|God of Wine, Madness, Theater, and Vegetation|
|Director of Camp Half-Blood|
|Member of the Council of Cloven Elders|
|Family||Semele (mother) |
Pollux & Castor (sons)
|Weapons|| Grape Vines |
|Home|| Olympus |
Camp Half-Blood (sentenced by Zeus)
|Greek/Roman form||Bacchus (Roman)|
|Appearances|| The Lightning Thief (film) |
The Sea of Monsters (film)
The Titan's Curse
The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Last Olympian
The Lost Hero (mentioned)
The Demigod Diaries (mentioned)
The Mark of Athena
|Actor|| Luke Camilleri (The Lightning Thief (movie)|
Stanley Tucci (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
|“||My point is you heroes never change. You accuse us gods of being vain. You should look at yourselves. You take what you want, use whoever you have to, and then you betray everyone around you. So you'll excuse me if I have no love for heroes. They are a selfish, ungrateful lot.||”|
Dionysus is the Greek god of grape-harvest, wine, ritual madness, parties, and ecstasy as well as theater. He is also known as Mr. D, the camp director of Camp Half-Blood. He was placed as the director by his father Zeus as punishment for chasing after an off-limits nymph. After the decree that Olympus would be closed and that gods would have no contact with their demigod child, he currently resides on Olympus. His Roman counterpart is Bacchus. Dionysus is portrayed by Luke Camilleri in The Lightning Thief. He will also be portrayed by Stanley Tucci in the upcoming film Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
Dionysus was often called the 'twice born' because of the two myths around his birth. The most common is that his mother was a mortal woman named Semele, who was a daughter of the King of Thebes, and his father was Zeus. This makes him the only Olympian to have a mortal parent, and according to some traditions the only one to have been born a demigod. As with most of Zeus' acts of infidelity, Hera became jealous when she found out that Semele was pregnant with Zeus' child. She disguised herself as a nurse (or old crone in some stories) and made Semele begin to doubt that it was truly Zeus. While in disguise; Hera convinced Semele to ask Zeus to reveal his true form and, to make sure that he would do it, to swear on the River Styx, which is sacred to the Greek Gods and an unbreakable oath. Zeus tried to get around the promise, but in the end swore on the River Styx, and Semele asked to see his true form. Unable to go back on the promise, he did so, and she was burned to ashes. Zeus managed to save the infant, sewing him into his thigh until he was born a few months later as a full grown baby on Mount Pramnos in Ikaria. He was born a demigod, like Hercules and Perseus.
In his early life Zeus sent Dionysus off with Hermes. Again here, there are two versions of the story. In one version, Hermes took Dionysus to King Athamas and his wife Ino, who was Dionysus' Aunt. Hermes had them raise Dionysus as a girl to hide him from Hera's scorn. The second story is that the boy was taken to the rain nymphs of Nysa. They raised him through infancy and childhood, and in reward for their care, Zeus placed them as the Hyades in the stars. When he grew up, he discovered the vine, and extracted the juice. He was struck with madness by Hera at this point, and ended up wandering various parts of the world. Rhea cured him, and taught him her religious rites, and he wandered through Asia teaching about cultivating the vine.
He was very handsome as a young man, eager for challenges. Dionysus later said he was good at nothing in his human life but cultivating wine. The people in his village mocked him, not knowing of his heritage, his father, or knowing his future, and what he would one day become. Later, when Dionysus was invited to Mount Olympus, it was Hestia who graciously offered him her golden chair to prevent any conflict or embarrassment. Hestia was a goddess known for her warmth and kindness. Dionysus then rescued his mother from Hades, and she became a goddess on Mount Olympus, with the new name Thyone, presiding over the frenzy inspired by her son Dionysus. When Theseus abandoned Ariadne sleeping on Naxos, Dionysus found and married her. When she died, he went to the Underworld and rescued her, taking her up to Mount Olympus, where he made her immortal. He was disguised as a mortal on the seashore once, and a few sailors spotted him. They thought he was a prince, and tried to kidnap him and hold him for ransom or to sell into slavery. They tried to tie his hands behind his back, but no ropes would hold him to the pole. Some ideas are that the material they were made of then was similar to the vines, and would refuse to hold him. At this point Dionysus turned into a lion and let a bear loose on board. It killed those it came in contact with, and those who jumped off the ship were turned into dolphins as an act of mercy. The only one to survive was the helmsman Acoetes, who had recognized him as a god, and tried to stop his comrades from the beginning.
After chasing after an off-limits wood nymph twice, Zeus punished him by putting him in charge of Camp Half-Blood for 100 years. During this time, he is not allowed to drink wine (so instead drinks several liters of Diet Coke) or grow grapes for wine, even though he does use his powers on other plants such as strawberries which helps with Camp Half Blood's expenses as their cover name is Delphi Strawberry Service. It is hinted that the first time he did use his powers on grape vines, his punishment caused the Prohibition era. After The Last Olympian, Zeus decides to make Dionysus work at Camp Half-Blood for only fifty more years, as a reward for his good behavior and bravery. He appears to have the fewest demigod children out of all the gods, not including the Big Three or the virgin goddesses - only having two sons, his twins, Pollux & Castor - possibly due to his hatred of heroes or his strong dedication to his immortal wife Ariadne on Olympus. He does care for his sons, as proven in The Battle of the Labyrinth and in The Last Olympian when he is shown being depressed after the death of his son, Castor, and afterwards becomes discreetly protective of his only remaining child, Pollux.
Dionysus is introduced as Mr. D and is called this throughout the series by Percy. Dionysus is first seen playing pinochle with Chiron, described by him as one of the best games (along with Pac-Man and gladiator fighting) invented by humans. He is not impressed by Percy upon meeting him, and upon his return to camp makes fun of him. He insists on getting Percy's name wrong when talking to him and on his camp report, on purpose.
Dionysus does not play a large part. He is shown to dislike Tantalus, and is said to miss Chiron, saying there is no one to play pinochle with. He does nothing to prevent Percy, Annabeth and Tyson from leaving camp to rescue Grover, though it may be because Hermes was shielding them from Dionysus' eyes. In the end, after Chiron is cleared of all suspicion with the help of Percy, Dionysus gladly sends Tantalus back to the Fields of Punishment.
Dionysus is indifferent about Annabeth's supposed death and even calls her 'Annie Bell', and Percy almost hits him, but is stopped by Chiron. Percy then confronts him about his lack of love for the Campers, and Dionysus says nothing. After that, Nico di Angelo meets Dionysus, calls him the "wine dude", and excitedly tells him that he is his favorite card in his game of Mythomagic, but also annoys him with his chattering. Later, when Percy follows Zoë, Thalia, Bianca and Grover, riding Blackjack, Dionysus stops him by binding him and Blackjack at the top of the Chrysler Building with vines while they were flying through the air, as shown on the cover.
Dionysus confronts Percy about leaving camp without permission, and Percy angrily demands the reason why Dionysus hates him so much. Dionysus then tells him he hates all heroes, because they are all the same. He then proceeds to tell him the story of Theseus, and Ariadne, and how he (Dionysus) later married Ariadne after Theseus abandoned her. He mentions that Zoë has a bad history with heroes. However, Dionysus lets Percy go, knowing that two are doomed to die, and he is hopeful Percy will be one of them. If not, then Dionysus promises Percy that he will one day prove him right, by acting like all the heroes before him. This could also explain his lack of demigod children.
Later on in the book, Dionysus is sent an Iris Message by Percy. He then says that they could say please to him and then maybe he would save them from the manticore, Dr. Thorn. Percy prays for Dionysus' help and Dionysus makes Dr Thorn's guards mad and wraps grapevines around Dr Thorn, killing him. He also uses Percy's real name which Percy then points out but Dionysus denies.
Later at the winter solstice, Dionysus votes for both Percy and Thalia to be executed, and is seen at the party afterwards with a very beautiful woman on his arm, Ariadne. It is mentioned that this was the first time Percy had ever seen Dionysus happy.
Dionysus is seen very briefly. He is mentioned early in the novel as being on a mission, checking up on all the minor gods and making sure they aren't going to join arms against Olympus. Later in the book, he enters Camp Half-Blood after the battle, looking very upset, saying that he just learned his son Castor is dead (this may be the only time in the series when he's shown with sympathetic or sad emotions). He dissolves the committee, and later talks to Percy, saying Percy "always managed to annoy him". He tells Percy things are not looking good for Olympus, and that he supposedly should thank Percy and Annabeth for saving camp. He then shows Percy that he cured Chris Rodriguez from the madness inflicted on him by King Minos while he was in the Labyrinth. Percy is shocked by this, knowing that Dionysus doesn't do nice things very often. Dionysus takes offense to this, and proceeds to go on about how he is nice, even describing himself as "oozing with niceness" and that Chris deserved a second chance. Dionysus does not fail to see Clarisse's happiness at Chris' healing, and tells Percy that sometimes the little changes can make the most difference in the end.
Dionysus is one of the gods fighting Typhon, although he is knocked out in the Appalachian Mountains, and summons Percy to him, where he is at a party, playing Pac-Man and cursing Blinky. Dionysus asks Percy to save Olympus and make sure that his son Pollux survives the battle, calling him by all the wrong names throughout the conversation. Dionysus annoys Percy by repeatedly asking him to get him a Diet Coke. He also tells Percy that gods need heroes, although they would never admit it, and if Percy mentions this to anyone else he will deny it.
He is later seen at the end when he comments that Percy might not be so bad after all but was still going to make life difficult for him. He states that Percy probably saved the world through his expert training, for which the god was obviously responsible. He also adds that due to his bravery in the war, Lord Zeus had shortened his 'rehabilitation sentence' at Camp Half-Blood from a 100 years to only 50. This statement amused Percy and he tries to imagine what it would be like to put up with Dionysus for 50 more years (assuming he lived till then).
After Zeus closed Olympus and forbade the gods to have any contact with their children, Dionysus was recalled as the camp director to return to Olympus. Before his leave, he left many mementos of himself at the Big House; these include a living leopard head named Seymour (this was due to the leopard being his sacred animal and him horrified by its condition), a Pac-Man Game, party masks, and grape-vines with grapes on them.
Even though Dionysus spends the book as Bacchus, when Percy mentions that he knows Bacchus as Dionysus, the god briefly flickers to Dionysus before complaining that he hates being thought about in his Greek form. He later appears when Jason and Percy are fighting the twin giants, and turns this into entertainment in the Colosseum, in front of a crowd of Lares.
At first glance, Dionysus seems like a rather displeasing god. He enjoys calling people by incorrect names, especially Percy Jackson, whom he often calls "Peter Johnson" and "Perry Johanssen" (sometimes he says his real name by accident). He sometimes does this with campers who have been at camp for a long time, such as Annabeth Chase who he calls "Annie Bell" right after she was captured. He often does this to make the campers think that he cares so little for them, that he will make no effort to remember their names. He even refuses to acknowledge when he calls them by their correct names. This is also because he hates almost all heroes. His hatred for heroes stems back to how Theseus abandoned Ariadne, and thus is why he has the fewest shown demigod children among the major gods.
Dionysus doesn't like to be known as 'the wine dude". The first time is when Nico call him that after the orientation video. Dionysus is not pleased but tones down his anger when Nico starts complimenting him in his excitement. The second time this happens is when Dionysus catches Percy as he chases after Zoe, Thalia, Grover and Bianca. Blackjack yells "God alert, it's the wine dude" and Dionysus becomes exasperated and threatens to stick the next person (or horse) who calls him that in a bottle of Merlot. He can also be quite unforgivable, as Chiron claimed that Dionysus viciously punished Seymor's previous owner for what he did to the animal, to the point that Seymor's current status (a discorporial head) is much better than the mortal's own.
However, despite the impression he tries to give, deep down, Dionysus cares about his campers quite a bit. For example, while Dionysus stresses the fact that he cares little for the campers (except his own sons, Castor and Pollux) he dislikes Tantalus due to his demeaning attitude and for treating the campers badly (even though he himself is generally disrespectful towards them), he finds humor in his attempts to grab food and is also happy to send him back to the Fields of Punishment. He is no kinder to Chiron, but never threatens him like he threatens the campers, and even admits he misses him during Chiron's exile from Camp Half-Blood (as he was fired by the gods).
Dionysus is also willing to send help using his godly powers when a camper is in danger and desperately needs help. For example, in The Titan's Curse, when the manticore was attacking Percy Jackson, Thalia, and their friends, he used grape vines to kill the manticore, Dr. Thorn, and caused several to descend into madness, saving Percy's life. Also, despite his rude demeanor, he tells Percy he is one of the nicest gods, as he had cured Chris Rodriguez from his madness when he came back out of the Labyrinth, in spite of having previously betrayed them. Both actions proved that he's much more selfless than he appears to be. In stark contrast to his gruffness and bitterness, Dionysus has been known to enjoy parties (likely because he is the god of festivals where there is wine). However, this is mostly because he hates being at Camp Half-Blood, so he is usually in a bad mood.
Dionysus has a chubby face, a red nose and curly hair so black, it looks purple. He normally has watery, blue, bloodshot eyes from drinking. He is usually described as wearing tiger-striped (or leopard-spot) Hawaiian shirts and purple running shoes (even though he has never run once in his immortal life). He is described by Percy as a cherub who had grown up in a trailer park. Anyone can tell he's no stranger to wine just by looking at him.
As a son of Zeus, Dionysus is a very powerful god.
- Prowess in Battle: Dionysus is known to have fought bravely in the first Gigantomachy.
- Chlorokinesis: He can grow, control, and summon plants, but he prefers grape and strawberry vines.
- He can bind and even suffocate his enemies with grape vines, shown when he killed Dr. Thorn and when he trapped Percy and Blackjack.
- Madness: As the god of madness, Dionysus is able to cause and cure it.
- He can induce madness, shown when he drove Dr. Thorn's minions insane.
- He can cure madness, shown when he cured Chris Rodriguez.
- Alcokinesis: As the god of wine, Dionysus can manipulate alcohol. However, in the series he is not allowed to partake in alcohol and has not shown using this ability.
- He can transform people and objects into anything wine related, as he threatened to do with Percy and Blackjack in The Titan's Curse.
- He can turn people into animals. This happened when he was kidnapped by pirates by mistake and he turned them into dolphins.
- He can conjure any kind of drinks, but generally only create cans of diet coke due to his prohibition to drink any kind of alcoholic beverage.
- Partying: He can appear anywhere a party is held.
- Menead Curse: despite the fact that he despises the Meneads, he will curse anybody who either hurts or kills a single one of them.
Dionysus is played by Luke Camilleri. He does not have a major part and does not appear as the camp director. Instead, Chiron seems to be the camp director. He is shown at the Olympian Council along with the rest of the gods.
Dionysus will be portrayed by Stanley Tucci, and will have a more prominent role.
Dionysus doesn't like Percy Jackson because he's a hero, and a son of Poseidon, like Theseus, and he has no love for heroes. But he seems to show him more respect later on in the books, shown by the fact that he offers him his advice more often than to any other hero. He is often irritated by Percy, and he votes for Percy to die at the Olympian Council, during The Titan's Curse.
Even as Bacchus, their relationship is very like their relationship as Greeks. Also it is seen that Bacchus is giving Percy advice, help and eventually telling him that his future is not happy.
He has a good relationship with Ariadne. When Theseus abandoned her on a island, Dionysus found her and made Ariadne his immortal wife on Olympus when she died. This is one of the reasons why he hates heroes very much. When he and Ariadne appeared at the Olympian party near the end of The Titan's Curse, Dionysus appeared happier than he usually was at Camp Half-Blood
Dionysus has two sons, one of which he lost in a previous battle. His indifference suggested that he disliked demigods, but surprised Percy when he asked for him to look over his remaining son, Pollux, suggesting that he indeed cares for his children. He was obviously affected by Castor's death, being in a bad mood, and Percy stating that it looked like at the time he was suffering more from grief than withdrawal.
Zeus is his father. Dionysus works with Zeus when the Titans or the Giants threaten to destroy Olympus.
He has a good relationship with Chiron and they enjoy playing pinochle together, though he sometimes accuses Chiron of cheating because he always loses.
Dionysus does not have a good relationship with Annabeth. As with Percy, he calls her the wrong name out of disrespect. He does not seem to care about her fate when she is kidnapped during The Titans Curse.
- Bacchus, a white wine grape, was named after his Roman counterpart.
- Dionysus hates heroes, despite the fact that he himself was one, and his grandfather, Cadmus was one of the first great heroes along with Perseus and Bellerophon.
- All his demigod children are known only by their first names.
- He is the only Olympian to be born to a god and a mortal, making him an immortal demigod.
- He has one (alive) demigod child at Camp Half Blood and one more in Camp Jupiter.
- Dionysus was originated in Thrace.
- Dionysus dislikes heroes/demigods even though he is born a demigod and says his problem stems from Theseus abandoning Ariadne on an island, only for him to find her, heart-broken, and marry her after they fell in love. Some versions of the story say he fell in love with Ariadne while she was on the Argo, and forced Jason to abandon her.
- He is the first god to appear in the series.
- Dionysus shares the same line as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter Series: "Well if it isn't our new celebrity".