Character Competition: Harry Potter vs Percy Jackson

Drinking: Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea, Stash

Welcome to the very first Character Competition!  Today’s contestants are skinny, dark-haired teenagers with special powers.  How does newcomer Percy Jackson stack up to the internationally-renowned Harry Potter? They are more alike than you’d think.

Harry Potter Percy Jackson
Dead: witch & wizard Parents Both living: moral woman & Posiedon
Voldemort & Death Eaters Foes Greek Gods, Kronos & the Titans, Polybotes
Hogwarts Educational Center Camp Half-Blood
Hermione Clever female friend Annabeth
Ron Funny, bumbling male friend Grover
Ginny Love interest Annabeth
Master of Death Major magical strengths Controls water, speaks Horse,clairvoyant

On the surface, it seems that the two are merely different iterations of the same character – they even both have black hair and green eyes!  But as the discerning reader digs deeper, subtle but important differences appear.  Harry is very clearly modeled on the Campbellian hero: orphaned, wise mentor who dies so that he can fulfill his destiny, and so on.  Percy, on the other hand, has a less obvious heroic arc, more clearly modeled on the Greek myths – many of which are more tragedy and irony than success.

Vote for your favorite in the comments!


Author: Lisa Fry

Freelance Writer & Editor. Book lover. Feminist. International development professional

2 thoughts on “Character Competition: Harry Potter vs Percy Jackson”

  1. I hadn't thought about it that way, Mia. I think Harry is a little more involved than you indicate, but he's really not much of a planner or strategist (the Horcrux hunt shows this pretty glaringly).

  2. Though I love both books equally (albeit for different reasons), the true difference between the heroes is where they derive their courage/motivation/plotlines. With Harry, the plot is largely driven through those around him, and he would be entirely lost without Hermione, Ron, and the various mentors he acquires throughout the series. He rarely invites mystery, save with the Malfoy red herrings, and tends to stumble into progress more often than he pursues it. Percy is much more proactive and independent. He spends more time thinking things through, coming up with plans, and generally being more involved in his fate. His is a journey of self-discovery; Harry's is a single-track destination toward a final confrontation with evil incarnate.

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