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Queen Athena

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Queen Athena
Background information
Feature films The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning
Short films
Television programs
Video games
Park attractions
Portrayed by
Portrayed by
Voice Lorelei Hill Butters (speaking)
Andrea Robinson (singing)
Performance model
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name
Other names
Personality Responsible, generous, talented, caring, motherly, loving, brave, wise
Appearance Slender, fair skin, long red hair, green eyes, indigo seashell bra, aqua tail, gold tiara
Occupation Queen of Atlantica
Triton's wife
Alignment Good
Goal To spread the joy of music throughout her family
Home Atlantica
Relatives King Triton (husband),
Ariel, Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Attina, Adella, and Alana (daughters),
Prince Eric (son-in-law),
Melody (granddaughter)
Allies King Triton, Ariel, Sebastian, Aquata, Attina, Arista, Andrina, Adella, Alana
Enemies The pirates
Likes Music, joy, laughter, fun, her family
Dislikes Danger, harm to her loved ones
Powers and abilities Beautiful singing voice, swimming abilities
Fate Gets hit by a pirate ship and killed
Quote "Waves try to measure the days that we treasure..."

Queen Athena is an important character from Disney's 2008 animated film The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, prequel to the 1989 film The Little Mermaid. Her speaking voice was provided by Lorelei Hill Butters, and her singing voice was provided by Andrea Robinson.


Queen Athena was the wife of King Triton, and the mother of Ariel and her six older sisters. She was the Queen of Atlantica, and beloved by her family and her subjects. She was noted for her singing talent and her love of music. Unfortunately, she died as a result of a run in with a big pirate ship when Ariel was very young. A statue of her dancing with Triton is a present in his courtyard.

Physical Appearance

Queen Athena is shown to be a stunningly beautiful and attractive young woman with long, red hair tied in a partial pony tail, green eyes, and an aqua tail.

Of all her daughters, her youngest, Ariel resembles her the most. This is most obvious in the original release of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, at least 23 years following the film's events, when Ariel has matured and become a mother herself. It is possible that the animators of Athena based her appearance on the mature version of Ariel.

Role in the film

Athena appears at the very beginning of the film. She and Triton are shown to be very much in love. They are shown to share a special song (known as "Athena's Song"). They share the song with their daughters, and use it as a lullaby. One day, they are relaxing in a cove with the princesses and some other merpeople. They are celebrating their anniversary, and so Triton gives Athena a special music box that plays their song. However, pirates soon approach the cove and attack the merpeople. Most of the mermaids and mermen escape safely, but Attina, the oldest princess, gets her tail stuck between two rocks. Athena is able to free her, but she is crushed to death by the ship while trying to save the music box, and the ship sinks after hitting the rocks.

Athena's death leaves Triton devastated. As a result, he tosses the music box in the ocean, bans music from the kingdom, and raises his daughters very strictly. However, Ariel and her sisters inherited their mother's love of and talent for music. Later on, Ariel references her at several points. When she learns of the Catfish Club, she sings a song remembering her mother and her love for music. Later, when confronting Triton over his ban of music, she points out that her mother wouldn't have wanted music to be banned from the kingdom. She had sacrificed herself to save them.

Other Appearances

In the TV series episode "Beached," Triton references her, revealing that he had made a promise to her to raise the girls properly.

In "Once Upon a Time", she was indirectly mentionned like King Poseidon's unamed deceased wife and Ursula's mother. In this version, she had also a beautiful singing voice, inherited by her daughter and died under tragic circumstance, killed by a pirate.


  • Although Athena is mentioned quite a few times prior to the release of The Little Mermaid III, this is the first time she is actually seen.
  • Athena bears a shocking resemblance to that of Ariel. They both have a similar hair color, and an acclaimed singing voice. However, their similarities are even more noticeable in The Little Mermaid II, where Ariel has grown to look almost identical to her.
  • Although Athena and Ariel look quite similar, it is impossible for Ariel's appearance to be based on her mother's, because Athena made her first appearance in the third film, while Ariel appears in all three, including the television series. In fact, Athena's appearance was probably based on that of the matured Ariel from The Little Mermaid II, which was released 8 years prior to the third film.
  • Athena and Ariel's likeness could have partially contributed to the reason Triton is so protective of the latter.
  • Athena's eldest daughter's name, Attina, is a variant of her own, which explains why they sound so similar and it could mean that she was named after her.
  • Athena is the name of the Greek Goddess of wisdom, warfare, and battle strategy.
  • Peter David attempted to write Athena's story comic book titled Portrait of Life. Here, named Atlanta, she befriended a human artist named Duncan and posed for paintings. Triton allowed this, thinking that humans weren't so bad. However Kole, a rival artist, jealous of Duncan's success and talent, tries to kill him by letting loose an avalanche, but Atlanta, while pushing him out of the way, got crushed by the rocks herself. Enraged, Triton confronts Kole, terrifying him and falls off the cliff. Turning his anger to Duncan and ready to destroy him, the voice of Atlanta appears in the clouds asking Triton to spare him. Leaving with the unfinished painting of Duncan's, he returns to the sea to mourn. The story went unproduced and rejected as a result of its dark tone.
  • In Greek mythology, Athena is the daughter of Zeus and Metis (the latter was stuck inside Zeus' head), and Triton is the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, and Zeus and Poseidon are brothers. This means that Triton and Athena are actually first cousins, and yet they still married. (This may actually explain why they look so much alike, both having red hair when Trition was younger.) However, most pictures of Athena, goddess of war and wisdom, do not look much like the Queen of Atlantica, and she may have just had the same name as the goddess, meaning she and Triton are unrelated.
    • Her being unrelated to the Greek goddess of the same name is also supported by Graeco-Roman Mythology, where she and Triton were not married.


Stock Art 

The Little Mermaid III: Ariel's Beginning

The Little Mermaid - 2013 Logo

Films: The Little Mermaid | The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea | The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning
Television: TV Series (Episode List) | House of Mouse | Once Upon a Time
Video Games: NES game | Sega Genesis Game | Ariel's Story Studio | Kingdom Hearts | Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories | Kingdom Hearts II | The Little Mermaid 2: Pinball Frenzy | Disney's The Little Mermaid: Magic in Two Kingdoms
Books: Offical Comic Adaption | Marvel Comics | Disney Comics
Music: Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack | Disney Sing Along Songs: Under the Sea | The Legacy Collection: The Little Mermaid

Disney Parks: Voyage of the Little Mermaid | Mermaid Lagoon | The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure | King Triton's Carousel of the Sea | Ariel's Grotto | Mickey's PhilharMagic | Fantasmic! | Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom | World of Color | Disney Dreams! | Celebrate the Magic | Flounder's Flying Fish Coaster | Scuttle's Scooters

Original: Ariel | Flounder | Sebastian | Scuttle | Prince Eric | King Triton | Ursula/Vanessa | Flotsam and Jetsam | Attina | Alana | Adella | Aquata | Arista | Andrina | Max | Grimsby | Carlotta | Chef Louis | Ursula's Garden | Glut | The Seahorse Herald | Harold | Merpeople
Sequel Characters: Melody | Tip and Dash | Morgana | Cloak and Dagger | Undertow | Flounder's guppies | Baby Penguin | Ursula and Morgana's mother
Prequel Characters: Queen Athena | Marina Del Rey | Benjamin | Shelbow | Ink Spot | Cheeks | Ray-Ray | Stevie | Electric Eels
TV Series Characters: Urchin | Gabriella | Ollie | Dudley | Pearl | Pearl's mother | The Evil Manta | Little Evil | Dr. Vile | Daniel | Moray | Simon | Lobster Mobster and Da Shrimp | The Sorceress | Glowfish | Ebb and Flo | Empreror Sharga and the Sharkanians | Octopid | Brain Sponge | Zeus | Spot the Killer Whale | Crab Scouts | Hans Christian Andersen | Mr. and Mrs. Clambakersfield and their babies | Lucky | Thor | Kid Squid | Augustus | Stormy the Giant Seahorse | Sorcerer Blowfish | Penny the Cat | The Magical Wishing Starfish | Apollo | Archimedes | Seaclops
Comic Book Characters: Scallopa | Indigo | Aunt Crustacea | Sir Figmond | Flooglefish | Marlin the Magician | Snapper | Jason | Caliban | King Proteus | Ariadne | Pirania | Celia | Jenny | Scarface the Shark | Professor Thelonius Paxx | Shana | King Harold | Princess Penelope | Captain Cutlass | Aquarius | Abaloney Kid

Objects: Prince Eric's Statue | Trident | Ursula's Cauldron | Ursula's Necklace | Melody's locket | Queen Athena's music box | Dinglehopper | Royal Ship

Film & TV Locations: Atlantica | Ariel's Secret Grotto | Ursula's Lair | Prince Eric's Castle | The Wedding Ship | Morgana's Ice Cave
Comic Book Locations: Aquaria | Hatchet-Fish Alley | Stingray City | Blue Claw Chasm

Film Songs: Fathom's Below | Daughters of King Triton | Part of Your World/(Reprise)/(Finale) | Under the Sea | Poor Unfortunate Souls/(Reprise) | Les Poissons | Kiss the Girl | Down to the Sea | For a Moment | Tip and Dash (song) | Here On The Land and Sea | Just One Mistake | I Remember
TV Series Songs: Just a Little Love | You Got to be You | The Edge of the Edge of the Sea | The Lobster Mobster's Mob | The Beddy Bye Blues | Sing a New Song | In Harmony | This is the Life | You Know I Know | Never Give Up | You Wouldn't Want to Mess with Me | The Sound of Laughter | Daring to Dance | Just Give Me a Chance | Just Like Me | Evil Lullaby
Musical Songs: She's In Love | Human Stuff | Positoovity | I Want the Good Times Back | Her Voice | The World Above | The Contest | If Only | Beyond My Wildest Dreams | Sweet Child | One Step Closer

Other: Musical | The Disney Afternoon

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