The Last Olympian
Cover of first edition
|Cover artist||John Rocco|
|Series||Percy Jackson & the Olympians (bk 5)|
|Genre||Fantasy, Greek mythology, young-adult novel|
|May 5, 2009|
|Media type||Print (hardcover), audiobook|
|LC Class||PZ7.R4829 Las 2009b|
|Preceded by||Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth|
|Followed by||The Heroes of Olympus|
The Last Olympian is a fantasy-adventure novel based on Greek mythology by Rick Riordan, published on May 5, 2009. It is the fifth and final novel of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series and serves as the direct sequel to The Battle of the Labyrinth. The Last Olympian revolves around the demigod Percy Jackson as he leads his friends in a last stand to protect Mount Olympus. The title refers to Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, who refers to herself as such in a conversation with Percy on Mount Olympus.
Upon release, the book received highly positive reviews from various critics. It was also the #1 USA Today bestseller, the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller, and #1 Los Angeles Times bestseller.
The novel opens with Percy Jackson on a drive with Rachel Dare. He is approached by Charles Beckendorf, and the two head off to attack The Princess Andromeda. Kronos, hosted in the mortal body of Luke, is not caught off guard because of a spy at Camp Half-Blood, and Beckendorf is killed. Percy awakens later in his father's underwater palace, which is under siege by the Titan Oceanus. Percy wants to stay and help fight with his father, but Poseidon sends Percy back to Camp Half-Blood to hear the "Great Prophecy". Once there, Percy informs the camp of the spy and also learns the Olympians are occupied fighting Typhon. That night, Percy leaves again with Nico di Angelo, son of Hades, following a lead on how to defeat Kronos. After visiting Luke's mother in Westport, Connecticut, and talking with Hestia, Percy procures a blessing from his mother. He then descends into the underworld to bathe in the River Styx and take on the curse of Achilles. Despite being betrayed by Nico in exchange for information on the boy's mother, Percy is successful and uses his new invulnerability to defeat a small army of Hades's minions.
Percy emerges from the Underworld in New York City, leaving Nico behind to convince his father to join the fight against Kronos. Percy calls the campers to help defend Olympus, as the gods refuse to end their struggle with Typhon. Just before the battle begins, New York City is affected by a powerful sleeping spell from Morpheus, Hecate, and Kronos himself. Despite being joined by Thalia's Hunters of Artemis, the Party Ponies, and a few other allies; the Olympian army struggles to hold back repeated assaults by the Titan army. Camp Half Blood suffers approximately 16 casualties, out of an original 40 campers. Annabeth herself is badly injured when she saves Percy from an attack by Ethan Nakamura that would have hit Percy in his Achilles point. Even after these setbacks, Percy still refuses a chance to surrender offered by Prometheus, and entrusts the titan's gift of Pandora's pithos to Hestia. The campers successfully defeat Hyperion, and Kronos becomes even more enraged.
Rachel Dare, who has been experiencing inexplicable moments of prophecy, arrives to warn Percy of a deadly drakon that can only be killed by a child of Ares and that he is "not the hero". The campers do poorly against the enemy until Silena Beauregard arrives disguised as Ares's head counselor Clarisse and breaks the cabin's boycott of the war. The real Clarisse arrives in a fury and kills the drakon by herself. As Silena lies dying, the campers learn that she was the camp's spy, but chose to right her wrongs after her boyfriend Beckendorf's death.
Percy contacts his father and explains to Poseidon that Kronos is playing on their divisions; he reluctantly agrees. Driven back to the blocks surrounding the Empire State building, Percy and his friends make their last stand to protect Mount Olympus. Even when Hades arrives with Nico and an army, Kronos still manages to enter Olympus. Percy attacks Kronos, without either side gaining a significant advantage. In an Iris message-vision, the combatants are able to see Typhon approaching New York, only to be defeated with the aid of Poseidon and his cyclopes. Ethan Nakamura also rebels against Kronos's expectations, but is killed. When Kronos attacks Annabeth, Luke is able to regain control of his body and, with Percy's help, he injures himself at his mortal point and successfully banishes Kronos to the void. As he dies, Luke tells Percy that Ethan had the right idea: it was unclaimed children and unrecognized gods that really brought this war upon them. He dies peacefully, and the Fates themselves carry his body away.
The gods grant rewards to several heroes who were instrumental in defeating the Titans, including Thalia, Grover, Annabeth, Tyson, Clarisse, and Nico. Finally, Percy is called forward. Zeus offers him the greatest gift of all time: immortal godhood. Much to the Olympians' shock, Percy instead asks the gods to swear on the River Styx that they will claim all demigods by the time they turn thirteen; have cabins and thrones built for all the minor gods and Hades; and give amnesty to innocent Titans and their former allies. Percy also relieves Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades of their oath to not have demigod children. After the meeting, Percy discovers Rachel plans to become the new Oracle, he rushes to camp with Annabeth and Nico. He fears that a curse placed on the Oracle's spirit by Hades (in revenge for Zeus's murder of Nico's mother) is still in place. With Apollo's supervision, Rachel safely becomes the new Oracle and speaks the next Great Prophecy:
Seven half-bloods shall answer the call.
To storm or fire, the world must fall.
An oath to keep with the final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.
The novel ends shortly after Annabeth celebrates Percy's birthday and the two begin dating. The gods are keeping to their new promises, and Camp Half-Blood is slowly returning to normal. The many fallen demigods are honored with the end-of-summer's bead.
The first Great Prophecy was issued more than seventy years before the events of The Last Olympian, and reads as follows:
A half-blood of the eldest gods
Shall reach sixteen against all odds
And see the world in endless sleep,
The hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap
A single choice shall end his days,
Olympus to preserve or raze.
Though there is much speculation beforehand, the prophecy is finally understood with the death of Luke Castellan and the end of the Titan War.
- Percy Jackson is the half-mortal son of Poseidon, one of the three eldest male Twelve Olympians.
- Percy reached age sixteen despite several dangerous quests and multiple attempts on his life.
- Morpheus put a massive sleeping spell on the mortal residents Manhattan to limit their interference in Kronos's final assault on Olympus.
- When Luke and Annabeth first met, he handed her a knife with the promise that they would always be a family. His choice to betray her and the gods "cursed" the blade, and his much later choice to commit suicide with it led to the reaping of his soul.
- Percy Jackson's choice to trust Luke with the knife - at the time his only weapon - ended the older hero's life.
- Luke's suicide banished Kronos, the Titan possessing him, back to Tartarus and saved Olympus and its gods.
- Percy Jackson - The protagonist and narrator of Percy Jackson & the Olympians. He is aged fifteen in The Last Olympian, the son of Poseidon. Like Luke and Achilles he bathes in the River Styx and become invincible. He begins a romantic relationship with Annabeth Chase on his sixteenth birthday near the end of the book.
- Luke Castellan - A 23-year-old demigod son of Hermes who willingly gave his body to Kronos out of hatred for the Olympian gods. Although he is an antagonist throughout the series, he sacrifices himself to destroy at the end of the book and is, in a way, the actual hero of the Great Prophecy.
- Kronos - The former king of the Titans, bent on restoring his rule and taking revenge on the gods who deposed him.
- Annabeth Chase - Daughter of Athena, Percy's close friend, and an aspiring architect.
- Ethan Nakamura - An ally of Kronos and son of Nemesis, without whom Kronos's rise to power would not have been possible. Like Luke, he too feels betrayed by the Greek gods for their refusal to awknowledge his mother as a goddess equal in importance to the twelve Olympians.
- Grover Underwood - Percy's best friend, a satyr, and a new member of the Council of Cloven Elders. He is also a kind of ambassador for the power of the god Pan in the world.
- Thalia Grace - A daughter of Zeus and leader of a group of Artemis's followers, previously believed to be the demigod of the Great Prophecy. She is immortal, but physically aged to nearly sixteen.
- Nico di Angelo - A son of Hades who is instrumental in convincing his father, Demeter, and Persephone to ally against the Titans.
- Charles Beckendorf and Silena Beauregard - A couple who both give their lives in defense of Olympus; Beckendorf's death at Luke's hands convinces Silena to renounce her role as Kronos's spy. They are the son of Hephaestus and daughter of Aphrodite, respectively.
- Clarisse La Rue - A daughter of Ares. At first, due to a disagreement with Apollo's cabin at Camp Half-Blood, she and her brethren refuse to fight in the war. Her friend Silena Beauregard's death, in part because of her refusal to fight, changes her mind.
Another Camp Half-Blood series has been released, titled The Heroes of Olympus. The Lost Hero is the first book in this series by Riordan, and was released on October 12, 2010. Though it is not directly related to Percy and friends, there are many references and appearances of these characters and it still serves as a sequel. Its sequel, The Son of Neptune, portrays Percy as one of the main protagonists. The Son of Neptune is followed by The Mark of Athena, The House of Hades, and The Blood of Olympus which was released October 7, 2014.
- "The last Olympian" (first edition). LC Online Catalog. Library of Congress (lccn.loc.gov). Retrieved 2015-11-05.
- "The Last Olympian" (starred review). Kirkus Reviews. May 15, 2009. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
- "Percy Jackson children's book series ending next year". The Seattle Times. September 5, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
- Riordan, Rick (May 5, 2009). The Last Olympian. Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Disney-Hyperion. ISBN 1-4231-0147-2. OCLC 299578184.
- Riordan, Rick. The Last Olympian. Disney Hyperion Books, 2009, p. 55.
- Rick Riordan Myth Master at publisher Penguin Books (UK)
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians at publisher Disney-Hyperion Books (US)
- Rick Riordan at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database