The Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan
Traditions and Customs Quotes in The Lightning Thief
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"But if you recognize yourself in these pages—if you feel something stirring inside—stop reading immediately. You might be one of us. And once you know that, it's only a matter of time before they sense it too, and they'll come for you." (1.5)
By talking directly to us, the readers, Percy initiates us and involves us in the action and in the immortal world. Believing in the gods means great danger for us, Percy seems to say. And it means even more danger if you are a half-god.
"Zeus did indeed feed Kronos a mixture of mustard and wine, which made him disgorge his other five children, who, of course, being immortal gods, had been living and growing up completely undigested in the Titan's stomach. The gods defeated their father, sliced him to pieces with his own scythe, and scattered his remains in Tartarus, the darkest part of the Underworld." (1.56)
The history of the gods, their ancestry, is pretty violent. The entire belief system of the Greek gods seems to be built upon great violence and bloody events.
Watching him lumber back toward the apartment building, I got so mad I did something I can't explain. As Gabe reached the doorway, I made the hand gesture I'd seen Grover make on the bus, a sort of warding-off-evil gesture, a clawed hand over my heart, then a shoving movement toward Gabe. The screen door slammed shut so hard it whacked him in the butt and sent him flying up the staircase as if he'd been shot from a cannon. Maybe it was just the wind, or some freak accident with the hinges, but I didn't stay long enough to find out. (3.81)
Without knowing what it means or what it is, Percy absorbs this hand gesture from Grover and uses it on a mortal. The tradition and abilities of the gods are in his blood so deeply that he uses powers he doesn't even yet recognize as powers. Because he's spent his life witnessing abnormal events and having no one believe him, Percy is able to dismiss this encounter with Gabe.