The Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series opened up a whole new world for its readers. So when that world was transferred to the big screen, everyone was super excited. Except the movies didn’t exactly capture the magic of the books. How many Percy Jackson movies are there? Well, only two. Despite some of the obvious differences, the two movies that we did get are decent ways to get the gist of the series before diving deep into the books! (And if you're like us over here, still waiting for a Percy Jackson 3, here is a good refresher of the first two films.)
1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
The movie opens on Zeus and Poseidon arguing up on Mount Olympus. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen and he accuses Poseidon’s demigod son. That son, Percy (played by actor Logan Lerman), doesn’t actually know he’s a demigod, though! He’s a normal, dyslexic 16-year-old kid.
While on a school trip, Percy is attacked by a Fury. Luckily, his friend Grover and his teacher, Mr. Brunner protect him. Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) takes Percy and his mom, Sally, to Camp Half-Blood, but Sally is just a human and cannot get past the magical barrier. A minotaur attacks her and appears to kill her before Percy can slay it. He immediately passes out and does not wake up for three days.
Once awake, he learns that he is the half-blood son of Poseidon, God of the Sea. Grover is actually a satyr assigned to protect him and Mr. Brunner is a centaur named Chiron. While at camp, he meets Luke (Jake Abel), the son of Hermes, and Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), daughter of Athena. The initial plan is to strengthen up, then confront Zeus about his innocence. Hades has other plans. He appears to Percy and tells him he has his mother in the Underworld. Percy can get her back by bringing the master bolt down to him. Against Chiron’s orders, Luke, Annabeth, Percy, and Grover set off for the Underworld.
In order to escape the Underworld, they need to find the three pearls of Persephone. The first one is in an old garden center. They battle Medusa and take her decapitated head with them just in case. The second was found in Nashville with a statue of Athena. It takes five days for them to find the third one because they become dazed and trapped in a casino in Las Vegas. Poseidon speaks to Percy and he wakes up from the trance. He snags the others and they race to the entrance to the Underworld: Hollywood.
When they get there, Percy admits that he doesn’t have the lightning bolt. In a wild twist, it turns out that Luke had the lightning bolt the entire time! Persephone, who has been trapped in the underworld by the wicked Hades, enacts her revenge by striking him with the bolt. They try to escape, but because they only have three pearls, Persephone and Grover stay behind. Luke, however, follows them to Mount Olympus, which is based in Manhattan. Luke’s grand plan is to destroy the old gods and let the demigods run Western civilization. Eventually, Percy defeats him and he is able to speak to his father for the first time. He and Annabeth are reunited Grover, who has recently been promoted to a senior protector for his sacrifice.
2. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters
This movie starts out with a myth within a myth! Percy tells his friends about Thalia (daughter of Zeus), who sacrificed herself so that Annabeth, Percy, Grover, and Luke can get back to Camp Half-Blood. Zeus turned her into a tree with a magical barrier separating the camp from the outside. However, all of a sudden different monsters are able to get through. It turns out that Luke had been poisoning Thalia’s tree. He disappears before anyone can capture him.
Later, Percy learns that there’s a prophecy that states the son of one of the eldest gods has the power to destroy or save Olympus. Percy is currently the only living son of the top gods, probably making him the child in the prophecy. Annabeth and Grover realize that they need to find the Golden Fleece to save the tree. So, the camp sends Clarisse, a mean girl, Annabeth, Grover, Percy, and Tyson (Percy’s cyclops half-brother) to find it!
As they search, Luke kidnaps Grover. The gang finds him on a boat in the Sea of Monsters, where Luke tells them he wants to revive Kronos using the fleece and have him destroy Olympus. After escaping his clutches, they finally find the Golden Fleece. But Luke isn’t far behind. He demands the fleece and when he doesn’t get it, Luke shoots Percy with an arrow. Before Percy is hit, Tyson steps in front and falls into the water.
Percy and Luke fight as Luke attempts to revive Kronus, but before he can get too far, Tyson pulls Luke away! It turns out he can be healed by water just like Percy. But it’s too late. Kronus emerges, swallows Grover and Luke, and begins to battle Percy. Percy slices him up, forcing him back into his tomb. Luke is thrown deep into the sealed lair. Before they can celebrate, a monster stabs Annabeth, who quickly dies. They decide to use the fleece to revive her, then all head back to Camp Half-Blood to save Thalia.
The next day, Thalia isn’t just a healthy tree, she’s a revived human! The fleece brought her back to life. So, that means there is another child who fits the prophecy. We wonder what that could mean…
Percy Jackson’s story goes on for seven long and interesting books, but their theatrical release gets cut short. Although there are so many stories left to tell, they won’t be told anytime soon. Until then, the other books by author Rick Riordan will satisfy any Greek god cravings you may have.