|“||I want to see Cyclopes; I don’t want to be lonely anymore.||”|
–Briares, in The Battle of the Labyrinth
Early Life, Imprisonment, Release and Re-Imprisonment
Briares is the younger brother of the Titans and Cyclopes, a son of Gaea and Ouranos. Their father, hating them, chained them up in extremely durable black chains (forged from the darkness of the night sky), and subsequently jailed the Hekatonknieres in Tartarus, where the Elder Cyclopes had already been thrown into. After defeating his father Ouranos, Kronos became the King of Mount Orthys, and kept his promise of releasing the Elder Cyclopes and Hekatonknieres from Tartarus. In return, Briares and his Hekatonkniere brothers Cottus and Gyges, built a magnificent black marble palace for Kronos on Mount Orthys. However, Kronos was later disgusted by all of the unbearable noise that his Hekatonkheire and Elder Cyclopes brothers constantly made, as well as their revolting stench. Hence, Kronos, Hyperion and Atlas (the three most powerful Titans) chained all six of them up, and hurled them into Tartatus once again, this time guarded by Kampê, the most ferocious and terrifying monster in all of Tartarus that Kronos personally hired.
Release by Zeus
Many years later, after Zeus freed his elder Olympian siblings from Kronos' belly, they all went down to Tartarus (with Hades' guidance). There, the Elder Cyclopes forged three incredibly powerful weapons for the gods: the Master Bolt (for Zeus), the Trident (for Poseidon), and the Helm of Darkness (for Hades). With these weapons, Zeus killed Kampê, and Poseidon shattered the chains of the Elder Cyclopes and Hekatonkheires.
First TitanomachyIn return, all six of them fought on the side of the Olympians in the Titanomachy. Briares had massive strength (and he was very proficient at hurling huge boulders), which greatly contributed to the Titans' ultimate defeat. At the final battle on Mount Orthys, all three Hekatonkheires were of great help, throwing so many rocks that the Titans thought that the mountain was falling apart. Since the Hekatonkheires had initially built Kronos' fortress on Mount Orthys, they knew exactly how to destroy it. In the subsequent final battle of the Titanomachy, the Olympians finally overwhelmed and defeated the Titans, including Kronos himself. In the aftermath of the battle, the Elder Cylopes chained up all of the Titans, while the Hekatonkheires forced them to kneel before Zeus. Afterwards, Zeus offers the Hekatonkheires to return to Tartarus, this time as the jailers of the Titans, to which they readily agreed.
Years later, Briares ended up marrying Kymopoleia, the daughter of Poseidon and Amphitrite. Kymopoleia was large, clumsy, and loud, which did not earn her as much love from her parents as Benthesikyme, Triton and Rhode (her elder siblings). However, since, Briares was large and loud himself, he had nothing against having such a wife.
When Poseidon, Apollo, Athena, and Hera organize the first ever Olympian riot, they manage to tie down Zeus. Finally, the trashing and bellowing King of Olympus is found by the Nereid Thetis. After convincing Zeus to be merciful towards the rioting Olympians, Thetis managed to find 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 untied Zeus, after which the latter punished the rioting gods.
Briares had been captured by the Titan army and imprisoned on Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, being tortured and threatened by Kampê to join them, but despite this he had refused to give in. Spurred on by Tyson and realizing that they had encountered a potentially powerful ally for the war the group planned a rescue. Even so, Briares was immensely terrified of Kampê and refused to leave until Percy beat him in a game of rock, paper, scissors by using a finger gun (a trick taught to him by his stepfather, Paul Blofis), which defeated Braires' many rocks, papers, and scissors. They save him from Kampê but Briares subsequently leaves; having lost his confidence and also in a state of depression because his brothers had faded. This breaks Tyson's heart as Tyson had held high respect and regard for the Hundred Handed-Ones.
During the Battle of the Labyrinth, Briares unexpectedly appears to help with Daedalus and Mrs. O'Leary. Briares uses boulders from each of his hundred hands to bury Kampê, killing his former jailor and torturer. Briares appearance briefly changes the tide of the battle, but the monsters keep going until Grover Underwood uses Panic to force them back into the Labyrinth. As a result of Kampê's death, the army loses Ariadne's String which had been guiding them, but will eventually return. In the aftermath of the battle, Daedalus explains that on his way to help, he encountered Briares who was heading to Camp Half-Blood as well but was lost. The two realized that they had similar goals and allied to help the camp. Briares credits Tyson for his choice to come to help and hails Tyson as the true hero.
Afterwords, he goes to Poseidon's forges to make weapons for the war and to teach the Cyclopes ways they had forgotten in weapon forging in order to give the heroes a much needed edge in the war. He fights for Poseidon in the war against Oceanus, the Titan Lord of the sea.
He is seen by Percy just outside Poseidon's palace fighting in the war against Oceanus, battling a giant lobster. Poseidon said that he wished more of them were around to fight for it would ensure victory.
When Jason Grace and Percy Jackson visit Kymopoleia, she reveals that Briares is her husband and she hates him which surprises Percy as he knows Briares and knows him to be very nice. Before they leave Kymopoleia, Percy tries to get her to give Briares a chance, but she states that his fifty faces are ugly and despite having one hundred hands, he's all thumbs and no help around the house. Percy initially tries to push her to help his friend, but stops when he sees how angry the goddess is getting.
Briares is originally very timid and scared after being kept in jail by Kampê. Briares even gave up on himself, as shown when refuses to even free himself when given the chance. Despite Tyson seeing him as a hero, Briares only lets him down. Briares is also depressed because of the passing of his two brothers. It isn't until later that Briares finds his courage and helps defend Camp Half-Blood, as well as helping the Olympian Army make weapons.
As his species name suggests, Briares has one hundred arms that protrude from his chest, and, according to Percy, he looks like a "forkful of spaghetti" in The Battle of the Labyrinth or like he is "wearing a bunch of giant octopi" in The Last Olympian. His arms look like human arms, but his huge feet are unlike humans' with eight toes on each foot. He also changes faces along with his emotions, except for his eyes, which are solid brown and have no whites. According to Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Briares was very loud, and smelled "like a composting toilet."
Briares is one of the largest giants alive and has a total of a hundred hands, as well as a multitude of faces. With his hands, he can pick up rocks and toss them at enemy monsters. These rocks can also grow in size and completely crush those that get in their way. As a result, Briares possesses superhuman strength and durability.
Briares is also a skilled blacksmith, willing to show the Cyclopes working for the Olympians new ways of forging weapons that they had forgotten over time. He can also fluently converse in the Tongue of the Old Times (which his mother Gaea used to speak to him in).
- Briares is the only friendly child of Gaea in Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and the only brother of Kronos who helps fight against him.
- As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Briares was freed by Poseidon, who smashed his chains with his new mighty Trident.
- Briares and his Hekatonkheire brethren (along with the Elder Cyclops) built all of the palaces on both Mount Orthys and Mount Olympus.
- As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Briares was the one who released Zeus, after the latter had been tied down by Poseidon and Hera (who were organizing an Olympian riot).
- During The Blood of Olympus, Percy and Jason Grace have an unpleasant encounter with Briares' wife Kymopoleia who hates him and thinks him ugly and useless. Despite Percy's attempts to get her to give Briares a chance, she refuses to listen and gets angry at the idea.