Percy Jackson: Here’s What Happened to Luke’s Sword, Backbiter (& What Makes It So Unique)

Percy Jackson Heres What Happened to Lukes Sword Backbiter and What Makes It So Unique

The final episode of ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ just aired and if you didn’t read the books you were probably surprised to see that it was Luke Castellan who was collaborating with Kronos this whole time. Luke, besides being mentally tortured by Kronos was also given a certain sword, Backbiter that allowed him to escape from Percy during the final moments of the fight. You see Percy Jackson Universe is no stranger to magical weapons and artifacts, but the history of Backbiter is truly a creepy one and we’re going to tell you all about it.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Backbiter was originally Kronos’ Scythe but was repurposed into what Luke Castellan was wielding as Backbiter.
  • Backbiter is a unique sword due to being forged out of tempered steel and Celestial Bronze it can kill both mortals, demigods, and immortals. The sword can also open portals.
  • Backbiter was destroyed in ‘The Last Olympian’ by Hestia via superheating, and after Krono was destroyed Backbiter remained in a pool of molten metal and hasn’t been wielded since.

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ read at your own risk.

Backbiter was originally Kronos’ Scythe but was given to Luke to advance Kronos’ plans

Luke Castellan hated the gods and this is why he was such an easy target for Kronos to manipulate. He was sold on the idea of a “golden age” and was doing everything in his power to advance his goals, even messing with Zeus’ Master Bolt and Hades’ Helm of Darkness. Despite being a demigod, and one controlled by Kronos for that matter, Luke was at the end of the day still a boy and he needed every bit of help to advance Kronos’ ultimate plan which is why Kronos provided him with power.

Luke Castellan’s Backbiter wasn’t always in the form we’ve seen in the show. Before it was sword it was seen as Kronos’ Scythe. The Scythe, initially crafted by Gaea, was intended for her Titan child to use against Ouranos. Only Kronos, the youngest and boldest, agreed to wield it. During the First Titan War, with the help of his siblings, Kronos used the Scythe to brutally castrate and defeat Ouranos, becoming the Titan King. The Scythe became a symbol of his power, displayed beside his throne. After Kronos’ defeat by Zeus, the Scythe was taken by Zeus, who used it to similarly defeat Kronos, slicing him into pieces and casting them into Tartarus.

It’s unknown how exactly the scythe came to be in the form of Backbiter but we do know that the name Backbiter was chosen by Luke because it was capable of harming both mortals and immortals, and it had the potential to fatally wound a demigod. The name may have been inspired by the phrase “stabbed in the back.” After the sword was reforged into a scythe, Kronos claimed that it would retaliate against the Olympian gods, emphasizing its dangerous nature.


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How powerful is Backbiter? Compared to Riptide?

Riptide was the first magical sword we’ve seen in the show, and it belongs to Percy Jackson, we’ve already described the properties of the sword in our separate guide so we’re not going to describe it in detail here. When it comes to length and weight, Rpitide and Backbiter are really similar with one major and notable difference. Where Riptide is forged out of Celestial Bronze, Backbiter was forged of Tempered Steel as well, which allows the sword to harm all types of mythological beings, even sever immortals from their souls.

riptide versus backbiter

One additional curious property of Backbiter is the ability to “cut through space” which allows it to open portals. Percy Jackson was truly afraid of Backbiter. The origin of Luke’s weapon was shrouded in mystery for a long time until it was eventually figured that it was Kronos’ weapon. When Backbiter collided with Thalia’s Aegis both weapons created powerful explosions.

Backbiter portal

What happened to Backbiter in the books?

Backbiter was reforged several times and changed multiple forms going back and forth between Kronos and Luke Castellan. The sword was ultimately destroyed in ‘The Last Olympian’ during Kronos’ duel with Percy. Percy and Kronos were locked in a duel, with Kronos wielding his scythe in Backbiter form, Percy by pure luck managed to disarm Kronos, and to prevent Kronos from picking up the sword Hestia managed to superheat it and destroy it. After Kronos was defeated, Backbiter remained in its molten state and the sword hasn’t been seen in its original form or sword form ever since.

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