Study Guide

Nico di Angelo in The Blood of Olympus

By Rick Riordan

Nico di Angelo

Come Hades or High Water

Nico di Angelo is our youngest demigod hero. The 14-year-old is the son of Hades, and we're told he was "forced to endure more tragedy and danger than most demigods would in a lifetime" (5.68).

Well that's the pits.

As you'd expect from a prince of darkness, Nico isn't exactly the sunniest of our heroes. Let's take a look:

  • He lives in the shadows, both literally and figuratively.
  • He resents the time he spent at Camp Half-Blood because he was always so lonely there.
  • He has an unrequited crush on Percy Jackson (who doesn't?)
  • His relationship with his father isn't exactly close.

But Nico doesn't let any of this stop him. So instead of just bulleting off all the stinky things about his life, let's look at some of the good stuff:

  • Reyna wouldn't be able to get the Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half-Blood without Nico. 
  • Nico can shadow-travel (i.e., he can use the shadows to travel), which is just plain cool.
  • And Nico has a determination that few of the other demigods can rival. Even when Nico starts disappearing into the shadows himself (he accidentally walks through a tree at one point) he refuses to give up, even if it kills him.

Speaking of killing, Nico has to fight by Reyna's side a lot. It seems that every single stop on their journey is fraught with danger, and Nico more than holds his own. Being able to command his own zombie army helps, sure, but Nico is always brave.

Oh, and did we mention that Nico is responsible (kinda) for the death of Octavian, the man who takes over the Roman camp? When Octavian is about to fire a catapult but doesn't realize that his robes are tangled up in it, Nico lets him do it. He remembers what his father told him earlier: "Some deaths should not be prevented" (14.77).

We guess it makes sense that, as the son of Hades, Nico is pretty comfortable with death. That's another thing his dad tells him: "Perhaps we are alike in some important ways" (14.92). (And hopefully not alike in others?) Thankfully, Nico doesn't have to face his own death—unlike some other demigods we know.

The End

When he gets to Camp Half-Blood, it seems that Will Solace, a son of Apollo, might even have eyes for Nico. The potential love interest convinces Nico to put his crush on Percy behind him. Could this work out? A relationship between a son of darkness and the son of a sun god?

Why oh why must this be the last book of the series?

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