New York Comic Con surprised fans with an exclusive never-before-seen look at the opening scenes from the upcoming Percy Jackson and the Olympians TV series.
So far, the only footage officially released of the upcoming Disney+ show is from the teasers and trailer, which do include a lot of fan-favorite references and iconic moments. But otherwise, audiences have had official photos, cast lists, and brief teases from those like Percy Jackson author and show co-writer Rick Riordan.
Taking photos and videos when the new footage was released at NYCC was strictly prohibited, but The Direct was there to tell you what you missed.
First Seven Minutes of Percy Jackson
The Percy Jackson and the Olympians opening scene kicks off with a word-for-word narration from Walker Scobell's Percy Jackson of the first few paragraphs of The Lightning Thief novel:
"I didn't want to be a half-blood"
He then goes into the same warning from the book that if you think you are a demigod yourself, you should abandon the story right here, and live in blissful ignorance. Percy explains that this is because once a person realizes they are a demigod, the half-blood hunting monsters Percy faces throughout the books will realize it too.
Throughout this chilling narration ripped right from the book, Percy walks slowly toward the camera in the pouring rain, coming into focus more and more with each sentence.
The story then transitions to Percy's experiences at school throughout his life, as he narrates about his history as a "troubled kid:"
"Am I a troubled kid? Yeah, you could say that."
He talks about bullies and bad grades, but also the less-common experiences from throughout his life.
Then, fans see the first scene which is entirely new for the show. Percy's second-grade school principal can be seen running through the halls, up to the roof, where a young Percy Jackson is found, standing near a puddle of water, staring at what is now an empty roof. Percy then reveals that he was looking, because he thought he saw something watching him. The camera shows the roof again, revealing a black pegasus — which some fans have speculated to be Blackjack from the later novels.
Percy is sent to his guidance counselor, told he is just imagining things, and to tell an adult if anything like this happens again. Percy tells viewers that it does, in fact, happen several more times. He keeps seeing creatures or strange things, that no one else seems to be able to see, and that disappear quickly. He draws one into his notebook.
Then, with a reference to the third Percy Jackson book — The Titan's Curse — Percy and his best friend Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri) can be seen playing Mythomagic, a Greek Mythology-themed game that is a favorite of a young Nico DiAngelo. Percy introduces Grover and can be seen playing and eating together at their own lunch table at Yancy Academy.
The scene then transitions to the iconic Metropolitan Museum of Art field trip from the book's first chapter. They walk through the Greek exhibit of the museum, and Percy struggles to read his class worksheet due to his Dyslexia — in the books (and presumably in the show, too) he is Dyslexic and has ADHD. His teacher Mr. Brunner (later in the book revealed to be the centaur Chiron), played by Glynn Turman, assigns the class to find one piece of art in the exhibit that connects with them and their lives.
Percy stops in front of a statue of his namesake, Perseus — specifically the statue of Perseus with Medusa's cut-off head, a bit of foreshadowing for what's to come. In another sequence new to the show, Percy remembers back to a different trip to the Met with his mother when he was young. The pair also stopped in front of this statue, and Sally Jackson (played by Virginia Kull) explains the origin of his real, full name, Perseus, in this new scene, with a different explanation than that offered in the second Percy Jackson book.
Sally tells Percy that the mythological Perseus and his mother were trapped in a chest in the sea and that Perseus' mother would hold her son close and remind him to "hold fast" and be brave — messages she wanted to pass down to her Perseus.
Percy is abruptly brought back from his daydream and calls out "Mom," still lost in his head and memories. Nancy Bobofit, a mean classmate of Percy's, makes fun of him for the slip.
Mr. Brunner calls Percy over and tells him that he believes in Percy, and knows Percy will do great things. He then hands Percy a ballpoint pen, saying it's an instrument he will need. Fans of the book will immediately recognize it as Riptide, Percy's pen that turns into a sword when uncapped.
The class sits on the steps outside the Met, eating sandwiches. Percy and Grover sit together near a fountain, trading the fillings of their sandwiches with one another. Percy confides in Grover that he sometimes wants "to push Nancy into a dumpster," to which Grover responds saying that the one thing to never do with bullies is stand up to them. Percy questions if this advice is actually right.
Nancy walks up to the pair and purposefully hits Grover with a piece of meat, mockingly — and blatantly insincerely — saying "Oops." This is the final straw for Percy, who gets up to give Nancy a piece of his mind. Unconsciously — as he doesn't know about his powers yet — instead of fighting Nancy, he douses her with water from the nearby fountain.
Nancy yells "Percy pushed me!" in a demonstration of the mist being at play, and the footage soon ends before, presumably, Mrs. Dodds turns into a Fury and attacks Percy, as she does in the books.
The Build-Up to and Start of the Minotaur Sequence
The second scene shown was the car drive to Camp Half-Blood, presumably from the Montauk beach house Percy and his mom were staying in. Sally is driving, Percy's in the passenger seat, and Grover sits behind Sally in the backseat on the left.
Grover has removed his pants and shoes by this point, showing his goat legs. Percy asks him who he is, to which Grover responds that he's Grover, Percy's best friend. Percy tries again, this time asking what he is, to which he responds that he is a Satyr. He reveals his previously hidden horns, sticking up out of his hair.
At one point in the scene, Grover also reveals that he is actually 24 years old. In the books, it is explained that Satyrs develop slower than humans, so while Grover is 24, he is still a teenager in mind and body.
Percy is left grappling with the fact that creatures he had previously only known to be myths were real. Grover asks Sally about their journey to "Camp," which is getting closer and closer. When Percy doesn't seem to know what that is, Grover questions Sally, asking "You told him about Camp, right?"
When she tells him, Percy begins questioning what else she hasn't shown to him yet. Grover explains that Camp — not stated but known by fans to be Camp Half-Blood — is a safe haven for training and learning.
Percy starts to ask if this has to do with his father (who he doesn't yet know is Poseidon), when a giant, raging monster begins gaining on the car.
Percy shouts "Is that the Minotaur?" and notes the monster's giant, white underpants (in the book, noted as Fruit of the Loom specifically). Sally pushes hard on the gas. The car bolts forward, but so does the monster.
The Minotaur starts attacking the car, a window breaks, glass flies everywhere, and the sneak peek footage for the scene ends.
Capture the Flag
When Rick and Becky Riordan surprised fans by joining the panel, the author introduced one of the most iconic scenes from the book: the Capture the Flag game.
In the book, the Ares and Athena cabins lead the two sides, with Percy's temporary home before his parent is revealed, the Hermes Cabin, playing on Athena's side. This isn't stated explicitly in the footage but given who is on which sides in the scenes shown, it is fair to assume this is all the case. Throughout the scene, all the campers are decked out in Bronze battle armor, including the iconic helmets — half with red plumes, half with blue.
Luke Castellan (Charlie Bushnell) and a teammate — both playing for Athena's side, which includes the daughter of Athena Annabeth Chase (Leah Jeffries) — discuss the game while it's in progress. They remind each other to remember Annabeth's plan with a line from the book that essentially serves as the character's tagline:
"Annabeth has a plan."
Then, all else they say is that Percy is on it.
Cut to Percy, of all things, flossing — not his teeth, but the dance move. He's not doing it with gusto, nor does he seem to have fun with the dance, but clearly it's to alleviate the boredom (which is probably not helped by his ADHD) as he stands at his post, alone on a rock, with seemingly no one even close to nearby. He passes the time by, let's just say using the bathroom into some plants, then lays on his back, picking at a leaf.
Suddenly, he hears footsteps. He is ready for action. The Ares kids walk up to him, all in a group led by Dior Goodjohn's Clarisse La Rue, holding the powered spear her father gifted to her. Percy reminds the Ares campers of the rules, one of which is "no maiming," to which Clarisse responds with a line similar to one said by one of her siblings in the book "Guess I lost my dessert privileges for a week."
She explains that she doesn't care about winning the game more than she cares about getting revenge. In the books, this refers to when Percy blew up camp toilets, showering the Ares kids in toilet water, with his then-unknown powers.
The siblings gang up on Percy, massively outnumbering the newest demigod at Camp Half-Blood. They do battle, through the forest and the trees, and atop a stony ground. The viewer realizes — seemingly along with Percy — that the closer he gets to the water, the stronger he seems to be, and the better he does in the fight.
Clarrise explains that she doesn't actually want to hurt Percy, but will unless he apologizes, seemingly both for the toilet incident and for, as Clarrise puts it, thinking he's something special. This refers to rumors going around camp that Percy's then-unknown godly parent could be one of the big three — Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades — who had all sworn an oath to not have children with mortals anymore. Before Percy, covered in many cuts and scrapes, can do anything more than continue to fight, though, Luke runs in, waving the captured Ares flag, marking Athena the winners of the game.
In the celebration that follows, Percy hears a voice complimenting his job well done, but can't find who said it.
"Not bad, hero."
Suddenly, Annabeth appears near him, holding a Yankees baseball cap. In the books, the cap was a gift from her mother that can turn whoever is wearing it invisible. Turns out, she was watching Percy while invisible the whole time he waited on the rock, much to Percy's embarrassment.
Annabeth and Percy talk a bit, and Percy comes to realize that Annabeth figured the Ares kids would seek him out for revenge, distracting them from their flag and allowing Luke and the rest of the team to capture it and win. After this realization, while the two seem to be sharing a moment, Annabeth, in true Annabeth Chase fashion, pushes Percy into the nearby body of water.
When Percy emerges from the water, all his cuts and scrapes start to heal. The music in the background is blasting a heroic, triumphant tune, and every fan of the book knows what's about to happen.
Then the scene cuts off, ending the new footage shown at NYCC.
What Got Cut Off at the End of the Scene?
Again, every Percy Jackson book fan knows what was about to happen, just seconds after the scene abruptly ended. Percy was about to be claimed by Poseidon.
This moment is not only iconic and a fan-favorite, but one of the most defining moments for Percy, not just in The Lightning Thief, or in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but in every single story about Percy ever told after it, from Heroes of Olympus to the one crossover with The Kane Chronicles and everything else before and after.
This is the moment where Percy — and everyone else — learns that he is a son of Poseidon, and the only living human son of Poseidon, at that. This is significant, as later books reveal a child of the big three, of which in the first series there are enough to count on just one hand, is crucial to a major prophecy. This is the moment where those who know realize that Percy could very well be that prophesied hero.
So why did it cut off at NYCC? Probably to entice those who got to see the new footage to come back and keep watching. Given the dejected reaction of the audience when the clip ended, it seems to have worked.
The first two episodes of Percy Jackson and the Olympians hit Disney+ on December 20.