Jason He's made out to be the new, better Percy . He is also a massive Gary Stu in my opinion. Leo He's really rude to Frank. I know they got over it but still also he acted like it was all Percy's fault Calypso was on the island even though Percy tried to help. Piper She had so much potential but whenever anyone talks about her being Aphrodite's best daughter or whatever I'm like 'Do you remember SELINA??!!) also she has a huge I'm not like other Girls complex and is kinda obsessed with Jason.
We have REALLY different views on them so I’m gonna see how well I can articulate My Analysis Of My Children okay let’s go:
Jason…I think the point was that he’s perceived as a ‘Gary Stu’, ‘better Percy’ type guy when that’s actually not the reality of who he is? Like, his whole life everyone’s always been “Your father is the king of the gods! You should lead us!” and so he’s had to get used to this role, he’s had to create this character to make people feel like they’re in good hands…but he hates it. He hates being the leader and being in power, but up until the 7 meet up that’s the only thing he really knows. He never really had a chance to discover himself outside of this role shoved onto him. At first, he doesn’t really know who he is other than ‘Jupiter’s Son’.
He can’t help that everyone has high expectations for him, and he’s a people pleaser so he’s going to do his damndest to meet those expectations, but like? We saw how stressed out he was leading the quest in HoH. He was barely sleeping and practically pulling his hair out, pushing himself to fix everything and make sure everyone was okay while ignoring his own problems. That’s what Jason must’ve been like when he was leading the legion- everyone remembers him as a strong and regal leader, because that’s the expectation, that’s what they want him to be, and he came damn well put on a good performance when he needs to, but 24/7 while he’s living in closed quarters with people? Yeah, no. He wanted Percy and Annabeth back so he could stop having pretending he knew what he was doing (and because he was worried about them obviously).
The thing is, once you strip away “Son of Jupiter”…Jason doesn’t really meet any of the expectations placed on him. Over the course of the series he starts worrying about that less and less, he loosens up and actually starts to find out who he is other than what people want…He doesn’t match up to the image:
- He’s not actually the strongest demigod out there- he’s a very well trained fighter, sure, but like…We’ve seen Thalia shoot out massive amounts of lightning like it’s no one’s business without breaking a sweat. Jason has to actually ask for a helpful bolt and the effort almost knocks him out. His talents lie with the winds, which…I don’t think ‘wind’ comes to anyone’s minds immediately when talking about Jupiter. And it’s also not a power that, at face value, seems super helpful. But Jason manages to cultivate it and makes it powerful enough to stall Gaea.
- He’s not strong and regal, he’s excitable and dorky. He gets so sucked in to reading some book he found interesting that he walks into a tree. He bounces and hugs people when he gets happy. He can’t keep his glasses on straight and looses them on top of his head. He loves talking about history. He got so distracted by how pretty his girlfriend is that he forgot what he was talking about. He got shish kabob-ed and his immediate reaction was “I finally managed to stay conscious for an entire fight”. He was trying to talk a goddess out of killing his friend and the first thing to come to mind is “I’ll get Olympus to make an action figure of you!”. This kid is a LOSER.
- He’s not a stoic ruler, he worries about every single person under his command. Individually. He doesn’t lead troops like, well, troops- he leads them like teammates. He’s greatly affected when the people working with him are upset, and he’s very perceptive about their feelings. His constantly checking in on Nico after the Cupid scene, his understanding of Piper’s issues in TLH, his belief in Frank, his worrying about Percy and Annabeth…this boy knew Leo was upset simply by looking at his DRINK ORDER, and then even though Leo offered up no real information, it took him like under five minutes of just observing him to know Leo was heartbroken.
There’s so many other points but like…Jason’s story was about a boy born with crazy expectations shedding those and growing into his own person while still maintaining the sense of duty he had to the people he cared about. He had an entire identity crisis for this very reason. Camp Jupiter was his home, but Camp Half Blood is where he found himself. He loved both places and by the end of the story he came out with a strong and comfortable sense of self. He came out of it with a new path and set of expectations that he decided for himself. He went through trials and dealt with his emotions and found peace with himself and his role in the world. I think it was a very compelling plotline and not ‘gary stu’ like at all.
Leo…We really have to take into account that Leo’s always assumed the role of ‘the jokester’. Despite the fact he’s a genius, Leo doesn’t actually see himself as talented and the environment he grew up in absolutely shapes that. He said himself in TLH- being the funny guy kept him safe most of the time. He didn’t feel he had much else to offer, and no one around him believed he did either, people only kept him around for jokes. I think what happened with Frank was like…his default setting. That sounds bad (and it is) but it really does need to be taken into consideration- we know Leo’s only been in, like, exclusively bad environments before the events of the series. Anyone who just kept him around for a laugh probably didn’t wanna hear knock knock jokes about engineers. His best bet for not getting in trouble or abandoned would be to rag on someone who was an easier target than him. Leo knows he can trust Jason and Piper, and he’s scared of Annabeth but is mostly sure she won’t kill him…but then he gets possessed and blows up half of New Rome. Everyone’s mad at him. Including the three new people he knows absolutely nothing about but all look like they could eat his tiny scrawny ass for a snack. I feel like it’s not a stretch to say he felt an old urge to protect himself kick in, to make sure he fits into this group because what the hell is he gonna do if he doesn’t? The fact that Frank was already annoyed with him for looking like Sammy didn’t exactly help their dynamic…Like, I’m just saying, I think he really stepped it up on the Frank jokes because of his ‘seventh wheel’ complex. He’s used to using comedy to make himself valuable to people. He knows he has to be on this quest no matter what, but that doesn’t mean people have to want him there, you know? He wants to be wanted. That’s Leo’s whole thing? He already built the entire boat but they’re mad at him for things out of his control. He feels like he’s gotta do something else to be relevant to the group so he just…slides into his old defense mechanism and as he’d be used to, it’s easiest to go for the easiest target. Who is Frank. And the whole weird Sammy and Hazel situation definitely exacerbated the whole thing. And it wasn’t fair to Frank, absolutely, which Leo himself eventually realizes and knocks it off. But I just think it’s not fair to say “Leo’s doing this because he’s a dick”. Like, people are often more complicated than that.
As for the Calypso situation…Listen, I think Percy feeling guilt for Calypso still being on her island made no sense and someone needs to assure him that that’s not his fault. However, Calypso didn’t know that. Calypso didn’t have all the facts. She had every right to be upset with Percy. It was going to be awkward with Leo and Percy anyway, because like, oh hey dude while you were in hell I made out with your ex and she loves me now. But like…I don’t think it was wrong for Leo to be upset on Calypso’s behalf? The girl he’s crazy about is trapped on an island because Jackson couldn’t be bothered to check on her! (Which is of course NOT THE CASE but that’s Calypso’s view on the matter, that’s what she told Leo). I’m just saying like, he’s relatively new to relationships and he heard a biased explanation of the situation…It makes sense that he’d side with her?
The thing we need to remember is…Leo and Calypso both have abandonment issues. And from Leo’s understanding, he’s sharing a boat with the guy that had Severely Hurt the girl he now loves. (
And if she HADN’T been so hurt when they met, they might’ve had more time as a couple before he had to plunge back into the unknown) Looking at his actions and thoughts from an outside, biased viewpoint might make him look awful and crazy but…From his specific point of view, it makes sense. And Percy was able to see that, which is why they were able to talk it all out. I just think it’s a real shame that Leo Valdez is this complex, compelling character, but people only remember him for fighting with Frank and being crazy about Calypso. It’s reducing him. He had a lot more going on and was a very believable character with easily explainable traits and actions.
Piper…Was one of Aphrodite’s best children, though? She had the most powerful charmspeak in generations. Like, that’s canon. Silena was a great character and a great cabin head, but she had no powers and was a relatively weak fighter. I love her as much as the next, but that’s just canonical fact. Her strongest asset was her heart and loyalty, which were used against her, and she died trying to make things right. She wouldn’t have made it on the Prophecy of the Seven quest. She wouldn’t. But Piper was a powerful charmspeak, was immensely brave, and constantly worked at being a better fighter (which, again, in canon, the Aphrodite kids are not the best fighters). By the time the series ends she’s a wickedly skilled swordsmen, is the only one who can work the cornucopia because of her inner strength and giving nature, has a dagger that can see the future, always knows how people around her are feeling, completely dominated a literal temple of fear and terror, and was powerful enough to order the literal planet earth to sleep. Piper is strong and brave and she’s constantly working on bettering herself. She was able to not only see the other side of Aphrodite, but to fight for it to be what everyone sees. She changes people’s perception of the cabin and the goddess herself. She did have a ‘not-like-other-girls’ complex when we first met her, but she was a bullied kid who grew up around rich white teens in Hollywood. But it’s a complex she catches in herself and grows out of- she stops trying to be #edgy and lets herself be comfortable in her skin, grows her hair out and wears a little makeup and puts thought into her outfits- but she also stops judging other people. She learns to see the beauty in everyone she meets. She redefines her outlook. That’s admirable, in my opinion.
As for ‘obsessed with Jason’, I mean…it really just kinda reads, personally anyway, as “I’m A Teenage Girl And I Think My Significant Other Is Just The Coolest Thing Since Sliced Bread”…? Like? He’s her boyfriend, she’s fifteen. He’s cute and cool and a dork all at the same time. She goes from ‘mega crush heart eyes’ mode to actually falling in love with him, that’s not an obsession, that’s like…a natural progression of feelings. She’s always had her own storylines and she’s fully able to focus on things that aren’t Jason. But of course she thinks about him, he’s important to her? They’re a good match, they’re usually on similar wavelengths, and they work well together. She doesn’t think about him more than Annabeth and Percy think about each other. Piper shouldn’t be reduced to a fangirl just because she occasionally thinks to herself “Damn my boyfriend is hot”. She’s a very relatable and impressive character that deserves more than that.
I really hope this doesn’t end up being like, a ramble, and that I actually properly articulated how I see the characters, but like…yeah. I do love this trio.