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Perseus was a Greek demigod, son of Zeus and the mortal princess Danaë, and one of the only heroes in Greek mythology to have a happy ending.

History

Danae box

Perseus' mother in a box at sea.

Perseus' mother, Danae, was locked in a prison by her own father, King Acrisius of Argos. The King had been told a prophecy that told that his daughter's son would one day kill him. Instead of taking the risk that his daughter would become pregnant, he locked her away in a tower with no doors, and only one small window. Zeus saw the lovely princess, fell in love with her, turned himself into a shower of gold, and slipped through the window. He turned the prison into a lovely meadow filled with sun. Danae's father saw light coming from the window and demanded that a wall be torn down so he could check on his daughter.

When the wall came down Danae could be seen holding a baby boy. Afraid of angering Zeus, King Acrisius put the mother and child in a chest and shoved them into the ocean, letting the sea do the killing instead, but Zeus protected them along the way. They washed up on the shore of an island and were greeted by Dictys (a fisherman). Perseus grew up quite happily until one day Dictys' brother, King Polydectes, decided he wanted to marry Danae.

Danae was not interested in marrying Polydectes, however. Unfortunately, the king wasn't taking no for an answer, but Polydectes couldn't get around Perseus, so instead he pretended to marry someone else. When Perseus came to the wedding without a gift (he couldn't afford one) the King demanded that Perseus bring him Medusa's head as a gift.

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Perseus defeating the sea monster.

Perseus went on a long quest, ended up slaying Medusa (the Gorgon), with the assistance of Hermes (who loaned him his sword, which was previously used to slay Argus, and winged sandals), Athena, goddess of wisdom (who gave Perseus a mirror shield), and Hades, the ruler of the Underworld (who gave Perseus the Helm of Darkness t
Medusa and Statues

Medusa with two of her previous victums

o hide in the shadows). He also, at one point, took away the Gray Sisters' eye and tooth to force them into telling him of the position of the Island of the Gorgons. However, on his way back to the king, Perseus showed the true nature of his heroism: Saving Princess Andromeda from the sea monster, Kectos. He later marries Princess Andromeda.

Eventually, he took the head back to King Polydectes only to find out the wedding was a sham and that his mother had been forced to be the King's wife. Furious, Perseus used Medusa's head to turn his enemies in the Kingdom to stone, thereby rescuing his mother. Eventually, later in his life, he was playing in the Olympics when a gust of wind threw his discus at his grandfather, killing the old man (despite his best efforts) and fulfilling the prophecy.

Perseus then lived a long and happy life with his mother, children, and wife Andromeda, where he eventually died and achieved Elysium. Much much later Perseus and Andromeda are placed into the sky as constellations.

Abilities

  • Fighting Skills: As seen in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, Perseus was an extremely skilled swordsman, as he was able to slaughter all of Phineas's men with ease. By the time he was seven, he could wrestle a grown man to the floor. By the time he was ten, he could shoot an arrow across the length of the island and wield a sword better than any soldier in the king's army. By the time he was seventeen, Perseus was already the strongest and best fighter of Seriphos.
  • ADHD: Being a demigod, Perseus gains inborn supernatural battle reflexes.
  • Aerokinesis: As a son of Zeus, Perseus presumably had control of the air.
  • Elecktrokinesis: As a son of Zeus, Perseus presumably had control over electricity, though he has never been shown using this ability.

Appearance

Perseus had long blonde hair, tied in a ponytail, a handsome face, and an athletic body.

Etymology

Perseus' name is derived from the Greek verb πέρθειν (perthein), meaning “to waste, ravage or destroy”. His name is thus translated as “the destroyer”.

Trivia

Perseus constellation

The constellation, Perseus

  • The Greek poet Herodotus incorrectly thought Persues as the ancestor of the Persians (Iranians).
  • Before Hercules, Perseus was said to be one of the three greatest Greek heroes of all time. The other two were Bellerophon and Cadmus.
  • Perseus is the half-brother of the hero Hercules and his great-grandfather.
  • Percy has a lot in common with Perseus.
    • Sally Jackson named her son, Percy, after him because he was one of the only heroes in the myths to have a happy ending.
    • Percy Jackson beheaded Medusa like his namesake Perseus.
    • In the myth, Perseus threatened the Gray Sisters by taking away their eye in exchange for information. Percy did the same in The Sea of Monsters.
      • However, Perseus is the demigod son of Zeus, as opposed to Percy Jackson who is the demigod son of Poseidon.
      • He is a cousin to Percy because his father, Zeus, is the brother of Percy's father, Poseidon.
  • According to Chrysaor, Perseus was arrogant.
  • The constellation, Perseus, is named after him.
  • His wife Andromeda also has a galaxy named after her.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Perseus

  • Hercules vs Perseus

    25 messages
    • Ok,so if this is pre-immortal herc,then Perseus will win.He can just put on his invisisbility cap and so Hercs the head of Medusa.If this...
    • Depends if Hercules is immortal or not.