Let’s Read – The Lightning Thief – Chapter 4

We start the chapter with St. Mom tearing away in the Camaro, and Percy is being freaked out by Grover having hooves, fur and smelling like Lanolin. Which is odd that he knows the smell and odder cause goats don’t smell like sheep. They smell like goats.  

Percy tries for a conversational gambit which amuses me more than it should. Alas the conversation breaks down quickly as Grover announces he is a Satyr and that St. Mom knew he was about.  They start talking about Mrs. Dodd

The big excuse was if you were ignorant then you would be safer and that is stupid fucking idea and is a horrible horrible lie. I hate this idea.  Not knowing about Guns doesn’t make you bullet proof. Not knowing sword fighting doesn’t save you from being skewered.  It is a whole culture thing that is a subsection of our anti-intellectualism that praises natural talent, sheer luck, wits and cleverness over developed skill, intelligence and work. Our Heroes are “clever” and “lucky” our villains are “smart” or “Intelligent”

 Percy should be able to recite the genealogy of the gods from memory, know every single option of iconography and how to appease the varying gods for HIS SAFTY! This is all real in this story, this is handy important don’t go in that neighborhood at night, guns can kill you, don’t cross the street against the light level of information. Anything else is just trying to get his poor ass killed.  But we don’t respect/identify with people who already know things and it wouldn’t be as satisfying of a “story” if he knew what he was doing. Okay, Okay kicking the soap box away.

Grover, while admitting the goal was to keep Percy entirely in the dark is now upset that Percy is well, entirely in the dark. I think I just found my Sympathy for this kid. Also something is chasing them while Grover is being so incredibly unhelpful and St. Mom is driving like a bat out of hell and tells Percy their isn’t time to explain but we have to get you to safety.

WHAT!?! Your DRIVING! Your talking to him right now! “Your father Is Poseidon, Lord of The Sea and Now All Manner of Mythological Beasty are trying to kill you cause of it.” Isn’t that hard to say. I mean you really don’t have to go into that much detail.

“Kids like you tend to get kill for various reasons, so we are trying to keep you alive because I love you.”  Would also work as a follow up. There is no need to fill him in your romance, the history of the thing, toss him Bulfinch’s mythology and tell him meet your family, I’m sure you’ll work things out would all have sufficed…. Except here is the thing. The Gods tend not to try to kill the kids of other gods. Even Hera only really tried to kill Herakles. On the whole in mythology the gods seem to be pretty chill about demi-gods if not occasionally flat out helpful as long as YOUR kid isn’t trying to kill THEIR kid.

Anyway Grover is butt-hurt because Percy didn’t automatically recognize him as a Satyr and tells him The Lord The Dead and his minions are coming after you.




Then there is a long stretch of NOT TALKING in which things could be explained. Grover and Percy snark at each other again mostly because Grover and St. Moms plan WORKED and he doesn’t know anything about the world he finds himself in and Grover is mocking him for it. St. Mom is taking him to the camp and again rather than explaining just shushs him and tells him it is for the best.

Communication is a thing, People. I promise.

Percy has another Mrs. Dodds flashback and then the car explodes. Except it didn’t explode. It was however hit by lightening.  But Percy remembers it exploding and please please let this be important. I am down for a good round of Reality warping even if Demi-gods don’t do that.

In the ditch everyone is alright, Grover is bleeding and they look back behind them and see The Minotaur. Which was a creature of Poseidon’s… or if we want to play with it a creature of Helios as he is Helios’s great-grandson. Between The Minotaur and The Cyclops seems to me like Poseidon really wants to kill Percy for some reason.  

St. Mom tells Percy to run to the property line and refuses to tell him what that thing it and that she isn’t going with him. He argues because he is 12, Then he gets all Heroic announces mom is  coming with him even though she just explained the Minotaur is after HIM not her so she is safe if he goes.

Okay Minotaur time! So the ring thing? No, that is a latter medieval iconography. The can’t see/hear too well thing? No, Victorian if I remember correctly. The one thing they did seem to get right is that there is only one of them, which sadly enough I am going to have to give them.

At least the car did get totaled. Dire warnings of dire vagueness ensue as St. Mom bemoans her selfishness for wanting to raise her own child.  And what? Really? That is selfish? I got no words… well no that is a lie. I have far too many words on that so we are going to let it go else we will be here for a while. Now is when we should start taking bets on weather or not I am going rage quit or the chapter is going to end first. I have the feeling this is gonna be a race.

The Minotaur works like a bull you see because he is stupid… but you see he really wasn’t. or at least we don’t KNOW that he was.  In Myth proper all we have to go on was that he was locked in the labyrinth and ate people sometimes. Considering no one can subsist on a diet of a handful of humans every seven years I have always assumed that he was eating other thing during the rest of the time. The tendency to make him more animalistic is much more modern and relates to fear about bestiality than anything else. Yeah during the working out of genetics was approximately when bestiality became more Taboo than Crass. There was a GREAT article in History Today about it back in 2001. One of the knock down effects of this completely random fear was an increasing of animalism in mythological hybrids.

More fighting with the minotaur and what? Mom disintegrates into light as the Minotaur goes to gorge her. She got beamed up? Or is Mom still in bed asleep at the cottage and this is all someone trying to help?  You know I would totally accept that as why no communication happens. If there is someone just pretending to BE Mom then yeah they wouldn’t know a damn thing.  Alas Grover’s reactions pretty much messes up what was turning into a solid theory.

Percy seeing his mother dissolve into light, loses his shit… Again. It is intreating that he doesn’t even think of the idea that she died, just that she dissolved. Did they keep him away from Star Trek as well? There is a plot point in The Mortal Coil Series of keeping all Fantasy/Sci-Fi away from the two leads because there is no way to allow those genres and for them not to work out what they are and their guardians find it easier to keep them from all mythological references than to change millennia of ingrained behaviors which at the very least gives a plausible explanation to the thing.  I think it is interesting that Sci-Fi was included in the No Go list as we rarely think of it as influenced by myth as much as Fantasy, but in a way it is. Yes I know I am just rambling about something I would much rather talk bout.

His mom disappears in a blinding light, and then The Minotaur looks like he is about to gorge Grover and Percy decides that Grover is his friend for reasons and then he proceeds to try to bull fight the Minotaur.  Which doesn’t go as well as the Minotaur has arms as well as horns. Percy then does a weird uber competent thing and works out that the Minotaur can only really go forward. He snaps off one of the horns which he then uses as a knife to shank the Minotaur who dissolves into a cloud of dust.

Percy then grabs Grover’s unconscious form and hauls it to the farm house they were trying to get too in a solid fit of grief and exhaustion fueled delirium. The chapter ends with “A Familiar Bearded Man” and a girl who looks like a princess dragging them inside and we hear the name Annabeth.  Which is probably important and our missing girl of our two guys and girl dynamic.

Thus Endth Chapter 4


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