Introducing the Greek pantheon to the modern age, the Percy Jackson series asks what would happen if the gods of old weren’t just very real, but embroiled in a seemingly irresolvable feud.
Percy – a young demigod – is trying to do the impossible… smooth out this interminable brawl between deities, often getting caught up in conflicts himself, fighting with or against full-blood gods.
But it’s far from being an easy journey, especially when you know how old Percy Jackson is in the books! Still, considering how many Percy Jackson books there are, he eventually prevails, just like all heroes of old do.
How, you ask? Well… you’ll have to find that out for yourself!
Still not sure what absolute beings you’ll encounter in the pages of this electrifying series? Not a problem. Read on and meet the whole godly gang!
The 12 Olympians
By far the most prominent players in the books that make up the Riordanverse are the infamous 12 Olympian gods.
- Roman aspect: Jupiter
As king of the gods, and god of the sky, thunder and lightning, and justice, we assume Zeus’s name precedes him.
He’s the big guy up top, ruler of Mount Olympus, and in the series, he’s suspicious that another god has stolen his Master Bolt, the ultimate symbol of his power.
Despite a pact agreed on by the big three (Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades) to never sire any demigods, Zeus begat two, a girl, Thalia, and a boy, Jason.
Thalia – one of the main characters in the series – has inherited the ability to forge lightning bolts and can even control the weather to a certain extent.
Jason isn’t as much of a foreground character, but his appearance in the “The Great Prophecy” makes him incredibly important nonetheless.
- Roman aspect: Neptune
Poseidon, god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses, is Percy Jackson’s father, but this doesn’t sit well with the other two-thirds of The Big Three.
Having broken their oath to never sire demigod children, Zeus becomes distrustful of Poseidon, accusing him of stealing his most sacred symbol, his Master Bolt.
Much like Zeus, Poseidon has his flaws in the Percy Jackson books, but overall, is a benevolent god with good intentions.
Percy is said to be the spitting image of his father, with jet-black hair and sea-green eyes, but it’s not just Poseidon’s looks that he inherits. Percy can talk to sea animals and horses and can control and summon water.
- Roman aspect: Minerva
Athena is the goddess of the three Ws — Wisdom, Weaving, and War! In the Percy Jackson universe, she is mother to Annabeth, who is the second most prominent character in the entire series.
She lends Percy a helping hand from time to time but isn’t entirely on his side and laments his and her daughter’s closeness, mostly because of the fact he’s Poseidon’s son.
Athena and her daughter share the same storm-gray eyes, but there’s a regal aspect to the elder goddess’ countenance, something scary and diminishing that makes her quite formidable.
- Roman aspect: Ceres
Demeter is the goddess of grain, agriculture, and harvest. She is the sister of Zeus and mother to Persephone who in Greek mythology is tricked by Hades into staying by his side in the underworld.
While a rather ambivalent character in the Percy Jackson series, she comes to the eponymous protagonist’s aid at times.
Demeter is mother to three demigods in the books, Katie, Miranda, and Meg, but only the latter plays a significant role in the narrative.
Definitely her mother’s daughter, Meg has the power to make plants grow on command!
- Roman aspect: Mars
God of war, violence, battlelust, and courage, you don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of Ares, and unfortunately for Percy, he does.
We can’t reveal too much, as we don’t want to ruin the story for you if you choose to read the series, but let’s just say that it’s not entirely Ares’s fault that he becomes such a prominent antagonist.
He has two demigod offspring, one to his Greek aspect (Clarisse) and another to his Roman aspect (Frank).
Like father, like daughter, Clarisse is another thorn in Percy’s side for a lot of the story, although she comes through for him in some pretty tight spots, so she’s not all bad.
- Roman aspect: Vulcan
One of the lesser-known of the 12 Olympians, Hephaestus is the god of fire, blacksmiths, and technology.
Considered the ugliest of the gods, he’s endured a troubled existence, hurt by his wife Aphrodite’s constant infidelity with Ares.
He’s much happier when he’s on his own with his creations, as he finds them easier to be around than gods or humans, yet his distaste for immortals and mortals alike doesn’t stop him from getting involved in the goings-on of the narrative.
Of his two children, Leo plays the biggest role in the Percy Jackson series. He can manifest fire and invent complex mechanical objects quickly.
- Roman aspect: Venus
Ironically, Hephaestus’ disgruntled wife is the goddess of love and beauty. She certainly has a dark side in the series, but for the most part, she is a compassionate and loving goddess.
She even has Percy’s back at certain points in the narrative, and, unsurprisingly, takes an interest in his love life.
Her notable children include Piper and Silena.
The former is a hugely powerful demigod endowed with her mother’s charmspeak ability, while the latter is a minor character renowned for her great beauty and impeccable leadership skills.
- Roman aspect: Mercury
God of messages, travelers, mischief, and thievery, Hermes is the gossip of the gods, yet he gives Percy some excellent advice during the events of the series.
- Roman aspect: Diana
Goddess of the hunt, chastity, and the moon, Artemis is a childless deity and ferocious monster hunter that plays a minor role during one of Percy’s many missions.
- Roman aspect: Juno
Hera is the goddess of womanhood, childbirth, familial love, and marriage. As the youngest daughter of Kronos and Rhea, she’s both the sister and wife of Zeus.
She’s a mostly friendly character in the series, but when challenged, she can become rather unpleasant rather quickly!
- Roman aspect: Vesta
Hestia is goddess of hearth, family, and home. Of all 12 Olympians, she is the least involved in the plots of the books, but as the auntie of Percy and numerous other demigods, she’s nonetheless important.
- Roman aspect: Apollo
The last of the Olympians is Apollo, the god of archery, prophesy, music, and dance. He’s the only major Greek god to retain his name in Roman mythology.
Apollo doesn’t play a big role in the Percy Jackson series, but you’ll catch him in the third installment.
Are There Any Minor Gods In Percy Jackson?
On top of the 12 Olympian gods, you’ll encounter a number of minor gods and goddesses in the Percy Jackson series.
These include Iris (goddess of the rainbow), Nemesis (goddess of retribution), Nike (goddess of victory), Hebe (goddess of youth), Tyche (goddess of chance), and Hecate (goddess of witchcraft).
But there’s one non-Olympian that plays a huge role in the series…
- Roman aspect: Pluto
God of death and riches, and ruler of the underworld, Hades completes “The Big Three”.
He’s the eldest child of titans Kronos and Rhea, and before the oath was agreed upon, had already sired two demigods, Bianca and Nico.
When the oath is mapped out, Zeus commands Hades to send his children to Camp Half-Blood, but he disobeys, concerned they will either be turned against him or killed.
Zeus then takes it upon himself to hunt the young demigods, leading to the demise of their mother, Maria.
Thus starts a deadly back and forth, with each god trying to wipe the other’s children from the face of the Earth. That’s something quite common in books who explore the Greek mythology.
There you have it — The Percy Jackson series is basically littered with gods and goddesses, giving the story an exciting and informative edge that keeps you hooked page after page.
If you’re a fan of Greek mythology or even to an extent Roman mythology, you’ll absolutely adore this series, and we highly recommend giving it a try. But there are other books similar to Percy Jackson for adults that will draw you in just the same!
And hey, even if you’re not an Ancient Greece buff, the Percy Jackson series could be just the thing to ignite your curiosity. The characters are incredibly well fleshed-out, each with unique motivations that guide their actions throughout the books. We also have a post detailing who the main characters in Percy Jackson are, so be sure to check it out!