Study Guide

The Blood of Olympus Themes

  • Friendship

    When you go to summer camp, you meet friends who last a lifetime. It happened to Charlie Brown and it happened to Percy Jackson about nine books ago. In The Blood of Olympus, Percy Jackson and his pals go places they probably never dreamed of. Actually, they often have prophetic visions, so they probably did dream of these adventures, but still…they'd never have been able to do any of this by themselves.

    Questions About Friendship

    1. How does Reyna and Nico's friendship develop as they travel? What events bring them closer together?
    2. Why does Nico think that he doesn't have any friends? Is his loneliness partially his fault?
    3. Why does Leo feel like the seventh wheel? Is that a valid concern for him? Is he actually left out of the group?

    Chew on This

    The friendships between our Greek and Roman protagonists show the warring camps that cooperation is possible. They lead by example.

    While a friendship might lead them into trouble—like Jason following Percy under the sea—it always gets them back out.

  • Sacrifice

    Gods love sacrifices. We're talking everything from A to V, where "A" is animals in honor of a god and "V" is virgins tossed into volcanoes. Some people even suggest that the Parthenon itself was the site of human sacrifice. But in The Blood of Olympus, the sacrifice needed is right in the title: blood. And the giants hope to spill it at the Parthenon, for old times' sake.

    Questions About Sacrifice

    1. Which characters make sacrifices during the story? Who gives up personal objects, who severs connections, and who gives up even more?
    2. Could any of these sacrifices have been avoided?
    3. Nike says that victory "often requires sacrifice." Do you agree with her?

    Chew on This

    Leo makes the ultimate sacrifice, but he probably wouldn't were it not for the existence of the physician's cure.

    Sometimes a small sacrifice is necessary—like giving up the cornucopia, for example—to prevent the loss of something larger.

  • Fate and Free Will

    You can't walk through any good fantasy story without tripping over a prophecy or two. Sybil Trelawney makes one in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Eowyn fulfills one in The Return of the King. And there are more prophecies in The Blood of Olympus than you can shake a scepter of Diocletian at. Because it's a story rooted in Greek and Roman myth, the prophecies almost all have a tendency to come true. But since the characters are demigods—and not mere mortal pawns of the gods—they have at least a little agency when it comes to determining their own fate.

    Questions About Fate and Free Will

    1. Why does the crew of the Argo II play right into the hands of fate by traveling to the Parthenon, exactly where the bad guys want them?
    2. How do certain characters, like Leo and Percy, play into the fates, while others seem to defy them?
    3. Which prophecies come true? Which don't?

    Chew on This

    Greek and Roman tragedies are all about fate; that's why there are three of them personified.

    Leo is able to both go with his fate and exercise his free will by sacrificing and subsequently resurrecting himself.

  • Courage

    A hero is a person "who has shown unusual bravery or courage." The dictionary says so.

    We've got a lot of heroes in The Blood of Olympus, and not just because pretty much every character is the spawn of a god. Being big and strong doesn't make someone a hero (remember the cowardly lion?). It's what a person decides to do with their strength—or other magical superpower of choice—that gives them the title.

    Questions About Courage

    1. All of the characters in the book get at least one moment to show their bravery. What are the main moments for each character?
    2. Is anyone ever scared or cowardly in the book? How do they overcome their fears and regain their courage?
    3. Are the bad guys courageous, too? Think about Octavian or Orion, for example.

    Chew on This

    The Blood of Olympus is the final book in the series, so pretty much every character has to demonstrate their bravest moments when the stakes are at their highest.

    The gods themselves may be all powerful, but they're not brave. They wait until the very last minute to help the demigods defeat the giants.