|“||Beauty is about finding the right fit, the most natural fit. To be perfect, you have to feel perfect about yourself — avoid trying to be something you're not. For a goddess, that's especially hard. We can change so easily.||”|
Birth and Marriage
After Kronos dismembered Ouranos, he hurled his father's remains into the sea, and from the foam, Aphrodite was born. The sea in which she was born is said to be near Paphos, a city on the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean sea. There she met the three Horai (season goddesses), who clothed her in a beautiful white dress, a delicate golden crown, golden earrings, and a golden necklace, and subsequently escorted her to Mount Olympus.
Due to her incredible beauty, Aphrodite caused a lot of problems on Olympus when she first arrived. While Zeus, Poseidon, Ares, Apollo, and Hermes all instantly wanted her for themselves, Hephaestus didn't participate in the commotion, and instead sat in the shadows, quiet and dejected, knowing that his ugliness stripped him of any chance of competing for the gorgeous Aphrodite. Hera, feeling that her godly family was about to unravel, was determined to prevent that, and hastily ordered the other Olympians to silence themselves. As the goddess of marriage, she felt an obligation to pick the perfect husband for the new goddess and proclaimed that such a perfect match was her son Hephaestus, much to Ares' and Aphrodite's dismay. Hephaestus himself was so surprised that he fell off of his throne. Athena was quick to agree with Hera as well, pointing out that if Aphrodite were to marry anyone else, all of the other male gods would never stop fighting about it, while it would be nearly impossible for them to be jealous of Hephaestus. Hence, Zeus married both of them right then and there, with Hephaestus promising to be a loving husband.
She would later have her husband forge her a magical golden girdle, which made her completely irresistible to anyone she fancied. Hera would borrow it from her on at least one occasion, to make amends with Zeus after a particularly unpleasant argument or if she ever wanted something from him.
Humiliation by Hephaestus
While Hephaestus did keep his word, Aphrodite would stay away from her husband as much as possible, with them never having any kids. She soon began an affair with Ares, the handsome and passionate god of war, which became the worst kept secret on Mount Olympus (as they were seen together many times by Helios), with Hephaestus being the only person that didn't know, possibly because he wanted to believe that his wife could love him. Aphrodite gave birth to five children from Ares: Eros, Deimos, Phobos, Harmonia, and Anteros, yet their lack of resemblance to Hephaestus would make her husband suspicious.
One day, when Hephaestus pretended to depart for Lemnos, Ares and Aphrodite retired to the latter's bedroom but were imprisoned and immobilized by an unbreakable golden net as soon as they jumped into bed. A returned Hephaestus then proceeded to lead the rest of the gods into his bedroom, determined to humiliate the cheating pair. However, Zeus and Hermes found the situation hilarious and were promptly joined in prolonged contagious laughter by the other gods, with Athena taking the chance to jeer at Aphrodite. Finally, however, Poseidon managed to collect himself and requested that Hephaestus release the pair. The blacksmith god begrudgingly agreed, but only on the condition of Zeus repaying him all the gifts that he had made for Aphrodite's dowry. Poseidon then insisted that Ares be released as well, vouching to ensure that the war god would pay any price that would settle this debt. Hephaestus agreed, requesting a price of 10 wagon loads of the best armor, weapons, and war spoils from Ares' fortress. With an agreement reached, Hephaestus finally released them both.
In the subsequent years, however, Hephaestus continued to find ways to trap and publicly embarrass Ares and Aphrodite, as seen in The Lightning Thief. While he was still married to his unfaithful wife, Hephaestus would now feel entitled to pursue relationships with other women as well, the first of them, much to Aphrodite's chagrin, being Aglaia, who was one of her three Charities handmaidens. Despite the public humiliation, however, Aphrodite continued her affairs with Ares. She would also have romances with both mortals and other gods over the centuries.
When a proud Athena performed with her newly invented flute before Aphrodite, Demeter, and Hera, the goddesses began giggling and whispering to each other, with Aphrodite being the one to demonstrate how Athena's facial features comically contort while she plays. An embarrassed Athena fled in humiliation, and hurled the flute off of Olympus, cursing it to give the worst fortune to the next person to play it, which ended up being the satyr Marsyas.
Desperate to punish the Titan Epimetheus for the actions of his brother Prometheus (who had stolen divine fire from the gods and shared it with mankind), Zeus offered him quite a few gifts, but the Titan refused, heeding his wise brother's advice.
Finally, Zeus took Aphrodite's suggestion of using a woman. Hence, at Aphrodite's direction, Hephaestus molded the very first woman out of clay, and all the gods participated in ensuring that this first woman was perfect in every way: Athena gifted her with cleverness and curiosity, as well as teaching her weaving and crafts; Apollo taught her to sing and play the lyre, Demeter taught her how to tend a garden, Poseidon gave her a pearl necklace and promised she would never drown, Hermes gave her deceitfulness, while Aphrodite herself gave her beauty and charm to make her irresistible. As a result, this woman was named "Pandora", meaning "all the gifts".
Stunned at her beauty, Epimetheus forgot all about his brother's warning and promptly married her. Aphrodite soon dropped off a large ceramic Pithos as a gift for Pandora and encouraged the latter to never open it. After several days, however, Pandora, overwhelmed with curiosity, finally opened it, unleashing Hunger, Thirst, Poverty, Murder, Death, Jealousy, and many other evil things into the world. Only Elpis, the spirit of Hope remained in the jar.
After learning that Hippolytus, a charming and handsome prince joined Artemis' hunt without any interest in flirting with her Huntresses, the goddess was greatly enraged by his romanticism. Hence, when Hippolytus returned home to visit his father King Theseus, the two got into an argument about Hippolytus marrying and having children, despite the latter insisting on remain with Artemis. Unbeknownst to father and son, Aphrodite was manipulating their emotions into a rage, resulting in Theseus drawing a sword and striking Hippolytus dead. Artemis, however, managed to persuade her nephew Asclepius to resurrect her dear friend with Physician's Cure, angering Aphrodite again, making her complain to Zeus. The King of Olympus appeased her and Hades by personally striking down Asclepius with a thunderbolt.
Pygmalion, a Cypriot sculptor, failed to find love among local women and carved a beautiful ivory statue resembling Aphrodite, his ideal of what a woman should be. Much to his dismay, he found himself deeply in love with the statue. Hence, during the Feast of Aphrodite, Pygmalion went to the goddess's temple and requested her assistance in finding a woman as wonderful as the goddess herself, and as beautiful as his ivory statue. Touched by his passionate love, Aphrodite granted the sculptor's request, making the statue come to life as a woman who returned Pygmalion's passionate love and affection.
Anchises and Aeneas
Zeus would eventually come to blame Aphrodite for inducing his many affairs with mortal women since that always caused problems and arguments with his wife Hera. Hence, as a punishment, Zeus somehow made her fall in love with a mortal shepherd Anchises. Aphrodite disguised herself as a mortal maiden and approached him. Awed by her beauty, Anchises would soon propose to her and they had a wonderful honeymoon. Several months later, however, Zeus' enchantment finally wore off, much to the goddess' shock and embarrassment. She had to leave, making Anchises promise never to reveal who his wife had been. Aphrodite subsequently raised their demigod son Aeneas until he was five, after which she brought him back to his father. When Anchises got older and less careful, he eventually let it slip that Aeneas's mother was actually Aphrodite herself. As a punishment, Anchises was lightly struck by Zeus's thunderbolt, injuring his legs.
Aeneas would grow up to become a great prince of the city of Troy, participating in the 10-year-long Trojan War, and later sailing to Italy, becoming the first leader of a new people, who came to call themselves the Romans.
One Greek princess, Smyrna, refused to worship Aphrodite, so the goddess punished her by making Smyrna fall in love with and seduce Cinyras, her own father. Afterward, an infuriated Cinyras would pursue her with a bared sword, threatening to kill her. However, Aphrodite took pity on the woman and transformed Smyrna into a myrrh tree.
Nine months later, the tree split open, revealing a baby boy inside. Due to her own busy schedule, Aphrodite chose Persephone to help her raise him, with both goddesses taking turns raising the boy (whom Aphrodite named Adonis), shuffling him back and forth between Aphrodite's secret lair on Cyprus and Persephone's Palace. He would eventually grow up into an incredibly handsome young man, by far the most handsomest mortal man in the world. As a result, both goddesses instantly fell in love with Adonis and began fighting over him. With them unable to reach a compromise, both goddesses took Adonis to Mount Olympus, where Zeus decided that it would be best for Adonis to spend a third of each year with each respective goddess, and have the final third to himself.
For a while, Adonis and Aphrodite were a happy couple and had a demigod daughter Beroe. One day, however, while hunting in the woods, Adonis came across a fierce wild boar (most likely placed there by a jealous Ares) that stabbed him to death with its tusks. A devastated Aphrodite turned his body into blood-red roses and anemones.
Aphrodite contributed greatly to the cause of the Trojan War, which lasted ten years and caused the violent downfall of the city of Troy. During the marriage of Thetis and Peleus, Eris, in anger for not being invited tossed a Golden Apple into the room, where several goddesses saw it and fought over it. Eventually, it came down to three goddesses, Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena. They quarreled over who was the fairest of them all, as the apple read "For the Fairest" on it. Zeus, tired of all the arguing, sent Hermes to bring the first person he found to judge who is the fairest of the three goddesses. Unfortunately, he found Paris, Prince of Troy, to judge them. Hera offered him control over all Asia and Europe if she was picked while Athena offered battle skills and intelligence. Aphrodite, on the other hand, offered him the hand of the most beautiful woman alive. Paris thought nothing of Athena and Hera's offers, so he chose Aphrodite's gift. Aphrodite asked her son Eros to cause back to the city of Troy. However, Helen was already married to King Menelaus of Sparta and when he learned of what happened, he went to his brother Agamemnon and the two started a campaign against Troy, resulting in the Trojan War. Aphrodite supported Troy in the war and intervened many times on behalf of Paris, and her favorite son, Aeneas, who was also of Trojan royalty.
Aphrodite is mentioned as constantly cheating on her husband with Ares (and mortals judging from all of her children). Hephaestus constantly makes traps to embarrass her in front of the other gods, one of which Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase get trapped in while recovering Ares' shield at an abandoned waterpark. Percy finds Aphrodite's scarf, which Annabeth snatches away from him before he can get intoxicated by the perfume. Later in the series, Percy finds the scarf in the attic of the Big house whilst visiting the Oracle and wonders why Annabeth kept it since he thought she had just thrown it away.
When Percy visits the attic to see the Oracle, he sees Aphrodite's scarf from the events of The Lightning Thief and wonders why Annabeth had left it in the attic. He later meets Aphrodite and Ares outside of the Junkyard of the Gods in the desert. She expresses her interest in Percy's love life, saying that his desire to save Annabeth is very cute. She also says that she isn't going to make Percy's love life easy and that she was the one who gave the poisoned T-shirt to Connor and Travis Stoll to pass to Phoebe as to give Percy entrance to the Quest. She is also seen at the winter solstice voting for Percy and Thalia Grace not to be disintegrated.
When Percy lands on the island of Ogygia, he meets Calypso and thinks that she is more beautiful than Aphrodite, but doesn't dare to say it out loud for fear of being zapped by her. Also, when Hephaestus comes to the island to ask Percy if he wants to leave, he tells him to beware of love due to the lack of loyalty from his wife. Percy also assumes Aphrodite landed him on Ogygia to make his love life interesting because she "likes him", although he later learns that it was Hera who had sent him to Ogygia.Leo Valdez, Jason Grace, Gleeson Hedge, and Piper all have new clothes and a bag with supplies.
In the dream, she tells Piper of their true enemy, Gaea. She also reveals why she considers herself to be the most powerful goddess as well as the oldest, being created out of Ouranos. When he was defeated his immortal essence created the sea foam from which Aphrodite was born. She believes she is the most powerful due to the fact that love can bring the gods to their knees.
She also tells Piper that she truly loved Tristan McLean, and understood him well enough not to reveal her real nature. Aphrodite reveals a more caring nature, as shown by appearing to care for her children far more than the other gods. Also, by treating people she loves in a kinder way, she seems to understand humans more than the other gods and it is likely that without Aphrodite, they would not have been able to complete the quest.
Aphrodite/Venus appears as both her Greek and Roman counterpart to Piper, Annabeth, and Hazel Levesque. She explains that because love is universal, her Greek and Roman sides stay the same, unlike the rest of the gods.
When Reyna, with the help of six pegasi, finally manages to place the Athena Parthenos on Half-Blood Hill, golden light ripples across the ground, seeping warmth into the bones of both Greek and Roman demigods and curing all of Aphrodite's fellow Olympians of their split personalities. As a result, Aphrodite promptly arrives in Athens to participate in the final battle with the Giants. She helps her daughter Piper fight and kill the Giantess Periboia (strewing numerous rose petals into the latter's eyes), after which Hades sends her slayed body back to Tartarus.
Aphrodite is temperamental, vain, crafty, flirtatious, and disloyal to her husband Hephaestus, as evident by her having many affairs (most notably with Ares). She was shown to have a deep grudge against those who have "perverted" notions of love, such as the self-absorbed Narcissus and the asexual Hippolytus, and would punish them severely if she could.
Aphrodite could also be cruel and vindictive against those who either disrespect her, as seen by the example of Smyrna, who refused to worship and respect the goddess. As a result, the goddess cursed Smyrna into falling in love with Cinyras, her own father. Afterwards, an infuriated Cinyras pursued her with a bared sword, threatening to kill her. The goddess was infamously brutal towards Psyche in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, since the latter had not only unintentionally taken away the spotlight from Aphrodite, but had also won the love of the goddess' own son, Eros.
Despite her dark side, Aphrodite could be truly sweet, loving, and passionate, and she has a faith in love that is absolute and true. She could also be gentle and gracious to those she favors (such as Pygmalion and Adonis in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods), and she deeply cares for her children as well as their fathers. Her graciousness could even extend towards those who had initially incurred her wrath by offending her, as seen by how she ultimately took pity on Smyrna and transformed her into a myrrh tree to protect her from her father's wrath.
Presiding over the most powerful of human feelings, Aphrodite has great insight into mortal emotions, as well as mortal nature by extension. It is nearly impossible to disagree with her. She also is shown to be good-natured and cheerful, looking at the bright side of most, if not all, situations.
|“||She was elegant without trying, fashionable without effort, stunning without makeup.||”|
As the personification of beauty, Aphrodite's true appearance is actually unknown as she would appear to others as their personal epitome of physical attraction.
In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, it was confirmed that Aphrodite's appearance would change to appeal to each person who gazed upon her. Before she was presented to the other gods at Olympus, the Horai dressed her in a beautiful white gossamer dress, placed a delicate golden crown on her head, hung gold earrings in her ears, and draped a gold necklace at the base of her throat. She was so beautiful that she immediately excited desire and admiration in all the Gods, and envy and resentment in all the goddesses. In Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, it is mentioned that Aphrodite's eyes glow pink when she is infuriated.
In The Titan's Curse, Aphrodite was portrayed as wearing a red satin dress, with hair curled in a cascade of ringlets, perfect makeup, dazzling eyes like pools of spring water, and a smile that would have lit up the dark side of the moon. Her beauty was such that at his first sight of her, Percy forgot his location and how to speak coherently, and he noted that when she smiled, she looked like a mixture of Annabeth and a TV actress he had a crush on in fifth grade. Aphrodite was also shown to take especial care of her looks and can see the tiniest flaw, as demonstrated by her asking Percy to hold her mirror while she amended some flaw he could not see.
In The Lost Hero, when Piper first saw Aphrodite in Medea's department store during a dream, she wore a different appearance but was still gorgeous to behold: shoulder-length hair, a graceful neck, perfect features, and an amazing figure tucked into jeans and a snowy-white top. Piper also noted that Aphrodite was different from other extremely beautiful women she had seen before: her mother was elegant without trying, fashionable without effort, stunning without makeup. However, she was unable to determine the exact color of her mother's hair and eyes, given that Aphrodite's appearance changed as she observed her, due to her trying to match Piper's ideal of beauty.
In The Mark of Athena, Aphrodite appeared to Annabeth as a breathtakingly beautiful woman with dark chocolate curls and eyes that sparkled playfully, going from green to blue to amber. She was dressed like a Southern belle: her gown had a low-cut bodice of pink silk and a three-tiered hoop skirt with white scalloped lace, and she wore long white silk gloves and held a feathered pink-and-white fan to her chest. Her face was said to be hard to describe as her features seemed to shift from those of one glamorous movie star to another, becoming increasingly beautiful as it changed by the second. Annabeth was instantly, irrationally jealous of her because she had always wished she had dark hair so she would be taken more seriously than a blonde. Aphrodite also manifested other traits that served to make Annabeth feel inadequate: the easy grace with which she wore her dress, the perfect yet understated makeup, and the way she radiated feminine charm that no heterosexual man could possibly resist.
|“||I've met Aphrodite, goddess of love, in person, and her powers had scared me worse than Ares.||”|
–Percy Jackson in The Titan's Curse
As a daughter of Ouranos, Aphrodite is an extremely powerful goddess who surpassed many others, especially since - in her own words - "love can bring even the gods to their knees". Even Percy once acknowledged that Aphrodite's powers scared him more than Ares's.
- Amokinesis: As the Goddess of Love, she has divine authority and absolute control over the emotions of love and desire. She is able to arouse love and passion in others, and to entrance any mortal or god she desires with control over love, lust, beauty and other things related to them. The only known deities who have at least partial immunity to this are the three Virgin Goddesses: Hestia, Athena, and Artemis.
- Love Blasts: As seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, Aphrodite, when infuriated, can generate explosions of beautiful pink love energy, which are destructive enough to instantly blast the ceiling of her palace to rubble.
- Chlorokinesis (limited): In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, it is mentioned that magnificent flowers would blossom wherever she walked. She would later transform the body of her beloved Adonis into blood-red roses and anemones. In The Blood of Olympus, while helping Piper fight Periboia, Aphrodite strew numerous rose petals into the Giantess's eyes while calling encouragement to her daughter.
- Aerokinesis (limited): In The Blood of Olympus, while helping Piper fight Periboia, Aphrodite floated around them on a small white cloud.
- Beauty and Omnipotent Allure: As the Goddess of Beauty, Aphrodite could change her appearance at will, depending on the perception of beauty of the person she is in the presence of. As mentioned in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, her son Eros has inherited this ability of hers. Aphrodite is so breathtakingly beautiful that Percy's jaw dropped and he was speechless for a couple of seconds after first seeing her in The Titan's Curse. In The Lost Hero, her daughter Piper described Aphrodite as "elegant without trying, fashionable without effort, stunning without makeup." Hence, in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Aphrodite is the one to grant Pandora irresistible feminine beauty and charm.
- Beauty-Related Curses: As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, Aphrodite cursed the women of Lemnos with a stench so terrible that none of the men could stand to be within 50 feet of them.
- Charmspeak: Aphrodite's voice has a mesmerising effect, capable of influencing the emotions of others or of placing them in her thrall. It was revealed that her Charmspeak is far more powerful than that of her daughter, Piper.
- French: As revealed in The Lost Hero, Aphrodite has perfect fluency and understanding of French, as it is a language of love.
- Infallible Visual Acuity: Aphrodite possessed a level of microscopic-vision, as demonstrated in The Titan's Curse by her being able to see flaws in her makeup that Percy could not.
- Personification of Desire: As the Goddess of Desire and Pleasure, Aphrodite is the personification of all desire and fulfillment, and hence has full authority over provinces such as craving of the attainable, physical appetite, emotional need, envious desire, and even satisfaction (as it is an extension of the attainment of one's desire).
- Reality-Warping: In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Aphrodite was able to make Pygmalion's beautiful ivory statue come to life, demonstrating that she could manipulate reality itself to a considerable extent. In Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, Aphrodite further demonstrated this ability by conjuring up a rosewood box for Psyche out of thin air, and later creating several optical illusions of people in need, which, however, failed to distract Psyche.
- Control of Animals: Aphrodite appeared to have a high level of control over animals, particularly the dove, which is sacred to her. In The Blood of Olympus, she made doves rise up from nowhere and flutter into Periboia's face whenever the Giantess tried to strike.
As mentioned in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Aphrodite has a great many attributes. However, the most significant of all was her girdle, which had the ability to render any woman who wore it irresistible to the opposite sex, and it was described as a delicate sash embroidered with scenes of courtship, romance, and beautiful people doing beautiful things.
Aphrodite's sacred fruit is the apple (most likely as a result of Paris' judgement with the Apple of Discord). Her sacred flowers are the daffodil, the rose, and the anemone (the latter two had blossomed from the blood of her beloved Adonis). One of her sacred plants is the lettuce. Her sacred gem is the pearl, since it came from the sea just like she did. Her sacred animals are the dove, the swan, and the hare.
Aphrodite also has numerous loyal attendants, including Eros (her son and male counterpart), Hymenaios (the god of marriage ceremonies), Ganymede (the god of homosexual love and desire), the three Charitres handmaidens, and the few Erotes — miniature winged love gods.
Venus is Aphrodite's Roman aspect. She has children or descendants at Camp Jupiter near San Francisco, including Michael Kahale. The Greeks envisioned Aphrodite as a passionate and sensuous being. The Romans hailed Venus as the divine ancestress of their culture. Other than that fact, her Greek and Roman sides stay exactly the same, unlike the rest of the gods, since she explains that love is universal.
|Ares||Anteros, Adrestia, Deimos, Phobos, Eros (depending on the myth), Erotes, Harmonia|
|Hermes||Hermaphroditus, Tyche (depending on the myth)|
|Mr. Tanaka||Drew Tanaka|
|Mr. Marie||Emily Marie|
|Anchises||Aeneas and Lyrus|
|Mr. Beauregard||Silena Beauregard|
|Tristan McLean||Piper McLean|
|Mr. Diaz||Valentina Diaz|
Aphrodite's claiming is unique in that she gives her blessing as a declaration. She gave Piper magic makeup, a magic eyeliner, a sleeveless white dress, gold bracelets and a magic hairdo. It is unknown what the male version looks like.
Aphrodite is briefly seen during a meeting of the Olympian council.
In a coffee shop near the Capital Building, a god in the ATM is trying to convince to the viewer to purchase an Aphrodite Express Card.
- Aphrodite is also referred to as the "Lady of the Doves."
- The dove is one of her sacred birds.
- Some stories say her parents were Ouranos and Thalassa, the primordial sea goddess. When Ouranos' remains fell into the sea, Thalassa was impregnated and then gave birth to Aphrodite from the sea. This, however, is not mentioned in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods.
- Her name is the inspiration for aphrodisiac.
- The planet Venus is named after her Roman counterpart.
- Many assume Aphrodite is the eldest Olympian since she arose from Ouranos' remains. However, it's never stated when she arose from the sea foam from Ouranos' remains. In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, it was confirmed that Aphrodite did indeed arise from the sea after Zeus and his siblings were born, and when they began to rule the world from Mount Olympus.
- She was born of Ouranos, like the Titans. Despite this, she is a goddess. This may be because she could have arisen from Ouranos' remains after Zeus and his siblings were fully grown, thus being a goddess instead of a Titaness.
- Aphrodite has a belt (given to her by her husband, Hephaestus) that makes her seem even more beautiful.
- Aphrodite's shapeshifting ability has been emphasized more than the other gods.
- She is unaffected by her Roman form, much like Nemesis.
- Some myths say that she divorced Hephaestus, and he married Aglaia, who was the youngest of the three Charitres as well as the Goddess of Beauty, Splendor and Adornment.
- Aphrodite is the only Olympian who is neither a child nor a sibling of Zeus. However, it was said that Zeus adopted her, and some stories say that she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione.
- Her Norse equivalent would be Freya.
- Despite being the Goddess of Love first and foremost, Aphrodite can and will actually partake in combat, such as the final battle between the gods, heroes and giants. She tends to use her magic or powers of seduction to do this, but will also shift to direct combat if need be.