| Spoiler Alert!
Warning! This page contains spoilers for The Hidden Oracle.
|“|| Green grass breaks through snow, |
Artemis pleads for my help,
I am so cool.
–Apollo, reciting a haiku in The Titan's Curse
Apollo is the Greek god of the sun, light, healing, music, poetry, archery, reason and prophecy. He is the twin brother of the goddess Artemis. He is depicted as the god who drives the sun around in his chariot, a job he received when the original sun god, Helios, faded due to him being downsized by the Romans. He and his sister, Artemis, are known as the Twin Archers.
Birth and Fight with Python
When Leto was pregnant, Hera was furious with Zeus' unfaithfulness and forbade the Titan from giving birth on either the islands or mainlands. Fortunately, the floating isle of Delos gave sanctuary to Leto, and through the help of all the goddesses, who begged Hera to allow Eilethyia, the goddess of childbirth, to come to Leto, she finally gave birth to the goddess Artemis and, nine days later, Apollo. A four day-old Apollo petitioned Hephaestus for a golden bow and a set of arrows which he used to kill Python, a dragon that was previously sent by Hera to chase his mother, Leto. After his defeat of Python, Apollo established the Oracle of Delphi as recompense, for Python was the child of Gaea, and Gaea complained to Zeus about Apollo's act. He also established the Pythian games and named his Oracle the Pythia, to honor his great foe.
Losing his Cattle
When Hermes was born, he stole Apollo's sacred cattle. Outraged, Apollo demanded something to be done to him as punishment. Instead, to make up for it, Hermes made a lyre, a musical instrument, and gave it to Apollo as a peace offering. After that, Hermes and Apollo became the closest of friends, so much so that Apollo said to him that he was the most beloved of the gods to him, and Hermes became an Olympian. Soon after, Hermes crafted the reed pipes. Apollo begged for them, so Hermes made a deal with him: he would give him the reed pipes in exchange for the caduceus. Apollo agreed, and then became the god of music.
First Olympic Games
Apollo was believed to have won the first Olympic games, established to honor Zeus' victory over Kronos and was originally a game for the gods, and is recorded as defeating Ares at boxing and Hermes at racing. So the Ancient Greeks gave laurel branches as rewards to victors in honor of this, as the laurel was the holy tree of Apollo.
Asclepius and Punishment
Apollo is also the god who found Chiron and raised him, attributing Chiron's skills and wisdom to Apollo's tutelage. Thus, after Asclepius, the demigod son of Apollo was born, and was raised by Chiron. The centaur taught the demigod in medicine and would drive him to become the greatest of healers. Asclepius is said to have been Apollo's favorite demigod child.
Asclepius became even more skilled in medicine than his father Apollo, most likely because he devoted all of his time to it. With the help of Gorgon Blood (given to him by Athena), Asclepius could cure any illness, heal any injury, and even bring back the dead with the Physician's Cure. He most notably resurrected Hippolytos at his aunt Artemis' request. Furious, Hades forced Zeus to strike Asclepius dead with his thunderbolt for his transgression against the natural laws.
Apollo was angered and devastated by his favorite son's death, and he subsequently killed one of the Cyclopes (who forged Zeus's thunderbolts) in retaliation. To prevent a feud, Asclepius was resurrected and made into a god, but was forbidden by Hades from ever resurrecting the dead ever again.
For his murder of the Cyclopes, Apollo was forced by Zeus to live on earth for a year, stripped of his divinity and godly powers, and forced to serve the mortal King Admetus of Thessaly as a shepherd for a year. Fortunately for Apollo, Admetus was very hospitable, and treated the banished god with great respect. As a reward for his hospitality, Apollo even persuaded the Fates to reprieve Admetus of his fated day of death, as long as Admetus could find someone willing to die in his place.
At one point, Apollo would fall in love with the handsome mortal man Hyacinthus. One day, Zephyros, who was also smitten by Hyacinthus, came across him and Apollo playing a game of quoits. Jealous that Hyacinthus preferred the radiant archery god to him, Zephyros shifted the wind and sent a heavy metal ring flung by Apollo right at Hyacinthus’s head, instantly killing the youth. The devastated Apollo would turn his lover's deceased body into a flower, the hyacinth. In order to avoid Apollo's wrath, Zephyros would seek protection from Cupid, who forced the guilt-ridden wind god to work for him forever as a result.
When Niobe insulted his mother Leto, saying her children were more numerous, and better overall, Apollo shot arrows at Niobe's seven sons, while Artemis shot arrows at Niobe's seven daughters.
Olympian Riot, and Apollo's Punishment
Hera, enraged at her husband's infidelity, decided to start the first (and last) Olympian riot against Zeus. Hera managed to gain the support of Poseidon, as well as Apollo himself, and Athena. That evening, Apollo, Poseidon, and Athena hid themselves in the hall adjacent to Zeus' royal chambers, awaiting Hera's signal. As soon as Zeus had fallen asleep, all four of them quickly tightly bound the King of Olympus with unbreakable and tightening golden chains. Even chained up and completely immobilized, an infuriated Zeus looked very intimidating. Finally, Poseidon attempted to reason with his brother, and demanded that Zeus be a better ruler. Zeus refused, which prompted Hera to advocate leaving him chained up in his chambers until he agrees. Shortly thereafter, the four Olympians departed for the Throne Room for the first (and last) democratic meeting of the Olympian Council, which proved to be a very cumbersome task.
Fortunately, the violently trashing and bellowing King of Olympus was found by the Nereid Thetis. After convincing Zeus to be merciful towards the rioting Olympians, Thetis managed to find the Hekatonkheire, Briares, by the sea shore. He was more than happy to save Zeus, recalling that he owes his own freedom from Tartarus and Kampê to him. Briares quickly unchained Zeus, after which the latter seized his Master Bolt, and barged into the Throne Room, violently ending the meeting. Zeus remained true to his word, and was merciful towards the rioters, but he still punished them all accordingly.
Apollo was once again forced to live on earth stripped of his divinity and godly powers, and forced to serve Laomedon, the mortal King of Troy. Laomedon ordered Apollo to become his shepherd, and tend to his royal herds.
During the Trojan War, Apollo was the chief patron and protector of the Trojans and Hector in particular. Apollo shot arrows of horrible plague into the Greek encampment as retribution for Agamemnon's insult to his priest, whose daughter had been captured by them. He demanded her return and the Greeks complied, indirectly causing the anger of Achilles. Apollo also taunted Achilles so that he would chase him, giving the Trojans time to escape back to Troy.
When Diomedes injured Aeneas during a battle, Apollo rescued him after Aphrodite was wounded by Diomedes as well, trying to save her son. He transported the Trojan to Pergamos where his wound was tended by his mother and sister. Throughout the war, he constantly drove on Hector and almost destroyed the Greeks. At the behest of Zeus, Apollo used Zeus' Aegis to force the Greeks back to their ships. He also destroyed the great wall the Greeks built, as easily as a child breaks a sandcastle, according to Homer. Apollo also aided Paris in slaying the invulnerable Achilles by guiding the arrow of his bow into his vulnerable (Achilles') heel.
When Apollo's sister, Artemis, decides to hunt the Ophiotaurus, a powerful monster that has the power to bring down the gods and Olympus itself. Before Artemis leaves, she asks Apollo to take her Hunters and various demigods to Camp Half-Blood because this mission is too dangerous for them, although Zoë Nightshade wanted to come with her.
He agrees and makes a haiku about their meeting, but he and Artemis get into a tiny argument about "I am so cool," only being four syllables, he then changes it to, "I am so awesome." Everyone believes his haikus are terrible.
Apollo gives Percy Jackson, Thalia Grace, Nico and Bianca di Angelo, and the Hunters a ride, and he allows Thalia to drive his chariot, as she is the daughter of Zeus, lord of the sky, saying that he won't zap her out of the sky. However, Thalia is terrified during the ride because of her fear of heights, and ends up accidentally scorching New England. Apollo appears to be scared during the drive too, though he did say a few reassuring words during the ride.
The combination results in a gut-retching experience for the group. But at last, they arrive at Camp Half-Blood (by crashing into the lake) where Apollo sees them off, and leaves.
After Artemis is kidnapped, Percy, Thalia, Zoë, Bianca, and Grover Underwood leave to rescue her and Annabeth Chase. Apollo is worried about his sister, and when he tries to use his supernatural sight to find her, he discovers she has been clouded from him, so he breaks the Ancient Laws, and helps the questers by getting on a train headed west. Apollo is in disguise as a homeless man named Fred, however he tells Percy a haiku, which reveals himself (as Percy has never met anyone else who could tell such a horrible haiku). He warns Percy not to let anyone know he spoke to him, and advises him to seek out Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea.
Later, at Olympus, Apollo votes for Percy not to be killed, and gives him a thumbs-up from his throne. He was listening to his iPod at the time, so it is unknown how much of the debate he actually heard. He also offers Percy the chance to drive his chariot and archery lessons though Percy rejects the former as he's bad with a bow.
Apollo joins forces with the other gods of Olympus against Typhon in his golden chariot. Apollo also cures Annabeth and he presides over the initiation of Rachel Elizabeth Dare as the new Oracle of Delphi at Camp Half-Blood while also healing Chiron. When Poseidon defeats Typhon, Apollo joins the rest of the gods on Olympus, and is there when Percy, Annabeth, and Grover are all thanked for their efforts. When Annabeth is made the official architect of Olympus, Apollo and Ares agree with Aphrodite's suggestion for lots of statues of the gods.
Due to his archery skills, Frank had initially assumed that he was a son of Apollo, and frequently prayed to the god to claim him.
Apollo, along with most of the other Olympians, was incapacitated (with his personality split between him and his Roman form) after Leo was manipulated by Gaea into shooting upon Camp Jupiter from the Argo II.
When Percy sees Apollo's grandfather, the Titan Koios, he notes that he has Apollo's bright smile.
When the Argo II docks at Delos, Leo, Frank and Hazel find the Twins, saying how only on Delos are they not incapacitated with pain by the Greek-Roman schism. Apollo expresses his strong disapproval of his legacy Octavian, and then reveals that he has lost his sight of prophecy, as Python blocks the cave on Delphi once more. Leo talks to Apollo alone, asking for advice on his plan to defeat Gaea, as well as the physician's cure. Apollo remarks that the plan could work, similar to how the Titans once defeated Ouranos, by destroying his physical manifestation while he was at his weakest, as far as possible for his own realm. Apollo, however, warns Leo that any mortal close by would be destroyed if Gaea were to be defeated in such a way. Apollo tells Leo of the curse of Delos, the final ingredient for the physician's cure. When Leto was ready to give birth to Apollo and Artemis, Hera made all the nature spirits swear to reject Leto so she couldn't give birth. However, Delos was a floating island then, so Leto gave birth to the twins, causing the island to bloom yellow flowers out of happiness, but Delos became rooted then, so flowers picked by Apollo or Artemis on Delos are the curse of Delos. Leo trades Apollo a Valdezinator , a musical contraption that translates feelings into music in exchange for his help.
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 the Olympians (including Apollo) of their split personalities. As a result, Apollo and Artemis promptly leave Delos to participate in the final battle with the Giants in Athens. The twins help slay quite a few Giants with their arrows, after which Hades sends their bodes back to Tartarus, by opening up abysses after each Giant is killed.
After the battle, Zeus punishes Apollo for not only encouraging Octavian to follow his dangerous path, but also for revealing the prophecy much too soon. He sends Apollo back to Mount Olympus, even though Apollo told Leo that prophecy doesn't work that way, just that Zeus wants someone to blame.
Later, when Will Solace confronts Octavian, he claims that Apollo would strongly disapprove of the latter's actions. It can be assumed that Apollo wasn't at all saddened by his legacy's horrific fiery demise.
Apollo has been obsessed with haikus ever since he visited Japan and also appears to obsess over other kinds of poems, depending on where he visits. Although he considers himself a great poet, he is actually really terrible at it. In The Titan's Curse, Zoë Nightshade briefly mentions that after Apollo visited Ireland, he obsessed over limericks for a time. He loves his 'little' sister Artemis, even though they often clash, as he is the more laid back, less serious twin; he is always hitting on her Hunters as well. He is also shown to have good relations with his demigod relatives, such as Percy, illegally helping him during his quest, and offering to teach him archery. Apollo is described as arrogant, self-centered, and cocky. Apollo is also a major flirt, as he often flirts with Artemis' hunters, even though she has forbidden it. Despite his flirting however, the Hunters refuse to be charmed by Apollo, due to their oath.
However, there is also a darker side to Apollo, and he is shown to be capable of cruelty, shown when he placed a terrible curse on his son Halcyon Green, just because the latter tried to go against fate. Apollo is also very protective of his mother Leto, shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, when he ruthlessly killed all seven of Niobe's sons, after she insulted Leto, and later when he personally asked Hades to eternally torture Tityos for harassing his mother.
Percy Jackson's Greek Gods describes Apollo as an extremely handsome god, being as tall and muscular and bronzed as a Baywatch lifeguard, with long golden hair tied back in a "man bun" and eyes that shone like the sun, much like those of Hyperion, though less harsh. His radiance was enhanced by his wearing a Greek robe of gold, and a beautiful golden bow and a quiver of magical arrows over his shoulders. His handsomeness was such that even Hera, who had a deep natural hatred of Zeus' mistresses and illegitimate children, did not dare object to his claiming his place among the Olympian gods. Apollo is often seen driving the Sun Chariot, and almost always has a laurel wreath on his head. The other novels also depict him as handsome and charming (when he chooses to be), though there are some inconsistencies with the description provided by Percy Jackson's Greek Gods.
In Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, when approaching Cyrene, Apollo wears flowing purple robes and a golden laurel wreath across his brow. His smile is described as blinding, while his eyes "shown like molten gold." He was surrounded by a flickering aura of honey-colored light.
In The Titan's Curse, Apollo was portrayed as having a resemblance to Luke Castellan, looking about seventeen or eighteen, with the same sandy hair and outdoorsy good looks. However, he was taller than Luke, with no scar on his face, and his smile was brighter and more playful, and he was dressed in jeans, loafers, and a sleeveless T-shirt. When guiding Percy and his friends to help rescue his sister, he was forced to take the form of a homeless, toothless man who looked like a teddy bear that had been run over by a truck, dressed in a ripped coat and worn-out almost-white jeans. After Artemis was rescued and the Olympians gathered to decide how to prepare for Kronos' uprising, he resumed his former attractive appearance.
In The Blood of Olympus, he was depicted as a seventeen-year-old youth, with curly blond hair and a perfect tan. He wore tattered jeans, a black T-shirt and a white linen jacket with glittering rhinestone lapels.
The differences in Apollo' physical description throughout the novels could be attributed to the fact that, as a god, he has the ability to assume any shape he desired, though he is always very handsome regardless.
Apollo is known to be Zeus's most powerful son, since Zeus trusted Apollo with more significant powers than any of his other children. Therefore, Apollo is an extremely powerful god, surpassed only by the Big Three, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia. Apollo has, however, been temporarily stripped of these powers by Zeus thrice - twice in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, and once again in The Hidden Oracle.
- Battle Prowess: Apollo has great superhuman strength and fighting skills, as the Homeric hymns describe that no ropes can bind him. He also wrestled and nearly killed Hercules in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes before Zeus threw his thunderbolt between the two when Hercules tried to steal his Oracle's tripod. Apollo also defeated Ares in boxing during the very first Olympic games, which were for the gods.
- Archery: As the God of Archery, he excels in archery as well as other target-shooting-based activities, such as basketball. According to Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Apollo's arrows can invisibly strike a person, no matter how far away he is. His skills in archery are only rivaled by his sister Artemis and the Giant Orion.
- Swordsmanship: Apollo is also an expert swordsman, as Homer describes him as 'Apollo of the Golden Sword'. In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, it is revealed that Apollo once had an extremely sharp sword made of adamant and Imperial Gold, but rarely used it, and later gave it to his younger brother Hermes in exchange for the flute.
- Musical Ability: As the God of Music, Apollo is an expert musician, and can play any musical instrument perfectly, though he is most often seen with his lyre. Apollo also has four golden celedons accompanying him in his musical performances, as well as being the leader of the Nine Muses. While competing with Marsyas in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Apollo's music brought the surrounding nymphs to tears, and he was later able to play his lyre just as well while holding it behind his back and not looking at the strings. Hence, Apollo would also be the one to teach Pandora how to sing and play the lyre, making her irresistible to Epimetheus. As of The Blood of Olympus, Apollo is determined to master the newly invented Valdezinator.
- Photokinesis: As the God of Light, he has absolute control and divine authority over light.
- Pyrokinesis: As the God of the Sun, he has absolute control over the flames of his Sun Chariot. This power of his is, however, slightly inferior to that of Hephaestus, the god of fire.
- Supernatural Sight: As the God of Light and the Sun, he can see almost anything and anywhere during the day. However, he was unable to see his kidnapped sister Artemis in The Titan's Curse, claiming that she had been "clouded from [him]."
- Vitakinesis: As the God of Healing and Medicine, he can manipulate and modify a person's anatomy, as well as restore the injured to near-instantaneous health (as seen in The Last Olympian when Apollo healed Annabeth and Rachel), though as seen in The Blood of Olympus, Apollo's son Asclepius is revealed to slightly surpass him in this regard.
- Enhanced Healing: He can instantly heal almost any wounds at a quicker rate than even other Olympians, shown when he healed Chiron from being brutally blasted by Kronos in a matter of minutes in The Last Olympian. Apollo is only rivaled in this regard by Asclepius. He always helps his demigod children heal the wounded when they sing a hymn to him in Ancient Greek.
- Disease Manipulation: If angered, Apollo can cause several diseases, mainly plague. During the Trojan War, when Agamemnon offended him, Apollo infected the latter's army with plague. As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Apollo uses special arrows for this, which explode and disseminate various horrible diseases.
- Prophecy: As the God of Prophecy and Foresight, Apollo is able to see into the future. However, he is unable to tell anyone future events, except through his Oracles, as then the information would become meaningless. This is a dangerous ability, and his only children known to have inherited it are Idmon and Halcyon Green, as well as his Roman legacy Octavian. Apollo does not have full control over this power either. He does not always know what the prophecies mean, nor can he always control when they are told.
- Madness (limited): In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Apollo drove Orion insane with the urge to hunt every beast on earth.
- Truth: He is also the God of Truth and was known to never tell a lie. However, in The Titan's Curse, he lied and said his name was Fred. This, however, might not necessarily be a lie, since "Fred" is simply the name of Apollo's alter ego when he poses as a mortal.
- Couplets Curse: As seen in The Last Olympian Apollo's demigod children can curse others to only speak in rhyming couplets that can take days or even weeks to wear off, so Apollo himself most likely has this same ability as well.
- Flight: As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Apollo has the ability to fly, which was shown when he flew to the island of Delos to slay Python, and when he and Artemis descended on the city of Thebes to punish Queen Niobe for her hubris.
- Invisibility: While first spying on the playing satyr Marsyas in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Apollo floated invisibly above the gathered crowd.
- Hypnokinesis (limited): As shown in The Titan's Curse, when he snapped his fingers and put Percy to sleep even though he wasn't tired, he has the power to put people to sleep. It is unknown to what extent he can control sleep.
- Shapeshifting: Apollo is capable of altering his appearance at will, shown when he transformed into his mortal alter-ego "Fred" in The Titan's Curse.
- Teleportation: Apollo can forcibly teleport others both to his side and away from him, which he did to Chiron in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes.
Apollo's attributes are his golden bow and arrow, his golden lyre (made for him by Hermes), the laurel wreath (in honor of Daphne, his unrequited love), the sacrificial tripod (representing his prophetic powers), and the hyacinth flower (which sprouted out of the blood of Hyacinthus, Apollo's deceased lover). Apollo's sacred animal is the swan.
As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, the Caduceus, winged sandals and golden Sword of Hermes used to belong to Apollo. However, he, admittedly never used them, and readily gave them to his younger brother Hermes in exchange for the latter's lyre and flute. In Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes it was revealed that he eventually gave his original golden lyre to Orpheus, after the latter's skill impressed it, and created another one for himself.
Apollo has several loyal attendants, including the Nine Muses (some of which he fathered children with) and four golden Celedons, all of which accompany Apollo in his musical performances.
Apollo loves both his mother and twin sister, Artemis, above all other women and will fiercely defend them. Apollo is surpassed only by his father and uncle in his romances. Many of his demigod children have become famed poets, writers and musicians (e.g. William Shakespeare)
|Unnamed woman from Miletus||Branchus|
|Ms. Fletcher||Lee Fletcher|
|Mary Shakespeare||William Shakespeare|
|Ms. Solace||Will Solace|
|Ms. Yew||Michael Yew|
|Caterina Da Vinci||Leonardo da Vinci|
|Calliope||Ialemus, Orpheus and Linus|
|Ms. Green||Halcyon Green|
|“||This chariot is built out of human dreams about the sun, kid. It's as old as Western Civilization. Every day, it drives across the sky from east to west, lighting up all those puny little mortal lives. The chariot is a manifestation of the sun's power, the way mortals perceive it.||”|
–Apollo, talking about his Chariot
Apollo's sun chariot is the one that brings light to the world, making the mortals believe that it is a huge ball of fire-the sun-in outer space (although Apollo infers that the Sun does still exist in space, just that the Sun Chariot is the embodiment of the Sun's Effect on Earth). Apollo's sun chariot can also turn to any other car; as shown in The Titan's Curse, the chariot changed into a Maserati and a bus.
Apollo is played by Dimitri Lekkos. In the movie, Apollo only appears once, during the scene with the whole council, and is not addressed, but is zoomed in on with Artemis at his side.
- Apollo gave Midas donkey ears after he declared Pan the winner in a music contest between the two gods.
- Artemis calls him big-headed and many other names siblings often call one another. In fact, when Nico pointed out that the sun was just a big fiery ball of gas, Apollo said that Artemis had called him a big fiery ball of gas once, which led humans to believe that was indeed what the sun was.
- Apollo's epithet of "Phoebus Apollo" is mentioned in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods as being a reference to his Titan grandmother Phoebe, from who he inherited his prophetic powers and the Oracle of Delphi.
- He slayed Marsyas, a mortal musician because he dared to challenge the god of music, but it was Apollo who won.
- He likes to make Haikus (Japanese poems) which probably mirrors the fact that Japan is referred as the 'Land of the rising sun' and Apollo is the sun god.
- Apollo is the only Olympian to share his name with his Roman aspect because "Perfection can't be improved."
- Apollo was equated with the Egyptian god Horus during the Hellenistic era, which was after Alexander's conquest of Egypt.
- Apollo is the only male Olympian that is described as having blond hair, the female one being his aunt Demeter.
- Apollo's incognito name 'Fred' may have been taken from the author of The Face of Apollo, by Fred Saberhagen.
- Apollo told Thalia that "I hate it when pretty girls turn in to trees." This is a reference Apollo's first love, Daphne. She was a nymph who became a laurel tree to escape him.
- Apollo is the one who informs Thalia of her age, which was previously unknown because of her transformation into a pine tree.
- NASA's spaceflight program that landed the first human on the moon was called the "Apollo Program."
- As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Poseidon and Apollo are the only two major Olympians who have temporarily been stripped of their divinity and godly powers (by Zeus). Apollo, however, is the only one to whom this has happened twice.
- Ironically, not only are Apollo's haikus terrible despite being the god of poetry, but he also lies about being the elder twin (Artemis was born nine days before him) despite also being the god of truth. The latter may simply be him messing with his sister for fun (due to her favored form being a 12 year old and his favored form being a teenager).
- As of The Hidden Oracle, Apollo will be the first god to ever have a point of view in a Rick Riordan book.