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New “Percy Jackson” adaptation’s young cast brings story to life

In fact, a lot of the changes made for a sense of mystery and excitement for fans and allowed for them to be left wondering what would happen in the next episode, even if they remember every detail from the original story.
Image+via+Disney%2B.
Image via Disney+.

After the disappointing 2010 movie adaption, fans of the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” book series were left hoping that, somehow, their favorite storyline would get a second chance of gracing their screens. In May of 2020, the author of the hit middle grade book series, Rick Riordan, announced that it would finally get the adaptation fans were hoping for–this time, a television series.

When “The Lightning Thief”  was first adapted as a movie, the plot strayed so far from the book that it ultimately changed the trajectory of the story. It was later revealed by Riordan himself that “once [he] saw the final script and saw what they were doing on the set, [he] realized [he] had to step away for [his] own peace of mind.” 

When the TV series was announced, Riordan made sure to share with fans that he and his wife would be “involved in person in every aspect of the show.” This set high expectations for the much anticipated show. 

Season one of the show covers the first book of the series, “The Lightning Thief.” Unlike the movie, the show stays true to the books when it comes to the character’s ages. 

Walker Scobell, who was only 13 years old  when the show began filming, is the perfect Percy Jackson and does a wonderful job bringing him to life. Scobell is able to capture Jackson’s humor, bravery, and selflessness. 

Grover Underwood is played by 17-year-old Aryan Simhardi, who does an excellent job portraying everyone’s favorite adventurous satyr side-kick. Leah Jeffries, who was only 12 years old when filming began, remarkably captures Annabeth Chase’s intelligence and quick thinking. 

Scobell, Simhardi, and Jeffries have impeccable chemistry. Watching the three interact felt like they had jumped right off the book pages and onto a screen. 

Eight episodes covering a 377 page book seemed like plenty of time for the plot to flow smoothly, but the show fell a bit flat with its pacing. Many scenes felt rushed, particularly in the first two episodes. The beginning of the book is where readers learn about the world in which the books are set, but in the show, this section felt like it had been cut short.

In the book, the characters encounter obstacles that no twelve year old should have to face, such as coming face to face with Medusa, that they must figure out how to overcome.  This adds suspense and action to the story, as readers hang on until the characters are able to find the solution. The show, on the other hand, made the characters much more knowledgeable about what they were getting themselves into, dimming that suspense. 

Many of the changes made to the story were not so far off from the books that they changed the direction of the plot. Some scenes were almost completely changed, but still moved the story in the right direction. When Percy and Annabeth are sent to an amusement park, what they find inside is not what they find in the book, but it still allows for character development. 

In fact, a lot of the changes made for a sense of mystery and excitement for fans and allowed for them to be left wondering what would happen in the next episode, even if they remember every detail from the original story. While it was definitely disappointing to see some of the most iconic scenes from the book, such as the adventure in the Lotus Casino, be changed, the accuracy of the overall plot made up for it. 

Percy Jackson and the Olympians has yet to be renewed for a season two, but fans are hoping the series continues with the second book, “The Sea of Monsters.” 

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About the Contributor
Liv Corneyea, Staff Writer
Liv Corneyea (2026, she/her) is a Social Work major in the 3 + 1 program. Outside of the Voice, Liv enjoys reading, listening to music, hanging out with her friends, and dying her hair fun colors. Most importantly, Liv loves her Boston Terrier, Rita, more than she likes most people.

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