Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief plot

If you haven’t read the Percy Jackson book, I suggest you read it immediately. I also suggest you not watch the movie. For those of you who have already watched the movie, my deepest condolences. It is perhaps one of the worst book-to-movie adaptations I have ever witnessed. However, if you watched the movie and actually liked it, please check yourself in to the nearest mental institute  congratulate yourself on your remarkable level of tolerance and read the books. You will love them (especially since you actually liked the movie.)

Here’s a summary of the plot if you watched the movie, haven’t read the books, and want to understand why billions of Percy Jackson fans are annoyed at how the movie turned out (It completely disregarded the plot and characterization in the book- here’s a post about it). Or, if you have watched the movie and are deciding whether to read the books. (Yes.)

First book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

Greek gods are alive and kicking in the modern day world. (Unfortunately, so are Greek monsters and the Titans).

Here’s a little background: Kronos, the King of the Titans, is the father of most of the gods (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades…etc). He eats his children because there’s a prophecy that one of his children will defeat him etc, his wife tricks him one day, and his children escape (from his stomach) and do defeat him. They imprison him in the deepest, darkest depths of Tartarus (a sort of Hell) and go around having um, s*x with mortals.

This gives rise to a group of half human-half gods known as demigods. Percy Jackson is the son of Poseidon, and the main character of the series. He’s funny, extremely impulsive, ADHD (well, all demigods are- it improves their battle reflexes), slightly reckless, and extremely charming. Not to mention powerful, since he’s the son of the second most powerful god, Poseidon. After a series of dangerous attacks by monsters (and one that kills his mother), he finally makes his way to camp half blood, a camp for demigods.

However, nothing is fine and dandy- it is illegal for Zeus, Poseidon and Hades (the most powerful gods) to have children, because the last time they did, their offspring started World War II. Also, there was a prophecy about one of the children of the big three- he or she will have the power to save or destroy Olympus and decide its fate. So of course, the other Gods aren’t very happy about Percy Jackson’s birth, and when Zeus finds out that his lightning bolt has gone missing, all Hell breaks loose. He pins the theft on Percy Jackson and accuses Poseidon of a plot against him. Poseidon knows it isn’t Percy Jackson, and so is also majorly pissed. Zeus announces an ultimatum; if the Lightning bolt is not returned by the summer solstice- well, lets just say Zeus’ wrath is not something worth testing.

Thus, Percy Jackson sets off on a quest (with Annabeth, the daughter of Athena, and Grover, a cowardly satyr) to find the lightning bolt, return it to Zeus, avert a massive catastrophe, and clear his name. They head to the underworld, believing that perhaps the whole lightning bolt stealing incident was masterminded by Hades, who hopes to usurp the throne while his two brothers fight. (He’s never been very happy about being given the underworld and not some happy cheery place like the sky/sea.)

Of course, they meet many monsters along the way, but finally reach the underworld, where they meet Hades. Hades accuses Percy Jackson of having stole the lightning bolt (surprise) and opens Percy Jackson’s bag to find the lightning bolt (double surprise). Hades, of course, is extremely angry, thinking that it is a plot to turn both brothers against him. He throws Percy Jackson, Grover, and Annabeth into a prison.

Will Percy Jackson and his friends be able to get out of prison in time to return the lightning bolt to Zeus? Who put the lightning bolt in Percy Jackson’s bag, who stole the lightning bolt, and why?

Click on ‘continue reading’ to find out. (Spoilers ahead.)

Everything turns out to be a plot between Ares (who put the lightning bolt into a bag and gave it to Percy as a gift), and Kronos (who masterminded everything). Percy and his friends escapes from Hades (with his mother) and somehow manages to defeat Ares in a fight. He returns the lightning bolt to Zeus and they all return to camp as a hero. Only to meet Luke, who nearly kills Percy and escapes. Luke, Annabeth’s long time friend, turns out to be the one who stole the lightning bolt in the first place.

End of first book. (Start of second, third, fourth fifth amazing books.)

all five books

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May 2012
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