|“||Go on, then, son of Neptune! Let me see your power! Does water do your bidding? Does it heal you? But I am born to oppose Neptune. My touch turns water to poison. Let’s see what it does to your blood!”||”|
He sided with the giants in the Gigantomachy. Polybotes was able to hold his own against the sea god, Poseidon until Hercules joined the fight as well. Poseidon had originally defeated him by ripping a part of the island of Kos off and hurling it at Polybotes. This fragment then formed the island Nisyros.
Polybotes is first mentioned as Percy Jackson, Hazel Levesque, and Frank Zhang are about to leave on their quest to free Thanatos. Terminus, while explaining which trains to take, told Percy to avoid Polybotes, as he could smell a son of Neptune a mile away. Percy didn't know who Polybotes was, but was pushed out of the boundary of Camp Jupiter before he could ask.
Later, Hazel was kidnapped by karpoi, grain spirits that planned on taking Hazel to Polybotes under orders from Gaea, in the hope that they would be rewarded. However, the grain spirits were defeated by Percy and Frank arrived and they threatened to burn down the entire field which prevented the grain spirits from reforming. The group then looked over the hill they were currently on and saw Polybotes walking with a large army, including an army of Cyclops lead by Ma Gasket, an army of Earthborn and an army of centaurs.
While passing a convenience store, Ma Gasket asked Polybotes if she could feed her army. He agreed and Ma Gasket ordered two of her troops toward the store. However, a rainbow appeared and burned them, preventing the army from entering. In retaliation, the army started throwing supplies into the rainbow, forcing Polybotes to step in, ordering them to stop. He then approached the rainbow himself and ordered the goddess to surrender, as he would destroy her quickly if she did. Then, something flew from the window, which scared many of the monsters. Polybotes thought it was a grenade at first but it turned out to only be a chocolate muffin, which greatly annoyed Polybotes as he tossed it back at the shop.
While annoyed, he refused to attack, claiming that he had no time for minor goddesses as he was already running late for the attack on Camp Jupiter. Before leaving, he sensed the power of the sea god and turned in Percy's direction. Ma Gasket claimed it was because the sea was nearby, but Polybotes had doubts. He was convinced to keep going instead of investigating and ordered his army to march on. Before leaving, he pulled a few basilisks from his hair and left them to guard the store. Even after he left, his power seemed to have drained Percy, combined with his shock at seeing evil centaurs and cyclopes forced the group to enter the store. Frank later killed Polybotes' basilisks.
Polybotes lead his army to Camp Jupiter the day before the Feast of Fortuna and prepared to attack. However, Ma Gasket had gone with half her forces to a winery tour in Napa and wouldn't arrive until the following evening, much to Polybotes' annoyance. He claimed that once he destroyed Neptune, he would renegotiate the work contract of the cyclopes and asked what the status of the demigods was. When informed that they were approaching Alcyoneus, he said to himself that Alcyoneus better keep Percy alive so he could kill the demigod himself when the time was right, claiming his blood would water the stones of Mount Olympus and wake up Gaea. While forced to wait for the arrival of Ma Gasket and the Amazons, he ordered his remaining army to set up camp to attack the following day.
Polybotes is later mentioned when Percy was in a battle with Alcyoneus. Alcyoneus claimed that when Polybotes killed Neptune, he wanted Percy, his favorite son, to be there on a leash. He would then keep Percy as a pet until the time was right, forcing Alcyoneus to claim he couldn't kill Percy if it could be avoided. However, Alcyoneus was defeated by Hazel, Frank, and Arion and the group returned to Camp Jupiter, to see Polybotes attacking while being circled by Reyna on Scipio. The First and Second Cohorts surrounded Polybotes, but were taking a beating as every time Polybotes shook his head, more basilisks fell out. Reyna would also swoop down and stab him with her spear whenever possible.
When Percy made his presence known, Polybotes went into a rage and claimed he would break him. When the Amazons arrived a moment later, Polybotes believed they would be on his side, until they changed formation and attacked his army. Percy went forward and baited Polybotes into a fight, which he accepted after showing Percy his ability to turn water into poison with a touch. Percy used the water to splash the giant's face before stabbing him in the stomach. Polybotes still went after Percy and chased him through Camp Jupiter, passing Tyson and Mrs. O'Leary.
Polybotes chased Percy, but was slowed down when Percy used some water to cause several tons of brick to fall on him, giving him enough time to ask Terminus for help, which the god refused. It wasn't until Polybotes crossed the boundary line with his weapons and knocked over Terminus' statue, breaking it, that he agreed to help. Percy jumped off Polybotes' knee and drove Riptide into Polybotes' chest and when he stumbled back, he fell over Terminus' broken pedestal. When Polybotes claimed Percy couldn't defeat him alone, Percy revealed Terminus' broken head and used it to smash Polybotes' nose, defeating him. For defeating Polybotes, Percy was elected praetor of the Twelfth Legion.
When Piper McLean mentioned that Gaea needs the blood of a male and female demigod, Percy Jackson remembered what Polybotes said in a dream he had when flying to Alaska. Polybotes said that he wanted Percy as a prisoner so he could use his blood to wake Gaea. They all agreed that until they figure out what is going on, they should try and not be captured.
Polybotes could be heard shouting several times while Percy and Annabeth were in Tartarus. Bob/Iapetus stated that a group of immortals lead by Polybotes was hunting Percy, who can smell the scent of Poseidon on him. Polybotes almost caught Percy and Annabeth several times, but they always managed to escape and he was never seen. After Percy and Annabeth tumbled into the realm of Nyx, Polybotes refused to follow them, believing them to be dead. Later, it was mentioned by the Titans Hyperion and Krios that they sent Polybotes and all the other giants who were killed back to the mortal world through the Doors of Death, that both Titans are guarding.
Polybotes was able to get the storm goddess Kymopoleia to attack the Argo II by drawing on her anger towards the gods for not recognizing her and with promises of power from Gaea. When Percy Jackson and Jason Grace went into the water to confront Kymopoleia, Polybotes himself appeared and poisoned Percy, who was afraid of using his power against the poison after his encounter with Akhlys. Jason fought Polybotes while trying to convince Kymopoleia to help, as only a god and demigod together can kill a giant. After promising to ensure her recognition and even an action figure, Kymopoleia turns on Polybotes and decapitates him with a bronze disk after Jason spears him in the gut, killing him once again.
Polybotes is very narrow minded and never strays too far from the idea of eventually killing Poseidon/Neptune. He also plans on doing so in the most painful way possible, hinting at sadistic tendencies. He has complete faith in his plans, which is shown when even after they start to go south, he believes he can succeed. Polybotes can also be level-headed, as shown when he walked away from Iris' shop and later not attacking Camp Jupiter due to a decrease in forces.
He can, however, be easily baited and is quick to anger when things don't go as he planned, such as when Percy arrived on the battlefield and when the Amazons turned on him. Polybotes doesn't always notice the obvious, which could be part of his narrow-mindedness. He failed to notice that half his cyclops army had vanished until stopping at Camp Jupiter, and later failing to realize that Terminus was a god, allowing Percy to defeat him. He is also arrogant, as being the bane of Poseidon and a giant makes him believe he can't be killed, especially not by a child of Poseidon. Polybotes is very vengeful, as he chased Percy all over Tartarus in order to avenge his defeat.
Polybotes is described as a giant at least thirty feet tall, with reptilian legs similar to a Komodo dragon. From the waist upwards, he has a green-blue breastplate shaped with faces of monsters. He has a human face with wild green hair that has basilisks hanging down from it. His presence is so strong that it could almost "attract every bit of iron in the blood", as stated by Hazel.
Not much is known about the full extent of Polybotes powers:
- As the opposite of Poseidon/Neptune, Polybotes is one of the three most powerful giants (along with his brothers Porphyrion and Alcyoneus).
- Prowess in Battle: Even for a giant, Polybotes has enhanced strength, and is one of the best warriors among the giants. In the first Gigantomachy, he was able to fight the mighty Poseidon himself, along with Hercules, though the giant was eventually defeated when Poseidon crushed him under an island.
- He uses a trident and a large fishing net while fighting. These two weapons are normally seen in gladiator matches and are considered one of the most underhanded ways to fight. While he doesn't show any exceptional skill while using these weapons, he could simply have used the trident to mock Poseidon.
- Toxikinesis: As the opposite of Poseidon, he has the ability to turn water into green poison just by touching it. Because of this, if one close to the ocean (like Percy) came close to him they would begin to be ill and later sick.
- Basilisks: Polybotes possessed the ability to create snakes and basilisks by shaking his head, an ability Hazel described as "viper dandruff."
- Giant Invincibility: As a Gigante, Polybotes can only be killed by a god and demigod working together, as when he is harmed by anybody else he heals at an accelerated rate. Hence, the first time around, he was brought down by the combined efforts of Hercules and Poseidon, the second time around in The Son of Neptune by the combined efforts of Percy and Terminus, and the third time around in The Blood of Olympus by the combined efforts of Jason and Kymopoleia.
- His name means "many to feed," possibly a reference to the many serpents that live in his hair.
- He wanted only the Son of Neptune (Percy Jackson) kept alive because he believes if he harms Percy in any way, Poseidon will weaken because he loves his son very much.
- It is possible that he is one of the smaller giants, as his size is more or less the same as Enceladus' and he mentions that he is smaller than most of his brethren.
- When Polybotes was defeated by Percy and Terminus, he became a mass of seaweed, reptile skin, and poisonous goop. This is unique, because usually all monsters just turn to gold dust.