Book author and Disney+ series co-writer Rick Riordan confirmed there were going to be moments in the show that were not included in the original books, such as the story of how Sally Jackson and Poseidon met.
As such, the show is able to dive deeper into the stories and characters than could happen in the original book.
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 2.
Who Was the Tree Woman Grover Spoke With?
In one new moment in Percy Jackson and the Olympians that was not in the original book, Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri) spoke with a woman who came out of a tree before speaking to what appears to be a mystical council.
While the moment itself is new, there is book precedence for almost every element of the unique-to-the-show scene.
Relatively early on in the show's second episode, Grover sneaks away from Camp Half-Blood's outdoor dining hall, going into the forest near camp. He is met by a bark-and-moss-covered woman who emerges from a tree.
The woman, played by Kathleen Duborg and — according to the episode's credits — named Helena, appears to be a dryad. Dryads are wood nymphs, spirits that live in forests, and sometimes — like in Helena's case — inside of the trees themselves.
Percy Jackson book fans are particularly familiar with one Dryad named Juniper. Grover's girlfriend from Battle of the Labyrinth onward, Juniper is a younger wood nymph than Helena seems to be who becomes an important supporting character in the back end of the series.
Helena reminds Grover that he is "picking at them again," seemingly referencing his horns. She then advises Grover to speak the truth before he walks into a hidden section of the woods.
When he enters, he is greeted by an eccentric-looking group of humanoid creatures dressed in long, colorful robes.
As is confirmed later in the episode, this is, in fact, the Council of Cloven Elders — essentially a leadership body for the Satyrs, acting to preserve nature. In the books, the Council approves or denies any Satyr who wishes to be a Searcher, someone who devotes their life to seeking out the lost nature god Pan.
In the show, Garfield Wilson plays Leneus, one of the Satyrs who sits on the Council. He can be seen among the group, which is seemingly convening to listen to what Grover has to say.
Why Did Grover Speak With the Council?
Grover explained to Chiron and Mr. D later in the episode that he spoke to the Council in order to learn more about what may have happened to Sally Jackson.
As Grover pointed out, while it seemed as though the Minotaur killed her, she did not appear to be crushed. Rather, she disintegrated in the same way monsters do. This made Grover suspicious, so he sought out advice from the Council.
He learned there that Sally may have been taken to the Underworld by Hades just before she would have died, though he did not seem to be sure why. However, when he told Chiron and Mr. D this, they told him to not share that Sally could still be alive with Percy, despite his evident grief and feelings of loneliness.
Ultimately, Grover does not listen and tells Percy anyway. But, doing so actually led Percy to agree to his quest to the Underworld — something Chiron and Mr. D were urging him to do.