Study Guide

Iris

  • Profile

    You may not know it, but you already love Iris. Why? Because she's the goddess of rainbows. And seriously, how can you not like rainbows? For a while, everybody said Iris was a virgin goddess, but she ended up marrying Zephyrus, the West Wind. Sounds like a match made in… Olympus.

    In addition to her colorful job as rainbow goddess, Iris is also a messenger of the gods. That means she spends most of her days winging down her multicolored bridge on her golden wings, making sure the mortal world gets an earful of what Olympus has to say. And because her rainbows span from the sea to the sky, she is able to fly back and forth, gathering seawater in a pitcher and refill the clouds with rain. Pretty impressive stuff.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Iris

    Nickname

    Aellopous, Swiftfooted, Double Rainbow All the Way

    Sex

    Female

    Current city

    Olympus

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    Goddess of the rainbow
    Messenger of the gods
    Creator of "oohs" and "aahs"

    Education

    Hermes School of Heraldry

    Beliefs

    Political views

    Pro-Zeus

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Thaumas, the god of the wonders of the sea (Dad)
    Elektra, an Oceanid (Mom)

    Siblings

    The Harpies
    Arce (my twin sister who was a messenger for the Titans)

    Children

    Some people say that Eros and Pothos were my sons, but I'm not so sure about that.

    Friends

    The Harpies (somebody has to love them, right?)

    Enemies

    The Boreads (they made me crazy when they were chasing my Harpy sisters)

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Married to Zephyrus, the West Wind

    Interested in

    My husband

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Planet Earth
    Reading Rainbow
    The Weather Channel (don't hate)

    Quotations

    "Don't miss all the beautiful colors of the rainbow looking for that pot of gold."
    – Proverb

    "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected."
    – Mahatma Gandhi

    "We live in a rainbow of chaos."
    – Paul Cezanne

    "None loves the messenger who brings bad news"
    – Sophocles

    "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."
    – Dolly Parton

    "Double rainbow all the way across the sky. So intense."
    – The Double Rainbow Guy

    Books

    The Color Purple (one of my favorite colors and books)
    "in Just-" by e. e. cummings
    Angels in America by Tony Kushner (an angel shows up with a serious message in this play)
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
    The Rainbow Goblins by Ul De Rico 
    "Ode to the West Wind" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (reminds me of my hubby, Zephyrus)
    Wicked by Gregory Maguire
    "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (a poem about a guy with a pretty important message to deliver.)
    The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence 
    The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (I like the version of me that Mr. Riordan writes)

    Music

    Double Rainbow Song (a true classic)
    Over the Rainbow (this one's pretty good, too)
    Such Great Heights by the Postal Service (me and Zephyrus's song)
    Roygbiv by Boards of Canada
    What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
    Message in a Bottle by The Police
    Reading Rainbow Theme Song
    The Messenger by Linkin Park
    The Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog
    Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World by IZ, Israel Kamakawiwo`Ole

    Movies

    The Wizard of Oz
    The Messenger
    A Shine of Rainbows
    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    The Lake House
    You've Got Mail
    The Postman
    Iris
    Finian's Rainbow

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Rainbows (obvi)
    Double rainbows (even better)
    Magic Markers
    Skittles
    The USPS
    Rainbow Brite

    Interests

    Meteorology
    Communications

    Groups

    Gods and Goddesses of Olympus
    Color Guard 
    Rainbow Walkers Club
    Postal Workers Union

    • Spotter's Guide

      Have you ever seen a rainbow? Okay, good. Then you already know what Iris looks like. As the goddess of rainbows, she definitely sticks out when she appears in the sky. She's not always in rainbow form, though. Actually, you might spot her as a pretty young goddess with golden wings. But you can't really miss her because rainbows are her preferred method of travel.

      Even though she's pretty easy to find, she might be kind of hard to nail down for a conversation. She is a messenger of the gods, after all, which keeps her pretty busy. So if you have something to tell her, you better make it fast. Rainbows never linger long in the sky.

      Sex: Female
      Age: Young
      Build: Slim
      Complexion: Pale
      Hair Color: Blonde
      Facial Hair: No
      Scars/marks/tattoos: None
      Jewelry and accessories: The rainbow, a water pitcher, a caduceus (winged herald's staff)
      Clothing: Shining robes
      Armor: None
      Type of Weapon: The messages of the gods

      Typical Companions:

      Zeus
      Hera
      Hermes

      Known Hangouts:

      Olympus
      Rainbows
      The sea
      The sky
      Wherever Zeus and Hera tell her she's supposed to go

    • Sightings

      Jan 1, 1970 - Jan 1, 1970

      The Iliad by Homer

      Iris barely got a chance to sit down during the Trojan War. Check out Homer's epic account if you don't believe us.

      Jan 1, 1970 - Jan 1, 1970

      Theogony by Hesiod

      Hesiod gives you the low down on the birth of Iris and her sisters, the Harpies, in this ancient epic poem.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      Heracles by Euripides

      In this tragedy, the rainbow goddess is totally freaked out when Heracles goes crazy and kills his kids.

      Dec 20, 2019

      The Birds by Aristophanes

      Iris runs into some foul-mouthed fowl in this ancient comedy.

      Jan 1, 1970 - Jan 1, 1970

      The Argonautica by Apollonius Rhodius

      Iris saves her sisters, the Harpies, from the flying Boread brothers in this ancient poem, which tells the story of the quest for the Golden Fleece.

      Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Argonautica by Valerius Flaccus

      The rainbow goddess shines again in this other version of the Quest for the Golden Fleece by the author often recognized for having the most ridiculous name ever.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Aeneid by Virgil

      In this epic Roman poem, the gods have Iris hard at work, delivering messages all through Aeneas's quest for Italy.

      Dec 20, 2019

      The Metamorphoses by Ovid

      Hera sends Iris to get the help of Hypnos, the drowsy god of sleep, in this epic collection of poems.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Tempest by William Shakespeare

      Iris makes an appearance on stage in a play within a play in this Shakespeare masterpiece.

      Dec 20, 2019

      The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

      Iris helps Percy Jackson and starts her own organic food store in this (clearly awesome) novel for young adults.