Harpies (meaning "snatcher", from Latin harpeia) are winged spirits best known for constantly stealing all food from the blind son of Neptune, Phineas, but were driven away by the Boreads Calais and Zethes. The literal meaning of the word seems to be "that which snatches" as it comes from the ancient Greek word harpazdein, which means "to snatch."
At Camp Half-Blood, there are cleaning harpies and harpies that come to eat demigods that sneak out of their cabins at night. They refer to themselves in the third person, for example they screech; "Campers out of bed! Dinner for hungry harpies!" Percy Jackson refers to the cleaning harpies as if they were "crossbred with the dodo birds," and similarly to Cyclops, they are immune to lava and fire, as they wash the dishes with lava.
Ella is one of the many harpies who snatch food from Phineas' picnic table. She's faster and more nimble than her sisters. When befriending with Percy, Hazel Levesque and Frank Zhang, she shows her ability to memorize a massive amount of facts she reads in books. Percy decides that they have to free the harpies from their curse (to be only able to eat from Phineas' table) which they accomplish with a gamble to the death, including Percy and Phineas both drinking Gorgon Blood, not knowing which vial was from which side of the monster. Later on, Ella is taken to Camp Jupiter by Tyson. When Percy, Hazel and Frank are talking about their encounter with Ella, they decide that she is too important to leave behind when they go to Rome because she has memorized a part of the Sibylline Books.
A harpy was known as the mother of Zephyrus, the west wind, sisters of Iris and daughters of Thauma, and Electra.
Phineas, a king of Thrace, like Apollo, had a gift of prophecies. Zeus was angered by the information he was revealing that he blinded him and sealed him away on an island with a buffet of food that Phineas could never eat. The Harpies would always snatch the food from him and take it away, leaving Phineas to starve.
However, in The Son of Neptune, when Phineas was revived by Gaea, the tables have turned and Phineas is now the one to eat the food and be able to keep the harpies from his table though they are bounded to eat and can't consume any other food.
- The American Harpy Eagle is a bird named after them.
|Species:||Centaur | Cyclopes | Dragon | Drakon | Empousa | Giants | Harpy | Hyperborean Giant | Ichthyocentaur | Karpoi | Laistrygonian Giant | Pegasus | Skolopendra | Stymphalian Birds | Telekhine|
|Friendly Monsters:||Argus | Blackjack | Briares | Chiron | Don | Ella | Festus | Gleeson Hedge | Grover Underwood | Hippocampus | Mellie | Mrs. O'Leary | Ophiotaurus | Peleus | Scipio | Tyson | Tempest|
|Enemy Monsters:||Agrius and Oreius | Arachne | Basilisk | Charybdis and Scylla | Chimera | Chrysaor | Clazmonian Sow | Colchis Bull | Echidna | Euryale | Geryon | Joe Bob | Kampê | Manticore | Medusa | Minotaur | Nemean Lion | Polyphemus | Sphinx | Stheno | Typhon ||
|Neutral Monsters:||Cerberus | Erymanthian Boar | Gray Sisters | Gorgons | Furies | Flesh-Eating Horse | Gryphon | Hippocampus | Siren|