This essay will be comparing and contrasting the two sensational series that changed the world’s opinion on fantasy books: Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Furthermore, Harry Potter is a book and film that targets children from mature adults. It is a series of fantasy novels written by a British author, J.K Rowling on 26 June 1997. The novel’s plot revolves around the three main characters: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermoine Granger. All three of them are wizarding students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that adventures and learns how to perform magic and comes face to face with their archnemesis, Lord Voldemort. Similarly, Percy Jackson is an American film series adapted by the novel written by Rick Riordan on June 28, 2005. This series describes the adventures of a demigod called Percy Jackson. As well as Harry Potter this series has three main characters, demigods, along with Percy Jackson. Annabeth Chase and Luke Castellan are Percy Jackson’s best friends that introduced Jackson to the Camp-half blood, a summer camp that demigods attend for materialistic assets they need.
These two series have millions of fans all around the world that has pointed out the similarities and differences they have spotted. The first one is the POV and writing style from the books. In Harry Potter, the author, Rowling, chooses third-person form in a very narrative style. In the story, the third person is Harry Potter’s point of view meanwhile, Percy Jackson is written in first person form and develops more character in the writing style. The reader can imagine lines in the book as Jackson’s thoughts rather than another narrate writing it.
Next, worldbuilding and settings in the two series is the second compare and contrast in both films and books. Both authors seem to have concentrated on building the set in where they were from along with a set target audience before their work went international. For example, Harry Potter’s setting is heavily reflected in British culture. From the characters to the food to the locations, the author revolves the story around British culture. In the movie and the book, the only city J.K Rowling mentioned was London and the characters happen to always be in London without any change in place. The architecture, the setting, the props; they all intimately connect with European history. This somewhat medieval setting provides a fantastical element to the overall feel of the story which Percy Jackson never had. Percy Jackson, on the other hand, is more recent and has mentioned more countries across America. In the movie, characters are seen eating burgers and typical fast food. In the Percy Jackson book, the places mentioned are the Empire State Building (which serves as Mount Olympus), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Long Island. All of them are definitely more modern places; A lot of people can confirm that the movie has a modern spin to Greek mythology. In my opinion, the modern spin on Greek mythology persuades the audience to relate to the movie more than Harry Potter.
In the Harry Potter series, J.K Rowling has created a whole new universe while Rick Riordon creates a new universe within our universe. In other words, Rick Riordon brings fantasy to our world while J.K Rowling brings us to her fantasy. To clarify, Rick Riordan creates fantasy within the movie with places and objects we have and can go to in real life. Whatsoever, places and items in Harry Potter do not exist in real life, it is a world and illusion created by the pen of J.K Rowling.
As another comparison, many fans have noticed the timeline within Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are different yet somewhat similar. In Harry Potter, every book starts at the same time; it starts as the summer for Harry Potter and then drags the audience throughout the following school year. The series demonstrates Harry Potter’s school years by each movie and book. This method makes the audience feel as if they were there with Harry Potter or the audience grows along year by year with him.
Alternatively, Percy Jackson’s timeline is briefer and starts during the summer as well. All books and films take place at half-blood summer camp and do not show the entire school year because unlike Hogwarts because it is a summer camp only. This means that the stories and plots in Percy Jackson are usually shorter than Harry Potter, assumably by a week or two.
In addition to this list, there are two very obvious points that show in both movies and books. Villans and directness in writing style. Many people have proven how the two different authors took different approaches to their story. In terms of villans, Rick Riordan has made them loathsome and despicable. Lord Voldemort’s goal throughout all the films was to have revenge on the Potter family. While the other villain, Ms. Umbridge (Dolores Umbridge) represents hatred because she is hated by all the students. In contrast, Rick Riordan contains more villains in his story that involves Greek mythical villains and human villains. The main villain would be Luke, son of Zeus. In the movie, Luke started out as ordinary and very likable. The antagonist becomes very mean and remorseful in the end but for good reasons unlike Lord Voldemort, who tries to kill the Potter family with no specific or relatable meaning.
Drawing on insights from Harry Potter essays, it's intriguing to observe how the narrative complexity of the Harry Potter stands in contrast to Percy Jackson. In Harry Potter, I have personally noticed how the storyline has many meanings and different paths while Percy Jackson’s quests are very straight forward. Once the quest within the movie or the book is given, the characters in the movie start to help fix the mission or quest. Unlike Harry Potter, whereas he has to go through all sorts of mischief and situations to find one clue. In almost every movie Harry Potter finds out secrets and important clues by eavesdropping, not following the rules, etc. Although this creates more suspense from the audience, it sometimes overdoes it and ruins the mood.
In conclusion, I agree that both tales are very entertaining and are the inspiration fantasy stories and books we have today. Although there are many more similarities and comparisons these were the most common and personally the most obvious ones. Ever since Harry Potter and Percy Jackson was first internationally published, although I was young and scared to watch them, I have been fans of the two series ever since. They were a source of fantasy I could always run away to from the real world.