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Look, I Didn’t Want To Be A Half-blood: Percy Jackson Disney Plus TV Show

Disney Plus Press
Disney Plus poster for Percy Jackson and The Olympians TV Show premiering December 20th, 2023 starring Aryan Simhadri, Walker Scobell, and Leah Jeffries (from left to right)

Filled with stories based on Greek mythology and a camp for half-god, half-human kids, the Percy Jackson book series is a classic. The first book in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series was brought into movie form in 2010 titled Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (RickRiordan.com). The first novel was filled with  intriguing stories and special moments that were left out of the movie which left readers unsatisfied, and viewers who did read the novels ignorant of what they were missing out on. 

Listening to the comments of the readers, Rick Riordan pitched the idea of a Percy Jackson show to Disney Plus and the series began development in 2020. Soon after, Riordan casted Walker Scobell as Percy Jackson. Scobell is a young actor who is best known for his role as a young Ryan Reynolds in the Netflix film, The Adam Project. Alongside Scobell, Leah Jeffries plays Annabeth Chase and Aryan Simhadri plays Grover Underwood (Disney Plus Press). 

Percy Jackson is the story of a 12-year-old demigod’s (half-god and half-human) journey into the world of Greek mythology, and discovery that his father is Poseidon, the Greek god of the ocean.Percy is quickly forced into a quest with an old satyr friend, Grover, and a new demigod friend, Annabeth, to stop a war from occurring. Percy’s quest takes him through many portrayals of classic Greek stories and their gods. The TV show and novels showcase many Greek myths such as the Minotaur monster in episode one, and Medusa in episode two (RickRiordan.com). The series kicked off with episode one being titled “I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher,” which was titled the same as the first chapter in the book. The title excited fans who read the book in hopes of more similarities between the books and the show (DisneyPlus.com). 

Mr. Hedges, a senior English elective Myth and Culture teacher at Ramapo, comments on the Greek mythology of the series. He explains that he believes “Riordan does a good job of taking a basic understanding of Greek mythology (along with some more minute details) and incorporating them into a modern story that is accessible to younger readers.” Mr. Hedges explains that “mythology, in essence, is not absolutely perfect. While recordings of mythology may seem concrete, much of that mythology came from a range of sources and cannot be considered as historical fact. Mythology is, by definition, allegorical. It is designed to teach lessons about morality and the strength of human spirit just as much as it is meant to serve as an explanation for the world. Riordan’s work is similar in nature when it comes to presenting these life lessons.” Mr. Hedges explains that Riordan’s novels are meant to show young readers the stories of Greek mythology and the important life lessons that come from them. While the novels are based on Greek mythology and stories, the book’s takeaways of morals, the importance of imagination, and friendship shine through. 

 Chloe Maurice, a senior at Ramapo and avid reader, compliments the new series by saying, “ I think as the show is going on you can really see the character development, which truly helps tell the story.” Maurice also comments on the differences between the show and the books, such as the event where they met Medusa. Instead of Percy, Annabeth, and Grover figuring out who Medusa is from context clues, Maurice comments that she “outright told them, which was just unexpected. I like how it gave them more opportunity to delve into Medusa’s story though, so it makes sense.” Unfortunately, with all book-to-TV adaptations, elements of the plot and specific moments have to be cut due to the length of the adaptation compared to the book. 

The new TV show premiered on December 19th, 2023 at 9:00 pm with a schedule of eight episodes in the first season. Riordan and Disney Plus plan to correspond one book with one season. The first Percy Jackson series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, has a total of five books – meaning the show would have an ideal series consisting of five seasons (RickRiordan.com). Percy Jackson is currently streaming on Disney Plus and is released every Tuesday.

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Lindsey Morrison, Editor-In-Chief (23-24), Online Editor (22-23)

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