Throughout the Percy Jackson and the Olympians panel and interviews at New York Comic Con last month, creatives from the show confirmed several book scenes, moments, and elements fans can expect to see in the series when it arrives on Disney+ in December.
Many of these confirmed scenes are likely expected by fans, given the explicit devotion to book accuracy the show has promised, and Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan's heavy involvement, particularly in the writing process.
But, after two movies that deviated heavily from the source material, the more jaded Percy Jackson fans will likely be relieved that so many of the book elements — from major extended sequences to small one-off details — will actually be present in the Disney+ show.
Book Moments Confirmed for Percy Jackson Show
The trailer for Percy Jackson and the Olympians certainly proved how faithful to the books the upcoming Disney+ series will be. But creatives confirmed even more moments, elements, and details from the books that fans can expect in various settings at New York Comic Con last month while The Direct was in attendance.
So, what can fans expect?
“Look, I Didn’t Want To Be a Half-Blood”
Granted, the show's trailer confirmed this one first. But as revealed in the first seven minutes of the series (shown at NYCC), the entire opening narration of The Lightning Thief is adapted as the opening monologue of Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
The iconic opening line of "Look, I didn’t want to be a Half-Blood” is truly that — iconic. In fact, author Rick Riordan even opened his latest Percy Jackson novel, The Chalice of the Gods, with the words "Look, I didn't want to be a high school senior" as a nod to the series' opening.
What better way to prove a show's faithfulness to its source than having the two open with the same iconic line?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Field Trip, and Standing Up to Nancy Bobofit
The opening chapter of The Lightning Thief sees Percy's Yancy Academy class take a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the Greek exhibit, Percy and who is later revealed to be Chiron have important, foreshadowing conversations before the group breaks for lunch. At lunch, bully Nancy Bobofit goes after Percy's best friend Grover, and is suddenly (and to Percy mysteriously) doused in water.
Well, all of these events — and the smaller moments that take place between them — are present in the Disney+ show's opening too, as shown at NYCC. This extends to even the smallest details, like eating sandwiches for lunch outside the museum, at the entrance with the steps.
Percy Fighting Mrs. Dodds and The School Forgetting Her
One of the earliest scenes in the book is Percy's first monster fight when he (as the chapter title puts it) "accidentally vaporizes [his] pre-algebra teacher." This pre-algebra teacher (played in the show by Megan Mullally) was the Fury Alecto in disguise — hence why she and Percy fight.
In the books, the mist that helps mortals make sense of the mythological that they don't know is real convinces everyone in the school (besides Percy, Grover, and Chiron) that they never had a teacher named Mrs. Dodds. This mass memory change is briefly discussed in a later entry on this list, thus both implying the fight happened and confirming the mist made the school forget she was ever a teacher there.
The Minotaur scene (some of which was shown at NYCC, and more about which was discussed at the panel and in interviews) serves as one of the most critical turning points in Percy Jackson's life as a character. No, it's not his first monster fight (that honor goes to the aforementioned Mrs. Dodds), but the Minotaur battle is what ultimately kicks off Percy's first quest, and more immediately what gets him over the barrier, and into Camp Half-Blood.
Furthermore, in the build-up to the Minotaur battle, Percy finally gets the rundown on many unanswered questions in his life. Sitting in the car with Sally and Grover, Percy learns about the mist, Grover's Satyr identity, and more.
Plus, surely to the delight of book fans, the Minotaur is of course wearing giant white underwear.
Capture The Flag
A Camp Half-Blood tradition and fan-favorite moment is truly brought to life with the Capture the Flag scene, shown at NYCC.
The blue and red teams are book-accurate, the armor and plumes are book-accurate, even some of the dialogue is taken word-for-word from the books. Plus, Walker Scobell (Percy) and Leah Sava Jeffries (Annabeth) just embody their characters' book counterparts in their back-and-forth dialogue, which could be considered a book element adapted to screen on its own.
The Medusa sequence, which takes place early in Percy, Annabeth, and Grover's quest, is one that costume designer Tish Monaghan pointed out as something she is particularly excited about during interviews following the show's NYCC panel.
What is especially fun about Medusa in the books is that the audience doesn't learn the character's true identity until midway through her introduction scene, but clues are dropped in before the full reveal.
While some of the intrigue of Medusa's big reveal may be lost in the show — both from book fans knowing how the scene fits into the story chronologically, and from it being known that Jessica Parker Kennedy is playing the character — it will still be fun to realize alongside the characters that those statues they passed in the garden may not be statues.
The Train Ride
Pretty soon after Medusa, in the books, there is a nice, soft, more slice-of-life-in-the-middle-of-a-quest-like scene where Percy and Annabeth start opening up to one another during a long train ride.
During panel interviews at NYCC, director James Bobin pointed out this moment, along with another coming soon on the list, as ones that he particularly likes for their slower pace.
He explained, "Action is great, and I love it, and it has a purpose. But sometimes it's the emotion and the connection have in the characters that are the most important things."
The inclusion of this fan-favorite monster in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians show was confirmed during the NYCC panel when the Chimera got two shout-outs as a favorite monster of the creative team too.
The Chimera sequence in the show will likely be book-accurate, meaning fans will finally get to see the iconic poodle moment, before watching Percy plummet off the St. Louis Arch.
Not only was the scene with Ares and the trio in a dinky old diner, wherein (in the books at least) Ares gives the crew a sub-quest to retrieve his shield from Waterland, shown briefly in the show's trailer but it was confirmed in the post-panel interviews by Bobin as the other quieter moment he appreciates in the series.
While not discussed at NYCC, the subsequent Waterland and Tunnel of Love scenes have appeared in the show's trailer, confirming yet another fan-favorite sequence.
Cerberus and The Underworld
Cerberus, the three-headed dog of the Underworld, was another favorite monster shout-out during the NYCC panel.
Furthermore, during the post-panel interviews, production designer Dan Hennah discussed his Underworld designs. He said that Hades' "world is upside down," and that there is "not a sky above. It's actually mountains and all that ... up there."
This next entry contains a major plot twist from The Lightning Thief, which will be adapted for the Disney+ show.
Luke's Betrayal and Prior Emotional Connection with Percy
During the NYCC panel, showrunner Jon Steinberg discussed how Luke's ultimate betrayal of Percy and Camp Half-Blood, and the reveal that he was the lightning thief all along, will not only happen but be amply built up to.
Percy truly feels betrayed by Luke in the novel, despite having only known him for a couple of months by that point. To sell that moment in the show, the almost brotherly relationship between the two must be established during those early, pre-quest, camp scenes. Luckily for book fans, the show will bring just that.
As Steinberg said, what "felt really important was to understand and feel the relationship between Luke and Percy at the outset." Ultimately, Luke's betrayal is made all the more emotional with that connection established early.
When Might Fans See New Footage?
Following NYCC, fans may have been hoping for a second Percy Jackson and the Olympians trailer, though in the month since there has been no new footage released.
However, a Nov. 10 social media post from the series' official page indicated that at least something could be coming on Nov. 16. The hands of the Empire State Building's compass clock (significant because the building is the location of Mount Olympus in the books) end up landing on 11 and 16.
In response to a post theorizing that this could mean a new trailer is on the way, show producer Becky Riordan responded, "I was specifically told not to confirm or deny any of the allegations of time management."
The first two episodes of Percy Jackson and the Olympians hit Disney+ on December 20.