One of the many great aspects of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series is how he incorporates ancient Greek mythology into the modern-day. Percy and his friends battle many of the same monsters and villains that appear in the ancient myths. But just how many similar foes are present in Riordan’s books compared to those fought by the ancient heroes?
You’re about to find out. This is the beginning of a three-part series where we will focus on Theseus, Hercules, and Odysseus and how many of their foes are encountered in the Percy Jackson books.
First up: Theseus.
Percy Jackson and Theseus - credits: knossosguides.com
According to most myths, Theseus was the son of the mortal woman Aethra and either Poseidon, making him the half-brother of Percy, or Aegeus, the king of Athens. Theseus was raised by his mother in the palace of Troezen until adulthood when he is sent to Athens to meet his father (or adoptive father), King Aegeus.
Travel to Athens
The Acropolis rock in Athens - credits: Aerial-motion/Shutterstock.com
Along the way to Athens to reveal himself to his father, Theseus encounters six villains, defeating most of them using the same method his enemy used.
First, Theseus encounters Periphetes, known as “The Club-Bearer” due to his iron club used to beat any traveler he met. Theseus, however, grabbed the club out of Periphetes’s hands and beat him to death with his own weapon.
He in turn defeats Sinis, “The Pine Bender,” by tying him to two bent pine trees and releasing the trees, just as Sinis did to others.
Cercyon, “The Wrestler” is defeated by Theseus in his own sport of wrestling, one-on-one, with no weapons.
Theseus then defeats what is known as the “Crommyonian Sow.” Not much is said about this beast in the ancient texts—mainly that it was large, ferocious, and killed humans.