|God of Messengers, Travelers, and Thieves|
|Messenger of the Gods|
|God of Roads and Merchants|
Luke Castellan, Chris Rodriguez, Connor & Travis Stoll (children)
Numerous other children
|Hair Color||Salt-and-pepper and/or curly black|
|Greek/Roman form||Mercury (Roman)|
|Appearances|| The Lightning Thief (film) |
The Sea of Monsters
The Titan's Curse
The Last Olympian
The Demigod Diaries
|Actor|| Dylan Neal (The Lightning Thief) |
Nathan Fillion (The Sea of Monsters)
|“||Young people don't always do what they're told, but if they can pull it off and do something wonderful, sometimes they escape punishment.||”|
Hermes is the Greek god of roads, speed, messengers, commerce, travel, thieves, merchants, athletes, and mail deliverers. His Roman counterpart is Mercury. His symbol is the caduceus. Hermes was portrayed by Dylan Neal in The Lightning Thief; however, he is portrayed by Nathan Fillion in The Sea of Monsters.
Hermes was born sometime after the first Titan War to Zeus and a nymph named Maia. He matured rapidly and within a few minutes of his birth stole the cattle of Apollo and invented the lyre. He even thought of a clever way to cover up his crime: tying bundles of grass to the cows' feet and leading them backward out of the pasture to make it look like something had been led into the pasture, but not away from it.
Despite this, Apollo found out and went to Zeus for justice. When brought before his father, Hermes attempted to charm Zeus into letting him go by telling him he was just an innocent new born baby. Undeceived, but amused by the child's boldness, Zeus instead forced him to compensate Apollo, which Hermes did by presenting him with the lyre. Hermes also traded the shepherd's pipe (another invention of his) to Apollo in exchange for his golden staff and knowledge of the art of prophecy. When he came of age, Hermes was made the messenger of the gods.
As the messenger of gods Hermes would often serve as the intermediary between the gods and the mortal world. He aided Odysseus against Circe and told Calypso to either let him go or face the wrath of Zeus. During the Trojan War he sided with the Trojans and delivered Zeus's order to return Hector's body to his father. Also in the Trojan War, Hermes and Apollo teamed up to help guide the arrow that killed Achilles, and Hermes helped Helen escape with the rest of the citizens of Troy when they were over run by the Greek armies.
In other stories, Hermes gave a pair of his winged sandals to Perseus when Perseus went to behead Medusa. In some tales, he freed Zeus after the latter was initially defeated by Typhon and freed Ares from his imprisonment by the Alodai among numerous other feats.
He appears to Percy Jackson on the beach where he motivates the young demigod into going on a quest, despite the fact Tantalus denied his request. The god also lends some help to Percy and his friends by supplying them with some handy magical items such as a thermos, which acts as a compass and releases winds from the four corners of the earth, and some magical vitamins. The real reason behind Hermes' actions is the hope that Percy will bring Luke, one of his numerous sons, back from the side of Kronos. Later, when Hermes brings Percy a letter from his father, Percy says that he's sorry that Luke wouldn't listen to him, and that they ended up trying to kill each other. Hermes comforts Percy, and says that there is still time for Luke to change his mind, that "Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy", and there isn't much anyone can do about it. He seems to want Percy to defy Tantalus because he may have thought Percy could bring Luke to his senses.
When Percy is tried by the Twelve Olympians, he defends Percy and asks the other gods who were in favor of not disintegrating him. When Apollo tries to do a haiku he interrupts and says that they should move onto the next topic. He voted in favor of keeping Percy alive. During the Olympian celebrations, Hermes has a conversation with Percy, but is interrupted by a call on his caduceus.
Hermes gets angry with Annabeth because she wouldn't run off with Luke, and Hermes is afraid that Luke won't have a chance now. Percy gets angry at him and asks him that if he loves Luke so much, why wasn't he around when Luke was a kid instead of abandoning him and letting Luke become angry at him and the other Olympians. Hermes is furious at the implication that he had abandoned Luke and forgot about him, he and Percy do not speak again until Luke dies, when Percy apologizes for his words.
Hermes forgives Percy, but is still grieving over his son. When the Fates take Luke's body, he gives him a final blessing and kisses his son on the forehead. When Percy forces the gods to swear that they will claim their children by age thirteen, Hermes gives Percy a list of his children outside of Camp Half-Blood and asks him to personally escort them to the camp; Percy promises that he will.
It is stated that one of his duties is to monitor interactions between the divine and mortal worlds and help mortals rationalize these interactions. This is because he is the messenger between the divine and mortal worlds. He seems bitter about this because he did not receive the glory and worship that the other gods had told him that he would get.
Hephaestus mentioned that Hermes is bored at home due to Zeus' ban that no Iris messages, visions, and dreams are to be sent to demigods, so he has nothing to deliver to anybody. When Jason Grace, Leo Valdez, and Piper McLean are in Detroit, they stumble upon a family of cyclopes made up of Ma Gasket and her sons. The trio talk about how they had just eaten a child of Mercury, one of Hermes' children from Camp Jupiter.
Hermes has lost his staff in the Staff of Hermes and sends Percy and Annabeth to find it. After Percy retrieves it from the giant Cacus, Hermes rewards him by sending the couple on a date in Paris, since he is the god of travel.
While Hermes does not appear, when Annabeth falls down a pit looking for the Athena Parthenos and breaks her ankle, she finds a crate belonging to Hermes Express. She initially thinks it might be something useful, as Hermes delivers to gods, spirits, and demigods. Unfortunately, all she finds is bubble wrap inside and becomes frustrated at the messenger god, hoping it would be something to help her on her quest. Annabeth soon changes her mind and uses the bubble wrap to make a cast for herself.
In contrast to many of the other Olympians, Hermes is much more reasonable and helpful than the other major Olympian gods with a greater understanding of mortals. He is not prone to the overt arrogance of some like Zeus or Ares nor the character quirks like Apollo or Aphrodite. Part of this may be due to part of his job being to help mortals rationalize divine events giving him a greater understanding of things beyond himself. He is shown to care a great deal for his children and to be far more accepting of others. Both traits not found as common among the major Olympians. His visits are often beneficial to gods and demigods and often helps them out though often this is at the request of another god or personal motivations. He tends to be one of the more clever gods as he tricked Argus into falling asleep and outsmarted Apollo when he was a child.
He can get very angry when crossed or when someone implies he does not care about his children. However, he takes his duties as a god seriously and will not breach them, even to save his own children since not even he can defy the fates and to do so would make things worse. All in all, he is by far one of the more reasonable and beneficial gods.
He is described as appearing to resemble a middle-aged man with an athletic figure-slim and fit with salt-and-pepper hair, as a jogger and in his original form has a muscular build, curly black hair, blue eyes, elfish features, and a sly grin. He has been known to wear nylon running shorts and New York City Marathon T-shirt while jogging, an outfit similar to a mailman's when delivering mail with a pith helmet which sprout wings, and a suit. He carries a cell phone which turns into a caduceus. He has been known to sport winged shoes, as said in the books.
- Main article: Mercury
It is not mentioned what supernatural powers Hermes has, but much can be guessed from what he is known for:
- Several Enhanced Skills: Hermes is perhaps the most versatile Olympian to be the god of so many diverse things. Example: animal husbandry, roads, travel, hospitality, heralds, diplomacy, trade, language, writing, cunning wiles, ect. Because of all these skills, Hermes could be described as a Jack of all trades, a title Luke once used when describing the children of Hermes.
- Hermes presumably possesses the standard powers of a god.
- Enhanced Speed: Hermes is the fastest god and can travel the speed of wind due to his winged shoes.
- Enhanced Thievery: Hermes is the god of thieves, so he might have a supernatural way of stealing things without others noticing.
- Power of persuasion
- Enhanced Strength: Hermes has stronger physical strength than other gods.
- Hermes is an unbelievable inventor only surpassed by Hephaestus.
- He has an enhanced athletic ability
- Cleverness: Hermes has shown his cleverness by outsmarting Apollo and stealing his cattle.
- Hermes also possesses divine wisdom and is only surpassed by Athena and Zeus, being a messenger of the gods.
- Hypnokinesis: Hermes is also a god of sleep and dreams. He has limited power of this.
- As the messenger of the gods, Hermes can go to the realm of any god, including the Underworld.
- Prophecy: Hermes may have the power of prophecy. As a child he persuaded Apollo to teach the art of prophecy to him. This may be how he knew Luke's fate.
Hermes has many children and all undetermined children go to Cabin #11 as explained by Luke in The Lightning Thief. His most mentioned child is Luke, who he seemed to love very much, as seen in The Last Olympian when he blessed Luke and kissed his forehead before having the Three Fates carry off his dead body. Poseidon also told Percy in The Titan's Curse, that Hermes loved Luke so much up to the point that Luke became Hermes' pride and joy.
Greek Demigod Children
- Luke Castellan (deceased)
- Connor Stoll
- Travis Stoll
- Chris Rodriguez
- Harriet Tubman (deceased)
- Other Hermes Cabin members
Roman Demigod Children
- Jack London (deceased)
- Unnamed Son of Mercury mentioned by Ma Gasket in The Lost Hero (deceased)
- Possibly more unnamed children and legacies.
- Hermaphroditus (with Aphrodite)
- Pan (with Penelope, but other myths claim it was Dryope, a nymph; faded)
Symbol of Power
- Main article: Caduceus
A caduceus that Hermes usually keeps in phone form. It has two intertwined snakes named George and Martha, who can extend to full form when the caduceus is completely extended, possibly from George Washington and his wife Martha Dandridge Washington, or more likely from the two main characters of the play "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," a married couple who are frequently venomous towards each other. It is also his symbol of power.
|“||My son, I'm the god of travelers, the god of loads. If I know anything, I know that you must walk your own path, even though it tears my heart.||”|
–Hermes to Luke, in The Last Olympian
Despite all the mistakes Luke had made in his life, Hermes still considers him to be his favorite son. Being a god, Hermes could not interfere with Luke's fate and was forced to watch him grow without ever being able to talk to him. Luke on the other hand resented his father for never being there for him, especially when his mother was having one of her fits. When the two finally did meet, they only ended up arguing. Hermes knew that Luke would eventually turn against the gods, but couldn't tell him his eventual fate. Luke took this as Hermes not caring about him at all and turned away from his father, claiming that Thalia and Annabeth were his new family and he didn't need him anymore.
As time passed, Hermes still tried to help his son and build him up to be a great hero. He asked Chiron to send a satyr to aid Luke in reaching Camp Half-Blood. After years of training, Hermes gave Luke a quest to steal a golden apple from the Garden of the Hesperides. This only served to drive Luke further away from his father, as the quest was one that other heroes have done before. Luke's quest also ended in failure, leaving a large scar under Luke's left eye that served as a reminder of his failure.
Even after Luke officially joined the forces of Kronos, Hermes never gave up on him. Because he couldn't go to his son directly, he would ask for the help of other demigods in the hopes that they could save him. Even after ever failed try, he still never gave up hope. After Luke's death, Hermes have his son a final goodbye and kissed him on the forehead as the Fates took him away.
|“||You couldn't marry if you became the Oracle. You couldn't see me anymore.||”|
–Hermes to May, in The Last Olympian
May Castellan was one of Hermes many lovers. May's ability to see through the Mist was what originally attracted Hermes to her. Together, they eventually had a child together named Luke. However being a god meant that Hermes couldn't stay with May and was forced to leave. As time went on, May began to have visions as her ability to see past the Mist grew. She eventually decided that she would become the new Oracle of Delphi, as that is what she felt was her destiny. Hermes on the other hand tried to stop her, as the spirit of the Oracle hadn't successfully moved on to another mortal host in decades. May was driven mad in the process and was plagued with visions of the future, mostly about her son's eventually fate. When speaking with Percy, she mentions that Hermes comes to visit her, but it is unknown if it is really him.
Before failing to become the Oracle, May was happy raising their son and Hermes would visit her from time to time. One of his main objections to her becoming the Oracle was that if she did, he couldn't see her anymore. May however knew full well that Hermes would eventually move on, as he was immortal. When he went to protest, she asked that he not try to spare her feelings. Years after May's insanity, Hermes still feels horrible for what had happened and never forgot her.
|“||You're an interesting young man. And so, what now?||”|
–Hermes to Percy, in The Sea of Monsters
Percy Jackson is one of the first demigods Hermes turns to when his son joins Kronos. He appears before Percy as a jogger and convinces him to go on the quest anyway. While Hermes does hope Percy can save his son, he never tells Percy this outright and Percy claims that Luke can't be saved. Hermes however is still optimistic that Percy can talk sense into him. When this fails (with Luke and Percy almost killing each other), Hermes doesn't get angry and tells Percy you can't give up on family.
Despite Percy failing to save his son, Hermes held no grudge toward Percy and voted that he not be destroyed in The Titan's Curse. At the after party, Percy tried to tell him that Luke had (supposedly) died when Thalia kicked him over a cliff, but Hermes got a phone call and had to leave.
Percy and Hermes have a small falling out during The Last Olympian. With Luke now hosting the Titan Kronos, Hermes becomes angry at Annabeth for reasons Percy doesn't understand. When Percy defends Annabeth and starts blaming Hermes for Luke's choices, Hermes almost blasted Percy into ash, if not for Percy being in the hands of the Fates. The two reconcile after Luke's death, with Percy apologizing for thinking that Hermes was a bad father to Luke and Hermes apologizing to Percy for getting mad at him and Annabeth, when he was really mad at himself. Before they part ways, Hermes entrusts Percy to find a few of his demigod children and make sure they make it to camp.
|“||I knew she would have a part to play in his fate. I foresaw that much. I thought perhaps she could do what I could not and save him.||”|
–Hermes talking about Annabeth, in The Last Olympian
Hermes also placed his hope in Annabeth, as she had known Luke longer then anyone else. When trying to convince Percy to board the Princess Andromeda to find Luke, Hermes also guided Annabeth to Percy in the hopes she would join him. Despite Annabeth and Percy failing to bring Luke back, Hermes help no ill will toward the girl. However when Luke appeared on her door one night, asking her to run away with him before he did something terrible, she refused thinking it was a trap. This enraged Hermes as he had thought she could do what he couldn't and prevent Luke from becoming Kronos. Even after a full year, he still help resentment toward Annabeth and threw the events of that night back in her face, causing Percy to have to step between them. Even after Luke's death, Hermes admitted to Percy that he was really angry with himself and shouldn't have gotten mad at Annabeth.
However, the two still weren't on the best of terms during The Staff of Hermes, with Percy once again having to step between the two when they start to fight. After Annabeth helps get Hermes' Caduceus back for him, the two are at least civil around each other.
Hermes was played by Dylan Neal. Although he did not have a speaking line, they did zoom up on his face during the Olympian Council scene when Percy claimed that Luke was the one who stole the Zeus' Lightning Bolt. Luke also mentioned his father a few times, such as when he told the trio about how he stole a pair of Hermes' Winged shoes.
- Hermes is the only god that can travel between the Underworld, Olympus, and the mortal world freely.
- Hermes is mentioned in the book The Red Pyramid, also by Rick Riordan, the first book in The Kane Chronicles. Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom, mentioned that the Greeks had mixed him and Hermes up, and noted that he is nothing like Hermes, and quoted "if you ever met Hermes", hinting that the two series take place in the same world. He was also the only Greek god to be mentioned in the series.
- The caduceus is often confused with the Staff of Asclepius, which is a sign of healing, whilst the caduceus is not.
- Hermes is the fastest god.
- There are no known daughters of Hermes that are in cabin 11.
- As he is the god of invention, Hermes claims that he invented the internet.
- Despite the bubble wrap Annabeth finds in The Mark of Athena being exactly what she needs, it is unknown how long ago Hermes left the box there, if he left it there intentionally at all.
- ↑ http://www.tvguide.com/news/nathan-fillion-percy-jackson-sequel-1063341.aspx First Peak at Nathan Fillion as Hermes