Nico di Angelo
|Name:||Nico di Angelo|
|Relationships:|| Hades (father)|
Maria di Angelo (mother)
Bianca di Angelo (sister)
Hazel Levesque (half-sister)
Percy Jackson (unrequited love interest)
Will Solace (love interest)
|Fandom:||Percy Jackson and the Olympians Heroes of Olympus|
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Nico di Angelo is a recurring character in both the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and its sequel, Heroes of Olympus. He is a demigod and a son of Hades, which makes him an outcast and a potential threat in the eyes of many demigods and deities.
He was the first confirmed recurring non-heterosexual character in the series (there is a brief mention of homoerotic relationships among deities, and another non-recurring character, Will Solace, was initially only implied to be non-heterosexual). This fact and his somewhat tragic storyline are frequently considered the reasons of his popularity among so many fans of the books. While he never self-identifies as gay/bi/other, it is generally assumed by the fandom, given the way his struggle with his identity is portrayed, that he is exclusively attracted to men.
Nico is first introduced in The Titan's Curse as a cheerful, carefree kid who's very enthusiastic and curious about joining the demigod world. However, this changes following the death of his sister Bianca on a quest. When he is confronted by Percy with the news, he experiences a sudden outburst of his demigod powers, thus revealing his previously unknown godly parent, and becomes reserved and broody. After a period of dubious loyalty and an attempt to bring his sister back from the dead, he joins the demigod army in the final battle against Kronos in The Last Olympian, thus earning a place at Camp Half-Blood.
In Heroes of Olympus, Nico is one of the few characters who is aware of the existence of both demigod camps. This and his past actions make some members of the Argo II crew doubt his loyalty. However, they still come to his rescue in The Mark of Athena, after he ends up in Tartarus and is kidnapped by Gaea's minions. In House of Hades it is revealed another reason why he fled Camp and continues to do so is the discovery of his homosexual feelings for Percy. In Blood of Olympus, he is in charge of bringing the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood, saving the camp once again. It is heavily implied, at the end of the book, that a romantic relationship will develop between him and Will Solace.
The biggest change in fandom's perception of Nico was certainly brought by the scene in which he is outed as gay by Cupid in the presence of Jason Grace.
Pre-House of Hades
Before what is commonly referred to as the "Cupid scene" or "Croatia", het ships involving the character were common, while slash shippers were sometimes at risk of experiencing harassment, the most popular pairing of this kind at the time being Percico, also called Pernico.(needs expansion and first-hand accounts)
Post-House of Hades
Het ships involving the character are now frowned upon, whether they depict him as bi or downright straightwash him.
- Nicobeth (Nico/Annabeth)
- Thalico (Thalia/Nico)
- Percico was the most popular slash pairing involving Nico for a long time, and stayed very popular even through the birth of Valdangelo and Jasico. However, dissatisfaction with Percy's characterization in later books contributed to its decline in popularity.
- Solangelo is the most popular pairing involving Nico, being a canonical relationship (even though at the end of the last books they are still at pre-slash stage). All other slash pairings lost following after Solangelo became canon.
- Jasico is another pairing that became popular after the Cupid Scene and Jason consequent concern for Nico.
- Valdangelo was particularly common in the beginning, but has since declined in popularity because of the decline of fannish interest in Leo himself, at least in the slash-oriented part of fandom.
- Any minor male character/Nico or Male OC/Nico pairings occurred when a fan wanted/needed to pair Nico with someone but didn't think he would fit with any of the major characters/preferred not to break canon ships. A minor character with little known canon facts was then chosen and expanded upon or an OC was created from scratch. For a period, it became very popular to use children of Demeter for this, given the irony of pairing a son of Hades with "another Persephone".
- The Big Threesome (Jason/Nico/Percy)
- Percicobeth (Annabeth/Nico/Percy)
Given the very close relationships he shares with his sisters (and his sibling-like bond with Reyna), fandom has also produced notable amounts of content that focuses on non-romantic pairs. However, these works are still less and less popular than romantic ships, as in many other fandoms.
Common Tropes in Fanworks
- Nico really likes McDonald's: In The Battle of the Labyrinth, Nico is shown summoning ghosts using Happy Meals as an offer. This has become a sort of inside fandom joke, and mostly-ironic fanart depictions of him as a huge fan of junk food have appeared. However, this has filtered in more "serious" works and fic as well, as a minor detail that wouldn't mean anything for a casual reader, but that is identifiable as a trope by people more active in fandom.
- Geek!Nico: When he is introduced, Nico is shown as being a fan of a mythology-based card game known as Mythomagik. Even though he burns his deck in The Battle of Labyrinth, he still keeps the last figurine Bianca gifted him. He is therefore often depicted as still being a huge fan of the game and other typically geek-y stuff, such as: comics, RPGs, genre TV shows and movies like Doctor Who, horror movies, etc.
- Post-Tartarus Nico: After surviving Tartarus, Nico experiences nightmares and has trouble eating. Many post-House of Hades fic expand on this. Even though these problems seem to disappear almost completely by the start of the following book, fans kept preferring a more realistic depictions of the aftermath of this experience on his mental health. Common examples include Nico suffering from eating disorders, insomnia, PTSD, etc.
- This trope (and the Tartarus plotline in general) has also led to much speculation about whether it is believable that a bunch of kids/teenagers can continuously risk their life/fight monsters while at the same time being neglected by their godly parent with little to no effect on their well-being. Headcanons about demigods with PTSD and other issues are now more common, together with this trope, especially on tumblr.
- Happy!Nico/Bianca Never Died is an AU trope in which Bianca survives the quest, and thus Nico retains his TTC characterization. Even though he started adopting a punk/emo look after Bianca's death, however, he is often depicted as liking this particular style in this AU as well.
- "Happy Nico" can sometimes be used just to mean a certain non-angst-y fan depiction of Nico. Fans used to often say in pre-BoO times "We need more Happy Nico fic", usually on the basis that he'd suffered enough in canon. After his "happy ending" at the end of the series, angst has become less common in Nico fic altogether.
- Sometimes Nico still has the canonical characterization even though Bianca survived. In these cases, the change is usually done in order to fix what most consider Bianca's fridging for Nico's manpain, and the source of his discomfort are generally attributed to the general opinion regarding children of Hades, his inability to accept his homosexual feelings and/or experiences of homophobia.
- viria's and minuiko's depictions of Nico are among the most popular and have influenced many other artists of the fandom
- This untitled comic by lazy-perfs is both an example of fandom's jokes about McDonald's and Mythomagik