|“||Such a valuable pawn. Do not fear, Percy Jackson. Come north! Your friends will die, yes. But I will preserve you for now. I have great plans for you.||„|
|~ Gaea talking to Percy Jackson in The Son of Neptune.|
Gaea (also spelled as Gaia) is the primordial Greek goddess personifying the Earth, and the main antagonist of The Heroes of Olympus series. Her current husband is the protogenos Tartarus and her former husband is Ouranos. Her Roman counterpart is Terra.
Gaea was the first (in some stories third) being to arise from Chaos at the beginning of time. Though sometimes presented as a maternal figure, particularly toward her Titan children, she can also be very cruel. In Greek Mythology, she mainly exists as an enemy of the Olympians, sending Typhon and later the Giants to overthrow them. She is however, ironically somewhat responsible for their rise to power.
Gaea and her husband as well as son Ouranos became partners and brought forth the Titans, their children. When they fail to end the gods' reign, she sends forth her children with Tartarus, the Giants.
- Hundred Handed-Ones
She also consorted with her grandsons, Poseidon and Zeus, her second husband and brother, Tartarus, and her son, Pontus.
- Agdistis (faded)
Gaea also gave birth to the first Cyclopses as well as the Hekatonkheires. She was also the mother of the Protogenoi Pontus, the primordial personification of the ocean.
After Ouranos pushed the Hekatonkheires back into Gaea's womb and the Cyclops into Tartarus, Gaea was furious. She asked her children to get rid of Ouranos so she could save her other children, and only Kronos was brave enough to do it. He took a scythe Gaea made and used it to get rid of his father.
However, Kronos didn't rescue his brothers, and Gaea was angry with him. Gaea then prophesied that Kronos in turn was destined to be overthrown by his own son, and so the Titan attempted to avoid this fate by devouring his young. Zeus, through deception by his mother Rhea and with the help of Gaea, avoided this fate, and later rescues the Hekatonkheires from Gaea's womb and the Cyclops from Tartarus, and forced his father to vomit up his brothers and sisters.
A war then started between the Titans and the gods, Hecatonchires, and Cyclops. The young gods emerged victorious. Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades used their father's scythe to chop Kronos into a thousand pieces as he did to Ouranos, and banished the other Titans who sided with Kronos into Tartarus with bonds that they will never break.
Gaea's first attempt to avenge the Titans was, with the spirit of Tartarus, giving birth to Typhon. Typhon, being the father of all monsters, was one of the worst enemies Zeus and the Olympians had to face. He, with the help of Echidna, was able to render Zeus helpless and (because Zeus is immortal) imprison him in a cave. However, with the help of the other gods, Zeus, with his lightning bolts, was able to trap Typhon under Mount Etna. Gaea then made peace with the Olympians and promised not to bother the Olympians again.
However, that was not Gaea's last attempt to overthrow the Olympians. She prophesied that Zeus' wife Metis would bear two children, first a daughter, and second a son who would eventually overthrow him. To avoid this fate, Zeus convinced Metis to transform into a fly, and then swallowed her. But it was too late. Metis already conceived a child. A few days later, Zeus received severe headaches. He convinced Hephaestus to ax his head open and out came a matured Athena. It is unknown if Metis escaped or not, but she never conceived the second child, so Gaea's plan, at least for a time, failed.
Some time later, Gaea used the Giants she has been harboring during the First Olympian War to avenge the Titans by attacking Mount Olympus, only for them to be defeated by the Olympian gods and demigods.
In the Series
Gaea once again started to wake while the gods were fighting themselves during World War II. Gaea used the opportunity to try and once again raise her children, the Gigantes. She lured Marie Levesque, a lover of Pluto, to Alaska, a land where the gods would be out of her reach. Pluto tried to tell her it was a trap, but she wouldn't listen and took their daughter with her when she left.
Once in Alaska, Gaea would take over Marie's body and lure Hazel to a phantom island in Resurrection Bay. She used Hazel's power over all the riches below the earth to bring forth the giant Alcyoneus. This continued until the night where Alcyoneus was supposed to rise. Hazel followed her mother to the island for the last time, but she quickly realized that her mother was no longer under Gaea's control, but was going to give herself to Alcyoneus as a sacrifice to save Hazel. Hazel didn't want her mother to give herself to Gaea, so she used her abilities to destroy the island and Alcyoneus, much to Gaea's annoyance. Gaea went back to sleep for almost 40 years after her failed attempt, but woke up again in the 80s and finally managed to raise Alcyoneus.
Eventually, Gaea also learned of the individuals who would be a part of the Prophecy of Seven. While Hera tried to bring the seven together, Gaea tried to break their spirits. She learned of Leo's role in the prophecy from Medea, a mortal with the ability to see the future. When Leo was still a child, she trapped his mother inside a factory and approached Leo. Leo tried to protect his mom using his fire abilities, but it caused the entire warehouse to go up in flames and his mother to die. Gaea remained mostly silent after this, staying quiet as the Titan's began to rise during the Second Olympian War. However, after the war, she managed to open the Doors of Death after Thanatos was captured, allow the dead to once again walk the earth and aid her in her plan.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
The Battle of the Labyrinth
Gaea is mentioned by Annabeth Chase in the book when Percy Jackson battles her son, Antaeus (also a son of Poseidon), in an arena deep within the Labyrinth. At first Percy is unable to harm him, because any wound he receives is instantly covered by sand and healed by Gaea's power. Percy is able to defeat him by causing him to be disconnected with the Earth, baiting Antaeus to climb up some chains hanging from the ceiling after Percy. Percy wrapped him in the chains and then stabbed him, causing him to turn to dust with his mother unable to protect him.
A river nymph also mentions her when she tells Percy that the area around her river, including Geryon's stables, were once part of the ocean when only Gaea and Ouranos reigned. This references the First Age of the world, before the Titans ruled.
The Heroes of Olympus
The Lost Hero
Gaea appears spiritually when Leo Valdez was little and leaving his mom's work place, and caused it to burn down. Leo was alive because of his ability to resist fire, but his mom didn't make it out. So Gaea might have been very weak but beginning to wake, when Leo was little. Gaea also appeared during Jason's Quest to save Hera, speaking to Leo through a medium of spilled toiled chemicals. It is officially revealed that Gaea is awakening and using the Giants to try and overthrow the current rulers of Olympus, the Olympians as she did after the First Olympian War. It was said if she fully awoke, she would literally shake civilization apart. Her army revealed they are going to go to Greece and destroy the gods from their roots. Gaea is mentioned throughout the story by though not by name.
The Son of Neptune
Gaea has become far more active. She appears as a face on a mountain in Percy's dream after the war games, stating that he is the key to the gods defeat. She appears shortly after in another dream telling him to come to Alaska. She later helps Percy win his gamble by telling Phineas to drink the poisonous Gorgon blood, for which she states his death will be more painful than Gorgon's blood. Ella stated that "the lady in the ground" has big plans for him.
Later, she stations Laistrygonians outside the Zhang mansion to kill Frank Zhang, and a few days later attempts to capture Percy and Hazel when they fall into muskeg and taunts them when they regained the Eagle. She also appeared and talked to Hazel about Nico di Angelo, Hazel's half-brother, who she kidnapped and held him somewhere in Rome.
The Mark of Athena
Gaea sends the Eidolons to possess three members of the seven (Percy, Jason Grace and Leo). She also talks to Piper McLean in Kansas telling her to make a choice between Percy and Jason, as she needs the blood of male and female demigod to awaken. Piper refuses to choose and saves the boys from killing each other. The earth goddess also demands Otis and Ephialtes for Rome to be destroyed on July 1.
She appears to Percy in a dream in a human-like form, telling him that he will fall alone and that she plans on destroying Camp Half-Blood and leaving it bare forever to show that the demigods were powerless to defeat her and the giants. She leaves Percy with a message to enjoy Tartarus. According to the twin giants Otis and Ephialtes, the earth goddess has chosen Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon and Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena to be the sacrifices to awaken her. They later state she will awaken in one month.
She also continually tells Leo that he is the "seventh wheel" meaning that he will never be able to fit in with the other six demigods.
The House of Hades
Gaea is mentioned to be on the very edge of consciousness. At the same time, the Seven manage to close the Doors of Death, preventing Gaea from resurrecting any more of her deceased allies.
The Blood of Olympus
After Reyna returns the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood, the gods are healed of their split personalities and help the Seven to destroy the Giants. However, Percy and Annabeth's blood finally awakens Gaea who rises at Camp Half-Blood rather than in Greece as was originally expected.
Returning to camp, Piper, Jason, Leo and a rebuilt Festus attack Gaea. From clues learned on their voyage, the Seven have realized that if they cut Gaea off from the Earth, the source of her power, the same way that the Titans did to Ouranos with the sky, they can weaken her. Festus lifts Gaea into the sky where the dragon's fire alongside Leo's keeps the goddess in a solid form. Jason's storm powers contain Gaea and keep her from escaping while Piper charmspeaks her back to sleep temporarily. With Gaea vulnerable, Leo unleashes a supernova of fire upon the primordial goddess, joined by an onager shot from Octavian. Both Leo and Octavian are killed in the process, but Gaea's physical form is vaporized, defeating her. Much like her husband Ouranos and her son Kronos, Gaea's essence is scattered and spread so thin that hopefully she will never be able to form a consciousness again, much less a body.
With Gaea defeated, the Earth returns to normal while Leo is resurrected by Festus with the Physician's Cure.
In many ways, Gaea is the ideal mother, loving her children first and foremost. She will do anything to protect them, even if it means taking the most extreme measures. It is because of this protectiveness that she is known to be very cruel to anyone who threatens them. Oddly, this includes the gods, who are her own grandchildren. Gaea is very manipulative towards the Seven demigods, as she tries to convince Percy to join her along with Hazel and Annabeth and wants to kill Frank, Jason, Piper and Leo.
Because Gaea is literally the earth itself, she may not have a physical form to speak of. However, she tends to appear to people in the form of a woman wearing a cloak made of black dirt that churns and shifts, as well as a veil made of dust. Behind the veil is a pale face that appears to be asleep, signifying that Gaea is not yet awake. Leo - when he was younger - confused her with Hera, but Gaea simply said it was a family resemblance. Gaea will sometimes appear to people in the form of a giant sleeping face, such as when she shifted the snow, asphalt, and chemical sludge from some toilets to make a face. Percy thought he saw her face in his dreams when she manipulated some clouds to cast a shadow of her face on a mountain overlooking Camp Jupiter.
During The Mark of Athena, Gaea once again visits Percy in his dream. Instead of the dark cloak she wore when visiting Leo in his youth, she appears in a forest green robe will small amounts of gold and white, as if sunlight were shining on the robe through tree branches. She had black hair that was the same color as tilled soil and she had a beautiful face, even if her eyes were originally closed. When she opened her eyes, they appeared green and black, like the crust of the earth.
Powers and Abilities
- She presumably has a goddess' powers, but infinitely stronger as she is one of the Protogenoi.
- Geokinesis- As the goddess of earth, she has divine and absolute control of the earth.
- She knows whatever happens on the earth.
- She can manifest from dirt while sleeping.
- She can show other people memories or visions.
- She is able to forcibly open the Doors of Death.
- She can possess people for short periods of time when they're asleep.
- She is able to keep her children alive as long as he or she is touching the ground.
- Gaea, a crater on Amalthea (a moon of Jupiter) is named after her.
- Gaea's Roman name is Terra. However, in the series, she is known as Gaea to both Greeks and Romans. Though, like Thanatos, Romans could prefer for her to stay Greek.
- In The Son of Neptune, Nico says that Gaea was stirred in her sleep when the Titans lost. But, when Hazel has her flashbacks, it appears that Gaea has been planning to overthrow the gods since World War ll. It is possible that she went back to sleep again after the end of the War and woke again when the Titans were defeated.
- In The Heroes of Olympus, Gaea appears as a giant sleeping woman's face, first appearing in toilet sludge in The Lost Hero; she then appears in the shadows of clouds and mountains in The Son of Neptune.
- The first form inspires Leo's nickname for her
- Her sacred animals are the serpent, the lunar bull, the pig, and bees.
- Her Roman name, Terra, is where the word "terrain" comes from.
- Because Gaea is Kronos' mother, and the reason for him turning evil; and the fact that she is the main antagonist in The Heroes of Olympus, makes her presumably the main antagonist of both series.
- The large landmass that made up all the continents before they separated is known as Pangaea, with Pan- meaning Entire and Gaea meaning Earth.
- Of all the Seven demigods Gaea has trued to manipulate Percy the most.