Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season One: An Honest Review (2024)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Western chapter.

Mild spoilers ahead for the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series, including all its adaptations as of March 2024.

I was eight years old when I first read The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, and more than a decade later, I still find myself captivated by this world of Greek gods and monsters. The story centers around Percy Jackson, who discovers that he is a demigod and his father is Poseidon, the god of the sea. Accused by Zeus, the god of the sky, of stealing his lightning bolt, Percy embarks on a quest to recover it, clear his name, and prevent a war among the Olympian gods. I was drawn to this story because of its relatable characters, clever integration of classic mythology into our modern world, and balance of humour and sincerity. The way this book explores themes such as identity, family, and sacrifice is also commendable.

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, along with its sequel series, Heroes of Olympus, played a formative role in my childhood, and I have eagerly awaited a faithful live-action adaptation depicting some of my favourite characters and stories. While I did watch both movies – I even caught Sea of Monsters in theaters twice back in 2013 – they fell short in terms of characterization and plot accuracy. The closest adaptation I encountered was The Lightning Thief musical on tour in Seattle, which eventually made its way to a limited run on Broadway. Therefore, I was ecstatic when Disney+ announced its plans to create a show with Rick Riordan’s input, aiming to cast younger actors and remain faithful to the books.

The final episode of season one recently premiered on January 30th, so in this article, I will discuss what I enjoyed about the show, what I felt was missing, and what I look forward to seeing in the second season.

What I Enjoyed:

Casting and Performances:

One of the highlights for me was the casting of the main trio—Percy, Annabeth, and Grover. The actors delivered great performances for what they had to work with, and their strong chemistry exhibited in the press tour interviews that I watched hints at the potential for more fun interactions in season two. Additionally, I liked the casting choices specifically for Clarisse, Luke, Ares, Dionysus, Sally, Poseidon, and Zeus, who all embody their characters from the source material very well.

Inclusion of Scenes from the Book:

The inclusion of more story beats from the book compared to the 2010 movie adaptation was another positive aspect. Scenes such as the Chimera encounter on the St. Louis Arch and Percy’s fight against Ares were well-executed, capturing the essence of the source material. The season one finale, in particular, stood out as quite faithful to the book, and I hope that the quality of that episode carries forward to season two.

Deeper Exploration of Themes:

I appreciated how the show delved deeper into the themes of identity, family, and sacrifice compared to the book. Furthermore, the greater emphasis on the concept of kleos (glory) helps to better understand certain character motives, overall enriching the narrative.

What Was Missing:

Lack of Tension and Fun:

The inconsistent pace, heavy reliance on dialogue-driven exposition, and mostly anticlimactic fight scenes resulted in a less engaging experience, lacking the sense of urgency in the book. The trio’s quick discernment of mythological traps further diminishes the suspense and fun that characterized the original material. For example, I was always impressed by the creative modernization of classic Greek monsters in the books and how our main characters had cleverly problem-solved their way out of the monsters’ traps. However, I was disappointed when I saw the characters never fall for them in the show. Specifically, I was let down by the elimination of fun and tension during the Lotus Casino and Crusty’s waterbed store scenes in Episodes 6 and 7, respectively.

Less Immersive World-Building:

Opting for a more serious and grounded tone, in addition to the mostly bland cinematography, hindered the show’s ability to fully immerse me into this world of Greek gods and monsters. The predominant use of the volume stage affected the authenticity of some real-life settings (e.g., the Montauk beach), and the limited use of creative camera choices was noticeable. While most of the practically built sets were well-designed, like Camp Half-Blood, more fantastical locations that relied on the volume stage, such as Olympus and the Underworld, lacked dynamism and immersivity.

Absence of B-Plots:

Something that I believe contributed to the inconsistent pacing was the absence of substantial B-plots, leading to Percy, Annabeth, and Grover often splitting up or resorting to awkward scene transitions. Introducing a B-plot during the quest-heavy episodes, perhaps centered around tensions escalating at Camp Half-Blood amid the gods’ impending war, could have enhanced pacing and provided a broader perspective beyond the main trio’s story.

What I Look Forward to in Season Two:

In anticipation of the now-confirmed second season, I hope to see more humour, leveraging the enjoyable dynamics of the younger cast, especially since this was such an iconic characteristic of the books. Introducing more engaging B-plots throughout the episodes, for example, flashbacks depicting Annabeth, Luke, and Thalia’s time on the run before arriving at Camp Half-Blood, could also add more depth and context to the narrative and improve the pacing. However, despite my disappointments, I maintain optimism for an improved season two and am grateful for the opportunity to watch a decent live-action adaptation of this beloved book series.

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season One: An Honest Review (2024)


Is Percy Jackson Season 1 good? ›

With a charming central trio, an intriguing quest and plenty of magical moments, this faithful reboot is a fun (if familiar) family-friendly fantasy. Percy still manages to be an edge-of-the-seat comfort watch. We're off to an encouraging start!

Why did Grover betray Percy? ›

While this may seem like a betrayal at first, it was actually Grover playing the part of protector to a tee. Knowing that monsters will find Percy at Yancy, Grover realizes he has to get him away from the school as quickly as possible.

How accurate is the Percy Jackson TV series? ›

Concerning the Disney+ show, the reviews for Percy Jackson and the Olympians have proven that the biggest issue with the 2010 movie series has been avoided. The show's fidelity to the source material is evident, likely spearheaded by original author Rick Riordan's involvement in the series.

Why did Annabeth push Percy into the water? ›

Because Annabeth is Annabeth, and Percy is Percy. She theorized that Percy was the son of Poseidon so she pushed him in the water to see if it would heal him. She guessed he was the son of Poseidon but wanted proof.

How old was Percy in book 1? ›

The Lightning Thief is a light-hearted fantasy about a modern 12-year-old boy who learns that his true father is Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. Percy sets out to become a hero by undertaking a quest across the United States to find the entrance to the Underworld and stop a war between the gods.

Is Percy Jackson good for 13 year olds? ›

The story's narrator, Percy Jackson, will be familiar to most young readers, and here he retells the stories of the Greek Gods with wit and style. This book is appropriate for ages 10+, although some of the stories feature themes that are a bit more mature.

Did Annabeth betray Percy? ›

No, Annabeth did not betray Percy in "The House of Hades" by Rick Riordan.

Does Grover become a God? ›

At the end of the series, Grover gets his much-deserved happy ending. The Council of Cloven Elders gives him a coveted position, appointing him, as Pan's successor, the new Lord of the Wild.

Do Percy and Annabeth get together? ›

Yes, Annabeth is married to Percy Jackson, and has three kids: Cast, Ethan, and Zoe. How was Annabeth Chase born? Annabeth Chase is the half-blood daughter of the goddess Athena and the mortal man Frederick Chase. She was born July 12, 1993.

Did Percy miss the deadline in the book? ›

Percy Jackson and the Olympians showrunner Jon Steinberg has addressed a controversial book change made in season 1 of the show. During the Disney+ adaptation, Percy and his friends miss the deadline to retrieve the Master Bolt, something that didn't happen in the books.

What is Annabeth's regret in the underworld? ›

Given the circ*mstances of Thalia's sacrifice, it stands to reason that Annabeth would feel some regret for not being able to save the person she looked up to as a sister. Another potential aspect of her life that Annabeth may regret is her family life.

What is a forbidden child in Percy Jackson? ›

Zeus, meanwhile, fell for the mortal Beryl Grace and bore Thalia Grace to her. Poseidon fell in love with Sally Jackson, and the two had Percy together. Percy and Thalia are considered Forbidden Children because they were born after the gods swore to keep their pact.

Why did Annabeth kiss Percy? ›

We all know that the reason Annabeth kissed him to begin with was because she wasn't sure whether he would make it out alive or not and wanted to show him how she felt with what little time they had left. For two weeks, that ended up being Annabeth's reality.

Did Percy ever kiss Annabeth? ›

Percy pulled Annabeth close and kissed her... long enough for it to get really awkward for Piper, though she said nothing. She thought about the old rule of Aphrodite's cabin: that to be recognized as a daughter of the love goddess, you had to break someone's heart.

When did Annabeth kiss Percy? ›

Their first kiss in the Battle of the Labyrinth in the 11th chapter. In 'The Last Olympian' they kiss in the last chapter which is 'I am dumped'.

Is the new Percy Jackson series better? ›

Overall, this new Percy Jackson series is a triumph in the world of book-to-screen adaptation. It not only pays homage to the original series, but it adds a new flair to keep the book readers intrigued.

What do people think about Percy Jackson series? ›

I thought it was a lot better than the movies, although the movies weren't that bad. I love the actors who played in them. I didn't mind that they had Annabeth being black. The only thing I didn't really like about the action was that some scenes were too short, like Percy and Aries' fight.

Is the new Percy Jackson series better than the movie? ›

The 2010 movie and its 2013 sequel were both roundly rejected by fans of the books, who already far prefer the new show. Percy Jackson and the Olympians is categorically better than its cinematic counterparts, doing countless things better in its adaptation of The Lightning Thief.

Is the Percy Jackson sequel series good? ›

Despite lacking momentum and wonderment, Percy Jackson and the Olympians plays pleasantly as a kid-friendly introduction to a world already beloved by many a kid. And since its real quest was being better than the movies, it's a bit heroic already.

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