|“||My dear young cousin, if there is anything I have learned over the eons is that you can't give up on family, no matter how tempting they make it.||”|
Birth and Apollo's CattleHermes was born sometime after the First Titan War to Zeus, king of the gods, and the Pleiad Maia. (According to the Homeric Hymn 7 to Hermes, the god was reared on Mt. Cyllene in northeastern Arcadia). He matured rapidly and within a few minutes of his birth stole the cattle of Apollo and invented the lyre. He even thought of a clever way to cover up his crime: tying bundles of grass to the cows' feet and leading them backward out of the pasture to make it look like something had been led into the pasture but not away from it.
Despite this, Apollo found out and went to Zeus for justice. When brought before his father on Mount Olympus, Hermes attempted to charm Zeus into letting him go by telling him he was just an innocent new born baby. Undeceived, but amused by the child's boldness and wit, Zeus instead forced him to compensate Apollo, which Hermes did by presenting him with the lyre. Apollo was instantly enchanted by the instrument and forgot about his anger immediately. Hermes also traded the shepherd's pipe (another invention of his) to Apollo in exchange for his golden staff, sword, and knowledge of the art of prophecy. When he came of age, Hermes was made the messenger of the gods.
Hermes was in charge of distributing invitations to the many guests of Zeus and Hera's wedding. Among them was the nymph Chelone, who had no desire to come to the celebration. An angry Hermes then lifted her house and hurled it at Chelone, transforming her into the first turtle.
When his father Zeus decided to create the irresistible Pandora (in order to punish Epimetheus for his brother Prometheus' actions), Hermes helped by gifting the girl with deceitfulness, which was what greatly contributed to her finally opening her pithos.
Messenger of the Gods
As the messenger of gods, Hermes would often serve as the intermediary between the gods and the mortal world. As a result, Hermes became the only major Olympian that could freely enter the realm of any other god without an invitation. One of his tasks would also be to lead the souls of the deceased to Charon in the Underworld.
The First Gigantomachy
After Zeus' defeat in his first battle with the monstrous storm giant Typhon, Hermes found his father's disabled and immobilized body (since Typhon had ripped his divine tendons out), and carried it to a cave with the help of the minor satyr god Aegipan. After Aegipan managed to trick Typhon into returning Zeus' tendons, Hermes helped re-attach them to his father with careful zaps of the lightning bolts retrieved back from the storm giant's bag. As a god, a very grateful Zeus healed almost instantly and requested that Hermes stay out of the way of his final grandiose battle with his colossal foe, Hermes being more than happy to comply.
When his demigod half-brother Perseus was given the seemingly impossible task of beheading Medusa, Hermes promptly arrived to help, bringing with him a magical expandable bag, a pair of winged sandals (similar to his own), and a replica of Hades' Helm of Darkness. Hermes then gave the demigod strict instructions on how to use these items and advised him to visit the Gray Sisters first, as they were the only ones who knew the location of Medusa's secret lair.
During the Trojan War Hermes sided with the Trojans and delivered Zeus' order to Achilles, that the hero return Hector's body to his father, King Priam. When Priam sought to ransom Achilles to return Hector's body to him, Hermes guided him at night to the hero's tent.
He appears to Percy Jackson on the beach where he motivates the young demigod into going on a quest, despite the fact Tantalus denied his request. The god also lends some help to Percy and his friends by supplying them with some handy magical items such as a thermos, which acts as a compass and releases winds from the four corners of the earth, and some magical vitamins. The real reason behind Hermes' actions is the hope that Percy will bring Luke, one of his numerous sons, back from the side of Kronos. Later, when Hermes brings Percy a letter from his father, Percy says that he's sorry that Luke wouldn't listen to him, and that they ended up trying to kill each other. Hermes comforts Percy and says that there is still time for Luke to change his mind, that "Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy", and there isn't much anyone can do about it. He seems to want Percy to defy Tantalus because he may have thought Percy could bring Luke to his senses.
When Percy is tried by the Twelve Olympians, he defends Percy and asks the other gods who were in favor of not disintegrating him. When Apollo tries to do a haiku he interrupts and says that they should move onto the next topic. He voted in favor of keeping Percy alive. During the Olympian celebrations, Hermes has a conversation with Percy but is interrupted by a call on his caduceus.
Hermes gets angry with Annabeth Chase because she wouldn't run off with Luke, and Hermes is afraid that Luke won't have a chance now. Percy gets angry at him and asks him that if he loves Luke so much, why wasn't he around when Luke was a kid instead of abandoning him and letting Luke become angry at him and the other Olympians. Hermes is furious at the implication that he had abandoned Luke and forgot about him, he and Percy do not speak again until Luke dies when Percy apologizes for his words.
Hermes forgives Percy but is still grieving over his son. When the Fates take Luke's body, he gives him a final blessing and kisses his son on the forehead. When Percy forces the gods to swear that they will claim their children by age thirteen, Hermes gives Percy a list of his children outside of Camp Half-Blood and asks him to personally escort them to the camp; Percy promises that he will.
It is stated that one of his duties is to monitor interactions between the divine and mortal worlds and help mortals rationalize these interactions. This is because he is the messenger between the divine and mortal worlds. He seems bitter about this because he did not receive the glory and worship that the other gods had told him that he would get.
Hephaestus mentioned that Hermes is bored at home due to Zeus' ban that no Iris messages, visions, and dreams are to be sent to demigods, so he has nothing to deliver to anybody. When Jason Grace, Leo Valdez, and Piper McLean are in Detroit, they stumble upon a family of cyclopes made up of Ma Gasket and her sons. The trio talk about how they had just eaten a child of Mercury, one of Hermes' children from Camp Jupiter.
Hermes lost his staff and sends Percy and Annabeth to find it. After Percy retrieves it from the giant Cacus, Hermes rewards him by sending the couple on a date in Paris, since he is the god of travel.
Hermes, along with most of the other Olympians, was incapacitated (with his personality split between him and his Roman form Mercury) after Leo was manipulated by Gaea into shooting upon Camp Jupiter from the Argo II.
While the god does not appear, when Annabeth falls down a pit looking for the Athena Parthenos and breaks her ankle, she finds a crate belonging to Hermes Express. She initially thinks it might be something useful, as Hermes delivers to gods, spirits, and demigods. Unfortunately, all she finds is bubble wrap inside and becomes frustrated at the messenger god, hoping it would be something to help her on her quest. Annabeth soon changes her mind and uses the bubble wrap to make a cast for herself.
Much to their surprise, Percy and Annabeth stumble upon an old shrine to Hermes while wandering through Tartarus, and discover food (that his demigod children at Camp Half-Blood had burned for him) on the altar. Hence, Annabeth subsequently uses this link with her camp to send a message to Connor Stoll. It is later given to Rachel, who, in turn finally gives it to Reyna.
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 Hermes) of their split personalities. As a result, Hermes promptly arrives in Athens to participate in the final battle with the Giants. Hermes helps slay the Giant Hippolytos, after which Hades sends the latter's body back to Tartarus.
After the Giants' defeat, Hermes is seen attempting to flirt with Athena, though she promptly makes him back off with her fearsome Aegis shield. He watches as Zeus hurls the Argo II back to Camp Half-Blood.
In contrast to many of the other Olympians, Hermes is much more reasonable and helpful than the other major Olympian gods with a greater understanding of mortals (much like Artemis). Hermes is not prone to the overt arrogance of some like Zeus or Ares, nor the character quirks like Apollo or Aphrodite. Part of this may be due to part of his job being to help mortals rationalize divine events giving him a greater understanding of things beyond himself. Sometimes, Hermes helps people to understand the things that covered with the Mist. He is shown to care a great deal for his children (especially Luke) and to be far more accepting of others. Both traits are not common among the other major Olympians.
Hermes' visits are often beneficial to gods and demigods alike, and often help them out, though this is frequently at the request of another god or personal motivations. Hermes tends to be one of the more clever and cunning Olympians, as he tricked Argus into falling asleep and even outsmarted Apollo when he was a child. Since another one of Hermes' jobs is to guide the souls of the deceased into the Underworld, he is one of the few Olympians to have been on good terms with Hades before The Last Olympian. In addition, as revealed in The Blood of Olympus, Hermes seems to have unrequited feelings for Athena.
However, as shown in The Last Olympian, Hermes can become very angry when crossed, or especially if someone implies that he does not care about his children. Nonetheless, Hermes takes his duties as a god very seriously, rather unlike Apollo and Dionysus, who take their duties and responsibilities in a much lighter manner. As a result, Hermes will not breach his divine duties, even to save his own children, since not even he can defy the Fates, as attempting to do so would only make matters worse. All in all, Hermes is by far one of the most reasonable and beneficial Olympians.
He is described in The Sea of Monsters as appearing to resemble a middle-aged man with an athletic figure slim and fit with salt-and-pepper hair, as a jogger, and in his original form has a muscular build, curly black hair, blue eyes, elfish features, and a sly grin. He has been known to wear nylon running shorts and New York City Marathon T-shirt while jogging, an outfit similar to a mailman's when delivering mail with a pith helmet which sprout wings, and a suit. He carries a cell phone which turns into a caduceus. He has been known to sport winged shoes. When Hermes becomes furious in The Last Olympian, he has a furrowed brow, his eyes get steely cold, and his facial expression hardens "like [he'd] turned into marble."
- Main article: Mercury
Hermes can change into his Roman counterpart of Mercury. As Mercury, he becomes more disciplined, militaristic, and warlike like most Roman counterparts of Greek gods become. He has children and perhaps descendants at Camp Jupiter in San Francisco. As shown in The Blood of Olympus, Mercury's children, much like Hermes', have a penchant for mischievous pranks and theft.
As a son of Zeus, Hermes is an extremely powerful god. Due to vast influence and countless domains, Hermes draws on the worship and powers greater then most if not all gods bar the Big Three.
- Several Enhanced Skills: Hermes is perhaps the most versatile Olympian to be the god of so many diverse things. For example: roads, shepherds, thieves, travelers, hospitality, heralds, diplomacy, trade, language, writing, etc. Because of all these skills, Hermes could be described as a Jack of all trades, a title Luke once used when describing the children of Hermes.
- Strength: Hermes has great physical prowess, as shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, when he lifted Chelone's entire house, and hurled it at her, turning her into the first turtle.
- Swordsmanship: As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Hermes received a mighty sword from his brother Apollo in exchange for his flute. The Sword of Hermes is made of adamantine and Imperial Gold, and is extremely sharp. This implies excellent swordsmanship skills on Hermes' part. Apparently, these skills were later inherited by Hermes' son Luke.
- Enhanced Speed: As the God of Travel and messengers, Hermes is extremely fast and can travel at supersonic speeds, faster than most other gods, due to his winged shoes.
- Teleportation: As seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, Hermes can disappear in a cloud of smoke.
- Transgressing Realms: As the messenger of the gods, Hermes can freely go to the realm of any god without an invitation, including the Underworld, as it is his duty to guide newly deceased souls there.
- Enhanced Thievery: As the God of Thieves, Hermes has a supernatural way of stealing things without others noticing, even other Olympians, such as when he stole Apollo's cattle as a child in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods.
- Lock Manipulation: As the god of thieves, Hermes can sense the internal structure and mechanisms of any lock he touches, and is always able to make it unlock. He can do this telekinetically. He passed that skill onto Luke as shown in The Diary of Luke Castellan.
- Lock Intuition: Hermes can instantly identify curses and traps placed on locks, and deactivate them.
- Money Manipulation: Since Hermes is the God of Merchants, he can easily manipulate money and the stock market. In, Hermes' son Luke is shown to have inherited this ability. His other sons Connor and Travis also seem to have inherited this ability, as they are known for always winning in poker games.
- Athletics: As the God of Athletics, Hermes has a naturally enhanced athletic ability.
- Inventions: Hermes is an unbelievable inventor only surpassed by his half-brother Hephaestus. He invented the lyre and flute in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, and even claims in The Sea of Monsters to have invented the Internet.
- Ancient Greek Alchemy: According to Luke in The Diary of Luke Castellan, Hermes is a very adept alchemist. Hermes' proficiency in is connected with his "Hermes Trismegistus" (Hermes Thrice-Greatest) title.
- Power of Persuasion: As the god of communication he is honored as the patron of eloquence. In The Lost Hero, Annabeth mentions that Hermes can be "very convincing," but whether or not this is similar to Aphrodite's charmspeak is unknown. Luke may have also inherited this, as Daedalus mentions in The Battle of the Labyrinth that Luke can be very convincing. Connor and Travis may have also inherited this, as in The Titan's Curse, they were convincing Nico di Angelo that poker was a better game than Mythomagic.
- Intelligence: As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Hermes was shrewd and formidably intelligent - he successfully stole Apollo's cattle, and later on not only appeased his brother's wrath through offering him the lyre, but also he acquired numerous magical gifts from his brother by trading him the flute. Hence, Hermes was the one to gift Pandora with deceitfulness.
- Transfiguration: In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Hermes transformed the stubborn nymph, Chelone, into a turtle.
- Prophecy: As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Apollo granted Hermes the power to predict the future by throwing dice, which might have been how Hermes knew some of Luke's fate.
- Audiokinesis: Since he is the god of Communication and has the Power of Persuasion, he can sing really well and persuade people with his singing as well. This is much like how Piper Mclean can sing and put charmspeak in her voice.
Hermes' attributes are his Caduceus, winged sandals, winged golden helmet, and his mighty golden sword. According to Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, the Sword of Hermes is made of adamant and Imperial Gold, and is extremely sharp. Though the Caduceus, sandals, and sword initially belonged to Apollo, he, admittedly, never used them, and readily gave them to Hermes in exchange for his younger brother's lyre and flute. Hermes' sacred animals are the ram, tortoise, and rooster.
Hermes has many children and all undetermined children go to Cabin 11 as explained by Luke in The Lightning Thief. His most mentioned child is Luke, who he loved very much, as seen in The Last Olympian when he blessed Luke and kissed his forehead before having the Three Fates carry off his dead body. Poseidon also told Percy in The Titan's Curse, that Hermes loved Luke so much up to the point that Luke became Hermes' pride and joy.
Greek Demigod Children
- Luke Castellan (deceased) (with May Castellan)
- Connor Stoll
- Travis Stoll
- Chris Rodriguez
- Cecil Markowitz
- Harriet Tubman (deceased)
- Julia Feingold
- Alice Miyazawa
- Other Hermes' Cabin members
- Two unnamed daughters (in Los Angeles during The Last Olympian).
- Unnamed son (in Wisconsin during The Last Olympian)
Roman Demigod Children
- Jack London (deceased)
- Unnamed Son of Mercury mentioned by Ma Gasket in The Lost Hero (deceased)
- More unnamed children and legacies.
Symbol of Power
- Main article: Caduceus
The caduceus, also known as a herald's wand, is Hermes' symbol of power. It appears as a winged golden staff, though Hermes usually keeps in phone form. It has two intertwined snakes named George and Martha, who can extend to full form when the caduceus is completely extended, possibly from George Washington and his wife Martha Dandridge Washington, or more likely from the two main characters of the play "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," a married couple who are frequently venomous towards each other.
|“||My son, I'm the god of travelers, the god of loads. If I know anything, I know that you must walk your own path, even though it tears my heart.||”|
–Hermes to Luke, in The Last Olympian
Despite all the mistakes Luke had made in his life, Hermes still considers him to be his favorite son. Being a god, Hermes could not interfere with Luke's fate and was forced to watch him grow without ever being able to talk to him. Luke on the other hand resented his father for never being there for him, especially when his mother was having one of her fits. When the two finally did meet, they only ended up arguing. Hermes knew that Luke would eventually turn against the gods, but couldn't tell him his eventual fate. Luke took this as Hermes not caring about him at all and turned away from his father, claiming that Thalia Grace and Annabeth were his new family and he didn't need him anymore.
As time passed, Hermes still tried to help his son and build him up to be a great hero. He asked Chiron to send a satyr to aid Luke in reaching Camp Half-Blood, which ended up being Grover Underwood. After years of training, Hermes had Chiron give Luke a quest to steal a golden apple from the Garden of the Hesperides. This only served to drive Luke further away from his father, as the quest was one that other heroes have done before. Luke's quest also ended in failure, leaving a large scar under Luke's left eye that served as a reminder of his failure.
Even after Luke officially joined the forces of Kronos, Hermes never gave up on him. Because he couldn't go to his son directly, he would ask for the help of other demigods in the hopes that they could save him. Even after ever failed try, he still never gave up hope. After Luke's death, Hermes have his son a final goodbye and kissed him on the forehead as the Fates took him away.
|“||You couldn't marry if you became the Oracle. You couldn't see me anymore.||”|
–Hermes to May, in The Last Olympian
May Castellan was one of Hermes many lovers. May's ability to see through the Mist was what originally attracted Hermes to her. Together, they eventually had a child together named Luke. However being a god meant that Hermes couldn't stay with May and was forced to leave. As time went on, May began to have visions as her ability to see past the Mist grew. She eventually decided that she would become the new Oracle of Delphi, as that is what she felt was her destiny. Hermes on the other hand tried to stop her, as the spirit of the Oracle hadn't successfully moved on to another mortal host in decades. May was driven mad in the process and was plagued with visions of the future, mostly about her son's eventually fate. When speaking with Percy, she mentions that Hermes comes to visit her, but it is unknown if it is really him.
Before failing to become the Oracle, May was happy raising their son and Hermes would visit her from time to time. One of his main objections to her becoming the Oracle was that if she did, he couldn't see her anymore. May however knew full well that Hermes would eventually move on, as he was immortal. When he went to protest, she asked that he not try to spare her feelings. Years after May's insanity, Hermes still feels horrible for what had happened and never forgot her.
|“||You're an interesting young man. And so, what now?||”|
–Hermes to Percy, in The Sea of Monsters
Percy Jackson is one of the first demigods Hermes turns to when his son joins Kronos. He appears before Percy as a jogger and convinces him to go on the quest anyway. While Hermes does hope Percy can save his son, he never tells Percy this outright and Percy claims that Luke can't be saved. Hermes however is still optimistic that Percy can talk sense into him. When this fails (with Luke and Percy almost killing each other), Hermes doesn't get angry and tells Percy you can't give up on family.
Despite Percy failing to save his son, Hermes held no grudge toward Percy and voted that he not be destroyed in The Titan's Curse. At the after party, Percy tried to tell him that Luke had (supposedly) died when Thalia kicked him over a cliff, but Hermes got a phone call and had to leave.
Percy and Hermes have a small falling out during The Last Olympian. With Luke now hosting the Titan Kronos, Hermes becomes angry at Annabeth for reasons Percy doesn't understand. When Percy defends Annabeth and starts blaming Hermes for Luke's choices, Hermes almost blasted Percy into ash, if not for Percy being in the hands of the Fates. The two reconcile after Luke's death, with Percy apologizing for thinking that Hermes was a bad father to Luke and Hermes apologizing to Percy for getting mad at him and Annabeth, when he was really mad at himself. Before they part ways, Hermes entrusts Percy to find a few of his demigod children and make sure they make it to camp.
|“||I knew she would have a part to play in his fate. I foresaw that much. I thought perhaps she could do what I could not and save him.||”|
–Hermes talking about Annabeth, in The Last Olympian
Hermes also placed his hope in Annabeth, as she had known Luke longer than anyone else. When trying to convince Percy to board the Princess Andromeda to find Luke, Hermes also guided Annabeth to Percy in the hopes she would join him. Despite Annabeth and Percy failing to bring Luke back, Hermes help no ill will toward the girl. However, when Luke appeared on her door one night, asking her to run away with him before he did something terrible, she refused thinking it was a trap. This enraged Hermes as he had thought she could do what he couldn't and prevent Luke from becoming Kronos. Even after a full year, he still help resentment toward Annabeth and threw the events of that night back in her face, causing Percy to have to step between them. Even after Luke's death, Hermes admitted to Percy that he was really angry with himself and shouldn't have gotten mad at Annabeth.
However, the two still weren't on the best of terms during The Staff of Hermes, with Percy once again having to step between the two when they start to fight. After Annabeth helps get Hermes' caduceus back for him, the two have begun to become more civil around each other. Interestingly, as revealed in The Blood of Olympus, Hermes seems to have unrequited feelings for Annabeth's mother Athena.
Hermes was played by Dylan Neal. Although he did not have a speaking line, they did zoom up on his face during the Olympian Council scene when Percy claimed that Luke was the one who stole the Zeus' Master Bolt. Luke also mentioned his father a few times, such as when he told the trio about how he stole a pair of Hermes' Winged shoes.
- Hermes is the only god that can travel between the Underworld, Olympus, and the mortal world freely.
- Hermes was also the only Greek god to be mentioned in The Kane Chronicles.
- The caduceus is often confused with the Staff of Asclepius, which is a sign of healing, whilst the caduceus is not.
- Hermes is the fastest Olympian god.
- As he is the god of invention, Hermes claims that he invented the Internet.
- Despite the bubble wrap Annabeth finds in The Mark of Athena being exactly what she needs, it is unknown how long ago Hermes left the box there, if he left it there intentionally at all.
- Hermes' proficiency in alchemy is connected with his other form known as Hermes Trismegistus (Hermes Thrice-Greatest), which is a form shared with the Egyptian god Thoth.
- In The Blood of Olympus Hermes is seen after the battle with the Giants in Athens, trying to put his arm around Athena, though the annoyed goddess promptly scares him off with her Aegis shield. The implies unrequited feeling for her on his part.
- In The Hidden Oracle, it is mentioned that Hermes likes to sit in the back of the bus (the disguised Sun Chariot) with Apollo.
- ↑ http://www.tvguide.com/news/nathan-fillion-percy-jackson-sequel-1063341.aspx First Peak at Nathan Fillion as Hermes