Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.

Book vs Film.

(In some places it was named ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians- the Lightning Thief.’ I have no idea why. Sounds stupid.)

WARNING! This post contains spoilers.

Percy Jackson was a light, entertaining, easy read. I Loved the book….Not so much the film.

The film was okay, on its own. But compared to the book –it’s nowhere near. I chose to use Percy Jackson for my first ‘Book vs Film’ post because it is one of my favourite book series. And I was very disappointed with the film. (As much as I love Logan Lerman, who played Percy.)

First, a brief outline of Percy Jackson and the Lightening thief.

This is the first book of the series by Rick Riordan.

Percy Jackson thinks he’s just a normal kid, until he finds out that’s he’s a demi-god. Yep, the Greek Gods are still around today- and his dad is Poseidon, god of the sea. Percy is taken to Camp Half-blood. A safe haven for demi-gods, to learn how to survive in a world where monsters are constantly trying to kill you. With his friends, Annabeth- a daughter of Athena- and Grover- a Satyr*- he must undertake a dangerous quest to retrieve Zeus’ lightning bolt. This doesn’t involve much, except an encounter with Medusa, a trip to the Underworld, and basically trying to stay alive.

This series intertwines Greek mythology with modern society, in a way that makes it exciting, comical and unlike anything else I’ve seen.

Key differences from the book to the film.


  • Grover is white, with ginger hair                     Grover is black
  • Percy is the comic relief                                   Grover is the comic relief
  • Annabeth has curly blonde hair                      Annabeth has straight brown hair
  • Annabeth and Percy are 12                              They are 16.
  • Clarisse is the camp bully                                 Clarisse is never mentioned
  • Luke and Annabeth’s past is revealed            Their past is not mentioned
  • Ares turns out to be working for Kronos.         Ares is never mentioned.
  • Ares and Percy fight                                            Luke and Percy fight.
  • Luke betrays Percy at the end
  •         (and nearly kills him)                                Luke is the main villain.

I think they made Grover the stereotypical funny black guy. Which I don’t like. I wouldn’t have minded if they made him black, if they had kept the character the same! Grover is supposed to be shy, awkward and clumsy. Not a confident, funny guy, with an interest in the ladies.

I loved the fact that Percy- the protagonist- was the comic relief himself. Not many books/films do that. Usually, there is the ‘side character friend’ who gets all the funny lines, and the hero is all serious and brave etc. But in the book, it was Percy. I loved that. However, in the film, they made Grover the comic relief. And he was way over the top.

Annabeth’s hair annoyed me a little, but wasn’t a major concern. In the second film (don’t get me started, it was awful) they dyed her hair blonde, which appeased the fans, but was really random. They should have just kept it brown or had it blonde in the first film.

The age change annoyed me A LOT, but they had obvious reason for this. The largest market for the cinema is teenagers, so the films with a teenage protagonist will do well, because they can relate to him/her. They are more likely to go and see it…But in the books, it’s like a Harry Potter aspect; they are aimed and younger people to start with. Percy starts off at 12, then gets older in each book, so by ‘the Last Olympian’ he’s 16, and in the Heroes of Olympus series, he’s like 20. So, he grows up with the readers. Which is great. Yes, they’re basically kids’ books, but I really enjoyed them.

I have no idea why they got rid of Ares and made Luke the big evil guy. His betrayal had no effect at all, because he and Percy weren’t really friends and you never find out about his history with Annabeth. It didn’t shock you.

I’m not going to go into all the tiny differences, especially the plot differences, because there are just too many!!! Sorry, it would take so looooong. And make me all mad again. I get so annoyed about these things. I just wanted to write my opinion, so I’ve just covered some the topics that annoyed me the most.

If I’ve missed any major differences, or really important things, please let me know.

You can see all the nitty-gritty little changes here: I found this and thought it was pretty good.

And don’t get me started on the second one- ‘the Sea of Monsters’. Why did they ever green light a sequel?? If The Lightning Thief was bad, this one was 100 times worse. And even more different from the book.

I hate the people that made these films! Their intentions were good, I suppose. But they killed the franchise. The books are so good, I love them, so it makes me so sad and angry that a lot of people will never read them because the film was rubbish.


Don’t worry Rick Riordan, we still love you!

*Satyr- a man with the legs of a goat. Also known as a Faun.

I hope you enjoyed this post.

Let me know what you thought of Percy Jackson- the book, or the film, or both!

Thanks for reading!

byeee 🙂