|“||The gods knew she would open the jar. They were willing to punish the entire race of humanity along with us.||”|
To punish mankind for its part in Prometheus' theft of the secret of fire, Zeus took Aphrodite's suggestion of using a woman. Hence, Hephaestus molded the very first woman out of clay, and all the gods participated in ensuring that this first woman was perfect in every way: Apollo taught her to sing and play the lyre, Aphrodite gave her beauty and charm to make her irresistible, Athena taught her weaving and crafts, Demeter taught her how to tend a garden, Poseidon gave her a pearl necklace and promised she would never drown, Hermes gave her deceitfulness and the jar (pithos), and Zeus gave her curiosity. She was named "Pandora", which according to Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, loosely translates as "all the gifts" or "the whole package", and was sent to Epimetheus to become his wife.
Before he was chained, Prometheus warned his brother, Epimetheus, not to accept any gifts from Zeus, yet he ignored his brother's warning. Pandora is the sister-in-law of Prometheus and the wife of Epimetheus, brother of Prometheus. After Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to the mortals, the gods sealed all the horrors of the world in a jar. It was beyond beautiful: inlaid woods of warm and burnished hues, white and amber diamonds encrusted to border the jar, green emerald in plaits of golden leaf, purple amethyst with blood rubies and blue sapphires, along with white pearls gleaming in the extravagant sunlight. They gave it to Pandora as a wedding gift, knowing that she couldn't resist opening it because of her curiosity. Because Hermes gave her deceitfulness, she opened the jar. In doing so, she released Hunger, Thirst, Poverty, Murder, Death, Jealousy, and many other evil things into the world. Only Elpis, the spirit of Hope remained in the jar.
While Prometheus is talking to Percy Jackson he gives him a gift, Pandora's pithos and dismisses the legends of Pandora's "box." He tells him when he wants to surrender in the Battle of Manhattan against Kronos, just open the pithos and Elpis, hope, will be released, telling Prometheus and Kronos that they had surrendered, and are "giving up hope." Percy then gives it to the goddess Hestia, later when he revisits her in Olympus, stating that hope survives best at the hearth.
- Pandora, a moon of Saturn, is named after her.
- Pandora only appears in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, though she is mentioned in The Last Olympian.
- Prometheus says that she opened a pithos, which is a Greek vase. This is actually true in the original myths. Pandora's box is a common mistranslation.
- Although some versions of the myth claim that Pandora is the first ever woman created, Percy isn't sure about it, calling the idea "kind of lame and boring to [him]".