How Is the Perseus Myth Different Than the Movie "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief"?

by Anastasia Zoldak
Ancient Perseus loved Andromeda while Percy Jackson is interested in Annabeth.

Ancient Perseus loved Andromeda while Percy Jackson is interested in Annabeth. Images

Born Perseus and nicknamed Percy, Percy Jackson is the main character of the movie "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" while the other famous Perseus is a Greek mythological hero. In both stories, the gods and monsters are similar. The storylines differ when it comes to where Percy and Perseus live. Their parents, girlfriends and teachers also differ. The director Alfred Hitchcock described the reason for these differences best when he said, "What I do is to read a story only once, and if I like the basic idea, I just forget all about the book and start to create cinema".


In the movie "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," Percy lives in New York City and his adventure takes place in the United States. Mount Olympus is the home of the gods, and is located in the Empire State Building. The Perseus of Greek mythology was born in the Greek city of Argos. The hero of myth grew up on the island of Seriphos in the Aegean Sea. Perseus' adventures took place in Greece, the Cyclades islands and the surrounding areas. In the Perseus myths, Mount Olympus was actually located on top of Mount Olympus in Greece.


The Greek hero Perseus' quest was very different from Percy Jackson's movie quest. The Greek hero Perseus inadvertently volunteered for his mission to kill Medusa and bring back her head when he boasted to the King of Seriphos that he could get the king anything wanted. In Greek myth, Perseus traveled alone to complete his quest of killing Medusa and met up with Andromeda after he killed Medusa. Perseus defeated the Kraken -- a sea monster -- to save Andromeda on his way back to the island of Seriphos. In the movie "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," Percy Jackson is forced to go on a quest to find Zeus' lightning bolt. The lightning bolt is a weapon that controls lightning and Zeus blames Percy for stealing it. Percy takes his friends Grover and Annabeth with him. With support of his friends, he is able to kill Medusa and overcome the other challenges from monsters while he tries to find the true lightning thief.


The Perseus of Greek mythology was the son of a human princess named Danae. She was the daughter of King Acrisius of the city of Argos. Zeus -- the king of the gods -- seduced Danae, and was Perseus' father. Percy Jackson of movie fame is also half human and half god, but that is where their similarities end. Percy Jackson from the movie has a mother named Sally and a stepfather named Gabe Ugliano. The Greek mythological hero Perseus did not have a stepfather. Percy Jackson's biological father in the movie is the sea god Poseidon and not the king of the gods, Zeus. In the movie, Percy Jackson has power over water. He can use as water as a weapon or to heal people. The Greek mythological hero Perseus did not have any super powers.

The Girl Friend

Both Perseus and Percy have love interests who they saved from the Gorgon, Medusa. Medusa became a Gorgon monster when the god Poseidon seduced her in the goddess Athena's temple. Athena became so angry that she turned Medusa into a hideous monster with snakes in her hair. She was so ugly that anyone who looked at her turned to stone. The Percy of movie fame has only one love interest, a girl named Annabeth. Annabeth is half human, half god. Her father is human while her mother is the Greek goddess Athena. Percy saves Annabeth from Medusa when they fight her at Aunty Em's Garden Gnome Emporium. Perseus also had a love interest, named Andromeda. She was human and her mother, Cassiopeia, ruled Ethiopia. Queen Cassiopeia angered the gods by proclaiming her daughter more beautiful than the gods. To punish Queen Cassiopeia, the gods forced her to sacrifice Princess Andromeda to the Kraken. Perseus saved Andromeda from the Kraken by using Medusa's head to turn the monster to stone.

The Teacher

Percy's teacher in "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief" is a centaur named Chiron who is Camp Half Blood's director and head teacher. Chiron helps Percy Jackson prepare for his quest through vigorous military training at Camp Half Blood. The ancient Greek hero Perseus was a warrior before he began his quest. The gods Hermes and Athena helped him with magical weapons to protect him on his quest. Hermes and Athena gave Perseus an adamantine sword that could cut through Medusa's armor, a magical pouch to hold Medusa's head, winged sandals to fly and a helmet to make him invisible.

About the Author

Anastasia Zoldak is an experienced freelance writer and researcher based in Chicago. She has been a professional writer since 2007. Zoldak has an undergraduate degree in business, which she has used in a variety of industries, including retail, sales and recruiting. Prior to becoming a writer, she ran a successful business.

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