Percy Jackson and the Olympians Review

Rick Riordan's popular book series is turned into an eight-episode television series on Disney+. Percy Jackson and the Olympians introduced Greek gods and demigods to a new audience and became one of the most streamed television shows for Disney.

The demigods must find a way to stop a war between the Greek gods in the Disney+ original series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

The highly anticipated series was seen as a way for fans of the book series to finally see the story presented properly on screen, after the attempted film series was met with less than stellar reviews.

 Author Rick Riordan consulted on the series to ensure his property wasn’t bastardized a second time. When all was said and done, the series produced some of the highest viewership numbers for Disney+.

Percy, Annabeth & Grover

The casting of the three leads led to some controversy among fans. Percy served as an inspiration to many neurodivergent fans. In the books, Percy is diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. While the series only hints at these diagnoses instead of outright stating them, some fans were disappointed when Walker Scobell was cast. Scobell has never spoken about any neurodivergent diagnosis, so some argued it was bad casting. Scobell may have ADHD and not discuss it. He may not. I don’t know. He was still a more age appropriate actor for the character than the films. I can see why some would be disappointed in this casting, but Scobell did an admirable job playing the role in this series and I hope there’s a season two.

If Percy’s casting raised some eyebrows, Annabeth’s casting was met with backlash. In the books, Annabeth is described as a blonde, white girl. The series cast Leah Jefferies, a black girl, in the role. Disney has been accused of pandering when introducing diversity in the past. However, it’s hard to argue against Jefferies’ performance. She shined in several scenes she was in. Plus, Rick Riordan, the author of the series gave his blessing to her casting, so I have a hard time complaining about it.

While there was no reported backlash to the casting of Aryan Simhari as Grover, he still perfectly embodied his character in the series. These three managed to perform as a nice ensemble trio reminiscent of Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in the Harry Potter series. Despite being relative unknowns, I’m eager to see if this show gets another season to see these three together again.

Greek Gods

While relative unknowns took over the main roles, Disney and Riordan decided to fill the Greek god characters with big names since most only appeared in one or two episodes. It allowed for big guest appearances without the big names overshadowing the main trio.


Former WWE superstar Adam “Edge” Copeland stepped in as the God of War, Ares. While casting a wrestler as an actor can be hit or miss, Copeland has proved himself to be able to handle roles like Ares. He didn’t have to show too much emotional range and was easily in the right shape for the battle with Percy in the finale. For my money, he was the best cast of the Greek Gods.


Lance Reddick starred as the “King of the Gods” in the season finale. This will likely be the last time anyone sees Reddick on screen as he died since filming his scenes. Reddick gave a powerful performance like he often does. It was a worthy performance with which to end his career. It’s a shame we won’t get more of him as Zeus. RIP Lance Reddick.


This is the Greek god I was most excited to see because Toby Stephens is one of my favorite actors. He nailed this role like he nails every role. Poseidon doesn’t do much in the series, however, Stephens’ mere presence adds weight to the idea that Percy is Poseidon's son. They had to cast the right actor for this role and they did just that.


Hades left me a little underwhelmed. Jay Duplass did nothing wrong, I just don’t really care all that much about his character in this series. He didn’t grab my attention the way other Greek gods did. That’s a shame given what we know about Hades from Greek mythology. I hope he has future appearances that impress me more.


This is the one Greek god whose casting pushed the limits of believability. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a talented actor and musician, and I certainly understand his willingness to take part in the series. He’s also currently at a level where his presence can be distracting in fantasy series. Disney and Riordan worked together to ensure he was effective as Hermes. This is the casting that truly made me believe the series was in good hands if it continues.

Greek Monsters

Two excellent monsters stepped up during this series: Medusa and Alecto. Megan Mullally really stretches her acting chops as Alecto, and it’s impressive to see how she makes it work. And, you can’t have a series about Greek mythology without introducing Medusa. There have been great Medusas and terrible Medusas in pop culture, but I loved Jessica Parker Kennedy’s performance. Plus, Percy’s stepfather gets his comeuppance thanks to her head.


I’ve never read the book series, but I watched the two movies, so I didn’t come in blind. I found the first film to be enjoyable, although I understand that fans of the book found it to be a horrid adaptation, and Rick Riordan, himself, disavowed it. The second film was straight up garbage. Still, this series impressed me far more than the film ever could have hoped.


Having the author on board as a consultant and blessing the series certainly went a long way to improving the series’ reception. I loved almost every episode of this series. The casting was great. The action was impeccable. The reveals were spectacular. My favorite episode was the one featuring Ares with Grover at the diner while Percy and Annabeth went to the amusement park run by Hephaestus. It was an overall strong series that has been received well. I’m hopeful for a second season. 


4.5 out of 5 stars

Article written by: Jeremy Brown, Stelmach-Brown Media 2024

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