Sunday, June 30, 2013

(The movie) Percy Jackson and the Olympians annoys me

So I'm kind of sort of not really but similar enough to make describing it this way more useful than not making an inventory of my DVDs, seeing what still works, what doesn't, what has enough free space on it to justify leaving unfinalized even though the DVD machine is acting up, that sort of stuff.

So I came across Percy Jackson and The Olympians again.  Now it is by now probably common knowledge how I would do things, rather than having the main character be one of the big three (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades) I'd pick a lesser god (I'm thinking Ersa, goddess of Dew.)  Who you are stories are generally better than what you are stories and Percy Jackson is a "what you are" story by virtue of him being the biggest thing in demigods ever.

Part of that comes from him being a child of the ruling class of the ruling class.  He's not just the child of a god, which is necessary for the story to take place, he's the child of one of the big three gods.  He is therefore the coolest and most powerful halfblood and has everything handed to him on a silver platter (witness his fight with the daughter of Athena.)

But another part of that comes from him being the most loved god-child ever in the history of ever.

Seven months into his life Zeus felt like Poseidon was too close to his mortal son and created a law that no god may have any contact with any of their mortal children because no god had ever so loved a mortal child before.  In three to four thousand years or so.


I believe that. He's not just a special snowflake, he's THE special snowflake.  Every other half god can fuck off because none of them were loved as much in their entire lives by their divine parent as Poseidon loved young Percy in the first seven months.  He's so special of a snowflake that the extra special snowflake club is beneath him.

I call bullshit.

Also, is the sidekick whose mother was Athena* older or younger than Percy?  If she's older then sorry sidekick, your mother didn't love you as much as Percy's father loved him.  If younger than we can't say how much her mother loved her with certainty but we can say that the reason she's grown up without a mother is because Poseidon loved Percy on a scale that so surpassed all previous love that Zeus made it illegal.

My version of the story, I've said before, would go like this:

Main character is the child of Ersa and has the power to make water form on surfaces (child of dew, can fog windows like you wouldn't believe.  On the other hand filling a room with water by making the walls drip takes forever), basically comes to terms with the idea that in a fair fight he'd lose and takes the Jack Sparrow way out ("Well then that's not much incentive to fight fair, now is it?") rather than instantly being empowered the way Percy was.

I wouldn't have the helpful person turn out to be evil because I'm sick of the helpful person either being martyred or being evil.  The helpful person would just be helpful, and not killed off.

I wouldn't have the main character and mortal parent be stuck with an abusive parental figure/partner to hide main character.  I'd have the main character's gender switched so while everyone was looking for the daughter of dew they were overlooking this random male person. As mentioned somewhere or other I've been in a transfemale main character rut for a while and expect to remain in one until I actually finish a story.

Speaking of which when sorting through DVDs I noticed/remembered/was reminded by noticing that I recorded what looks to be a painfully bad movie about a mermaid, I assume for research purposes. Whether I'll actually be able to force myself to watch it to see an example of contemporary mermaid fiction remains to be seen, but since the DVD was already paid for recording it was free and since it was playing when I wasn't using the TV recording it took no time.  Even assuming the local library has a book, on the shelves, it takes more effort to get it.

Anyway, that would allow for a transformation as well as an "I am Maximus Decimus Merdius..." speech at the climax in which the character starting with, "Daughter of Ersa," traced her maternal line back to Nyx (if you can make it there, that's where you should go, Zeus is afraid of her) which is her come back, following Athena-child's suggestion to hit the books for lineage (almost everything in the universe descends from the same six entities, most things from several or all of them), to taunting based on things like, "I'm a child of [bigshot] you're the child of dew."

A lot of things would involve exploiting the character's water power (how many ways are there to make use of the ability to create water ex nihilo on a surface?) or hiding behind Athena-child when fighting was going on.  Trying to help, but very much hiding behind.

Part of the significance of water vs. lightning based powers, under explored in the movie, is that when you're wet it's not a good idea to bring large quantities of electricity into the mix.

The Lotus Eaters ate the lotus.  That's where their fucking name comes from.  They weren't a conspiracy intended to keep everyone else under the spell of the lotus, they were a commune that ever so innocently welcomed strangers by passing the bowl.  I don't know if I'd include them but if I did I sure as hell wouldn't have them be the opposite of what they were in the actual myth.

Stuff like that.

I'd probably have gods have varying degrees of involvement in their children's lives but intentionally limited because the idea would be for the children to be around their own kind (mortals) and also to get a good feel for what the mundane world was like because at some point they'd have to decide between the two worlds. Not necessarily forever and for all time, but if you live and work in the hidden demigod filled world you're giving up the chance to live and work in the normal world and vice versa.

Um... stuff.


* Which how does that work? Athena doesn't have sex and gods who want kids without sex don't need to go to sperm banks because a god can just create children parthenogenicaly meaning that any child of hers should be as far from a halfblood as possible.

To a certain extent we're all halfbloods.  Roughly half of our makeup from sperm provider, roughly half from egg provider.**  A child of Athena wouldn't be.  A child of Athena would have only one parent and thus be a pureblood.  Pure divine blood.

**  If that seems impersonal it's because I recognize that your mother might not be the egg provider, your father might not be the sperm provider.  In the Avengers Thor had a good, short, speech on what it means to be brothers when Loki assumed that Thor still thinking of him as a brother was because he didn't know Loki was adopted.  Of course then, by following the rule of funny, Thor goes back on it when confronted with the fact that the person he just said was his brother has killed, if memory serves, 80 people in the last few days.  In response to that Thor hides behind, "Well he's adopted."


  1. I think the roots of the series, in the stories the author told to his son (also with ADHD and dyslexia), do rather show sometimes. A story told to an individual can, to some extent, get away with that individual's proxy character being the best at everything.

  2. I have thoughts on this and would love the see the whole thing.

    I know some about the book, not sure how it's different. Posted about it a while back:

    1. I don't remember if I mentioned it, but I poured a libation to a couple of the Greek gods a while back.

      Do I believe in them? No. Do I want to leave them unthanked if they are real and did help? Definitely not.

      If they do exist I hope they liked what I had to drink. It was the most valued drink I have, but it might be a bit low class for them (also I don't drink alcohol so...)