Everything you need to know about Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2024)


Before you tune in to the new Disney+ show, brush up on the world of Rick Riordan’s beloved series.

Seth Hartman

December 19, 2023

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is an urban fantasy adventure series for young listeners written by author Rick Riordan. While the myths of ancient Greece are among the oldest tales in written record, Percy Jackson and the Olympians dares to bring these storied figures to a modern setting. Set in the contemporary United States, the series imagines a modern interpretation of the Greek Pantheon, from Olympian gods like Zeus and Artemis to iconic monsters like Medusa and the cyclops Polyphemus.

Where does Percy Jackson and the Olympians take place?

The settings and characters of ancient Greece are transposed to America, with the bulk of the series taking place at Camp Half-Blood, an institute tasked with training young heroes. As the lore goes, the Greek gods tend to move to what they perceive to be the most powerful country in the world. Thus, in modern times, the gods relocated Mount Olympus to the United States, where it floats invisibly above the Empire State Building. To keep mortals unaware of their presence, a magical phenomenon called “The Mist” is employed, hiding magical locations and transforming gods and monsters into everyday humans or animals. Generally, only those connected to the supernatural are able to see through this guise.

The most important location in Percy Jackson is Camp Half-Blood, a safe haven and training ground for demigods (mortals who have one godly parent) and other supernatural beings. Throughout the series, Percy and his allies travel to many locations central to Greek mythos, now situated in the United States. With Medusa’s lair just a few miles off of the New Jersey Turnpike and the entrance to the Underworld in Los Angeles, danger is at every turn.

What is Percy Jackson and the Olympians about?

Percy Jackson and the Olympians follows Percy, a troubled tween with unexplainable powers. In each installment, Percy finds himself face-to-face with formidable new foes as he comes into his own, amassing loyal allies and burgeoning new abilities throughout his journey.

The series’ first installment, The Lightning Thief, sets the saga off. After being attacked by a strange being at school, Percy is whisked away to Camp Half-Blood for training to become a hero with fellow campers, including fast friends Grover and Annabeth. When Zeus’s famed lightning bolt is stolen, Percy is blamed and unwittingly brought into a conflict involving the thunder god himself alongside Poseidon and Hades, better known as “The Big Three.” This inciting incident sets Percy and his friends on a cross-country road trip to clear his name, running into all kinds of supernatural perils along the way.

Who wrote Percy Jackson and the Olympians?

Percy Jackson and the Olympians was created by author Rick Riordan. Riordan worked as a middle school teacher for a stretch of his career, where he routinely taught Greek mythology and asked his students to imagine their own modern Greek heroes. These stories would eventually go on to inspire the story of young, unsuspecting demigod, Percy Jackson, and the countless quests he’d undertake.

Who are the main characters of Percy Jackson and the Olympians?

  • Percy Jackson

    The eponymous star of the series, Percy Jackson was born in 1993. His full name is Perseus Jackson, and he is the son of the god Poseidon and a human woman named Sally Jackson. Despite his being born a demigod, Percy’s mom wanted to shelter him from both dangerous monsters and the gods’ meddling. As such, Percy didn’t realize his true identity until he was a teen. Being the son of Poseidon, Percy was born with innate combat prowess and the natural ability to read ancient Greek, not to mention the power to control water.

  • Grover Underwood

    Grover is one of Percy’s oldest friends. The two of them became close in middle school after Percy defended Grover from some bullies. Little did he know, Grover was actually a satyr—a human with the hooves and horns of a goat—sent by Camp Half-Blood to serve as Percy’s guardian. Despite his over-the-top silliness and occasional penchant for cowardice, Grover is a loyal friend who will defend his allies to the very last. Eventually, he and Percy establish an empathy link, allowing them to hear each other’s thoughts.

  • Annabeth Chase

    Annabeth is another essential member of the story’s core trio of characters. She is best known for her intelligence—fitting as Annabeth’s mother is Athena, goddess of wisdom and battle strategy. Annabeth’s mind is her best weapon, as she is able to make quick decisions and employ long-term strategies to the advantage of the group. While she had a lot of disdain for Percy at first, he managed to win her over with his bravery and earnest nature. Over the course of the series, the pair grow become incredibly close, eventually developing romantic feelings for one another.

  • Luke Castellan

    Luke is a counselor at Camp Half-Blood, and he is first introduced as a powerful role model to Percy. He is the demigod son of Hermes, the messenger god, and as such displays a somewhat slick and flighty personality. Despite his friendly exterior, Luke is secretly grappling with an identity crisis. He is eventually revealed to be among the series’ central antagonists.

  • Poseidon

    Poseidon is the Greek god of the sea, granting him domain over everything related to the ocean. He is also Percy’s father, which explains Percy’s superhuman strength and innate control over water. After World War II, brothers Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades made a pact forbidding each other from having more kids. In spite of this vow, Poseidon fathers Percy with human Sally Jackson. Despite his divinity, Poseidon appears in the series as a tan middle-aged man wearing Bermuda shorts.

  • Chiron

    Chiron is a centaur, a human-horse hybrid. When he first met Percy, he was undercover in his full human form as a teacher at Percy’s middle school, Mr. Brunner. He always had his back when Percy was blamed for accidents in the mortal world, and he is likewise a good mentor at Camp Half-Blood.

Where can I watch the new Percy Jackson series?

Fans of the series were delighted when a new television series adaptation of the Percy Jackson books was announced years ago, and that wait is finally over! You can tune into Percy Jackson and the Olympians on Disney+ beginning December 20, 2023, which covers the events of The Lightning Thief across the first season. Old and new fans can expect to get to know these characters, and many more, over the course of the 8-episode run.


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Everything you need to know about Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2024)
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