Some videos of Rick Riordan speaking on his The Mark of Athena book tour have come online! Check out what he talked about below.

The videos are a little shaky, so we’ve rounded up the most important parts to report to you. These are from his talk at Temple Judea in Miami, Florida.

He begins by talking about how and why he started writing about Percy Jackson. It came as a conglomerate of thoughts surrounding stories his own grandfather used to tell him, his son’s ADHD, and Greek mythology. When he says, “Okay, well, one day there was this boy named Percy Jackson,” the room explodes and for just a second you forget that this is a novelist speaking, and not a rock star.

His son then encouraged him to write the story down. Riordan was already pretty busy, but he agreed that he’d give it a shot – doubting that anyone would really like it. Once he had The Lightning Thief written out, he passed it onto his sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, where he says that even though he’s sent manuscripts to New York, “I was more nervous having my own students read this book.”

His students loved the book and had some great ideas – some of which actually made it into the book! One student said, “Okay, he’s got his magic pen. But what happens if he loses it? Because that happens in middle school.” “Oh, yeah. That’s a good point,” Riordan replies. He even says that the original title was Son of the Sea God, but one girl said that he gave away who Percy’s father was too soon. Riordan ended up changing it on the advice of his student.

Riordan even says that he used a fake name when he sent the manuscript out to agents, because he was embarrassed! He didn’t think anyone would be interested in it, but said, “almost immediately seven different publishers wanted to publish it.”

There seems to be a small gap in time between the first and second video. Now Riordan is introducing his son Haley and telling the audience that Haley had been interested in writing his own short story that took place in the Percy Jackson world. We don’t get to hear what he says, but Haley seemed enthusiastic and the audience loved him right from the get-go.

In the third video, Riordan starts off by talking about the cover to The Mark of Athena. He also says he loves this book because all seven demigods of the prophecy are finally together in one place. He also mentions that this is very much Annabeth’s story – much to the audience’s delight. You can read our review of The Mark of Athena right here.

Then Riordan says, “You may have heard rumors. It is true. Next up, I’m going Norse.” He starts saying names like Odin, Thor, and Loki, while the audience continues to cheer. He also says that it’s not because of Thor or The Avengers, although he did enjoy those movies.

He even says it’s not because of the comic books, although he grew up reading them. Instead, “It’s really about, for me, going back to the very beginning. Like I told you guys, I really cut my teeth as a reader on The Lord of the Rings and Norse mythology. So this is like going back to the very beginning of mythology.” He even says that Norse mythology is his favorite out of all the sets of stories – even more than the Greek.

Because it’s so early on, he can’t really tell us much. He says that it will be the Norse gods in the modern world, like his other three series. The Norse also had a similar concept of demigods. Even though he’s pretty mum on the details, we’ve had a few ideas of our own.

Are you looking forward to Riordan’s next series?

Photo Credit: ContactMusic

Quiz: What is your pet’s Ilvermorny house?

Why should you be the only one who gets a second wizarding house?

1:00 pm EDT, July 29, 2016

Will your pet be sorted into the same Ilvermorny house as you, or will you have to disown them for joining your rival?

Step aside Hogwarts, there’s a new wizarding school in town (or rather, across the sea)! With a new school comes new houses, and a new sorting test. You might’ve gone through an identity crisis after taking the test for yourself, but you’re not the only one who needs sorting. That furry, scaly, or feathery friend needs to know where they belong too, and we’re here to do just that! Last time we helped you find out what Hogwarts house your pet would be sorted into, so now we’ll help you figure out what Ilvermorny house they belong in.

It’s typical for pets to have similar personalities to their owners, so maybe your pet will end up in the same house as you. But to those who have house rivalries, brace yourselves: It’s also possible your pet will end up in a different house than you, maybe even your rival house! Will you be saying ‘bye bye birdie,’ or do you thrive in competition? That probably depends on your Hogwarts and Ilvermorny house.

Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, or reptile, all pets are welcome at Hypable’s Ilvermorny sorting ceremony! Take the quiz below and let us know where your pet’s loyalties lie, and be sure to take it for each of your pets (unless they’re a squib. Is there an American name for squib?). Don’t want any of them to feel left out!


Now that you know your pet’s Ilvermorny house, maybe you’ll want to decorate their bed with their house crest (shoutout to the Hufflepuffs)! Or maybe you’ll forbid them from entering your room if they’re in a different house (shoutout to the Slytherins)!

Did your pet get the same Ilvermorny house as you?

Forget seeing Luke Cage and Daisy Johnson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Jeph Loeb, it’s simply too hard to plan.

Although the Marvel movies and TV series ostensibly exist in the same universe, and although Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does its best to include Avengers references whenever possible, TV show characters are unlikely to ever show up in the movies.

This despite Chloe Bennet’s continued efforts to remind people that she is, in fact, Marvel’s first on-screen female Asian superhero, and the awesome crossover possibilities the Marvel Netflix series have opened up.

Marvel fans have long been aware of the difficulties of bringing TV characters into the movie ‘verse, but at the 2016 TCAs, Jeph Loeb provided a few more reasons for why it’s practically impossible to coordinate.

“Part of the challenge of doing this sort of thing is that the movies are planned out years in advance of what it is that we are doing,” Loeb says, as quoted by SlashFilm. “Television moves at an incredible speed. The other part of the problem is that when you stop and think about it, if I’m shooting a television series and that’s going to go on over a six-month or eight-month period, how am I going to get Mike [Colter] to be able to go be in a movie? I need Mike to be in a television show.”

In terms of planning out the character arcs, this makes a lot of sense. A Marvel movie might be mapped out years in advance of production, for not to mention release, which means any character scheduled to appear would need to have their stories planned for many seasons in advance. The continuity would certainly be hard to keep track of.

Of course they could still throw in cameos, which fans would probably really appreciate — and crossovers from movies-TV are much more doable, as evidenced by Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander)’s multiple appearances on AoS.

But Marvel is wary of doing that too much, too, because “we never want to be known as an Easter egg farm. It has to work within the story. We never want to do Luke Cage gets into a cab as Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock are getting out of the cab,” Loeb says, referencing The Man From U.N.C.L.E..

However, don’t lose hope yet. “Anything is possible,” says Loeb. “As I often get reported by you folks for saying #ItsAllConnected, our feeling is that the connection isn’t just whether or not somebody is walking into a movie or walking out of a television show. It’s connected in the way that the shows come from the same place, that they are real, that they are grounded.”

Would you like to see Marvel TV and movie characters cross over more?

If Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda weren’t enough to get you excited about Mary Poppins Returns, maybe Meryl Streep’s name on the roster will do the trick.

Mary Poppins Returns is not a remake of the original 1964 classic but rather a sequel to the Julie Andrews-led musical. As such, it stands to reason that we’ll be getting some new characters this time around. One of those characters will be Miranda’s Jack, who will be a street lamplighter.

And, according to Variety, another one of those new characters will also be portrayed by none other than Meryl Streep, who will be taking on the role of Mary Poppins’ cousin, Topsy. And, yes, the legendary actress will be taking on a singing role for the film.

This will also reunite Streep with her Into the Woods co-star Blunt, as well as Director Rob Marshall and Producer Marc Platt. Streep played the Witch in Into the Woods, while Blunt portrayed the Baker’s Wife opposite James Corden.

Disney’s official synopsis for Mary Poppins Returns reads:

Blunt has been cast as Mary Poppins and Miranda will play a new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven additional novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Mary Poppins Returns and will hit theaters December 25, 2018.

Are you on board with ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ now that Meryl Streep has joined the cast?