"It isn’t easy being a brilliant inventor, always alone. Always misunderstood. Easy to turn bitter, make horrible mistakes. People are more difficult to work with than machines. And when you break a person, he can’t be fixed."
-Hephaestus, talking about Daedalus in The Battle of the Labyrinth
Hephaestus is the Greek god of forges, fire, technology, craftsmen, sculptors, volcanoes, and blacksmiths. His symbols are the ax, an anvil, a pair of tongs, hammer, and fire. His Roman counterpart is Vulcan.
Due to Zeus' giving birth to Athena, Hera was angry at his actions. She then gave birth to Hephaestus. He was an ugly and deformed child. A rumor was spread by Hera that Zeus threw him from Mt. Olympus at birth due to his ugliness, when it was really Hera herself that threw him. Another story makes the claim that Hephaestus stepped in between his mother and father's argument and sided with Hera. In rage of his son's actions, Zeus seized Hephaestus by the legs and threw him from the top of Mt. Olympus, which caused his drastic injuries. After being nursed to health, Zeus (in a rare act) apologized and welcomed his son back with open arms. Zeus Zeus, his father The goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, was causing a lot of problems in Olympus due to her radiant beauty. Zeus decided to wed her to Hephaestus to keep her unavailable, though she still had multiple affairs with Ares, the god of war. Though these days the affair is considered old news and everyone just accepts it however, Hephaestus still finds ways to publicly embarrass his wife and her lover in front of the other gods with elaborate traps and tricks. The most famous one and the first one was when he caught the two lovers in a magical net and then invited the other gods to come and laugh at the unfortunate sight. He also took part in creating the metal giant Talos, the Trojan Horse, and other various automatons. He even built the armor of Achilles, a powerful and great tool.
Hephaestus tends to be gruff, and disappointed in life, in people and other "living organisms." But he also is liked and loved by many gods and goddesses because they use him as a servant. He loves his wife Aphrodite, however he is sad and angry at her unfaithfulness. He is very bitter and hateful towards his mother, Hera. He is very bitter about his life, and puts his faith in machines rather then people, as machines can't let you down. However, he appears to have a soft spot for Cyclopes like Tyson, and seems to be on good terms with Athena. Hephaestus greatly admired Daedalus. Despite his bitterness, he is the lover of many things, such as his unfaithful wife, Aphrodite, and his demigod children and their mothers.
He is a huge lump of a man with his shoulders at different heights and a huge, bulging, misshapen head and his leg in a steel brace, with a wild brown beard that sparks fire from time to time. Hephaestus has one lame leg from being thrown off Mt. Olympus by his mother when he was born becuase he was so ugly. He was later found and raised in a cave for nine years so he would be safe from his horrible mother Hera. He is the only Olympian to show such extreme physical injuries; however, he is also muscular from the waist up from working in his forges. Inside his workshop, he wears a jumpsuit smeared with grime and oil with the name Hephaestus embroidered over the chest pocket. When he is on Olympus, he is clean and elegant. In The Battle of the Labyrinth, Percy says "I guess he'd cleaned up when I saw him on Olympus or used magic to make his form seem a little less hideous."
Hephaestus can change into his Roman counterpart of Vulcan. As Vulcan, he becomes more disciplined, militaristic, and warlike due to the Romans being a more warlike race than the Greeks. He may have children or descendants at Camp Jupiter. The Greeks envisioned Hephaestus as a benevolent and clever being. The Romans believed Vulcan to be the god of volcanoes, giving him greater respect among them.
As the god of fire and forges and a son of Zeus, Hephaestus Is a very powerful god.
- Prowess in Battle: Hephaestus is shown to be very strong (from constantly working in his forges), which makes him very formidable in battle. He successfully fought in the first Gigantomachy, and several other battles. However, during the gods' battle with Typhon, he was defeated and knocked out of the sky with such force, that a new lake was created when he landed.
- He excels at fighting with a heavy hammer.
- Pyrokinesis: As the god of fire, he has absolute control over heat, fire, and lava. This is a very dangerous and powerful ability, which is why only children that he chooses have this ability.
- Fire Immunity: Hephaestus is immune to fire and heat, as he works with them constantly.
- Technokinesis: As the god of blacksmiths, he has amazing mechanical abilities.
- Enhanced Forging: Hephaestus can build any kind of machine out of any kind of material, as well as animate it and make it do things to suit his needs. He can even do this absentmindedly, fiddling with parts and gears when nervous or thinking hard over something.
- Leo Valdez (from Heros of Olympus books)
- Erikhthonios (first king of Athens)