Anaklusmos (Greek for Riptide) is the prized sword of Percy Jackson that is made of Celestial Bronze, a material that is only deadly to gods, demigods, magicians, Titans, Giants, and monsters. It does not affect mortals, as it just passes through them harmlessly. The sword is a medium length xiphos (a Greek one-handed double edged sword).
According to Chiron, Riptide was forged in the fires of Mount Etna and cooled in the River Lethe. Riptide was formerly owned and used by Hercules, Zoë and Pleione. The sword's dormant form was originally Zoë's hair clip, which she gave to Hercules to help him fight Ladon. Riptide draws its power from the ocean, which is why it works well for ocean spirits and children of Poseidon like Percy. Hercules did not give Zoë any credit for bypassing Ladon, leaving her to face the wrath of her father and sisters alone. This betrayal was the basis for her later hatred of male demigods, and the reason why she joined the Hunters of Artemis.
Riptide is only wielded by a certain few in the series; Percy (its current owner) uses it as his main weapon; Hercules used it to defeat the dragon, Ladon and Chiron possessed it at Yancy Academy before he gave it to Percy. Chiron also hinted that the sword has had other owners, as he claimed it had a long and tragic history.
Percy is first given Riptide to defeat the Fury, Alecto, who was disguised as Percy's pre-algebra teacher in his school. After the battle however, Chiron, disguised as a teacher called Mr. Brunner, takes it back and tells Percy to bring his own writing utensil next time, trying to convince Percy into thinking the fight never happened. Then, just before Percy leaves for his quest, Chiron gives it to him, saying that the sword has "a long and tragic past." Chiron also shows Percy that Riptide/Anaklusmos can never be lost and will always reappear in his pocket. Percy has used the sword ever since against monsters and whoever else he's battled.
Percy has a dream that shows Zoë Nightshade giving her hair clip, which turns into Riptide, to Hercules. Chiron tells Percy the sword has a tragic history, which includes Hercules leaving Zoë to the wrath of her family, who are Atlas' daughters and Zoë's sisters, the Hesperides. This action of Hercules led to her dislike of all male heroes. During the fight with Atlas, Riptide becomes incredibly heavy and Percy is unable to use it. He then remembers Ares' curse, that his weapon would fail him when he needed it most. Percy couldn't defend himself and instead holds up the sky to allow Artemis to fight Atlas.
Due to the line "The hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap" in the Great Prophecy, Percy thought that the mentioned blade was his own sword, due to Ares placing a curse on Riptide - to fail Percy in his time of need, which it did during his battle with Atlas. The cursed blade turned out to be Annabeth's Knife, which had been given to her by Luke. It was cursed because Luke had broken his promise and betrayed his friends.
Between the Series
Percy uses the sword to trick the Celedon to get surprised and turn into a bird.
Percy wakes up with Riptide at the Wolf House. He is said to have used it to try to kill the Gorgons, but they stayed alive. Reyna says that they used to have a few Celestial Bronze weapons in the armory at Camp Jupiter. Frank Zhang describes it as leaf-bladed with Greek writing on the hilt. For a short time upon entering New Rome, it was taken care of by Terminus, who was able to keep it from returning to Percy's pocket, but how he did so is unknown. Riptide is used as a light, both in the war games and when they first see the army heading toward Camp Jupiter. Riptide almost got frozen on Thanatos's chains until Frank helped Percy pull it free.
It is revealed that, when touching the handle of the sword with a cap, Riptide can transform into working ballpoint pen with ink glowing like Celestial Bronze. Annabeth uses this to write a letter and send it to Camp Half-Blood
Unsure what to make of Percy, one of Carter's thoughts is that Percy is just a delusional mortal who found a magic sword and that as a result, he thinks that he's a superhero, noting that ancient relics can really mess with a person's mind. After Carter accidentally blasts Percy with the Fist of Horus, the two engage in a sword fight with Percy proving to be a better swordsman while Riptide is lighter and quicker than Carter's khopesh. Finally, at the same moment that Percy injures his wrist, Carter manages to bind Percy's sword arm to his head. Unable to let go of Riptide, Percy is left looking like he has a single reindeer antler sprouting next to his ear. As they argue, Percy points out that Carter can't be mortal as Riptide would've just passed right through him. After they both calm down, Carter sets Percy free.
Facing the petsuchos, Percy attempts to use Riptide to cut the necklace off without any success. By the time that Percy drops to the ground, Carter notes that he appears to have lost his sword, presumably having dropped it during the struggle.
After the battle, Percy attempts to buy them lunch only to find out that the only thing in his pocket is Riptide, once again in its ballpoint pen form. As a result, Carter is forced to pay for both of them instead.
While battling the Kanes, Percy and Annabeth, Setne absorbs Riptide and all of the sword's power. After managing to defeat the ghostly magician, Percy yanks Riptide out of the back of Setne's throat, releasing all of the power that Setne had absorbed.
Magnus Chase's talking sword, Sumarbrander who prefers to be called Jack, sniffs around Percy Jackson and finds Riptide disguised as a pen. This makes Jack tell Magnus that he told him a pen sword wasn't a stupid idea, causing Magnus to briefly argue that Jack was the one who said it was stupid. This is a reference to The Sword of Summer, where Magnus suggested Sumarbrander turns into a pen for him to carry only for Jack to say it's the stupidest thing he ever heard. Jack reveals that Riptide is a female and flirts with "her". If Riptide is impressed with the flirting, she doesn't show it. Magnus notes that compared to Jack, Riptide looks delicate and almost petite but from the way that Percy wields the sword, Magnus has no doubt that he'd be able to hold his own on the battlefields of Valhalla with it.
When Percy leaves with Annabeth to take care of his newborn sister, he takes Riptide with him leaving Jack depressed.
In its dormant form, it's a disposable ballpoint pen that reads Anaklusmos on the side when not in use. Once the pen is uncapped, it transforms into its true sword form. Riptide is about 3 feet long (including the hilt) and weighs about 5 pounds with a perfect balance that Percy wields well. Riptide's blade is also said to have been shaped like a leaf in the The Son of Neptune. On the cover of The Lightning Thief, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Mark of Athena Riptide's hilt bends upward. In The Lightning Thief, Riptide was described as "a shimmering bronze sword with a double-edged blade, a leather-wrapped grip and a flat hilt riveted with gold studs".
Riptide is used in close combat and is perfectly balanced in its wielder's hands. Riptide can destroy monsters and hurt immortals. But, since it is made out of Celestial Bronze, it cannot hurt or kill humans, as "they aren't important enough." As a result, when accidentally or even intentionally swung at humans, the blade simply passes through them. For example, in The Lightning Thief, Percy defends himself against a gang of youths with Riptide, simply acting on instinct, but the blade simply passes through them, which infuriates the gang leader and causes him to chase Percy, Annabeth Chase, and Grover Underwood into Crusty's Water Bed Palace. In The Titan's Curse, Percy swings Riptide at a human named Rachel Elizabeth Dare by mistake and nothing happened to her.
It is almost impossible to lose as it is enchanted to appear in Percy's pocket if it is somehow lost. However, if Percy doesn't have pockets, it doesn't return, and this has led to a disadvantage, such as when Laistrygonian Giant attacked Percy in The Sea of Monsters.
Riptide is used at least twice as a throwing knife, though that was for distracting the enemy instead of being an actual attack. In the books Riptide is summoned when uncapped, and stored away by recapping it on the tip, but in the movie it is summoned when clicked open. It is unknown how Percy stows back the sword in the film, although when Persephone hands him the bolt in the Underworld, it shows a zoom-up of his sword in his hand as it retracts into pen form. This is the only time that it is shown while being transformed. Riptide also reappears back into the pocket of whoever had it last whenever lost, misplaced, or even thrown.
Riptide appears in both film adaptations. This version of Riptide is a click-pen that transforms into its sword form when clicked. Neither its Greek nor English names are mentioned in the films, though in The Sea of Monsters the name "Anaklusmos" is visible on its hilt, as is its connection to Poseidon or any other aquatic figure. However, it has a blue trident inscribed into the blade, near the hilt, so it can be assumed that it has something to do with a sea deity.
|“||Take this to defend yourself. It's a powerful weapon. Only use it in times of severe distress.||”|
Riptide appears throughout the film. After Chiron scares the Fury out of the museum, he gives Percy the pen before he and Grover leave for Camp Half-Blood. Thus, he already has it when he fights the Minotaur. Riptide is significantly more powerful in the film, able to deflect attacks from the Master Bolt itself during the finale of the film.
Percy uses the sword to fight the Colchis Bull at the start of the film. He does not use it as frequently as is to be expected, despite engaging in several fights throughout the film. During the film's climax, in battle against Kronos, Riptide is the cursed blade of the Great Prophecy, and is able to damage Kronos. Percy also tells Kronos that Riptide was given to him by Poseidon, who used Riptide previously to (apparently) kill Kronos in the first place - neither fact is true in the books, the previous film or even Greek mythology, as Riptide (In both the book and the film of The Lightning Thief) is given to Percy by Chiron, and Kronos was firstly defeated by Zeus with his own scythe. It is also not true that Anaklusmos is the Cursed Blade as in the books it is Annabeth's Knife.
- Zoë Nightshade (Original owner)
- Hercules (Given by Zoë Nightshade)
- Chiron (Somehow possessed it and claimed it "had a long tragic history")
- Percy Jackson (Present owner - given by Chiron)
- In The Son of Neptune, Riptide is mentioned to have a leaf-shaped blade. This means that Riptide is most likely a Xiphos, the secondary weapon of the ancient Greek foot soldiers known as hoplites (the primary weapon of hoplites were javelins).
- Riptide was previously owned by Hercules, and it was given to him by Zoë Nightshade.
- In the books, it transforms when uncapped; the movie version transformed when clicked.
- Riptide's first use in combat in the books was against the Fury, Alecto.
- In the graphic novel adaptation of The Lightning Thief, Riptide is noticeably longer than both the books and the film. In fact, in the film, it's probably shorter than in the books, about 30 inches at most compared to the 3-foot long weapon of the books, whereas in the graphic novel, it appears to be a longsword/hand-and-a-half sword (perhaps about three and a half to four feet long) a relatively large weapon for a twelve-year-old boy. This seems to have been rectified both in the more recent graphic novels and in the Sea of Monsters film.
- Percy has demonstrated, at least twice, that when stabbing the ground with Riptide he can make massive cracks similar to fissures: once when he destroyed the Williamsburg Bridge, and more recently when he destroyed the fake Roman camp in Alaska. Whether this is his power wielded through Riptide or a power of Percy's is unknown.
- Because of the Mist, Riptide has appeared to others as a baseball bat, a lacrosse stick, and even a rifle.
- If its cap is touched to the hilt of the sword, it transforms into a working pen, as shown in The House of Hades.
- It isn't until The House of Hades that Percy actually figures out how to write with Riptide as a pen.
- Chiron would sometimes bring Riptide to class when teaching at Yancy Academy. It is unknown if Chiron dispelled the Mist so that the students could see it clearly, or if the Mist doesn't affect humans while the sword is in pen form.
- In Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Riptide has a different appearance than that of the second film, where it seems to have a more mechanical appearance.
- In Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, it is stated that Poseidon used Riptide to defeat Kronos. This was never stated in the books.
- In Greek script, its name would be written as Ανακλυσμός.