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Everything You Need to Know About “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”

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

It’s almost here, the TV show depicting my (and many others’) favorite childhood book series. Percy Jackson and the Olympians will be released December 20th on Disney Plus, and with a full trailer recently released, here’s everything you need to know:

Based off a Book Series

Like I said before, this TV series is based off of Rick Riordian’s widely popular young adult book series of the same name. It’s pretty clear that the first season of the show (I’m already hoping for more) is going to be based off of the very first book in the series, The Lightning Thief. It follows Percy’s journey in learning he’s a half-blood (a child of the Greek gods) and his quest to retrieve the master lightning bolt of Zeus, which has been stolen. The episode titles are even based off of chapter titles from the books, with the premiere being titled “I Accidentally Vaporized my Pre-Algebra Teacher.” It’s hopefully safe to say that the show is going to remain fairly faithful to the source material, unlike the movies (we don’t talk about the movies, the only good thing about them was Logan Lerman and the casino scene). Rick Rioridan himself is heavily involved with this project, including with the casting.

Cast as We Know It

We’ve known about the main trio: Percy, Annabeth, and Grover, for some time now. The cast of kids may look different than the original book descriptions, but with Rick himself so excited about their performances, I really don’t think there should be room for people to contest it. Walker Scobell (also in Netflix’s The Adam Project), is playing Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, Leah Jeffries (Empire) will play Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena, and Aryan Simhadri (Cheaper by the Dozen) will play Grover Underwood, a satyr. We’ve also gotten the casting for two other important halfblood characters, with Charlie Bushnell as Luke Castellan, son of Hermes, and Dior Goodjohn as Clarisse La Rue, daughter of Ares.

The kids aren’t the only castings that people are excited about—some of the immortals have also garnered some attention. While the whole Pantheon of gods hasn’t been revealed yet, we do have the ones who play an important part in this story. Lance Reddick (John Wick) will play Zeus, Toby Stephans will play Poseidon, and Jay Duplass will play Hades, aka the “Big Three.” We’ve also got Adam Copeland (WWE) as Ares and Timothy Omundson (Psych) as Hephaestus, and we can’t forget Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hermes. I’ll admit Hermes was one of the most shocking casting choices for me, but we’ll see how it goes. Lastly, we know the two immortals who are in charge of Camp Half-Blood, Jason Mantzoukas (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) as Dionyuis aka “Mr. D,” and Glynn Turman as Chiron the centaur. Overall I love the look of the cast that we see in the trailer, and I can’t wait to see what they can add to the characters.

Trailer Highlights

There were a bunch of little tidbits throughout the trailer that made me even more excited for the show. It shows just how much detail they put into making the story as authentic as they could. Here were some of my favorite moments (without story spoilers):

  • Percy’s dyslexia: one detail from the books is that many of the halfbloods have ADHD and dyslexia due to their “complicated” ancestry from another time period. I’m glad they included this detail because it’s definitely something that many kids can relate to.
  • The monster fights: the minotaur fight from the first book is one of the most iconic moments in the series in my opinion. I won’t spoil its importance, but I think it really sets up the threat of danger these kids are facing even if the tone is fairly light-hearted. The trailer also showed some glimpses of some other fights throughout the book, so it’s safe to say they really brought the action as well.
  • The camp and Capture the Flag: We got to see quite a few shots of Camp Half-Blood and I love how they shaped it. It really looks like some summer camp in the woods, which is what it’s supposed to be. We also got a look into the game of Capture the Flag, another iconic moment, and everything from the helmets and weapons to those obnoxiously bright orange T-shirts looks great.
  • Lotus casino: Another one of my favorite moments, and really one of the only good parts from the movies, the lotus casino is another important location that I’m excited to see again (why Hermes was there I don’t know, but I guess we’ll all find out).
  • Thrill ride of love: This is a bit of a deeper cut, but this scene feels like a defining moment for Percy and Annabeth’s relationship (as friends, they’re 12 in this), and I’m glad we got a sneak peak.

December 20th can’t come soon enough. This series and its characters were a big part of my childhood and I’m so happy they’re getting another chance on the screen. Here’s hoping it gets renewed so we can see the entire series play out.

Maggie Hayes

Conn Coll '24

Maggie is a student at Connecticut College. She loves to read, write, and spend time outside (especially with her dogs).