TV

Sally Jackson Is the Unsung Hero of Percy Jackson and the Olympians


Percy Jackson may get god-like powers from his father, but his heroism and heart come from his mother, Sally

Virginia Kull as Sally Jackson in Percy Jackson and the Olympians season 1
Photo: David Bukach | Disney

This article contains spoilers for episodes 1 & 2 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Sally Jackson has always been an important character in the Percy Jackson books. As the mother of a demigod, she’s had to give up a lot in order to keep Percy safe. And yet it’s very clear that she wouldn’t have it any other way. She loves Percy with her whole heart, and has raised him to be compassionate, caring, and brave.

But while the books do a great job of showing us just how important Sally is to Percy’s journey, the Disney+ series Percy Jackson and the Olympians takes their bond as mother and son even further. Even though Percy may get some cool powers and divine connections from his dad Poseidon (played by Toby Stephens in the series), the show makes it abundantly clear that Percy is who he is because of Sally.

In an interview with Den of Geek, series co-creator Jon Steinberg said that emphasizing Sally’s maternal bond with Percy was a “conscious decision early on” as he worked on adapting the first novel with Rick and Becky Riordan. It was something that the Riordans were “really attached to early” and “felt strongly about,” according to Steinberg, because “as difficult as it is to be a kid who doesn’t understand where they fit and who struggles, making friends or struggles with school. It’s just as hard to be a parent of that kid and, I don’t know that you’re necessarily telling the full story unless you fully engage with both parts of that.” 

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