"Stars. I can see the stars again, my lady."–Zoë, to Artemis, while she is dying Zoë Nightshade was a daughter of Atlas and a former Hesperide that was exiled and later joined the Hunters of Artemis, becoming the loyal lieutenant of Artemis.
Zoë served in the Garden of the Hesperides, but she was exiled by her sisters after helping Hercules trick Atlas. She gave Hercules her hair pin that transformed into Anaklusmos. Eventually, she joined the Hunters of Artemis, and became their lieutenant to get away from men like Hercules. She held a grudge against male heroes, because Hercules gave her no credit for her clever plan for him to complete his quest on Mount Othrys and abandoned her .
She once ran into Thalia Grace, Luke Castellan, and Annabeth Chase when the three were wandering around the country. Zoë almost made Thalia join the Hunters. However, Thalia did not want to leave Luke, causing Zoë to become very angry. Feeling offended, she and Thalia got into a heated argument. Zoë told Thalia she was being "stupid," and that "she would regret it," stating Luke would let her down in some way.
"He was all the things I'd originally disliked about Zoë, with none of the good I'd come to appreciate."–Percy, talking about Atlas and Zoë's similarities.
Zoë was a loyal lieutenant to Artemis, never wavering in over 2000 years. In The Titan's Curse, Zoë fights with Thalia quite often. This was because (before the books) Thalia had refused to join the Hunters when Zoë offered her the chance. However, she eventually changes her mind, influenced no doubt by Zoë and Bianca's bravery. Zoë has an extreme hatred of campers, especially males, but eventually warmed up to Percy during their quest to save Artemis. Throughout when Zoë is mentioned and when she talks, Zoë speaks Early Modern, or Shakespearean, English. She is said to speak in a strange accent more heavily when she is upset. She shows an interest in stars, a trait that would probably come from being immortal. She is offended when Percy says Ursa Major was "the bear thing" and when Percy talks about the bear simply being a constellation, Zoë claims "It was a worthy opponent!" She does seem irritated when Thalia corrects her speech, saying "I hate this language! It changes too often!" referring to the way the English language has changed over the centuries. She herself spoke using "thou, thee, and thy." She also has some of her father's traits, but is a much kinder person that Percy had come to respect.
In the beginning, she seems aloof and unfriendly, but she turns out to have a big heart and endless loyalty to Artemis. Deep down, Zoë was loyal and kind. When Atlas was about to kill Percy, she screamed, "NO!" and fired a handful of arrows into his armpit so he would turn on her and give Percy a chance to recover, showing that she has come to like him. She risked her life to save Artemis despite knowing that the line in the prophecy saying "One shall perish by a parent's hand" was about her. With her dying breaths she told Percy, "You spoke the truth. You are nothing like... like Hercules. I am honored that you carry this sword," referring to the fact that she used to own Riptide and was also the one that made it.
Finally, in the end, Zoë's legacy remains as her persuasion seemed to come through and Thalia declares that she will join the Hunt, to forsake men like Luke and not be the demigod in The Great Prophecy.
Hercules was given Riptide by Zoë. Back then, Riptide was a hair clip she owned, but she gave it to Hercules as a gift in order to aid him in his labor and betrayed her family in order to make sure Hercules succeeded. Hercules eventually betrayed Zoë, resulting in her dislike of men, heroes especially, in general, comparing them all to Hercules.
"No! Do not offer, Zoë! I forbid you!"–Artemis, holding up the sky on Mount Tamalpais
Zoë was a loyal lieutenant to Artemis. She loved Artemis over anyone, and Artemis loved her back. Artemis stated that Zoë was one of her finest attendants when at Zoë's death. When she saw Artemis holding up the sky, Atlas challenged her to take it for Artemis, and she probably would have, had Artemis not order her not to.
Percy Jackson Edit
"You spoke the truth. You are nothing like... like Hercules. I am honored that you carry this sword."–Zoë to Percy
When Zoë and Percy first met, she disliked him because he was a male and reminded her of Hercules, the hero who betrayed her.
She also becomes annoyed when she finds that he had been following their group the entire time. However, she begins to trust him after his idea managed to defeat theNemean Lion and even gave the monster's pelt to Percy, as his plan was the one that worked. Toward the end of The Titan's Curse, before she dies she says that Percy is nothing like Hercules and that she is honored he carries the sword she made. She also says that not all men are bad, and looks at Percy after saying this to Thalia.
Thalia Grace Edit
Thalia and Zoë are always at end, even from the first time they met before the events of the series. While Zoë told her all men would let her down and invited her to join the Hunters, Thalia refused. The two fight over the smallest things, including the proper way to speak current English. However, they do show respect for each other after the fight with Atlas, with Thalia admitting that Zoë may have been right about men and Zoë admitting that she may have been wrong. Thalia then takes over her spot as lieutenant of the Hunters of Artemis after her death.
- Immortality due to being one of Artemis' Hunters (unless she falls in battle or breaks her oath).
- Excellent aim with their bows and skilled with hunting knives. Her skills with a bow and arrow are sufficient to keep her father, Atlas, pressured during their battle.
- Highly skilled Hunter.
- Leadership and tracking skills.
- Can make a bow appear when she wants and also she can make them disappear.
- She has a silver colored aura.
- She is naturally stronger and faster than a mortal, regular demigod, or nymph.
- She usually has the upper hand in battle because of her fighting powers.
- She can talk to wild animals.
- Perhaps more powerful, unseen powers as she is the daughter of Atlas.
- Can die if beaten in battle or if her immortality is revoked, whether forced or voluntary.
- Is reluctant to accept help from men and campers from Camp Half-Blood.
- Protective of her Hunters (shown in The Titan's Curse when she refused to take another Hunter on her quest when Phoebe got poisoned by the centaur blood T-shirt in fear of losing another Hunter).
- Extremely loyal to Artemis (shown when she was willing to take the sky for her in The Titan's Curse).
Zoë is described by Percy to be tall, graceful, and gorgeously beautiful: dark brown eyes, a slightly upturned nose, copper-coloured skin, and the silver circlet braided into the top of her long dark hair gave her the impression of a Persian princess.
- In The Titan's Curse, Percy has a dream about Zoë's past. In the dream, Zoë claims that her mother is Pleione, but in the myths the mother of the Hesperides is Hesperius.
- At first, Zoë severely disapproved of Percy because he was a male, but before she died, she made her peace with him and acknowledged his worth as a true hero. This makes her the third Hunter of Artemis who did not hate Percy because of his gender, along with Thalia and Bianca.
- Her name is of Greek origin, and the meaning is "life" or "full of life."
- Interestingly, she says that her last name is Nightshade, although back in Ancient Greece, no one had a last name. Hence, it was possible this is a title of sorts that she had picked up over the years.
- Nightshade is an appropriate last name for Zoë as:
- Nightshade: shadow of night and Hesperide: nymph of the sunset. Possibly foreshadowing to her lineage.
- Her bitter relationship with Percy may be a reference to the fact that the nightshade flower is poisonous to horses, which Percy's dad created.
- In the Brazilian translation, she is referred to as Zöe Doce-Amarga (Zöe Sweet-Bitter).
- Water nymphs tend to be mean to Zoë, as she claimed that they have never forgiven her for betraying her mother, Pleione, the water goddess.
- In some alternate translations of the book, such as Portuguese or Spanish, her last name is "Belladonna" rather than "Nightshade." Belladonna and Nightshade are in fact two names ascribed to the same plant, a medicinal herb that has been used as an anesthetic, and more often as a deadly poison.
- Zoë is the second known person Artemis sent to the stars, the first being Orion, son of Poseidon.
- Zoe is one of three deceased female Hunters mentioned by name in the series (Bianca di Angelo & Phoebe being the others).
- Zoë shares similarities with Merope, another mythological daughter of Atlas and Pleione. Both girls betrayed their sisters - the Hesperides and the Pleiades respectively - for a mortal man; Zoë by helpingHercules on his quest and Merope by marrying the mortal king Sisyphus.
- Interestingly, some myths list the Pleiades as companions of Artemis, just as Zoë was the goddess' lieutenant and a Hunter of Artemis.