To start off this new piece where I compare books to their movie counterparts, I chose a good one. Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief has so many flaws when it comes to staying true to the book. The biggest problem, I think, lies within the plot itself, and progression of the characters on their quest. In the book, Percy, and most others believe that Hades, has taken the lightning bolt, in hopes of starting a war among the gods. Percy goes on this quest to the underworld to get the bolt from Hades and return it to Zeus before a war breaks out. The movie, in some ways, follows this plot. Percy does want to prove his innocence, and he does so by going to the underworld, but his primary reason for going, is to save his mother. In the book, we know he fails to do so. Also, the book is all about them getting to the underworld as fast as possible, it just so happens that they encounter many dangerous monsters along the way, many that aren’t seen in the movie. The movie shows the characters try to find ‘Persephone’s pearls’ before going to the underworld. The biggest flaw in this is that in Greek mythology, there is no such thing as Persephone’s pearls. If you’re not going to stick to the book at least stick to the myths.
Other differences, like the fact that Mr D, Clarrise, and Thalia’s tree are never mentioned in the first movie, are small but significant. I can deal with the age differences between the book and movie, and the different entrances into the underworld, but I don’t understand how Kronos is never mentioned in the first movie considering he is the main focus of the series, or the fact that Ares was working along side Luke in the hopes of starting a war. The movie is missing a lot of good things, like Echidna, Chimera, Procrustes and even Charon, with his Elvis suits.
Overall, The movie could have been better, it definitely did not do the book justice, and may as well have been a completely unrelated story all together. Its a shame when things like this happen, because those who don’t read the books, have no idea what they’re missing out on. I can only hope that the next movies will do a better job at doing the book justice.
Like always, Book Triumphs over Film.