|“||The riddle was quite simple, really. One of my retainers solved it.||”|
–Cocalus to Minos, in The Battle of the Labyrinth
Cocalus (meaning "bone") was a king of Kamikos in Sicily. He had three beautiful daughters and allowed Daedalus to act as their tutor.
The Battle of the Labyrinth
Cocalus does not formally appear in the series, but Percy sees him in a dream. In his dream, Minos appeared in his throne room after hearing that someone in Cocalus' court had solved his riddle. Cocalus joked with Minos at first, saying that his little riddle was not so little, but checks to make sure that his offer of a thousand gold talents is genuine. When Minos confirmed that the reward was correct, Cocalus claims that one of his retainers had managed to figure out how to thread a piece of thread through a spiral sea shell. He explained that the retainer had tied the thread to an ant, then placed some honey to bait the ant to go through the shell. When Minos complements the retainer, Cocalus agreed and told him that this man was also his daughter's tutor before asking for the gold.
Minos however, will only give the gold to one man, that man being the one that solved the riddle. Minos also says that only one man could have solved the riddle and that Cocalus is harboring Daedalus. When asked how Minos knew the mans name, Minos called him a thief and had turned his own subjects against him. As a result, Minos had been hunting him down and baited him with a riddle that only he could solve. When Cocalus claims that the man is under his protection, Minos says that if he does not hand the man over, not only will he not get the gold but Crete would become their enemy. If Cocalus turns the man over to him however, the gold would be his.
After thinking about it for a few moments, Cocalus agreed to bring Daedalus to him in chains, but offered Minos the luxury of a bath and new clothes, followed by a meal. Minos readily agreed and Cocalus had his daughters take Minos to the bath, where Minos would eventually be killed.
Cocalus is a kind king who seems to enjoy laughing and making jokes. He is also very open minded, allowing his daughters to receive an education under the wisdom of Daedalus. However, he easily backs down when threatened, appearing pale when Minos threatened Crete to become their enemy. He also is very accepting, bringing in Daedalus even though he most likely knew he was a fugitive.
Cocalus was described as a plump man. He also had curly red hair that matched that of his daughters and he wore a crown of laurels.