|“||What about a compromise? I’ll kill them first, and if it turns out they were friendly, I’ll apologize.||”|
Gleeson Hedge is a middle aged satyr that was formerly filling as a coach at the Wilderness School. He was the protector of Piper McLean, Jason Grace, Leo Valdez, and Clarisse La Rue. He is also the husband of Mellie, an aura and the father of their son, Chuck Hedge.
He had tried to defend a park in Toronto from a giant evil badger, but had failed to summon Pan's power as Grover had advised, resulting in many dryads being destroyed because their trees were obliterated. He wrote that he was retreating to Ottawa and asked where Grover was.
Letter to Grover
Woods outside Toronto attacked by giant evil badger. Tried to do as you suggested and summon power of Pan. No effect. Many naiads' trees destroyed. Retreating to Ottawa. Where are you?
—Gleeson Hedge, Protector
Interestingly, he incorrectly stated naiads in his letter, when dryads were the tree nymphs while naiads were river nymphs.
Gleeson Hedge appears as a coach for the Wilderness School, looking after the students on a field trip to the Grand Canyon. While scolding some of the kids, Leo Valdez asks him to use his megaphone, resulting in the megaphone making cow sounds, much to Gleeson's irritation. When they arrive at the Grand Canyon, Coach Hedge notices storm clouds rolling in and tells the class to finish their reports quickly. Jason Grace, who had no memory of his past, notices that Coach Hedge is the only one that isn't acting like he knows him (unlike everyone else who is under the effects of the Mist). When Jason walks up to him, Coach Hedge asks him if he caused the storm clouds and wonders why Jason is here, admitting that he has never seen Jason before and he just appeared today. He wonders if he is the "special package" mentioned by camp, as an extraction team is arriving to pick up two demigods (Leo Valdez and Piper McLean), but a Venti has been stalking them for days.
Just then, a group of venti attack the bridge, forcing Coach Hedge to keep the students safe, ordering them back to the bus. When all the students escape the Grand Canyon Skywalk, Dylan closes the doors, leaving Piper, Leo, Jason, and Coach Hedge trapped on the skywalk. Hedge pushes Leo and Jason behind him because it is his job to defend them, as he reveals himself to be a protector. Dylan turns out to be a Venti and uses his power over wind to blow Leo off the side of the skywalk. Coach Hedge takes off his fake feet to reveal hooves, showing he is a satyr, and jumps down to save Leo while telling Jason to hold off Dylan. Coach Hedge manages to climb down like a mountain goat and rescues Leo, pulling him back up and dumping him on the skywalk before getting back in the fight. When Piper falls off the edge later, Coach Hedge orders Jason to save her and takes on Dylan by himself, resulting in him being taken by Dylan into the sky.
Later Leo, Piper, and Jason are sent on a quest to save Hera, coincidentally finding Coach Hedge frozen in a cage in Medea's below-ground department store. Dylan had delivered Hedge to her, but Medea trapped him and several other venti in a cage next to Hedge. Piper tried to make a deal for the cages, but Medea uses charmspeak to turn Leo and Jason on each other. They eventually break the spell with some help from Piper and call in Festus, who rescues the demigods and grabs the cages with Coach Hedge and the venti inside. Hedge is eventually released from his cage when Festus crash lands in Midas' yard. Leo works on the lock and eventually sets him free. When Hedge unfreezes, he wakes up everyone as he starts thrashing around, still believing he is fighting Dylan and the rest of the storm spirits. The trio calm him down and explain they are on a quest to save Hera and found him by accident, which disheartens him for a second. When Midas enters the room, Hedge instinctively goes in to attack. Leo, Piper, and Jason manage to hold him back and eventually calm him down, sending him outside in order to prevent him from attacking Midas and his son, Lit. When Midas and Lit turn on the trio, with Midas turning Piper and Leo into gold statues, Jason calls Hedge for help, but he doesn't respond. It isn't until after Jason defeats the two that Hedge enters the room, obviously snacking on the grass outside. Hedge then helps Jason carry Piper and Leo from the room.
The group stop on Pikes Peak and Coach Hedge points out that Aeolus' floating castle should be right above them. Before climbing, Leo talks about his dream with his father, Hephaestus, and how the Gigantes are rising. Jason doesn't understand why Zeus would close Olympus if the giants could only be killed by a demigod and a god working together, but Coach Hedge explains that gods hate needing the help of mortals and things will need to get a lot worse before Zeus admits he made a mistake. This surprises Piper as she feels Coach Hedge made an intelligent comment. Piper also mentions that Enceladus kidnapped her father and after hearing the name, Hedge describes him as a fire-breathing giant. Piper fears that Enceladus will kill her dad after telling her friends this, but Coach Hedge points out that he won't kill her father until he gets what he wants or the deadline passes. Coach Hedge also correctly guesses that it is a diversion away from Hera, which would allow Porphyrion to rise and Hera to lose all her power.
Just then Lycaon and his pack of Lycanthrope attack the group. Coach Hedge plans on killing them all while Jason and the others escape, but Jason says they aren't leaving anyone behind. Coach Hedge then gets into a shouting match with Lycaon, but him and his wolves are driven off by the timely arrival of Thalia Grace and her Hunters of Artemis. Thalia inspects Piper and wonders why Coach Hedge hadn't used nature magic to heal her, but he claims she looks as good as she does because of his nature magic. He then looks after Piper while she receives medical attention as Jason and Leo talk with Thalia.
Once everyone recovers, Hedge leads the group up the mountain to Aeolus' fortress, where Hedge falls in love with Mellie, an aura. After things go south with Aeolus, Mellie helps the group escape and asks Coach Hedge to Iris Message her. After waking up from the experience, Gleeson finds himself in a baggy canary yellow zoot suit, compliments of Aphrodite. They stop at a cafe where Hedge tries to come up with a plan of attack to take down Enceladus, which is just climbing Mount Diablo and killing everything except Piper's dad. When Gaea is mentioned however, Hedge explains how she had the Titans overthrow Ouranos, and later had the gods do the same to the Titans. She then went back to sleep after the Gigantes failed to defeat the gods in the first Gigantomachy. If she is waking up, Gleeson suggests staying off the ground.
Gleeson then leads them up Mount Diablo where they hide from Enceladus behind some rocks. Coach Hedge comes up with a good plan, having Jason, Leo, and himself distract the giant while Piper saves her dad. However, the plan falls apart quickly and Coach Hedge's jacket is set on fire before he is knocked out when his head hit a log. When he wakes up, he celebrates the victory over the giant by dancing around. After the group bring Piper's dad to a nearby airport for medical attention, Coach Hedge offers to look after him so Piper and continue the quest. He admits that he is a protector, not a fighter, but says he is a good fighter too. The trio simply humor him and say he is terrifying.
Gleeson Hedge becomes Tristan McLean's life-coach, with Tristan actually enjoying Gleeson and considering him a god send. Mellie also becomes his personal assistant, allowing Gleeson to work closely with his girlfriend.
Gleeson Hedge is on the Argo II on their trip to Camp Jupiter. Annabeth Chase assigned him to watch some martial arts shows so it would be more peaceful when they met the Romans, thinking that their crazed satyr yelling "Die!" wouldn't be a good message. Hedge stays on the ship for most of the journey, and Piper states that Hedge had come back "because it was all his idea," but she feels that he might have been sent by Mellie, a wind spirit they met in The Lost Hero, and her dad, since every time they video chatted she was getting glummer with the weight of the quest.
In Rome, Hedge is assigned to man the Argo II just in case. It is presumed that after Leo, Frank Zhang, and Hazel Levesque escape from the room of Archimedes, they joined Hedge at the Argo II and sailed to help Percy and Jason, who were fighting the twin giants. Hedge blasts Greek fire at the giants when they reach the Colosseum, and is told to be dancing around on the firing platform, pumping his fists in the air yelling "That's what I'm talking about!" He then states, after Bacchus disappears, "Is that Dionysus? I love that guy," not realizing it was the Roman form of Dionysus, Bacchus.
The Argo II then sails out to help Annabeth in the parking lot behind the Emmanuel Building. When asked by Percy if Hedge still has ammo to break through the parking lot, Hedge replies with, 'I thought you'd never ask.' Percy, Frank, Nico di Angelo, Hazel, Jason, Piper, and Leo all go down to help get the statue up while Hedge remains on the ship. However, when the plan goes wrong and the Athena Parthenos is secured on the Argo II, Percy and Annabeth fall into Tartarus. Everyone retreats to the Argo II, and sits around feeling guilty. Hedge moans that he should have saved them and blown more stuff up. Nico states Percy is the most powerful demigod he's ever met, and that with Annabeth being with him, he'll be able to survive Tartarus. Hopeful to get their friends back, the demigods sail on their way to Greece to find the House of Hades.
It is also revealed during Hedge's conversation with Frank that he had a girlfriend, Mellie, who used to live in L.A. but then moved to Camp-Half Blood because it was safer. Later Hedge married Mellie, who is currently pregnant with his child. Frank congratulates him and a touched Hedge dismisses him.
At the end of the book, Frank volunteers Hedge to go with Nico and Reyna to Camp-Half Blood, most likely because he wants Hedge to go see his wife.
Coach Hedge helps Reyna and Nico transport the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood. Then when they reach camp, Hedge leaves the demigods and he rushes to see his baby being born.
Gleeson Hedge has a very eccentric personality. Unlike most satyrs that believe in preserving nature, Hedge believes more in the concept of survival of the fittest. He knows that big things eating smaller things is also a part of nature, which resulted in him trying to become stronger to defend himself from bigger or stronger foes. Hedge is very overconfident and believes that he can defeat anyone no matter how much bigger or powerful his enemy is. Because of this, Hedge will constantly try and attack anyone he comes across, even if the being he is attacking is a potential ally. He is also very brave, jumping over a cliff in order to save Leo and joining in any fight to help others, including standing up to Enceladus.
Hedge tends to act strong because he is approaching middle-age and feels that the Council of Cloven Elders sent him to the Wilderness School simply to get him out of the way. Because of this, he acts tough to show that he isn't useless. Gleeson is also much more intelligent than he first appears. He is able to figure out that Enceladus was using Piper's dad as bait to lure them away from Hera, insuring that her dad would be safe until Enceladus got what he wanted. He also has a softer side, volunteering to take care of Piper's dad while she went to free Hera, as he admits that he is a Protector, not a fighter. He also has a fondness for the children of Ares, and doesn't seem to care if they are instead children of the god's Roman form, Mars. This is why he trusted Frank Zhang with the knowledge of his marriage and impending fatherhood.
While coaching, Gleeson wears a baseball cap, a bright orange polo shirt, nylon workout pants, white Nikes, a whistle around his neck, a baseball bat, and megaphone (Leo Valdez rigged his megaphone to blurt amusing comments and sounds when he talked into it). He is 5'0, has beady eyes, is really buff, and has a wispy goatee.After Aphrodite "fixed" him, Piper described him as a pastel nightmare. He is dressed in baggy canary yellow zoot suit with two-tone shoes that fit over his hooves. He has a matching yellow broad-brimmed hat, a rose-colored shirt, a baby blue tie, and a blue carnation in his lapel, which he ate.
Gleeson Hedge is in great shape for a satyr his age and in general. Because he feels he needs to fight everything that moves, he tends to exercise regularly and even works as a gym teacher when he is undercover as a protector. Being half goat from the waist down, Gleeson is an excellent mountain climber, as shown when he jumped off the edge of the Grand Canyon to save Leo Valdez, managing to carry him all the way back up as well.
Despite being a satyr, Gleeson seems to have a limited knowledge of nature magic. When asked if he knew healing magic by Thalia when inspecting the injured Piper, he claimed that she looked as good as she did because of him. He can make something he calls "Sports Medicine," which is a mix of wild mushrooms and Gatorade.
Mellie is a wind spirit that Gleeson meets in Aeolus' wind fortress. She instantly has an attraction to him and he feels that he could settle down with her to raise a family of satyrs. She eventually helps him and his friends escape and later meets up with him again, working with him as Tristan McLean's assistants. In The House of Hades, it is revealed that right before the quest they got married and Mellie is currently pregnant. Frank was the first one to know. In The Blood of Olympus Mellie gave birth to a baby satyr named Chuck.
Gleeson seems to be very protective of Piper, even more so than Leo or Jason. The two seem to gain respect for each other as they travel around. Before Piper knew he was a satyr, Gleeson seemed to push her even harder during gym class as a way to toughen her up as he knew she was a demigod and would one day need to fight for herself. Gleeson even goes out of his way to look after Piper's father while he was in the hospital, after being rescued. Even when Gleeson is not around, Piper can still hear him pushing her on in her mind or imagining things he might say.
Gleeson is close to Jason, but quite not as much as to Piper. Jason is more frequently annoyed by Hedge's ideals about survival of the fittest and tends to send him away before he can cause trouble. However, Jason is sometimes impressed by how intelligent Hedge can be, agreeing to use his idea when facing the giant Enceladus. Despite their differences, Jason tends to at least respect Hedge while Coach Hedge still sees himself as Jason's protector.
Gleeson seemed to have been annoyed with Leo at first, since Leo had messed with Hedge's megaphone. Hedge does save Leo when he falls over the canyon, since it is his job as the protector. The two seem to be closer in The Mark of Athena, since Leo had installed TV satellites in the Argo II. He has also been shown to care about Leo a lot, like when he insisted that he sleep after staying awake for hours steering the ship. In turn, Leo is shown to be very amused by the satyr's violent attitude.
Hedge is protective of Annabeth in The Mark of Athena, but quite not as much as he is of Piper. However, just like with the rest of the crew, he is incredibly strict and even grounds her when he thinks that she and Percy went missing. He feels terrible when Annabeth and Percy fall into Tartarus, feeling that he should have done more to protect them, as he is their protector.
As seen in The Mark of Athena, the relation between the two is similar to Jason's relation with Hedge. Hedge, in turn, is also very strict with Percy, especially after he found him out after curfew with Annabeth Chase. Similarly to how he acts with Leo, he sees Percy as a kind of troublemaker. However, when Percy falls into Tartarus with Annabeth, he feels extremely guilty even to the point of crying, as he felt like he should have done more.
Gleeson writes a letter to Grover in The Last Olympian, so it is assumed he is on Grover's side during the feud between the Council of Cloven Elders and Grover. Not much is said about their relation after that, though.
As revealed in The House of Hades, Hedge has a notable fondness for children of Ares/Mars. This fondness extends to Frank enough that he trusts him alone with the knowledge of his recent marriage and unborn child. After telling this to Frank, Hedge calls him a nosy Roman.
In The House of Hades it is revealed that Coach Hedge was the protector who retrieved Clarisse many years ago. In The Blood of Olympus it is revealed that Clarisse had been tending to Mellie during the later part of her pregnancy. When Chuck Hedge is born Clarisse is appointed the position godmother (presumably because of her long standing close friendship with Coach Hedge)
In The Blood of Olympus, Gleeson appears to be protective of Nico, healing him when he got hurt. He helped Nico and Reyna transport the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood. He also notably, did not judge Nico after finding out about the latter's gay crush on Percy and seeing a horrifying display of the demigod's rage.
- Along with Grover Underwood, Gleeson is the only known satyr who has a surname.
- On his Twitter account, Rick Riordan says, Gleeson is his favorite character from the Heroes of Olympus series.
- Gleeson was the former baseball coach at Wilderness School, while he was undercover. His official picture shows him on a baseball field with a baseball bat. Dylan, a storm spirit, claims that he was on Gleeson's baseball team all season, yet Gleeson couldn't smell him.
- Despite being different from a lot of other satyrs, being unskilled at nature magic and preferring to fight instead, Gleeson simply believes more in "survival of the fittest," a different aspect of nature.
- He is the only character on board the Argo II to have a cabin who is not one of the seven, until Nico di Angelo is saved in The Mark of Athena.
- Gleeson is a big fan of violent sports and movies, including martial arts films and wrestling.
- He frequently reads issues of Guns & Ammo.
- Gleeson apparently has a phobia of Dalmatian dogs, for some unexplained reason.
- He still has nightmares because of the movie 101 Dalmatians.
- Coach Hedge's mother was an aurae who is missing. It is said that coach had a dream of his mother calling him for help whilst on mission with Clarisse.
- He calls the demigods 'cupcake'.
- Coach Hedge is the only new main character of the Heroes of Olympus series to be mentioned in the original series besides Hylla.
- Coach Hedge has an obsession with explosives.
- Coach Hedge has frequently made violent parodies of songs, such as the Pokémon theme song and "Old McDonald."