|God of Honor, Justice, the Sky, and Lightning|
|King of Olympus|
|Family||Kronos (father) |
Hera (wife and sister)
Hades and Poseidon (brothers)
Demeter and Hestia (sisters)
Thalia Grace, Athena, Artemis, Persephone, Enyo, Hebe and the Muses (daughters)
Apollo, Hermes, Dionysus, Ares, Hephaestus, Perseus, and Hercules (sons)
|Greek/Roman form||Jupiter (Roman)|
|Appearances|| The Lightning Thief (film)|
The Titan's Curse
The Last Olympian
The Lost Hero (mentioned)
The Son of Neptune (mentioned)
The Mark of Athena (mentioned)
|“||Very well! In the name of the Council, we swear by the River Styx to grant your reasonable request, as long as it is within our power.||”|
–Zeus, to his nephew, Percy Jackson
Zeus is the Greek god of honor, justice, lightning, and the skies. He is the lord of Olympus, the son of the Titans Kronos and Rhea, and the husband of the goddess Hera. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter. He is portrayed by Sean Bean in the film version of The Lightning Thief.
Zeus was the youngest child of Kronos, the Titan king, and his sister-wife Rhea. Kronos had risen to power by dethroning his father Ouranos, and learned from his mother Gaea that he was fated to be overthrown by his own children as well. Determined to retain his omnipotence, Zeus' father consecutively devoured Hestia, Hades, Demeter, Poseidon, and Hera at birth.
Rhea was appalled by her husband's savagery and devised a scheme that would spare the unborn god from this fate. Secretly giving birth on Mount Ida and leaving Zeus under the care of the sacred goat Amaltheia, Rhea quickly returned to Mount Othrys and tricked Kronos into swallowing a disguised stone instead. Raised by Amaltheia, Zeus learned of his destiny and heritage from his mother when he reached adulthood. With her help, he was able to infiltrate Kronos' palace and secure a position as his father's cup bearer. Zeus knew he would need the support of his imprisoned siblings and gave Kronos a mixture of mustard and wine, forcing him to regurgitate the captive gods.
He quickly persuaded his freed brothers and sisters to help him take revenge against their tyrannical father and declared war against him. After eleven long years of fighting, the gods emerged victorious with the aid of the Cyclopes and Hecatonchires whom Zeus had freed from Tartarus. Personally eviscerating Kronos with his own weapon, casting his remains into Tartarus, and banishing his followers to the abyss, Zeus divided the earth between himself and his brothers. Hades received the Underworld, Poseidon seized the waters, and Zeus claimed the heavens as his domain.
Marriage to Metis
Zeus took his childhood companion Metis as his wife after the war. Metis had served the god as his advisor and mentor for much of his life. When his wife was pregnant, Zeus learned that their son was destined to surpass him. Like his father and grandfather before him, he tried to forestall this fate and promptly swallowed both Metis and their unborn child. The goddess, however, gave birth to a daughter named Athena, who came into the world by springing from her father's head when she was fully grown.
Marriage to Hera
Zeus had many lovers among the goddesses and nymphs but never established another lasting relationship. He eventually turned his attention to his sister, Hera. Both beautiful and intelligent, it was only natural that he would be attracted to her, but she refused to be another conquest for the god. Zeus would not be dissuaded and cunningly disguised himself as an injured bird in Hera's presence in an attempt to seduce her. The sympathetic goddess took him in her arms and gently cuddled what she thought was a defenseless creature before Zeus assumed his true form in her embrace. Although she was embarrassed and outraged by her brother's deception, Hera eventually agreed to be his consort on the condition that he married her. Their wedding was held in a grand celebration on Mount Olympus which lasted for 300 years. The two were both happy with each other for a time. However, Zeus eventually became restless, and it was not long before he began the first of his many affairs. Hera had already borne several children by Zeus and was infuriated by his infidelity, relentlessly hounding his mistresses and their begotten children.
In the Series
Over the centuries the Olympians moved west to the countries that held the seats of their great power and influence. During World War II, Zeus's and Poseidon's demigod children fought together against Hades' own demigod children. After Hades' side was defeated, the Oracle prophesied that a half-blood child of the three brothers would either cause the downfall or salvation of Olympus. This caused the three gods to swear an oath to no longer sire any more demigod children, but because Hades already had two demigods, Zeus ordered him to take them to Camp Half Blood. Hades disobeyed, for fear that his children would either be turned against him or killed. Angered, Zeus tried to kill the young demigods, Bianca and Nico di Angelo, by destroying the hotel they were currently residing in, but Hades managed to protect them. He, however, failed to save their mother Maria, and was greatly grieved.
In 1988, Zeus became immensely attracted to a beautiful television starlet, Ms. Grace, and had a child by her ― Thalia Grace. He left her but returned seven years later in 1995 as his Roman aspect, Jupiter. Within the year, he had sired a Roman demigod, Jason Grace, who was named after the original Jason to appease Hera as she was angered by his infidelity, and at the risk posed by having a Greek and Roman child born in the same family. Eventually, Zeus left Ms. Grace again, as it was custom for gods to leave their mortal consort.
Hades discovered Thalia's existence and was infuriated that Zeus had broken the oath. This betrayal, coupled with the fact that Maria di Angelo’s death was still fresh in his mind, caused Hades to send monsters after Zeus's daughter. As Thalia and her friends ― seven year-old Annabeth Chase, fourteen year-old Luke Castellan and a satyr named Grover Underwood ― reached the borders of Camp Half-Blood, the monsters overwhelmed them, causing her to sacrifice herself to save her friends. Zeus took pity on her and transformed her into a pine tree to preserve her spirit.
Zeus' Master Bolt is stolen and immediately blames Poseidon. Soon after, Poseidon claims Percy Jackson as his son, and Zeus believes he had found the means by which Poseidon had stolen his bolt. Outraged, he threatens Poseidon with war unless the bolt is returned to him by the summer solstice. This situation gives Percy a quest to retrieve the bolt. He and his newfound friends, Annabeth Chase and Grover Underwood, travel across America to do so. They are successful and consequently return to New York by plane. Percy travels to Mount Olympus alone to return the bolt.
Percy relates the events of the quest to Zeus and Poseidon, and from there, the two gods conclude that their Kronos must be behind the scheme. Zeus, however, refuses to discuss the threat posed by their father. He leaves to purify his bolt in the waters of Lemnos to wash away the human taint that it had received. He compliments Percy and decides to spare his life to show his thanks but states that should Percy ever fly again, he would blast the demigod out of the sky with the bolt.
After the rescue of Annabeth and Artemis by Percy, Grover, Thalia, and Zoë Nightshade, the campers go to Olympus for the council of the gods. There, the Olympians debate on whether or not to destroy Percy and Thalia, as either of the two will hold the fate of Olympus when they turn sixteen. Zeus, though, refuses to destroy his daughter Thalia and is concerned when Artemis offers Thalia the position of the now vacant position of lieutenant of her Hunters. Thalia accepts the offer and vows that the prophecy would not be hers, but Percy’s. The Olympians then vote on whether Percy should live, and despite disliking Percy's existence, Zeus votes for his life.
Zeus and the other Olympians leave Olympus to battle Typhon, leaving their demigod children and a few minor gods to defend their thrones. Zeus refuses to let any of the other gods return to Olympus, although he does send Hermes to relay messages. The gods fight for days, but nevertheless Typhon manages to arrive in New York. The gods are exhausted, but with the arrival of Poseidon, their fighting spirit is renewed and they defeat the monster, with Poseidon striking the final blow. Meanwhile, due to Luke's bravery, Kronos is defeated. The Olympians return to Mount Olympus to find the throne room in ruins, but they manage to repair it in a very short time.
Zeus commends the gods for their bravery, and reluctantly gives thanks to Hades for joining the war, and to Poseidon, without whom they would never have defeated Typhon. Zeus then rewards the heroes. To Thalia, he grants help in filling the Hunter’s ranks; to Tyson, the Cyclops son of Poseidon, Zeus gives the position of general of the armies of Olympus. To Percy, Zeus offers the ultimate gift of immortality ― to become a god and a lieutenant to Poseidon. He is incredulous when Percy denies the gift and asks for a different wish instead. Percy asks Zeus and the Olympian Council to swear on the River Styx first to be assured that his wish would be granted. Zeus and the gods reluctantly agree to grant Percy's request as long as it was within the gods' power. Percy, satisfied with this promise, asks them to pay more attention to their demigod children, to honor the minor gods, and to allow the minor gods (including Hades) to have cabins at Camp Half- Blood. He adds that the oath of The Big Three to abstain from having children should be dissolved as it was never truly effective in the first place, and that any children the three brothers may have from their affairs with mortals should be trained and accepted instead. Though somewhat outraged and surprised at such huge a request, Zeus and the Olympians nevertheless agree to fulfill it.
In a combination of paranoia, stupidity, and anger at Percy Jackson for his refusal of immortality, Zeus closes off Olympus and recalls all gods there. He also forbid contact between the gods and demigods, as he concluded that the increasing intervention of the gods in mortal affairs must be causing the rise of both Gaea and the giants. Here, it is also revealed that he has a Roman son, Jason Grace, the lost but recently found brother of Thalia Grace.
Some of the gods, namely Aphrodite and Hephaestus believe that Zeus is acting merely out of wounded pride and stubbornness. Hera herself admits to having great difficulty at trying to guess Zeus's motivations for anything, but thinks his actions are bordering on paranoia. Including Artemis, the four gods disobey his commands to stay on Olympus and work behind his back to avoid getting caught. Despite this, Zeus indirectly aids Jason, Piper, and Leo several times on their quest, most notably answering his son's prayer for aid against Enceladus.
Zeus never appears, and is rarely mentioned. At Camp Jupiter Percy enters his Roman temple, The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. He sees the statue of the god with the Master Bolt and complains that the bolt does not look like that. Later, when Percy flies to Alaska, and starts feeling turbulence on the plane, he wonders if Zeus is messing with him.
Zeus, as the King of the Gods, is very proud, commanding and has a very high amount of self-respect, almost to the point of condescension and narcissism. He demands respect and precedence from mortals, demigods, and the other gods. One of the many examples of this is in The Lightning Thief when he was slightly irritated because Percy acknowledged Poseidon before himself.
Although he is a capable leader and the enforcer of justice and law, Zeus does not provide the best moral example. He is, at times, extremely paranoid, as well as self-centered and easily insulted. Zeus is, most notably, extremely lustful and libidinous, perhaps more so than any other Olympian. His rampant unfaithfulness to his wife Hera is a very prominent theme in Greco-Roman myths, and he often places his mistresses and even his own children in dangerous situations all in the attempt to hide his affairs. Strange as it is, he can also be incredibly jealous when it comes to his wife as depicted when he punished a mortal who once tried to court Hera. If he imagines that he is being plotted against or insulted, he can be very unforgiving. At times he allows his negative traits to override his better judgment. His decisions are not always based on justice, but rather his personal whims and what he sees as best for himself, rather than the greater good. Zeus is, in some ways lustful for power. It is evident in his title as King of the Gods and his fear of his own brothers betraying or dethroning him.
Zeus has a very strong distrust of Poseidon as the latter had once attempted to overthrow the former from his throne. Zeus instantly blames Poseidon for anything that the latter could be guilty of in the barest despite having no evidence and all facts pointing to the contrary. In addition, Zeus, Poseidon, and occasionally Hades (when he is present on Olympus), would bicker constantly about trivial things.
Zeus apparently has a flair for dramatic exits and is a quite a show-off, a trait Poseidon pointed out to Percy, saying that Zeus would have done well as the god of theater.
Despite the number of his flaws, Zeus does have a respectable side. He does, indeed, love his children, but cannot show as much love as the other gods do as he is the leader and must set an example. It also cannot seem that he is merely choosing favorites. Being often viewed as a source of order and justice, Zeus maintains control over the other gods by preventing their feuds from entering huge proportions and ensures the overall order of the world by handing down and enforcing justice, even if his actions sometimes contradict it.
Although Zeus is very short tempered and vengeful, he's also capable of sympathy for those that have suffered the same injustices that he and the other gods suffered in their lives. A clear example of this can be found in The Titan's Curse where he was the most willing to kill the Ophiotaurus due to the risk that it posed to the gods. Percy Jackson, however, pointed out that what they wish to do was the same thing that Kronos tried to do with them in the past, and Zeus was the first god to acknowledge the injustice and reconsider his decision.
Zeus has long dark gray hair with a gray-and-black beard. He has matching gray eyes with a grim but handsome and proud face. Zeus's normal attire is a dark blue pinstriped suit.
- Main article: Aerokinesis
As one of the Big Three, he has the ultimate powers a god can possess, and is rivaled only by his brothers, Poseidon and Hades. He possesses the standard physical, intellectual, and magical superiority inherent in all gods, though to a much greater degree due to his status as one of the oldest gods as well as one of the Big Three.
- Aerokinesis: As the god of the sky, he has absolute control over air.
- He can manipulate clouds and any other air structures.
- He can generate wind.
- He can generate incredibly powerful hurricanes and tornadoes.
- He can manipulate air currents and fly.
- Air waves: According to Hephaestus, Zeus's domain also includes the air waves, as he was able to detect Hephaestus's pirate radio.
- Atmokinesis: As the god of the sky, he has absolute control over the weather.
- Electrokinesis: As the god of Thunder and Lightning, he has absolute control over both static and celestial electricity.
- He is immune to lightning.
- He can generate tremendous bolts of lightning.
- He can send static shock through the bodies of others on contact.
- Master Bolt: His most powerful weapon, the Master Bolt, is incredibly powerful, easily making a hydrogen bomb look like a firecracker in comparison.
|Alcmene||Hercules (born a demigod)|
|Demeter||Persephone and Zagreus|
|Gaea||Agdistis/Kybele and the Cyprean Centaurs|
|Ms. Grace||Thalia Grace (born a demigod)|
|Hera||Ares, Eileithyia, Enyo, Hebe, and Hephaestus|
|Leto||Artemis and Apollo|
|Selene||Ersa and Pandia|
|Semele||Dionysus (born a demigod)|
|Sara Ann Delano||Franklin Delano Roosevelt|
|Europa||Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Sarpedon|
|Ms. Grace||Thalia Grace|
|Leda||Helen and Polydeuces|
|Antiope||Zethus and Amphion|
|Aegina||Aeacus Grandfather of Achilles|
Zeus is played by Sean Bean. He is similar to his character in the Lightning Thief. After his Master Bolt is stolen, he turns to Poseidon claiming that his son must have stolen it. He also is very stubborn and spends much of the movie threatening to wage war against his brother, even against the advice of Athena. Even after Percy returns the bolt to Zeus, he still becomes angered when he learns that it wasn't Percy who stole the bolt and was actually Ares, meaning he was wrong. The main difference is that he doesn't wear a suit like in his official picture from the book (except at the very beginning), but wears Greek armor like the other gods.
- Zeus can mean "day" in Ancient Greek.
- Zeus trying to prevent the Great Prophecy from passing actually caused the Great Prophecy to eventually pass:
- When he tried to kill Nico and Bianca di Angelo so they wouldn't become the demigods of the prophecy, he only managed to kill their mother.
- When the Oracle of Delphi told Hades this would happen, he became so angry that he cursed the Oracle so that her soul would never leave her body.
- May Castellan decades later tried to become the new Oracle, but failed and was driven insane.
- Her son, Luke Castellan, hates his father for never helping him, especially during one of his mom's fits of madness.
- This hatred eventually extends to all the gods, leading to the events depicted in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
- In The Lost Hero, Clovis states that Zeus likes tailored suits, reality television, and a 'Chinese food place on East Twenty-eighth Street'.
- The Olympic Games started as one of the religious festivals in Ancient Greece in honor of Zeus.
- Of all major Olympians, Zeus has the most children.