On this day, June 30, 2005, Rick Riordan released The Lightning Thief, the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series! The Lightning Thief was the starting point for five book series set within the Riordan-verse, two films, a musical and a new Disney Plus series that will likely come out some time next year!
In honor of The Lightning Thief reaching 17 years of age, here are the top five moments in the book that will forever remain iconic!
5. Percy and Annabeth’s Zoo Truck Conversation
Percy and Annabeth’s conversation in the zoo truck on the way to Las Vegas will never not be iconic. It is the first moment that they really bonded and comes up again in The Mark of Athena. Annabeth tells Percy that her favourite place in the entire Argos II is in the horse stables because it reminds her of the zoo truck. For Percabeth fans, this moment is the start of the romance that is present in every single one of Riordan’s spin-off series and set the precedent for all of Riordan’s romantic couples!
4. Luke Castellan’s Betrayal
At the end of The Lightning Thief, Luke, son of Hermes, is revealed to be the one in the prophecy who betrays Percy: “You shall be betrayed by one who calls you a friend”. Luke’s betrayal, while painful for both Percy and Annabeth, sets him up as one of the primary antagonists for the entire Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
3. The Thalia Reveal
One of the most tragic stories in The Lightning Thief is the reveal that Grover failed to protect Thalia, daughter of Zeus. Even worse, Thalia was best friends with both Annabeth and Luke. In many ways, she was the reason that Luke betrayed Olympus. She died protecting Annabeth and Luke and got turned into a tree which protects Camp Half-Blood from monsters. Percy became Grover’s second chance as a protector, but Thalia’s legacy remains a huge plot point in the rest of the series.
2. The Great Prophecy
While the Great Prophecy is not revealed in its entirety until The Last Olympian, Percy learns that a half-blood of the three eldest gods has the power to save or destroy the world, which is why Zeus, Poseidon and Hades swore on the River Styx not to father any more children. Of course, Zeus and Poseidon both break this rule, with Zeus breaking it twice, once as Zeus and once as Jupiter, fathering Thalia and Jason Grace. Percy is Poseidon’s son and ironically, Hades was the only one to keep his word, although he did keep two children – Bianca and Nico di Angelo – hidden in the Lotus Hotel and Casino until The Titan’s Curse.
1. Percy being the Son of Poseidon
Of course Percy being the son of Poseidon is the biggest and most overarching plot point that covers not only the first book series, but the entire Riordan-verse. Percy appears as a main character in The Heroes of Olympus series and has cameo appearances in The Trials of Apollo series, the Magnus Chase series and even The Kane Chronicles. His legacy as the son of Poseidon is part of Percy and he becomes the most famous son of Poseidon in mythical and fictional history.
Happy 17th birthday, The Lightning Thief! Click here for more news about Rick Riordan and the upcoming Disney Plus adaptation of the Percy Jackson book series!