1:30 pm EDT, October 11, 2014

Thank You, Rick Riordan: Why we love Percy Jackson from A to Z

Blood of Olympus has hit shelves, and whether or not you’ve accepted the fact that this is (more than likely) the final adventure for our favorite demigods, we wanted to show our appreciation for all the things we’ve loved about Percy Jackson.

So, some of you have probably finished Blood of Olympus twice by now, others may be dreading the looming end of the saga and are putting it off just a teensy bit longer. Either way, it’s definitely a great time to send a huge thank you to the man behind the curtain pulling all the strings, Rick Riordan.

Whether we’re squeeing with delight alongside Percy and Annabeth, or shaking in fear as Leo does something insane with a monkey wrench, we have loved each and every moment with these characters. It only seemed fitting to try and honor all our favorites, so, from A to Z, here are just a few of the things we can name that we love about the Percy Jackson stories.

A1

What is there not to love about Festus? Originally meant to defend the camp, he went a little haywire and Leo had to trap him. But thanks to Leo’s mechanical abilities, he was able to get Festus under control, and the giant golden dragon quickly became a loyal friend. And even when Festus seemed at the end of his life, Leo was able to repurpose him and add him into the design of The Argo II.

B

When it comes to traveling in style, there’s no cooler way than by pegasus, particularly Blackjack. Percy made a friend for life when he saved him from imprisonment aboard the Princess Andromeda. Blackjack can always be relied upon to show up just in the knick of time when Percy really needed him, and for a son of Poseidon, that’s pretty much all the time.

C
If there’s a cooler way to defeat monsters than with Celestial bronze, we don’t want to know. Whether it’s a sword form, like Riptide, or an awesome shield like Thalia’s, a healthy dose of Celestial bronze is all you need to keep the monsters at bay. It’s especially cool when someone with Leo’s ingenuity can fashion some crazy new weapon and surprise even the most jaded of Tartarus’ evil minions. Now how can we get ahold of a bit of that stuff…

D2
Demigods are the children of mortals and gods, and as such, they have special abilities in accordance to their godly parent. While the demigods may struggle with things like school thanks to their usual dyslexia and ADHD, it’s because they’re hardwired for a life of fighting monsters. Even though the life is tough, we still wouldn’t be opposed to having our godly parent claim us.

E
Everyone’s favorite harpy, Ella, added a light touch to a story that otherwise seemed pretty dire. She may not have brought the gladdest of tidings, but she had a tendency to keep us laughing, especially when she’s confusing the heck out of Percy with her stream-of-consciousness rants.

F
Frank is a case of don’t judge a book by its cover. He may seem like a big scary dude, but he’s a giant softy. Not only that, but he has an awesome ability to change his form into various kinds of animals. We particularly like it when he gets scared – you never know what he’ll change into.

G3
Grover’s loyalty to Percy is our favorite thing about him. He’s always believed in Percy’s ability to overcome the challenges set before him, even when Percy didn’t believe in himself. And who else was super proud when Grover’s horns started to show? We sure were!

H2
Where do you even begin to describe Hazel Levesque? The poor thing spent way too long in the Fields of Asphodel after she saved her mother from the Fields of Punishment, but after being rescued by Nico, her half-brother, she returned to the world and met Leo Valdez, grandson to a friend of hers. Hazel has taken every crazy adventure in stride, but has really come into her own since Mark of Athena. We couldn’t wish for anything more than the best for Hazel, and we’d be willing to bet she’ll get it.

I2
We could write an entire article about why we love Bob, but we’re going to spare you all that embarrassment. When Percy met Bob in the underworld, he was so keen to help Percy and Annabeth. He and Small Bob traveled around with them, protecting them from the dangers of Tartarus. And even when Bob began to remember his past, he came back for Percy and helped him escape through the Doors of Death.

J
We’ve grown to love him. His sudden appearance in The Lost Hero hit so abruptly we weren’t quite sure what to make of him, but once we saw just how much of a softie, protector-type he truly was, it was easy to add him to the team. Besides, it’s always a bonus to have a son of Zeus– er, Jupiter around when you’re trying to stop evil forces like Gaea.

K
There’s a long history with this weapon, and while Piper may wield it, we like to think of the many warriors that have and will hold it throughout its life. Piper doesn’t always feel lucky to be wielding such a blade, but at this point, we can’t imagine one without the other. It has given her strength when she needed it most, and that is one thing you can never have too much of when you’re a demigod.

L
Whether you’re talking about Dedalus’ legendary maze from Battle of the Labyrinth, or simply the many twists and turns that the demigod adventurers have encountered on their quests, labyrinths have played a vital part in Percy’s world. It’s hard not to love how the mazes have challenged our heroes to become stronger and better versions of themselves. For example, without the brutality of the labyrinth to prepare her, we’re not entirely sure Annabeth would be the character we know and love.

M
The Mist is one of the coolest (and most convenient) aspects of the Percy Jackson universe. The demigods don’t have to worry too much about being seen carrying swords or giant Athena Parthenos statues because the Mist takes care of all that nonsense, keeping the rest of us humans in the dark about all the mythological danger that surrounds us on a daily basis.

N2
Nico is one of the most interesting characters in the Percy Jackson series just because his life has been one tragedy after the next, and yet he keeps fighting the good fight. Nico’s backstory has woven its way through nearly all of the Percy Jackson books, and in The Blood of Olympus we finally get his voice narrating the story. It’s a great sneak peek into the mind of this mysterious character, but it doesn’t lessen the heartache even a little bit.

O
The Oracle has always been a fascinating character, but even more so when Rachel inherited the powers of prophecy. Rachel has always been a quirky character, but when you add in her ability to spew forth riddles about the life and death of our favorite characters, things get even more intense.

P
Piper McClean has had a rough go of things, especially for the daughter of a movie star. However, her overall pleasantness combined with her ability to charmspeak anyone that stands in her way, makes her an unbelievably powerful demigod. While our favorite memories probably include her being forced into ridiculous ensembles by her mother Aphrodite, she has more than enough impressive moments in battle to balance them out. Piper is one demigod we wouldn’t want to face off with in a dark alley, that’s for sure.

Q
Another favorite aspect of the Percy Jackson books is the fact that these kids get sent on quests. Sure, it’s dangerous, but who wouldn’t want to be sent on a quest across the world to find ancient cities and fight evil deities. Okay, maybe we would pass on that last one.

R
Hippocampi would definitely be on our list of creatures to see if we ever got a chance to visit Camp Halfblood, Rainbow especially. Tyson is particularly fond of the shiny and colorful creature, which just adds to the delight that Rainbow brings to the story. She was absolutely instrumental to saving the day when Percy and company find themselves stranded and in desperate need of a water ride. Thanks Rainbow for always being there when we needed you.

S
Ah, Seaweed Brain. Percy Jackson himself. You didn’t think we’d leave him off this list, did you? The reasons we love Percy are endless, but let’s start with the fact that he was just a run-of-the-mill kid until he realized he was the son of Poseidon. And then everything changed. He became one of the world’s greatest heroes, and he even put the gods in their place when he told them they had to claim their children and not leave so many of the demigods without a godly parent.

T
Percy’s cycloptic brother waltzed into the series in Sea of Monsters, and won over our hearts almost immediately. He might not be the typical demigod, but Tyson threw his life on the line when Percy need him to, and for that, we can do no greater thing than to honor him with our praises and the honorable place as the ‘T’ on our list of reasons we love Percy Jackson.

U
It might seem weird to have the Underworld on this list of our favorite things in the Percy Jackson universe, but we just really loved everything that happened in House of Hades. Besides that, Hades’ domain is like a whole other world, and the settings and characters in his place of residence are both varied and expansive. There’s so much to explore, and while most of the monsters that live down there aren’t exactly friendly, we wouldn’t mind taking a quick trip to explore what this realm has to offer. (On the caveat that we can leave when we’re done with our tour.)

V
When it comes to the boys Valdez, it’s important to remember that A) They play with fire, and B) They defend their friends with everything they have. Sammy Valdez played a huge role in Hazel’s past, and Leo Valdez will undoubtedly play a huge role in her future. When you find loyalty like that offered by the Valdez men, it’s impossible to fight. Sammy fought for Hazel when she had no one else on her side, and Leo has always proven that no matter what has happened between them, he will never leave her friendless and alone. It just wouldn’t be right.

W2

“Wisdom’s daughter walks alone.” There is only one demigod that phrase could have been referring to, and we knew you all knew that too. The title ‘Wisdom’s daughter’ does more than describe Annabeth Chase, it defines her. She is the daughter of Athena, goddess of wisdom, courage, and strategy. It’s impossible to find 3 words that craft a more apt description of Annabeth than that. She has a cool head in times of trouble, has the courage to match Percy step for step in battle, and she always manages to outstep her opponent. Let’s just say, if we were waging war against the forces of Tartarus, Annabeth is the first demigod we would want on our side.

X
Does anyone else love it when authors have maps to their worlds? It’s always fun to see their words turned into something concrete that we can look at and point to when we’re reading the stories. It’s especially fun in the Percy Jackson universe because a lot of these places we’re already familiar with (Hello, Empire State Building), and yet there’s an added layer to them when it comes to their connection to the Greek (or Roman!) gods.

Y
Ambrosia, anyone? When we first learned about the food of the gods, we couldn’t help but wonder what the most delicious treat in the world would taste like for us. Would it taste like chocolate chip cookies like it does for Percy? Or the black bean soup Piper’s father makes? Or buttery popcorn like Annabeth? The possibilities are endless, but it’s most important quality is that no matter what scrape our demigods have gotten themselves into, Ambrosia can heal and rejuvenate even the weakest of demigods.

Z
Zoe Nightshade was a lieutenant of Artemis and part of the goddess’ group of Hunters. The Hunters are inspiring for so many reasons, the foremost of which is that they’re just a group of amazing women who fight for the goddess Artemis. It’s a tough life, and a dangerous one at that, but one they all chose to embrace to be able to do everything they can in order to fight for the side of good.

Written by: Karen Rought and Kristen Kranz

Graphics by: Angelica Yap

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