Let’s Read – The Lightning Thief – Chapter 3

On to the next chapter in which I entirely disregaurd the plot the second actual Greek shows up because I am Me and that was a welcome diversion.

We start with Percy ditching Grover for being a weirdo at the first possible second he could and I would place that as one of the first sensible act he has committed other than going and asking for help. Luckily this one ends up better and he grabs a Taxi to home. Which again brings up questions about his social standing that for some reason are beginning to annoy me. 

And it is Exposition Time! Meet Percy’s Mother. Who is a Saint. And Amazing. And Awesome. His dad was a mysterious rich guy who was lost at sea but seems to have made mom happy so he is a good guy. Then we met the bad guy Step-Father.  Who smells bad. No seriously that is the big complaint. He smells bad. And his last name says he is Ugly. Literally. This is bad writing. Might as well just call him Evil McEvilface and get it over with.  

Percy walks into his Apartment and is immediately shook down for money by The Evil Step Father who couldn’t be more evil with horns and pitchfork. Seriously this guy is a cartoon concept of what an evil step father is culled from countless movies because books usually have a touch more depth or a hint of a redeeming feature that allows for the mother to NOT toss him out on his ear.   One of the guys hanging out with Evil Step Father ™ tells him to lay off showing some compassion, but Percy gives in hands what ever spare change he had in his pocket which seems to satisfy The Evil Step Father ™ and stalks off to his room, which really isn’t his room but a room colonized by Evil Step Father ™ where he occasionally gets to stay.  Percy has a flash back and Mom comes into the room like sunlight and happiness.

Mom is happy to see him and fawns over him while he tells her to go away and leave him alone, but it is okay because he doesn’t mean it. You know it occurs to me that Percy makes allot more sense as a 14 year old.  That would also clear up allot of my “abused Child” alarms. I mean they would still be going off like a boss, but one of the signs of significant consistent abuse is an inability to act your physical age. Some act older, some act younger but an inability to project age appropriate responses is another warning sign.

 Evil Step Father ™ interrupts this loving moment of Percy being a teenaged jerk by telling his mom he dosen’t need her love by demanding Bean Dip of all things. They ignore Evil Step Father™ as Percy tries to tell his mom how awesome everything was and it turns out that his mom planed to take him to a cabin on the beach as a welcome back and I love you. However, Evil Step Father ™ needs to be mollified before they can go. This is also a real sign of an abuser, but the way it is written I can’t tell if she is scared of him or Percy just really hates him.

Peace is made via seven layer dip and it looks like a trip is happening. Percy schleps the luggage to the car while Evil Step Father ™ watches him and warns him about scratching the paint so here is hoping that it gets totaled and Percy highlights he is 12 it isn’t like he is going to be driving it.

Hey, can we back up a bit? As this just struck me. Why are the ancient and powerful being using American school years as a time frame? In many ancient societies 12 was when you started being treated as an adult, especially as a boy, 14 was when you were expected to take on adult duties. So it wouldn’t have been ANY surprise to anyone saturated in that culture that 12-13 would be when death would happen. Your between child and adult and fair game. In fact that is the first time you ARE fair game, so of course that would be a common time of death. Your not under the protection of childhood and your not a competent trained adult yet. Huh. Just thought about that.

Also Why is Brain boy an insult?  Gah. That is whole rant about anti-intellectualism in and of it’s self and the whole concept of doing better than ones father being a grave insult to them that I have spent allot of time contemplating but still have a hard time nailing down.

Grover had made a gesture when the bus magically sprung back to life so Percy repeats it and Evil Step Father ™ get a door in the face. I had to go and double check if I missed that and I apparently had. And Percy did Magic so he just popped up on someone’s radar. That is just me guessing but I feel solid about it.

Next scene we are at the beach. I like beaches. It was where she met his dad at the same cottage on the same beach. Yep. Okay. Yes, Yes, Sea God. So lets look at our Water Gods:

Pontus

Proteus

Oceanus

Triton

But who are we kidding? Poseidon is daddy. Mr. I only look good because Zeus exists and no one talks about Nymphs anymore. I would be so very happy if it was Oceanus or really any of the other sea gods. Atleast this means Poseidon abandoning St. Mom tracks with myth.  

We then wander into a ton of randomly blue food. Oh it is a rebellion against the guy she married. Why did she marry him? Why is she still with him? The author has gone out of his way to paint Evil Step Father ™ as having no redeemable features or even adds anything to the household.  She isn’t acting like he has psychologically broken her to the point of her refusing to escape so WHY!?! Other than the story says so?

Percy finds out his dad never met him and gets angry about it because he only has one emotional setting and it is very tiring.  Percy asks if his mom is gonna send him away again and she says she has too which makes him think of Grover.  Mom knows he is special which he keeps complaining as “Not Normal” and we get a list of shit that has happened to him.

Well this promises to at least be interesting and I perked up a bit on this, so lets look at the list.

3rd grade stalked by Cyclops, that’s at least Poseidon specific and interesting.

A Herakles moment, a snake in the cot he managed to kill. Rolls eyes.

Then allot a vagueness because 6 years of trouble is apparently too much for all it would have help flesh out this character significantly and give us a basis for his early teenagerhood.

He goes to tell her about the latest round of weird but doesn’t want to freak out St. Mom or ruin their vacation and St. Mom let’s drop that she fought to keep him and his dad wanted him sent to a camp instead of schools, which Percy finds weird. And I take away from it that Mom knows she shagged a god and doesn’t think Percy should know about it.

Then a Vision happens! It seems like I am jumping about a bit but that is how the story is told, very quick scenes smooshed together in hopes we don’t notices the lack of transition. The vision is a horse and an Eagle fighting. So Poseidon and Zeus trying to kill each other.

Percy wakes up from his vision to a massive storm that seems to be sea vs sky that he declares is a Hurricane.  Then Grover pounds on the door and mom is cool with him and they start talking over Percy like he isn’t there and can’t understand english. Grover then yells at Percy for NOT telling his mom, and his mom yells at Grover for NOT telling him something. And then Greek happens! Woo! Buckle down while I get my Greek on.

To start I have the feeling there are either there are extra words or bad translation

Our Greek sentence, Transliterated:

O – Exclamation and indicator of the Vocative Case

Zeu - ??? I think this is supposed to be the Vocative of Zeus, but the Vocative of Zeus, is well Zeus.

Kai – Conjunction, And

Alloi – Oh! Just worked this out. I have been seriously puzzling over this for about a week.  As this word REALLY doesn’t feel right, Allos, -n, -ov – Another place. It is Nomative Plural, when it should be Vocative as well and for it to reference PEOPLE rather than a PLACE needs to be Oi Alloi. I mean I guess it could be Vocative but is an odd way of putting it.  

Theoi – Gods, Nomative Plural. Or Vocative, I guess.

Okay, so if this sentence was actually spoken by someone who KNEW Greek it would be: O Theoi or  stretching it O Zeus Theoi but while that would be better grammatically that isn’t the actually phrase they would use, there is a phrase for this but I will get there. You wouldn’t add the conjunction or the adjective as they are assumed by the plural and the separation out of the name Zeus.  It is technically a proper Greek sentence… ish. But it is in English sentence structure. In Greek, one of the nicer things they do is bracket the noun being described on one side by the participle (the) and the other side by the adjective describing it. So rather than The Red Ball, it becomes The Ball Red which is very helpful when authors get excitable with their clauses and descriptions as they are neatly bracketed.

So yeah, it passes but isn’t anything some one who spoke Greek would say. Mostly it would just be Theoi!  Or Pros Theov which translated out as By The Gods! Which would exactly convey what Grover is attempting to convey but in a more actually knows Greek and is a Polytheist kinda way. It is worth mentioned that the Greeks NEVER EVER singled out a particular god to cuss at. The Gods got all pissy and smite happy when that happened so a generalized “By The Gods!” was more used and more socially acceptable than naming any one specific god. In all my years of research I have never come across anything that would convince me that the Greek were not terrified of their gods attention and would go out of their way to not call attention to themselves unless they were utterly surely convinced they were in the right.

Yeah yeah, other stuff happens, Grover is Pan or a Satyr, whatever, mom throws them both in the car and they take off.

End of Chapter 3

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