In The Odyssey I would have to say Odysseus is the main character, but without Athena's help he would have never gotten the opportunity to get home to his family because he loves them so much. She has worked so hard to reunite Odysseus with his wife Penelope and son Telemakhos. Athena disguises herself many times in the book. I always asked myself why, and it dawned on me that people listen better when she was someone that Odysseus and Telemakhos trusted and respected. Athena has a lot of love for Odysseus and even though he has upset Poseidon she knows he is a brave man with a lot of honor.
The first time that Athena appears in The Odyssey was in Book I when Zeus calls a divine council. Athena is there and interrupts her father. She asks Zeus about Odysseus and if he will allow him to return to. Zeus replied by saying, "could I forget that kingly man, Odysseus? There is no mortal half so wise; no mortal gave so much to the lords of open sky." So you can tell that Zeus does like Odysseus. Athena then tells Zeus,
" O Majesty, O Father of us all, if it now pleases the blissful gods that wise Odysseus reach his home again, let the Wayfinder, Hermes, cross the sea to the island of Ogygia; let him tell our fixed intent to the nymph with pretty braids, and let the steadfast man depart for home."
"For my part I shall visit Ithaka to put more courage in the son, and rouse him to call an assembly of the islanders, Akhaian gentleman with flowing hair." After Athena says this she heads to Ithaka disguised as Mentes a Taphain chieftain who is an old trusting friend of Odysseus. She has disguised herself because she wants to convince Telemakhos that he is old enough now to find his father. Telemakhos is upset at the suitors and daydreams of his father returning home and punishing them. Telemakhos says to the gray-eyed Mentes,
"Friend, now that you ask about these matters, our house was always princely, a great house, as long as he of whom ... Continues...