|“||The shop with the blue awning, that's the general store. They sell tape measures. Buy one! I want those pants exactly one inch above the ankles and that hair regulation cut. And tuck your shirt in.||”|
Terminus is the Roman god of boundaries, the protector of the limits both of private property, and of the public territory of Rome. He seems civil, but can become quite angry when rules are broken. He has no Greek counterpart.
He was usually represented by a stone or post, set up in the ground with the following religious ceremonies. A trench was dug, in which a fire was lighted; a victim was sacrificed, and its blood poured into the trench; the body, upon which incense and fruits, honey and wine were thrown, was then cast into the fire. When it was entirely consumed, the boundary stone, which had been previously anointed and crowned with garlands, was placed upon the hot ashes and fixed in the ground. Any one who removed a boundary stone was accursed and might be slain with impunity; a fine was afterwards substituted for the death penalty.
On the 23rd of February (the end of the old Roman year) the festival called Terminalia, according to Wissowa, a festival not of the god but of the boundary stones (termini), was held. The owners of adjacent lands assembled at the common boundary stone, and crowned their own side of the stone with garlands; an altar was set up and offerings of cakes, corn, honey and wine were made later, a lamb or a sucking pig was sacrificed. The proceedings closed with songs to the god and a general merrymaking, in which all the members of the family and the servants took part.
The worship of Terminus was either introduced to Rome during the reign of Romulus or during the time of his successor Numa.
In the 1990s, Terminus stopped a young girl from entering Camp Jupiter due to her being a daughter of Mefitis, the goddess of noxious fumes.
Terminus first appears when Percy Jackson headed to the Senate House and served as the city's guard saying no weapons are allowed and lets his assistant, Julia, take Riptide. Terminus inspects Percy with his "hands" which Percy criticizes. Terminus gets angered by this, but eventually allows Percy to enter the city. He later asks Hazel Levesque to move a rock to its "correct" position.
After the Senate meeting, Percy, Hazel, and Frank Zhang headed to Caldecott Tunnel in which they meet Terminus again near the entrance. Terminus, again, "inspects" the three and allowed them to pass.
During the battle against Polybotes' army, Percy seeks out the nearest statue of Terminus who is protecting the city from the army's missiles. As only a god and a demigod working together can kill a Gigantes, Percy asks for his help in killing Polybotes, but Terminus refuses as he enforces the rules, not kills giants. When Polybotes crosses the Pomerian Line with a weapon, Terminus is furious while the giant just mocks him, ultimately breaking his statue into three pieces: pedestal, body and head. Outraged, Terminus finally agrees to help Percy kill Polybotes. After being stabbed with Riptide by Percy, Polybotes trips over the pedestal and crashes to the ground, certain that Percy can't kill him. Holding Terminus' head, Percy introduces the giant to his friend Terminus and reveals that Terminus is a god before smashing Polybotes in the nose with Terminus' head. Polybotes disintegrates and the pleased Terminus yells that it will teach the giant to respect the rules of Rome.
After celebrating the victory, Percy encounters Terminus at the Pomerian Line where the god is wearing a party hat and having Julia pass them out to people. Terminus cheerfully greets the new praetor and offers Percy advice on adjusting his new cloak. Terminus also promises to help him kill any more giants while he's in town if need be and Percy promises to keep that in mind.
Terminus appeared on the Argo II as it approached Camp Jupiter. He appeared in an explosion that almost knocked Annabeth Chase off the ship. He began to order them to not cross the Pomerian Line with weapons on board. Piper McLean tried to charmspeak the statue, but he is unaffected by her powers and knocks Katoptris from her hand with a small explosion. He also insults Athena, saying that the Romans had a proper place for her, something that greatly upsets Annabeth. Leo Valdez at first thinks that statue may be an Automaton that someone wound too tightly and started to poke at the pedestal with a screwdriver. Terminus in response tells them to leave and surrender, which confuses Leo as he isn't sure if he means they should leave or surrender.
Terminus says that they should do both, but Jason Grace said they were on a peace mission. Terminus still stands his ground, saying that the entire ship is a weapon, and so it can't cross the Pomerian Line. Annabeth comes up with a plan, telling Leo to keep the ship hovering above the camp and that they would climb down with a rope ladder. Terminus agreed to the terms and allowed them to enter as long as the Argo II stays in the air.
When Leo fires on New Rome while being possessed by an eidolon, Terminus is outraged and tells Annabeth he should never have trusted her. Annabeth pushes him aside and continues on her way. As the demigods escape, Annabeth notes that the statues of Terminus were charging their power for some sort of attack. Before it could be unleashed, the Argo II sets sail and flees the attack.
Later, when Percy and Annabeth got caught by Coach Hedge to be out of curfew, Percy remarked that Coach sounded like Terminus when he got angry.
Terminus makes a cameo in Reyna's dream. He tries to sustain a magical barrier around Camp Jupiter to protect from Gaia's attack, but it only slowed it down for a moment.
Between the Series
Claudia asks him about a girl he refused to let in the camp in the 1990s and reminded him of her father, a centurion who found the girl. He explains he refused because the girl smelled of rotten eggs.
When Frank Zhang and Apollo are entering the city limits of New Rome, he humiliatingly has Apollo show him his Lester Papadopolus ID as payback for his jokes and insults. In the process, Apollo discovers that Jupiter had changed his birthday as a warning of when the next attack will be.
During the Battle of San Francisco Bay, he warns Hazel that zombies are swarming New Rome the sewers. After the city is breached, he is unable to hold back the zombies and uses the last of his power to protect Julia. After the battle, Terminus is stated to have survived even though he is left in a weakened state. Terminus decides to adopt Julia who was orphaned in the attack, much to her enjoyment. Apollo is left wondering how an adoption by a statue will work, but decides not to think about it much.
Terminus is very uptight and strict. He can't stand it when anything breaks the rules and tends to make sure everything is regulation. When Percy seeks his help against Polybotes, he initially refuses as he only enforces the rules and doesn't fight giants. However, when Polybotes breaks several rules and his statues, this enrages Terminus enough that he agrees to help. After Percy and Terminus kill Polybotes, Terminus yells that it will teach the giant to obey the rules of Rome. Terminus later cheerfully offers to help Percy kill any more giants that attack the city while Percy is around, possibly having developed an enjoyment for the action.
He tends to become increasingly annoyed whenever anyone mentions the fact that he has no arms, despite he himself telling people to look where he is pointing. Hazel even mentioned that if you made him mad, he would force you to measure every blade of grass in the valley of Camp Jupiter. His nickname is the OCD god.
Despite his love for rules and regulations, Terminus doesn't seem to mind when someone finds a way around the rules, as he loves technicalities.
Once a person has earned his respect, Terminus displays a softer side to them, caring greatly for Julia and deciding to adopt her after she loses her parents. After he works together with Percy against Polybotes, Terminus is cheerful and helpful to him, even offering his help if more giants attack.
Being the god of boundaries at Camp Jupiter, Terminus acts as the last line of defense if the camp were to be attacked. Terminus also exists in many places at once, inhabiting all the boundary stones around the city. Some of his abilities include:
- Preventing weapons from crossing into the city limits (including Riptide).
- Preventing attacks from enemy forces, including attacks from the air.
- Terminus can teleport anywhere within New Rome, including on board the Argo II when it got too close.
- Despite not having hands, Terminus is able to blast weapons out of the hands of others.
Despite his stern demeanor, Terminus is shown to have a soft spot for his assistant Julia and he deeply cares for her. When Julia is orphaned in battle, Terminus decides to adopt the girl himself after protecting her specifically during the battle.
At first, Terminus and Percy Jackson have an antagonistic relationship with Percy becoming annoyed with the god and his "inspections" and insistence upon following the rules. However, their relationship greatly improves when Percy seeks out Terminus' help to defeat Polybotes with the two working together to kill the giant. Before using Terminus' head to smash the giant's nose, Percy introduces Terminus to the giant as his friend. After the battle and Percy's being made praetor, Terminus cheerfully greets him and offers Percy advice on adjusting his new cloak. Terminus also offers to help Percy kill any more giants while he's in town, something that Percy promises to keep in mind.
- Terminus has no Greek counterpart, but Charon is the Greek god of boundaries, as Terminus is the Roman god of boundaries.
- His Norse counterpart, on part of guard, is Heimdall.
- According to Hazel, he has OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).
- His name literally means "boundary stone" in Latin.
- He is one of the few Roman gods that have no Greek equivalent.