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Has the New ‘Percy Jackson’ Show Lived Up to the Hype?

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

Season 1 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians has been airing since Dec. 19, 2023. Fans of the beloved book series by Rick Riordan have been buzzing with excitement about the show since well before the first episode was released. Now that the finale is set to air on Jan. 30 on Disney+, it’s time to review how well the adaptation has recaptured one of this generation’s favorite set of fictional heroes.

the casting

First, let’s take a look at the casting. The series stars Walker Scobell as Percy Jackson, Leah Jeffries as Annabeth Chase, and Aryan Simhadri as Grover Underwood. Some fans have criticized the casting largely based on appearance, namely that Jeffries isn’t blonde like Annabeth and Scobell doesn’t have Percy’s “sea-green eyes.” However, the actors certainly seemed to have captured the dynamic of the trio as well as embodied crucial elements of their personalities.

I think it was a good choice to cast actors the correct age of the characters. The awkward yet sassy attitude of 12-year-old Scobell’s Percy is a lot more playful and reminiscent of the books than Logan Lerman’s portrayal of a 16-year-old Percy in the movie adaptations. 

Aside from the main cast, we’ve also gotten to enjoy actors such as comedian Jason Mantzoukas and Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda bringing some of the Greek gods to life. Mantzoukas as Dionysus was one of the best acting choices within this series. He perfectly captured the essence of the God of Wine’s humor and cynicism, producing an exact image of how I viewed the character in the books. 

Miranda also seemed to do Hermes, messenger and trickster of the gods, justice. Miranda, known for his wit and charisma on screen, reproduced those qualities well within this role. However, what stood out to me in his performance was how he portrayed the emotional turmoil Hermes felt for his son, Luke, which felt very book-accurate. 


Much to my joy, we got to see some development of “Percabeth,” otherwise known as the romantic relationship between Percy and Annabeth. Growing up reading the books, those two were my standard for the ideal relationship. It’s safe to say that their hyped-up chemistry has been something I’ve been looking forward to. Seen strongly throughout scenes like “The Tunnel of Love” in Episode 5, both Scobell and Jeffries seemed to have kicked the romantic storyline for their characters into gear. I especially loved the subtle awkward tension between the two after Annabeth hugged Percy at the beginning of that episode. 

the worldbuilding

In addition to casting, I thought the world-building and use of CGI throughout the show were phenomenal. From the first introduction of Camp Half-Blood to the eerie first glimpse into the Underworld in the most recent episode, the series has exhibited remarkable creative direction that has succeeded in recreating some of the book series’ most iconic settings. I thought the setting created for the Lotus Hotel and Casino scene was amazing, although I know some fans (including myself) were disappointed with not hearing Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” in the background. 

The storyline throughout the show has remained somewhat faithful to the books, and the pacing has seemed reasonable, with some occasional changes to better translate the story to the screen.

the fight scenes

One thing I haven’t loved is that almost all the fight sequences are much shorter than I expected. Although this could be for several reasons, I wish there could’ve been a bit more action and maybe even some dangerous elements in a couple of those scenes. Nevertheless, I have high hopes for the upcoming fight sequence between Ares, the God of War, and Percy in the final episode.

percy’s relationship with his mom

One of the most significant parts of the books is that throughout them, we get to see Percy’s internal narrative. This is because much of the series is told from his first-person point of view. For a TV adaptation, the storytelling perspective is an element of books that can often be difficult to render on screen. I believe this was the reason for the show’s decision to focus more heavily on Percy’s backstory with his mom. We don’t encounter this as much in the books. Nevertheless, I think the frequent flashbacks contribute to the emotional bond between Percy and his mom in the show, offering us a better understanding of how Percy was shaped. 

As a long-time fan of the book series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians has been an enjoyable watch. Of course, there are some things that if added or slightly changed, might have made the show just a little better, but no adaptation is perfect. In comparison to the movie adaptations, this Disney+ series is worlds better. We’ll soon get to see how the show concludes, and then maybe we can start talking about Season 2!

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Reghan is a Staff Writer for Her Campus at Florida State University. She is a current sophomore at FSU majoring in Marketing with a minor in English and is on a Pre-Law track. Beyond Her Campus, Reghan is a member of the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law fraternity at Florida State, Relay For Life, and Women In Pre-law Society. She also writes for DWF Magazine. Over the summer she interned at the law firm Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP. In her free time, Reghan loves reading, writing, drawing, and spending time with her two dogs, Marty and Lexi.