Study Guide

The Blood of Olympus Fate and Free Will

By Rick Riordan

Fate and Free Will

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.

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