The Lightning Thief

After reading the book “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” and being thoroughly impressed, I was anticipating the movie to be at least near as good. I was extremely disappointed.

There are major plot differences in the movie as compared to the novel. (Spoiler alert.) In the book, Percy is trained at the Half-Blood Hill camp and given the quest to retrieve Zeus’s missing master lightning bolt from Hades, the supposed thief. The movie version has Percy sneaking from camp without having received a quest or permission to go, and he does not speak to the Oracle, which was supposed to be a large influence on Percy’s journey. He also receives no training.

Percy and his companions, Annabeth and Grover, travel across the States towards the entrance of the Underworld in both versions. However, the movie portrays their stops in certain cities as their searching for three pearls that they will need in order to get out of the Underworld once they’ve spoken to Hades. In the book, they’re handed all of the pearls at once as a gift. Their travel had nothing to do with the pearls.

The God, Ares, was not even mentioned in the movie, whereas he played a key part in the book. Ares is the true lightning thief, not Percy, in the book. In the movie, Luke, who was supposedly a friend of Percy’s, slips the bolt that he stole into the shield he give to Percy.

Luke makes another move against Percy in the movie when he shows up at the entrance to Olympus, trying to delay Percy enough that he misses the mark of the summer solstice. The book version doesn’t reveal Luke’s malice until Percy is back at the Half-Blood Hill camp and Luke traps him in the woods using a pit scorpion.

Another huge influence to the book plot was missing from the movie: the dreams that Percy was having about Kronos in the pit of Tartarus. These dreams were also received by Luke, convincing him that the reign of the gods should end, and that Percy should be killed.

The movie had many distinct differences from the book, ranging from huge plot alterations to small details, such as the fact that Percy’s pen/sword was supposed to have a cap, rather than click. If the second book, “The Sea of Monsters,” is made into its own movie, I hope that the author, Rick Riordan, will step in and make sure it’s created the way it’s supposed to be.





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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

DaringRachel said...
May 7, 2010 at 7:17 pm
I officially can not watch this movie now that I've read your review. I have read all of the first 4 books nine times and the fifth one once and I have them memorized cover to cover. I knew when I first saw the previews, that it was going to be totally different from the book (i.e. Annabeth's brunette, not blonde, Mrs. Dodds is not a biker lady,etc), but not this different. The Oracle is a vital part of the entire plot, Percy's disagreement with Cabin 5 continues throughout ... (more »)
 
DaringRachel replied...
May 7, 2010 at 8:10 pm
I read another review and I'm sorry about mentioning 'Cabin 5'. I meant to say Clarrise's dad. Oooops! Can't say that either. If you've read the books, you'll know what I'm talking about. If you've only seen the movies, well, too bad.
 
phototfreak16 said...
Apr. 11, 2010 at 9:20 pm
I definitely respect you opinion as a fellow writer and movie reviewer. I only saw the movie and fell in love with it and I hope to start the book series soon! I definitely understand the being disappointed part, Twilight the movie severely disappointed me, and I have read all of the books. I reall hope that I don't get disappionted with this series because I love it so much, but I am a details person so I fear that I will again be disappointed! I love hearing what others thi... (more »)
 
WiseGirl said...
Apr. 2, 2010 at 4:08 pm
I've read the books and seen the movie. I like the movie, but the books are wayyyyy better. Hello Hollywood. Percy is twelve!!!!
 
Lola_Sveroski said...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 6:54 pm
Wow. I couldn't have said it better myself. Well, I tried to voice my opinions, but no one understands, ya know? I just get,"Well, would you have liked it if it wasn't a book first?" "Yeah... But that's not the point!" I enjoyed reading your post, which, by the way, was highly recommended by a close friend, which shows that I am not the only one who liked reading your input.
 
Green.Ink replied...
Mar. 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm
Thank you! And I get the same thing from people when I talk about how different the book and the movie were. And the fact that someone recommended my article made me smile. A lot.
 
Sarbear This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 5:26 pm
very well written ive only seen the movie and i really liked it but maybe i will think differently once i read the book. i know someone who might very much appreciate this article.
 
Green.Ink replied...
Mar. 27, 2010 at 4:43 pm
Thanks! You really start to notice differences once you've experienced two different versions of the story.
 
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