Study Guide

The Lost Hero Friendship

By Rick Riordan

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He knew he shouldn't be in this place. He shouldn't befriend these people, and certainly he shouldn't date one of them. (7.10)

Roman and Greek demigods seem to have an instinctual antipathy to each other. Jason feels it's wrong to be at Camp Half-Blood. The idea that different groups of people have some sort of natural dislike for each other seems kind of icky, though the book doesn't actually seem to take it all that seriously (Jason, Piper, and Leo get along fine, after all).

"Seriously," Leo said. "Could you not show off?"

"Creak?" the dragon asked.

"You need a name," Leo decided. "I'm calling you Festus."

Festus tilted his head and snorted steam. Then he lowered his back in an unmistakable gesture. He wanted Leo to climb on. (12.50-53)

Leo's friendship with Festus is one of the sweetest in the book. Pets are the best friends, basically—especially if they have giant claws and can breath fire.

Jason worried that he'd let his friends into a trap. If thing went bad, he wasn't sure he could get them out alive. Without thinking about it, he took Piper's hand for reassurance.

She raised her eyebrows, but she didn't let go.

"It'll be fine," she promised. "Just a talk, right?" (19.5-7)

This is almost as cute as Leo with Festus. Jason doesn't have a whole lot of personality (click on over to the "Characters" section for more on that), but he comes closest when he's relying on Piper. Other people make him better, in other words, which is how friendship is supposed to work.

Piper had no idea how Leo had stocked up on supplies, but he'd even remembered to bring veggie rations for her. The cheese and avocado sandwich was awesome. (21.14)

The book doesn't do a ton with the relationship between Leo and Piper, but this is a nice moment. Friendship isn't just fighting monsters; it's also remembering dietary restrictions.

"I can't," Piper said. "You can't ask me—"

"To betray that foolish boy Valdez, who always irritated you and is now hiding secrets from you? To give up a boyfriend you never really had? Is that more important than your own father?"

"I'll find a way to defeat you," Piper said. "I'll save my father and my friends." (21.55-57)

Enceladus's argument isn't very good here. Piper doesn't find Leo annoying for the most part, and she's already in love with Jason, whether he's her boyfriend or not. Enceladus maybe just doesn't understand friendship very well, probably because giants aren't very friendly.

What if Jason found out that he was their enemy, or something? He might come out of his amnesia and decide he hated Piper. He might have a girlfriend wherever he came from.

It doesn't matter, she decided, which kind of surprised her.

Jason always looked so anguished when he tried to remember things. Piper hated seeing him that way. She wanted to help him because she cared about him, even if that meant losing him. (27.28-29)

Just like the choice Piper makes to erase her dad's memory (though she knows he won't be as reliant on her or as close to her afterward), Piper shows her self-sacrificing instinct here. In both cases, Piper is willing to risk her own happiness for those she loves. It's interesting, though, to think about how much it pains Piper to see the people she loves suffer. Does this diminish the degree of sacrifice she makes for them since it also alleviates pain for her?

But Leo worried a lot. He felt terrible about how easily Medea had set him against his best friend. And those feelings hadn't come from nowhere—his resentment of the way Jason always got the spotlight and didn't really need him. Leo did feel that way sometimes, even if he wasn't proud of it. (29.11)

The truth is, it wasn't all that easy for Medea to turn Leo against Jason. He's being a bit hard on himself. Resentments are going to be part of any friendship, and Leo and Jason work it out without too much trouble.

"You can't go," Leo pleaded. "You're the best thing I ever fixed." (30.28)

Festus is not only Leo's friend—he's also kind of Leo's child, a thing that Leo made. Leo loves him in part because he put himself into him.

She glared at them. "Why don't you yell at me or something? I was ordered to kill you!"

"Aw, come on," Jason said. "You've saved us both on this quest. I'd put my life in your hands any day."

"Same," Leo said. "Can I have a hug too?" (33.95-97)

Piper feels guilty because the giant told her to kill her friends, even though she didn't. Leo and Jason, though, understand that it's not her fault that she was threatened and told to do bad things. This seems pretty obvious, but it is something that people often get confused about.

Piper's expression was ferocious—almost crazy, like a cornered animal. Leo was glad she was on his side.

"Nobody hurts my friends," she said, and with a sudden warm feeling, Leo realized she was talking about him. (42.39-40)

Friendship often functions in the book as a spur to courage and even ferocity—Leo fights the Cyclopes to rescue his friends, for example, and Jason becomes most threatening when Thalia's been hurt. Friendship isn't always about the warm and fuzzies—it's also about chopping monsters into little bits.

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