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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: An Overview

Percy Jackson, a 12-year-old boy going through the school system with the struggles of ADHD and dyslexia, returns to the screen, grabbing the attention of many teenagers today. 

The Lightning Thief series has been around since 2005. It is a series of books about Percy who, after learning his father is the Greek sea god Posideon, sets out on a quest with his team (a satyr named Grover, and Annabeth, a child of the Greek goddess Athena) to retrieve the lightning bolt of Zeus, the god of lighting and sky. The Lightning Thief series is a five book series written by Rick Riordan. In 2010, a movie adaptation of the books was made starring Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, and Alexandra Daddario. However, the majority of fans were disappointed with the movies since they were not an accurate representation of the books.

Percy Jackson (Selene Yaretzi Flores Sosa)

In an attempt to recreate the books, Disney Plus started streaming Percy Jackson and the Olympians, a new Lighting Thief TV series starring Walker Scobell, Leah Sava Jefferies, and Aryan Simhadri with input from Rick Riordan himself. The series is dropping new episodes every Tuesday and with each episode, some controversy has occurred. One of the largest controversies has surrounded the casting of Annabeth, as she is a different race in the show than she is in the books.

Rick Riordan addressed this in a short manuscript, “When you adapt a book for screen there have to be some changes.” He follows up by saying, “it’s about more than just changing it to adapt to the screen, Leah brings so much energy and enthusiasm to this role, so much of Annabeth’s strength. She will be a role model for new generations of girls who will see in her the kind of hero they want to be.” He also said, “Now, again, does she look like Annabeth looks in the books? No. Was that important to me? No. If anything, it was a massive benefit to broaden the cast in terms of representation.”

Additionally, Annabeth’s actress, Leah Sava Jefferies, said that negative opinions are something she tries to ignore. 

“I listen to people say things and try to tear me down,” Jefferies said, according to Variety magazine. “They say you are not her [Annabeth]. You can’t play her like Alexandra Daddario. But, you know what? They’re right. I’m not her, and I cannot play like her. But, I’m going to show you who I am, and how I’m going to play it. I’m not trying to be like anyone else. I want to be myself, and I want to make sure that other girls understand that too.”

In the recent episodes, Percy battles Greek monsters like Medusa and a half goat, half dragon, and lion called a Chimera. He also falls off the St. Louis arch and sits on the cursed golden throne of Hera, Queen of the gods. The show introduces a fun viewpoint on Greek mythology while keeping a faster pace than the books. 

“I haven’t read the actual books but [the show] is so interesting and incredible. And I like the dramatic music,” said freshman Kaylee Alvarez.

Rick Riordan has repeatedly said that he hopes everyone enjoys the show and that even if someone has not read the books, the show will be just as exciting. 

“I think, though, that it’s a show that anyone can love even if you don’t know the books,” said Rick Riordan. 

Try checking out all seven episodes and perhaps the cliff hangers will be enticing enough to wait for more. The last episode of the season airs tomorrow night, January 30.

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