How did you feel when Nico admitted to Cupid that he had a crush on Percy in the HOO?
Well, I accidentally stupidly decided it was worth the risk (TWO WEEKS BEFORE HOH RELEASE, damn you early recipients) to check my dash briefly. What do you know, the very first post was some crappy edit of Nico and a gay pride flag. I assumed it was just the usual tomfoolery of the bloggers at the time, but then I read the caption. It was quotes from the scene, and I initially thought maybe it’d just be fanfiction…but it seemed like something Riordan might write…I immediately closed out.
Needless to say, I didn’t check tumblr again, in fear of major spoilers. (Why didn’t I listen to myself at that time next year? I found out all kinds of Leo Valdez facts before BoO was released. And solangelo. Still pissed.) But in the back of my mind, I wondered…could it be true? Was Nico di Angelo gay? I had never thought about it before. I mean, I had known this character for FIVE YEARS of my life. But the more I thought about it, the more I desperately wanted it to be true. It kind of made sense. Plus, I was really pushing for some LGBTQ+ representation in children’s literature. But the other part of me was like, nah. It was probably some crazed slash shipper.
I was torn. Two weeks later, I had HoH in my hands. I was reading along, and the minute Nico and Jason decided they’d go visit Cupid, my doubts were gone. I proceeded to read through the scene about ten times, bawling my eyes out and shrieking audibly. Like, it was monumental. Here was a character I’d known since I was ten. I LITERALLY grew up with these guys. And there I was, wailing incoherently at fifteen years old- so thrilled by the plot twist, absolutely ecstatic at what it meant for children’s literature, and of course, just in awe of the general eloquence of the scene.
Basically, I felt like I was Nico’s best friend watching him go through that. And in a way, all us readers kind of are, especially those of us who grew up with not just Nico, but all the pjo/HoO characters. It was incredible to see, and it was honest to god a fire set alight on my dashboard that I have yet to see calm down two years later.
I didn’t mean for this to become an autobiography. My bad. Go Nico!