However, Episode 7 revealed that there is actually more to the story.
A lot of media based on Greek mythology will make Hades the story's villain — Disney's Hercules, Katee Robert's Dark Olympus, and even the Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief movie are all guilty of this.
Hades' Helm and True Motivations
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Episode 7 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.
Though Hades was the main suspect in the theft of Zeus' Master Bolt in Percy Jackson and the Olympians on Disney+, Episode 7 revealed that not to be the case.
In fact, until learning of the possibility of a war with Kronos, and Hades wanting it out of a desire for protection against the coming threat, Hades had no interest in the bolt at all.
However, he did want something else from Percy — his Helm of Darkness, which he believed the young demigod stole alongside Zeus' bolt. Audiences know that Percy is innocent of stealing both symbols of power, but Hades does not.
As such, saving Sally Jackson from death was not a bargaining chip that Hades could use as leverage when it came to the Master Bolt. It was to offer Percy a trade, where if he gave up the Helm of Darkness, Hades would bring Sally back from what would have been her death.
Percy, not having the Helm, realized that Kronos was behind the entire plot, working with Ares and (unknown to the demigods, who still think Clarisse is the traitor) Luke to orchestrate the Titan's rise to power.
So, Percy told Hades that he would return the Helm to him, and if he did, Hades must send Sally back to life in exchange.
Why Is Percy Fighting Ares?
Warning: The rest of this article contains spoilers for The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan.
When Percy and Grover return from the Underworld, they find themselves on a beach, seeming to be preparing to battle Ares who is ominously approaching them.
This is a major moment from The Lightning Thief, finally realized onscreen.
With Hades' true motivation — his Helm of Darkness — finally revealed, Percy knows his true enemy is Ares. As such, if the books are any indication, he is getting ready to fight the god of war then and there.
Though the idea of a 12-year-old facing the god of war (alone, or with the help of Grover and Annabeth — even just as moral support, if nothing else) may seem like it has a clear outcome, the Percy Jackson novels prove that when Percy is fighting for someone he loves, nothing in the world matters.
If nothing else, the imagery in the episode's Underworld sequence evoking the iconic scene from The Mark of Athena (the third book in the Heroes of Olympus sequel series) where Percy jumps into Tartarus with Annabeth, rather than letting her fall alone, reminds book fans of this.
The Titan's Curse reveals officially that Percy's fatal flaw is immense loyalty — so much so that he will risk everything for those he loves. Besides perhaps Annabeth (and that is a strong perhaps), there is no one Percy loves more than his mother.
So, if fighting the actual god of war is what can bring her back, Percy is ready.
The Season 1 finale of Percy Jackson and the Olympians hits Disney+ on Jan. 30.