The Titan's Curse
Check out our episode here! (featuring The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters and The Titan's Curse) The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
It’s December, six months after Percy and Annabeth saved Grover from marrying the cyclops Polyphemus, and Thalia, daughter of Zeus, was healed from being a pine tree by the Golden Fleece. Percy, Annabeth and Thalia meet Grover at a school where he has located two powerful demigod siblings, Bianca and Nico di Angelo. Thalia is able to use Mist to manipulate a teacher into believing they are students at the school. It doesn’t work on the vice-principal, Dr. Thorn, though, as he is a Manticore in disguise. Grover already knows this and tells the others that Dr. Thorn has been suspicious of the sibling half-bloods' true identities. Thalia has a plan to distract Dr. Thorn that backfires and Percy is forced to blend into the crowd by dancing. Percy spots Dr. Thorn attempting to sneak away with Bianca and Nico and, unable to find the others, follows them by himself.
As Percy nears Bianca and Nico, Dr. Thorn throws a poisoned thorn at him that grazes his shoulder. This weakens Percy who can’t fight, but he can overhear the manticore as he talks about something called The Great Stirring. Percy tries to send a message to Grover over their empathy link, telling him he is in danger, as Dr. Thorn leads them to a cliff to wait for his allies. Thankfully it works and Grover, Thalia and Annabeth show up. Dr. Thorn reveals his true Manticore form, but suddenly, silver arrows fly toward them.
Thorn returns a volley of thorns which are split perfectly in half by more silver arrows. The archers emerge, they are all adolescent girls wearing silver clothing. Thalia introduces them as the Hunters of Artemis. They are about to shoot when Dr. Thorn lunges at Percy and Thalia. Annabeth climbs on Dr. Thorn with her knife, but the hunters release their arrows, and he falls from the cliff, taking Annabeth with him. Her cap of invisibility is left behind.
Artemis appears then and orders the Hunters to set up camp and invites Percy to talk. She asks him to restate what Dr. Thorn mentioned about The Great Stirring and concludes that dangerous times are ahead. Artemis decides she must hunt a powerful monster, one that has the power to bring down the gods and Olympus. Before she leaves, she puts Zoë Nightshade, her lieutenant, in charge of her Hunters and orders them to stay at Camp Half-Blood until she returns. Before they leave for the Camp, Bianca chooses to become an immortal hunter of Artemis.
Artemis asks her twin brother Apollo to assist the group and her hunters to Camp Half-Blood. Apollo, who is a bit of a dude, lets them use the sun chariot, with Thalia (a minor!) at the wheel, much to Percy’s jealousy. Thalia is terrified of heights and the sun chariot can fly so the journey is terrifying. They arrive at Camp Half-Blood in one piece, though they pretty much crash into the canoe lake. Percy and Thalia lead Nico to the Big House to meet Mr. D and Chiron. They are barred from mounting a rescue for Annabeth because Dionysus says that there is a very small chance that she would have survived.
Chiron announces a game of Capture the Flag is going to be held against the Hunters, as is tradition when they visit Camp Half-Blood. When Percy returns to his cabin, he finds that his father, Poseidon, has installed a fountain for him that is filled with golden drachmas, a reminder to keep in touch with his family. Percy sends an Iris message to Tyson, his cyclops half-brother who has gone to intern at a Hephaestus forge, only to learn that the Princess Andromeda, Luke's evil cruise ship, is being protected by old spirits and that it was last seen heading toward the Panama Canal.
Percy has a vivid dream, in this one Luke, son of Hermes and traitor to the Olympians, tricks Annabeth into holding up a ceiling of a cavern. He learns that the ceiling is actually the sky and that Annabeth has actually taken over the burden of Atlas. Percy tells Grover about his dream, and finds out that Annabeth has been considering joining the Hunters of Artemis. Angry at not being permitted to rescue Annabeth, Percy sneaks into the Big House attic to gain assistance from the Oracle, but the Oracle does not respond.
The Capture the Flag game ends in a humiliating defeat. The Hunters have a high win ratio against Camp Half-Blood. Percy failed to follow Thalia’s orders and tried to undermine her strategy and essentially lost them the win. Percy and Thalia are about to come to blows when Percy sees the Oracle walking toward Zoë. This makes everyone stop as according to Chiron, the Oracle has never left the attic of the Big House. The Oracle gives Zoë a prophecy, which means she must lead a quest. Artemis is chained to rocks and Zoë must find her, but she will only succeed if hunters and campers work together, something that they can never do.
It is decided that three hunters, Zoë, Bianca and Phoebe, and two campers, Thalia and Grover, will go on the quest, leaving a protesting Percy behind. The decision is final and Chiron tries to comfort him, but he’s thirteen so it doesn’t really work. Percy decides to send an Iris message to his mother and finds her chatting with her new boyfriend. Before the connection is cut, Sally encourages Percy to do what he thinks is right.
Percy has another dream, and in it, Artemis has taken Annabeth's place holding the sky to save her from likely death. A General tells Luke to kill Annabeth; however, Luke convinces the General to let him keep her alive until the winter solstice. Percy wakes up to Blackjack, a pegasus, asking him to rescue a marine cow-like creature called the Ophiotaurus which Percy gives the dignified name of Bessie. Percy does not realize that it’s a creature of incredible power, and not a girl.
Percy, wearing Annabeth's cap of invisibility, catches Nico eavesdropping on the hunters. He has learned that Phoebe is bedridden due to a prank the Stoll brothers, sons of Hermes, pulled. Oh! This means Percy can go instead! Nico wants to go with his sister on the quest, but Percy tells him he's too young and that he will protect Bianca, then he takes off on Blackjack and follows the questers. Hours later, the group stops at a museum. From a distance, Percy sees Dr. Thorn and hears him confirming that Annabeth is still alive. Thorn does not go into the museum with the rest of the group, but instead goes to meet the General and Luke. The General creates skeletal warriors by putting dinosaur teeth (which are actually dragon teeth) into the soil and watering them with blood. This army is almost impossible to stop. Their orders are to kill Zoë and Bianca. The General gives them a piece of cloth with the Hunters’ scent to track (they’re skeletons, how do they smell?) but Percy grabs it. The skeletons however rip a piece of Percy’s shirt, and mark him as their target.
Using Annabeth’s cap, Percy is able to escape and warn the others. Zoë is not happy Percy has followed them but a Nemean Lion attacks before they can come to blows again. Nothing can pierce the hide of the Nemean Lion but Percy is able to discover its weakness inside its mouth. Percy throws astronaut food from the gift shop into the Nemean Lion's mouth. The Nemean Lion is rightly disgusted by the freeze-dried delectables, and when it opens its mouth to choke them out, Zoë shoots an arrow in it. Zoë gives Percy the trophy of the Nemean Lion's Pelt, saying that he was the one who defeated the lion and deserves the spoils. When Percy puts on the pelt, it transforms into a jacket. Meanwhile, the Skeleton Warriors, which are disguised by the Mist as gray security men, are following Percy. Zoë refuses to leave him behind at the museum as she realizes that he is the fifth member of their group. They continue on their journey, hopping trains to lose their pursuers and reach an area called the Sun West line. There, they meet a homeless person who shares his fire, but they are oblivious to the fact that the homeless man is in fact Apollo.
Apollo reveals himself to Percy, but not until they are on a train headed west. He advises Percy to seek out the Old Man of the Sea, Nereus. Resting after this encounter, Percy has another prophetic dream, in it he is given the sword Anaklusmos by a girl but what he doesn’t realize is, this isn’t his dream. He is actually seeing through the eyes of Hercules and the girl is Zoë. Apollo aids them further by helping them reach a small town in New Mexico where Grover swoons as Pan's presence overcomes him. Then the skeleton warriors attack! With handguns! Percy is able to deflect a bullet and cuts down a skeleton warrior, but it immediately reassembles. Somehow Bianca is able to defeat a skeleton warrior by stabbing it through the chest with her knife, blasting it to flames. They continue to shoot at Percy and thankfully he survives, realizing that the Nemean Lion pelt he is wearing is bulletproof. As they are fighting, Grover senses Pan's presence again and is sent a wild gift, the Erymanthian Boar. The giant boar temporarily defeats the skeletal warriors and helps them escape, taking them toward San Francisco.
The Erymanthian Boar leaves them in the desert at the Junkyard of the Gods, where Percy meets Ares and Aphrodite. Aphrodite wants to talk to him and hints that Annabeth and Percy will most likely have a romantic future together and she approves. Aphrodite likes Percy and she doesn’t want to see Annabeth wasted with the Hunters of Artemis. The group enters the junkyard but are advised not to take anything. Bianca sees and tries to steal an action figure from a game that Nico is obsessed with to take to him as a souvenir, but this awakens a defective Talos.
They battle the seemingly undefeatable giant automaton when Percy spots an access hatch on the underside of its foot. Bianca, feeling guilty over causing the Talos to wake, enters, deciding it should have controls or something she can use to help destroy it. Bianca is trapped inside when Talos crashes into power lines, causing it to short-circuit and crash to the ground. When they fail to find her, Grover announces that this unfortunately fulfills part of the prophecy Zoë was given. One of the group was meant to die in the land without rain.
Miraculously they find a beat up but working truck in the junkyard. Thalia drives until they run out of gas. For the entire journey Zoë has been quiet and withdrawn, she feels responsible for Bianca’s death. They come across a river, and they are able to find some canoes. Percy asks a group of Naiads to help steer them up the river until they reach Hoover Dam. After making some terrible dam jokes on the way to get food, Percy is separated from the group. He hears Bessie the Ophiotaurus, and then the remaining skeletal warriors attack him (of course). Percy runs to escape and joins a tour group inside an elevator as cover. As the group leaves the elevator, Percy is alone with the tour guide for a moment, who turns out to be Athena in disguise. She gives him a cryptic clue on how to escape, that there is a way out for those who can find it, before walking off.
Percy dashes behind a wall to hide from the skeletons when he hears a noise from behind him. Thinking it is a skeleton, he lashes out with his sword but it’s actually a girl. The girl, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, is a rare mortal who can see through the Mist. She saves Percy by misdirecting the disguised skeletons as he hides in the bathroom. Percy is then able to escape the lower levels of the dam and return to his companions. The group is trapped on the dam, so Percy encourages Thalia to pray to her father Zeus for help, something she is reluctant to do but she eventually relents. Zeus sends giant metal angel statues given to him by Athena to carry them off.
They finally reach San Francisco. Zoë dresses Percy in some clothes from goodwill and sends him to a homeless camp to find Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea. He’s identifiable by his pungent marine odor. Percy locates him and wrestles Nereus who changes forms and they fall into the sea which strengthens Percy who is able to restrain Nereus. Percy learns that Bessie, the Ophiotaurus, is the monster Artemis is seeking. If his entrails are burned, a person will gain the power to destroy Olympus. Yikes.
Dr. Thorn turns up then with a small group of mortals and tries to convince Thalia to wield the Ophiotaurus' power, but Percy is able to knock her out of his mesmerism. When they are cornered by Thorn and his minions, they are able to get an Iris message to Camp Half-Blood. Unfortunately Chiron is busy and they are connected to Dionysus instead. Percy asks for help and surprisingly Dionysus gives it. Percy throws the Nemean Lion’s pelt into the sea as an offering and Poseidon helps Grover take Bessie back to Long Island the long way.
The remaining members of the group go to see Annabeth's mortal father, Dr. Chase, to ask for help. Dr. Chase lends them his car, and as they leave, Percy promises Mrs. Chase he will tell Annabeth that she still has a home there with them. As they drive up the mountain, the car explodes. Kronos has hit them with a lightning bolt to make Thalia angry enough at her father to sacrifice Bessie, because who else wields lightning bolts?
They continue on and are forced to go through the Garden of the Hesperides, Zoë's former sisters. It is not a friendly reunion and Zoë tells them they've never had any courage before yelling "LADON!! WAKE!" which wakes the hundred headed, serpent-like dragon. Ladon attacks Zoë since it doesn’t recognize her and she is poisoned, but she hides this injury from the group as they continue their quest.
Eventually they reach the place where Atlas holds up the sky, except Artemis is currently taking on his burden. She took over to save Annabeth who is now bound and gagged by Luke and Atlas. Percy takes the burden of the sky, the Titan's Curse, from Artemis so that Artemis may enter the fight with her Hunters. Percy watches as Atlas tries to strike Artemis but Zoë jumps in and shoots an arrow at him. Atlas knocks Zoë to the side, sending her down to the big black rocks below, injuring her further. Percy tricks Atlas into taking his burden back after Artemis kicks him toward Percy, and now Atlas is stuck holding up the sky once more. Annabeth is freed from her bonds and then her mortal father enters the fray flying a Sopwith Camel and firing celestial bronze bullets. In the fight, Luke falls down a chasm, and Percy assumes he is dead, but that’s wishful thinking as later Poseidon confirms he still lives.
When the fight is over, Percy and Artemis try to help Zoë. Thalia, Percy, Annabeth, and Artemis crowd around her. Zoë apologizes to Thalia for their fighting and to Percy for her assumptions about him. Artemis then blesses her and makes her into a constellation in the stars, a pattern that looks like a young girl running around firing arrows into the night sky. "Let the world honor you my Huntress, live forever in the stars," says Artemis. The survivors then go to Mount Olympus with the help of Blackjack and his pegasi friends.
When Percy, Thalia, and Annabeth arrive, the gods have already started their meeting, and Grover is there with Bessie in a magical water bubble. Thalia agrees to take Zoë's place as the Hunters' lieutenant, meaning she will never turn 16 and therefore cannot be the child of the prophecy. Percy assumed that it would be Annabeth joining the Hunters and is excited to find she's not. Ares and Athena suggest that the gods kill Percy just in case since he’s the only other child who can now fulfil the prophecy. Fortunately, most of the gods vote to let him live after Artemis defends him and his heroic actions. Poseidon also declares that the Ophiotaurus live, but not in the bubble, it’s an all powerful creature after all, not a beach ball. He states that it will be kept in an aquarium on Mount Olympus.
When they return to Camp Half-Blood, Percy tells Nico about Bianca's death and gives him the figurine she took. It’s of Hades, but Nico throws the statue away and tells Percy that he hates him for not saving his sister, and says he can’t trust him anymore. Suddenly, four of the skeletal warriors appear and Nico unintentionally splits the earth open to swallow them. It’s at this point Percy realizes that Nico's father is Hades. Percy discusses what happened with Nico and his abilities with Annabeth, and says he wants to keep the information quiet for now. He works out that Bianca and Nico were born before Zeus, Poseidon and Hades made the deal not to father any more children, and that they got stuck in the Lotus Hotel before the no-kid agreement was made, never aging. Grover arrives then, claiming that, whilst drinking vast quantities of coffee, he heard Pan's voice speak in his head saying "I await you."