By the gods, the time finally arrived. The epic beginning to the Percy Jackson Disney Plus show. All over the world, anyone who read Percy Jackson or even heard of his name turned emotional over the new trailer. Unlike the Percy Jackson films, this show got Rick Riordan himself, the author of the Percy Jackson world, to overlook productions. So what do we all think of the first official teaser? What can we expect with the first season?
Well, let’s dive into this nostalgic work and see what we can dig up.
As some of you may know, this new series by far does not come close to calling itself the first Percy Jackson adaptation. Several years ago now (man, I feel old) they created the first ever Percy Jackson movie. A sequel followed a few years later. The reception to these films? Um. Well. I certainly carry a soft spot for them.
Now, wait! Before you start booing and throwing things at the screen, I will say in my own defense that while the films did not adapt the books properly… or at all really, they did introduce me to Percy Jackson and for that, I will always feel a great sense of gratitude to them. That, and I think that if you don’t consider them adaptations, they actually work as really fun movies. Okay, now before you officially decide that I’m not worth listening to at all, I shall move on to the theater production.
Oh yes, my fellow demigods. Someone actually adapted Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief into a musical! This musical, believe it or not, actually followed the first book very well. They incorporated lines from other books in the series. Quite frankly, the soundtrack just kicks monster butt. SO. Surely you can imagine that after this rollercoaster of emotion with some of our favorite literary characters, the pressure on Disney—and Riordan, for that matter—to create a trailer true to Percy and his friends and journey rose unbelievably high.
As a nitpicking fan myself, aside from the lake in the middle of the cabins which didn’t come in the books (yeah, meet the annoying reader who points out the differences between the show and books!), I should say that that trailer put a lot of fears at ease. At least, it did for me. Look at everything we got! We got actual cabins that look really different. I always liked Percy’s cabin in the movie, but we never got to experience any of the other campers’ cabins, so getting to see even a glimpse of them now felt really cool. We saw demigods in the orange Camp Half-Blood shirt. The bead necklace, each bead signifying a survived year at camp.
Yes, you read that right; a survived year, because demigods don’t always live long with monsters from the Underworld chasing them down. You gotta love this series. Not to mention Percy’s opening lines. Nerd alert; I basically mouthed the words with him because I know them by heart. That, and like I said, the musical really did a good job incorporating those lines and making them catchy.
Anyway. So we got the trailer, and lost our minds. Now what? Well, I imagine a few of you, like me, carry some idea or expectations of what the first season might look like. While we wait for a release date, let’s talk about it. Given that this show comes right from a series of books, I think we all expect the first season to follow the plotline of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, the first book in the series. Fear not, I won’t get into spoilers, but I will lay out the general plot.
A minotaur—half bull, half man for all you non-Greek myth nerds—attacks Percy and his mom during a summer trip, and he supposedly kills Percy’s mother. Percy goes to Camp Half-Blood, a camp for demigods, and discovers that he hails from none other than Poseidon himself, god of the seas. Except—UH OH! Zeus and Poseidon don’t seem very fond of each other at the moment because Zeus thinks Percy stole his master lightning bolt! Meanwhile, Percy realizes that Hades actually took his mother, and that he can still save her. So now, Percy and his friends, Annabeth and Grover, must go to Hades who Percy believes actually stole the bolt, save his mother and return the bolt back to Zeus before the summer solstice or an all-out war between the gods breaks loose. All the while meeting different Greek gods and fighting monsters along the way. PHEW!
Like I said, you gotta love this series.
Okay. We laid down the basics, so let’s get to it. They might bring in a different monster to attack Percy, but the minotaur carries significance throughout the later books and one of his horns means quite a bit to Percy himself, so I don’t imagine them changing that. With a series, they probably would want to add some details for later books, so maybe they mention Rachel Elizabeth Dare? That character doesn’t come in until book three, I don’t think, and she becomes pretty important, too. I imagine they’ll allude to her in the earlier episodes, or maybe during Percy’s quest out of camp.
I feel like the god of war, Ares, might get an episode all to himself. I mean, Olympians just need to get their screentime, am I right? I bet they will definitely expand on the friendship between Percy and Luke Castellan. Honestly, I don’t see Percy going off on his quest to the Underworld until at least the second episode. For that matter, I see the show giving the Olympian gods a lot more screentime than they got in the books. The books came from Percy’s point of view, so if he didn’t see something, neither did we. I think they could really take advantage of the show’s sort of omniscient view.
Whatever ends up coming, I know that with Rick Riordan behind the wheel, the show stays in safe hands. Even as college students and alumni, a lot of us remember the epic feeling of reading Percy Jackson and experiencing that world. Some of us (me!) still love rereading those books, and treasure these characters. I always feel wary around shows, because they stretch on longer so writers tend to take more liberties with the original storyline, but the Percy Jackson world contains so much to explore already. I think keeping an open mind for any changes, and trusting Rick Riordan to care for these characters as much as we do, will go a long way.