Percy Jackson Show: Ares' True Form Explained

By Gillian Blum Posted:
Percy Jackson show, Ares in his true form

In Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 8, Percy, Annabeth and Grover averted their eyes from Ares' "true form," and fans may be wondering, though, what exactly that means.

Warning - This article contains spoilers for Percy Jackson and the Olympians on Disney+, and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

Something the Disney+ adaptation of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson novels has done consistently throughout all eight of its episodes is including little details from the source material.

Things like Annabeth's camp necklace including her father's silver ring, Dionysus refusing to call Percy by his actual name, and Percy sending Medusa's head to the gods with a note reading, "With best wishes, Percy Jackson."

Episode 8 continued this trend by including a key godly trait for Ares (Adam Copeland) from the novels.

What Is Ares' True Form?

Episode 8 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians on Disney+ included the iconic beach fight scene between Percy (Walker Scobell) and Ares (Adam Copeland).

Just like in the books, Ares left the scene after Percy drew "blood" (actually Ichor, the golden blood of the gods), swearing that Percy was now his "enemy."

In leaving, Ares took on what the book calls his "true immortal form." The show does this too, simply calling it his "true form."

Ares turning into his true form

As "his body began to glow," Annabeth, Grover, and Percy quickly averted their eyes. In both the book and the show, Percy follows a quick, shouted instruction to look away.

He remarks in the book that he "somehow knew" exactly what the consequences would have been, had he not looked away:

"His body began to glow.

'Percy!' Annabeth shouted. 'Don't watch!'

I turned away as the god Ares revealed his true immortal form. I somehow knew that if I looked, I would disintegrate into ashes.

The light died.

I looked back. Ares was gone."

Based on the Disney+ series featuring the same need to look away as Ares transformed, it can be assumed that Percy "would disintegrate into ashes" if he had looked in the show, too.

Has Anyone Seen a God's True Form in Percy Jackson?

The idea of looking away from a god in their true form comes up a couple more times throughout the first five Percy Jackson books, and even plays plot roles in the second series, Heroes of Olympus, and the third, The Trials of Apollo.

Percy has "to avert [his] eyes" from Hermes in his true form in the second Percy Jackson book, The Sea of Monsters:

"Small white wings sprouted from his pith helmet. He began to glow, and I knew enough about the gods to avert my eyes before he revealed his true divine form. With a brilliant white flash he was gone, and I was alone with the horses."

The only time a non-immortal-being looks upon a god's true form in the three series is when Jason Grace looks at Hera's true form in The Lost Hero. Upon seeing what he describes as "a supernova." Jason is only saved by Piper McLean charmspeaking him back to life:

"Hera glowed brighter. She shouted, 'Cover your eyes, my heroes!'

But Jason was too much in shock. He understood too late.

He watched as Hera turned into a supernova, exploding in a ring of force that vaporized every monster instantly. Jason fell, light searing into his mind, and his last thought was that his body was burning."

Hera remarks that Jason being able to survive this experience is "impossible," indicating this is the first time a non-god has looked at a god's true form and lived to tell the tale.

However, as revealed in The Last Olympian, Camp Half-Blood campers could watch Iris Message footage including the gods in their true forms, indicating indirectly looking at the glowing forms will not kill them.

All eight episodes of Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season 1 are available to stream on Disney+.

- In This Article: Percy Jackson (Season 2)
Release Date
Aryan Simhadri
Leah Jeffries
Walker Scobell
- About The Author: Gillian Blum

Gillian Blum has been a writer at The Direct since 2022, reporting primarily from New York City. Though she covers news from across the entertainment industry, Gillian has a particular focus on Marvel and DC, including comics, movies, and television shows. She also commonly reports on Percy Jackson, Invincible, and other similar franchises.