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In "Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian", at the end of the Second Titan War, Percy had the Gods promise to release the peaceful titans, but we later find out that Calypso was still trapped on her island.

The Gods had kept to their other promise of claiming their kids by thirteen and all, but why not this? Specially since they had sworn on the River Styx, shouldn't it have been a binding promise?

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If you read the promise carefully there is one major flaw in the gift requested by Percy, which was used by the Gods to bail out: There was no time line set for pardoning the Titans like Calypso.

Percy wanted all demigods to be claimed before they turn 13 and Gods kept their promise.

“Very well!” Zeus growled. “In the name of the Council, we swear by the River Styx to grant your reasonable request as long as it is within our power.”

The other gods muttered assent. Thunder boomed, shaking the throne room. The deal was made.

“From now on, I want to you properly recognize the children of the gods,” I said. “All the children . . . of all the gods.”

The Olympians shifted uncomfortably.

“Percy,” my father said, “what exactly do you mean?”

“Kronos couldn’t have risen if it hadn’t been for a lot of demigods who felt abandoned by their parents,” I said. “They felt angry, resentful, and unloved, and they had a good reason.”

Zeus’s royal nostrils flared. “You dare accuse—”

“No more undetermined children,” I said. “I want you to promise to claim your children—all your demigod children—by the time they turn thirteen. They won’t be left out in the world on their own at the mercy of monsters. I want them claimed and brought to camp so they can be trained right, and survive.”

“Now, wait just a moment,” Apollo said, but I was on a roll.

“And the minor gods,” I said. “Nemesis, Hecate, Morpheus, Janus, Hebe—they all deserve a general amnesty and a place at Camp Half-Blood. Their children shouldn’t be ignored. Calypso and the other peaceful Titan-kind should be pardoned too. And Hades—”

The Last Olympian, Chapter 20, We Win Fabulous Prizes

Grover mentions in The Lightning Thief, that the Big Three had previously made a promise on River Styx.

Grover shifted his hooves uncomfortably. "About sixty years ago, after World War II, the Big Three agreed they wouldn't sire any more heroes. Their children were just too powerful. They were affecting the course of human events too much, causing too much carnage. World War II, you know, that was basically a fight between the sons of Zeus and Poseidon on one side, and the sons of Hades on the other. The winning side, Zeus and Poseidon, made Hades swear an oath with them: no more affairs with mortal women. They all swore on the River Styx."

The Lightning Thief, Chapter 8, We Capture A Flag

And two of them failed to keep it, but these Gods "got off easy".

Grover's face darkened. "Seventeen years ago, Zeus fell off the wagon. There was this TV starlet with a big fluffy eighties hairdo—he just couldn't help himself. When their child was born, a little girl named Thalia .. . well, the River Styx is serious about promises. Zeus himself got off easy because he's immortal, but he brought a terrible fate on his daughter."

The Lightning Thief, Chapter 8, We Capture A Flag

So even if Percy had specified the time frame within which Calypso was to be released, Gods could have bailed out with light punishment.

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They forgot, and nobody made sure that they made good on their promise.

As @Vishvesh mentioned in their excellent answer, the gods get off easy because they're immortal:

Grover's face darkened. "Seventeen years ago, Zeus fell off the wagon. There was this TV starlet with a big fluffy eighties hairdo—he just couldn't help himself. When their child was born, a little girl named Thalia .. . well, the River Styx is serious about promises. Zeus himself got off easy because he's immortal, but he brought a terrible fate on his daughter."
Percy Jackson & the Olympians, book 1: The Lightning Thief, chapter 8: "We Capture A Flag"

But Percy mentions in The Blood of Olympus that he didn't check in on them, and the gods tend to forget things (I'm absolutely sure there's a quote about this somewhere, but I can't pull it up at the moment for some reason).

"Hey," Percy said. "If we don't make it out of this..."
"Shut up, man. We're going to make it."
"If we don't, I want you to know - I feel bad about Calypso. I failed her."
Leo stared at him, dumbfounded. "You know about me and -"
"The Argo II is a small ship," Percy grimaced. "Word got around. I just... well, when I was in Tartarus, I was reminded that I hadn't followed through on my promise to Calypso. I asked the gods to free her and then... I just assumed they would. With me getting amnesia and getting sent to Camp Jupiter and all, I didn't think about Calypso much after that. I'm not making excuses. I should have made sure the gods kept their promise. Anyway, I'm glad you found her. You promised to find a way back to her, and I just wanted to say, if we do survive all this, I'll do anything I can to help you. That's a promise I will keep."
The Heroes of Olympus, book 5: The Blood of Olympus, chapter 12

...which is a rather long speech given the circumstances, but whatever. The point is, the gods simply didn't keep their promise - and nobody ever thought to check up on them.

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I like the time limit theory. I'd like to add they eventually let her leave by sending Leo there twice. No one was to go there twice but he did, which was obviously a God bending the rules to keep the promise. I feel it will be Hephaestus as he visited Calypso regularly and was Leo's father.

  • which was obviously a God bending the rules to keep the promise - What? No, that was Odysseus's invention that managed to get around it. Why would a god be needed? – user58 Feb 2 '18 at 11:07

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