"Don't lose hope, Frank. Rainbows always stand for hope."
-Iris to Frank
Iris is the goddess of the Rainbow. She delivers Iris Messages for gods, goddesses, and if asked nicely, and she's not too busy, for demigods. Interestingly, her affiliation is unknown, as she has been known to deliver messages for both gods, demigods, and Titans. It is possible that she was neutral in the Second Titan War because she was too busy carrying messages, as she wasn't among the many minor gods and goddesses who had switched over to Kronos' side. Her Roman counterpart is Arcus.
Iris is the daughter of Thaumas, one of the minor sea gods, and the Oceanid Electra. Her sisters are the Harpies, Aello, and Ocypete. She also has a twin sister, Arke, who served as messenger for the Titans in the first war and was thrown into Tartarus with her masters by Zeus after ripping her wings off. As the sun unites Earth and heaven, Iris links the gods to humanity. She travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other, and into the depths of the sea and Underworld. She is married to Zephyros, who is the god of the west wind. Their son is Pothos. She also wields a pitcher of water originating from the River Styx. Whoever promises to tell the truth and lies, she uses it to put the liar to sleep. She was said to bear golden wings of a butterfly. She is commonly underestimated as goddess of rainbows, but her children are, in the case of Butch, rather powerful.
Iris is a free spirit. She is a strictly non-violent goddess who only attacks in self defense. She is also upset that living a life for others (by delivering messages for others) has left her with no identity, as there are no shrines to her or a sacred animal. Because of this, she opened up her own store and is doing what she wants to do, advice she passes on to Frank.
Iris has olive-colored skin, long black hair and warm brown eyes. She appeared as a middle aged woman with glasses to Frank, Hazel, and Percy. She reminds Frank of his mother by the way she smiles, with one side of her mouth, her warm brown eyes and the way she tilts her head like she's considering a question.
Arcus is Iris' Roman counterpart. As Iris is a free spirit who only attacks in self defense, it is unknown if she becomes more militaristic and warlike in her Roman aspect. In The Son of Neptune, Iris appears in her Greek form even though she meets two Roman demigods: Hazel and Frank.
Most of her powers are unknown but the following is known because her son Butch has demonstrated a few powers:
- She can summon pegasi, rainbows, and blasts of multicolored energy.
- She can also move at extremely fast speeds (so she can deliver messages)
- Photokinesis: As the goddess of the rainbow, she has absolute control over light.
- She can use rainbows to reflect off objects so she can project them off as rainbow–colored beams that can cause great damage in buildings.
- She can use light from her rainbows to create multicolored flames and burns to ward away enemies.
- She can blind enemies with the use of the rainbow's light.
Iris is also able to create Iris messages. To Iris Message someone, you must find or make a rainbow (easier in modern times with the advent of the water hose with which you can get a fine spray), and throw a drachma through it, then say:
"O, Iris, Goddess of the Rainbow, accept my offering."
and name who you wish to speak to and where they may be found. It has changed in The Son of Neptune, instead you can use Fleecy's direct number:
"O Fleecy, do me a solid . Show:__________________"
Then name who you wish to talk to and where.
She is also friends with Chiron (and has been for centuries), allowing him to eavesdrop on some Iris-Messages as shown in The Sea of Monsters.
Roman demigods do not use Iris-Messaging, as by the time that Rome conquered Greece, they used more advanced methods such as "giant eagles" or their road system.