A to Z 2019

J for Jackson

Jackson, Percy

The Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.

It so happens that this post is a repeat (with respect to the series. Yesterday’s post was on Iapetus, also from this series). But of all the choices I had for J, somehow I could not avoid writing about my favourite character, Percy.

Originally a son of Poseidon, but named after a son of Zeus, Percy is the perfect vehicle to bring mythology to the masses, especially one as humongous as the Greek mythology. When I was initially looking for recommendations for something after Harry Potter, I came across Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.

I have, unfortunately, forgotten the original source whence the recommendation came. But thankfully, it was strong enough to make me want to read the book.

And I am glad I did.

The first series where Percy appears, is written in first person, with Percy (a teenager in urban NY) narrating his experiences. With zero experience (and minimal interest too) in Greek Mythology, I found myself drawn to the story and busy trying to match the characters as they appeared in the story with the original ones!

My research led me to love the narration even more.

I stumbled upon an interesting fact. Percy Jackson was just a representation of Rick Riordan’s son, Haley Riordan, a boy diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia, and with a love for Greek mythology. And Percy Jackson is just a manifestation of a boy who suffered these.

The reason, though, is wonderful! Why does Percy have these disorders? Because he is not a normal child, but a powerful half-blood, and it was his battle reflexes that gave him his ADHD, and enabled him to read ancient Greek without training or prior introduction.

What was viewed as a disability quickly had a much cooler reason!

And Percy was the perfect role model for inclusion. Not because he was special, but because he was absolutely indifferent to it all. To what separated him from everyone and what brought him into a world that was so different from the one he was used to. Percy Jackson approached everyone (and everything) with only one guiding force inside him. His gut instinct.

That made him reckless, foolish, loyal, fierce, confused, afraid, and falteringly human.

Maybe one of the reasons why I love Percy is that he is no superhero. He is a grade C student, just barely nipping through situations that quickly tended to go beyond his control, and somehow escaping them, though not unscathed.

Special love for a special character, and the special reason that brought him into existence.

If I read further books of Riordan, it was simply because of Percy, and for that, I will always remember him.

The song I would dedicate for this character: Elvis Presley, Martina McBride – Blue Christmas (Because Jackson’s love for Blue is phenomenal and understandable only to those who have read the stories.)

#JforJackson #AtoZChallenge

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