|“||It isn’t easy being a brilliant inventor, always alone. Always misunderstood. Easy to turn bitter, make horrible mistakes. People are more difficult to work with than machines. And when you break a person, he can’t be fixed.||”|
–Hephaestus, in The Battle of the Labyrinth
Hephaestus, (Ήφαιστος in Ancient Greek, also spelled Hephaistos) is the Greek god of forges, fire, technology, craftsmen, sculptors, volcanoes, blacksmiths. His Romancounterpart is Vulcan, and his symbols are the axe, an anvil, a pair of tongs, hammer, and fire. Hephaestus is portrayed byConrad Coates in The Lightning Thief Film.
Due to Zeus' giving birth to Athena, Hera was angry at his actions. She then gave birth to Hephaestus. He was an ugly and deformed child. A rumor was spread by Hera that Zeus threw him from Mt. Olympus at birth due to his ugliness, when it was really Hera herself that threw him. Another story makes the claim that Hephaestus stepped in between his mother and father's argument and sided with Hera. In rage of his son's actions, Zeus seized Hephaestus by the legs and threw him from the top of Mt. Olympus, which caused his drastic injuries. After being nursed to health, Zeus (in a rare act) apologized and welcomed his son back with open arms. Zeus, Hephaestus's fatherThe goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, was causing a lot of problems in Olympus due to her radiant beauty. Zeus decided to wed her to Hephaestus to keep her unavailable, though she still had multiple affairs with Ares, the god of war. Though these days the affair is considered old news and everyone just accepts it however, Hephaestus still finds ways to publicly embarrass his wife and her lover in front of the other gods with elaborate traps and tricks. The most famous one and the first one was when he caught the two lovers in a magical net and then invited the other gods to come and laugh at the unfortunate sight.
Hephaestus' mother, Hera===The Lightning ThiefEdit=== Hephaestus doesn't appear in this book, but Percy and Annabeth get caught in a trap made by him, after they see his symbol Eta, Greek for 'H'. The trap was originally intended for Ares and Aphrodite, in Waterland, but Percy and Annabeth got trapped there instead, while trying to retrieve Ares' shield. Percy retrieves it and also collects Aphrodite's scarf. The scarf is now in the big house attic. Before leaving the ride, Percy bows to the camera as the trap had been airing on Hephaestus TV.
Hephaestus has a minor appearance in this book. His wife Aphrodite mentions him to Percy, warning him to be careful in her husband's junkyard, because he is "touchy about his little toys".
When the Hunters and Campers are going through his junkyard, Bianca picks up a little statue of Hades because it is the only Mythomagic statue her brother doesn't have, this causes one of his automatons to attack the group. They attempt to defend themselves, but the automaton is too powerful, and Bianca decides to go up its foot and to shut it down from the inside. Percy volunteered, but Bianca insisted after Percy pointed it out to her. When she shuts it down, the robot falls to the ground and Bianca was electrocuted. Her little brother, Nico, later blames her death on Percy. During the Winter Solstice, Hephaestus later voted to let Percy live, though he didn't remember him later.
His first close encounter with Percy and friends. He sent them on a "mission" to find out who was using his favorite forge in Mount Saint Helens, the same mountain where the monster Typhon was being held captive. He goes to retrieve Percy, who had been marooned on Calypso's island (Ogygia) for weeks. He was also the one who told Percy about how Hera likes her "perfect family" a certain way. He gives Percy another hint about how a regular mortal was able to navigate the maze when demigods and monsters could not, and that Percy knew the answer (which was something Hera had told Percy before). This leads to Percy realizing he needs the help of Rachel Elizabeth Dare, a mortal able to see through the mist. Hephaestus also gave them information on what happened to Daedalus, though very little.
Hephaestus was also in the fight between the gods and Typhon. However, he was hit by Typhon and "was thrown from the battle so hard he created a new lake in West Virginia." Aphrodite, Hephaestus wife.Hephaestus later votes to abide by Percy's wishes in claiming all of theirDemigod children by the time they turn thirteen years old.
Hephaestus appears in the dream of one of his son's, Leo, using an old dream radio, and talks to him, giving information about why Olympus was closed down and the Giants being the sons of Gaea and Tartarus . He is shown to view Percy as an ingrate for refusing immortality. He transports Festus' head back to Bunker 9 when Leo crashes him.
Hephaestus tends to be gruff, and disappointed in life, in people and other "living organisms." He loves his wife Aphrodite, however he is sad and angry at her unfaithfulness. He is very bitter and hateful towards his mother, Hera. He is very bitter about his life, and puts his faith in machines rather then people, as machines can't let you down. However, he appears to have a soft spot for Cyclopes like Tyson, and seems to be on good terms withAthena. Hephaestus greatly admired Daedalus. Despite his bitterness, he is the lover of many things, such as his unfaithful wife, Aphrodite, and his demigod children and their mothers.
He is a huge lump of a man with his shoulders at different heights and a huge, bulging, misshapen head and his leg in a steel brace, with a wild brown beard that sparks fire from time to time. He is the only Olympian to show such extreme physical injuries; however, he is also muscular from working in his forges. Inside his workshop, he wears a jumpsuit smeared with grime and oil with the name Hephaestus embroidered over the chest pocket. When he is on Olympus, he is clean and elegant. In The Battle of the Labyrinth, Percy says "I guess he'd cleaned up when I saw him on Olympus or used magic to make his form seem a little less hideous."
Hephaestus can change into his Roman counterpart, Vulcan. As Vulcan, he becomes more disciplined, militaristic, and warlike due to the Romans being a more warlike race than the Greeks. He may have children ordescendants at Camp Jupiter. The Greeks envisioned Hephaestus as a benevolent and clever being. The Romans believed Vulcan to be the god of volcanoes, giving him greater respect among them.
- He possesses the standard powers of a god.
- Enhanced Strength
- Enhanced Forging
Aphrodite is Hephaestus' wife but she is notoriously promiscuous with Ares as her most notable lover. Hephaestus constantly tries to trap the two when they are together and humiliate them as he did the first time. However, the smith god himself has had his own number of affairs as well.
Leo, son of Hephaestus  |Partner |Children |- |Ms. Faynor |Thomas Faynor |- |Unknown |Harley |- |Unknown |Nyssa |- |Unknown |Palaemonius |- |Unknown |Shane |- |Athena |Erechthonius |- |Ms. Beckendorf |Charles Beckendorf |- |Ms. Mason |Jake Mason |- |Ocrestia |Cacus and Servius Tullius (as Vulcan) |- |Esperanza Valdez |Leo Valdez |- |Unknown |Christopher (Camper) |}
- Another name for Vulcan is Mulciber which means "fire" in Latin.
- In the books, he is pictured with light skin. However, in the movie, he was played by an African-American actor.
- In the books Hephaestus is still married where in Homer's account Hephaestus demands his bride-price back after catching them, which means they divorced. Homer also has him remarry the goddess Thalia.
- The word "Volcano" and "Volcanic" both derive from Vulcan, his Roman aspects' name