|“||You do not control me, young fool. All this time, I have been controlling you! A soul for a soul, yes. But it is not your sister who will return from the dead. It is I, as soon as I slay the inventor!||”|
Minos, along with his brothers, Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon, was raised by King Asterion of Crete. When Asterion died, his throne was claimed by Minos, who banished his brothers. Minos reigned over Crete and the islands of the Aegean Sea three generations before the Trojan War. He lived at Knossos for a period of nine years, where he received instruction from Zeus in the legislation in which he gave to the island. He was the author of the Cretan constitution and the founder of its naval supremacy.
It is to this Minos that we owe the stories of Theseus, Pasiphaë, the Minotaur, Daedalus, Glaucus, and Nisus. Unlike Minos I, Minos II fathered numerous children, including Androgeus, Catreus, Deucalion, Acalle, Ariadne, Xenodice, Phaedra, and Glaucus - all born to him by his wife Pasiphaë. With a nymph, Paria, he had Eurymedon, Nephalion, Chryses, and Philolaus, and by Dexithea he had Euxanthius. He was the grandfather of King Idomeneus, who led the Cretans to the Trojan War.
Asterion, king of Crete, adopted the three sons of Zeus and Europa: Minos, Sarpedon, and Rhadamanthus. According to the Odyssey, he spoke with Zeus every nine years or for nine years. He got his laws straight from the ruler of the gods himself. When his son Androgeos had won the Panathenaeic Games the king, Aegeus, sent him to Marathan to fight a bull, resulting in the death of Androgeos. Outraged, Minos went to Athens to revenge his son, and on the way he camped at Megara. The king there at the time was Nisos and his strength came from his hair. His daughter, Scylla, fell in love with him and cut off her father's purple hair so Minos could conquer the city. After his triumph, he punished Scylla for her treachery against her father by tying her to a boat and dragging her until she drowned. On arriving in Attica, he asked Zeus to punish the city, and the god struck it with plague and hunger. An oracle told the Athenians to meet any of Minos' demands if they wanted to escape the revenge. Minos then asked Athens to send seven boys and seven girls to Crete every nine years to be sacrificed to the Minotaur. As a punishment for Minos' refusing to sacrifice a certain bull, Poseidon made his wife Pasiphae fall in love with it, giving birth to the Minotaur. Minos had his architect Daedalus construct a labyrinth in which he hid the monster. The Minotaur was defeated by the hero Theseus with the help of Minos' daughter Ariadne.
Minos himself is said to have died at Camicus in Sicily, whither he had gone in pursuit of Daedalus, who had given Ariadne the clue by which she guided Theseus through the Labyrinth. He was killed by the daughters of Cocalus, king of Agrigentum, who poured boiling water over him while he was taking a bath. Subsequently, his remains were sent back to the Cretans, who placed them in a sarcophagus, on which was inscribed: "The tomb of Minos, the son of Zeus."
The earlier legend knows Minos as a beneficent ruler, legislator, and suppressor of piracy. His constitution was said to have formed the basis of that of Lycurgus for Sparta. In accordance with this, after his death he became judge of the shades in the Underworld.
After his death Minos became a judge of the dead in the Underworld. He finds Nico di Angelo, son of Hades, and teaches him how to access his powers so he can manipulate him into killing Daedalus in revenge for his unjust, however much deserved, death.
Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase heard a prophecy about their quest "rising or falling by the ghost king's hand", and try to warn Nico. Nico is still angry with Percy because he blames him for his sister Bianca's death, but when they raise the spirit of Bianca, she gently admonishes him for raising her spirit, and for blaming Percy for so long, when it was her own fault she died.
Nico then distrusted Minos, but the ghost king got the better of him. He told Nico that Percy and Annabeth were in danger, and led him into a trap that led to Nico being captured by agents of Kronos. Percy and Annabeth soon come, and they rescue Nico from Kronos' clutches. Minos tried to retaliate but was banished by Nico who corrects Minos and proclaims himself the "Ghost King" thus making sense of part of the prophecy. It was Nico who had allowed them to succeed or fail (in this case, the former).
In the end, Daedalus has Nico release his spirit to the Underworld so the Labyrinth can disappear because his life is tied to it. So, Minos tries to get his revenge by judging him unfairly (by boiling him in cheese fondue for eternity) but no one listens to him, Daedalus is given the job of building bridges and underpasses in the Fields of Asphodel to ease traffic congestion (by the order of Hades, in his impatience with commute time from his palace to the gates), and Minos does not have his revenge for his death.
King Minos was mentioned by the immortal sorceress Pasiphaë as her husband.
Minos is described in The Battle of the Labyrinth as a very tall and imposing man in white robes, with a thin royal circlet of gold on his head. His beard was pointed like a spear blade, while his eyes glittered cruelly. Ten years later, while visiting King Cocalus, Minos's pointed beard had gone gray, while he himself looked thinner, but the same cold cruel light shined from his eyes, and Minos still looked so tall and serious, that he made Cocalus look silly in comparison, according to Percy.
After death, Minos's soul looked like a "faint shimmering image of a man", though he gradually began looking more and more lifelike, and right before Nico usurped his "Ghost King" title, Minos looked almost solid — a pale bearded king with maliciously cold eyes and tendrils of Mist coiling off his robes.
- Aerokinesis: As a son of Zeus, Minos presumably has the ability to control and manipulate air.
- Electrokinesis: As a son of Zeus, Minos presumably has the ability to control lightning and static electricity.
- Both Minos and his wife Pasiphaë were a secondary antagonist in the penultimate books of the two series (The House of Hades and The Battle of the Labyrinth respectively).
- Both happen to be the fourth book in each series.
- He and other judges' Egyptian equivalent are a set of judgment gods such as Disturber.