Happy Birthday, Percy!

This feels like a very special and particularly joyous year for Percy Jackson’s birthday. We are here on set in Vancouver, celebrating with this awesome trio of heroes!


This photo from set is compliments of @percyseries, PJOTV’s official account on Twitter. If you’re not following them, you probably should! Don’t these young actors look like they are having fun? Every day, they are bringing the fire to their performances, working hard to make this show the best ever, but they also seem to be having the time of their lives, which is awesome to see! It’s a true privilege to watch them work every day.

I understand there may be birthday cake on set later today. You can be sure I will find it, if so!

So to answer your burning questions:

How old is Percy this year?

. . . yep. Still seventeen.

How is that possible? 

Percy’s world exists in a loosely defined “present day.” Percy’s timeline is not tied to real time, and does not proceed at the same rate. It only advances as the action in the books advances.

So what year was Percy born?

He was born “seventeen years ago,” from the last time you saw him in the Trials of Apollo. In The Tower of Nero, he is just about to turn eighteen. No birth year is ever mentioned for him, or any of the other characters, in any of the books. I did that on purpose. Any dates you see posted online, Wikis or otherwise, are just people trying to tie his timeline to actual time, which isn’t possible. He wasn’t born in ’93 or ’94 or whenever people speculate. He isn’t thirty years old. The Lightning Thief doesn’t happen in the year 2005, even if that is when the book was published. Percy exists “now,” as you are reading the books, and that’s when his story is happening.

What are his friends getting him for his birthday?

Tyson has carved Percy a very excellent stick.

Nico made him a T-shirt that says Tartarus Club, with artwork of dice, Mythomagic cards, and flaming swords.

Rachel painted Percy a cubist portrait of himself in shades of blue.

Poseidon sent him a $50 gift certificate for Tommy Bahama.

The Empire State Building is lighting up blue tonight in his honor. (No. Seriously. How awesome is that?)

Grover is taking him to lunch at Veganchiladas in Tribeca, and Percy is super psyched about that.

Annabeth is buying him an SAT prep book, and Percy is even more psyched about that.

Sally is baking blue cupcakes, naturally, and everyone is psyched about that.

What is Percy wishing for when he blows out his candles?

He is hoping that some day, somebody will make a great TV adaptation of his life story (The signs are favorable) and that the author may some day allow him to turn eighteen. (Don’t hold your breath, buddy.)

Will you release video footage for his birthday?

Sorry, it is still way, way, way too early for that. We are just in the stage of dailies and “rough assemblages” of the early episodes, which are very much like the first drafts of my novels — I would never share them with anyone because they are not ready for prime time! Maybe for his birthday next year, it will be a different story, but that’s not a promise.

What are you all doing to celebrate? Whatever it is, I hope you have a great 8/18! (Which strangely enough is also the area code for Burbank and Glendale, where Disney has its studios. Coincidence? Or Fate . . .)



Rick Riordan