Mel in Movieland | Percy Jackson: The lightening thief.

Welcome to my new feature, where I will be combining books and movies! I bet you can guess how I came up in the name, but in case you aren’t; Alice in Wonderland. You can find my inspirations in this post Fairytale news: other content.

Information: Director: Chris Columbus.
Released: on February 11th 2010.
Length: 118 minutes.

Storyline (IMDB): A teenager discovers he's the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an on-going battle between the gods. Zeus's lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Even more troubling is the sudden disappearance of Percy's mother. As Percy finds himself caught between angry and battling gods, he and his friends embark on a cross-country adventure to catch the true lightning thief, save Percy's mom, and unravel a mystery more powerful than the gods themselves.


Casting and character comparisons to the book:

images (1)percy_jackson_poster02images
I’m going to be really honest here. I don’t like Logan Lerman. There is something about his head that doesn’t work for me. I also don’t like how they make him whiny and angsty. They took away Percy’s humour and the way he easily adapts to new situations. Together with his bad acting, I found it hard to like movie-Percy. I am okay with the casting from Annabeth, even when I didn’t like the way they portrayed her. She is much bitchier in the movie and her interest for being an architect is brushed aside. Grover seems to be there for the comical relief, I found his role in the book more prominent and important.
Lord_HadesNext up; Hades. It’s not a bad actor, but after reading this description in the book I wonder what they were thinking. The movie Hades look more like a drunk homeless guy you find under a bridge, because his rock band is a failure. I like his book version.

‘He was at least ten feet tall, for one thing, and dressed in black silk robes and a crown of braided gold. His skin was albino white, his hair shoulder-length and jet black. He wasn’t bulked up like Ares, but he radiated power. Intense eyes, the same kind of mesmerizing, evil charisma. Looking lithe, graceful and dangerous as a panther.’
I’m confused why they casted Rosario Dawson as Persephone, since she has no appearance in the book. The story takes place leading up to the summer, which means Persephone spends her time with her mother Demeter. She is only in the Underworld in Fall and Winter. I have no idea why they changed this. The other Gods aren’t so bad, especially Sean Bean as Zeus. I really like him and felt he had the right appearance and voice for Zeus. ‘He had a well-trimmed beard, marbled gray and black like a storm cloud. His face was proud and handsome and grim, his eyes rainy gray.’

Verdict movie: I’m not a fan. I don’t like Logan Lerman and that’s the same as disliking the main character in a book. He and Alexandra could benefit from some acting lessons and the maker of the movies need to work on their adaptation skills.. I don’t mind that they gave the Gods more influence in the movie, but I wished they didn’t change so much about the storyline, like adding Persephone.

Verdict book:
28187Rick Riordan – The lightening thief.
Sort: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1.
Published: March 1st 2006 by Disney Hyperion Books, 337 pages.
Source: Library.

It happened. After my horrible experience with the movie, I wasn't planning to read the book. My book club friends were raving about the series though, so when I saw they had the series at my library I decided to go for it. I thought it was a very enjoyable story, but to be very honest, I wasn't blown away by it. The writing-style feels a bit too young for my taste. I like that it's written from the POV of a boy and Rick does a great job in writing the voice of a young boy. I was also surprised how much I liked Annabeth. Like I said, she was bitchy in the movie, but she was much kinder in the book. I couldn't stop myself from comparison this trio with Harry Potter, which was fun. It's definitely an improvement in comparison with the movie and I have the next book waiting for me, so let's see what more this series has to offer.

The book vs the movie: (I think it’s obvious there are spoilers in this part)Okay, so far we can conclude they changed the portrayal from the three main characters, they gave the Gods more influence and they  added Persephone without a clear reason. There are also a couple of big lines they left out of the movie.

When Percy is on his mission to find the lightening bolt he encounters a Chimera, not a Hydra.

Percy leaves his mother behind when he meets Hades, because he knows she wants him to save the world. We find out that Ares plays a big role in the upcoming war, because the stole Hades’ helmet and gave Percy the backpack with the spell that the lightening bolt would only show up in the Underworld. The furies heard everything and take the Helmet back. Hades releases Percy’s mother. In the movie they leave Grover behind, getting him back as a thank-you from Zeus. The helmet nor Ares make an appearance.

Percy sees Luke back in the camp and that’s when the boy tells him how he wants to free Kronos. He talks to him in his dreams and they are about to change the world. In the movie we get to see a lame fight on the rooftop right before Percy takes the lightning bolt to Zeus. Luke gets some strange lines as in ‘he wants to take control’ and he is ‘tired of the old ways’ but Kronos is never mentioned.

The relationship between Percy and Annabeth has a nice touch in the book, but is completely destroyed in the movie. First we get one of those awkward staring-each-other-in-the-eyes moments the first time they see each other. This continues, because they are set on putting her down as a stereotype. The scene where the they play capture-the-flag is changed. Instead of working together, Percy and Annabeth fight against each other. This scene made me cringe and I wish the movie showed more of Annabeth than being the warrior. It’s great that they make her look strong, but there is more to her and they failed to deliver that. Which resulted in zero chemistry between them.

Grover’s important life mission isn’t mentioned at all and we also don’t get to see Annabeth’s struggle with her father, but she finally decides to return back home for the vacation, like Percy.

I hope you guys appreciate this post, because I had to sit through this movie again to find all the differences and it’s horrible. So. Have you seen the movie and/or read the book?


  1. I my gosh I despise the Percy Jackson film - it's just awful. But I do really like the book series, they're quick and easy to read and really funny :)

  2. When I first watched Percy Jackson I probably would have been 13 or so and I think I enjoyed it. BUT that was before I read the book. I tried to go back and watch it after finishing the entire Percy Jackson series and didn't even last half the movie. They changed so many of the elements of the book that made it great :( I have no idea how you managed to sit through it twice to find the differences!

  3. PJ films are horrible, the second one is no better than the first! Just one big nope. I hope they never go and do another, they are absolutely ruining it. :X

  4. Yeah, the Percy Jackson movies is among some of THE WORST book-to-movie adaptations. The books are so fun, witty and the enery is just different on the whole. The film went for cliché and formulaic. UGH. I love how you listed the differences between the book and movie, I remember being SO annoyed with the changes they made...but then again I always get super annoyed when they change any kind of detail in movie adaptations LOL yes I'm one of THOSE people >.< Anyway, the face off between Percy and Luke was the worst. Sorry you had to sit through this one again but thanks for the lovely post hehe ^^

  5. Both of the Percy Jackson movies are horrible. I can't even decide which one is worse! They got rid of almost everything I LOVE about the books.

    It's a shame that the movies were so bad because I would've loved to see a Harry Potter-esque movie series come out of it. I loved that the HP cast became so close over the years, an element that definitely showed through in their on-screen chemistry. I was really offput by the decision to age up the PJO characters because the actors would be way too old by the final book (thankfully the shipwreck sunk sooner rather than later).

  6. From what I remember, I kind of liked the movies. But not as a book to movie adaptation. It wasn't the worst one I've seen, but it was far from the best.

    Dreams @ Once Upon A Dream Books

  7. I liked the book, but the movie, or the bits I remember of it, were kind of stiff. And I saw one of the other movies on TV and caught maybe a half hour of it. The acting didn't seen to improve much and it felt Harry Potter ish. Like a rip off.

  8. What makes me laugh about the movie is the fact that Rick Riordan himself hates the movie. xD I'm pretty sure I've seen him tweet before that he hopes people never watch it. I remember seeing it and rolling my eyes the ENTIRE time. I've never really wanted to pick up his books because they're MG and those books never click with me, but I have considered it at times. I've heard nothing but good things!

    I agree about Logan Lerman. I've never been much of a fan of him. He was okay in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but I didn't like that story/movie much to begin with so it was overall very "meh" for me.

  9. To be completely honest, I am really disappointed about how the movies were adapted here. The books are absolutely fantastic, and the movies do nothing to warrant the awesomeness inside them, which makes me sad. They took away so many pivotal plot points and changed so much about the storyline and characters to the point where it doesn't even feel like an adaption anymore, but rather a completely new story altogether. Wonderful review Mel!

  10. Oh I really like the idea of this post Melanie! I watched the Percy Jackson film a few years ago and tried to get into the book series before the other films would be released, but that just didn't happen (I always seem to have this problem, when it comes to picking up books after watching the film). But I do love your analysis of both!

  11. I've never read the Percy Jackson series, but I didn't really love the movie when I saw it either. I think I liked the second movie even less than the first :/ It's a shame that the movies weren't better. Based on the book's popularity and story-line, I'm sure they had the potential for it.

  12. Ugh, agreed. This movie was awful. They changed way too many things from the book. I understand the sequel was a bit better, but I'm not sure I can even bring myself to watch it.

  13. Logan Lerman always acts like Charlie from Perks of Being a Wallflower no matter what movie he’s in. The moroseness killed Percy’s character for me!

    As for the books - the first two or three have a younger MG tone, but it gets more mature in the end. The last two books are the ones you might enjoy more, and the Heroes of Olympus series is in that same style.

  14. Yeah, I like Logan Lerman, just not as Percy Jackson. BUT YES. MOVIE IS SO SO BAD. I couldn't get over how bad it was for days, and totally annoyed the crap out of my friends because it was all I could talk about (yes, I'm verrah passionate about the books). I didn't like Alexandra Daddario though, she just didn't have an Annabeth vibe or seemed to have her wisdom either. *sighs*

    Great post, Mel! <33

  15. I don't intend on watching these movies or reading the books; I'm kinda sick of the whole Gods story line to be honest. Maybe after my mini-break I'll feel differently, but for the time being I'm steering clear of this series altogether. I love that you named your meme after Alice in Wonderland BTW. :)

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads.

  16. Love this post! You are awesome Mel. <3 But haaah. I LOVE the Percy Jackson books. <3 SO MUCH LOVE. I love you will continue this series, and will love the next books more :) but glad you did enjoy it. <3 BUT HAH. THE MOVIE. I cannot. My heart is aching over how badly done it is. I cannot. I only watched 20 minutes, after reading all the books. I couldn't take it. IT SUCKED. So much. lol. And I love love love that the author is talking about how much it sucks too. <3 (though he claims to not have seen it.) ANYWAY. Love this post Mel. <3 Thank you for sharing :)

  17. "There is something about his head that doesn’t work for me." this made me LOL. I don't know if this is surprising or not but I haven't read the book OR seen the movie. But I think I'll choose the book (although I didn't read your verdict for fear of spoilers). I actually haven't read ANY Rick Riordan and figure I need to remedy that at some point.

  18. This movie was so bad. Basically everything that could have gone wrong did. It was NOTHING like the book... 0_0 Haha great post, Mel ;)

  19. I don't think I'll read the books til my son gets older but I should totally watch the movies.

  20. My story with PJ is actually a little different...I watched the movie first and really enjoyed the portrayal of the greek gods, and then decided to pick up the series and I was addicted! I think I appreciated it a lot more because I hadn't read the book first you know. Great rundown Mel!

  21. Loved this book, but hated the movie. Especially the ending with the whole becoming mortal thing. not good at all. Great post!


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