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This article is about the character Athena from The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning. For other characters, see Athena (disambiguation).

I may not remember much about my mother, but I know she wouldn't have wanted this.
―Ariel talking about her mother

Queen Athena is a minor character in Disney's 2008 animated feature film The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning. As ruler of Atlantica alongside her husband, King Triton, Athena is the mother of Ariel and her six older sisters.


Athena was the late wife of King Triton, and the late mother of Ariel, Attina, Alana, Adella, Aquata, Arista, and Andrina. She was the Queen of Atlantica, and beloved by her family and subjects. She was noted for her singing talent and her love of music. She and Triton had been best friends since their childhood. Unfortunately, she died as a result of a run-in with a big pirate ship when Ariel was very young, fueling Triton's hatred of music to the point where it was banned from Atlantica as a result. A statue of her dancing with him is present in his courtyard, where he cried over her death every day.

Powers and abilities[]


  • Mermaid Physiology: As a mermaid, Athena possesses superhuman attributes, such as superhuman durability and speed.
    • Superhuman Durability: Athena is far more durable than normal humans and certain aquatic creatures, being able to withstand the immense underwater pressures.
    • Superhuman Speed: Athena is much faster than normal humans and certain aquatic creatures. She can move at blur-like speeds while underwater.
    • Aquapathy: Athena is capable of understanding and communicating with other aquatic creatures, albeit only with creatures that are sentient.
    • Aquatic Breathing: Athena is capable of breathing both on land and in the water indefinitely.
    • Thermoendurance: Athena is immune to extremely cold or hot temperatures and environments.


  • High-Level Intellect/Expert Leader: Athena is highly intelligent and wise. As the queen of Atlantica, Athena is a capable leader.
  • Expert Dancer: Athena is a highly skilled dancer. She was able to dance with Triton with admirable skill.
  • Expert Musician: Athena is a highly skilled musician, being capable of playing a piano with admirable skill.
  • Expert Swimmer: Athena is a highly skilled swimmer, being able to swim in a dolphin-like manner.
  • Expert Singer: Athena is able to sing with admirable skill.

Physical appearance[]

Athena is a stunningly beautiful mermaid with long, reddish-orange hair tied in a partial low ponytail, green eyes, and an aqua green tail. She wears a lavender seashell bikini top and several gold accessories: a five-pointed crown resembling a sea star (like Triton's but smaller), pearl-shaped earrings, and a necklace with a periwinkle purple seashell.

Out of all her seven daughters, Ariel resembles her the most. This is most obvious in the original release of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (set at least 20 years following the first 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.


The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning[]

Athena appears in the film's flashbacks to when her daughters were very young. She and Triton are shown to be very much in love. They are shown to share a special song (known as "Endless Sky"). 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, attack the merpeople, and snatch all of their musical instruments. Most of the mermaids and mermen escape safely. Triton carries Ariel, Arista, Aquata, and Adella to safety while Andrina and Alana dive into the water to swim to safety, but Attina, the oldest princess, gets her tail stuck between two rocks. Athena is able to free her in time, but she is crushed to death by the ship while trying to save the music box, due to the pirates apparently losing control of their ship and unable to stop it from crushing Athena and running aground the rocks, breaking the keel and sinking it.

Athena's death leaves Triton completely devastated and tearful. As a result, he tosses the music box in the ocean, bans music from the kingdom, forbids contact with the land above, and raises his daughters very strictly. However, Ariel and her sisters inherited their mother's love 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 music ban, she points out that her mother wouldn't have wanted music to be banned from the kingdom if she was still alive. After Ariel runs away with the Catfish Club, she finds the music box and hopes to bring it back to her father so he can be happy again.

The Little Mermaid (2023)[]

It was previously reported that Queen Athena would have been in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid where her relationship with Ariel was going to be further explored.[1]

The cause of her death in the remake was by human hands similar to the animated prequel, although Ursula is implied to have been indirectly involved.

According to the tie-in prequel novel, the queen gave each of daughters a special gift before she died (except Ariel), and was noted to have an exceptional voice and curly hair. She is reported to have been dead for approximately 15 years prior to the events of the film due to Ursula tricking her into going to an area occupied by hunters.

Printed media[]

Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch[]

Although she doesn't actually appear in the novel written by Serena Valentino, Athena is mentioned a few times. It is revealed that Ursula is her husband's sister, and Athena was the only person in the kingdom that treated her with kindness and respect. She goes far as to argue with Triton about his harsh treatment towards Ursula. After her death, however, there was no stopping Triton from banishing Ursula to the Unprotected Waters.


  • In the European and Sacramento productions of the musical based on the first movie, Ariel and King Triton learn during the last confrontation that Ursula killed Ariel's mother.
  • 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 mentioned as King Poseidon's unnamed deceased wife and Ursula's mother. In this version, she had also a beautiful singing voice, inherited by her daughter and died under the tragic circumstance, killed by a pirate.
  • Her death may have contributed to Triton's prejudice against humans.
    • Her death may also have had long-lasting psychological effects on both Attina and Ariel. It is suggested that Attina partially blames herself for Athena's demise (since she would have had time to retrieve the music box had Attina's tail not been stuck between rocks) and took on the role of a mother-figure for her sisters. While Ariel named her daughter Melody to honor her most precious memory: the melody of her mother's song.
  • 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 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.
  • 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. This makes Attina's name the most meaningful of the sisters as she is carrying her mother's name and legacy.
  • 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 the bonus features of the movie, Attina states that her mother was the oldest of several siblings.
  • In the Little Mermaid musical, it is revealed that Ursula, not humans, is ultimately responsible for her death: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Mermaid_(musical)
  • Although the goddess Athena is unrelated to the sea deities in the Greco-Roman mythology, this character's name may be a reference to the goddess Pallas, Poseidon's granddaughter in the Greco-Roman myths, who became Athena's epithet.
  • Attina, Alana, Adella, Aquata, Arista, Andrina, and Ariel were 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, and 5 years old, respectively, when Athena died.
  • In the 2023 live action remake, when Ariel enters Ursula's lair, a skeleton of a mermaid is seen. It is possible that this is the remains of Queen Athena.
  • King Triton tossing the music box into the depths of the ocean after Athena's death is similar to how the former dropping the locket into the sea meant for Melody after failing to capture Morgana.



v - e - d
The Little Mermaid - 2013 Logo
Films: The Little Mermaid (video/soundtrack) • The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (video) • The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning (video) • The Little Mermaid (2023) (video/soundtrack)

Shows: The Little Mermaid (videography) • A Poem Is...The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live! (soundtrack) • Sebastian's Caribbean JamboreeAriel
Video Games: NES gameSega Genesis GameAriel's Story StudioKingdom HeartsKingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesKingdom Hearts IIThe Little Mermaid 2: Pinball FrenzyDisney's The Little Mermaid: Magic in Two KingdomsDisney Emoji BlitzDisney Heroes: Battle Mode
Books: The Art of The Little MermaidDisney Princess Enchanted Stables: The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Baby BeauPoor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea WitchOfficial Comic AdaptationDisney ComicsThe Little Mermaid's Treasure ChestDisney Princess BeginningsMarvel ComicsThe Little Mermaid: The Full Film ScriptPrince of Song & SeaThe Little Mermaid: Against the Tide
Music: The Legacy CollectionSebastian from The Little MermaidSebastian: Party Gras!The Little Mermaid: Songs from the SeaThe Little Mermaid: Splash HitsAriel's Favorites
Cancelled projects: Little Mermaid's Island

Disney Parks
Mermaid LagoonDisney's Art of Animation ResortAriel's GrottoCountry Bear Musical JamboreeTriton's GardenBlowfish Balloon RaceDisney Animation BuildingFairy Tale ForestFlounder's Flying Fish CoasterIt's a Small WorldJumpin' JellyfishKing Triton's Carousel of the SeaMermaid Lagoon TheaterAriel's PlaygroundMickey's PhilharMagicPrincess PavilionScuttle's ScootersSorcerers of the Magic KingdomSorcerer's WorkshopStorybook Land Canal BoatsThe Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea AdventureThe WhirlpoolVoyage to the Crystal Grotto

Entertainment: AnimagiqueBelieve! Sea of DreamsCastle of Magical DreamsDisney Dreams: An Enchanted ClassicDisney KiteTailsDisney's WishesFantasmic!Feel the MagicGolden Fairytale FanfareKing Triton's ConcertMickey's Magical CelebrationMickey's Magical Music WorldMickey and the Magical MapMickey and the Wondrous BookThe Golden MickeysThe Little Mermaid - A Musical AdventureThe Starlit Princess WaltzVillains Tonight!Voyage of The Little Mermaid
Restaurants: Ariel's Grotto
Parades: Celebrate A Dream Come True ParadeDisney's FantillusionDisney's Magical Moments ParadeDisney Carnivale ParadeDisney on ParadeDisney Stars on ParadeFestival of Fantasy ParadeMickey's New Year's Eve ParadeMickey & Friends Street CelebrationMickey's Soundsational ParadeMove It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street PartyPaint The Night ParadeSpectroMagicThe Wonderful World of Disney ParadeWalt Disney's Parade of Dreams
Fireworks: Believe... There's Magic in the StarsCelebrate the MagicDisney Dreams!Disney EnchantmentDisney in the StarsDisneyland ForeverFantasy in the SkyHappily Ever AfterIgnite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and LightMagic, Music and MayhemThe Magic, the Memories and YouMomentousOnce Upon a TimeRemember... Dreams Come TrueWonderful World of AnimationWorld of ColorIlluminate! A Nighttime CelebrationWondrous Journeys
Spring: Disney Color-Fest: A Street Party!Disney Pirate or Princess: Make Your Choice
Summer: Stitch's Summer Dance BashSummer Blast
Halloween: Are You Brave Enough?Disney's Not So Spooky SpectacularFrightfully Fun ParadeHappy HallowishesLet's Get WickedRe-Villains! Halloween ParadeThe Villains WorldVillains Night Out! Chapter 2
Christmas: A Christmas Fantasy ParadeDisney Winter Magic CavalcadeRoyal Christmas Wishes

Original: ArielFlounderSebastianScuttlePrince EricKing TritonUrsulaFlotsam and JetsamKing Triton's DaughtersMaxGrimsbyCarlottaChef LouisUrsula's GardenGlutThe Seahorse HeraldHaroldMerpeopleSea CreaturesLagoon Residents

Sequel: MelodyTip and DashAlexMorganaCloak and DaggerUndertowHammerhead SharkFlounder's GuppiesBaby PenguinUrsula and Morgana's Mother
Prequel: Queen AthenaMarina Del ReyBenjaminThe Catfish Club BandStevieElectric Eels
Little Mermaid's Island: SandyScales
TV Series: UrchinGabriellaOllieDudleyPearlPearl's MotherMantaLittle EvilDanielMoraySimonLobster Mobster and Da ShrimpThe SorceressGlowfishEbb and FloEmpreror ShargaSharkaniansOctopidBrain SpongeZeusSpot the Killer WhaleClaud and Claudia CrabCrab ScoutsHans Christian AndersenLuckyThorAugustusStormy the Giant SeahorseThe Magical Wishing StarfishHowling HairfishApolloArchimedesSeaclopsNeptuneDr. Vile
Comic Book: IndigoMarlin the MagicianJenny
Remake: Queen Selina

The Little MermaidAriel
Prince Eric's StatueTridentUrsula's CauldronUrsula's NecklaceMelody's locketQueen Athena's music boxDinglehopperRoyal ShipThe Wedding ShipSnarfblatt
AtlanticaAriel's Secret GrottoUrsula's LairPrince Eric's CastleSharkaniaMorgana's Ice Cave
Films: Fathoms BelowDaughters of King TritonPart of Your WorldUnder the SeaPoor Unfortunate SoulsLes PoissonsKiss the GirlDown to the SeaFor a MomentTip and DashHere on the Land and SeaEndless SkyJust One MistakeJump in the Line (Shake, Senora)I RememberMan Smart (Woman Smarter)I Will Sing

TV Series: Just a Little LoveYou Got to be YouThe Edge of the Edge of the SeaThe Lobster Mobster's MobThe Beddy Bye BluesSing a New SongIn HarmonyThis is the LifeNever Give UpYou Wouldn't Want to Mess with MeThe Sound of LaughterDaring to DanceJust Give Me a ChanceEvil Lullaby
Musical: She's in LoveHuman StuffPositoovityI Want the Good Times BackStorm at SeaDaddy's Little AngelHer VoiceThe World AboveThe ContestIf OnlyBeyond My Wildest DreamsSweet ChildOne Step CloserAll Good Things Must End
Songs from the Sea: The Sea KingdomWhat's It Like to Be a Mermaid?The Scuttle StrutThere's Only One ArielHe's a FriendAt the Mermaids' BallParty With MeMy Room in the SeaDreamingH2O, What a Feeling!We Share the EarthWhere Mermaids Dwell
Splash Hits: In My Blue BackyardHome is
Remake: Wild Uncharted WatersFor the First TimeThe Scuttlebutt
Deleted: Silence is GoldenGonna Get My WishImpossible Child
Other: Music is in the AirOne DanceA Mermaid Song

See Also
MusicalThe Disney AfternoonDisney Sing Along Songs: Under the Sea