Rick Riordan’s celebrated fantasy series Percy Jackson and the Olympians is heading to Disney Plus, and judging by the trailer, it is finally the version the source material deserves. The story of young Percy and his cohort of fellow demigods was adapted before and to disastrous results.
The Logan Lerman-led Percy Jackson films that came out a decade ago had the issue that many adaptations face — aging up characters to the older demographic of teenagers and taking away content that should belong to younger generations. The beauty of Percy was demonstrating how being different can be an asset, and that lesson is especially prevalent in that age group. Without this much-needed correction, Disney Plus’ version never would have had iconic setpieces, like Riptide, as featured in the trailer.
So, what exactly is Riptide?
Thor had Mjolnir, Joffrey had Widow’s Wail (yikes), and Aragorn had Andúril. If there is one thing that every fantasy character — good or bad — needs, it is an aptly named weapon. While Percy learns his destiny as the son of the Olympic god of the sea, Poseidon, he also earns the right to wield such a weapon. Masquerading as an ordinary pen, Riptide becomes Percy’s primary weapon. All he needs to do is remove its cap, and the pen turns into a mighty sword. Made out of Celestial Bronze, the sword is particularly dangerous to those with godly blood. The former sword of Hercules, Percy takes possession of the blade in his battle with the Fury, Alecto, in The Lightning Thief. As the Disney Plus series is due to start at the beginning of the books, this makes perfect sense.
Percy takes this sword on his ultimate quest in the first book, where his teacher, Chiron, tells him that the sword can never be lost. This is probably quite a good thing for a young teen with superpowers, as there’s no telling how many commonplace pens can get lost in the shuffle. As the story progresses, Percy goes on to learn the history of the sword and why he is the proper person to wield it. True to its name, it draws its power from the ocean, which is why the son of Poseiden has particular skill with it. This tool is one aspect of the books that makes it clear the television series will be more faithful to Riordan’s work. With the cooperation of the author, the optimistic series is asking to be a hit when it premieres on December 20, 2023.