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Who is the Oracle of Delphi?

Highlights

  • The TV show Percy Jackson and the Olympians closely follows the plot of the books, including the role of the Oracle of Delphi, who provides riddle-like prophecies to guide the characters on their quests.
  • In Greek mythology, the Oracle of Delphi is an ancient seer associated with Apollo, and the show’s depiction of the oracle aligns with the Percy Jackson books.
  • Prophecies play a crucial role in the series, with the Great Prophecy predicting that one of the forbidden children will either save or destroy Olympus. As the show progresses, fans can expect more prophecies to be revealed.


One element of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series that fans have grown to enjoy is how closely the show follows the plot of the Percy Jackson books. Just like in the first book, The Lightning Thief, Percy has to embark on a quest to find and return Zeus’ master bolt. However, for a quest to become official, a demigod must first receive a prophecy. To receive prophecies, demigods at Camp Half-Blood ascend to the attic of the main house to consult the oracle. This brings Percy face to face with a being straight from the myths, whose prophecies play a key role in Greek mythology and form the series and the book’s main plot.

As the show introduces new mythological figures in every episode, the opening scenes of Episode 3 show Percy’s encounter with the Oracle of Delphi. The oracle’s present form is a mummy-like figure that spews green gas after Percy speaks to it. This spooky green gas forms the image of Gabe, Percy’s abusive stepfather, who delivers the riddle-like prophecy. But as Percy and the rest of the team struggle to decipher the meaning of the prophecy, there’s a lot that fans should know about the Oracle of Delphi and the role she plays in the world of Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

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Who is the Oracle of Delphi?

oracle

In Greek mythology, the Oracle of Delphi is one of the oracles of Apollo, the god of prophecy. The oracle is one of the most famous seers in Greek mythology, as old as the gods and started off as a fountain whispering prophecies of the future. However, the oracle began to play a more prominent role with the birth of Apollo. Apollo’s mother, Leto, was cursed by Hera and searching for a place to give birth. She came to Delphi but was chased away by Python, who acted as a guard for the oracle. After his birth, Apollo visits Delphi, slays the Python, and claims the oracle for himself.

Over time, the oracle began to draw priestesses with clear sight who would act as its vessels and give riddle-like prophecies to those who visited its home in Delphi. At this point, the oracle’s origin meets Rick Riordan’s lore. According to the Percy Jackson books, as the Greek gods moved with civilization to America, so did the Oracle of Delphi, settling on Long Island at Camp Half-Blood. At camp, the oracle gives prophecies to gods and demigods alike, and eventually gets on Hades’ naughty list.

The Oracle of Delphi wasn’t always a shriveled, mummified old lady. As mentioned earlier, the oracle used to take a young woman with clear sight to be its host, who passed on the spirit of the oracle to another when the time came. However, during World War II, the oracle prophesied that a child of the “big three” (Zeus, Poseidon or Hades) would either save or destroy Olympus. This prophecy is also known as the “Great Prophecy.” Because of this, Zeus banned himself and his brothers from having any more children. But Hades, who had fallen in love with Maria di Angelo, broke this rule and had two children, Nico and Bianca di Angelo, who first appear in the third book, The Titan’s Curse.

After they were born, the Oracle of Delphi appears to Hades and warns him to hide his children because Zeus planned to kill them. Sadly, although Hades was able to preserve the lives of his children, Maria was killed by Zeus’ lightning bolt attack. Her death upsets Hades, who blames the oracle for everything. And since he couldn’t kill the oracle, Hades cursed her. As long as his children were outcasts and suffered under the Great Prophecy, the oracle would not be able to pass on to another host. Even after her death, the oracle remained in her body, which led to her present form today.

Towards the end of the Percy Jackson book series, the curse on the Oracle of Delphi is broken. Rachel Elizabeth Dare, a close friend of Percy, becomes the new Oracle of Delphi and serves as her host. Interestingly, she wouldn’t be the first person to try to host the oracle. Luke Castellan’s mother had attempted to do the same thing years before, but went mad after her encounter with the oracle.

So far in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians TV series, everything viewers know about the oracle seems in line with her role in the books. It seems that fans can expect to see more scenes with the oracle as more quests are called, and our heroes continue to grow.

What is a Prophecy?

gabe

A prophecy, as seen in Percy Jackson lore, is a cryptic prediction of the future that serves as a guide for a quest. The obscure nature of prophecies makes them difficult to decipher, and no one can tell the actual meaning of the prophecy until the events have occurred. It’s said that trying to fulfill a prophecy forcefully can lead to disaster.

The most popular prophecy in the lore which forms the main plot is the Great Prophecy. It says that one of the forbidden children would either “preserve or raze” Olympus. Prophecies are usually given by oracles or deities who can see the future. So far, the show has only featured one prophesy, but fans can expect to hear more as the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series progresses.

percy jackson and the olympians poster

Antonio Josse

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