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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: an ever-evolving story

Alexa Diaz ’25

A couple weeks ago, Disney+ initiated the long awaited serialized release of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, a television series based on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series. As I am writing this article, five episodes have been released. This television show comes over a decade after the release of two movies based on the same books. 

One significant difference between the Percy Jackson movies and the TV show is that the show was made with Riordan’s input, while the movies changed the plot without consulting him. Referencing the movie scripts, Riordan tweeted, “it’s my life’s work going through a meat grinder when I pleaded with them not to do it.”

Ms. Ferguson, Upper School religion teacher, agrees that the movie sacrificed integrity for Hollywood-esque action scenes. “The movies WRECKED the storyline,” she said. “The series is so much more faithful to the books than the movies, and it is highly satisfying to see.”

Others, while acknowledging the show was more accurate, did not mind the movie’s changes, which producers justified as a necessary evil to make the movies more exciting and marketable to older audiences. “The show does a better job on the storylines, but the movie had cool visuals, was more cinematic, and made me excited,” said Eloise Huck ‘24. “I like them both. It just depends on what you are looking for.”

This is not to say that the TV show was entirely faithful to the plot. There were a few small changes meant to explore other characters’ points of view and make the story more relevant to the 21st century, but all changes were made in consultation with Riordan.

“I thought the change to the Medusa plot line was tasteful,” remarked Alejandra Martinez-Fraga ‘25. “The producers were able to paint her in a more forgiving light without being disruptive to the plot, which reflects her modern status as a symbol for sexual assault survivors.” 

However, some have criticized the television series for not being as funny as the movies, which sacrificed certain plot points for added comedic value. According to Alessandra Colitto ‘24, there is a simple explanation for the television show’s omission of certain jokes. “The movies were funnier because the actors were significantly older than the TV show actors. They had more freedom with the jokes that they could make.” 

In the Percy Jackson TV show and in the book series, the main characters are 12 years old. The movie, however, casted actors like Logan Lerman and Alexandra Daddario, who were nearing adulthood when the movies were filmed. 

“Obviously there’s not going to be a crazy casino scene with “Poker Face” playing in the background like there was in the movies,” added Colitto. “That didn’t happen in the books, and these kids are not in their 20s.”

For the most part, the television show has been met with overwhelmingly positive reviews, especially from Percy Jackson fans who have read the book series. While the movies received a dismal 49% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the TV series received an unprecedented 96%

Addison Griñan ‘24, having read the books in second grade, said that “even though [the script writers] changed small details of the original storyline, they kept true to the heart of what the books meant for so many children. They made it an experience that evokes both nostalgia and a new appreciation for the book series.”

“I am looking forward to seeing how Rick Riordan continues to work with the series and develop the characters with age in the same way he did novel by novel,” said Sofia Barrera ‘25.

I join the Upper School students in hoping the series will be renewed for many, many more seasons.


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About the Contributor
Daniella Roos
Daniella Roos, Entertainment Editor
Daniella Roos is a senior at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart. This is her third year as a Beat staff member, and she is the  creator of "Off the Shelf," a book recommendation column. Besides writing for the newspaper, Daniella also enjoys participating on the debate team, traveling to Model UN conferences, and watching indie films.

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  • N

    Natalie AstigarragaFeb 2, 2024 at 1:01 pm

    What an engaging review! Hopefully, this more accurate depiction of the text will encourage a new wave of readers to pick up the rest of the series. Thank you for this coverage!

  • S

    Sofia BarreraJan 28, 2024 at 7:07 am

    Great story, Dani! This TV show is so fun to watch.