|“||If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself.||”|
–Sally Jackson, to her son Percy, in The Lightning Thief.
Sally was born from Jim and Estelle Jackson. When Sally was five years old, her parents died in a plane crash 150 miles south of Lake Ontario at 3:00 AM. No one survived the accident and the cause of the crash was never determined.
Sally was raised by her uncle Rich, who didn't really have time to care for her. During her senior year of high school, her uncle died of cancer, leaving Sally to have to work small jobs because she had dropped out of school to take care of him.
Sally met Poseidon in Montauk twelve years before the series started, seeing his trident through the Mist. They fell in love, spent the summer together, and conceived a son, Percy. Knowing her problems, Poseidon offered to build Sally a palace at the bottom of the sea, but she rejected the offer.
Poseidon kept Sally and Percy a secret from Zeus because he knew his brother would kill Sally and their child if he knew that Poseidon broke the oath in siring Percy. This was despite the fact that Zeus had broken the oath five years earlier, and once again three years after Percy's birth, both instances resulting in the birth of Thalia and Jason Grace. Soon after, Poseidon was forced to return to the sea.
Marriage with Gabe
Until Percy discovered that he was a demigod, Sally told him that his father wasn't "dead" but "lost at sea", a possible hint about his true identity. When Percy was a toddler, Sally met and married Gabe Ugliano, a lazy and abusive man with a repulsive scent, for the sole purpose of masking Percy’s demigod scent so that monsters would stay away from her son.
During their marriage, Gabe would treat Sally like a servant and occasionally hit her when Percy wasn't around. After a fight with Gabe over whether or not food could be blue, Sally always went out of her way by always eating blue food, occasionally baking blue cakes, and bringing home blue candy from work.
Sally works in a candy shop called Sweet on America. One day after Percy came home from school, she takes him on their annual holiday to Montauk for a treat. While they encounter some problems on the way, like Gabe, they manage to make it to the holiday destination. Then Grover Underwood, Percy's satyr protector and friend, shows up this time without having clothes to disguise his goat legs and states that Percy was in danger. Sally gets chased by the Minotaur, is transformed into a gold shimmering statue-like form, and gets transported to the Underworld. Unable to rescue his mother at first, Percy defeats the Minotaur and retreats to Camp Half-Blood until he is allowed to go on his own quest with Grover and Annabeth Chase, a daughter of Athena.
After ten days, Percy rescues Sally by returning the Helm of Darkness to Hades in the Underworld after a fight with Ares. She is returned home by Hades, much to Gabe's unhappy and lousy dismay because he relished in her life insurance and was forced to return the money. Percy later realized that Gabe had hit Sally often when he saw her flinch at the sight of Gabe's raised hand. Enraged as he was, he knew he couldn't kill Gabe with Riptide since he wasn't important enough for the blade to kill. Percy then gave his mother Medusa's head as a parting gift from Poseidon, who told him that she was the most beautiful mortal woman on Earth that he had ever met. Thankful, Sally convinces Percy to return to Camp Half-Blood and let her save herself. Percy is worried about leaving his mother in Gabe's hands, but when her eyes harden after Gabe gets demanding once more, Percy is convinced that he had left her in very capable hands after all and notes that Sally is staring at Gabe as if she is imagining what he would look like as a garden statue.
Sally later wrote Percy a letter saying that she had turned Gabe into a statue with Medusa's head. She claimed it was a concrete statue she made called The Poker Player and made enough money in the sale to pay for tuition to NYU for creative writing, a new apartment for them to live in, and a down payment for a private school for Percy. She asks her son to consider if he wants to live with her or stay at camp for the full year. Eventually, Percy decides to return to her. Percy realizes that the line of the prophecy he had received about failing to save what mattered most to him in the end came true because Percy did fail to save Sally, but only because he'd left her to save herself which he knew was the right thing to do.
Sally gets a message from Chiron and is reluctant about letting Percy return to Camp Half-Blood for the summer. Despite this, she is very excited for Percy, who has nearly made it past 7th grade without getting expelled.
Sally worries out of her mind after Percy disappears again from his school with Annabeth and Tyson, Percy's friend who turned to be his half-brother. However, Sally doesn't stay mad for long and was relieved to find out that Percy was okay.
Sally takes Percy, Annabeth, and Thalia Grace to a school where Grover has found two demigod siblings named Nico and Bianca di Angelo. She also notices Percy's soft side towards Annabeth and teases her son kindly about it.
At camp, Percy contacts Sally to let her know he is coming home early, but sees her with a man in the kitchen, his school teacher Paul Blofis. After Percy told her that Annabeth got captured, Sally encourages her son to trust his own judgment and go to save his friend.
After he has done so, Percy contacts his mother again and sees her holding Paul's hand. Sally is embarrassed, but Percy tells her it is okay if she is happy.
Sally is said to be trying to find another job. She prepares herself for a job interview when she drops Percy off at Goode High School. She reveals that one of the reasons Poseidon was drawn to her is that she can see through the Mist.
When Percy and Annabeth drop by to visit her on their way to meet Rachel Elizabeth Dare, Sally notices that the two of them have been fighting, but doesn't comment further.
On Percy's 15th birthday, Poseidon stops by Sally's apartment to give their son a birthday gift. When she answers the door, she is dumbfounded to see her former lover and can barely make a coherent sentence. Paul, her boyfriend, didn't seem initially pleased with Poseidon's arrival at the birthday celebration, but he doesn't mention it to anyone. After seeing Paul's surprised expression when Poseidon called Tyson his son, Sally quickly reassured him that Tyson wasn't hers.
Sally has recently married to Paul, who treats her well and knows about her son's demigod adventures. In order to become invulnerable to combat Kronos, Percy travels to his home with Nico di Angelo to get his mother's blessing. Sally gives him her blessing, but she worries for his life. Percy assures her that once the battle is finished, he will have the sky over New York light up blue, signaling that he survived.
Sally is later at the Battle of Manhattan defending herself from a Laistrygonian Giant, who she shot with a gun salvaged from a police cruiser, surprising her son with her ability to use a shotgun. The giant fell into Nico's Sword, killing it. Before the final battle, Sally wishes Percy luck before he enters Olympus.
After the war, Zeus lights up the sky in blue at Percy's request, assuring Sally of his survival.
Sally doesn't formally appear in the book, but she is mentioned to have been contacted regarding Percy's disappearance.
After his memories started to recover, Percy called his mom but only got the voice mail. He left a message, saying that he is on a quest and that he misses her.
During the time that Percy was missing, Annabeth would inform Sally and her Paul on any information she had during the search. Occasionally, Annabeth and Sally would cry together over the loss of Percy, as the two had no idea where he was or if he was even alive. They were both overjoyed and relieved after Percy was found.
Percy mentions Sally while in Tartarus.
Sally answers the intercom to find the now-human god Apollo at her front door. Once Apollo and his friend are inside she makes them smoothies, sandwiches, lemonade, and seven-layer dip. She is currently seven months pregnant with a baby girl.
Apollo mentioned Sally when telling Meg that she is a better cook than Emmie, who is in earshot.
After six months, Apollo and Meg return to her apartment with Luguselwa to ask Percy for help. However she informs them that her son left a few days ago for the west coast with his friends, but invites them to clean themselves up and join her and her family for dinner. Her guests told her about their quest so far and, after hearing about what they still have to do, questions if it will become a second Battle of Manhattan. In the morning she wishes her guests goodbye as she gets to work on her second novel.
Sally is a very kind and understanding woman who never says an unkind word to anyone. She has a lot of mental endurance and love for her children, as she put up with Gabe for nearly a decade to keep her son safe from monsters. Her personality reminded Poseidon of Rhea, mother to all elder Olympians.
Sally is a very hard worker and passionate woman with a rebellious streak, which was passed down to her son. She believes in taking control of her life, rejecting the offers of others to solve her problems. A darker side of her personality was revealed at the end of The Lightning Thief, as she was more than willing to murder Gabe using the head of Medusa and proceeded to sell off his petrified corpse for profit to afford a new apartment.
Sally isn't perfect as shown when her love for Percy clouded her judgement as she initially didn't want him to go to Camp Half Blood due to the chance she might never see him again and thus, tried to keep him close to her (as pointed out by Dionysus, this is how demigods usually get killed), but ulitmately accepts that Percy can't keep listening to her all the time.
Even though she tends to tease Percy about his love for Annabeth, Sally seems fully supportive of their relationship and has developed a good deal of affection for her son's girlfriend as well.
When Apollo met her in The Hidden Oracle, he noticed that Sally possessed just the right combination of compassion, strength, and beauty. He observed that she was one of those rare mortals who could connect spiritually with a god as an equal, being neither terrified of deities nor greedy for what they can offer, but to provide them with true companionship.
Sally is a strikingly beautiful woman with a smile as warm as a quilt and sparkling blue eyes that change of color in the light. Her hair is long and brown with a few streaks of grey, but Percy stated that he never thought of her as old. Her scent is like chocolate, licorice, and everything else one would find in a candy shop.
Apollo noted how attractive Sally is, and that her bright eyes, quick smile, and sense of fashion made her look younger despite her grey streaks.
- Clear Sight (limited): Sally is one of the few humans with the gift to see through the Mist, though she cannot "see" as well as she did in her youth.
- Intelligence: Sally knows a bit about Greek myths, including how to avoid the Minotaur and the effects of Medusa's head. She used Gabe's strong scent to mask Percy’s demigod scent to ensure that monsters would stay away from her son, a semi-effective plan which worked for years.
- Marksmanship: Sally is skilled at using a shotgun. She managed to injure a giant by making him fall. Her ability surprises Percy.
- Cooking: Sally makes delicious blue food in special occasions. In The Sea of Monsters, she makes her son blue waffles and eggs on his last day of school. In The Battle of the Labyrinth, she gives Percy and Annabeth blue chocolate chip cookies and makes blue food for Percy's 15th birthday.
Sally met the Poseidon at a beach in Montauk. Since she could see through the Mist, she knew exactly who and what he was. The two eventually formed a romantic relationship. They talked about their problems, but Sally rejected Poseidon's offers to solve hers by living in an underwater palace. They ended their relationship soon after their demigod son's birth. On their son's fifteenth birthday, Poseidon visited Sally and Percy in their apartment, leaving her speechless. However, they continued on good terms.
Sally met Paul at a writing seminar they both attended. They became very close friends, even after he knew about her son's true nature. The two soon started dating and within a year of knowing each other, they had married. Sally and Paul had a daughter within their second year of marriage.
Sally adores her son and cares for him dearly. She named him after one of the few demigods whose story didn't end in a tragedy - Perseus. She would do anything to keep Percy safe, going as far as to stay in an abusive marriage to ensure that. Sally is described as the best person and mother in the world by Percy. Though she is constantly worried when Percy is on quests, she accepts his decisions and encourages him to help his friends.
Sally loves and greatly cares for her daughter.
Sally acts very kind towards Annabeth Chase and is grateful that she saved her son's life multiple times. She thinks that Annabeth is the most level-headed demigod she has ever met.
When her son went missing, the two would use each other as a means of support and cry together.
Sally married Gabe for the sole purpose of using his scent to hide her son from monsters. She would put up with years of emotional and physical abuse until her son was almost thirteen. After she learned that Percy could fend for himself, Sally petrified Gabe using Medusa's head and sold him for a hefty profit.
- In The Titan's Curse, it was noted that Sally talks more when she is nervous.
- Like her son, Sally loves the color blue.
- There are three reasons why Sally never lets Percy ride an airplane:
- Percy is a son of Poseidon, Zeus' bitterest rival, and therefore it would be dangerous for him to fly through Zeus' domain.
- They couldn't afford it.
- Her parents died in a plane crash.
- In The Lightning Thief, Sally says that she was with Poseidon only during the summer, despite that Percy's birthday takes place in the summer, August 18. This would mean that Poseidon and Sally would have to have been together around December for Percy to be born in August.
- Sally is the only known mother of a demigod child of the Big Three who isn't dead.
- She could be based off of Danaë, the mother of Perseus.
- Sally is similar to Leo Valdez's mother, Esperanza Valdez, as they both wanted their lovers (Poseidon and Hephaestus, respectively) to be around their child, rather than their own personal gain.
- Sally is the only mother of the prophecy of seven demigods who is both alive and mortal