I once warned you, Percy Jackson, that to save a friend you would destroy the world. Perhaps I was mistaken. You seemed to have saved both your friends and the world.
~ Athena to Percy Jackson.
There is always a way out for those clever enough to find it.
~ Athena to Percy in The Titans Curse.

Athena is a fictional character based on the same deity from Greek mythology in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus series. She is the Goddess of Wisdom, Warfare, Strategy, Arts and Crafts, and is the daughter of the Olympian Zeus and Titaness Metis. Though a virgin goddess, she has had numerous demigod children, most notably Annabeth Chase, who played a big part in helping the Seven.

In The Lighting Thief film adaptation, she was portrayed by Melina Kanakaredes.

Biography

Birth

Athena is the daughter of Zeus, the Olympian god of the sky, lightning law and justice, and the titaness Metis. A prophecy had once foretold that Metis would birth to a daughter and then a son who would be more powerful than his father. To prevent the prophecy, Zeus tricked Metis into turning into a fly and swallowed her, but she later took the firm of intelligence and gave birth to Athena. Athena grew inside Zeus' head, and he began experiencing terrible headaches, and had Hephaestus to crack his skull to release her.

Despite the other Olympians having misgivings of her, Zeus insisted that they welcome Athena into their ranks, and she became the Goddess of Wisdom and War. She proceeded to teach the Greeks numerous skills, such as mathematics, arts and crafts such as weaving. In addition, Athena gifted Pandora with cleverness and curiosity, and how to weave and make crafts. Though she loved teaching and providing wisdom, Athena didn't enjoy combat as the Goddess of Warfare, but accepted that it was necessary at times. Unlike her half-brother, Ares, she focused on minimizing causalities and to win wars by using strategy and tactical advantages.

Athena also became one of Zeus' favorite daughters, and in some Greek myths, trusted her to wield his master bolt.

Rivalry

When Athena and Poseidon both competed for the position of patron of the city of Attica, Athena succeeded by giving them a olive tree, that was more useful than the salt water spring and horse for the city. Attica's leader Kekrops made Athena their patron goddess, and dedicated the new city and named it Athens in her honor. Since then, Athena and Poseidon had a rivalry, with the latter often losing to her.

The two later came into conflict when Athena responded to the prayers of Coronis, whom Poseidon was trying to seduce, and saved her by transforming Coronis into a raven. Furious, Poseidon decided to get revenge on Athena by taking his new lover, Medusa, into a temple of Athena. Angered by what Poseidon and Medusa were doing in her temple, the goddess turned Medusa into a hideous creature who when people looked into her eyes, would turn into stone. Medusa's sisters would also transform, as they had helped Medusa enter the temple. After receiving Medusa's head as a sacrifice from Perseus, Athena gave the head as a gift to Zeus. The king of the gods then had Hephaestus create a shield named Aegis, and Zeus trusted Athena to wield from time to time.

Another time was when Poseidon wanted to kill the hero Odysseus, as he had blinded the sea god's son, Polyphemus. Athena favored Odysseus above all mortals due to his cleverness and using strategy and tactics instead of strength in the battlefield. Though the two were always at odds, the two did cooperate when building a chariot, with her creating the chariot and Poseidon creating horses that needed to pull it.

Arachne

When the mortal weaver Arachne challenged Athena to see who could create the best tapestry, the goddess disguised herself as an old woman to warn Arachne that it would be foolish to challenge her. Arachne persisted and stated if she lost, she would accept any punishment, enraging Athena. Though Athena states the contest was a tie, she was infuriated by Arachne's insult, and destroyed the tapestry in rage and attacked Arachne.

However, Athena became furious when the citizens laughed at her beating p Arachne, and turned her wraith against the people. Arachne became riddled with guilt and hung herself, and Athena felt responsible for her death, and decided to turn Arachne into a spider so that she and all of her children would be experts weavers forever. However, in other versions of the myth, she transformed Arachne into a spider as punishment after the contest, and became her nemesis. In either myths, every child of Athena suffers from a ep fear of spiders, and become very paranoid that spiders are out to get them to avenge Arachne.

Trojan War

When Eris, the goddess of discord hurled the apple into the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, Athena became one of the candidates to compete for it (as he was inscribed with "For the Fairest"). The Trojan prince Paris was chosen to judge who was the most beautiful of the three goddesses: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. Athena offered to make Paris wiser in battle, but he chose Aphrodite, as Paris preferred her. Furious, Athena took the side of the Greeks during the Trojan War along with Hera and Poseidon.

During the war, Athena aided Odysseus in getting the idea of the Trojan Horse, and helped Diomedes in defeating Ares in duel. She also cursed Ajax the Lesser with madness, and later engaged in single combat with Ares; defeating him. Athena would later help Odysseus again during is journey to Ithaca, as Poseidon wanted to kill the hero.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The Heroes of Olympus

Trivia

  • She is one of the three Olympian virgin goddess, the others being Artemis and Hestia.
    • She is the only Greek virgin goddess to have children, but not in the normal way.
  • Her Norse equivalent is Freya or Nerthus, as her Egyptian equivalents are Seshat, Isis, Thoth, and Neith.
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