‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’: Who Is the Oracle of Delphi & Why Is She Important?

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The different things that we see in the storyline of ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ are all inspired by Greek mythology. Of course, episode 3 allowed us to see another Greek-inspired character in the form of the Oracle of Delphi, who went on to become important in Percy Jackson’s quest to retrieve the master bolt and his mother after learning about Hades’ involvement. So, who is the Oracle of Delphi?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • The Oracle of Delphi is a speaker who is able to speak on behalf of Apollo in relation to his prophecies.
  • In ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians,’ the Oracle was the one who prophesized Percy’s quest and predicted that one of his friends would betray him along the way.

The Oracle is a representative of Apollo

During ancient times, Delphi was a spring that had the ability to tell the future to those who listened to its whispers. Back then, the Titaness named Phoebe was the first to learn how to listen to the voices coming from the spring. As such, the spring became an important part of the history of the Greek gods.

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In the past, Rhea wanted to learn from the spring how to prevent her last child from being eaten by Kronos, and that was why she asked Phoebe for help, only for Phoebe to give no advice to her despite how important Rhea’s cause was. However, after the fall of Kronos, the Oracle of Delphi arose as the sole person who had the ability to speak of the future.

During the time of the Greek gods, Phoebe’s daughter Leto came looking for a place to give birth, and that was what led her to Delphi. However, Python, who was the one guarding the Oracle, chased her out. Leto gave birth to Apollo and Artemis. Apollo eventually grew up to become powerful enough to kill Python for what he did to Leto years ago.

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Python’s death allowed Apollo to take over the Oracle of Delphi. Since then, the spirit of the Oracle was passed down from one maiden to another so that they could continue to speak the prophecies of Apollo for many years.

Due to the ability of the Oracle to see the future, many different people came to her to ask for advice. Such matters ranged from the most trivial topics to matters involving public policy, such as war. As such, the Oracle became indispensable when it came to decisions because different people and leaders often came to her for consultation regarding important decisions. The problem was that there were instances wherein the prophecies that came from the gods through the Oracle were so vague that they were often misinterpreted or difficult to understand.

No quest would become official without the Oracle’s prophecy

During the events of ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians,’ the Oracle of Delphi became an important part of Percy’s quest. In episode 2 of the series, Percy learned about the fact that he was Poseidon’s son and that he was a Forbidden Child.

His status as a Forbidden Child meant that he was going to be involved in a huge matter involving the gods because it was said that a Forbidden Child or a child of one of the Big Three was responsible for stealing Zeus’ master bolt. Zeus thought that Poseidon was the one who stole his bolt because he was the only one who had a known child. The king of the gods threatened Poseidon with war if he didn’t return the master bolt within a fixed period of time.

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As such, Percy was the one who was sent on that quest because he was the one who was believed to have stolen Zeus’ bolt. He needed to clear his name up and prevent a war between the gods from breaking out. But while he didn’t want to go on a quest, Percy decided to accept it because he found out that Hades, who they believed was the one who stole the bolt, also kidnapped his mom.

Before Percy could go on this quest, however, he needed to go to the Oracle of Delphi because no quest would become official without a prophecy from the Oracle. Percy found the decomposing corpse of an Oracle upon reaching the Big House Attic. But the Oracle showed signs of life as she told Percy to go west to face the god who had turned.

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However, the prophecy also tells Percy about one of his friends becoming a traitor and that this betrayal could lead to the failure of the quest. The words that the Oracle used were quite vague, as Percy didn’t quite understand everything that she used when she told Percy of the prophecy. But Percy often looked back on the words of the Oracle as his guide.

For starters, Percy chose Annabeth as one of his companions because he thought that they would never become friends, thus allowing him to circumvent the Oracle’s prophecy that a “friend” would betray him. He also chose Grover as his second companion because he knew that his best friend would never betray him.

As such, the Oracle’s prophecy became one of the important parts of Percy’s quest because he feared that her words would come true. His actions were often guided by the Oracle’s words so that he would find a way to make sure that her prophecies would not lead to his failure.

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