HistoryShe is a daughter of Phorcys and Keto, and was once a priestess of Athena. After Medusa and Poseidon desecrated Athena's virgin temple, Athena cursed Medusa and her sisters. Her hair was turned to snakes and anyone who would look upon her gaze would turn to stone. She was a beautiful woman before Athena cursed her. Her only company are her statues. She had a child with Poseidon, Chrysaor, who was born from her neck, and another child, Pegasus, who was born from her blood when Perseus beheaded her. However, some myths say that Pegasus was born from Poseidon and Demeter.
In a late version of the Medusa myth told by the Romans, Medusa was originally a ravishingly beautiful maiden, "the jealous aspiration of many suitors," priestess in Athena's temple, but when she and Poseidon were caught together in Athena's Temple, the enraged Athena transformed Medusa's beautiful hair to serpents and made her face so terrible to behold that the mere sight of it would turn onlookers to stone. Perseus describes Medusa's punishment by Athena as fair and well earned.
Posing as a Middle Eastern old lady named Aunt Em (Aunty "M"), Medusa lures people into her "Emporium" and then turns them into statues by making them look at her face, usually directly at her eyes. She wears a veil to hide her face, and would trick people into looking at her face by pretending to take a photo of them and lifting the veil to uncover her head. At one point, Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, and Grover Underwood are lured into the shop by the smell of food during their Quest. Medusa feigns kindness, by giving them food and talking to them about her shop. She also mentions that her sisters are gone (they faded because people forgot about them, like Cottus and Gyges), but then attempts to turn them into statues. Annabeth and Grover realize who Medusa really is and try to get Percy to let them leave. Percy, however is under Medusa's spell and keeps them from going. Percy only figures out that "Em" means M for Medusa when it is too late to escape. After a struggle, Percy defeats Medusa by severing her head with Riptide, his celestial bronze sword. He then sends the head to Olympus via the Hermes Express. Her severed head is later used by Percy for several other purposes such as giving it to his mom, who later uses the head to turn Gabe Ugliano to stone. Medusa had turned many people and creatures into statues, including Grover's Uncle Ferdinand. Grover mentioned the statue looking like his uncle from the start, but did not realize that it was actually him until Medusa revealed herself.
Although Medusa does not formally appear in this book, her lair was being used by Kronos as his base in the Battle of the Manhattan; while speaking to Ethan Nakamura, he mentioned that unfortunately for him, Medusa had not reformed yet ever since Percy had defeated her. May Castellan is also shown to have a TY Beanie doll of her that she calls "Mrs. Medusa."
Medusa's sisters, Stheno and Euryale, were chasing down and trying to kill Percy Jackson who was the last person to kill Medusa. One Gorgon even looked like her sister, Medusa, as she was scared she would be turned to stone by her own reflection. The two were also mad at Percy for believing that they can turn him to stone like their sister.
Medusa was actually kind to Percy in her own strange way, and wanted him to stay with her forever by becoming a statue because, according to Annabeth, she and Poseidon had a "thing" in the past. Since Percy was Poseidon's son, she did not want him to suffer, unlike Annabeth who she wanted to turn to a statue and destroy her because Annabeth's Olympian goddess mother was Athena, who turned her into a monster. That thing also led to one of the most important reason Athena resents Poseidon; he desecrated her temple with Medusa by meeting her there. Medusa wanted to turn Annabeth to stone as revenge on Athena for turning her into a Gorgon. This is why Medusa harbors a strong hatred against the family of Athena.
Medusa used to be a beautiful. After Athena cursed her, Medusa is described as a tall, old woman with wrinkled, coffee colored skin and snakes for hair with long, elegant, wrinkled hands. She wore a long black gown, and her face is a shimmering pale circle under her black veil. These characteristics were not present in the film version of Medusa. In disguise, her body looks normal, but once she takes the disguise off, she reveals she has green snakes instead of hair.
- If someone looks into her eyes, they turn to stone. She is said to be petrify people because she is so ugly.
- She can use the snakes in her hair as an offensive weapon.
- Her hands turn into sharp claws that can tear through flesh.
- She has an extremely persuasive voice; she could slightly charmspeak.
- Her head can still be used to petrify people after it has been removed from her body.
- It is possible that she has the same abilities as her sisters, Stheno and Euryale.
Known Victims of Medusa
- Ferdinand - He was enticed into Medusa's lair during his quest to find Pan.
- Gabe Ugliano- After her head was cut off.
- Hydra- In The Lightning Thief (film), Grover Underwood used the head of Medusa to turn the Hydra to stone at the Parthenon in Nashville.
- Unknown woman and her husband - In The Lightning Thief (film), a woman was with Annabeth Chase when they first encountered Medusa. She opened her eyes and was turned to stone while holding Annabeth's hand. She also claimed that her husband was turned into stone before her.
- In both the film and book versions of The Lightning Thief, Medusa's lair is filled with statues of people that had been turned to stone by Medusa. In the book, one of them is a girl holding an Easter egg basket.
|from the official soundtrack|
Uma Thurman plays Medusa in the film. Percy is seen using an Apple iPod Touch (so he can see what he's fighting without getting turned to stone) to fight Medusa in the film, as opposed to the globe he uses in the book. In the book, she never gets near turning Percy to stone but in the film; Percy is only stopped from opening his eyes (Medusa's snakes were opening Percy's eyes forcefully) by Medusa being run over by Annabeth and Grover in a pick-up truck formerly used by one of Medusa's customers that had been turned into stone. She is shown as being a beautiful middle aged woman with flawless Caucasian skin.
- As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, the actual reason that Poseidon took Medusa into Athena's temple was to get back at the goddess for turning Coronis (a girl whom Poseidon had tried to seduce) into a raven.
- In mythology, Medusa was said to be the only mortal sister of the Gorgons, but in the series she is treated as a monster.
- According to The Son of Neptune, Medusa's mother says she is the most hideous one in the family, of the three gorgons.
- Medusa and her sister Stheno both have green snakes for hair while Euryale has coral snakes.
- The group of Cnidarians called Medusa are named after her since they have tentacles hanging like the snakes in Medusa's hair
- Blind people, as well as immortals are immune to her curse.
|Species:||Centaur | Cyclopes | Dragon | Drakon | Empousa | Giants | Harpy | Hyperborean Giant | Ichthyocentaur | Karpoi | Laistrygonian Giant | Pegasus | Skolopendra | Stymphalian Birds | Telekhine | Satyr | Merpeople | Gorgon | Fire-Breathing Horse | Katobleps | Nymphs|
|Friendly Monsters:||Argus | Blackjack | Briares | Chiron | Don | Ella | Festus | Gleeson Hedge | Grover Underwood | Hippocampus | Mellie | Mrs. O'Leary | Ophiotaurus | Peleus | Scipio | Tyson | Tempest | Gray ||
|Enemy Monsters:||Agrius and Oreius | Arachne | Basilisk | Charybdis and Scylla | Chimera | Chrysaor | Clazmonian Sow | Colchis Bull | Echidna | Euryale | Geryon | Joe Bob | Kampê | Manticore | Medusa | Minotaur | Nemean Lion | Polyphemus | Sphinx | Stheno | Typhon | Scythian Dracanae|
|Neutral Monsters:||Cerberus | Erymanthian Boar | Gray Sisters | Gorgons | Furies | Flesh-Eating Horse | Gryphon | Siren | Carnivorous Sheep|