The Hunters of Artemis are maidens that may be human, demigod, or nymph. Each hunter has sworn loyalty to the virgin goddess Artemis, to join her in the hunt and reject men for the rest of their lives. They are gifted with excellent ranged capabilities and hunting skills, and possess eternal youth (immortality as long as they don't die in battle or break their vows of rejecting boys) and immensely enjoy hunting at Artemis' side. They hunt monsters, and whatever else they see fit. They are her maidservants, her companions, and her sisters in arms. They are however, sworn to be a Hunter forever and to be an eternal maiden. Because of this, many of the Hunters have a great hatred for males and dread even traveling with them (as seen in The Titan's Curse and The Last Olympian).
If a Hunter falls in love, Artemis will remove their immortality and may turn them into an animal, depending on her discretion. The other possible way to lose immortality is to die in battle. They are often mistaken for Amazons, only the Amazons are allowed to fall in love and do not worship a certain goddess individually.
The Hunters are briefly mentioned when Luke Castellan tells Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, and Tyson the story of Agrius and Oreius' mother. Apparently, their mother was ordered by Aphrodite to fall in love. She refused and went to Artemis for help, becoming a Hunter. But Aphrodite got revenge by enchanting the woman into falling in love with a bear, resulting in Artemis abandoning her in disgust.
The Hunters appear at the beginning of the book, saving Percy and his friends from a Manticore by the name of Dr. Thorn, though they are too late to save Annabeth. The Hunters set up camp and Artemis interview Percy and Bianca about what the manticore, (Dr. Thorn) said to them, and at the same time Bianca pledges to Artemis to become one of the Hunters. Artemis immediately realizes something is stirring and that she must hunt it. Zoë Nightshade says that the Hunters will set out immediately, but Artemis refuses, saying that the task is too dangerous for anyone but a goddess. She tells Zoë that the Hunters must go to Camp Half-Blood while she is away, and that she will get a ride for them from her brother (Apollo). Zoë protests that the Hunters hate Camp Half-Blood, and learned that the last time they were there, several cabins burned down. Dionysus apparently blames the Hunters; Zoë insists it was "foolish campers" who were to blame. When Apollo arrives, he greets Artemis by calling her his 'lil' sis." Sibling bickering occurs, until Apollo begins greeting others.
It also reveals the depth of the hatred many Hunters have for boys; when Apollo offers to help Zoë with her pack, she responds by "recoiling, her eyes flashing murderously," and Artemis is forced to intervene. When they finally get Apollo to focus (sort of) and get everyone loaded onto the "sun bus," the Hunters pile into the bus "as far away as possible from Apollo and the rest of us highly infectious males," as Percy notices.
The Hunters are the only people who are allowed to stay in Artemis' cabin. Whenever the Hunters come to Camp Half-Blood there is a traditional, not-so-friendly game of Capture the Flag. After this game of Capture the Flag, the Oracle walks down from the attic and personally gives the Hunters (specifically Zoë) a quest. Zoë, Bianca, Thalia, Grover Underwood and Percy go on a quest to go search for Artemis, who is in trouble. At first Phoebe (a hunter) was supposed to go, but instead she was poisoned when the Stoll brothers gave her a t-shirt covered with Centaur Blood, which made her bedridden. The Hunters quickly realized that the Artemis Hunting Tour t-shirt had been a trap as revenge for Phoebe hitting Travis in the head and putting arrows in Conner's helmet. It is later revealed that Aphrodite had given the brothers the t-shirt so that Percy could follow the Hunters on their quest.
At the end of the book, Zoë perished at the hand of her father, Atlas, when she leaped between him and Artemis to save her goddess' life. Artemis loved her so much that when Zoë died, she placed her in the sky as a constellation. Bianca di Angelo was also one of those who died during their quest to find Artemis. The day before her sixteenth birthday Thalia Grace joined the Hunters so she could avoid the Great Prophecy.
During the Battle of Manhattan Percy finds himself short due to all the demigods of Ares' cabin staying behind because the Apollo cabin wouldn't give them a chariot. Just then Thalia leads the Hunters to help. Many are lost in the battle, but if they hadn't joined in, the battle would have been lost. It should be noted that the Hunters have at least two more lieutenants under Thalia, as shown in The Last Olympian.
The Hunters are first mentioned as helping to find Percy. Later, when Jason Grace, Coach Hedge, Piper McLean, and Leo Valdez were recovering from falling into freezing waters, a pack of wolves lead by Lycaon try to kill the group with the exception of Jason. The four try their best to defend themselves, but without having a weapon made of silver, all they could do was hold them off. A silver arrow then hits Lycaon and he and his pack retreat as the Hunters arrive. As the Hunters set up camp, Thalia, Jason, and Leo enter a cave to talk about Jason's past while Piper and Hedge receive medical care in one of the tents that the Hunter, Phoebe, had set up. Leo later wants to get the blueprints for the tents after he sees them fold up into tiny squares. Thalia later leads the Hunters to defend the Wolf House and finds the place where Hera was being kept. They attack the wolves, though Khione interferes by freezing them all. They are later saved by Hera. Thalia gives Piper a business card, saying that the Hunters could use someone like her. Near the end of the book, Piper throws the card into the fire at camp as she wasn't interested because of her love for Jason preventing her from living a life of maidenhood.
Known Hunters Edit
- Artemis (leader)
- Zoë Nightshade (former lieutenant, deceased)
- Bianca di Angelo (deceased)
- Thalia Grace (current lieutenant)
- By The Last Olympian, the group has grown to over 30 members.
|“||I pledge myself to the Goddess Artemis. I turn my back on the company of men, accept eternal maidenhood, and join the Hunt.||”|
–Oath to Artemis
If a maiden wants to become a Hunter, she must recite the oath. Once Artemis agrees to that oath, it is binding and the Hunter must live by it for the rest of their days.
Abilities and ItemsEdit
The Hunters have a silvery aura and are probably stronger, faster, and more accurate than the average demigod/nymph/mortal, as in Titan's Curse, during Capture the Flag, Percy describes them as running "as fast as a cheetah". They carry magic silver bows, arrows, and two hunting knives, which appear whenever they are needed by the Hunters. However in The Battle of Manhattan they all had swords at their sides. They are eternally young unless they break their oath. If a Hunter falls in love, Artemis will remove their "immortality" as falling in love would break their oath to Artemis. While they cannot die from natural causes (e.g illnesses, age, etc), they can be killed. They are usually accompanied by animals that will help them hunt, such as wolves and hunting birds, and in The Lost Hero it is shown that the Hunters and their wolves can communicate, or at least understand each other. In the summer, Hunters wear white shirts, silver jackets, silvery camo pants and black combat boots. In the winter, they wear silver ski jackets, blue jeans and the same boots.
The Hunters also carry special equipment that makes setting up a camp site easy. For example, they have small boxes (about the size of a pack of chewing gum) that can easily be carried in their bags, but can expand into a full sized white silk tent.