|“||Everyone has ghosts, deaths that you regret.||”|
–Melinoe, to Percy in The Sword of Hades
Melinoe is the Greek goddess of ghosts and is often confused with Hecate. She is the daughter of either Zeus or Hades and Persephone. She wandered the earth every night with a train of ghosts, scaring anyone in their path. This was said to be the reason why dogs bark at nothing at night.
Melinoe shows Ethan Nakamura the way out of the Underworld, and on the appearance of Thalia Grace, Percy Jackson, and Nico di Angelo takes on the form of Thalia and Nico's mothers to confuse and torture them, but they do not fool Percy, who breaks the illusion. He swings at her with his sword and she dodges, only to be hit by Thalia with an arrow. She then vanishes into the fog.
PersonalityMelinoe is dissatisfied with Hades's rule over the Underworld, and the fact she cannot haunt the mortals of the human world by day. She opts for Kronos to rule, as she is promised that she will be able to haunt whenever she wants. Her somewhat nasty personality could have been brought on by the bitterness of her parents seeming to not take much interest in her. This could have also prompted her switching of sides.
Melinoe is a strange goddess and her appearance is frightening. Her left side is black and hardened like a mummy and her right side is pale and chalky as if she were drained of all her blood. She wears a golden dress and a golden shawl, and her eyes are empty black voids. However, seeing her in this form is unlikely, as, being the goddess of ghosts, she can appear as whoever she wants, haunting people in their nightmares and in person if ever directly confronted. The illusion is so strong that even when normal, her immediate victims still see her as the ghost.
- She has the standard powers of a goddess.
- Necromancy: As the goddess of ghosts, she has divine authority and absolute control over the dead, though to a somewhat lesser extent than Hades.
- She can call forth endless waves of the dead to fight for her.
- She can destroy Skeleton Warriors.
- She can put the dead to sleep.
- She can silence the dead with a gesture.
- She can physically grab a ghost.
- Emotional Shapeshifting: She can take on the appearance of the dead people in a person's life, using guilt and anger from the person as an ally or as an advantage in battle. She then uses this to destroy them. She has been known to transform into Beryl Grace and Maria di Angelo, while confronting Thalia and Nico respectively.
- Her name means "Dark Thought" in Greek.
- Melinoe's appearance is similar to the Norse goddess Hel since one-half of their body is withered and the other half is pale. They also share scope as an Underworld goddess.
- She and Babi, the Egyptian god of Baboons, are wandering Underworld deities disseminating negative emotions at night.
- It's unknown exactly who Melinoe's father is, though its important to note that the Orphics believed that Zeus and Hades/Plouton were the same god. This is because Zeus was portrayed as having an incarnation in the underworld identifying him as being Hades and leading to Zeus and Hades essentially being two representations and different facets of the same god and extended divine power. The Orphic Hymn to Melinoe also references this by mentioning that Persephone was impregnated upon the bed of Zeus Kronion in the Underworld by the River Cocytus. The idea of defining Zeus as Hades has been present in Ancient Greek literature from Homer to Nonnos. Hence the Orphics stating Zeus Kronion impregnating Persephone in the form of Plouton, was just a reference to Hades having a role that links him to being both Zeus and Plouton in the Orphic Mysteries.
- ↑ The God Who Comes: Dionysian Mysteries Revisited by Rosemarie Taylor-Perry (2003), Algora Publishing, ISBN:978-0-87586-213-2
- ↑ Images of Eternal Beauty in Funerary Verse Inscriptions of the Hellenistic and Greco-Roman Periods by Andrzej Wypustek (2013), BRILL Publishing, ISBN:978-90-04-23320-1
- ↑ Early Greek Myth by Timothy Gantz (1996), Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN:978-0801853609
- ↑ Virgin Mother Goddesses Of Antiquity by Marguerite Rigoglioso (2010), Palgrave Macmillan Publishing, ISBN:978-1-349-38159-3