Piper McLean

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Piper McLean
The Heroes of Olympus character
First appearance The Lost Hero
Gender Female
Species Demigod
Immortal Parent Aphrodite
Abilities Charmspeaking, Limited Amokinesis, Beauty Attraction
Weapon(s) Katoptris, Charmspeak

Piper McLean is a fictional character and a protagonist in Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus book series. She first appears in The Lost Hero, the first novel of the series, as a fifteen year-old demigod who attends the Wilderness School, a boarding school for delinquent teenagers. After getting attacked by a group of storm spirits, Piper learns that she is a demigod, as are her friends Jason Grace and Leo Valdez. They are then escorted to Camp Half-Blood, a sanctuary for Greek demigods, where she is claimed to be the daughter of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love.


Piper is the demigod daughter of Aphrodite and Tristan McLean, a famous movie star of Cherokee descent. Resentful of her father's busy filming schedule, Piper "steals" to gain his attention. She charmspeaks people to giving all kinds of expensive items from stores, including jewelry. This often gets her in trouble, and makes her father upset with her. She's been kicked out of five different schools. Soon after she "steals" a car, Piper is sent to the Wilderness School. Piper conceals her famous father's identity from others around her except her close friends.

In the books[edit]

The Lost Hero[edit]

Piper attends Wilderness School, a boarding school for delinquent teenagers. She and her class are on the school bus for a field trip to the Grand Canyon. She was holding hands with Jason when he awakes up and she is devastated when she finds Jason suddenly doesn't remember her. Jason is her boyfriend. While at the Grand Canyon, They are attacked by a group of storm spirits. Annabeth and Butch arrive to escort supposedly Percy Jackson as Annabeth thinks since he is missing. But she finds Piper, Jason, and Leo and bring the to Camp Half-Blood.

After arriving at Camp Half-Blood, Annabeth gives Piper a tour of the camp and helps her pick out her weapon (a dagger previously owned by Helen of Troy) called Katoptris that has the ability to show much more than the users' reflection when looked at. Later that night when Jason is picking two others to come on his quest, he picks Leo and Piper who is then claimed by Aphrodite.

The next day, Piper, Jason, and Leo take Leo's new "pet bronze dragon," Festus, and begin their quest. They arrive in Quebec and they meet Boreas and his children, including Khione (goddess of snow) and the Boreads (immortal children of Boreas).

They confront the giant Enceladus to rescue Piper's dad, Tristan McLean, who was kidnapped after being tricked by his secretary Jane into going there. They manage to defeat the giant, but her father is mentally broken and Piper is forced to give him a potion that Aphrodite had given her, one that will erase all his short term memories. Piper then allows the medical team to take her father away while she charmspeaks a pilot into letting them borrow their helicopter to travel the wolf house to rescue Hera. They find out that Khione has been spying on them and they plan to help the rise of Porphyrion, the giant king. Porphyrion rises and Jason keeps him occupied while Leo tries to cut Hera free. Piper lulls Gaea to sleep; showing her amazing skills in charmspeaking.

After their quest is completed, Piper, Jason and Leo return home to Camp Half-Blood. The next morning, Piper challenges Drew to a duel to be head counselor, and Drew grudgingly backs down. Later Piper video chats with her dad who remembers nothing of his ordeal and thinks Piper is in a special school. Then Piper shares a moment with Jason, in which she accepts that she loves Jason, but she doesn't know if he feels the same way. Later, she heads into the woods with Jason, Leo, Chiron and the Hephaestus cabin, as Leo shows them Bunker 9. Jason tells them that there is a the Roman camp, called Camp Jupiter.[1]

The Son of Neptune[edit]

Piper makes brief appearances in this book. She is shown in one of Percy's dreams about the giant warship. She is also mentioned by Ma Gasket during the giant Polybotes's army marches to destroy Camp Jupiter. She is also seen making fun of Leo Valdez in the video message they send to Camp Jupiter.[2]

The Mark of Athena[edit]

Piper is on the Argo II, practicing her lines for when they land at Camp Jupiter. When Terminus arrived she tried to charmspeak him but instead, being a god, he was unaffected and instead slapped her knife out of her hand.

After the welcome feast Camp Jupiter prepares, Leo (who was possessed by an Eidolon) begins to attack Camp Jupiter. Jason is knocked unconscious after saving Piper from a brick that was about to hit her. While Piper takes care of him, she looks through Katoptris and sees the sign Topeka 32, the Romans preparing an attack against the seven, and the most unsettling image: her, Jason, and Percy all drowning. After Jason wakes up, and Hazel and Leo are back, she goes with Percy and Jason to Topeka 32 in Kansas. They meet Bacchus there who tells them to go see Phorcys because he knows information about Gaea. Afterwards, he disappears.

After they dock at Charleston Harbor, Hazel, Annabeth and Piper agree to go find the southern bell ghost Piper saw in her dagger. They find the ghost, who turns out to actually be Aphrodite/Venus. The girls have tea with her and Hazel asks whether she is Aphrodite or Venus. Aphrodite tells her she is both because love is universal and that's why she isn't that involved in the ongoing war. Hazel denies that there is any war yet. Aphrodite then explains that when Athena told Annabeth to avenge her, she meant to get her statue, Athena Parthenos.

After getting back on the ship, the Argo II finally sets sail to the Mediterranean Sea and Rome. Once they finally reach there, they see the Pillars of Hercules, and Hercules is guarding it. Piper and Jason decide to go talk to the god. Hercules will allow then to pass only if they have steal Achelous' horn to humiliate him.

When the two demigods get to Achelous River, they hear a peaceful hypnotic singing come from Achelous. Achelous figures that they are here to take his other horn, but Achelous explains why Hercules does not deserve it. Despite feeling bad, Jason and Piper still attempt to take the horn, which Achelous retaliates at by trying to drown them. Jason gets pulled under, so Piper tries to bargain with Achelous, believing she wants to become his bride. When he picks her up, she threatens him that he must let Jason go and she proceeds to cut his second horn off. The two demigods escape.

Upon their return, Hercules allows them to pass through. He also asks for the horn, however Piper does not give it to him, because Hercules does not deserve it. On their way through the Mediterranean, they are attacked by Chrysaor and his band of Dolphin/human hybrids. He defeats Percy in a sword fight and capture the rest of the crew. Percy pretends that Mr. D is on board, and he scares the Dolpmen overboard, and Chrysaor is forced to retreat. They use his ship as an offering to Mr. D before taking to the air.

Percy asks Piper if they can find the giants through Katoptris. She however sees the Romans forming an invasion plan, a spiral staircase near the forum, the same place where her, Jason, and Percy are drowning. They set out in search for the staircases. When the three do find it, Percy volunteers to go first, in case the place is flooded. When he comes back, he says he found a Nymphaeum. Soon afterwards, the nymph Hagno and the nine other nymphs who nursed Zeus when he was younger appear and flood the chamber with magic water, which took away Percy 's ability to breathe underwater, Jason's ability to control rain and Piper's youth as a teenager. Piper decides to funnel her, Jason, and Percy's into the cornucopia, releasing clean water and age the nymphs back to youth. The nymphs give them their powers and strength back and tell them whereabouts of Ephialtes and Otis.

They arrive to the twin giants' lair where Nico di Angelo is. Piper defends Nico against all the releasing monsters, while Percy and Jason go against the giants. The giants release a Hydra, leading to Percy to set a stack of fireworks off, destroying the Hydra, as well as knocking out Piper.

After being nursed back to health, Piper and the rest go and search for Annabeth. When they get there, Piper works to grab Athena Parthenos and get it on the Argo II. She manages to do so, but fails to help Percy and Annabeth from falling into Tartarus, which she feels bad about. Leo encourages them all that they will find Percy and Annabeth and tells Festus to start the engine towards Greece.[3]

The House of Hades[edit]

The Argo II crew sail towards Athens, their final destination for this long trip. As they try to cross to mountain range running across Italy, mountain gods try their best to stop the ship. Hazel Levesque gets off the ship to go talk to Hecate (the Greek goddess of magic) who shows her three cross roads she and the crew can take. Hazel decides she doesn't want any of the images to happen. At the time, Piper is on the deck. As the story goes on, the 6 demigods, (excluding Percy and Annabeth, who are in Tartarus) head to Epirus with Nico di Angelo as their guide.

Later in the book, during Piper's only four chapters, the crew (excluding Leo, who was thrown off the ship by the goddess) gets frozen by Khione. Piper saves the crew by waking Festus the Dragon up with her charmspeak.

Physical appearance[edit]

Piper is a girl of Cherokee descent. As a daughter of Aphrodite she is naturally good-looking. She has short choppy chocolate brown hair, which she cut unevenly with a pair of plastic scissors, with thin braided strands on the sides of her face, and eyes that change like a kaleidoscope from brown to blue to green. Despite being a daughter of Aphrodite, she usually wears simple clothes, dislikes excessive makeup and generally attempts to downplay her appearance. Piper hates attention, preferring not to use makeup and instead hates looking pretty. When she is claimed by Aphrodite, she is given the goddess' blessing of temporary extreme beauty which lasts a couple days. During this time, she is dubbed, much to her annoyance, "Beauty Queen" by Leo. Jason describes Piper as 'a knockout' after she received this blessing in the Lost Hero. In the Mark of Athena, Piper wears feathers braided into her hair.


Piper is not like many of her siblings. Out of all the children of Aphrodite, she is the least like Aphrodite. She doesn't really care about her appearance and tries to tone down her beauty by wearing ratty, casual outfits, such as Hello Kitty tank tops and snowboarding jackets. Unlike her demigod half-sisters, Piper is a tomboy. Before being claimed by Aphrodite, she expressed her desire of wanting to be a child of Athena because she admired Annabeth Chase. She even thought of being a hunter of Artemis until she discovered the "no boys allowed" rule, throwing the card Thalia Grace gave to her into the fire. Piper doesn't like fame and is embarrassed when she is the center of attention. She is rather protective of her friends, especially Jason. After discovering that she was manipulated by the Mist to think of Jason as her boyfriend, she becomes determined to win his heart, even though she suspects Jason already has a girlfriend. She has stated at the end of 'The Lost Hero' that she is ready to make a play for Jason's affections.


Piper is gifted with the ability to charmspeak, a type of hypnotism or persuasion in which it allows her to convince others to do or get whatever they want. Eventually, charmspeak wears off and the person has no recollection of why they did what they were commanded to do. Before Piper found out she was a demigod, she used this power to steal from stores to get her father's attention. When Piper later is charmspoken herself, she starts to feels guilty about having this power because she knows it is mean to brainwash people into doing what she wants. However, she still uses this power against her enemies. Charmspeak can be neutralized by the power of gold (though not necessarily by gold itself, but rather the magical ability to turn people to gold). People with strong wills or intentions are unaffected, and the more powerful the being, the stronger their resistance. Charmspeak also seems ineffective against other charmspeakers.

Piper can also speak fluent French, as all children of Aphrodite can due to it being the language of love. Being a demigod, the language of Ancient Greek comes naturally to her, as it does to all other Camp Half-Blood demigods.

Piper also possess the limited ability about of Amokinesis, the ability to control love, as she can sense love between people and herself, as according to her mother she sees more into Jason and her relationship because she can sense the love between the two. She also possesses the ability of Beauty Attraction, as is demonstrated by her ability to stop monsters from attacking her by convincing them that they think she is pretty. Because her mother, Aphrodite, has the power to change her appearance, Piper has the ability to change her physical features to a certain extent.


Piper's chosen protective tool, Katoptris, is a long, eighteen-inch-blade ceremonial knife. In Ancient Greek, Katoptris means "looking glass" or "mirror". Katoptris is sheathed in worn black leather and has a hilt made of polished wood with an eighteen inch triangular blade made from Celestial Bronze. The knife was originally a wedding present to Helen of Troy, who mainly used it as a mirror. She soon learns that she can see the future by looking through the knife's blade. Although Piper mainly uses the knife to see the future, she does use it in melee on occasion.

During The Mark of Athena, she also obtains a cornucopia, which she is able to use to surprising effectiveness by launching a high-velocity torrent of food at opponents. She uses it to defeat Hercules (by burying him under a mountain of food), several mummified nymphs (by producing enough water to rehydrate them), and a pair of leopards (by giving them a tasty pot roast).


Although the Mist initially tricks Piper into believing that Jason Grace is her boyfriend, Piper feels very loving towards Jason and jealous toward girls who flirt with him. In "The Mark of Athena" they are in a relationship. However, Reyna, the powerful Roman praetor, demigod daughter of Bellona, has romantic inclinations towards Jason. If he had not been taken away by Hera and sent to Camp Half-Blood with Piper, it was hinted that Reyna and Jason would have started a romantic relationship, since they were very close friends.


  1. ^ Riordan, Rick (2010). The Lost Hero. Disney-Hyperion. pp. 1–553. ISBN 978-1-4231-1339-3. 
  2. ^ Riordan, Rick (2011). The Son of Neptune. Disney-Hyperion. pp. 1–513. ISBN 978-1-4231-4059-7. 
  3. ^ Riordan, Rick (2012). The Mark of Athena. Disney-Hyperion. pp. 1–574. ISBN 978-1423140603. 

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