Let’s talk about the evolution of Percy Jackson throughout the PJO series
He starts off as a confused, lost, awkward 12 year old who had been to a completely different school each year and never felt like he fit in. He’s witty, angsty, sarcastic, and bitter. His looks are average, he has a lack of self-esteem, and doesn’t seem to care about much. He lives with an abusive step-father, and him and his mom have barely anything to get on.
Slowly, as he learns he’s a demigod, he begins to realize that Camp Half-Blood, the place he discovers, might just be his home. He starts to go on quests and actually succeeds, which is something he had never thought he could do. Percy tries to save the world because he finally feels like there’s a purpose to his life. He had felt angry and betrayed by his father, but now acknowledges what Poseidon has done for him, and actually respects him.
Then comes Thalia Grace, who begins to make him question his confidence. He starts to think: Am I really that great? Couldn’t anybody do my quests just as I did? She makes him doubt himself, because deep down he secretly wants to be the boy from the prophecy. He finally feels like there is a reason for him to work hard in life. But Thalia makes him feel threatened, hence the ever-important fight between them.
By the end, they reconcile and learn from each other’s mistakes, which in turn strengthens Percy’s confidence. As the prophecy nears, Percy fights and trains more than he had ever before, and now is seen as a leader. Someone the demigods can count on. Someone they look up to. He takes a risk by jumping into the River Styx, but he does it for his camp, his friends, his f a m i l y. Never would past Percy do something like this. But this Percy does, because he legitimately cares. Later, he storms through rows of monsters, slashes through countless enemies, and hurries from one group of campers to another in order to save his city.
Think about what he had said in the Last Olympian: “‘What did they do?’ My voice sounded tight and angry. ‘What did they do to my city?’”. His city. The city he’s been living in his whole life, the one that he never really thought much about in the past. But now, it’s his city. And right then and there we can tell that he will do anything to protect those who call it their home.
Percy Jackson learns to become a role model for the demigods who are scared out of their minds, because to them, Kronos is a nightmare. They don’t have self-hope, they have no idea what will happen to them. But Percy gives them that hope. He inspires them to fight as hard and strong as they possibly can in order to save their camp. He treats them as strong warriors, and he believes in them. More importantly, he believes in himself.
When confronted by Kronos in the Battle of the Labyrinth, he had had no confidence at all. In fact, he ran. He ran. But in the Last Olympian, there was no running. The only thing he would do is walk straight forward. Because he was tired of countless enemies tormenting him and his friends. He was exhausted, and wanted to put a stop to it. It was difficult seeing Luke, someone he had thought of as a friend, standing in front of him as his greatest enemy. And in that moment, he makes a choice. The choice of leaving the responsibility on Luke, and trusting that he would make the right decision. This was something only a leader could do, and a leader is what Percy had become.
Gone was the lost, scared, confused, and awkward little boy. Gone was the boy who had little self-confidence, who gave into taking a potion that would change his appearance, simply because that was what he had thought mattered. Gone was the boy who felt constantly bitter, who was antagonized and targeted by his ADHD and dyslexia, who lived each day knowing that by the end of the school year, he would surely be expelled, and his mom would have to send him to another one.
The older Percy, the one that saved Olympus, saved the world, is so much different. He manages to last two years (and counting) at Goode High School, something he had never thought he could do. He embraces his flaws because he knows it makes him stronger. He learns to accept his ADHD and dyslexia because it in fact makes him a more powerful demigod. He leads the Camp Half-Blood campers into battle and helps them gain their own confidence. He has friends who truly care about him and would sacrifice themselves for him, just as he would. He gains much more knowledge and experience about his abilities and realizes that they make him special.
Perseus Jackson has had the smoothest, and most perfect evolution throughout the series.