You’ve been known to call Percy ‘Seaweed Brain’ from time to time. What’s his most annoying quality?
Annabeth: Well, I don’t call him that because he’s so bright, do I? I mean he’s not dumb. He’s actually pretty intelligent, but he acts so dumb sometimes. I wonder if he does it just to annoy me. The guy has a lot going for him. He’s courageous. He’s got a sense of humour. He’s good-looking, but don’t you dare tell him I said that.
Where was I? Oh yeah, so he’s got a lot going for him, but he’s so… obtuse. That’s the word. I mean he doesn’t see really obvious stuff, like the way people feel, even when you’re giving him hints and being totally blatant. What? No, I’m not talking about anyone or anything in particular! I’m just making a general statement. Why does everyone always think… agh! Forget it.
What’s your favourite song to play on the reed pipes?
Grover: Oh, um – well, it’s a little embarrassing. I got this request once from a muskrat who wanted to hear ‘Muskrat Love’. Well… I learned it and I have to admit I enjoy playing it. Honestly, it’s not just for muskrats any more! It’s a very sweet love story. I get misty-eyed every time I play it. So does Percy, but I think that’s because he’s laughing at me.
Who would you least like to meet in a dark alley – a Cyclops or an angry Mr D?
Grover: Blah-hah-hah! What kind of question is that? Um – well… I’d much rather meet Mr D, obviously, because he’s so… er, nice. Yes, kind and generous to all us satyrs. We all love him. And I’m not just saying that because he’s always listening and he would blast me to pieces if I said anything different.
In your opinion, what’s the most beautiful spot in nature in all of America?
Grover: It’s amazing there are any nice spots left, but I like Lake Placid in upstate New York. Very beautiful, especially on a winter day! And the dryads up there – wow! Oh, wait, can you edit that part out? Juniper will kill me.
Are tin cans really that tasty?
Grover: My old granny goat used to say, ‘Two cans a day keep the monsters away.’ Lots of minerals, very filling and the texture is wonderful. Really, what’s not to like? I can’t help it if human teeth aren’t built for heavy-duty dining.
GOD OF THE SKY
Pin-striped suit, neatly trimmed grey beard, stormy eyes and a very large, dangerous lightning bolt.
On stormy days, he can be found brooding in his throne room in Mount Olympus, over the Empire State Building in New York. Sometimes he travels the world in disguise, so be nice to everyone! You never know when the next person you meet might be packing the master bolt.
In the old days, Zeus ruled over his unruly family of Olympians while they bickered and fought and got jealous of each other. Not much different from today, really. Zeus always had an eye for beautiful women, which often got him in trouble with his wife, Hera. A less-than-stellar father figure, Zeus once tossed Hera’s son Hephaestus off the top of Mount Olympus because the baby was too ugly!
GOD OF THE SEA
Hawaiian shirt, shorts, flip-flops and a three-pointed trident.
Poseidon walks the beaches of Florida, occasionally stopping to chat with fishermen or take pictures for tourists. If he’s in a bad mood, he stirs up a hurricane.
Poseidon was always a moody guy. On his good days, he did cool stuff like create horses out of sea foam. On his bad days, he caused minor problems like destroying cities with earthquakes or sinking entire fleets of ships. But, hey, a god has the right to throw a temper tantrum, doesn’t he?
GOD OF THE UNDERWORLD
Evil smile, helm of darkness (which makes him invisible so you can’t see the evil smile), black robes sewn from the souls of the damned. He sits on a throne of bones.
Hades rarely leaves his palace in the Underworld, probably because of traffic congestion on the Fields of Asphodel freeway. He oversees a booming population among the dead and has all sorts of employment trouble with his ghouls and spectres. This keeps him in a foul mood most of the time.
Hades is best known for the romantic way he won his wife, Persephone. He kidnapped her. Really, though, how would you like to marry someone who lives in a dark cave filled with zombies all year round?
GOD OF WAR
Biker leathers, Harley-Davidson, sunglasses and a stinking attitude.
Can be found riding his Harley around the suburbs of LA. One of those gods who could pick a fight in an empty room.
Back in the day, the son of Zeus and Hera used to be inseparable from his shield and helmet. Fought on the side of the Trojans during the war of Troy, but, frankly, has been involved in every minor skirmish since Goldilocks told the three bears that their beds were a little uncomfy.
GODDESS OF WISDOM, WAR
AND USEFUL ARTS
Dark hair, striking grey eyes, casual yet fashionable clothes, (except when she’s going into battle; then it’s full body armour). Athena is always accompanied by at least one owl, her sacred (and, fortunately, housebroken) animal.
You’re likely to spot Athena at an American university, sitting in on lectures about military history or technology. She favours people who invent useful things, and will sometimes appear to reward them with magical gifts or bits of useful advice (like next week’s lottery numbers). So start working on that revolutionary new bread slicer!
Athena was one of the most active goddesses in human affairs. She helped out Odysseus, sponsored the entire city of Athens and made sure the Greeks won the Trojan War. On the downside, she’s proud and has a big temper. Just ask Arachne, who got turned into a spider for daring to compare her weaving skills to Athena’s. So whatever you do, DO NOT claim that you fix toilets better than Athena. There’s no telling what she’ll turn you into.
GODDESS OF LOVE
She’s really, really pretty.
She’s more beautiful than Angelina Jolie.
She was more beautiful than Helen of Troy and because of her beauty, other gods feared that jealousy would interrupt the peace between them and lead to war. Zeus was so frightened that she would be the cause of violence between the other gods that he married her off to Hephaestus. However, she was frequently unfaithful to her husband and it was even said that Aphrodite could make any man fall in love with her if they just laid eyes on her. Now that’s power!
GOD OF THE ROADWAYS,
Jogger’s clothes and winged athletic shoes, a mobile phone that turns into a caduceus, his symbol of power – a winged staff with two snakes, George and Martha, entwined round it.
Hermes is a hard person to find because he’s always on the run. When he’s not delivering messages for the gods, he’s running a telecommunications company, an express delivery service and every other type of business you can imagine that involves travel. Did you have a question about his activities as god of thieves? Leave a message. He’ll get back to you in a few millennia.
Hermes got started young as a troublemaker. When he was one day old, he sneaked out of his crib and stole some cattle from his brother, Apollo. Apollo probably would’ve blasted the young tyke to bits, but fortunately Hermes appeased him with a new musical instrument he created called the lyre. Apollo liked it so much he forgot all about the cows. The lyre made Apollo very popular with the ladies, which was more than he could say about the cattle.
Ugly bodies, faces like vultures, beautiful singing voices. (Hey, that sounds like my elementary-school choir teacher…)
The Sirens inhabit the Sea of Monsters, where they lure sailors to their deaths by singing sweet songs, something like ’80s Oldies radio, only worse.
Back in the day, the Sirens were a real threat to the Greek shipping industry. Then a smart guy named Odysseus discovered that you could plug your ears with wax and sail right past the Sirens without hearing a thing. Strangely, Odysseus is usually remembered for his other accomplishments, not as the inventor of ear wax.
Great hairdo, beautiful robes, enchanting singing voice, deadly wand hidden up her sleeve.
Circe runs a fashionable spa and resort on an island in the Sea of Monsters. Stop by if you’d like a makeover, but be warned, you might not leave the same person, or even the same species.
Circe loved to entertain sailors. She would welcome them warmly, feed them well, then turn them into pigs. Odysseus put a stop to this practice by eating a magic herb, then holding the sorceress at knife-point until she released his polymorphed crewmates. Circe promptly fell in love with Odysseus. Go figure.
GOD OF WINE
Leopard-skin shirt, walking shorts, purple socks and sandals, the general pasty demeanour of someone who has been up partying too late.
Dionysus has been sentenced to one hundred years of ‘rehab’ as director of Camp Half-Blood. The only thing the god of wine can drink these days is Diet Coke, which doesn’t make him happy. He can usually be found playing pinochle with a group of terrified satyrs on the front porch of the Big House. If you want to join the game, be prepared to bet large.
Dionysus invented wine, which so impressed his father Zeus that he promoted Dionysus to god. The guy who invented prune juice, by contrast, got sentenced to the Fields of Punishment. Dionysus mostly spent his time partying it up in Ancient Greece, but once a crew of sailors tried to kill him, thinking the god was too incapacitated to fight back. Dionysus turned them into dolphins and sent them over the side. The moral of this story: do not mess with a god, even a drunk one.
One large eye in the centre of his head, sheep breath, fashionable caveman outfit, bad dental hygiene.
The giant Polyphemus hangs out in a cave on a deserted island, where he herds sheep and enjoys simple pastoral pleasures, like eating the occasional Greek hero who happens to sail by.