What the title said. Just that.
I’m not going to tell the ending specifically. I’m not going to mention how everyone ends up or how things plays out, but spoilers will be rampant in this post all the same, so only read this if you’ve finished the book.
I don’t even know where to begin. Should I start with the epic battle in Athens? Nico’s recon mission? Octavian’s death? Gaea? The wondrous thing that is the pseudo-epilogue?
I have to admit, I didn’t cry, though I threatened to several times. It was very emotional.
The end just packs so much together. I cheered when the gods arrived and fought with their children. I felt defiant when Apollo was blamed. I was shocked during the battle and relieved when it was over. There is humour and tragedy, and promises for a future (what I’m calling the pseudo-epilogue i.e. the last 4 chapters).
I should talk about one tragedy in particular. Octavian’s death wasn’t satisfying. Not even a little bit. It was heartbreaking, to see someone so consumed by glory to die in the least dignified way. I felt so bad for hating on his character, but I still don’t like him. But in his last moments, Octavian was humanized, and I thank Riordan for doing that.
Speaking of deaths, one in particular didn’t really affect me the way it should have. Because someone else besides Octavian dies. Someone important. But I never felt bad about it because I didn’t believe it was the end for that character (or I was just in denial). They really tried to make the impact that the death was final, with Nico announcing it and everything, but it just wasn’t convincing. I knew too much and I guessed what really happened (and thank the gods I was right, because if that death happened and I was wrong, I’d be depressed).
There are a few more flaws that are kind of unsettling for me:
- The definition of the “Blood of Olympus”…really? A nosebleed counts?
- The combining of Roman and Greek was almost instant.
- Zeus said it would take all seven for Gaea to fall…but in the end it only took three. How come?
- Frank’s big purpose in keeping Percy from interfering is two sentences he utters while being onslaught by monsters? What? WHAT? And what ever happened to bringing full circle?
- And what about Hazel’s curse that has to be washed away by a descendant of Poseidon? Did that ever happen? They never say!
- Upon analyzing the great prophecy, Frank and Hazel aren’t needed except for numbers sake:
- Seven Half Bloods shall answer the call. Okay, we know who they are…
- To Storm or fire, the world must fall, Piper chose to interpret it one way, and Jason and Leo fulfilled it
- An oath to keep with a final breath Leo brazenly makes a promise
- And foes bear arms to the doors of death At first we think this is Greek/Roman. But now we know it’s also demigod/monster. So what gives?
- Reunions that needed to happen and didn’t: Grover, Tyson, Sally, Malcolm, Ella, Rachel, Chiron…I mean come on! You haven’t seen these kids for months, Percy especially for almost a year, and there’s no touching reunion?
- After Artemis is saved, the gods throw a party. When Kronos is defeated, the gods award fabulous prizes. When the demigods and legacies join together, resolve the Greek/Roman schism in the gods, win a a war and defeat the Earth mother…nothing? No offers of immortality? Seriously?
I find it interesting that Apollo gets all the blame: for setting off the prophecy of seven, for granting Octavian’s prayers. It doesn’t seem fair to me. You can’t change fate. That’s the whole point of fate.
But Riordan proves that fate is made by the choices we as people make. Percy chose the prophecy in the last series. It could have belonged to Thalia or Nico. Leo chooses the prophecy this time, he makes a vow, he chooses to be fire. Zeus said it himself: there are thousands of possible interpretations, until someone takes it upon themselves to say, “This is what it will be.” Sure, it will happen, but the better question is “How?”
Speaking of hows, how everyone ends up is greatly satisfying to me. Not everything is resolved, but we know plans, there are hints, and at the very least there are no major impending dooms. Some incredible shocks to me (Nico/Will, really? Really?), a lot of adorableness, and the promise of a bright future.
After finishing the book I couldn’t close it. I didn’t want to close it. My body physically rejected the idea. I instead flipped through the last few chapters, reading them over and over again. I felt like if I shut the book, it would be final.
And I don’t want that. I want more—I’d gladly pay to read more. The story would probably benefit if there was more: Nike’s conversations with Leo, Percy and Annabeth post-Tartarus, freaking anything regarding Frank and Hazel, who get the shaft end yet again.
I feel like Riordan knows the story belongs to his fans. That regardless of what is canon, people will make random ships and headcanons, and maybe dream up some characterization for Frank and Hazel. (It’s a sore point with me, okay?) But the ending given is one I gladly accept, because it tries to untangle most things without tying them up. It’s left open.
And I think I prefer it that way. Riordan has made it known time and time again he doesn’t believe in neat happy endings. He didn’t leave us with a cliff hanger, he left us with a prospect of happiness, and that’s all we can ever really hope for, in fictional stories and in real ones.
Because this isn’t the end of the stories of these demigods. It’s just where Riordan chose to stop writing.
So thank you, Rick Riordan. Thank you for hours spent up late at night because I needed to know what happened next. Thank you for characters who I wished were my best friends. Thank you for jokes that will always make me smile, and for scenes that will always move me. Thank you for the rick trolls. Thank you for heroic battles and heroic breakdowns.Thank you for daring to write the truth in a world made of myth.
Thank you for writing a series that will always hold a special place on my shelf.
What did you think of the ending to The Heroes of Olympus Series? Let me know in the comments!