Walker Scobell holding Riptide in Percy Jackson and the Olympians

‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ Is Finally Getting Percy’s Age Right

Disney+’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians is proving to be a faithful adaptation of Rick Riordan’s book series of the same name. One of the book-accurate components that has given fans the most relief is Percy Jackson’s (Walker Scobell) age.

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Riordan’s first book, The Lightning Thief, introduced Percy when he was young. His age was important, not just to make him relatable to middle school readers but also so that readers could follow him as he grew up across the full pentalogy. Unfortunately, the first Percy Jackson adaptation didn’t get the memo.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief premiered in 2010 and cast Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, and Alexandra Daddario as the leading trio. While they did look like their book counterparts, they ranged in age from 18–26. Needless to say, by the second movie, none of them could pass for the preteen/teen characters they were supposed to be playing.

Riordan later opened up about how he had been barred from the creative process of the films. He even shared emails in which he had advised the film not to age up the cast, but they were not heeded. Once Disney+ approved his Percy Jackson and the Olympians show, he got to choose a cast that actually represented the characters.

He later stated that the ages were important to capture the “magic of being a middle grader” and witnessing a world with demigods and monsters. In fact, he felt the ages and talents of the cast were way more important than them looking exactly how the book described.

So, how close did Percy Jackson and the Olympians get to the main character’s age in the books?

Percy Jackson’s age in Riordan’s books

Walker Scobell as Percy Jackson in Percy Jackson and the Olympians

In The Lightning Thief, Percy reveals that he is 12. This detail is actually on the very first page of the book as Percy introduces himself to readers and explains his status as a “troubled kid” at Yancy Academy. He also confirms that he is in sixth grade. However, he does age as the book series progresses. By the end of the fifth book, The Last Olympian, he celebrates his 16th birthday. He also continues aging in the spinoff books. The last time readers visited him was in The Sun and the Star, where it’s revealed he’s now an adult in his first year of college.

In the first Percy Jackson movie, Lerman was nearly 18 and was supposed to be playing a 12-year-old. Of course, this was impossible, so the film started with Jackson being 16, the age he was supposed to be at the end of the series. Fortunately, Percy Jackson and the Olympians avoided the age issue by casting Scobell in the lead role.

Scobell is now 14 years old but was 13 during filming. However, he auditioned for the role several months before the release of his first film, The Adam Project, which would’ve put him at age 12 for auditions. So, he is almost exactly the same age as Percy in the show, which is part of the reason why he captures the character’s personality, maturity, and perspective so impressively.

(featured image: Disney+)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.