|“||If we destroy heroes who do us a great favor, then we are no better than the Titans. If this is Olympian justice, I will have none of it.||”|
Artemis is the Greek virgin goddess of the hunt, the Moon, chastity, animals, and the wilderness. She and her twin brother Apollo are known as the "Twin Archers." Artemis' handmaidens are known as the Hunters of Artemis, a group of young women that have turned their back from the company of men and have pledged themselves to the goddess. Her Roman counterpart is Diana.
While Leto was pregnant with Zeus' children, an infuriated Hera cursed the Titaness to wander the earth without finding a place to give birth. Fortunately, the floating island of Delos gave sanctuary to Leto and on the seventh day of the seventh month, she gave birth to her first child: Artemis.
Almost immediately, Artemis grew to the size of a six-year-old girl and helped deliver her twin brother Apollo. Following this, Artemis asked Hestia to take her to Mount Olympus so she can meet with her father, Zeus. He lovingly embraced her with open arms and swore on the River Styx to grant her anything as a birthday present. Artemis requested to be an eternal maiden, a bow and arrows, a band of followers, and hunting dogs. She became goddess of the Hunt and wilderness, as well as patron of pregnant women and the young. The Elder Cyclopes forged Artemis' silver bow and arrows, while Pan provided her with hunting dogs. Her followers consisted of about eighty maiden girls who varied from mortals or nymphs, twenty of whom hunted with the goddess personally.
Capture of the Golden Deer
Needing wild animals to pull her chariot, Artemis and her Hunters decided to capture a herd of five golden deer. The nymph Britomartis was the Hunters' most skilled trapper, and she used her abilities to set snares and concealed nets. The Hunters made noise to scare off the regular deer, while four of the five golden ones charged straight into the traps and were harnessed for Artemis' chariot. The fifth and smartest of the golden deer escaped, later becoming known as the Ceryneian Hind. She was given Artemis' blessing and protection from other hunters.
During the First Giant War, Artemis was notable for defeating Otis and Ephialtes, the Alodai twins. The Giants planned on attacking Olympus by stacking their makeshift mountains on top of each other, with Ephialtes intending to seize Hera as his wife, and Otis having Artemis.
Having gotten word of this, Artemis charged down the mountain and struck the Alodai twins with arrows. They tried impaling her with their spears, but Artemis was too fast for either of them. She tricked Otis and Ephialtes into killing each other by running between them, and dodging at the last moment just as they stabbed at her, causing the twins to kill each other instead.
Kalydonian Boar Hunt
When King Oineus of Kalydon forgot to honor Artemis at harvest time, the enraged goddess summoned a monstrous boar which she unleashed upon the fields of Kalydon, killing many animals and people in the process. Oineus consulted his son Meleager, who suggested launching a great hunt to appease Artemis. All the best hunters in Greece were summoned to participate in the Kalydonian Boar Hunt, though Artemis didn't make it easy on them.
Mopsos, the strongest spear-thrower in Greece, tried killing the monster by launching his spear at it, but Artemis made it bounce harmlessly off the boar. Another hunter named Ankaios charged at it with a double-bladed ax, but died when the boar rammed his tusk straight into Ankaios' crotch.
It was Prince Meleager who finally managed to kill the monster (with help from his friends), but it wasn't enough to please Artemis. She made the other hunters envious, and a full-scale civil war erupted when fighting broke out over who really deserved credit for killing the Kalydonian Boar.
One night, a hunter by the name of Actaeon stumbled upon Artemis and the Hunters bathing. At the sight of the naked goddess, Actaeon immediately fell in love with Artemis and revealed his presence to her. He declared his desire to marry her, though this incited Artemis' rage when Actaeon said "[he] must have [her]". As punishment, Artemis transformed Actaeon into a deer and had him killed by his own hunting dogs when she stirred them from sleep.
Sipriotes was another unfortunate boy who spotted Artemis bathing. Unlike Actaeon, however, Sipriotes fell to his knees and begged Artemis for mercy. However, having gazed upon her naked form, Artemis would've killed Sipriotes, but as protector of young children, she decided to give him the option of becoming female to live. Left with no other choice, Sipriotes was changed into a girl by Artemis and joined the Hunters.
Seduction of Kallisto
Artemis' favorite follower was Kallisto, a beautiful girl who caught Zeus' attention. He appeared to her in Artemis' form and tried seducing her, but when a confused Kallisto rejected his advances, Zeus revealed his true self and had his way with her.
One day after a long hunt, Artemis and the Hunters decides to go swimming. When Kallisto was reluctant to join them, Artemis discovered the pregnancy and demanded to know who took her maidenhood. When Kallisto told her it was Zeus disguised as Artemis herself, the goddess was unable to do much because of her father's power. Declaring that she would've allowed Kallisto to go peacefully and settle into a new life, Artemis transformed the sobbing girl into a bear, and told her to leave or face death. Kallisto eventually gave birth to a human son by the name of Arkas, and was later killed by hunters. Upon death, Zeus honored her in the stars by making her the constellation Ursa Major.
Following the incident with Kallisto, Artemis befriended the Giant Orion, former royal hunter of the King of Chios. He settled on Delos after he had his sight restored by Hephaestus with mechanical eyes, where Artemis allowed him to join her Hunters as the first ever male, due to his impressive hunting abilities.
However, one day, Orion got carried away with hunting so much that he began killing harmless animals. Due to Apollo, who drove him crazy for being close to his sister, Orion declared that "[he] will kill all the animals in the world". This didn't sit well with the Hunters' way of life, nor with his mother Gaea. His claims stirred her from slumber and she sent a massive scorpion that killed Orion with its poisonous stinger.
Artemis found his body shortly thereafter. Greatly saddened by the death of yet another friend, Artemis made Orion into a constellation with a scorpion to immortalize his story.
Hippolytos was a charming and handsome prince who had no interest in romance whatsoever. His passion for hunting made Artemis accept him into the Hunt, though her followers were rather hesitant at the thought of having an attractive male among their ranks. Hippolytos, however, never tried anything romantic with the Hunters, with his asexuality and aromanticism greatly enraging the love goddess Aphrodite.
When Hippolytos returned home to visit his father King Theseus, the two got into an argument about Hippolytos marrying and having children, despite the latter insisting to remain with Artemis. Unbeknownst to father and son, Aphrodite was manipulating their emotions into rage, resulting in Theseus drawing a sword and striking Hippolytos dead.
Upon hearing of her friend's death, a devastated Artemis promptly rushed to Hippolytos' tomb and carried his deceased body to Asclepius, her nephew and the best physician in all of Greece. She requested that Asclepius revive him from the dead, and he did so with Physician's Cure. This, however, had immediate repercussions, as Aphrodite complained to Zeus about Hippolytos' revival, as did Hades, when it could possibly cause chaos in both the mortal world and the Underworld. Zeus appeased his brother by personally striking down Asclepius with a thunderbolt. Apollo was angered and devastated by his favorite son's death, and killed one of the younger Cyclopes who forged Zeus' thunderbolts in retaliation. To prevent a feud, Asclepius was resurrected and made into a god, but Hades forbid him from ever resurrecting the dead again.
Fortunately, Artemis protected Hippolytos and had him sent off to Italy, where he lived to an old age as a priest to one of her sacred shrines.
When Niobe insulted her mother Leto, saying her children were more numerous, and better overall, an enraged Artemis shot arrows at Niobe's seven daughters, while Apollo shot arrows at Niobe's seven sons.
Artemis, along with the Hunters of Artemis, help Percy Jackson and his friends when they face the manticore, Dr. Thorn, at Westover Hall. She then goes on a mission west to hunt the Ophiotaurus, and promises Percy that she will look for Annabeth Chase, who had been taken by the manticore.
Whilst hunting, she is captured by the General, Atlas, and is used to lure Percy and his friends west to save Annabeth. Artemis was convinced to hold the sky, in pity to Annabeth. Artemis could not simply stand by and watch a young maiden die, and she takes the sky from Annabeth.
As Percy, Thalia Grace, and Zoë Nightshade arrive to rescue her, Zoë gives her life to stop Atlas from stabbing Artemis. Meanwhile, Percy takes the sky from Artemis so she can fight Atlas, as Percy was no match for the Titan. During the fight, Artemis forces Atlas back and he is eventually pushed back under the sky as Percy rolls out of the way. Zoë then dies from the stab wound and gash that Ladon gave her, and in honor of her memory, Artemis creates a constellation of her in the sky. Artemis, Percy, Thalia and Annabeth return to Mount Olympus for the winter solstice. She is the first to suggest plans for war preparations against the Titans, and appears fair and honest, as she is horrified at the vote of whether or not to destroy Percy, as he risked his life for them and stands up for him against the other Olympians when they vote.
When Percy is fighting Geryon, the only way to defeat him was with an arrow (to kill Geryon all three bodies must be killed at the same time). Being a terrible shot, Percy asks Artemis and Apollo to guide his arrow and the arrow manages to kill Geryon. As thanks, Percy offers a part of Geryon's barbecue to the gods after defeating the three-headed giant. Percy later learns that it was Hera that guided his arrow, not the archer twins.
Artemis appears again when she battles Typhon. Her hunters help the campers of Camp Half-Blood fight against Kronos' army. One of her hunters, Thalia, had a statue of Hera fall on her legs during the Battle of Manhattan. In the council, after Kronos was defeated, she convinced Hades to send her deceased Hunters to the Underworld realm of Elysium and congratulates Thalia on defending Manhattan.
Artemis is noted to be one of the gods who disagreed with Zeus' decision to close Olympus. She sent out her Hunters to search for Percy, showing that she was still interfering in mortal affairs.
When Percy sees Mount Tam, Hazel Levesque tells him about how Camp Jupiter attacked the Titan base there. Percy remembers another time he was there with Artemis, Zoë, and Thalia fighting Atlas, but he couldn't remember their names and the memory soon leaves him.
Artemis, along with most of the other Olympians, was incapacitated (with her personality split between her and her Roman form Diana) after Leo was manipulated by Gaea into shooting upon Camp Jupiter from the Argo II.
Leo, Frank and Hazel travel to the island of Delos to find the final ingredient to The Physician's Cure from Apollo, they are also greeted by Artemis, who warns them about the onagers acquired by Octavian.
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 Artemis) of their split personalities. As a result, Artemis and Apollo 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, Artemis attempts to soothe the rage of her father Zeus, who was determined to punish Hera and Apollo for letting another Gigantomachy happen. She watches as Zeus hurls the Argo II all the way back to Camp Half-Blood.
Artemis is a calm, reserved and reasonable being, but also stoic, serious and extremely pragmatic. She does not frequently lose her temper and speaks reasonably with others, even mortals like Percy Jackson. She is also selfless and refuses to allow Percy to take the weight of the sky for fear that he isn't strong enough. Artemis possesses a deep caring for maidens, especially for maidens whom she presides over. She does not discriminate when selecting girls to join her ranks; Artemis allows mortals, demigods, and even nymphs to become Hunters. This is best seen with Zoë Nightshade, a daughter of the Titan Atlas whom Artemis chose as her lieutenant.
Unlike her twin, she is less "easy-going" and more focused with a much greater understanding of mortals than most of the other Olympians (much like Hermes). Although she is reasonable, Artemis holds a general dislike of most men, although she does acknowledge and respect those who prove themselves to her, such as Orion, Hippolytus, and Percy Jackson. Artemis is shown to be an independent goddess who prefers the company of her hunters to even that of other gods. She loves hunting and is associated with the moon, which Apollo mentioned happened during the Roman era when the former goddess of the moon faded. Artemis is among the more sympathetic Olympians and weighs individuals by their actions and choices as opposed to their potential. Her father Zeus has never been able to be angry with her long, since Artemis has the ability to charm him into forgiving her, and she is the one that managed to somewhat soothe his rage in The Blood of Olympus. She also gets along quite well with her half-sister Athena, due to them having similar personalities, and both being Virgin Goddesses.
However, there is a darker side to Artemis, as shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, when she transforms Actaeon into a stag after he saw her naked. Though many women in that situation would have assumed Actaeon planned to rape her and she defended herself accordingly. She was far more merciful to an apologetic Sipriotes, however, as she was the protectress of young youths and maidens, and instead permanently changed the young man's gender. Furthermore, Artemis banished Callisto from among her Huntresses and transformed her into a bear, after the latter was seduced and impregnated by Zeus (the transformation was largely because Callisto did not come forward and tell Artemis about the seduction and pregnancy). Artemis is also very protective of her mother Leto, shown when she ruthlessly killed all seven of Niobe's daughters, after she insulted Leto. In addition, when King Oineus of Kalydon forgot to honor Artemis at harvest time, the infuriated goddess unleashed a huge and ferocious boar on the fields of Kalydon, made the subsequent Kalydonian Hunt extra hard for the hero Maleager, and induced a subsequent full-scale civil war after the boar's death, showing a formidable capacity for carrying grudges, much like her uncle Hades.
Percy Jackson's Greek Gods describes Artemis as an extremely beautiful goddess, lovelier than all her attendants, being tall and well-built, with shoulder-length raven-black hair and striking silver-grey eyes that could easily intimidate when she was angry. The other novels also depict her as a beauty, though there are some inconsistencies with this description of her.
In The Titan's Curse, she was portrayed as a girl of the average age of her Hunters, which is around twelve or thirteen, with auburn hair gathered back in a ponytail, cold and bright eyes as silvery yellow as the winter moon, and her face was of such beauty that it made Percy catch his breath.
In The Blood of Olympus, she was depicted as a young girl of about thirteen, wearing black leggings and a silver tunic, and her dark hair was pulled back in a ponytail.
The differences in Artemis' physical description throughout the novels could be attributed to the fact that, as a goddess, she has the ability to assume any shape she desired, though it must be noted that she retains her incredible beauty and grace no matter what physical manifestation she adopts.
Artemis can change her aspect into her Roman counterpart of Diana. As Diana, she becomes more disciplined, militaristic, and warlike, as most Roman gods tend to be. The Greeks envisioned Artemis as an independent and vigorous goddess of the wilderness and hunt while the Romans depicted Diana additionally as the goddess of the moon.
- Prowess in Battle: Artemis is shown to be extremely formidable in battle, due to her amazing agility and expertise with fighting with a bow and arrow, as well as her long hunting knives. Artemis is shown to be able to hold her own against infinitely stronger opponents, even the Titan General Atlas (though he did have the upper hand through the majority of their duel and was mainly hindered by his great arrogance). In this particular fight, she was able to hold out against the Titan whilst the latter had superior strength and a greater weapon, whilst she was exhausted, not very fresh to the fight, and was still recovering from holding up the sky itself. She also utilised certain advantages, such as transforming into a number of animals to elude the Titan. Due to her skill in battle, she was trusted by Zeus to kill any powerful monsters Kronos would try to recruit in The Titan's Curse.
- Archery: As the Goddess of Archery, Artemis is an extremely skilled archer. She also excels in other target-shooting-based activities, such as basketball. Her aim was so incredibly precise that she was able to split the Manticore's spikes in-midair with her arrows. As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Artemis' arrows strike anyone, no matter how far they are. Her skills are only rivaled by her brother Apollo, and the Giant Orion.
- Enhanced Hunting: As the Goddess of Hunting, Artemis is a master of hunting and tracking. She has the same advanced hunting powers her Hunters have, but extremely increased. As a result, she can help heroes more directly, since wild animals and monsters are in her domain.
- Hunting Precision: She has enhanced speed, aim, and precision, since she was able to split the Manticore's spikes in-midair.
- Camouflage: She has a dynamic camouflage ability.
- Animal Replenishing: She can replenish the animals she kills.
- Hunting Transfiguration: She can transform ordinary things into things associated with hunting. In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, she transforms Actaeon into a stag, and Kallisto into a brown bear.
- Photokinesis: As the Goddess of the Moon, she has absolute control over moonlight.
- Wilderness Manipulation: As the Goddess of the Wilderness, she has absolute control over the plants and animals in her domain.
- Shape-Shifting: She can turn into any animal, as shown in her duel with Atlas, when she fluidly transforms into a tiger, a gazelle, a bear, and a falcon.
- Animal Authority: As the Goddess of Wild Animals, she has divine authority over them, primarily over her loyal wolves, hawks, and stags. In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Artemis unleashed a huge and fierce boar upon the fields of Kalydonia.
- Animal Communication: Artemis can communicate with animals.
- Animal Empathy
- Wildlife Control
- Animal Whispering
- Animal Telepathy
- Temporarily Granting animals human speech
- Healing injured animals
- Creating sentient animals from inanimate objects
- Gender Reassignment: As seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, when Sipriotes accidentally witnessed the goddess bathing, she, in an act of mercy, permanently transformed the youth into a maiden.
- Chlorokinesis (limited): As the Goddess of the Wilderness, she has absolute control over the plants in her domain, though she isn't quite as powerful in this regard as her aunt Demeter. Artemis has unlimited control and power over any forest and its surroundings controlling every aspect from its trees to the wind and so on, as shown in The Titan's Curse.
- Creating Constellations: Artemis can transform people into constellations once they have passed, such as Orion in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, and later Zoë Nightshade in The Titan's Curse.
- Amokinesis Immunity: As a virgin goddess, Artemis is almost completely immune to Aphrodite's ability of arousing romantic love and passion in others, as well as Cupid's infamous romantic arrows. The handsome Giant Orion was the only man that she ever had any romantic feelings for, as shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods.
Percy seems to be one of the few male heroes that Artemis approves of. She seems to know of his deeds before The Titan's Curse, which results in her not turning him into a jackalope when they first meet. Artemis also views him as mildly amusing and tolerates his ignorance in some cases. Artemis' respect for Percy grew when he saved her from the weight of the sky to allow her to fight Atlas. This also played into part when Artemis voted heavily to reward the heroes when the other gods voted for their deaths.
Artemis, along with her twin brother, Apollo, showed a great love for their mother, Leto. An example of this is shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, when Queen Niobe insulted Leto, and Artemis and Apollo sought revenge. They personally killed Niobe's children, with Artemis shooting down her seven daughter and Apollo her seven sons. It is said that Artemis spared the youngest daughter of Niobe. It is also said that the gods eventually took pity on Niobe and turned her into stone.
Artemis is mostly seen as to be annoyed and distant from Apollo, maybe because of her strict attitude towards men and him for being so carefree. Though in most parts they are shown to be arguing, Artemis and Apollo show a strong bond between siblings, as depicted in The Titan's Curse when Apollo breaks the law in helping Percy to save Artemis.
Zoë Nightshade was the former lieutenant of the Hunters. Zoë was fiercely loyal to Artemis ever since she became a Huntress. Despite knowing that she would be the one to "perish by a parent's hand", she went on the quest because she desperately wanted to save Artemis. When Zoë died, Artemis turned her into a constellation-"the Huntress"- depicting a girl with a bow running across the night sky. Artemis was so upset by Zoë's death that she flickered with silver light.
Orion was one of the rare males to gain Artemis' favor and the only man to ever gain her affection. He was the sole exception to the goddess's exclusively female group of hunters. When he died, Artemis made him into a constellation to show her love and respect for him.
When first offered a position in the Hunt, Thalia refused, likely because of Luke, her friend and possible love interest. She took over as first lieutenant after her predecessor, Zoë Nightshade, died. At the end of The Titan's Curse, Percy noted that Artemis acted as if she didn't initially know what to make of Thalia, but seemed to sympathize when Thalia looked her in the eye. Thalia is very loyal to her mistress, although she doesn't share her fellow Hunters' disdain for boys.
As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Kallisto was Artemis's best friend. She was one of Artemis's most loyal followers, and tried and failed to hide it from Artemis, when Zeus cornered her and Kallisto later became pregnant with his child. Despite the fact that it was not Kallisto's fault, and that she was Artemis's best friend, Artemis was angry at Kallisto for lying to her and turned her into a brown bear.
The Hunters of Artemis are Artemis' handmaidens, young maidens who are given the gift of immortality, or rather technically the gift of eternal youth, the skill of archery, superhuman strength, speed and dexterity. The Hunters had a choice whether to be this way or remain normal. A hunter must not fall in love or rather more specifically, lose her maidenhood, for she loses her immortality as a result dies, or she will die in battle. They are the closest thing to children Artemis has. While the Hunters cannot die of natural causes, they can be killed, albeit more difficult to do so.
- Originally Artemis was the Goddess of Dawn and Frost. Although after a while her dominion over both went to Eos as she was the dawn personified.
- In myth, the sole reason Artemis was sometimes considered a goddess of the moon because others perceived her to be either Selene or Hecate.
- In The Titan's Curse, it is said she likes to turn boys who see the Hunters' camp into jackalopes.
- In The Titan's Curse, she had found a respect for Percy and even called him a 'man' instead of a 'boy' after she and Annabeth were rescued. This respect went so far as to have the Hunters search for Percy after his disappearance in The Lost Hero.
- Artemis, being the goddess of Hunt, has a collection of furs belonging to many creatures, some maybe extinct since Percy didn't know some of them that were hanging in Artemis' tent.
- The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
- She has temples or shrines in Olympus as seen in The Last Olympian when Thalia stated this after seeing Kronos destroy a shrine to Artemis.
- A minor planet, (105) Artemis, a lunar crater, the Artemis Chasma and the Artemis Corona (both on Venus) have all been named after her.
- 78 Diana, an asteroid, is named after her Roman counterpart.
- Diana, a crater on moon, is named after her Roman counterpart.
- Artemis is the only goddess that is described as having auburn hair.
- Artemis has placed two people in the stars: Orion and Zoë. Though one source says Zeus put Orion in the stars, as one of Artemis' requests.
- Artemis is one of only three current Olympians who is a virgin.
- Though she is said to be the protector of young women, she is said to have been appeased of crimes by the sacrifice of young women, such as Agamemnon's daughter Iphigenia.
- However, some versions say Artemis took Iphidenia from the pyre seconds before it was lit (without Agamemnon or his men being aware). Artemis could have only pretended to want young women sacrificed while secretly rescuing them (not just from the pyres but from whatever society they lived in).
- Artemis is the only one of the Virgin Goddesses without complete immunity to Aphrodite's power arousing romantic love and passion in others, as she had once developed feelings for Orion.
- Her Egyptian equivalent (in terms of attributes) is Khonsu, Pakhet and Neith.
- Her Norse equivalent is Ullr.