|“||The gods knew she would open the jar. They were willing to punish the entire race of humanity along with us.||”|
Pandora was a woman of near-perfection, one who possessed virtually all the talents and gifts that an ideal woman should have. She was formed out of clay by the gods, and was made in the image of the goddesses.
Pandora was the one who opened the jar (or pithos) with all the evils in humanity. The jar was later mistranslated as Pandora's Box.
Hence, Hephaestus molded the very first woman out of clay. Zeus breathed life into her, and all the other gods participated in ensuring that this first woman was perfect in every way: Aphrodite gave her beauty and charm to make her irresistible; Apollo taught her how to sing and play the lyre; Demeter taught her how to tend a garden; Poseidon gave her a pearl necklace and promised she would never drown; Athena gave her cleverness and curiosity, and taught her weaving and crafts, and Hermes gave her deceitfulness. She was named "Pandora", which loosely translates as "all the gifts" or "the whole package", and was sent to Prometheus' brother, Epimetheus, to become his wife.
Before he was chained, Prometheus warned Epimetheus not to accept any gifts from Zeus, but he ignored his brother's warning as he could not resist the beautiful Pandora.
Aphrodite later gave Pandora a mysterious wedding present in the form of a large ceramic jar (pithos), and warned her that under no circumstances was she to open the jar, for it was just for looking at. However, because the gods had given her curiosity, she eventually opened it and, in doing so, she unleashed uncountable evils into the world: misery, disease, sorrow, death, and so on. Zeus' vengeance against mankind was therefore fulfilled, for these evils served as an utter plague on the world, making life for humanity far worse than it had ever been before.
However, even in the midst of all this, it was still revealed that Zeus did have some sense of shame over his vengeance - Elpis, the Spirit of Hope, remained in the jar, staying with humanity so that it would not succumb completely to despair, and would always believe in a better future.
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 have 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]".