|“||I once warned you, Percy Jackson, that to save a friend you would destroy the world. Perhaps I was mistaken.||”|
Athena (Ancient Greek: Αθηνά) is the Greek virgin goddess of wisdom, handicrafts, useful arts, and battle strategy. She is the daughter of Zeus and Metis, and her symbols include the owl,Aegis, the olive tree, and the snake. Her Roman counterpart is Minerva. In the The Lightning Thief, she is portrayed by Melina Kanakaredes.
Zeus, Athena's fatherAthena was the daughter of Metis. There was a prophecy that Metis would give birth to a son that would be more powerful than Zeus, which is a problem because Metis was already pregnant with their first child. To prevent this, Zeus tricked Metis into taking the form of a fly and swallowed her. What Zeus did not know is that Metis was pregnant with their daughter. Over time however, Zeus began to suffer from a terrible headache and asked the Titan, Prometheus (in some cases it was Hephaestus), to split his head open to find the problem. Athena sprung fully-grown from Zeus' head in full battle armor and shouting a battle cry. She quickly became Zeus' favorite daughter. In the most ancient account, the Iliad, Athena is the goddess of ferocious and implacable fight, but, wherever she can be found, she only is a warrior to defend the State and the native land against the enemies coming from outside and supports the side that is morally right. She is, above all, the Goddess of the City, the protector of civilized life, of artesian activities, wisdom, and of agriculture. She also invented the bridle, which, for the first time, tamed horses, allowing men to use them.
In Greek mythology, she was one of the most active goddesses. She assisted Odysseus in his journey home from the Trojan War in the Odyssey and made sure the Greeks won the Trojan War in the Illiad by helping the Greeks by giving Odysseus the idea of the Trojan Horse. She also helped heroes like Diomedes, Hercules (in killing the Stymphalian Birds),Jason, and Perseus. Like Artemis and Hestia, she is one of the virgin goddesses who vowed herself to never marry, although she has demigod children in the series, though they are born from thought (brain children, just like herself), which she believes to be the purest kind of love. It is unknown if any other goddess can give birth to children in a similar way.
In Greece she was known as Pallas Athena, the name she got from a friend who died. She was also known as Athena Parthenos or Athena the virgin, which is how she was worshipped at the Parthenon. In some places she was known as Athena Alea as she was associated with the ancient goddess Alea. ==Rivalry with Arachne== A long time ago, the mortal Arachnechallenged Athena to see who could make the best tapestry. Athena then disguised as an old woman tried to warn Arachne, but she said if she lost she would accept any punishment. Athena enraged took off her disguise, she then accepted the challenge, as she invented weaving, and they each made a tapestry. Athena's was of the gods together in glory and joy. Arachne's showed the gods making fools of themselves . Athena was so angry by this deliberate insult to the gods, she destroyed the tapestry in rage and was declared the winner. Athena and ArachneArachne was filled with guilt, and hung herself. Athena after seeing this felt responsible for her death and decided to do her a favor. She turned Arachne into a spider so that her and all her children would be expert weavers forever.
In other versions of the story, Athena transformed Arachne into a spider directly after the contest as part of Arachne's punishment. Because of this, it is understandable that Athena's children would think that all spiders are out for revenge against them, and through them, their mother.
Poseidon and AthenaFor many eons, Athena and Poseidon have had rivalry between them, which all started when they competed for being the patron of the city ofAthens, (called Attica at that time). The leader of the city told the two gods to make a gift for the newly constructed city. Poseidon created a salt-water spring, while Athena gave them the olive tree. Seeing that the olive tree was much better than a salt-water spring, the leader of the newly constructed city named it after Athena and made Athena a temple known as the Parthenon. Athena was also made the patron of the city. This made Poseidon very angry.
Also, Athena once caught Poseidon with his girlfriend, Medusa, (who was once a beautiful maiden) together in her temple. Furious at Poseidon and Medusa for doing such disgusting and "disturbing" acts in her temple, she turned Medusa and her sisters into the "ThreeGorgons". They had snakes for hair and Medusa could turn anyone into stone if they looked into her eyes, which no one could resist. Medusa's sisters were also transformed because they helped Medusa get into the temple.
The competition for Athens and the terrible acts Poseidon committed in Athena's temple are probably the basis for why she dislikes Percy, Poseidon's son. Though, the invention of the chariot and horses needed teamwork. So, Athena and Poseidon worked together to make that invention. Athena also helped Odysseus on his quest for home, while Poseidon tried to kill him. Poseidon's and Athena's rivalry didn't seem to affect Percy and Annabeth, but Athena tells Percy she doesn't approve of their relationship. At the end of the series, she seems to be indifferent to Percy, except for the fact that she singed his clothes as a warning.
Athena can be very sympathetic: once, a man saw her bathing, She blinded him, then sent snakes to protect him and gave him supernatural powers to see the future, amongst other things.
Athena is a very disciplined, quick thinking, and wise woman. She is very brilliant and always takes precautions before acting. Percy notes in The Titan's Curse that Athena might be the worst enemy someone could make, even among the gods, as she would never give up or make a rash mistake simply because she hated you. She loves all of her demigod children, and seems to be a caring mother. She is the only known god who claims her children at birth. She gave her daughter Annabeth the gift of a cap that turns the wearer invisible. In one of Percy's dreams inThe Battle of the Labyrinth, she is shown to have blessed both Daedelus and his young nephew Perdix. She later punishes Daedelus for killing Perdix by branding him with a partridge (the mark of a murderer).
Athena is also usually kind to other demigods. She often aids heroes on their quests, even helping Percy at one point while he was in the Hoover Dam. Athena is somewhat cold and calculating at times. She voted against letting Percy live in The Titan's Curse, because she didn't want to risk him staying alive. Athena is also known for never giving up, and crossing her is a mistake. When Paris picked Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess instead of her, Athena took the side of the Greeks in the Trojan War and used every power within her to bring him down. In the book, Athena is seen as a strict and proud goddess. In The Lightning Thief (movie), she is less strict and didn't show any sign of not liking Poseidon or Percy. She even states that "War is not the answer". This is perhaps a little paradoxical, as she is the goddess of war strategies. However being the goddess of strategy, she knew that a war between the gods was not the answer and would only lead to unneeded sacrifice.
Athena in the ParthenonAthena has long hair and intense grey eyes, as described when Percy sees her, and nearly mistakes her for Annabeth. As she is a goddess, she can turn to any form she would like so she will not always look like that. As shown in The Titan's Curse, she is shown as an average looking Park Ranger at the Hoover Dam. She is said to be beautiful and lean. She wears an elegant white dress. It is said Annabeth looks a lot like her mother, and has the same cold stare. In some myths she is said to be able to turn into a white owl. In The Titan's Curse, she is seen with black hair. She is also said to be one of the most beautiful goddesses since many men fawn over her but she uses her powers to do horrible things to them if they do not leave on her first warning. She gets along with Artemis well, being seen having similar personalities and often conduct conversations.
- Main article: Minerva
Athena can change into her Roman counterpart of Minerva. As Minerva, becomes more disciplined, militaristic, and warlike. She also remains a maiden goddess and doesn't have children at Camp Jupiter. The Greeks envisioned Athena as a fierce and proud goddess of warfare. The Romans depicted Minerva as a more cerebral and demure goddess of wisdom.
As a daughter of Zeus, Athena is a very powerful goddess:
- Prowess in Battle: as the Goddess of Battles, Athena is a great warrior, and a master of both armed and hand-to-hand combat, but frequently uses her wisdom to overcome her opponents instead of sheer force. During the first Gigantomachy, she was able to defeat the fire-breathing Enceladus (the most cunning Giant) with the help of Hercules.
- Divine Wisdom: As the Goddess of Wisdom, Athena is very wise, intelligent, and knowledgeable, constantly coming up with brilliant strategies. She was also able to see that Typhon was only a decoy in Kronos' plan to defeat the gods. However, she tends to measure the odds without taking her own or others feelings into account, leading to her voting to destroy Percy in The Titan's Curse (but she was out voted). Due to her wisdom, she was the one Zeus trusted to check on the imprisoned Titans in Tartarus.
- Shapeshifting: Athena can transform into an owl. It is unknown if she can turn into other animals also. She also appeared as a park ranger at the Hoover Dam in The Titan's Cursee]].
- Strategist: She is a skilled tactician (greater than Ares), since unlike him, Athena only uses violence as a last resort.
Although she is counted as a virgin goddess, Athena can conceive children by joining her mind with her lovers. This means they are literally 'brain children'. It is believed this ability of Athena's was influenced by the fact she came out of Zeus's brain in full battle armor.
|Jean Bartholdi||Frederic Bartholdi|
|Frederick Chase||Annabeth Chase|
|Metion||Daedalus, Eupalamus, and Sicyon|
|Augustine Washington||George Washington|
Athena has shown to be the most active goddess, secretly protecting her children from monsters such as when Annabeth ran away, she protected Annabeth until she met Thalia and Luke.
- She gave Annabeth a cap of invisibility (a Yankees cap).
- She gave Daedalus and Perdix her blessing of wisdom.
- Pallas, one of the largest asteroids in the asteroid belt, is named after Pallas Athene (or Athena) Parthenos, one of Athena's alternative names.
- Her hair color is black in The Titan's Curse and blonde in The Sea of Monsters.
- She is the only Virgin goddess who has children.
- Minerva, her Roman counterpart, is displayed on the medal of honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the United States Government.
- She highly dislikes Percy and Annabeth together because of the rivalry between Poseidon and her.
- In the series, Frederic Bartholdi designed the The Statue of Liberty as a representation of his mother, Athena.
- In Greek mythology, the goddess Athena never had any children.
- In some Greek myths, Athena was the goddess of magic.
- In one Greek myth, instead of turning Arachne into a spider, Arachne hung herself, then Athena felt bad and turned her into a spider and brought her back to life in that body.
- In the series, Athena is described to have grey eyes. However, it is also her famous nickname, "Grey-eyed".