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It’s safe to say that Percy Jackson played a pivotal role in my own journey to becoming a lover of all things fantasy and mythology!
With the upcoming release of the new Percy Jackson TV series, I am excited to experience the magic in a new way, and for the story to reach another generation of nerds.
All that being said, most people who are a little bit knowledgeable in Greek mythology know of the Greek hero “Perseus”.
Those who are new to reading the Percy Jackson series may be quick to assume that it is probably a retelling of the story of Perseus.
So, is Percy Jackson Perseus? Percy Jackson is NOT Perseus. They do, however, share a few traits! They are both half-god-half-mortal hybrids known as demi-gods! This means that they are both still mortal beings, but they have powers and abilities akin to that of their godly parent. Percy Jackson’s full name is also Perseus, as he was named after the famous mythological hero.
There’s a lot more that these two characters have in common beyond their names and demi-god status, so read on below to learn more!
Who Is Perseus?
Perseus is the son of Zeus and Danaë. He is most well known for his feat of beheading Medusa. When he challenged her in battle, he used his reflective shield to be able to see Medusa without looking at her directly.
Perseus is set apart by his intellect and cunning nature rather than any explicit power or physical ability.
As is the case with all demi-gods, Perseus was conceived in a very peculiar way. His mother, Danaë, was the daughter of Acrisius. Acrisius was the king of Argos, and he ruled with an iron fist.
Acrisus was told by an oracle that his grandson would one day kill him. In an attempt to reject his fate, he locked up his daughter in a chamber and kept her isolated from the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, Acrisus was not able to anticipate the king of the gods showing an interest in his daughter. Zeus had spent some time just observing (okay, stalking, i’ll call it what it is) Danaë, and boy did he like what he saw!
He decided that the logical plan of attack was to transform into golden rain and to fall into Danaë’s chamber. Apparently, that was enough to sell Danaë, and so Perseus was born!
Is Percy Jackson’s Real Name Perseus?
While Percy Jackson is not the Perseus we learned about in Greek Mythology, his full name actually is Perseus!
This is by no means a happy coincidence or an oversight by Rick Riordan, either.
Sally Jackson (Percy’s mom) actually states in the book series that she named him Perseus because he was one of the only Greek heroes who had a happy ending.
Perseus was able to enjoy a peaceful reign over the city of Mycenae and lived a long, happy life.
What Other Mythology Inspired Percy Jackson?
There are a countless number of references to Greek history and myths that pop up throughout the Percy Jackson series.
Alongside the characters (gods) and settings being primarily sourced from Greek myths, a lot of the plot lines and pivotal moments are parallels to different iconic events that occured in Greek mythological history.
Related to the Percy/Perseus connection, they both share the impressive feat of beheading Medusa (a mythological event that Riordan most definitely drew his inspiration from).
Another fun parallel is that Perseus had an invisibility helmet! One of Annabeth’s (percy’s partner in crime/eventual gf) iconic character trademarks is her Yankees cap that makes her invisible!
Perseus was ALSO gifted a cap of invisibility by Athena when he was on his journey to kill Medusa. Another random tidbit is that Perseus had flying shoes, too!
While there wasn’t an underhanded attempt at quest sabotage from a trusted mentor, the “Talaria” were a gift from Hermes to Perseus. Percy being gifted flying shoes by Luke, son of Hermes, is most definitely a clever nod to the original mythology.
All of this to say, Rick Riordian is definitely doing his research. My man is definitely brushed up on his Greek Mythology!
By diving into some of these parallels and connections, I was reminded just how educational and fun this series is!
Let me know down below of any other fun connections you guys have observed in the series!
I only touched on a few here, so I am interested to see what might have slipped under my radar!
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