Frank Zhang

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Frank Zhang
The Heroes of Olympus character
Frank Zhang official artwork
First appearance The Son of Neptune
Information
Gender Male
Species Demigod
Immortal Parent Mars
Abilities Shapeshifting,
Strength,
Strategy
Weapon(s) Bow and arrows
Spear
Shapeshifting

Frank Zhang is a fictional character in Rick Riordan‘s The Heroes of Olympus series.[1] A demigod son of Mars who is also a descendant of Poseidon. He is introduced in The Son of Neptune, the second book of the series.

History[edit]

Frank is the son of Mars and mortal military soldier, Emily Zhang. From his mother, he is a descendant of Periclymenus, who was a grandson of Poseidon and a member of the Argonauts. He was blessed by the god with the power to shift into any kind of animal from human form. In the absence of his immortal father, Frank's grandmother helped to raise him after his mother died in a military accident in Afghanistan.

Frank combined his ancestral gift with the powers that he inherited from his divine parent. As such, he was considered to be dangerously powerful, and it was decreed that he would have a short life. At the night of his birth, Juno appeared to his family and pointed out a piece of timber in the hearth, warning that if it was burned entirely he would die.

His grandmother gave him the piece of firewood when she knew that he would soon be leaving to go to Camp Jupiter. Lupa and her wolf pack arrived at the Zhang Mansion, and he went through the usual process of proving his strength at the Wolf Manor. Frank arrived at Camp Jupiter about a month after Jason Grace disappeared, and he was still on Probatio when Percy Jackson arrived. When Frank arrived at Camp, his grandmother instructed him to go to the Praetor and tell her that his great-grandfather was Shen Lun and to beg forgiveness for what Shen Lun did, though she refused to tell him what he did. When Frank arrived at camp, he went to Reyna and did as he was instructed. Reyna told him she judged people by their own merits, not what their ancestors did. However, she did tell him not to mention Shen Lun to the other Campers at Camp Jupiter, as they'd be less forgiving than her.

The Son of Neptune[edit]

When Percy reaches Camp Jupiter, two Gorgons get a hold of Frank. Percy uses the water of the Tiber River to forge giants hands, causing the Gorgons to release Frank as Percy finally destroyed them by ripping them apart in large whirlpools. Hazel helps pull him to safety after the whirlpools Percy created.

Frank has always been good at archery and hoped that it would be Apollo who would claim him, especially since he's only been at Camp Jupiter for six weeks after the death of his mother, Emily Zhang. Frank later meets up with Hazel and Percy again and they work together in the evening's war games. Frank has Hazel guide them through the tunnels underneath the fortifications and Percy destroys the water cannons. Frank then climbs up the wall and starts taking out the opposing team using his specialty arrows. His efforts enable his cohort to break into the building and earn him an award for being the first to get on the fortifications. The three of them make a win for the Fifth Cohort.

After the games are over Mars appears and claims Frank as his son. He also reveals Thanatos' capture and issues a quest to free him. Frank is then subsequently proclaimed a centurion by Reyna and the Senators of Camp Jupiter. He chooses Hazel and Percy to go along with him. During the journey, Frank harbors a secret that his life will end in flame on a piece of wood due to so many powers that he possesses. During the time Frank enters one of Hazel's blackouts, he tells Hazel about his firewood lifeline and entrusts the piece of firewood to her. Along the way, Gaea plays with Frank, knowing that he is one of the Seven that will be her downfall. Frank finds confidence thanks to the goddess of rainbows, Iris, and battles three Basilisks alone. Using Mars' spear, he summons Gray, a vicious fighting skeleton who destroys the basilisks.

When the group finally reaches Canada, he speaks with Mars and Grandma Zhang who encourage him to find his hidden power and save his friends. He later finds that he has the ability to change into animals due to him being a legacy of Poseidon. However, the animal has to be within reason and this ability works best if he knows the animal well and if he is in a life or death situation. He battles the giant, Alcyoneus and defeats him with Hazel's help (and due to the fact that he transformed into an eagle, a bear, and an elephant). He is able to free Thanatos at the cost of the timber which his life is tied to, making it much smaller but not gone. He also harbors feelings for Hazel, which is mutual, and the two finally share a kiss as they win the battle against Alcyoneus just outside of Alaska. Reaching the hills above Camp Jupiter, Frank gets to meet Tyson, who considers him another brother, and Mrs. O'Leary. Together they charge into battle against Polybotes's army. Frank takes the lead of the Fifth cohort and uses his shapeshifting powers to destroy enemies and defend camp.

He gathers with the campers in the Forum upon the arrival of Camp Half-Blood in the Argo II.

The Mark of Athena[edit]

During the disarray in Camp Jupiter, after the Argo II fires upon the Romans, Frank turns into a dragon in order to save Piper McLean and Jason Grace, who were knocked unconscious by the angry mob. He than carries them safely to the deck of the fleeing Argo II. While Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, and Coach Hedge are helping Piper and Jason below deck, Frank is guarding Leo Valdez. He is suspicious towards him and asks him if his name is really Leo, and not Sammy Valdez, and gets a negative response. Frank cannot help but be amazed by the ship as Leo takes him through decks while he estimates damage done to the vessel. When the Argo II docks on the Salt Lake in Utah, Frank goes with Percy and Annabeth to the city to find some tar for repairs, not happy that Leo and Hazel are going together to look for celestial bronze and lime.

After Percy and Annabeth fall asleep together in the stables, Frank is the one who finds them and tells them they are in trouble. Shortly after, the team decides that Percy, Frank and Coach Hedge should go look for Phorcys. Inside the Aquarium, Frank and Percy expect a trap, as a tourist guide named Kate, takes them to Phorcys. When they arrive, Kate leads Coach Hedge further into the complex while talking about different monsters, and leaves Frank and Percy alone with Phorcys. When Phorcys traps them both in a big water tank, Frank turns into a koi goldfish, so he could breathe. Luckily, Coach Hedge comes to their aid and together they escape back to the Argo II.

When the team decides to go to Charleston, Leo dispatches Buford carrying dirty laundry, including Frank's only reserve pants, to distract Roman Eagles. Later on the way to Charleston, Frank goes to Annabeth's room and asks her to help him understand the Chinese Hand Cuffs and unknowingly gives her advice that will help her survive in future.

Arriving at a harbor in Charleston, the team splits up again. Annabeth, Hazel, and Piper go to The Battery, Percy goes underwater to speak to water spirits, and Frank, Leo and Jason go to the Civil War museum. Shortly after, they are all attacked by Romans and have to fight at Fort Sumter to escape.

Right before the Argo II gets attacked by skolopendra, Frank gets furious learning that Leo and Hazel held each other's hands. While Frank and Leo are trapped in Camp Fish-Blood, they have a conversation where Leo explains why he and Hazel held hands and Frank confesses his "burning stick" curse to Leo.

In the Mediterranean Sea, they get ambushed and boarded by Chrysaor and his dolphin men. Everyone except Frank get captured while Percy duels Chrysaor. Frank than helps Percy frighten the dolphin men, causing them to abandon the Argo II and their captain in panic. When they arrive in Rome, they dock the ship in a park. Percy goes with Annabeth to escort her to her mission, Piper, Jason and Coach Hedge stay at the ship and Frank, Hazel and Leo go looking for Nico. When Hazel discovers a secret doorway that could possibly lead them to the location of Nico, Frank and Leo wait above the entrance while she explores the tunnels. Leo than offers his help to Frank in finding a solution to his curse. They get attacked by Eidolons, but quickly lose them by following Hazel. In Archimedes's workshop, Eidolons take control of automatons and quickly knock Frank and Hazel unconscious. Two of them are saved by Leo cracking open the fortune cookie he got from Nemesis. After that, Frank turns into a weasel and digs a way to the surface where he called Coach Hedge to help Leo and Hazel get to the surface as well. Then they went to help Percy, Jason and Piper in defeating Otis and Ephialtes, and save Annabeth. But then Percy and Annabeth fall into Tartarus.

The House of Hades[edit]

Frank joins the rest of the crew in the mess hall to talk about new information that Hazel Levesque, his girlfriend, received from the goddess, Hecate. Frank talks about how his Grandma thought that seven was an unlucky number and that it was a "ghost" number. Frank talks about how his grandmother didn't like that there were seven demigods going on a question and how they were searching for the Doors of Death during July, the seventh month. Frank recalls that in China, the seventh month was the day that the spirit world and the human world were the closest.

Frank has had his father's Greek and Roman personalities, Ares/Mars, arguing inside of his head ever since the war that they believe was started by Leo Valdez. The voices in his head have been telling him that he needs to "kill" Leo.

Frank heads up to the upper deck of the Argo II and joins Hazel to look at the scenery of Venice, Italy below them. The five notice strange monsters that take the form of a dog when veiled by the Mist. They decide that they are going to return the stolen book that they found to its original owner. Frank volunteers and Nico and Hazel decide to go with him. As they stroll around Venice, they realize that the monsters exhale poison and Hazel is poisoned. Nico tells Frank to turn into an eagle to get Hazel out of the area of fire, but not before a man tells them he can heal her and to quickly come into a house.

The man turns out to be Triptolemus, and once he discovers that Hazel is the daughter of Pluto, he refuses to help, as he received his Godhood from Demeter the mother of Persephone who had been abducted by Pluto and forced to marry him. When Nico protests, he is turned into a plant, and it is up to Frank to try and persuade Triptolemus. He notices that the chariot Triptolemus once used has been disabled - having only one of the two snakes it needs to fly - and volunteers to find him a new one. Frank then proceeds to cleanse Venice of the katobleps, leaving only one, which his father Mars turns into a snake, at his request. Frank then gives Triptolemus the snake. He is so pleased that he turns Nico back into a human, heals Hazel, and gives them a way to get passed an ordeal they will have to face. Following these events, it is noted that Frank has grown taller and more muscular. Frank finds that he seems to have 'grown into his own skin'.

Then at the house of Hades Leo and Hazel get separated from the group as an army of monsters start to attack the others. So Frank leads an army of ghost because he has been appointed to praetor. While battling the army of monsters he gets the blessing of Mars.

Personality[edit]

Frank is somewhat pessimistic with a dislike for gluten free cupcakes, and snakes. He has a slight lack of self-confidence but he is a loyal and true friend. Frank is a skilled military leader as a result of his father. Frank's low self-esteem comes from his clumsiness, which made it difficult for him to prove himself at Camp Jupiter. Frank uses his mother's sacrifice in Afghanistan as a model of what he should do, always putting others above himself, even willing to sacrifice himself to stick to his duty.

Appearance[edit]

Frank is of Chinese descent, and is described as having a chubby, babyish face with black hair in a military-style cut. He has a big muscular body, that doesn't go with his face. In the beginning of the book he was not a legionnaire, but still on probatio, so he wears a probatio tablet around his neck. After he becomes a legionnaire and centurion, he is marked with crossed spears, the letters SPQR, and one stripe on the inside of his forearm. He is described by Hazel Levesque as being like "a cuddly koala bear with muscles" and by Percy as "a toddler who had taken steroids and joined the marines". Arion, Hazel's horse, describes Frank as a "Chinese-Canadian baby man."

After being given the Blessing of Mars in "The House of Hades", Frank's appearance changed dramatically. He became taller, only two inches shorter than Percy, he lost his babyish face becoming very handsome. His body became stronger, as his shoulder's became broader and more muscular, he also loss his stomach fat becoming lean but muscular. According to Hazel, he became "warlike handsome".

Family[edit]

At the beginning of the series, only one member of Frank’s mortal family is alive- his grandmother. His mother was a captain in the Canadian Army. She was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan in Kandahar Province while saving the lives of some soldiers. Mars states that she was dedicated to her sense of duty and that she put it before everything. Frank's grandmother helped his mother raise him. She doesn't approve of her grandson's un-Chinese name, preferring to call him Fai, and seems to think he is a half-wit, but she loves him nonetheless. She entrusted Frank the stick of wood that determines the length of his life after his mother's funeral, knowing that Lupa would come to take him to Camp Jupiter soon and that she herself would soon be claimed by death. She is dying when Frank and the others arrive at her house but quickly takes charge of the situation, telling them that weapons are stored in the attic and to go to a friend of hers to get to Alaska. She also convinces Frank to not worry about her and just make sure he finishes the quest, assuring Frank she wasn't going to die by the hands of the ogres. It implied she did survive the attack by turning into an bird and flying away, but she may or may not have died afterwards.

Romance[edit]

Frank's love interest is Hazel Levesque, a demigod daughter of Pluto. Throughout The Son of Neptune, Frank shows feelings towards her, and they kiss near the end of the book. In "The Mark of Athena" Frank and Hazel are going out.

Abilities[edit]

Frank is an excellent archer. He possesses his family gift of shape shifting, bestowed upon his ancestor by Poseidon and he was given an Imperial Gold spear with a dragon tooth for a spearhead by his father, Mars. When the tooth is broken off in the ground, it would summon a skeleton warrior(a spartus) that could be summoned three times. Frank used all three charges in 'The Son of Neptune": once to kill three basilisks, once to distract the laistrygonians outside his grandmothers house, and once to save mortals from a train crash in Alaska, although on the third charge he explains to Percy that the staff melted . Due to him being a son of Mars, he is a combat expert, and due to his large size, he has a physical advantage over most adversaries. Frank has also inherited the ability to shapeshift. Frank can transform into any animal he chooses, but it helps if he knows the animal well or is in a near-death combat.

Trivia[edit]

Frank's Chinese name, Fai, along with his last name, Zhang, may be a reference to Zhang Fei, a military general under Liu Bei during the Three Kingdoms period of China.

References[edit]