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For other uses of the name Zoe, see Zoe (disambiguation).

Stars. I can see the stars again, m'lady.

–Zoë, to Artemis, while she is dying in The Titan's Curse

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Artemis, her mistress.

Zoë Nightshade was a daughter of the Titan Atlas[1], as well as a former Hesperide who was exiled and later joined the Hunters of Artemis, becoming the loyal lieutenant of Artemis.

History

Early Life and Helping Hercules

In ancient times, Zoë tended to the Garden of the Hesperides with her sisters, caring especially for Hera's tree of golden apples. Unlike her sisters, she seemed to have a special bond with Ladon, whom she actually fed by hand.

Later on, Zoë helped Hercules complete his quest for the golden apples - giving him tips on how to trick her father Atlas, and her hairpin, which could transform into a sword named Anaklusmos. When her sisters discovered this, they exiled her.[2]

Hercules ultimately gave Zoë no credit for her help and abandoned her to her fate.[3] As a result, she came to hold a grudge against male heroes, which only festered after she joined the Hunters of Artemis. Eventually, she rose to become the lieutenant of Artemis.

Hunting Orion

Zoë would spend centuries trying unsuccessfully to track down and kill the giant Orion, who harbored a strong hatred for both the Hunters and the Amazons, due to his tragic past with Artemis.

Quarrel with Thalia

She once ran into Thalia Grace, Luke Castellan, and Annabeth Chase when the three were wandering around the country. Zoë almost managed to convince Thalia to join the Hunters. However, Thalia did not want to leave Luke. Zoë felt offended, and got into a heated argument with Thalia. Zoë told Thalia she was being "stupid," and that "she would regret it", stating Luke would let her down in some way.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The Titan's Curse

Zoë and the Hunters first appear alongside Artemis, rescuing Percy Jackson, Thalia Grace, Grover Underwood, and Bianca and Nico di Angelo from a manticore named Dr. Thorn, who, though seemingly bested, disappeared with Annabeth Chase. As the Hunters set up camp, Zoë approached Bianca, ultimately convincing her to join the Hunters. When Apollo arrived to escort them all to Camp Half-Blood, Zoë was left in charge of the Hunters, as Artemis had set off in search of a monster prophecied to bring about the downfall of Olympus. The Hunters won the match of Capture the Flag, after which the Oracle left the attic and approached Zoë Nightshade to grant a quest to save Artemis, who had gone missing.

Zoë went on the doomed quest along with Thalia, Bianca, and Grover, but could not bring Phoebe, another Hunter, as planned for the Stolls sprayed centaur blood into a shirt and gave it to her, which caused Phoebe to be covered in hives. Percy followed them secretly on Blackjack, wanting to make sure that Annabeth was found safe and sound, while having also promised Nico that he would keep his sister Bianca safe. Zoë was furious with Percy once he revealed himself, but he warned them that the Nemean Lion and a dozen skeletal warriors were on their way and that someone called "The General" was behind the attacks, which frightened Zoë.

They all fought against the lion and Zoë managed to kill it with some of her arrows. However, she let Percy keep the pelt because it was his plan of feeding it with astronaut food which made it open its mouth so Zoë could kill it.

They continued their quest, going west to find Artemis. Zoë was very worried about the goddess and was anxious to find her. A disguised Apollo helped them by giving them transportation west, but warned them that this was all he could do, as by divine law, he was not allowed to interfere directly with their quest.

While in the desert, going through Hephaestus' junkyard, a defective prototype of Talos attacked them, and Bianca sacrificed herself to subdue the automaton. Zoë feels guilty over Bianca's death, which is understandable, as Zoë picked an amateur Hunter who was only twelve for a suicide mission. She believed that Bianca had the potential to replace her, as Zoë couldn't be the lieutenant forever. Percy tried to comfort Zoë after Bianca's death, and later dreamed from Hercules' point of view of his relationship and betrayal of Zoë.

After traveling to California, Percy gives up the Nemean Lion's pelt as a sacrifice to his father, Poseidon, to keep Grover and Bessie the Ophiotaurus safe on their journey to Olympus, and tells everyone, Zoë in particular, that he is nothing like Hercules.

To reach Artemis, they are forced to go through the Garden of the Hesperides. There, Zoë encounters her sisters who disowned her and tells them that they never had the courage, before waking Ladon. The dragon, after a while, sensed Zoë wasn't really who she "used to be" and attacked, almost killing her. However, when the dragon attempted to kill Zoë, she dodged, but was still bitten in the side. The dragon's teeth were venomous and the poison slowly weakened her, but she hid the injury from the others, until her death.

They found Artemis holding up the sky which she had taken from Annabeth. The General, Atlas, was revealed to be Zoë's father. Percy took Artemis' burden and Zoë, in her attempts at keeping Atlas from destroying Artemis, was knocked aside by her father, causing massive internal injuries and big emotional injuries. Percy tricks Atlas into taking his burden and Atlas is stuck once more. Because Hunters of Artemis lose their immortality when they 'fall in battle' this defeat by her father meant she was no longer immortal and now susceptible to Ladon's poison, which killed her. Upon her death, Artemis placed her into the night sky, forming a new constellation, "the Huntress." Her death was predicted by the last line of the prophecy, which stated, "One shall perish by a parent's hand."

The Battle of the Labyrinth

Having died in the previous book, Zoë doesn't formally appear, but her constellation is shown shining in the night sky. She is mentioned when Percy speaks to Calypso, another child of Atlas, on Ogygia, telling her he had met another daughter of Atlas and that she was one of the "bravest people he had ever met."

The Heroes of Olympus

The Son of Neptune

When Percy sees Mount Tam, Hazel tells him about Camp Jupiter's assault on the Titan base. Percy has a flashback of fighting there, remembering when he was there with Zoë, Artemis, and Thalia Grace fighting Atlas, but he couldn't remember their names, and the memory soon leaves him.

The House of Hades

Annabeth remembers Zoë's sacrifice to save Artemis and her. The River Acheron mentally tortures Annabeth by showing her Zoë's death and saying that she could have prevented it.

The Blood of Olympus

Phoebe mentions Zoë having spent centuries trying to track and kill Orion, who harbors a strong hatred for the Hunters and Amazons due to his tragic past with Artemis.

The Trials of Apollo

The Dark Prophecy

Emmie, a former Hunter, remarks that Calypso looks a lot like Zoë as she is helping Leo pick her up.

Personality

He was all the things I'd originally disliked about Zoë, with none of the good I'd come to appreciate.

–Percy, talking about Atlas and Zoë's similarities.

Zoë was a loyal lieutenant to Artemis, never wavering in over 2000 years. In The Titan's Curse, Zoë fought with Thalia quite often. This was because (before the books) Thalia had refused to join the Hunters when Zoë offered her the chance. However, she eventually changes her mind, influenced no doubt by Zoë and Bianca's bravery. Zoë had an extreme hatred of campers, especially males, but eventually warmed up to Percy during their quest to save Artemis. Throughout the book, Zoë was shown to speak Early Modern, or Shakespearean, English. She was said to speak in a strange accent, more heavily when she is upset. She also showed a particular interest in stars, a trait that would probably come from being immortal. She was offended when Percy referred to Ursa Major as "the bear thing", and when Percy talks about the bear simply being a constellation, Zoë claimed that "It was a worthy opponent!" She seemed especially irritated whenever Thalia corrected her speech, exclaiming "I hate this language! It changes too often!" referring to the way the English language has changed over the centuries. She herself spoke using "thou, thee, and thy." Zoë also had some of her father's traits, but was overall a much kinder person that Percy had come to respect.

In the beginning, Zoë seemed aloof and unfriendly, but turned out to have a big heart and endless loyalty to Artemis. When Atlas was about to kill Percy, she screamed, "NO!" and fired a handful of arrows into his armpit so he would turn on her and give Percy a chance to recover, showing that she had come to like him. She risked her life to save Artemis despite knowing that the line in the prophecy saying "One shall perish by a parent's hand" was referring to her. With her dying breaths she told Percy, "You spoke the truth. You are nothing like... like Hercules. I am honored that you carry this sword," referring to the fact that she was the original owner and creator of the weapon.

Finally, in the end, Zoë's legacy remains as her persuasion seemed to come through and Thalia declares that she will join the Hunt, to forsake men like Luke and not be the demigod in the Great Prophecy.

Appearance

Zoë was described by Percy to be tall, graceful, and gorgeously beautiful: she had dark brown eyes, a slightly upturned nose, copper-colored skin, and the silver circlet braided into the top of her long, dark hair gave her the impression of a Persian princess. Percy also stated that he could see the family resemblance between Zoë and her father Atlas, with them sharing the same regal expression, the same cold, proud look in their eyes (which Zoë got when she was angry), though on him it looked "a thousand times more evil."

Abilities

  • As a Hunter of Artemis or due to Hunter training:
    • Immortality (unless she falls in battle or breaks her oath).
    • Excellent aim with the bow and skilled with hunting knives. Her skills with a bow and arrow are sufficient to keep her father, Atlas, pressured during their battle.
    • Zoë has a silver-colored aura.
    • She is naturally stronger and faster than a regular mortal, demigod, or nymph.
    • She can make a bow appear when she wants and also she can make them disappear.
  • In general:
    • Zoë has great leadership and tracking skills. 
    • She usually has the upper hand in battle because of her fighting powers.
    • She can talk to wild animals.
    • Due to her being the daughter of Atlas, it is possible that she had stronger, unseen powers compared to the other Hunters, but she did not demonstrate them.

Weaknesses

  • Can die if beaten in battle or if her immortality is revoked, whether forced or voluntary.
  • Is reluctant to accept help from men and campers from Camp Half-Blood.
  • Protective of her Hunters (shown in The Titan's Curse when she refused to take another Hunter on her quest when Phoebe got poisoned by the centaur blood T-shirt in fear of losing another Hunter).
  • Extremely loyal to Artemis (shown when she was willing to take the sky for her in The Titan's Curse).

Relationships

Hercules

Heracles

Hercules

Hercules was given Riptide by Zoë. Back then, Riptide was a hair clip she owned, but she gave it to Hercules as a gift in order to aid him in his labor and betrayed her family in order to make sure Hercules succeeded. Hercules eventually betrayed Zoë, resulting in her dislike of men, heroes especially, in general, comparing them all to Hercules.

Artemis

"No! Do not offer, Zoë! I forbid you.

–Artemis, holding up the sky on Mount Tamalpais

Zoë was an extremely loyal and devoted lieutenant to Artemis. She loved Artemis over anyone, a platonic love that her mistress reciprocated. When she saw Artemis being forced to hold up the sky, Atlas challenged her to take it for Artemis, and she would have, had Artemis not ordered her not to. Before Zoë died, Artemis assured her that she had served her with great honor, and was the finest of her attendants. She even transformed Zoë into a constellation as a way of ensuring that she would be honored by the world, and was so upset over her death that she flickered with silver light, causing Percy to fear that she might lose control and appear in her divine form.

Percy Jackson

Percy Jackson-0

Percy Jackson, her friend.

You spoke the truth. You are nothing like... like Hercules. I am honored that you carry this sword.

–Zoë to Percy, in The Titan's Curse

When Zoë and Percy first met, she disliked him because he was a male and reminded her of Hercules, the hero who betrayed her.

She also becomes annoyed when she finds that he had been following their group the entire time. However, she begins to trust him after his idea managed to defeat the Nemean Lion and even gave the monster's pelt to Percy, as his plan was the one that worked. Toward the end of The Titan's Curse, before she dies she says that Percy is nothing like Hercules and that she is honored he carries the sword she made. She also says that not all men are bad, and looks at Percy after saying this to Thalia.

Thalia Grace

Even before the events of the series, Zoë and Thalia had been at odds. Their feud originated when Thalia refused Zoë's invitation to join the Hunters and her advice that all men would let her down. The two fought over the smallest things, including the proper way to speak current English. However, the two reconciled after the fight with Atlas, with Thalia admitting that Zoë may have been right about men, and the dying Zoë admitting that she may have been wrong. Zoë even apologised for their arguments and admitted that she would have been happy to have Thalia as her sister. Following her death, Thalia succeeds her as the lieutenant of the Hunters of Artemis.

Iapetus

Zoë's father, Atlas, is the eldest son of the Titan Iapetus, thus making Zoë the granddaughter of Iapetus (who is later renamed Bob). In The Titan's Curse, Zoë's last words were "Stars. I can see the stars again, m'lady (talking to Artemis). After her death Artemis turns her into a constellation; The Huntress. In The House of Hades, when Bob (Iapetus) was about to sacrifice his life along with Damasen, he says to Percy and Annabeth "say hello to the sun and stars from me", having missed them due to his time in the Underworld. Many fans speculate that this is Bob's way of connecting with his granddaughter by saying 'say hello to the sun and stars from me' as Zoë is now a constellation in the sky.

Trivia

  • In The Titan's Curse, Percy has a dream about Zoë's past. In the dream, Zoë claims that her mother is Pleione, but in some myths, the mother of the Hesperides is either Hesperis or Nyx.
  • At first, Zoë severely disapproved of Percy because he was a male, but before she died, she made her peace with him and acknowledged his worth as a true hero. This makes her the third Hunter of Artemis who did not hate Percy because of his gender, along with Thalia and Bianca.
  • Her name is of Greek origin, meaning "life" or "full of life."
  • Interestingly, she says that her last name is Nightshade, although back in Ancient Greece, no one had a last name. Hence, it was possible this is a title of sorts that she had picked up over the years.
  • Nightshade is an appropriate last name for Zoë as:
    • Nightshade: shadow of night and Hesperide: nymph of the sunset. Possibly foreshadowing to her lineage.
    • Her bitter relationship with Percy may be a reference to the fact that the nightshade flower is poisonous to horses, which Percy's dad created.
  • In the Brazilian translation, she is referred to as Zöe Doce-Amarga (Zöe Sweet-Bitter).
  • Water nymphs tend to be mean to Zoë, as she claimed that they have never forgiven her for betraying her mother, Pleione, the water goddess.
  • In some alternate translations of the book, such as Portuguese or Spanish, her last name is "Belladonna" rather than "Nightshade." Belladonna and Nightshade are in fact two names ascribed to the same plant, a medicinal herb that has been used as an anesthetic, and more often as a deadly poison.
  • Zoë is the second known person Artemis sent to the stars, the first being Orion.
  • Zoe is one of three deceased female Hunters mentioned by name in the series (Bianca di Angelo & Phoebe being the others).
  • Zoë shares similarities with Merope, another mythological daughter of Atlas and Pleione. Both girls betrayed their sisters - the Hesperides and the Pleiades respectively - for a mortal man; Zoë by helping Hercules on his quest and Merope by marrying the mortal king Sisyphus.
    • Interestingly, some myths list the Pleiades as companions of Artemis, just as Zoë was the goddess' lieutenant and a Hunter of Artemis.
  • Despite almost always speaking Shakespearean English she does say 'you' and not 'thee' a few times.

References

  1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Three, The Titan's Curse, Chapter Sixteen, page 261
  2. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Three, The Titan's Curse, Chapter Twelve, page 157
  3. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Three, The Titan's Curse, Chapter Fourteen, page 205
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Core Series: The Lightning Thief | The Sea of Monsters | The Titan's Curse | The Battle of the Labyrinth | The Last Olympian
Main Characters: Percy Jackson | Grover Underwood | Annabeth Chase | Tyson | Clarisse La Rue | Thalia Grace | Nico di Angelo | Chiron | Luke Castellan | Rachel Elizabeth Dare
Minor Characters: Travis Stoll | Connor Stoll | Mrs. O'Leary | Silena Beauregard | Charles Beckendorf | Sally Jackson | Paul Blofis | Blackjack | Zoë Nightshade | Bianca di Angelo | Juniper | Michael Yew | Ethan Nakamura
Olympian Gods: Zeus | Hera | Poseidon | Demeter | Ares | Athena | Apollo | Artemis | Hephaestus | Aphrodite | Hermes | Dionysus | Hades | Hestia
Minor Gods: Amphitrite | Ariadne | Hecate | Iris | Janus | Morpheus | Nemesis | Pan | Persephone | Triton
Titans: Kronos | Atlas | Calypso | Iapetus | Krios | Hyperion | Oceanus | Prometheus
Related Content: Rick Riordan | The Lightning Thief (film) | The Sea of Monster (film) | The Demigod Files | Demigods and Monsters | The Ultimate Guide | The Heroes of Olympus