|“||Enough now. You fought well. You should be proud. Now you can relax.||”|
–Python to Apollo as he tries to kill the mortal god during their fight in The Tower of Nero.
Python was a monstrous earth-dragon sent to guard the Oracle of Delphi. He was later slain by the Olympian god Apollo, who remade Python's former home and the Oracle, the most famous in Ancient Greece, as his own. After being brought back by Gaea, he is destroyed for good by Apollo who casts Python into the Sea of Chaos.
After Apollo was born, he avenged his mother by slaying Python, shooting him with a volley of arrows, and then taking control of the Delphic oracle, who was named Pythia in honor of the beast.
Python is mentioned as having been revived by Gaea to once again oppose Apollo. Python's recapture of Delphi is named as one of Apollo's many failures in the Second Gigantomachy. However, it couldn't completely be blamed on Apollo as he was out of commission at that time, with his Roman and Greek counterparts clashing.
While traveling inside the Labyrinth, Apollo, who was turned into a human and Meg McCaffrey overhear a conversation between Python and Nero about the capture of other oracles. The earth-dragon has joined the Triumvirate Holdings, their plan is to control the oracles so they can control fate. Python tells Nero he must burn the Grove of Dodona as it is the only oracle they can't control due to being too ancient. Apollo theorizes he will become a god again once he redefeats the monster.
Apollo has a dream where Nero and Python are once again talking at Delphi. Python cannot believe that Apollo is still alive, he saw Commodus as a fool who only cares about spectacle, but Nero insists that he will die as soon as Caligula gets the former god's power, Meg will also return to them. Python was thinking about changing his mind about his promise to back Nero if Caligula's plan succeeds, the Grove of Dodona is under control of Camp Half-Blood, the Cave of Trophonius has been destroyed, and Camp Jupiter has been warned of an attack on the new moon by Caligula. Nero promises he will hold up his end of the bargain if he holds up his, Python responds saying that the next few days should be very instructive.
Apollo learns from a prophecy he must ascend to the tower of Nero and eventually face Python.
As Nero is defeated, his lifeforce is pulled out him and downwards and Nero warns that Apollo has given Python his victory. After regaining consciousness, Apollo begins preparing for his final showdown with Python with Rachel Elizabeth Dare agreeing, stating that Python is growing stronger by the second. Apollo's friends help him prepare for the showdown.
Apollo climbs down Nero's Tower and makes his way to Python's lair in Delphi where he finds the monster just in time to watch Python absorb the last remnants of Nero's power. Apollo attacks, but his arrow misses Python's head. Python simply laughs at Apollo, stating that while he hasn't yet finished digesting Nero's power, what he has digested will have to do. As Apollo faces off against him, Python is only amused, particularly when Apollo's second arrow hits him in the face, skittering across his left eyelid. As Python brags, Apollo hits him in the throat with a third shot, but it doesn't pierce the skin though it hits with sufficient force to cause Python to gag.
As Apollo moves around the cavern, Python changes his form into a giant Komodo dragon. Python breathes in the spirit of the Oracle of Delphi and begins reciting a prophecy that starts with "Apollo will fall." Unwilling to hear anymore, Apollo fires his fourth arrow, piercing the monster's hide above his new right leg and breaking Python's concentration. Enraged that Apollo would dare to interrupt a prophecy, Python charges towards him and tries to bite Apollo who manages to somersault out of the way in time. Python relentlessly attacks Apollo whose fifth arrow is broken while dodging the attacks. As he attacks, Python gloats about the interrupted prophecy, believing that it means Apollo can't win. Apollo uses Python's body to cross a fissure, but the monster spouts more appendages, injuring Apollo's leg and causing him to drop his bow into the fissure.
Apollo, weakened by the effort and the poison in Python's claws, manages to squeeze himself into a fissure in the wall and draw the Arrow of Dodona. As the monster bellows that he can smell Apollo's blood, the arrow tells Apollo that it's almost time and dodges Apollo's questions about what the arrow means. Realizing that he is between his godly and mortal states at the moment, Apollo decides to face Python and stop hiding. Armed with the arrow and his ukulele, Apollo charges Python and attacks the monster with the musical instrument, ultimately shattering it after only just a few blows. Having had enough, Python wraps Apollo in his coils and begins hypnotizing him so that Apollo won't fight any longer as Python kills him. However, Apollo is able to snap out of it and continues trying to attack, causing Python to tighten his grip on the former god and comment on how annoying Apollo is.
Python continues crushing Apollo and is only amused by his further attempts at an attack. However, the arrow instructs Apollo to use it against Python who brings his head in close to savor Apollo's final whimpers. The arrow finishes Python's prophecy, "Apollo must fall, but Apollo must rise again" and Apollo jabs it into Python's eye, causing the monster enormous agony and allowing Apollo to escape his grip. As the serpent writhes in pain, Apollo draws his attention, grabs Python's tail, and drags him into the largest crevasse in the cavern. Falling, the two continue their fight, unable to escape one another with some force bringing them back together like marriage bonds whenever they drift apart. The two eventually fall into the River Styx in Hades where Apollo hangs onto Python who is weakened by the power of the river and prevents him from escaping it. The river sweeps Apollo and Python into Tartarus before they eventually reach the edge of the Sea of Chaos itself.
Immediately, the power of Chaos begins tearing apart Apollo and Python, causing them to begin crumbling and greatly reducing Python's size. Even half-blind and with Chaos tearing them both apart, the monster refuses to give up the fight and charges Apollo again. Python bites Apollo at the waist barrels forward, intent on pushing Apollo into oblivion. Apollo manages to maneuver himself so that Python falls over first, leaving both dangling over the Sea of Chaos. Channeling all of his strength into his grip, Apollo repeatedly knees the monster in the mouth, eventually cracking his lower jaw and causing Python to let go. Python falls into the Sea of Chaos where Python is destroyed, bursting into a cloud of purple fizz. After a visit from Styx causes Apollo to finally understand his lesson, Apollo's godly status is restored and he is able to climb to safety.
Two weeks after the battle when Apollo regains consciousness again, Zeus reports to the other Olympians that it appears that Apollo's fix is permanent: Python is truly gone, the Oracles are freed and the Fates are once more able to spin their thread without encumbrance. Apollo is shocked to learn that Python was so powerful that he was able to able to interfere with the Fates' weaving as well which had horrifying implications as it means that Python could've ended or extended lives as he saw fit. Realizing that Zeus wasn't able to see what had happened at the edge of Chaos, Apollo confirms that Python has been destroyed and the Oracles restored. Zeus is satisfied and welcomes Apollo back to godhood and his throne. Later, Rachel confirms that Python's destruction has restored her ability to give out prophecies again.
Pythons is extremely astute and clever, as when he refused to wage war against Olympus during the Second Gigantomachy, instead preferring to hide in the shadows, waiting for an opportunity to attack the gods.
As Apollo's nemesis, Python is extremely powerful. In fact, Apollo himself admitted he needed to use all his strength and divine power to defeat the monster, and even after Python's defeat, fear of the serpent still haunts the Olympian god. After his resurrection by Gaea, Python is shown to be able to absorb the power of the Triumvirate when they are killed, making himself more powerful each time. After Python's destruction, Python is revealed to have been so powerful that his poison was influencing the threads of the Fates which could've potentially given Python the power to end or prolong lives at his will. Python is also shown to be able to shapeshift while he has grown wings, turned into a komodo dragon, and sprout claws and heads from his body.
- His name has been used as scientific names for a family and genus of snakes: Pythonidae and Python respectively.
- The Oracle of Delphi was named Pythia in honor of him.
- Python is to Apollo, what Apophis is to Ra the Egyptian god of the sun.