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Nightmare Fuel / The Heroes of Olympus

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As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

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    The Lost Hero 
  • Leo killing his mother. On accident, of course, but try telling that to the cops and his mother's family.

    The Son of Neptune 
  • The description of the last moment's of Hazel's first life, as oil fills her lungs and the chamber collapses.

    The Mark of Athena 

  • The things Nico went through in Tartarus are implied to be too horrible to say.
  • The description of Nico when he's freed. Half dead, horribly thin, using his sword for support, and likely traumatized.
  • Annabeth stepping on and surrounded by the skeletons of all her siblings who died failing to complete the Mark of Athena's quest.

     The House of Hades 

  • Tartarus. It's not just a place, but literally the body of the god Tartarus. Nightmare Fuel with a good dose of Nausea Fuel.
    • That is not the worst of it, as Tartarus is not a God but a one of the "first-born" from Chaos, he is not a god but literally the personification of what they represent, while the land of Tartarus is his real body.
    • There's also the descriptions of Tartarus, such as Percy and Annabeth breathing poison, drinking fire, and the little fact that the ground appears to be made of skin.
  • The arai are some of the creepiest monsters in the series. They look like harpies, with the bodies of birds and the faces of old wrinkled women, but with the addition of some serious Uncanny Valley in that they have even more monstrous features: their faces don't move when they talk, and the voices that communicate for them all seem to come from some sort of hive like chorus completely independent of the creatures themselves. Yet even that isn't the creepiest part, as they are also the literal embodiment of curses. Meaning if you destroy one you get inflicted with a curse by someone you once wronged or did harm to, hoping that you one day feel the same pain as they did. This, horrifyingly enough, also includes monsters, and Percy and Annabeth have killed a lot of monsters. In their cases, Annabeth goes blind from Polyphemus cursing her after their encounter in The Sea of Monsters, and Percy experiences the wound that killed Geryon when he faced him in The Battle of The Labyrinth. The worst one however would have to be where Annabeth kills an ara and receives a curse made by Calypso to never be with Percy again, and she's left stumbling around blind and alone as she believes he's left her. This has Percy dawn on the horrible realization of how bitter Calypso must have been after he left her, and how even though he made the gods vow to free her, he never followed up on their promise.
  • Tartarus is so terrifying that Percy literally drops his sword. Heck, he took out two Titans while creating a semi-physical form (which is not his real form; it's a Fighting a Shadow-type form)! Now imagine what happens when Gaia (a.k.a Earth) wakes up... "Pray she never fully awake" indeed.
  • Cupid. He wastes no time proving that Love Hurts, and that he revels in it. First, he curb stomps Jason, the latter only scoring a glancing blow on Cupid's intangible form. The abuse only stops when Nico submits to Cupid's "test". The god promptly psychologically breaks him, apparently for the hell of it, before giving them what they seek.
    Cupid: [They] have met my counterpart, Thanatos. We are not so different. Except Death is sometimes kinder.
    • For many LGBT+ readers, this scene was the most terrifying part of the book. Coming out of the closet is something that takes months, or even "years" to prepare for, and is still an anxiety-ridden process. Yet it happens to Nico without him having a say in the matter, when he couldn't even admit it to himself. For all he knew, Jason could have been a homophobe, or could have ratted him out to the rest of the team. And considering when and where Nico is from, he was raised knowing that could lead to isolation, imprisonment, or worse. He is the most genuinely afraid we've seen him— and because of something that could happen to anyone, anytime.
  • While choking on poison, Percy remembers that poison is still liquid... something he can control. Cue to him nearly choking Misery with her own fumes, while his form still had the appearance of a decrepit zombie-ghost-thing. On top of that, he reverts to his traditional method of fighting at the brink of death-turning his terror into anger that fuels him for combat. He promptly churns every ounce of misery and turmoil she was heaping upon them back towards her in a dark rage. It's no wonder even Annabeth was terrified of him at that moment.
    • Even worse, we see it through Percy's eyes, get to see every ugly inch of his attacks. He likes it. Just one book ago, Piper was able to tell something was wrong when Percy was possessed by the cruel look on his face. Now, he's savoring Akhlys' pain like it's vermouth. And when Annabeth begs him not to touch the power again, he seems dazed and reluctant to promise her....
  • Nyx's appearance is mostly light-hearted and humorous, but given that literally every being in Tartarus fears her, as does Zeus himself, the dread that's been built up around her means that even with the goofy way Percy and Annabeth thwart her she still feels very menacing. After they escape her, Koios tells Iapetus that Polybotes believed the two of them had been "swallowed by Nyx," which, given her immense size and Akhlys's mention of "feeding [Percy and Annabeth] to Mother Night," might be very literal.

    The Blood Of Olympus 
  • Nico outright kills a guy by turning him into a ghost and banishing him to the underworld. Needless to say, Reyna and Coach Hedge were thoroughly unnerved by this.
    • Worse, Nico doesn't just kill him. He erases his identity, his memories, his personality and banishes him to The Fields of Asphodel forever. And he delivers a Pre-Mortem One-Liner that could rival Sansa Stark:
    Nico: You're already dead. You're a ghost with no tongue, no memory. You won't be sharing any secrets.
    Bryce: No! No, I am Bryce Lawrence! I'm alive!
  • Nico stops Will Solace from telling Octavian that he's snagged in the catapult. Mike Kahale then defends Octavian and tells him to fire the shot. After he's launched skyward to his death, it's revealed Kahale knew what would happen. In-Universe example as well, as Nico spends the next half a chapter worrying about Solace's reaction to what he saw.
    Kahale: Goodbye, Octavian.
    • The Guy's Sanity Slippage is also unpleasant. What's worse than regular Octavian? unhinged Octavian, acting as a Roman commander.

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