon. In contrast to his former life, Phineas was able to eat whatever he wanted, but the harpies that tormented him were cursed to only be able to eat the food from his table. Using a motor-powered weed hacker, he managed to starve the harpies into perpetual suffering because the Doors of Death were open and they could no longer die.
When Percy Jackson and his friends asked him for information, he told them that he would only give it to them in exchange for one of the harpies, Ella, whom he claimed was problematic. It was later revealed he wanted Ella because of how much she knew, and not because of the problems she caused.
Percy, feeling sympathetic for Ella, befriended her instead. In order to get the information, Percy made a deal with Phineas, the deal involving the both of them drinking from two bottles of Gorgon Blood. One bottle will kill the person that drinks it, while the other will cure any illness the person may have, including Phineas' blindness and Percy's amnesia. Phineas accepted the terms of the agreement. He wrote the information on a napkin and placed it in his robes so that he would still be able to give Percy the information he wanted even if he picked the wrong bottle. While he appeared to pick the right bottle at first (as his sight began to return while Percy began to experience pain), it was later revealed that Gaea influenced him to pick incorrectly. As Phineas slowly began to turn to dust, he tried to find and destroy the information in his robes to prevent Percy from receiving it. However, he died before he could succeed in the task. Moments before his death, he claimed that Percy would have a hard choice to make in the future and that he would make the wrong decision.
Phineas resented the gods for having the harpies take food from his table. He was shown to be very deceitful as when he tried to trick Percy, Hazel Levesque, and Frank Zhang into giving him Ella because she was "problematic" when he actually wanted her for how much she knew. His arrogance and foolishness was displayed when he gambled with his own life by drinking Gorgon blood, believing himself to be more important to Gaea than Percy Jackson.
Phineas was described as a fat, bald, old man with scars across his forehead and a rim of stringy white hair.
- Prophecy: Phineas had the ability to see into the future. This ability was limited only to major events, He was unable to see events of chance or coincidence.
- Hydrokinesis (possibly): As a son of Neptune, Phineas might have been able to manipulate water, like his half-brother Percy.
- Phineas is not be confused with a thief Perseus encountered with the same name.
- Vincent Martella made a guest appearance during the day of Olympian Week that Phineas was revealed to be in The Son of Neptune. Vincent Martella does the voice of the character Phineas Flynn from the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb.
- He was the only known descendant of Neptune or Poseidon to be able to predict the future accurately.
- In The Son of Neptune, Phineas called himself a son of Neptune. However, Ancient Greek literature lists his godly parent as Poseidon. This may be because he was in front of Roman demigods at the time, including Percy, who thought he was Roman at the time.
- Additionally Phineas was alive in the time of Jason and the Argonauts, centuries before Rome was even founded.
- Phineas' name means "oracle". This relates to Phineas' gift of the prophecy to see the past and future.