"Yeah, join you. Right. Until you get bored of me and turn me into a Leosicle? Lady, nobody messes with my dragon and gets away with it. I can't believe I thought you were hot."– Leo to the Goddess KhioneLeo Valdez is one of the main protagonists in The Heroes of Olympus series and one of the seven heroes of the Prophecy of Seven. He is a Greek demigod, the son of Hephaestus andEsperanza Valdez.
Leo was born in Houston, Texas to mechanic Esperanza Valdez. When he was little, he had a babysitter named Tia Callida, whom later was discovered to be Hera in disguise. She was watching Leo because she knew of his destiny as one of the seven in the prophecy. She tried to "kill" him by putting him in an active fireplace and by letting him play with knives. She also tried to make him poke a rattlesnake, which he refused to do. This was done to help train Leo to be strong at a young age. He once drew a picture of a flying boat with a bronze dragon head as the masthead in crayon at the age of five and just as Leo was going to sign his name on the picture, it was blown away by the wind. Tia convinced him to use his abilities to start a fire to "warm these old bones," and he ended up burning his fingerprints into the table.
At the age of eight, Leo was visited by Gaea, the Earth goddess, whom intended to break his spirit, after being notified by Medea that he would have a part to play in her downfall. Horrified, Leo tried to use his pyrokinetic abilities as defense to save his mother and himself, but Gaea manipulated the fire, burning the mechanic shop. His mom died in the fire, and his Aunt Rosa turned his remaining family against him, thus forcing him to be sent to several foster homes.