So, if you haven’t been paying attention to my Twitter updates or my Goodreads statuses, then you probably do not know — that I have deemed Percy Jackson and the Olympians the BEST children’s series that I have ever read! Up until last week, I hadn’t read any of the books and I kept wondering why people were giving me weird looks. What was the big deal about this series? Was it really worth all of the hype? And who the heck was Rick Riordan?! Clearly, I hadn’t lived, people. Clearly, I hadn’t lived.
Well, I am proud to say — I have read ALL 5 books in less than 2 weeks. And I am changed. I have seen the light and it is beautiful! I have no idea how I could have slept on these books for so long. But NO MORE!
Percy Jackson and the Olympians has changed how I view children’s literature forever. I wish that I had something like this when I was a child. The Harry Potter series didn’t debut for me until I was almost 13 years old, I was on my way out of children’s lit, so it’s not the same…
Greek mythology has always been one of my favorite subjects to study when I was in school. The Iliad and The Odyssey were normal pieces of literature that I constantly surrounded myself by. I fell in love with the world of myth and the lessons that they taught. I thought (and still do think) that they were brilliant!
So it’s safe to say that Percy Jackson has become my new obsession — and I want to share some of that obsession with you. What better way to do that, then to give you my all-time favorite Greek gods & goddesses!
** I’m going to use a mixture of photos from the Percy Jackson films and the Disney film Hercules because I appreciate humor, so enjoy!**
Apollo is the Greek god of light, music, arts, knowledge, healing, plague and darkness, prophecy, poetry, purity, athleticism, manly beauty, and enlightenment. His twin sister, Artemis, is goddess over the hunt, wilderness, animals, young girls, childbirth and plague. Apollo is automatically my favorite because he’s god of my favorite parts of life — the creative arts. He is portrayed by Dimitri Lekkos, the photo above, in the Percy Jackson films.
I’ve always been really closely connected to the arts, so to know that Apollo (one of the most hilarious characters in the PJ books) is god of it all, makes me very happy.
Poseidon, played by Kevin McKidd (from Grey’s Anatomy), is the god of the sea. Of the rivers, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and the creator of horses. This is why Percy is able to control waters and communicate with horses. He is Poseidon’s son.
Now, the reason that Poseidon is my favorite god mainly has to do with how he was portrayed in the books. I really enjoyed his relationship with Percy. He was, in my opinion, one of the better fathers to the demigod children. Bonus that the hunky Scotsman, Kevin McKidd, plays him in the films!
Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty, desire, and pleasure. She is portrayed by Serinda Swan in the films, but I prefer the Disney portrayal. She’s quite the promiscuous goddess, I guess you can say that’s appropriate. But she is married to Hephaestus, which really means nothing because has affairs with other gods (i.e. Ares and Adonis).
But the reason I enjoy Aphrodite is because she is goddess over two of my favorite elements of life — love and beauty. I don’t necessarily enjoy how she uses those things to her benefit, but I do admire her tenacity and unapologetic nature. She wants what she wants and if you get in her way, she’ll make you suffer. So, lesson here — stay out of Aphrodite’s way. Unless you want to be killed. Or be one of her affairs. Your choice, I guess.
Athena, portrayed by Melina Kanakaredes (who is Greek), is definitely a favorite for what she represents. She is the goddess of intelligence and skill, warfare, battle strategy, handicrafts, and wisdom. She is also the mother of Annabeth Chase, Percy Jackson’s best friend & love interest. She was a child of Zeus’ mind, meaning that she was not created through sexual means. Annabeth was born through the same process.
In the books, Athena can be a bit harsh in her appropriate to things, but only because she sees through the lens of common sense and wisdom – not necessarily compassion. But I enjoy that about her. For Annabeth, because she is part-mortal, she’s able to practice a bit more compassion than Athena. Which benefits her in the long run.
Hades is my ALL-TIME favorite god. And no, not because he’s the god of the underworld and the dead. I just think that someone who is surrounded by morbidity every single day forever has to have the best sense of humor possible. And I am right. Especially, if you’ve seen Disney’s Hercules. Hades, pictured above with the blue hair, is constantly sarcastic and I love it. That’s the Hades that I pictured while reading the books.
In the films, Hades is played by Steve Coogan.
What to say about good ol’ Hermes, which portrayed by Nathan Fillion in Percy Jackson & the Sea of Monsters film. He is the god of boundaries, travel, communication, trade, thievery, trickery, language, writing, diplomacy, athletics, and animal husbandry.
Why do I like him? Because he’s the god of travel, language, and writing — which I love to do! But also because of his characterization in the Percy Jackson books. He was humanized so well, that I was able to connect with him in a way I couldn’t really connect to the other gods. By the end of the book series, he became one of my favorite book characters. He was emotional, yet very godly. And it was done greatly. Sometimes I think it’s easy to underestimate Hermes, but Rick Riordan made sure that you didn’t.
Finally, the lovely Hera. She is the goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, heirs, kings, and empires. She is also Zeus’ wife, which makes her Queen of the heavens. (She’s also Zeus’ sister, but we won’t go there…)
Hera is an elegant goddess. Hera is my favorite for personal reasons. Her story is quite Because she is the goddess of marriage, that is obviously something she holds very sacred, but Zeus (like many other gods) had many affairs, which causes her to become quite the vengeful and jealous goddess. In the books, Hera is not the friendliest to Thalia, Zeus’ demigod child.
In Greek mythology, she becomes so jealous and vengeful due to Zeus’ affairs, that she gives birth to Hephaestus without Zeus being present, which apparently wasn’t the cool thing to do. But Hera deems baby Hephaestus too unsightly and tosses him from Mount Olympus. Hephaestus later returns to seek revenge against his mother. What a horrible thing to do, Hera!
Hey, I said I like what she represents… not who she is! ;)
Well, those are my favorite Greek gods/goddesses! Percy Jackson has gotten me super pumped to re-read some of the great myths and teachings. They’re really fun and quite insightful!
Until next time (which will be for The Heroes of Olympus series),