[Jason's] family included all the demigods who fought at his side, Roman and Greek, new friends and old. He wasn't going to let anyone break his family apart. (4.12)
Calling friends "family" is a common trope in young adult novels. Count up all the characters with parental issues in this book (i.e., all of them)—is it any wonder they consider their friends closer family than their parents?
I can't die, [Jason] told himself. My friends are depending on me. (4.64)
Notice how Jason puts his friends first…even above himself. We're guessing he thinks this way because of how he's been abandoned in the past. He doesn't want anyone else to feel the same way.
[Leo] loved his friends. He'd do anything for them. But as he looked at the six of them—three couples, all focused on each other—he thought about the warning from Nemesis, the revenge goddess: You will not find a place among your brethren. You will always be the seventh wheel. (9.60)
It's hard enough being the third wheel (unless you're on a tricycle)—imagine being a seventh wheel. So even though Leo is loyal and his friends care about him, and they're really not the type to put relationships over friendships…Leo will always feel left out.
"We don't fight each other. We fight the giants. You should help us." (11.53)
We'd never expect our group of heroes to turn against each other, but their friendship surprises Nike, the goddess of victory. Why? Probably because the gods don't really have friends, so they have no problems squabbling amongst each other.
"Whatever happens," [Piper] told Annabeth, "I'm your friend. Just… remember that, okay?" (19.50)
Earlier, Piper called Annabeth "the bravest person she knew" (19.36), so it's a big deal for her to be considered a friend…and to have something to offer Annabeth, when Piper is able to stay cool under pressure.
Reyna doubted she could change his feelings, but she wanted Nico to have support. All heroes deserved that. (22.29)
Reyna and Nico might not have been friends in any other situation, but they become almost inseparable after everything they go through together—and after Nico shows how brave and resourceful he can be.
"I don't run when my friends need me." (28.25)
Unless you've been under a rock for the last nine books, you should know this about Percy Jackson already…but he thinks it bears repeating. Percy will always see a quest through to the end.
"You shared your painful experiences; how can we not support you? We're friends." (32.25)
Nico and Reyna both share painful secrets from their past with each other, and it doesn't scare either of them away. In fact, because they both share a traumatic past, it brings them closer to each other.
"This will hurt, my friend," [Reyna] told Blackjack. (40.6)
Reyna cares for animals almost as much as she cares for people, and she gives Blackjack the pegasus the same medical attention she'd give a human friend.
"You have friends—or at least, people who would like to be your friend. You pushed yourself away." (47.31)
Remember the quote from (32.25)? Nico used to be super secretive and shut off from other people. This quality made it difficult for others to approach him and was a factor in his friendlessness at Camp Half-Blood.
"Our next offering!" the ghoul shouted, his voice buzzing from the arrow in this throat. "Let us feed the Earth Mother!" (2.10)
Gods are big on sacrifice, and the titans are even bigger than gods (size-wise, anyway)…so it's no surprise that they need even larger sacrifices to be happy.
Nico yelped. The scepter of Diocletian exploded into pieces. (8.29)
Recurring theme alert! Characters in this book continuously lose their mythical items in some way or another—sometimes voluntarily and sometimes not. Here, Nico uses his scepter even though he knows it might not be able to handle it.
At the feet of Ares, she set her cornucopia. (20.88)
Piper has been carrying around the cornucopia for a while now, and she sets it down without a single complaint. Pretty classy, if you ask us.
"My guards will buy you time!" Hylla shouted. "Your quest must succeed!" (24.7)
Reyna isn't so psyched when it's her sister who might be sacrificing herself. But here, it's "just" her guards, and even though we know their names, their deaths don't sting that much when they fall. Maybe because it's their job?
"You will face a sacrifice that you may not be able to make, and it will cost you the world." (28.24)
Kym, the minor goddess, says this to Percy. Maybe that's why she's a minor goddess…because we have no idea what the heck she's talking about.
Frank sniffled. "I think you mean falling on your sword." (34.74)
Hello, idiom! Here, Frank is talking about how Leo plans on sacrificing himself (although at this point in the narrative, we're not sure what Leo's plan is).
P.S. Did you notice that Frank "sniffled"? He's sad about this plan…which makes sense, since sacrifice usually isn't a happy thing.
"Look, it's got to be this way. Otherwise we'll all die." (36.101)
Leo receives a lot of pushback regarding his sacrifice plan, but Leo knows it's either him or everyone…and it might as well be him: the seventh wheel. Womp womp.
A single drop of blood fell from [Percy's] chin. It hit the ground between his feet and sizzled like water on a frying pan. (44.33)
Prophecies almost always have to do with sacrifice of some point, and sometimes that sacrifice is minor and unintentional. The giants don't have to kill Percy to raise Gaea; they just need the tiniest drop of his blood.
"Victory is always dangerous. And it often requires sacrifice." (50.74)
This line is from Nike—and she's the goddess of victory, so she knows what she's talking about.
"I told you I had a plan. When are you going to trust me? And by the way—I love you guys." (52.46)
Even though Leo's friends consistently try to talk him out of sacrificing himself, he sticks with it. When are they going to learn that they can't fight a prophecy?
You can't choose your parentage. But you can choose your legacy. (3.60)
This is like the fate vs. free will version of "you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose." Okay, maybe not…but it shows Jason both as a product of his parents (fate) and with the ability to choose his own path (free will).
"The earth will swallow you," Hedge said in the voice of Gaea. "Just as it swallowed them." (7.79)
Bad guys love to make declarations like this, mixing prophecy and threat together. (Throphecy?) But this one actually kind of comes true: the ground gets all goopy when Gaea is raised.
[Leo's] destiny was with somebody else, on an island that no man ever found twice. (9.61)
Do you think Leo's attraction to Calypso is fate or true love? Is there a difference between the two?
"Your blood shall be spilled! One of you here—one of your four—is fated to die battling Gaea!" (12.108)
This prophecy gets repeated over and over throughout the book, but it ends up being an interesting mix of fate and free will. Yes, one of them has to die, but Leo chooses for it to be him.
"Some deaths should not be prevented. When the time comes, you may need to act." (14.77)
Hades suggests that some people have to die. Well, when it comes to Hades, everyone has to die, so you have to take this advice with a grain of salt. Or brimstone.
"The demigods cannot change their fate. One way or another, their blood shall be spilled upon these stones and wake the Earth Mother!" (18.67)
Here's the prophecy that suggests that the demigods' blood will raise Gaea. Does that mean if they just stayed as far away from the Parthenon as possible, Gaea never would have been resurrected? (We're gonna go with no.)
"Thing is, as I was choking just now, I kept thinking: this is payback for Akhlys. The Fates are letting me die the same way I tried to kill that goddess. And… honestly, a part of me felt I deserved it." (28.52)
As a demigod, Percy is accustomed to the fact that he's probably fated to die somewhere, so he almost casually accepts this fact when he's poisoned.
The doctor's expression said I am so, so sorry. (36.35)
Doctors aren't exactly going to write "death by prophecy" on your medical chart. Asclepius can see what's going to happen to people; he knows that Leo is going to die and that he can't do anything about it.
"Don't hurt him or bind him. I have a feeling Michael's heart is in the right place. He just had the bad luck of being sponsored by the wrong person." (38.40)
Reyna doesn't blame Michael's bad behavior on himself; he blames it on the fact that Octavian got a hold of him. Does that mean Michael never had the free will to deny Octavian's orders?
Never assume you're safe, and never, ever, tempt the Fates by announcing that you think you're safe. (41.4)
This here seems to be a hard and fast rule even in worlds where the Fates aren't personified. Fate never likes to be tempted.
This has been the story of my life, [Jason] thought bitterly. Everyone had always watched him, expecting him to lead the way. (3.18)
Just because someone is courageous doesn't mean they're necessarily happy about it. The problem with Jason is that, before he met all his current friends, he seems to have been surrounded by cowardly people who wanted him to do everything himself.
[Reyna] could only share the qualities she already possessed, and she couldn't help anyone who wasn't worthy of being a hero. (5.38)
Reyna has an interesting superpower: she can enhance someone else's strengths if she has the same ones. Reyna has courage in spades, so she can bring that out in any hero.
[Leo] loved being told that something was impossible. […] He just couldn't resist the challenge. (9.117)
Leo is always determined to succeed, and in this book, he ends up with the ultimate challenge: dying and coming back to life.
"What we want is down there. These pits are the way in. I'll have to jump." (19.66)
Piper does her best Strong Bad impersonation and dives into the unknown. Pretty much every character gets a scene in this book to commit an act of pure blind bravery.
Reyna would make sure Nico was recognized for his bravery. (22.30)
Reyna is majorly brave, so she respects bravery in others. It might be the quality she requires most in a friend.
[Reyna] flung her cloak in front of her and fell on the explosive arrow, determined to shield Blackjack and the other pegasi, and hopefully protect the mortals sleeping belowdecks. She had no idea whether her body would contain the explosion, whether her cloak could smother the flames, but it was her best chance to save her friends and her mission. (39.37)
Here's Reyna's moment of bravery. Leo might have talked about figuratively falling on a metaphorical sword, but Reyna literally leaps onto an actual bomb…to shield a bunch of winged horses. Now that's brave.
According to legend, Athena sometimes cut pieces off her mantle and draped them over statues in her temples, or over her chosen heroes, to shield them. (39.44)
Athena notices Reyna's bravery and rewards her with an item that lets her be even more courageous: an invincible cloak. Although shouldn't cowards be given an invincible cloak so they could be more brave? Hmmm.
Piper followed her gut. She attacked. (43.21)
Even though Piper's strength isn't actual physical power, she still charges headfirst into the giant horde to fight monsters.
I am Nico di Angelo, son of Hades. I control the shadows. They do not control me. (45.46)
It takes courage to stand up to others, but it takes even more courage to stand up to yourself. Nico has to face his past and realize that he can control his own fate.
"You have proven yourself a true hero." (49.48)
Jason gets to hear these words not from just anyone, but from his own father. His father who just happens to be Zeus, king of the gods. Zeus is kind of an authority on heroism, so this really means something to Jason.