|“||I once warned you, Percy Jackson, that to save a friend you would destroy the world. Perhaps I was mistaken. You seemed to have saved both your friends and the world.||”|
Athena is the Greek virgin goddess of wisdom, handicrafts, useful arts, and battle strategy. She is the daughter of Zeus and Metis, and her symbols include the owl, Aegis, the olive tree, and the snake. Her Roman counterpart is Minerva.
Athena was the daughter of Metis and Zeus. A prophecy had once foretold that Metis would give birth to a son more powerful than his father, which was the god Zeus. This posed a problem as Metis was already pregnant with their first child. To prevent the prophecy from taking place, Zeus tricked Metis into taking the form of a fly and swallowed her. What Zeus did not know, was that Metis was pregnant with their daughter.
Over time, however, Zeus eventually began experiencing terrible headaches so Hephaestus offered to put Zeus out of his misery by splitting open the latter's head with his awl and hammer. While most of the other Olympians held Zeus down on his throne, Hephaestus banged his awl into his father's head with a mighty blow, creating a fissure, thick enough for Athena to squeeze her way out, after which she grew into a full-size goddess, much to the astonishment of the other gods. Hephaestus subsequently stitched up the fissure in Zeus' head.
Despite the misgivings of the other gods, Zeus insisted that they welcome Athena into their ranks, and she officially became one of the Olympians, as well as the Goddess of Wisdom and Warfare. She taught the Greeks numerous skills essential for their evolution, such as mathematics, utilising the oxen to plough their fields, and artisan activities such as weaving. She also invented the bridle, which enabled men to tame horses to be effectively used. Despite her being the Goddess of Warfare, Athena did not actually enjoy combat, but rather accepted it as an inevitable necessity at times, and was more focused on minimizing casualties and achieving victory through wise strategies. Hence, she quickly became Zeus' favorite daughter.
Shortly after her emergence from Zeus's head, her father sent her to live with the nymphs of Lake Tritonis, since their warlike nature and aestheticism appealed to her. Athena would get along famously with them, and would come to become a master of both armed and hand-to-hand combat under their tutelage. Her dearest friend, however, was a girl named Pallas, the only nymph who could match the prodigiously skilled Athena in combat.
Eventually they engaged in yet another sparring match, but they fought with such speed and intensity, that Zeus, who happened to be watching them at the time, mistook it for a genuine mortal duel. Worried for his daughter's safety, Zeus appeared in the sky right behind Athena, and held up his fearsome Aegis shield, which greatly unnerved and startled Pallas. Athena proceeded to disarm her friend of her javelin and counterattacked, stabbing at Pallas' gut. Her startled friend was too slow, however, and Athena ended up accidentally fatally piercing her with her sword.
A devastated Athena honored her best friend with a sacred monument, building a wooden replica of Pallas, draping a small section of her Aegis cloak over its shoulders. This statue would eventually end up in the city of Troy, becoming known as the Palladium (Place of Pallas) shrine, with women being allowed to claim sanctuary there from Athena, while men were forbidden from even looking at the statue. Since Pallas's statue greatly resembled Athena herself, confused people would eventually begin referring to the goddess herself as "Pallas Athena", which the goddess encouraged, as it helped her keep Pallas's memory alive.
Athena was also known as "Athena Parthenos" ("Ahena the Virgin"), which was how she was worshiped at the Athenian Parthenon. This would also be the name of her statue that stood there, which eventually becoming the most famous Greek statue of all time. When she leads in battle, she was known as "Athena Promachos".
Hephaestus and Erikthonius
Hephaestus had managed to develop strong unrequited feelings for Athena, all the more because they had similar interests in tool and crafts respectively, as well as a penchant for solving mechanical problems. Unfortunately for him, however, Athena, as one of the Virgin Goddesses (along with Hestia and Artemis), was incapable of romance, and never desired to marry anyone. A lovesick Hephaestus would not be deterred, however, and persistently followed and flirted with the beautiful goddess, finally flinging himself at Athena, wrapping his arms around her waist, tearfully burying his face in her skirt. In the process, some of his divine sweat and tears rubbed off on Athena's bare leg where the skirt was parted, much to her chagrin. She kicked Hephaestus away and snatched up a piece of cloth to wipe the godly moisture off of her, hurled the cloth off Olympus, and ran away from her persistent admirer.
The cloth, containing the essence of both Hephaestus and Athena, would subsequently transform into a mortal baby boy Erikthonius, a mortal child of both gods. Athena placed her son into a wooden chest, along with a magically conjured serpent, with the intention of Erikthonius's godly qualities eventually being enhanced by the serpent, making him immortal. Athena then took the chest to the Athenian Acropolis (her most sacred place) and gave it to the daughters of Kekrops (the first king of Athens), and warned them not to open it. While the princesses agreed, they would be overcome with curiosity after only one night, they opened the chest. However, seeing Erikthonius and the serpent rendered them insane, and they promptly jumped off the side of the Acropolis's cliffs, plummeting to their deaths. As a result, the spell was broken before Erikthonius could become immortal, and the serpent slithered away, inducing Athena to raise him herself. Athena would eventually take out her vengeance on the girls' father, Kekrops, whom a grown up Erikthonius would banish, usurping his Athenian throne.
While Athena remained a virgin goddess, she did end up having quite a few demigod children afterwards, with them being conceived when her divine thoughts meet the mortal ingenuity of the men she favors, a love which she believes to be the of the purest kind. Her children are then born in the same way she was, quite literally making them brain children. It is unknown if any other goddess can give birth to children in a similar way. One of her most famous demigod children would be Daedelus.
The goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, was causing a lot of problems on Olympus due to her radiant beauty. 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.
When her father Zeus decided to create the irresistible Pandora (in order to punish Epimetheus for his brother Prometheus' actions), Athena helped by gifting the girl with cleverness and curiosity, as well as teaching her weaving and crafts.
Inventing the Flute
One day, Athena, whole walking in the woods near Athens, discovered a nest of hissing snakes, giving her a sudden idea for a musical instrument, which she would fashion from a hollowed out reed with holes, thereby creating the first flute.
Proud of her achievement, Athena took the flute up to Mount Olympus, eager to perform in front of the other gods. As soon as she started playing, however, Aphrodite, Hera, and Demeter began giggling and whispering to each other, with Demeter and Aphrodite eventually pointing out that 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.
Since the flute landed in Asia Minor, that person would end up being the satyr Marsyas, who was so stunned by the beautiful music that it created (since it had been filled with the breath of Athena), that he actually challenged Apollo to a music competition. Due to Athena's curse, however, Marsyas lost and was subsequently flayed alive by a victorious Apollo.
One night, Athena would go to a swimming hole in central Greece, for relaxation purposes. However, while the naked goddess stood bathing under a waterfall, she heard the cry of a mortal man named Teiresias, who had accidentally come across her. The startled and embarrassed Athena promptly blinded Teiresias. However, since he was very apologetic, the goddess sympathetically sent birds and snakes to lead and protect him (granting him the ability to understand their language), and also gave him supernatural powers of precognition, which lead to Teiresias becoming a great prophet shortly thereafter.
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. Athena took the chance to jeer at Aphrodite.
Rivalry with Arachne
A long time ago, the mortal Arachne challenged Athena to see who could create the best tapestry. Athena then disguised herself as an old woman and tried to warn Arachne that it would be foolishness to challenge a goddess, but Arachne persisted and stated that if she lost, she would accept any punishment. Enraged, Athena revealed herself and accepted the challenge as she herself had invented weaving. Each of them then made a tapestry. Athena's tapestry was of the gods together in glory and joy while Arachne's showed the gods making fools of themselves. Athena was so infuriated by this deliberate insult to the gods that she destroyed the tapestry in rage and was declared the winner.
Arachne was filled with guilt and hung herself. Athena, after seeing Arachne's body, felt responsible for her death and decided to do her a favor. She turned Arachne into a spider so that she and all her children would be expert weavers forever. In other versions of the myth, Athena transformed Arachne into a spider directly after the contest as part of Arachne's punishment.
Be it whatever reason, ever since then, every child of Athena has suffers a deep fear of spiders. They are very paranoid that every spider they see is out to get them and avenge Arachne. Most of the time, this is true as spiders are shown to be hostile to them.
Rivalry with Poseidon
For many eons, Athena and Poseidon have had a rivalry between them, which can be traced to the time when they competed for the position of patron of the city of Athens (called Attica at that time). The leader of the city asked the two gods to bestow a gift for the newly constructed city. Poseidon created a salt-water spring and horses, while Athena gave them the olive tree. Seeing that the olive tree was more useful than the salt-water spring and horse, the leader of the city Kekrops made Athena their patron goddess. A temple known as the Parthenon was dedicated to her, and the new city took the name of Athens in her honor.
Another time which marks a conflict between the two Olympians was when Athena transformed Coronis (whom Poseidon was trying to seduce) into a raven. As a result, a furious Poseidon longed for revenge. Hence, he took Medusa, his new lover, into Athena's temple. Furious with Poseidon and Medusa for doing such disgusting and disturbing acts in her temple, Athena turned Medusa into a hideous creature who had the additional curse of turning anyone who looked into her irresistible eyes into stone. As Medusa's sisters had helped her get inside the temple, they too were transformed. Collectively, the three sisters are known as the "Three Gorgons". Yet another time both of them were at odds about Odysseus. While Poseidon was furious with him for blinding his son Polyphemus, Athena favored him above all other mortals, and was always willing to aid Odysseus when he needed it most.
Though it seems unlikely that Athena and Poseidon would ever cooperate, this did happen when the chariot was invented, as Athena had built the chariot itself and Poseidon had created the horses needed to pull it. Poseidon and Athena were also on the same side during the Trojan War, as they had both supported the Greeks.
Athena's rivalry with Poseidon seems to be the basis of her dislike for Percy Jackson, Poseidon's son. Their parents rivalry does not seem to affect Percy and Annabeth Chase. Athena, however, tells Percy that she does not approve of their relationship, and has told him to stay away from her daughter on several occasions. At the end of the series, she seems to be more civil towards Percy, though she does singe his clothes as a warning, should he ever hurt Annabeth.
Fed up with her husband's infidelities and dictatorial ways, Hera decided to start a coup d'etat, and Athena was among those (Apollo and Poseidon) who assisted her in her plans - providing the magical ropes with which they used to tie Zeus up so he could not escape. Unfortunately for them, the sea nymph, Thetis, heard Zeus' cries for help, but she only agreed to help free him after he promised to be merciful to the rioters. With the combined help of Thetis and Briares, Zeus was freed of Athena's magical ropes, and subsequently grabbed his lightning bolts and stormed into the throne room where the gods were having their meeting. After unleashing his divine wrath upon them, he punished almost all the rebels for their treason.
Apollo and Poseidon were temporarily stripped of their godly powers and immortality, and forced to work as laborers on Earth for years. Hera was tied up and suspended on a rope across the abyss of Chaos, and subjected to Zeus' daily threatening of blasting the rope to let her fall into the nothingness and be dissolved. Fortunately for Athena, she managed to completely evade punishment by talking herself out of it.
During the 10-year long Trojan War, Athena (along with Hera and Poseidon) supported the Greeks, most often the hero Odysseus, whom she finally gave the idea of the Trojan Horse. She also helped the hero Diomedes defeat Ares in a duel. She would later assist Odysseus again multiple times during his lengthy journey back home to Ithaca.
She is seen when Annabeth is being lured by the Sirens, described as wearing hiking boots and jeans and casual clothing. She was sitting with Luke and Annabeth's father, Frederick Chase, supposedly at a picnic in the redesigned Manhattan that Annabeth designed.
Athena disguises herself as a park ranger at the Hoover Dam, and advises Percy on how to escape, despite her misgivings about him. It is likely that her desire to see Annabeth saved outweighed her disapproval of him, therefore the reason she helped him.
At the winter solstice, when Zeus asks the room if Percy should be left alive as he could be dangerous, Athena, along with Ares and Dionysus (half-heartedly), do not raise their hands to defend him, but they were out-ruled by the majority. Athena later tells Percy not to judge her too harshly and that he is a big risk to take. Percy replies by saying, "So you're saying you shouldn't take risks?" She concedes to his point, but then informs him of his fatal flaw, which is intense personal loyalty. Percy is outraged by the thought that a desire to help those he loves could be considered a flaw, but Athena tells him that the most dangerous flaws are those that are good under the right circumstances, and that as a hero of a prophecy his flaw could cause the downfall of the world. Percy wants to argue, but is left speechless, thinking "she is pretty darn smart".
Athena was "pretty darn smart", and Percy makes a note that she would be one of the worst gods to have as an enemy, as she is smart and would not make a mistake or act rashly, but would just keep hunting you down. The goddess leaves after warning him that she does not approve of his relationship with her daughter, Annabeth.
Athena knows that Typhon is a distraction, and that Kronos sent him through the United States to get them away from Olympus, so he could send his army to overtake it. She convinces Zeus to send Hermes to tell them that it is a trap and gives them information. She tells Annabeth to "Try Plan 23" and Percy to "Remember the rivers", and also to stay away from her daughter. However, the demigods from Camp Half-Blood defend their parents' thrones and many die in the process.
Athena later tasks Annabeth as the designer to rebuild Olympus. She praises Annabeth's abilities to everyone making Annabeth very proud. She also votes for awarding Percy immortality, though she turns to look at Annabeth when she says this and most likely noticed her stricken expression at the thought of losing Percy. After the council meeting, Athena privately talks to Percy saying that she could have been wrong about him, but not necessarily say she was. Later, Athena asked why Percy would give up immortality and he first says that he could not leave Annabeth and then quickly adds that he could not leave Grover Underwood either. She then quickly tells Percy to "spare her" and disappears in a column of flame that singes his shirt.
While flying to Camp Jupiter on the Argo II, Annabeth became nervous and wished she could pray to Athena, but that was impossible. She also mentioned a meeting with her mother about a month ago, where she was given the worst present of her life from her meeting. The Romans, after conquering the Greeks, decided to crush their rivals by stealing the Athena Parthenos, breaking their and Athena's spirit. The Romans changed Athena and reduced her to a goddess of crafts and wisdom, taking away her title as a war goddess and replacing her with other gods like Bellona and Mithras, much to her anger. Since her counterpart, Minerva, was a strict maiden, Reyna, Octavian, Terminus, and the other Romans at New Rome were distraught to see her daughter Annabeth, calling it scandalous.
While on the Argo II on the way to Rome, Annabeth recalls her meeting with Athena prior to the beginning of the journey. Annabeth thought she saw her mother near Sweet on America where she was studying a map, wishing that Odysseus was there to aid her. Annabeth tried to talk to her, but she was in the form of Minerva and had no recollection of Annabeth as her daughter. She claimed that the Romans reduced her importance, but Annabeth states that Athena is not about revenge. As Minerva however, the goddess only seems to crave vengeance for how they disgraced her. When Annabeth asks for help on locating Percy, she says that since Percy has allied with the Romans, he should perish with them and then she hands Annabeth a coin. She then tells Annabeth to avenge her and to "follow the mark", before restating she needed to find the way home.
In Charleston, Aphrodite states that Athena was affected the most by the splitting of the Greek and Roman gods. Later, in the lair of Arachne, Annabeth states that Arachne was better than Athena in the weaving of tapestries and starts to doubt her mom's ability as several of Arachne's weavings are better than those of her mother. After trapping the spider in a Chinese finger-cuff that she got Arachne to weave, Annabeth gloats on how the arachnid had done a great service to Athena by protecting the Athena Parthenos, but Arachne decides to destroy her lair instead of seeing Annabeth win. Before the floor completely caves in, the Argo II blasts a whole in the ceiling and saves Annabeth as Arachne fell into the pit to Tartarus. They load the statue of Athena onto the Argo II, but Arachne managed to pull Annabeth and Percy into the pit using her thread that was still attached to Annabeth.
Athena appears in Annabeth's dream while she is in Tartarus with Percy, telling her that she has done well in her quest to retrieve the Athena Parthenos. However, she also tells her that the statue has to be returned by the Romans at Camp Half Blood, in order to seal the rift between both camps.
When Reyna fights the giant Orion, her sheer bravery greatly impresses Athena, who gives her part of Aegis for her cloak. Aegis shields Reyna from a powerful blast and she is stunned when Athena speaks to her to tell her about giving her Aegis. During Reyna's subsequent attack on Orion, she can sense both Athena and Bellona supporting her, though neither appear in person to help. Instead, they give Reyna the strength she needs to kill Orion on her own. Reyna is able to use her Aegis-infused cloak to strangle Orion to death.
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 Athena) of their split personalities. As a result, Athena promptly arrives in Athens to participate in the final battle with the Giants. She is dressed in golden full Greek battle armor and helps her daughter Annabeth slay Enceladus, after which Hades sends his body back to Tartarus. Athena's sanity is fully restored and no longer afflicted between her vengeful Roman counterpart, Minerva.
After the Giants' defeat, Athena is seen later rebuking the advancements of Hermes with her fearsome Aegis shield, and gives advice to the Olympian council (giving Jason a glance of approval) when the demigods are trying to decide on the best way to reach Camp Half-Blood in time to stop Gaea and the Romans from attacking. She watches as Zeus hurls the Argo II back to Camp Half-Blood.
When facing the god Serapis, Annabeth finds that Athena has removed all of her books from her backpack and left her a square of ambrosia and her magical Yankees cap instead. Annabeth is stunned as the cap hasn't worked since her argument with Minerva and realizes that if Athena herself is getting involved, Serapis must truly be a major threat. Using her restored cap, Annabeth and Sadie Kane are able to defeat Serapis and Annabeth interprets the return of her cap as a message from Athena that her days of using stealth to defeat an enemy aren't over yet and she will need it in the future.
Magnus Chase mentioned her as the mother of his cousin Annabeth.
As far as gods go, Athena could be helpful, sympathetic, and kind to even those who had initially offended her. An instance could be seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods: once, she blinded Teiresias, a mortal man who saw her bathing naked. However, after he explained his lack of nefarious intentions and how truly apologetic he was about the incident, Athena's anger cooled and, though she refused to revoke her curse of blindness, she gave him a staff and the ability to understand the language of the birds.
Athena was also renowned for her frequent assistance of heroes on their quests, even if those heroes were not her own children (such as Reyna, whom she grants part of her own Aegis and her strength in the battle with Orion) or were the children of her bitterest rival (such as Percy, whom she helped at one point while he was in the Hoover Dam).
However, as demonstrated by Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Athena could be prideful and stern - she punished Arachne by transforming her into a spider when their weaving contest ended in a tie. Like the other deities, she also had a dark side: she transformed Medusa and her sisters into the fearsome Gorgons just to get back at Poseidon, who had committed provocative acts in Athena's temple with his lover. Another example would her cursing the very flute that she had created only because playing it grotesquely altered her facial features, which in turn induced her fellow goddesses to tease her. Last but not least would be the instance where Paris picked Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess instead of her or Hera - she took the side of the Greeks in the Trojan War, and did everything within her power to bring him down, which is also a definite testament to her vanity and her capacity for vengeance.
As the Goddess of Wisdom, Athena is exceptionally disciplined, quick-witted, and brilliant. She always took precautions before acting, and was the type of person who disapproved of taking considerable risks, which was the reason for her voting against letting Percy live in The Titan's Curse. Though this obviously left Percy with a negative opinion of her, and made her seem somewhat cold and calculating, he was still forced to concede with the reasons for her perspective as well as her opinion of his weaknesses, and actually noted that she might be the worst enemy someone could make, for she would never give up or make a rash mistake simply because she hated you.
In battle, Athena is a fierce, astute, and extremely unpredictable warrior as well as a magnificent tactician. Despite her calm and reserved demeanour, she could become intensely focused in a duel, to the extent where one could easily believe that she and her sparring partner were actually fighting to the death. An example of this could be seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, where Athena sparred with her friend, Pallas, so viciously that a concerned Zeus intervened, which in turn led to Pallas' brutal death. Percy, in particular, speculated that Athena would be an absolutely terrifying opponent as well as an impregnable force to be reckoned with - her wisdom, her astuteness, and her superb capacity for calculation meant that if she were to make a plan to destroy an opponent, it would never fail. Because of this, she would make an enemy ten times worse than Ares (one of the most violent and bloodthirsty Olympians), or Dionysus (still powerful and dangerous when aroused to breaking point), or even Poseidon (one of the three mightiest Olympians of all).
Despite her flaws, Athena still had highly admirable qualities: she loves all of her demigod children, and is actually the only known deity who claims her children at birth. She once gave her daughter, Annabeth, the gift of a cap that turned its wearer invisible. In one of Percy's dreams in The Battle of the Labyrinth, she was shown to have blessed both her son, Daedelus, and his young nephew, Perdix. Such instances all testify to the fact that, despite her warlike and no-nonsense nature, Athena was still a caring mother to her children.
She also had a sense of fairness and justice that even her own children were not exempt from, an example being how she punished Daedalus for killing Perdix by branding him with a partridge (the mark of a murderer). In fact, it was her moral principles that serve as part of the reason why she did not have a good relationship with Ares, as she considered his violent and bloody version of combat tasteless. She also did not get along well with Aphrodite, for her serious and dignified nature caused her to find the Goddess of Love somewhat shallow and conceited. However, Athena shared a decent familial relationship with Artemis, to the point where the two sisters often had conversations, for they shared somewhat similar personalities and were both Virgin Goddesses.
Last but not least, Athena was able to put aside personal grudges (at least for a time) to either help those who were in desperate need or to serve the greater good of all. As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, despite Bellerophon being a son of Poseidon (who was one of her bitterest rivals), Athena still assisted him to capture and tame Pegasus, which in turn set him on the path to becoming a famous hero. Another notable instance could be seen in The Titan's Curse: though she voted against Percy's survival, it was still an indisputable fact that she had provided assistance to him in his quest. In fact, she later confessed in The Last Olympian that she might have been mistaken about Percy being a danger to the world. Hence, it can be said that though Athena could be as prideful as her father, Zeus, she was still a goddess who was worthy of respect and admiration, for it was not within the nature of most deities to help the children of their rivals in any way, or to even come remotely close to confessing that they were in error.
In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Athena is described as wearing elegant flowing gray robes, Greek battle armor, and an Imperial Gold helmet on her head, which is decorated with pictures of gryphons, and sphinxes.
In Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, Athena wears a long white sleeveless dress, and held a spear and rectangular shield in her hands, with both items "glowing with magic." According to Perseus, her face is beautiful, but also somewhat scary, the way a warrior goddess should look. And unlike any dull grey item on the Gray Sisters island, Athena's storm-grey eyes were bright and "full of fierce energy."
In The Sea of Monsters, Percy sees a Siren-induced image of Athena, and describes her as a beautiful woman with a strong resemblance to Annabeth, and though she was causally dressed (blue jeans, a denim shirt, and hiking boots), there was something about her that radiated power. Hence, he immediately recognised her for who she was.
In The Titan's Curse, Athena made her first appearance as a park ranger, with long black hair pulled back in a ponytail and tinted glasses. When she took off her glasses, Percy saw that she had startlingly grey eyes, like storm clouds. Later on, when Percy arrived on Olympus, Athena was described as a beautiful grey-eyed woman in an elegant white dress, and he immediately recognised her as Annabeth's mother. During their conversation, Percy again noted the resemblance between Athena and Annabeth, to the extent where he almost addressed Athena as Annabeth, and also realised through her cold grey stare that she would make a terrible enemy.
In The Blood of Olympus, while helping Annabeth battle Enceladus, Athena wears Imperial Gold armor over flowing white robes, while wielding a spear and bronze Aegis shield, with the fearsome visage of Medusa upon it. The Aegis can sometimes change shape into a glowing mantle, that glitters "as if woven through with filaments of Imperial Gold."
As a goddess, Athena could change her appearance at will, though she retains her stunning beauty and dignity no matter what physical manifestation she chooses. She was also viewed to be one of the most beautiful goddesses of all, given how she was perfectly capable of attracting male attention, but she employs her powers to do horrible things to them if they do not leave on her first warning. Because of this, Athena gets along with Artemis well, being seen having similar personalities and often conduct conversations.
- Main article: Minerva
Athena can change into her Roman counterpart of Minerva. Unlike the other gods, as Minerva she is less warlike and militaristic and is instead a goddess of crafts and wisdom. She also remains a maiden goddess in this form, but re-frames from having any children at all, unlike Athena who is able to have "Brain Children." Because the Romans depicted Minerva as a more cerebral and demure goddess, she dislikes the Romans despite being a Roman god, as they took away all her military importance and stole her statue.
As a daughter of Zeus, Athena is an extremely powerful goddess:
- Prowess in Battle: As the Goddess of Battle, Athena is a superb warrior, and a complete master of both armed and hand-to-hand combat, but frequently uses her wisdom to overcome her opponents instead of sheer force. As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Athena learned all of her great combat skills from the nymphs of Lake Tritonis. As a result, Athena and her best friend Pallas would frequently engage in sparring matches, which were described as so intense, that Zeus finally intervened, worried for his daughter's safety. During the First Giant War, Athena was able to defeat the fire-breathing Enceladus (the most cunning Giant) with the help of Hercules, and later helped Annabeth defeat him again in The Blood of Olympus.
- Divine Wisdom: As the Goddess of Wisdom, Athena is extremely wise, intelligent, and knowledgeable, constantly coming up with brilliant strategies. Hence during the creation of Pandora in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Athena was the one to gift the girl with cleverness and curiosity. She was also able to see in The Last Olympian that Typhon was only a decoy in Kronos' plan to defeat the gods. However, she tends to measure the odds without taking her own or others feelings into account, leading to her voting to destroy Percy in The Titan's Curse (but she was out voted). This makes her come across as cold and callous, but it demonstrates how much she values wisdom. Due to her wisdom, she was the one Zeus trusted to check on the imprisoned Titans in Tartarus.
- Strategist: As the Goddess of Strategy, she is an exceptionally skilled tactician (greater than even Ares), since unlike him, Athena only uses violence as a last resort after thinking things through and planning for the long term before acting. Her genius-level intelligence makes her enormously cunning, but also makes her a frightening and supremely dangerous opponent in a fight. This is because, unlike Ares, she is not prone to outbursts of aggression or overconfidence and would not make a pathetic mistake because she hated her target or held emotional opinions - if she made a plan to destroy an enemy, that plan would never fail. Her father, Zeus, obviously admires and recognizes her incredible tactical skills, since he wouldn't let her leave the battle with Typhon because she was his best strategist.
- Crafts: As the Goddess of Crafts, Athena is an incredibly skillful craftswoman, though she is best known for her talent in weaving (the very art of which she herself invented). As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Athena was responsible for teaching Pandora weaving and crafts, and during her contest with Arachne, she wove a flawless tapestry that was "majestic, breathtaking, and radiated the power of the Olympian gods". As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, Athena helped Jason by drawing up blueprints for the Argo, and later carved the ship's magical prow herself.
- Telumkinesis: As the Goddess of Battle, Athena has great control over any weapon, much like Ares.
- Weapon Conjuration: She can conjure and use any weapon, though she prefers to use her spear and Aegis.
- Weapon Curses: She can curse weapons.
- Disarmament: She can disarm her opponents with a gesture.
- Weapon Omniscience: She knows everything about a weapon when she sees it.
- Granting Aegis Portions: In The Blood of Olympus, Athena, impressed by Reyna's sheer bravery, imbues the latter's cloak with the invulnerability of her own Aegis cloak, making it glitter with power.
- Shapeshifting: Athena is gifted in the power of shapeshifting. As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, she could even transform herself into pure intelligence (a skill she had learned from her mother, Metis), and it was through this that she traveled from Zeus' stomach into his head. Later on, when she first approached Arachne, she transformed herself into an elderly woman. In The Titan's Curse, she appeared as a park ranger at the Hoover Dam, and in The Last Olympian, she took the guise of an owl.
- Transfiguration: Athena is also gifted in the power of transfiguration. As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, she transformed Medusa, Euryale, and Stheno into the first Gorgons, Coronis into the first raven, Arachne into the first spider, and Perdix into a partridge.
- Inventions: While not quite as good at inventing things as her half-brothers Hermes and Hephaestus, Athena notably invented the first flute in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, which played so beautifully (due to it having been filled with Athena's divine breath), that it enabled the satyr Marsyas to hold his own in a musical competition with Apollo himself.
- Item Teleportation: Athena was able to teleport Annabeth's books out of her bag and replace them with her Yankees cap and a square of ambrosia.
- Curses: As seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Athena can place horrible curses on objects, shown when she cursed a flute to give the worst fortune to the next person to play it, which ended up with the satyr Marsyas getting flayed alive by Apollo. She would also curse Teiresias with permanent blindness, and, as shown in The Battle of the Labyrinth, cursed her son Daedalus, branding him with the scarlet partridge-shaped mark of a murderer that would never fade.
- Control of Animals: Athena appears to have a high level of control over animals sacred to her, such as owls and serpents. As seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods she conjured up a magical serpent, which was intended to enhanced the godly qualities of her son Erikthonius. She would later have birds and snakes follow and lead Teiresias, while also granting him the ability to understand their speech.
- Amokinesis Immunity: As a virgin goddess, Athena is completely immune to Aphrodite's ability of arousing romantic love and passion in others, as well as Cupid's infamous romantic arrows. Instead, Athena's demigod children are conceived when her divine thoughts meet the mortal ingenuity of the men she favors, a love which she believes to be the of the purest kind, thereby making all of them "brain children".
Athena's attributes are her spear, and the olive tree, while owls and serpents are her sacred animals. She is also the patron goddess of Athens, which was named after her. As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Athena is usually referred to as "Athena Pallas", in honor of Pallas, her dear childhood friend. Athena's greatest statue (and the most famous Greek statue of all time) is the Athena Parthenos, which initially stood in the middle of the Athenian Parthenon, covered in ivory and gold. However, when Athens was conquered by the Romans, they stole it, so that Athena could no longer be a symbol of Greek military power. The Athena Parthenos itself is described as resembling Athena perfectly, and "even scarier than Arachne". Athena has a shield named aegis which is powerful against monsters. As shown with Reyna, just a piece of aegis is powerful enough to absorb an explosion that would've destroyed a yacht.
Although she is counted as a virgin goddess, Athena can conceive children by joining her mind with her lovers. This means the offspring are literally "brain children". It is believed that this ability of Athena's was influenced by the fact she came out of Zeus's brain in full battle armor.
|Jean Bartholdi||Frederic Bartholdi|
|Frederick Chase||Annabeth Chase|
|Metion||Daedalus, Eupalamus, and Sicyon|
|Augustine Washington||George Washington|
Athena has shown to be the most active goddess, secretly protecting her children from monsters such as when Annabeth ran away, she protected Annabeth until she met Thalia and Luke.
- She gave Annabeth a cap of invisibility (a Yankees cap) though it lost its power in The Mark of Athena when she and Annabeth argued. She later restores it to Annabeth in a moment of need in the Staff of Serapis.
- Along with restoring Annabeth's Yankees cap, Athena left her a square of ambrosia for her fight against Serapis.
- She gave Daedalus and Perdix her blessing of wisdom.
- When Reyna proves herself, despite not being related, Athena is so impressed she grants her part of aegis to help her in the battle with Orion and is said to have lent Reyna her strength along with Bellona even though she didn't appear in person.
- According to Reyna, Athena would sometimes gift her chosen heroes with pieces of aegis.
Athena is played by Melina Kanakaredes. She played a more major role than the other gods at Olympus, besides Zeus and Poseidon. She was seen talking to Zeus about the threat of war between the gods if the Master Bolt is not returned, trying to convince him that 'war is not the answer'. When peace is declared by Zeus, Annabeth says 'Hi, mom,' and Athena tells her that she is very proud of her.
While they were in the Parthenon, Percy sees 'Athena' written in Greek at the foot of her statue, and when he tells Annabeth, she wonders whether her mom really looks like the statue. Percy, in response, tells her 'We'll find out,' indicating that he is confident they will survive the quest and make it to Olympus.
Annabeth also mentions that her mother had been speaking to her telepathically to help her, similar to how Poseidon spoke to Percy, saying that even though she had not seen her, she still felt close to her mother.
The film version of Athena is less strict, and did not show any sign of not liking Poseidon or Percy (even though Annabeth claimed that their parents "hate each other"). She even states that "War is not the answer". This is perhaps a little paradoxical, as she is a goddess of war. However being the goddess of strategy, she knew that a war between the gods was not the answer and would only lead to unneeded sacrifice.
Melina Kankaredes did not return for The Sea of Monsters film.
- Like of her Olympain siblings her name starts with an A
- Pallas, one of the largest asteroids in the asteroid belt, is named after Pallas Athene Parthenos, one of Athena's alternative names.
- Her hair color is black in The Titan's Curse and blonde in The Sea of Monsters. However, this is likely due to the fact that the Athena that appears in Sea of Monsters is only Annabeth's perception of Athena and not the actual Athena.
- Athena is one of only two current Olympians who is a virgin.
- She is the only Greek Virgin goddess who has children.
- Minerva, her Roman counterpart, is displayed on the medal of honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the United States Government.
- She highly dislikes Percy and Annabeth together because of the rivalry between Poseidon and her.
- In the series, Frederic Bartholdi designed the The Statue of Liberty as a representation of his mother, Athena.
- In Greek mythology, the goddess Athena never had any children except for Erichthonius, who like Athena's other children, was not born in the traditional sense.
- In some Greek myths, Athena was the goddess of magic. The Percy Jackson series contradicted this by making Daedalus her son as well.
- Much like Aphrodite, Athena's shapeshifting ability has been emphasized more than the other gods.
- In one Greek myth, instead of turning Arachne into a spider, Arachne hung herself, then Athena felt bad and turned her into a spider and brought her back to life in that body.
- In the series, Athena is described to have grey eyes. However, it is also her famous nickname, "Grey-eyed".
- The first letter of her name 'A' is the same as the first letter in her daughter Annabeth's name.
- As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods and The Blood of Olympus both Hermes and Hephaestus have unrequited feelings for Athena.
- Her Egyptian equivalents (in terms of attributes) is Seshat, Isis, Thoth, and Neith.
- Her Norse equivalent would be Freya or Nerthus
- ↑ The Mark of Athena, page 32