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In the Percy Jackson series, the “big three” (Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades) swear an oath on the river Styx never to have children. However, Zeus and Poseidon both violate that oath.

How is that possible? I thought that if you broke an oath sworn on the river Styx, you would die. And if that wasn't the case, why would anyone trust such oaths?

  • Maybe they did die but just didn't notice it? It's no big deal when you're immortal :) – Tacroy Apr 30 '12 at 16:09
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I found the answer in MortalNet's interview with Rick Riordan:

TK: There are many questions surrounding the River Styx. For mortals and half-bloods how much power does a promise on the River Styx hold over you other than the death penalty?

RR (Rick Riordan): Well the Fates oversee that, and you never want to mess around with the Fates. When or where they will they get their revenge should you break the oath that’s anybodies guess. Suffice to say you don’t want to find out.

SK: Does that go for the gods too?

RR: The gods do swear on the River Styx and they do get in trouble, but they tend to get off easier because they are immortal.

TK: How were Zeus and Poseidon able to break their oath not to have any more children?

RR: Well unfortunately the gods do that all the time and really the doom, the curse happens with their children. You can break your word it is just not a good thing to do.

TK: Didn’t they swear on the River Styx, which is unbreakable? Does this mean that the gods can break Percy’s promise and not claim their children?

RR: Well that’s the question that will have to wait for the next series to answer. That is an excellent question.

And the gods broke their promise with Percy in the first book of the heroes of Olympus (Jason wasn't claimed until he was 16)

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    While it's true that in the Heroes of Olympus series we find out the gods broke their promise, I don't think Jason was 16 when he was claimed. He was 15 at the start of the series and by that time he had already been at Camp Jupiter long enough to become praetor and already knew that he was a son of Jupiter. – eyuelt Dec 27 '14 at 21:57
  • I agree with the comment by eyeult, Jason was Roman and the Roman Gods were not bound by Percy's promise. The gods never actually break the oath other than refusing to free Calypso. – Bellerophon Feb 29 '16 at 21:26
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Jason was FIFTEEN in the lost hero. He wasn't sixteen until July 1st (Mark of Athena)

And Hazel is breaking the vow as much as Nico, meaning not at all. She was born before Nico, and died before World War II was over.

The vows don't effect the Roman side, you're right. And you are right about Jason knowing. He'd always known, because Beryl knew who he was. But she didn't seem to notice he was Jupiter, or if she did she didn't tell Thalia. Either way, I guess it doesn't really matter, except that Jason grew up differently than Thalia. Because the vow didn't effect him, he had more of a home and a family than Thalia, and he was never a tree.

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    "He was never a tree"- that cracked me up. – Mary ML Mar 11 '15 at 5:39
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No, Jason knew Jupiter was his dad long before the events of Heroes of Olympus. Hera wiped his memories, remember? That's the only reason he didn't know. But then he pulled out that coin and summoned lightning and was just like, "Yup, Jupiter's my old man. DEAL WITH IT." And even if he wasn't claimed until he was 16, the promises made by the Greek gods obviously aren't kept by their Roman sides. Remember the first Great Prophecy? Neither Jupiter nor Pluto kept that; they both fathered children (Jason and Hazel, respectively). And those kids didn't need protection from the wrath of the other gods (that we know of) for being the result of a broken promise.

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  • hum... um is not good in an answer :P – Rocket Dec 27 '14 at 17:52

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