For other uses of the name Zoe, see Zoe (disambiguation).

Stars. I can see the stars again, m'lady.

–Zoë, to Artemis, while she lays dying in The Titan's Curse.

Zoë Nightshade, daughter of Atlas and Pleione, was a former Hesperide; nymph of the sunset, who was later exiled and blotted out as if she never existed. For this reason, she joined the Hunters of Artemis, becoming the loyal lieutenant of Artemis for over 2000 years. She now resides in the stars, as she has shown a great interest and connection to the stars. Her constellation "The Huntress" is depicted as girl who is running around shooting arrows in the night sky.

History

Early Life

Zoë and her sisters were born to the Titan Atlas and the water goddess Pleione; they then became the nymphs of the sunset. In ancient times, Zoë tended to the Garden of the Hesperides with her sisters, caring especially for Hera's tree of golden apples and the 100 headed monstrous, dragon like serpent who guarded it; Ladon. Unlike her sister, Zoë had a strong emotional bond with Ladon. Ladon trusted Zoë and allowed her to feed him by hand

This is not a relationship that is seen with the other Hesperides.

Helping Hercules

Later on, Zoë helped Hercules complete his quest for the golden apples - giving him tips on how to trick her father Atlas. She then gifted him her hairpin, which turns into the sword Anaklusmos, which is currently in the possession of Percy Jackson. When her sisters discovered this, they exiled her, and blotted her out as if she never existed.[1]This likely caused a lot of pain for Zoë as the Hesperides were her family, and they now hated her.

Hercules ultimately gave Zoë no credit for her help and abandoned her to her painful fate.[2] As a result, she came to hold a grudge against male heroes, especially ones that reminded her of Hercules. She then joined the Hunters of Artemis, a group of eternal maidens who swear off boys for semi-immortality and hunting with Artemis until they fall in battle. Eventually, Zoë rose to become the loyal lieutenant of Artemis for over 2000 years.

Hunting Orion

Zoë would spend centuries trying unsuccessfully to track down and kill the giant Orion, who harboured a strong hatred for both the Hunters and the Amazons, due to his tragic past with Artemis. It is seen in the Blood of Olympus that the Hunters and Amazons were still tracking down Orion.

Quarrel with Thalia

Zoë and the Hunters once ran into Thalia Grace, Luke Castellan, and Annabeth Chase when the three were running around the country. Zoë almost managed to convince Thalia to join the Hunters. However, Thalia did not want to leave Luke. Zoë felt offended, and got into a heated argument with Thalia. Zoë told Thalia she was being "stupid," and that "she would regret it", stating Luke would let her down in some way just like Hercules had once let her down. This gave Thalia a deep sense of hatred to the Hunters especially Zoë Nightshade; who were always arguing. Thalia and Zoë later forgave each other when Zoë was dying. After Zoë's death, Thalia took place as Artemis' new lieutenant.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The Titan's Curse

Zoë and the Hunters first appear alongside Artemis, rescuing Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, Thalia Grace, Grover Underwood, Bianca di Angelo, and Nico di Angelo from a manticore named Dr. Thorn, who, though seemingly bested, disappeared with Annabeth Chase, who was still on his back. As the Hunters set up camp, Zoë approached Bianca asking her to talk with Artemis. Together Zoë and Artemis convince her to join the Hunters, while Percy was trying to convince her otherwise. Apollo later arrives to escort them all to Camp Half-Blood, Zoë was left in charge of the Hunters, as Artemis had set off in search of a monster prophesied to be the downfall of Olympus.

The Hunters arrived at Camp Half-Blood and immediately went to Artemis' Cabin. Grover tried to show the Hunters the way, but it is shown that someone slapped him (most likely Zoë). The next day the Hunters won the round of Capture the Flag which angered Thalia, causing her and Percy to fight, amusing the Hunters. After the game, the Oracle left the attic and approached Zoë Nightshade to grant a quest to save Artemis, who had gone missing.

Then, the camp counselors, plus Zoë and Bianca had a talk about the quest and who was going to attend. Zoë wanted to take five Hunters, but she ended up asking to take herself, Bianca, Phoebe, Thalia, and Grover. Phoebe was then pranked by the Stoll brothers,who gave her a shirt covered in centaur blood, which left her ridden with horrible hives. So Zoë had to take just four people.

Quest

Zoë went on the doomed quest along with Thalia, Bianca, and Grover. Percy followed them secretly on Blackjack, wanting to make sure that Annabeth was found safe and sound, while having also promised Nico that he would keep his sister Bianca safe. When he revealed himself Zoë was furious. Percy warned her and the rest of the questers that there was a Nemean Lion and a dozen Skeleton Warriorss were on their way to attack snd that someone called "The General" was organizing the attacks. This frightens Zoë and Bianca, Zoë tried to deny that the General is here, though she later believes Percy when the Nemean Lion attacks.

The five all fought against the lion and Zoë managed to kill it by shooting a volley of arrows into the Nemean Lion's opened mouth. However, she let Percy keep the lion pelt (the spoil of war) because, he got the lion to open it's mouth by feeding it astronaut food, so Zoë could shoot the lion. Though Zoë did not want Percy on the quest, after this fight, Zoë realizes that Percy is part of this quest, and that he must continue with them.

They all continued their quest, going west to find Artemis, while trying to avoid the General and avoid the General's army. As they're escaping, Bianca points out a subway station, and she says that she remembers it because it wasn't there when she lived in D.C., this makes Zoë start to question Bianca, but she then stops. The five enter the subway station where a disguised Apollo helped them by giving them transportation west, he then warned them that this was all he could do, as by divine law, he was not allowed to interfere directly with their quest.

On the train Percy had a dream about Zoë helping Hercules, from Hercules' perspective. He realizes that it was Zoë who created his sword; Anaklusmos. Percy then saw why Zoë had such a grudge against male heroes, and he wanted to make it clear to Zoë that he was nothing like Hercules.

The five later stop by a little ski town labeled "Cloudcroft, New Mexico" where they all rest for a short period of time. Percy and Bianca have a deep conversation with each other while Zoë and Grover get coffee, and Thalia looks for more transportation ideas. Skeletons then attack and Bianca manages to defeat one which surprises Zoë and Percy. While they're fighting Pan gives them the Erymanthian Boar, as a blessing from the Wild. Zoë was surprised and said that she thought she'd never feel that presence again, and when asked what she felt, she said that she felt the presence of Pan.

The Boar takes the five to a desert, where they must continue their quest. Ares and Aphrodite show up and Aphrodite asks to have a talk alone with Percy. She then talks about the quest and Annabeth, while the others are at taco place that was just "reopened" by Ares. Aphrodite warns them not to take anything from the Junkyard of the Gods.

The five continue west, going through Hephaestus' junkyard. After crossing through the Junkyard, defective prototype of Talos; one of Hephaestus' automatons attacked them, as Bianca had picked up a Mythomagic Hades figure for her brother Nico. Bianca then admitted what she did and she and Percy devised a plan to defeat Talos. It was a lethal plan, but it was the only way. Bianca ended up defeating the automaton, but in return, she lost her life. When Zoë found out Bianca died she sat down and cried. Zoë later says that she felt very guilty over Bianca's death and she also says that she felt horrible because she picked an amateur Hunter who was only twelve for a suicide mission. She then explained that she did this because she believed that Bianca was a strong demigod, with a kind heart and had the potential to replace her as lieutenant, as Zoë couldn't be the lieutenant forever.

The four were canoed upstream to Hoover Dam. Where Percy, Grover, and Thalia exchanged architecture facts that Annabeth shared with them. The Ophiotaurus (Bessie) then appeared to Percy asking him to come into the water with him. He declined and then ran inside to find his friends as he saw a skeleton warrior. Rachel Elizabeth Dare, a mortal girl who could see through the mist then sees Percy who almost decapitates her with Riptide (Anaklusmos). She then becomes very curious, but Percy had to rush out of there due to the skeleton warriors. He alerted the others of the skeleton warriors and they then became in a hurry to leave. The skeleton warriors start gaining on them, and they start fighting. But then Percy asks Thalia to pray to her father, Zeus, to ask to use the metal statues. Zues, hears Thalia's prayers and the metal statues come to life to get the four out of there.

The metal statues then fly the four to California, and leave them by the Embarcadero building. The four then have to find Nereus to get there questions answered. Percy catches Nereus and wanted to ask about Annabeth, but he then decided to ask about the monster that would bring the downfall of Olympus. Old Nereus then points to Bessie and leaves, leaving Percy confused. Zoë then realizes that Bessie is the monster that would bring the downfall of Olympus, and tells everyone the story of the Ophiotaurus.

Dr. Thorn, the manticore finds the four and starts talking about Thalia, and how she will be the child of the Great Prophecy, he also talked about how she should join Kronos' Army. Percy gets Thalia to snap out of her daze and get her to fight the guards that showed up with Dr. Thorn. Zoë then tells Percy to go save the Ophiotaurus, Percy refuses saying that they must stick together. Grover tells Percy to get word to camp, which Percy thinks is an excellent idea. Percy then sends and Iris Message to Camp Half-Blood, and the person who receives the message is Dionysus, the camp director. Percy then starts arguing with Mr. D saying that he'd love to see them die. Dionysus then tells Percy that he could ask for help, and say please. Percy asks, and Dionysus does nothing, as Percy expected. But then Dionysus comes through and helps the quest members.

Zoë then reveals that they must go to the Garden of the Hesperides, her former home. The four start on their way, but Zoë soon complains that they are going too slow with the Ophiotaurus. For the sake of the quest, Percy decides to give up the Nemean Lion's pelt as a sacrifice to his father, Poseidon. This was done to keep Grover and the Ophiotaurus (Bessie) safe on their journey to Olympus, as the Ophiotaurus must stay in Olympus to be kept away from Kronos' army.

The three then travel to Frederick Chase's house, to ask for help. When they arrive they start talking about how Annabeth is in danger and they must borrow his car to save Annabeth. Zoë promises that she won't destroy his car as she has been driving since automobiles were invented. Dr. Chase hesitantly lends them his car, which the three use to climb us Mount Tamalpais. On their way up, the car is later hit by a blast of lightning and then destroyed. This angered Thalia as she thought that this was her father, Zeus trying to kill her, as the prophecy prophesied that one would die by a parents hand.

To reach Artemis, the quest members are forced to go through the Garden of the Hesperides. While there Zoë encounters her sisters, who were being very rude. They were having a cold and harsh conversation, Zoë then told hem they've never had any courage right before yelling "LADON!! WAKE!" waking the hundred headed, serpent like dragon. oëT then spoke to Ladon, in a calm sweet voice, trying to comfort the dragon and have him remember her. he serpent like dragon, after a while, sensed Zoë wasn't really who she "used to be" as she wasn't a Hesperide anymore she was a Hunter, Ladon then attacked her. However, when the dragon attacked, Zoë dodged, but was still bitten in the side. Ladon's bite is poisonous and the poison slowly weakened her, but she hid the injury from the others, until her death.

The three found Artemis holding up the sky which she had taken from Annabeth. Zoë ran towards Artemis and started crying and begging Atlas to let Artemis go, Zoë was then going to offer to hold up the sky, but Artemis didn't allow Zoë to offer. The General, Atlas, was revealed to be Zoë's father. Luke, one of the leaders of Kronos' army then showed up, trying to convince Thalia to join the army. Thalia declines and then it becomes a war zone. Percy then offers to take the sky, Artemis agrees and gives Percy the sky. While Percy is holding up the sky he sees Thalia and Luke fight each other, but he mainly pays attention to Zoë and Artemis who are fighting Atlas. Percy witnessed that Atlas was about to strike Artemis but then Zoë jumps in the middle and shoots an arrow at Atlas, Atlas knocks Zoë to the side sending her sprawling into a bunch of big black rocks, further injuring Zoë. Percy later tricks Atlas into taking his burden of holding up the sky and Atlas is stuck once more. Annabeth was then freed from her bonds and trying to stop Luke and Thalia from fighting, when her father comes in with a Sopwith Camel firing celestial bronze bullets at the monsters. Meanwhile, Percy and Artemis are trying to help Zoë.

Artemis told everyone that they all had to leave, as Zoë was extremely injured and needed assistance immediately. Thalia, Percy, Annabeth, and Artemis crowded around Zoë. Zoë apologized to Thalia for their arguing and to Percy for how she made assumptions that he was like Hercules. Her last words were "I can see the stars again m'lady"..."stars". Artemis then blessed her and made her into a constellation in the stars. A pattern of stars that looked like a young girl running around firing arrows into the night sky. "Let the world honor you my Huntress, live forever in the stars." said Artemis.

The Battle of the Labyrinth

Zoë's constellation "The Huntress" is shown shining in the night sky.

She is mentioned again when Percy speaks to Calypso, the nymph who resides on Ogygia. Calypso is also another child of Atlas. Percy tells her he had met another daughter of Atlas before, Zoë. He described as one of the "bravest people he had ever met."

The Heroes of Olympus

The Son of Neptune

When Percy sees Mount Tam on his quest with Hazel and Frank, Hazel tells him about Camp Jupiter's assault on the Titan base. Percy has a flashback of fighting there, remembering when he was there with Zoë, Artemis, Annabeth, and Thalia Grace fighting Atlas, but he was unable to remember any of their names, and the memory soon leaves him.

The House of Hades

Annabeth remembers Zoë's sacrifice to save Artemis and her. The River Acheron mentally tortures Annabeth by showing her Zoë's death and saying that she could have prevented it.

The Blood of Olympus

Phoebe mentions Zoë having spent centuries trying to track and kill Orion, who harbors a strong hatred for the Hunters and Amazons due to his tragic past with Artemis.

The Trials of Apollo

The Dark Prophecy

Emmie, a former Hunter, remarks that Calypso looks a lot like Zoë as she is helping Leo pick her up.

Personality

He was all the things I'd originally disliked about Zoë, with none of the good I'd come to appreciate.

–Percy, talking about Atlas and Zoë's similarities.

Zoë was a loyal lieutenant to Artemis, never wavering in over 2000 years. In The Titan's Curse, Zoë fought with Thalia quite often. This was because Thalia had refused to join the Hunters when Zoë offered her the chance. However, she eventually changes her mind, influenced no doubt by Zoë and Bianca's bravery. Zoë had an extreme distrust of male heroes, because of her history with Hercules, but eventually warmed up to Percy during their quest to save Artemis. Throughout the book, Zoë was shown to speak Early Modern, or Shakespearean English. She was also said to speak in a strange accent, more heavily when she is upset. She also showed a particular interest and love for the stars, she was also offended when Percy referred to Ursa Major constellation as "the bear thing", and when Percy talks about the bear simply being a constellation, Zoë claimed that "It was a worthy opponent!" She gets especially irritated whenever Thalia corrected her speech, exclaiming "I hate this language! It changes too often!" referring to the way the English language has changed over the centuries. She herself spoke using "thou, thee, and thy." Zoë also had some of her father's traits, but was overall a much kinder person that Percy had come to respect.

In the beginning, Zoë seemed aloof and unfriendly, but turned out to have a big heart and endless loyalty to Artemis. When Atlas was about to kill Percy, she screamed, "NO!" and fired a handful of arrows into his armpit so he would turn on her and give Percy a chance to recover, Percy would've died at that moment if it wasn't for Zoë. She also gave her life to save Artemis despite knowing that the line in the prophecy saying "One shall perish by a parent's hand" was referring to her, she knew she was going to die, and went on the quest anyways, this is the quality of a true hero, that needs to be honored. With her dying breaths she told Percy, "You spoke the truth. You are nothing like... like Hercules. I am honored that you carry this sword," referring to the fact that she was the original owner and creator of the weapon, Anaklusmos.

Finally, in the end, Zoë's legacy remains as her persuasion seemed to come through and Thalia declares that she will join the Hunt, to forsake men like Luke and not be the demigod in the Great Prophecy.

Appearance

Zoë was described by Percy to be tall, graceful, and gorgeously beautiful: she had brown eyes, a slightly upturned nose, copper-colored skin, and the silver circlet braided into the top of her long, dark hair gave her the impression of a Persian princess. Percy also stated that he could see the family resemblance between Zoë and her father Atlas, with them sharing the same regal expression, the same cold, proud look in their eyes (which Zoë got when she was angry), though on him it looked "a thousand times more evil."

Abilities

As a Hunter she has these abilities.

  • Huntress Immortality: She is immortal as well as doesn't age. (unless she falls in battle or breaks her oath). She was also immune to diseases.
  • Archery:Excellent aim with the bow and skilled with hunting knives. Her skills with a bow and arrow are sufficient to keep her father, Atlas, pressured during their battle. She can make a bow appear and also she can make them disappear.
  • Enhanced Physiology: She is naturally stronger and faster than a regular mortal, demigod, or nymph. She also has a silver-colored aura.
  • Zoolingualism: She can talk to wild animals.

  • Leadership/Tracking: Zoë has great leadership skills. 
  • Tracking': Zoë has great tracking skills.
  • Battle Prowess: She usually has the upper hand in battle because of her fighting powers.
  • Due to her being the daughter of Atlas, it is possible that she had stronger, unseen powers compared to the other Hunters, but she did not demonstrate them.

Weaknesses

  • Can die if beaten in battle or if her immortality is revoked, whether forced or voluntary.
  • Is reluctant to accept help from men and campers from Camp Half-Blood.
  • Protective of her Hunters (shown in The Titan's Curse when she refused to take another Hunter on her quest when Phoebe got poisoned by the centaur blood T-shirt in fear of losing another Hunter).
  • Extremely loyal to Artemis (shown when she was willing to take the sky for her in The Titan's Curse).
  • Fatal Flaw is excessive loyalty to ones she loves.

Relationships

Artemis

"No! Do not offer, Zoë! I forbid you.

–Artemis, holding up the sky on Mount Tamalpais

Zoë was an extremely loyal and devoted lieutenant to Artemis. She loved Artemis over anyone, a love that her mistress reciprocated. When she saw Artemis being forced to hold up the sky, she was in tears and begging Atlas to free her. Atlas challenged her to take it for Artemis, and she would have, if Artemis had not forbidden her to do so. Before Zoë died, Artemis assured her that she had served her with great honor, and was the finest of her attendants. She even transformed Zoë into a constellation as a way of ensuring that she would be honored by the world. Zoë's death was probably one of the hardest deaths for Artemis

Thalia Grace

Even before the events of the series, Zoë and Thalia had been at odds. Their feud originated when Thalia refused Zoë's invitation to join the Hunters and her advice that all men would let her down. The two fought over the smallest things, including the proper way to speak current English. However, the two reconciled after the fight with Atlas, with Thalia admitting that Zoë may have been right about men, and the dying Zoë admitting that she may have been wrong. Zoë even apologized for their arguments and admitted that she would have been happy to have Thalia as her sister. Following her death, Thalia succeeds her as the lieutenant of the Hunters of Artemis.

Hercules

Hercules was given Riptide by Zoë. Back then, Anaklusmos (Riptide) was a hair clip she owned, but she gave it to Hercules as a gift in order to aid him in his labor, and betrayed her family in order to make sure Hercules succeeded. Hercules eventually betrayed Zoë, resulting in her extreme dislike of men, heroes especially, comparing them all to Hercules.

Percy Jackson, her friend.

You spoke the truth. You are nothing like... like Hercules. I am honored that you carry this sword.

–Zoë to Percy, in The Titan's Curse

When Zoë and Percy first met, she disliked him because he was a male and reminded her of Hercules, the hero who betrayed her.

She also becomes annoyed when she finds that he had been following their group the entire time. However, she begins to trust him after his idea managed to defeat the Nemean Lion and even gave the monster's pelt to Percy, as his plan was the one that worked. Toward the end of The Titan's Curse, before she dies she says that Percy is nothing like Hercules and that she is honored he carries the sword she made. She also says that not all men are bad, and looks at Percy after saying this to Thalia.

Zoë's father, Atlas, is the eldest son of the Titan Iapetus, thus making Zoë the granddaughter of Iapetus (who is later renamed Bob). In The Titan's Curse, Zoë's last words were "Stars. I can see the stars again, m'lady (talking to Artemis). After her death Artemis turns her into a constellation; The Huntress. In The House of Hades, when Bob (Iapetus) was about to sacrifice his life along with Damasen, he says to Percy and Annabeth "say hello to the sun and stars from me", having missed them due to his time in the Underworld. It is possible that this is Bob's way of connecting with his granddaughter by saying 'say hello to the sun and stars from me' as Zoë is now a constellation in the sky.

Etymology

Her name is of Greek origin, meaning "life" or "full of life."

Nightshade is an appropriate last name for Zoë as it means shadow of night and Hesperide, a foreshadow to her lineage. Her bitter relationship with Percy may be a reference to the fact that the nightshade flower is poisonous to horses, which Percy's father created.

Trivia

  • Interestingly, Zoë says that her last name is Nightshade, although back in Ancient Greece, no one had a last name. Hence, it was possible this is a title of sorts that she had picked up over the years.
  • In the Brazilian translation, she is referred to as Zöe Doce-Amarga (Zöe Sweet-Bitter).
  • In some alternate translations of the book, such as Portuguese or Spanish, her last name is "Belladonna" rather than "Nightshade." Belladonna and Nightshade are in fact two names ascribed to the same plant, a medicinal herb that has been used as an anesthetic, and more often as a deadly poison.
  • In The Titan's Curse, Percy has a dream about Zoë's past. In the dream, Zoë claims that her mother is Pleione, but in some myths, the mother of the Hesperides is either Hesperis or Nyx.
  • Zoë is the second known person Artemis sent to the stars, the first being Orion.
  • Despite almost always speaking Shakespearean English,  Zoë does say 'you' and not 'thee' a few times.
  • Water nymphs tend to be mean to Zoë, as she claimed that they have never forgiven her for betraying her stepmother, Pleione, a water nymph.
  • Zoë shares similarities with her half-sister Merope, another mythological daughter of Atlas. Both girls betrayed their sisters - the Hesperides and the Pleiades respectively - for a mortal man; Zoë by helping Hercules on his quest and Merope by marrying the mortal king Sisyphus.
    • Interestingly, some myths list the Pleiades as companions of Artemis, just as Zoë was the goddess' lieutenant and a Hunter of Artemis.
  • She is the third Hunter of Artemis who didn't hate Percy because of his gender, along with Thalia and Bianca.
  • She is one of five deceased female Hunters mentioned by name in the series, Bianca, Phoebe, Celyn, and Naomi being the others.

References

  1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Three, The Titan's Curse, Chapter Twelve, page 157
  2. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Titan's Curse, Chapter Fourteen, page 205
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Core Series: The Lightning Thief | The Sea of Monsters | The Titan's Curse | The Battle of the Labyrinth | The Last Olympian
Main Characters: Percy Jackson | Grover Underwood | Annabeth Chase | Tyson | Clarisse La Rue | Thalia Grace | Nico di Angelo | Chiron | Luke Castellan | Rachel Elizabeth Dare
Minor Characters: Travis Stoll | Connor Stoll | Mrs. O'Leary | Silena Beauregard | Charles Beckendorf | Sally Jackson | Paul Blofis | Blackjack | Zoë Nightshade | Bianca di Angelo | Juniper | Michael Yew | Ethan Nakamura
Olympian Gods: Zeus | Hera | Poseidon | Demeter | Ares | Athena | Apollo | Artemis | Hephaestus | Aphrodite | Hermes | Dionysus | Hades | Hestia
Minor Gods: Amphitrite | Ariadne | Hecate | Iris | Janus | Morpheus | Nemesis | Pan | Persephone | Triton
Titans: Kronos | Atlas | Calypso | Iapetus | Krios | Hyperion | Oceanus | Prometheus
Related Content: Rick Riordan | The Lightning Thief (film) | The Sea of Monster (film) | The Demigod Files | Demigods and Monsters | The Ultimate Guide | The Heroes of Olympus
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