We at Read Riordan are especially fond of the nature spirits in Uncle Rick’s books. The naiads, satyrs, and dryads are some of the most whimsical and elegant the books have to offer. And as you know, they’re especially important to The Trials of Apollo series, from The Hidden Oracle to The Tower of Nero. So we thought we’d begin by paying tribute to one of our favorites: Juniper.
Dryad or Wood Nymph?
Both, actually. While the poeticism of “dryad” seems to have stuck in describing these earthy spirits, “wood nymph” is definitely a more direct label. Each dryad has a tree, a sort of deciduous—or in Juniper’s case, coniferous—sponsor, if you will. Juniper’s is, well, a juniper, which honestly adds to the complexity since one typically calls junipers shrubs or bushes.
Sorry, are we over-complicating things? If it feels like a lot to sort out, just know that Juniper just has to stick close by her tree, AKA shrub, AKA bush at Camp Half-Blood. In truth, she lives simply and seems happy to be a homebody. But don’t think that she’s trapped or anything. A few juniper berries in her pockets do the trick in the off-chance Grover wants to day trip with her.
Oh, more than infatuated. Grover is head over hooves. We do hope Juniper has confidence in his feelings for her. Any other dryads out there who may turn his head are just distractions. He’ll always come back for her, even if it takes a couple months and finding his way out of a heavy sleep trance. Whatever it was that won that satyr’s affections, we say well done, Juniper. You’ve got him clawing his way back to consciousness to return to you.
We don’t want to make it all about looks, but how could Grover not fall for such a gorgeous dryad specimen? While several other notable dryads do share her distinctive emerald skin (we have a soft spot for spiky pixie Prickly Pear), do any of them wear a pink tunic with such exquisite grace? And don’t forget the green tears. We’re sure the last thing Grover would want to do is make his Juniper cry, could you blame him for being tempted just to see such vibrant waterworks?