|Bearer of Heaven|
|Lieutenant of Kronos|
|Titan of Endurance|
Epimetheus, Menoetius, and Prometheus (brothers)
Calypso, Zoe Nightshade and Hesperides (children)
|Home|| Mt. Othrys|
|Appearances|| The Titan's Curse|
The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Last Olympian(mentioned)
|“||How little you know, my young goddess. Even now, your darling attendants begin their quest to find you. They shall play directly into my hands. Now, if you'll excuse us, we have a long journey to make. We must greet your Hunters and make sure their quest is...challenging.||”|
Atlas (also called "The General") is the Titan of Endurance and strength. As punishment for leading the armies of Kronos against him in the first Titanomachy, Zeus charged him to hold the sky for all eternity. Holding the sky is a curse that can only be carried by a child of Gaea and Ouranos or a person with a good heart. He is Kronos' second-in-command, and is in charge of recruiting monsters for the Titans' cause. While Kronos was regenerating inside of his sarcophagus, the General seemed to be in charge of the army. He was the consort of Phoebe, a fellow Titan, and father of the Hesperides. His brothers are Prometheus and Epimetheus.
Atlas is a part of the second generation of Titans. He was born to Iapetus and Clymene. In the First Titanomachy he was chosen to lead Kronos' armies in battle.
When the gods won the war, Zeus sentenced Atlas to hold the weight of the sky on his shoulders forever as a punishment for supporting the Titans and leading the rebellion against the gods. After the war had ended, Atlas was condemned to hold the weight of the heavens atop his shoulders for all eternity. Other myths say that he was only appointed the guardian of the stone pillars that were made to hold the sky up.
Some time later, Heracles for one of his Twelve Labors was to obtain a Golden Apple from the Garden of the Hesperides. Hercules could not gain the apples by himself as they were protected by the Hesperides and a dragon called Ladon. Because of this, he went to Atlas to get the apples for him and in exchange, would hold the sky on his shoulders until he returned. Atlas agreed and went to get the apples, but when he returned he saw a chance to escape his punishment. Atlas offered to deliver the apples himself to King Eurytheuses. Hercules saw the trick and agreed, but asked Atlas to hold the sky for only a moment while he adjusted the padding on his shoulder. Atlas took the sky back, but Hercules simply took the apples from him and left, leaving Atlas to his punishment. Another version says that in return for the apples, Hercules built the Pillars of Hercules that held up the sky, freeing him of his curse.
Perseus also appeared before Atlas. Perseus was on his way home to present Medusa's Head as a gift to his king. He stopped by the Garden of the Hesperides and asked Atlas if he could rest and in exchange he would tell him of his adventures. Atlas, who had been told a prophecy that a son of Zeus would steal the Golden Apples refused to let him stay. Perseus knew that he couldn't best Atlas in strength and instead pulled out the head of Medusa and turned him to stone.
The General escapes his terrible punishment by forcing Luke to take the burden, so he himself could fight Kronos' fight. Later, The General and Luke tricks Annabeth into holding the sky up. He sets out to gather monsters for Kronos' Army, and to hunt down the Ophiotaurus, whose burned organs would allow it's slayer to gain the power to destroy Olympus. He is first seen with Luke and a captive Artemis, forcing Artemis to hold up the sky in Annabeth's place.
He is finally encountered in San Francisco, where he faces off against Percy and Zoë. They attack him to no avail, as he toys with Percy with a javelin and effortlessly deflects Zoë's arrows. Percy then realizes that Artemis is the only one who can defeat him, and then frees Artemis and endures the punishment himself. Artemis duels Atlas with two long hunting knives, luring him towards the sky. Atlas manages to corner her, taunting her by saying, "The first blood in a new war." Zoë moves in to defend Artemis, but is knocked into the rocks, speeding up a poison recently given to her by Ladon and dies later on. Artemis blocks Atlas' final blow and knocks him back under the sky, taking his freedom from him once again. He curses and cries at the gang as they fly away on three Pegasi.
Also, when Percy falls out of the sky onto a strange island, it is discovered that the girl on the island (Calypso) is another daughter of Atlas.
Kronos decides not to free him, despite being the best fighter. This is because he had failed to capture Bessie, and because Artemis had escaped. It is also mentioned that Krios had to "babysit" Atlas while the other Titans were fighting the Olympians.
Atlas is seen as being sadistic and arrogant. He has a short temper and takes great pride in being Kronos' second in command (Luke does not necessarily count, as he is not a Titan). However, his rash personality also proved to be his greatest weakness, sometimes causing him to seriously underestimate his opponents; this allowed him to be bested by Artemis in combat. His arrogance is displayed several times, such as when he mocks Percy Jackson, Thalia, Artemis, and even Luke (occasionally). His great power and authority allows him to earn fear from every one of his servants (although other Titans are shown to have no fear of him), including Luke and Dr. Thorn.
He is loyal to Kronos' cause and seems to have a lust for blood much like Ares, as when he says to Artemis when he has her cornered, "The first blood in a new war." He also despises the punishment the gods gave him (holding the sky on his shoulders) and writhes with anguish when forced to endure it again. This is probably why he bears a short temper and why he finds delight in killing gods and demigods alike.
Atlas, like many others of his kind, believes that the Titans are the most powerful race of all, and believes them to be far superior to the Gods. He sees every other race to be weak compared to them. However, he even treats some of his fellow Titans like they are below him, considering only Kronos to be his true equal (which may be justified, as he is the most powerful of the Titans next to Kronos).
He is known to be very bitter towards Kronos after being trapped under the sky again because he wished to be on the front lines of the war. He also hates holding up the sky because he can do nothing productive for the Titans' cause.
Atlas looked like "a living statue", with dark slicked back hair, eyes like stone, light brown skin, and a muscular build. He is tall and muscular with a brutal face, huge shoulders, and hands that could "snap a flagpole in half" (as described by Percy Jackson). He is described as wearing either a business suit, or Greek armor Atlas says himself in The Titan's Curse that he has a very stiff neck, probably from holding up the heavens for more than 1,000 years.
Atlas is considered by many to be the most powerful Titan besides Kronos.
- He presumably possesses the standard powers of a Titan.
- He is a master strategist. The General's most seen talent is his adept strategic abilities, which were put to great use in the First Olympian War. He laid a plan in The Titan's Curse to use the Ophiotaurus to destroy the Olympians, which caused great trouble for Percy and his companions.
- He is a master at combat with his metal javelin, able to effortlessly defeat Percy, actually toying with the boy. At the same time, he managed to fend off Zoë Nightshade, then fight on par with Artemis.
- Perhaps his most extraordinary ability, coming from his Titan heritage, is his strength to lift the entire sky for thousands of years. It is a remarkable ability, even for a Titan.
- Atlas, a moon of Saturn, is named after this deity.
- The Atlas mountains in north Africa is named after him with the story of Perseus using Medusa's head to freeze Atlas into a mountain.
- In the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, it is said that Atlas is the second greatest Titan aside from Kronos.