Is ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ Faithful to the Books? Here’s What You Need To Know

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As the release of ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ draws near, one of the things that people are excited about is the fact that we are finally going to see another attempt at adapting Rick Riordan’s popular novel series. Of course, two movies were produced to adapt the first two books, only for fans to realize that the movies weren’t really up to par with the books. So, is ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ faithful to the books?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • The author, Rick Riordan, has been involved with the production of ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians,’ as opposed to his minimal involvement in the movies.
  • That means that this is a proper live-action retelling of Riordan’s ‘Percy Jackson’ books.
  • Of course, as the director noted, there are still a few creative changes between the books and the series.

Rick Riordan was very involved in its development

The release date of ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ draws near, and there are now a lot of fans who are excited about seeing this popular book series coming to life in the form of a TV show. Of course, we know that the first two books were able to find life in two movies in the past. The problem was that those movies weren’t as well-received by true fans due to how they weren’t exactly true to the storyline of the books.

So, because the movies weren’t faithful to the novels, there are now some fans wondering whether or not the ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ series will be true to the essence of the books. After all, there have been a lot of different cases wherein movie producers and directors would want to change a lot of things in the books’ story for certain reasons that have angered fans.


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The good news here is that Rick Riordan, the author of the novel series, actually played a big role in the development of ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians.’ Riordan’s first book of this series was released back in 2005, introducing Greek mythology fans to the main heroes of the storyline.

Since then, Riordan has released more books revolving around Percy Jackson and his allies. Of course, he is now happy to be working on helping Disney+ give his books new life in the form of a live-action series.

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Riordan himself is confident enough that fans would love how the series will be a lot more faithful to the books than the movies were. In fact, he expressed his excitement for the series as he said that this would be a proper retelling of his novels. Here is Rick Riordan’s full statement:

“We have been involved in the series since its inception, since the very, very earliest conversations about what a new Percy adaptation might look like, how it would be sketched out, whether it would be episodic. So, I feel comfortable telling fans of the books who have been waiting — in some cases, decades — for this kind of faithful adaptation, that this is the one you’ve been waiting for. We are involved and I think you’re gonna love it.”

Source: CBR

As such, it goes without saying that Riordan’s involvement in the filming of the series means that the storyline will be as faithful to the source material as possible. However, there are still changes that were introduced into the live-action series to make it unique compared to the novels. This means that it isn’t a perfect 1:1 reproduction of the novel despite the fact that Riordan made sure to give his books the justice that they deserve.


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James Bobin, the director of the series, said that the storyline will be faithfully aligned with Riordan’s books, but there are still some surprises that fans will love. These surprises come in the form of a few changes that, of course, were blessed by Riordan himself. Here’s Bobin’s full statement:

“I think there is a mixture of those things. We are very careful, and we love these books for a reason. We love them for what they were, and I remember reading the scripts for the first time, and it said, ‘Percy Jackson, bracket 12 years old’ after his name, and I’m like, ‘OK good. That’s a good start.’

Because the world from a twelve-year-old’s point of view is emotionally complex, and this is a very complicated point. But yes, there will be huge amounts of it that everyone will know. There will be small amounts of it that they will be pleased by because it’s a choice we’ve made to make things a bit different than the book.”

So, as you can see, the people who worked on this series made it a point to follow the source material as closely as possible. This is why fans are so excited about the ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ as this is truly the first time that they are going to see their favorite books getting adapted into a live-action production that’s faithful to Riordan’s work.

How will the series differ from the movies?

As mentioned, Rick Riordan’s first two books were adapted into movies that were modest commercial successes despite the fact that critics weren’t entirely nice to them. After the 2013 movie received bad reviews from both fans and critics, it became clear that the future of the movies was dim. Riordan had little involvement in the production of the first film and had no involvement in the second film, which he described as an entirely different story. So, how will the live-action series differ from the movies?

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Of course, Riordan was never happy about the fact that his creative inputs were ignored when the movies were made. That means that the directors of those movies simply did their own thing without even thinking about the opinions of the author himself. But the fact that he is the co-creator of the show is one of the reasons why everyone is so pumped up about how close the series will be to the book.


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In other words, the differences between the series and the movie will be seen in how the tone will be more accessible to younger audience members, given the fact that the ‘Percy Jackson’ books were always for children and young adults.

There’s also the fact that the deviations that the movies introduced are going to be minimized in the show. If ever there are deviations between the show and the books, you can trust that such changes will be minimal at best and won’t affect the overall outcome of the storyline.

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