|“||Percy, I'm the Titan of forethought. I know what's going to happen.||”|
Prometheus is the Titan of crafty counsel, foresight, and forethought. He is known for giving humans the gift of fire. He is the son of Iapetus and Clymene, the twin brother of Epimetheus and the brother-in-law of Pandora.
Prometheus was the Titan of Forethought and Crafty Counsel, and apart of the second generation of Titans. He was born to Iapetus (the Titan of the West) and Clymene (an Oceanid). Prometheus was also the younger brother of Atlas (the Titan of Endurance), the twin brother of Epimetheus (the Titan of Afterthought), and the elder brother of Menoetius (the Titan of Rashness).
Unlike his brutal elder brother and careless twin brother, Prometheus was very sophisticated, and almost as intelligent as Kronos himself. During the "Golden Age", Prometheus made mankind out of clay, molding them after the Titans, but made them much smaller in size. Like most other Titans, Prometheus rarely visited his uncle Kronos on Mount Othrys, claiming to be too busy. Kronos, however, knew that the actual reason was Prometheus' secret fear of his uncle's might and infamous temper.
Unlike his brutal elder brother Atlas, Prometheus sided with the gods in the first Titanomachy because he could foresee that the Titans would lose. As a result, Prometheus was not imprisoned in Tartarus.
Years later, because of his meddling nature, Prometheus stole fire for humans, which greatly boosted their progress as a species. He had already deceived Zeus prior to then by making him choose the worst part of an ox and giving the best one to humanity. These two actions, (more the fire than the ox) infuriated Zeus, and as a punishment, Zeus had Prometheus chained up on a mountain and had a huge and ferocious vulture peck out his liver every day, and as Prometheus' immortal liver regrew every night, the cycle could continue. This could only be evaded if someone broke the chains or if Prometheus told Zeus which of his fellow gods would overthrow him.
During his journey to find the Garden of the Hesperides, Hercules arrived at the Caucasus, where he came across the imprisoned Prometheus; taking pity on him, Hercules shot down the eagle with one of his arrows and, with permission from his father, Zeus, set Prometheus free. Grateful for being freed, Prometheus advised Hercules on how to retrieve the apples; he was not to try to take them himself, but should instead approach Atlas and offer to take his burden while Atlas went to retrieve the apples.
Prometheus later revealed to Zeus that the Nereid Thetis, were she to ever conceive, would give birth to a son more powerful than his father. Zeus promptly ended his relationship with Thetis, and had her marry the mortal hero Peleus instead. As a result, the Nereid gave birth to the great demigod hero Achilles.
Prometheus is first mentioned by Hermes, when he meets Percy Jackson in the middle of the night. Hermes is interrupted from his chat with Percy by a phone call, describing Prometheus's state, as he had been chained to a rock with a vulture pecking at his liver, only to have it grow back again. Hermes says to the person on the other line, "Yes, I know that he is chained to a rock with a vulture pecking at his liver, but we cannot possibly locate his package without a tracking number."
In the Second Titan War, Prometheus joins Kronos in the battle against the gods, and is sent as a messenger by the Titans in an effort to persuade the demigod forces into surrendering. Claiming to have always been an ally of humanity, Prometheus tells Percy that he has foreseen their defeat, and asks them to give up their fight. He claims that the gods are just as petty, if not worse, than the Titans and that humanity would benefit from the victory of Kronos. To tempt Percy, he claims he has a new revelation that would carry humanity as far from its current point as fire brought them, but that under Zeus mankind would never be allowed to advanced that far. Percy declines, but Prometheus leaves behind Pandora's Jar, saying that should he change his mind, Percy would only need release Elpis, the spirit of hope who resided within the jar, to symbolically "give up hope" and show their surrender.
In battle, he fights for Kronos. Otherwise, he was neutral and works with the winning side. He is a part of the truce party when they confront Luke. When the Titans lost, Prometheus claims he is merely pretending to be on Kronos' side so as to minimize bloodshed (although it is probably because he wants to avoid punishment. This possibly shows that Percy and Luke Castellan were able to defy his thinking, or alternatively, the indignity of being tied up and having his regrowing liver eaten by a vulture every day impaired his judgement of the gods. It is even possible he did what he did as part of a grander scheme, possibly involving the future. More likely is that he rather calculated, then perceived the future (as he is the Titan of forethought but not necessarily foresight) so he probably joined the Titans because they had a higher chance of winning. Nevertheless, he goes into hiding and has sent a list of excuses for helping Kronos to the Big Three. Hermes states that if Prometheus knows what's good for him, he will not show his face for a few centuries.
Apollo mentions Prometheus when he gets an answer wrong regarding Hyacinthus. Meg McCaffrey chews him out saying that he made the flower. Apollo said that gods don't know everything about their creations, Prometheus doesn't know everything about humans despite creating them.
Prometheus is probably the most mysterious of the Titans, even when one compares him with the likes of Kronos. He is the Titan of Forethought, and thus his ability to see into the future and to anticipate impeding events makes him exceptionally enigmatic because other people do not see what he is anticipating. It can be assumed that, like all Titans especially the first-generation ones, he is arrogant and overconfident in his own powers, and the way he behaves it can be assumed that he has such weaknesses - he is almost lackadaisically relaxed all the time, even if one held the point of a blade to his throat, and he acts very casually when suggesting that Kronos, whom even Atlas and Hyperion are terrified of, has weaknesses, to his face.
This arrogance could be reinterpreted as a casual observation of what a person in the present has become, and simultaneously comparing him with what he will become - as the Titan of Forethought, he possibly anticipated the possibility of Kronos being defeated by Percy Jackson. Prometheus is highly intelligent and manipulative, but he is also somewhat sympathetic and compassionate outwardly: he offered Percy Jackson Pandora's pithos with the offer of giving up hope or continuing to fight to the death, and he also had a general liking for mankind because he bequeathed them with fire, even if the latter resulted in him being brutally punished by Zeus. He is capable of fear, in spite of his outwardly casual demeanour, as he sent a series of messages to Hermes after Kronos' final destruction that he was trying to reduce the number of casualties, in an attempt to soften the punishment.
In The Last Olympian Prometheus wears a tuxedo, is seven feet tall, wraps his hair around in a ponytail, and has multiple deep scars on his face (marks from Zeus' vultures) and torso. Hercules notes in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes that Prometheus is only half the size of his brother Atlas.
The full extent of Prometheus' abilities is unknown, though he presumably has the standard powers of a Titan.
- Intellect: In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Prometheus was described to be almost as clever as Kronos himself.
- Creation of Sentient Life-Forms: In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Prometheus was revealed to have created mankind, having sculpted them out of clay in the likeness of the Titans and breathed life into them.
- Clairvoyance: As the Titan of Forethought, Prometheus could see into the future at times. However, these events are merely possible and not set in place. During the Second Titan War, what he saw led him to believe that the War would end in defeat of the Olympian gods at the hands of Kronos and he joined forces with his uncle for this reason. However, the events that actually came to pass ended in the defeat of Kronos and the continued reign of the Olympians. His power differs from that of other characters that can see the future like Oracles in that he uses forethought rather than foresight, which is why his conclusions are not always accurate.
- A moon of Saturn is named after Prometheus.
- The element Promethium in the periodic table is named after Prometheus.
- Prometheus, and how he made humans out of clay, was what inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein, which is also called The Modern Prometheus.
- A minor plot hole in The Sea of Monsters is that when Hermes mentioned someone "chained to a rock with his liver being torn out" and "a gift for mankind", referencing Prometheus, despite the fact that he was rescued by Hercules millennia ago as shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes. It is, however, possible that Hermes might have been referring to someone else.
- Prometheus has an apparent phobia of vultures. When Percy mentioned them, Prometheus flinched and said to Percy that he would rather Percy not to mention vultures. This is because after Prometheus gave fire to mankind, Zeus chained him to a rock and sent out a ferocious vulture, Lyra, to rip out his liver everyday.
- Percy refers to him as "Tux-Dude" in The Last Olympian.
- Even though he is the Titan of forethought, he was unable to see Kronos lose, so it is possible he just joined Kronos for revenge.
- In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Prometheus is mentioned to be almost as intelligent as Kronos himself.
- His Norse counterpart is Loki.
- Ironically, both of them gave fire to humans and both were chained to a rock as punishment for a crime that they had committed.
- Interestingly, his son Deucalion married his cousin, Pyrrha, the daughter of Prometheus' twin brother, Epimetheus.