How ‘Percy Jackson’ refined the book’s Medusa storyline to align more closely with the original myth, highlighting the tragic reality of her victimisation.

Percy Jackson:

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Episode 3 of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” titled “We Visit the Garden Gnome Emporium.”

In the world of Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” books, Medusa’s defeat marks a significant triumph for Percy. Deceived into spending time with “Aunty Em,” he ultimately severs the head of the serpent-haired woman. The cursed, lifeless eyeballs of Medusa then serve as a powerful weapon, transforming yet another foe into a solid stone.

However, individuals with a more extensive understanding of Greek mythology, particularly women, perceive Medusa as a representation of something more ominous.

In the original myth, Medusa is a human woman who chooses to remain celibate as a sign of her deep devotion to Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Eventually, Medusa enters into a relationship with the sea god Poseidon, which takes a more intimate turn one night. There are various interpretations of the encounter that took place in Athena’s temple, some of which contend that it was nonconsensual and that Poseidon raped Medusa. Athena chooses to exact punishment on Medusa, transforming her into a gorgon whose gaze turns anyone she looks at into stone. The tale concludes with the demigod Perseus, the namesake of Percy Jackson, beheading Medusa and presenting her severed head to Athena.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The 2005 novel was written with a focus on the middle school audience and naturally didn’t explore the backstory in depth. However, Percy happens to be the son of Poseidon, while Annabeth, who accompanies him on his quest, is the daughter of Athena. This means that both of them come from prestigious lineages, especially when facing the formidable Medusa. In the TV adaptation of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” currently streaming on Disney+, the relationships between the gorgon and the parents of the children are explored in greater detail.

According to Rebecca Riordan, who is married to Rick and serves as the executive producer of the TV series, the reason Medusa is not extensively developed in the books is due to the narrative being told from Percy’s perspective, without any insight from her. “I don’t believe he had the capacity to analyse the patriarchy,” Rick comments, reflecting on the perspective of a 12-year-old boy in 2005. he regarded her with fear, perceiving her as an impressive discern trying to petrify him.

However, everything shifted once I stepped into a TV writers room, where the inclusion of diverse perspectives became crucial. “It was one of the initial topics of discussion, focusing on avoiding a patriarchal perspective,” Rebecca says.

Medusa is introduced in the pilot episode, where Percy’s mother, Sally, brings him to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. There, she points out Antonio Canova’s statue of Perseus holding the severed head of Medusa. One must not judge a person solely based on their appearance,” she tells Percy.

Episode 3

In Episode 3, Percy and his companions, Annabeth and Grover, find themselves having lunch with Medusa. The kids in the “Lightning Thief” book quickly recognise the gorgon, but Percy bravely decides to take refuge with her because she is their only hope of survival while Alecto, one of Hades’ Furies sent to capture Percy, is pursuing him. Annabeth and Grover reluctantly comply. Medusa, aware of Annabeth’s frustration and loyalty to Athena, proceeds to share her perspective on the events.

Athena held great significance in my life. I deeply admired her; I sought guidance from her; I showed my utmost respect.”She never responded—”not even a hint to indicate that she valued my affection,” Medusa remarks. Then, making an accurate observation about Annabeth’s distant relationship with her mother, she remarks, “I wasn’t like you, sweetheart. I was you. I would have admired her in that manner forever: quietly and reverently.

However, one day, a different deity arrived and shattered the tranquilly. Her attention shifts to Percy as she continues speaking about his father. “The sea deity expressed affection towards me.” I sensed a level of perception from him that I had never experienced before. However, Athena claimed that I had caused her embarrassment and insisted on administering punishment. Not that individual. Myself. She made the decision that no one who would live to tell the tale would ever see me again.

Jon Steinberg, the co-creator and co-showrunner of “Percy Jackson,” acknowledges the significant contribution of writer Daphne Olive in shaping this storyline. He highlights how the episode alludes to the original myth while ensuring it remains suitable for all ages. If you understand the subject matter, you are familiar with the topic at hand. If you’re not mature enough to be part of that discussion, it won’t affect you. You’re in a scene featuring a woman who appears to be complex. And everyone has a viewpoint on what happened. There is no version that can be considered the

One of the most intriguing transformations that shaped her appearance was how Medusa saw the true curse, which wasn’t her physical ugliness. “It was making her disappear,” Rick says. She has decided to fully embrace that in this particular rendition. Presenting oneself in a polished manner is crucial. To exude sophistication. She transforms individuals into statues, employing this as a form of artistic expression.

According to Rebecca, Medusa emotionally processes Athena’s curse by petrifying her enemies. It’s a way for her to cope with the fact that she has undergone a significant physical transformation. She has embraced her true self and recognised her inner strength, but she has also experienced deep emotional distress,” she explains.

Kennedy claims that her connection to this portrayal of Medusa deepened significantly after she acquired her costume. “She exudes an air of elegance and composure, which masks the deep emotional pain she is concealing,” she remarks. She engages in a series of unpleasant actions and transforms into an unpleasant individual, yet I desired for her to exude an eerily serene and compassionate demeanour. I wanted her to have a more reassuring voice. I aimed for a subtle touch while also hinting at the impending doom we all sense.

“We also showcased the statue of Medusa holding Perseus’ head, which offers a unique and thought-provoking perspective,” Rick mentions, referring to Luciano Garbati’s 2008 sculpture that reimagines and reverses the traditional narrative of Medusa’s demise. This piece has gained recognition as a powerful symbol of the #MeToo movement. “It’s a compelling work of art that initiates a dialogue about the individuals responsible for narrating the narrative.” Kennedy attributes this statue to her inspiration in crafting her own interpretation of Medusa.

definitive version. If Athena and Poseidon were in that room, you would receive three distinct accounts of that story.

Despite the absence of explicit references to sexual assault in her character’s dialogue, Kennedy remained steadfast in her understanding: “Jon crafted a narrative where [Medusa] believed that [Poseidon] was a trustworthy individual, only to have that trust shattered.” She felt secure, and then the situation took a turn for the worse,” she says. So I decided to portray her as a victim of rape and complete abandonment, struggling to comprehend why Athena would betray her.

Likewise, Rick provides a straightforward explanation: “Numerous accounts from ancient times detail the events that transpired in that temple involving Medusa, Poseidon, and Athena.” Who is responsible? Who is the perpetrator? What is the true account? It’s a work of fiction, but it’s crucial to recognise the presence of abuse in this context. Abuse of authority.

Given Medusa’s traditional portrayal as a villain and her attempt to turn the kids into stone, it was important to approach the character’s design with sensitivity in order to introduce a more complex narrative of abuse. She wears an elegant beige gown with a complementary hat that delicately conceals her captivating gaze. Her ensemble is completed with stylish high heels, bold red lipstick, and a tasteful gold necklace. In summary, she is not monstrous. She has an exquisite appearance.

This more refined version of Medusa begins with a semblance of good intentions upon encountering Percy. She is aware that he struggles with the feeling of abandonment by Poseidon in a similar way to her.

“The studio executives were under the impression that this would be a narrative centred around Percy’s quest to earn his father’s love and admiration.” And it’s as if that’s not the narrative! He must confront the question: ‘What has my father done?’ Is he different now? “How do I perceive my connection to that?” Rebecca ponders. Percy’s assessment of his father is based solely on the aftermath he has witnessed,” Rick remarks.

When she finally has a chance to speak privately with him, Medusa extends her assistance to Percy in his mission to rescue his mother from Hades. This is his true objective, despite being instructed to prioritise the retrieval of Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt. However, in order to rescue Sally, Medusa suggests that Annabeth and Grover would have to be turned to stone as a consequence of their unwavering loyalty to the gods. “There’s a part of Medusa that believes she can influence Percy,” Kennedy remarks. She is seeking support, fully aware that she may have to eliminate these individuals. However, I might be able to persuade them: I am the one with good intentions. Your mother’s character leaves much to be desired. Your father does not possess admirable qualities. I provided my assistance. They were not there for me.

Naturally, Percy is unwilling to fall for her trap. He ultimately emulates his namesake and decapitates Medusa. However, rather than Poseidon and Athena, his motivation is to protect his companions. In their eyes, Medusa’s actions have a profound impact on how Percy and Annabeth view their parents.

The most brilliant difference among Percy and Annabeth lies in their upbringing,” Steinberg explains.Annabeth has spent years at Camp Halfblood, whereas Percy has only recently discovered his demigod status within the past week. Annabeth is deeply immersed in the Olympian culture, the familial culture of honouring and fulfilling one’s obligations to the gods.

Annabeth finds herself facing a new cultural experience for the first time. She has a hard and fast angle on her mom that needs to conform so that you can navigate this season and grow as a character,” Becky comments. This episode showcases the beginning of something significant. Perhaps my mother is not the person I believe her to be. Perhaps I don’t have to hold her in such high regard.”

And Medusa’s suggestion that his mother’s relationship with Poseidon may not have been as positive as she portrayed it disturbs Percy, who was already upset about his father’s absence from his life.

You have not witnessed the very last installment of the subplot regarding Medusa, Poseidon, and Sally. In episode 7, there is a mainly impactful flashback scene offering Sally and Poseidon collectively,” Rick explains.

“What I find mainly exciting approximately episode three is the dynamic among Medusa and Sally. It’s fascinating to see how they both had relationships with the same person, yet their experiences were vastly different,” Steinberg remarks. It’s commendable that the story presents the relationship from Percy’s perspective. It’s unclear: Did they have strong feelings for each other? It appears that they did, but what caused the issue? Was there any issue? Could Medusa have had a negative encounter with Poseidon, while Sally did not?

“It was crucial to maintain an air of intrigue while still providing a resolution,” he concludes.

“As we delve further into the season, navigating Percy’s journey corresponds to embarking on a unique parenting journey.

A serious one. We also wanted to share that story, and it’s crucial to grasp the deep connection between Poseidon and Sally in order to fully understand it. In summary, their relationship was quite complex.

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