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Let’s Recap ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’

Disney just officially greenlit 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians', so we're all excited. But before they start filming, let's get a refresher on the series.
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I couldn’t have been more excited when Disney announced they were working with Rick Riordan on a Percy Jackson series. Even better, Riordan has creative control – something he didn’t have with the movies.

So, in honor of the series finally getting the official green light, I thought it was the perfect time to do a rundown of the timeline of Percy Jackson’s story.

Before ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’

There’s a lot that happens in the first series, but let’s start a little earlier than the first page of The Lightning Thief. Before Luke Castellan stole the lightning bolt, he was just a scared kid trying to get him and his new friends to Camp Half-Blood.

In “The Diary of Luke Castellan”, the first entry in The Demigod Diaries, we see Luke and Thalia meet Halcyon Green, a son of Apollo. Together, the three battle a leucrotae with Greek fire. At the end of the story, Thalia and Luke find Annabeth.

When they find Annabeth, Luke gives her Halcyon’s dagger, the same one she uses in every book thereafter. We learn in The Lightning Thief that Annabeth and Luke made it to camp relatively unharmed while Thalia sacrificed herself. Zeus turned Thalia into the tree that we see throughout the series.

‘The Lightning Thief’: The Start of the Series

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book Covers
Disney-Hyperion Books | Puffin Books

Percy Jackson is introduced into our lives as a sarcastic and funny troublemaker in The Lightning Thief. In the book’s first few chapters, Percy comes face to face with a few monsters and loses his mom before getting to Camp Half-Blood.

When he finally makes it, he passes out in front of Mr. D (or Dionysus) and Annabeth, and then he goes in and out of consciousness for quite a while. When he finally comes to, we get Annabeth’s iconic line: “You drool when you sleep.”

Percy is claimed by his father during Capture the Flag and is sent on a quest to find Zeus’s lightning bolt. He, Annabeth, and Grover head off to find it. The first monsters they encounter are the Furies, one of which attacked Percy earlier on a field trip.

Other monsters they come across are Medusa, Echidna, and a Chimera. On their journey from New Jersey to California, the trio stops by the Lotus Hotel, where they spend five days instead of a few hours like they thought. Shortly after, they meet yet another monster, Procrustes. But they defeat him and finally make it to the Underworld. While there, Percy discovers Ares hid the Master Bolt in Percy’s bag. The trio flees to the living world with magical pearls–but without Sally Jackson.

Percy fights Ares, using the ocean water to make him stronger. Hades’s missing Helm also gets returned to its owner. The group then travels back to the Empire State Building to return the Master Bolt. Percy and Poseidon have their first father-son talk, and the trio head back to camp.

This is where the heartbreaking betrayal comes in. Luke and Percy are talking about Luke stealing the lightning bolt, and the traitor tries to kill Percy with a scorpion. Luke escapes, and Percy is saved by Chiron. Summer is finally over as Percy heads back to yet another school. On the upside, Annabeth leaves camp for the first time to try to bond with her father and stepfamily.

‘The Sea of Monsters’: Percy’s Second Summer at Camp

Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson in Sea of Monsters movie
20th Century Fox | Fox 2000 Entertainment | 1492 Pictures | Sunswept Entertainment | TSG Entertainment

Before Percy can return to camp, he must get through another school year. I’m going to skip over most of the early stuff, but here are the basics: he has a dream of Grover in a wedding shop, meets Tyson (who turns out to be his Cyclops half-brother), and Annabeth saves him and Tyson by taking the Gray Sisters’ taxi. When they get to camp, it’s revealed Thalia’s tree is poisoned, and the barrier is failing.

Now that they’re at camp, it’s time to start the summer games and training. A chariot race is held, and Clarisse, Percy’s bully at camp and Ares’s daughter, wins. After, Percy and Annabeth talk about Percy’s dream. That night, a prophecy is given to Clarisse to find the Golden Fleece in the Sea of Monsters to save Thalia’s tree and the camp.

While Clarisse meets the mummified Oracle, Percy meets Hermes on the beach. The god convinces Percy to leave camp and go on the quest even though he was told not to by the new camp director. Percy decides to take the god’s offering and takes Annabeth and Tyson. The group hides aboard a random boat, which turns out to be Luke’s and is full of monsters.

See related: Boba Fett: His Canon Star Wars Timeline

The Second Quest

They escape using one of Hermes’s gifts and find a Monster Donut shop. While they fight a hydra, Clarisse comes by and saves them on the CSS Birmingham. They travel with her through the Sea of Monsters. Though that doesn’t last long when Scylla and Charybdis tear the ship apart.

Percy and Annabeth wash up on Circe’s island. While the sorceress tries to convince Annabeth to stay and learn, she turns Percy into a guinea pig. They somehow escape and take Blackbeard’s ship while the pirates loot the island. While searching for Tyson, Clarisse, and Grover, they encounter the Sirens, which Annabeth desperately wants to hear.

Leven Rambin as Clarisse La Rue in Sea of Monsters movie
20th Century Fox | Fox 2000 Entertainment | 1492 Pictures | Sunswept Entertainment | TSG Entertainment

They finally reach Polyphemus, the Cyclops that has captured Grover and wants to marry him. They find Tyson and Clarisse there, save Grover, defeat Polyphemus, and get the Golden Fleece. The group makes their way back to the mainland using hippocampi, where Percy sends Clarisse to camp with the Golden Fleece. The other four, however, are caught again by Luke.

Luke admits he poisoned Thalia’s tree, which means Chiron is free to return to camp in his original position. The group narrowly escapes again and makes it back to camp with Chiron and some centaurs. But there’s another twist: the Golden Fleece worked a little too well, and Thalia isn’t a tree anymore. She’s back and could possibly be the one to determine if the gods defeat Kronos or if Luke will finally win.

‘The Titan’s Curse’: Percy’s First Winter at Camp

It’s been six months since Thalia came out of her tree. Percy, Annabeth, and Thalia are looking for Grover, who has found two new demigods at Westover Hall. They find the siblings, Bianca and Nico di Angelo, and are saved by the Hunters of Artemis. But not before Annabeth falls off a cliff with a manticore.

Overnight, Bianca learns more about the Hunters and decides to join them, granting her immortality but forbidding romantic love. Therefore, Nico is now Camp Half-Blood’s ward. Apollo picks them up that morning, and Thalia drives them back to camp, where she crashes – just a little bit. Thalia and Percy take Nico to Mr. D and Chiron, where they are forbidden to search for Annabeth.

That night, Percy dreams of Luke tricking Annabeth into holding up the sky for Atlas. He tries to get help from Grover and the Oracle, but the prophecy chooses Zoë Nightshade. She chooses Grover, Thalia, Bianca, and Phoebe (another Hunter) to accompany her on the quest, ultimately leaving a frustrated Percy at camp. Percy reaches out to his mom, and she tells him to do the right thing.

His Third Quest

Brandon T. Jackson as Grover, Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson, and Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth Chase in Lightning Thief movie
20th Century Fox | Fox 2000 Entertainment | 1492 Pictures | Sunswept Entertainment | Dune Entertainment

Percy has another dream, this time with Artemis taking Annabeth’s place and Luke keeping Annabeth prisoner until after the winter solstice. Percy leaves camp on a Pegasus, following the quest’s group. Behind them, he comes across the General, Luke, and deadly skeletons. He becomes the new target for getting in the way of the General’s plan.

Percy catches up to the group, surprising them, but their meet-up is cut short by a Nemean Lion. They manage to defeat it, thanks to Percy’s quick thinking. Zoë gifts him the pelt and invites him to join the quest. They escape the skeletons and meet Apollo again. Apollo gives them advice, and they travel to the Junkyard of the Gods.

While in the junkyard, the automaton Talos wakes up. The group battles him, but in the end, Bianca dies. After mourning her death, the group makes it to the Hoover Dam and comes up with some ‘dam’ jokes. This is where Percy meets the future Oracle, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, when he swings his sword at her (thankfully, she’s a mortal, so she’s not hurt).

The group finally makes it to where Artemis is holding up the sky. To allow Artemis a break, Percy takes the Titan’s curse for himself. The group, including Artemis, fight Atlas and Luke. Atlas kills Zoë, his own daughter, but Artemis turns her into stars. Atlas is pushed back into his position to hold up the sky, and Percy and the rest of the group fly back to Mount Olympus.

Tyson, Clarisse, Grover, Annabeth, and Percy in Sea of Monsters movie
20th Century Fox | Fox 2000 Entertainment | 1492 Pictures | Sunswept Entertainment | TSG Entertainment

It’s now the winter solstice, and the gods are meeting. Thalia joins the Hunters, making Percy the child of the prophecy. Meanwhile, Artemis saves Percy’s life when Ares and Artemis offer to kill him to delay the prophecy a little longer.

Back at camp, Percy tells Nico that Bianca died but sent a Mythomagic figurine of Hades to him. Nico lashes out and reveals he’s the son of Hades. At the end of The Titan’s Curse, Grover hears Pan call for him.

‘The Demigod Files: Percy Jackson and the Stolen Chariot’

Let’s take a quick break from Percy’s quests with a short story. Percy is back at school when his day is interrupted by Clarisse being attacked by a monster. Percy saves her, and she reveals that Ares’ War Chariot was stolen by her immortal brothers.

With the hints given to them by the thieves, they head to Staten Island Zoo. There, Percy and Clarisse battle through their worst fears and defeat Phobos and Deimos (Clarisse’s immortal brothers). She manages to return the chariot, with both agreeing to never talk about the incident and becoming friends, or at least starting to be friendlier to each other.

See also: Completed Series Perfect for Your Next Binge Read

‘The Battle of the Labyrinth’: Percy’s Third Summer

Back to the main story. Percy meets Rachel again at freshmen orientation at a new school. He fights some Empousai with her. Annabeth shows up and takes Percy to camp, but he promises to explain everything to Rachel later. When they get to camp, Grover is granted one week to find the missing god Pan.

Percy, Grover, Tyson, and Annabeth head into Daedalus’s Labyrinth to find the creator. The group comes across gods and monsters as they navigate through the maze. They even meet Nico again when they fight Geryon at his ranch. As they continue through the Labyrinth, Grover feels Pan’s presence.

Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson and Pierce Brosnan as Chiron in The Lightning Thief movie
20th Century Fox | Fox 2000 Entertainment | 1492 Pictures | Sunswept Entertainment | Dune Entertainment

Tyson and Grover go to find the god, and Annabeth and Percy continue searching for Daedalus. Then an explosion sends Percy to Ogygia, where he meets Calypso. Percy finally makes it back to camp, where everyone thinks he’s dead. When he reveals himself, he and Annabeth go to find Rachel, the only person who could get them through the maze.

Percy, Annabeth, and Rachel come across Luke and his forces again but escape relatively unharmed. They find Daedalus and fight Luke again. Percy sees Kronos’s sarcophagus with Luke inside, and Nico helps the group escape. It really is just a bunch of running at this point, so I’ll skip ahead a bit more.

The group finally makes it back to camp with Luke on their heels. Grover unleashes his gift from Pan. The camp is saved, and the Labyrinth is destroyed. Hera also appears again, but she leaves when Annabeth and Percy call her out for being a kind of bad mom. Percy heads home for a birthday party with his family and friends.

‘The Demigod Files: Percy Jackson and the Bronze Dragon’

Another break because Rick Riordan deemed it so! It’s time for Capture the Flag again. Percy and Charles Beckendorf are discussing their crushes on Annabeth and Silena Beauregard when they come across a Myrmekes anthill. Percy is captured by the other team, while Charles heads into the anthill to recover a bronze dragon head that used to be part of the camp’s defense system.

He’s taken down by the ants, and the other three go to find the rest of the dragon. They find it, and it saves Charles and defeats the Myrmekes. When it starts going haywire, Charles and Percy work together to stop it. Silena asks Charles to the fireworks while capturing the two boys for the game. Annabeth also asks Percy to the event, but he can’t answer before she leaves to win Capture the Flag.

Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson and Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth Chase in Sea of Monsters movie
20th Century Fox | Fox 2000 Entertainment | 1492 Pictures | Sunswept Entertainment | TSG Entertainment

‘The Demigod Files: Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades’

In the second short story between books in the main series, Persephone has all of the Big Three children go on a quest to retrieve Hades’ sword that was stolen by a demigod. They use a magical carnation to track down the demigod through the Underworld.

They find Ethan Nakamura and the Titan Iapetus. Percy fights the Titan, pushing him into the River Lethe and making the Titan lose his memories. He tricks him into thinking his name is Bob, a friend to Percy and demigods. They return the sword, but Hades doesn’t want it. However, Nico decides to stay with Hades to work with him and help Bob.

‘The Last Olympian’: The Final Book in the Main Series

Logan Lerman as Percy, Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth, and Jake Abel as Luke in The Lightning Thief movie
20th Century Fox | Fox 2000 Entertainment | 1492 Pictures | Sunswept Entertainment | Dune Entertainment

It’s finally the end of Percy’s first big prophecy. Percy and Rachel are driving to the Atlantic Ocean when Charles Beckendorf lands on their car. He takes Percy to blow up Luke’s ship, and Rachel wishes them good luck and kisses Percy. The two sneak onto the boat and start hiding Greek Fire explosives.

Percy is caught, and Kronos taunts the demigod. Charles shows up and sets off the explosives, ensuring Percy gets off safely. Charles dies in the explosion, much to the dismay of Percy and the other campers. Percy makes it to Tyson in Poseidon’s kingdom, where Poseidon sends him to camp.

When he gets there, he tells the camp the news, and he and Annabeth get their next prophecy. They come back to the war council arguing and Clarisse running off. Percy reads the prophecy, and the council starts preparing for war against the Titans. That night, he dreams of Rachel looking at photos she drew of Luke, who she’s never met.

The camp is preparing for war the next day. Nico shows up and offers Percy help to defeat Kronos. They leave camp to find Luke’s mother. Then, they head to see Percy’s mom and stepdad to say goodbye and warn them of the impending war. The two leave and head to the Underworld to put Percy in the River Styx. While under, he thinks of Annabeth to keep him tethered while becoming 99% invincible. Nico stays behind to convince his father to help while Percy heads to Mount Olympus.

For more like Percy Jackson and the Olympians, check out these graphic novels.

The War Is Here

Kronos in Sea of Monsters movie
20th Century Fox | Fox 2000 Entertainment | 1492 Pictures | Sunswept Entertainment | TSG Entertainment

The campers, the Hunters of Artemis, and the gods prepare for war at the Empire State Building. But one camper has gone missing. Rachel shows up in a helicopter and tells Percy that only a child of Ares can kill the drakon that’s being released during the war. Silena, disguised as Clarisse, goes against the monster and dies, but not before revealing herself to be the spy. Clarisse kills the drakon in retaliation.

Kronos is now on his way. Nico returns with Hades, Persephone, Demeter, and an undead army ready to fight. Kronos sneaks his way to Mount Olympus, and the main heroes of the series follow him. After a long battle between Kronos and the heroes, Luke regains control to save Annabeth. Luke tells Percy the only way to defeat Kronos is to have Luke do it himself. Percy gives him a knife, and Luke defeats the Titan.

The rest of the book sees the aftermath of war. The dead are burned, the gods return to Olympus, and Tyson is promoted to General of the Cyclopes. Percy even makes the gods grant his wishes because the Big Three broke their pact to never have children: each minor god (and Hades) will be given a cabin at Camp Half-Blood, and every camper will be claimed by the time they turn 13. The last few scenes introduce the Prophecy of the Seven, setting up the Heroes of Olympus series.