|“||All my customers are. Never six feet exactly. So inconsiderate. And then they complain about the fitting.||”|
–Procrustius to Percy about his “customers” in The Lightning Thief.
Procrustes (also known as Prokoptas, Damastes, or Crusty) was a rogue smith and bandit from Attica.
Procrustes was a son of Poseidon with a stronghold on Mount Korydallos, on the sacred way between Athens and Eleusis. There, he had an iron bed in which he invited every passer-by to spend the night, and he killed everyone by stretching them if they were too short and chopping off the extras if they were too tall. Procrustes continued his reign of terror until he was captured by Theseus, traveling to Athens along the sacred way, who "fitted" Procrustes to his own bed.
Revived, Procrustes is the owner of a mattress store in Los Angeles, going by the name "Crusty". He is also called "The Stretcher" due to his unfortunate tendency to tie travelers to a special bed and stretch the victims until they are exactly six feet so they fit in his home made water beds. (The victims would be killed because of their separated vertebrae.) For his stretching habit, all of the beds are rigged to snare anyone who lies down on them with ropes and extend them to exactly six feet. If they are over six feet, the excess is chopped off by Procrustes with a double bladed brass axe.
Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, and Grover Underwood encounter Procrustes while searching for the gate to the Underworld. He seems to be kind, although frightening in appearance, and invites them to hide from several gang members in his store. The monstrous salesman tricks both Annabeth and Grover to lay on mattresses, thereby trapping them, but Percy remains free and convinces Procrustes to lie down himself. Once the snares have been triggered, Percy releases his friends and cuts Procrustes down to size with Riptide, thereby killing him.
Tim Aas was originally going to play Procrustes in the film. However, his part was changed to one of the janitors in the Parthenon replica. Procrustes turns out to not even be in the movie because of the role change.
Procrustes is seven feet tall, with absolutely no hair and gray leathery skin, thick eyes, and a cold reptilian smile with tar-tar yellow teeth. He wore a silk paisley shirt which unbuttoned halfway down revealing his hairless chest, a velvet jacket with lapels as wide and landing strips and many silver chains around his neck. He looked like a raptor in a leisure suit.
In Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, Procrustes also wore a apron that stained with his victims' blood. His gray leathery skin and lack of hair made Theseus almost mistake him for Sciron's pet turtle, Molly.
- In most myths, Procrustes was not a giant.
- Procrustes, Theseus and Percy are all half-brothers, since their father is Poseidon.