Study Guide

The Lightning Thief Love

By Rick Riordan

Love

Chapter 3

When she looks at me, it's like she's seeing all the good things about me, none of the bad. I've never heard her raise her voice or say an unkind word to anyone, not even me or Gabe. (3.36)

Percy's mom has a Ph.D. in being loving. What matters to her is not the kind of grades Percy gets in school or whether he's been kicked out or not from school. She only cares about his well-being and his safety. How does having this source of love in his life affect Percy?

Chapter 4
Percy Jackson

"Mom! I am not leaving you. Help me with Grover."

I didn't wait for her answer. I scrambled outside, dragging Grover from the car. He was surprisingly light, but I couldn't have carried him very far if my mom hadn't come to my aid. (4.77-78)

How brave is Percy for choosing not to save his own hide when the Minotaur is hot on his tracks? Percy may not be a demi-god yet, but he certainly knows how to love and how to look out for those who love him.

Chapter 5

My mother was gone. The whole world should be black and cold. Nothing should look beautiful. (5.25)

How does Percy handle his mother's "death"? Are you surprised by the way he handles her death? His mom seems to be the most important thing to Percy in the entire world. Do you agree?

Chapter 9

I felt so relieved, I wanted to cry, though I didn't think that would be very heroic. Grover was the only friend I'd ever had for longer than a few months. I wasn't sure what good a satyr could do against the forces of the dead, but I felt better knowing he'd be with me. (9.192)

Percy loves Grover, and he loves him for the kind of person (or satyr) he is. He doesn't care that Grover isn't the most ferocious protector on the planet; Percy just wants a great friend along for the ride. Rather than worry about status and about belonging to the right group of friends (like many twelve-year-olds are), Percy cares more about being with people he truly likes.

Chapter 10

The truth was I didn't care about retrieving Zeus's lightning bolt, or saving the world, or even helping my father out of trouble.

[…]

All I cared about was my mom. Hades had taken her unfairly, and Hades was going to give her back. (10.103-104)

One could say that Percy embarks upon his quest out of love for his mother. He is never once tempted to keep the master bolt for himself. His love for his mother helps him keep focused and keep his priorities straight. While even gods succumb to temptation (like Ares at the thought of starting World War III), Percy seems almost immune.

"Your mom stayed with him to protect you. She was a smart lady. She must've loved you a lot to put up with that guy—if that makes you feel any better." (10.100)

One of Sally Jackson's greatest sacrifices for Percy is marrying and living with Smelly Gabe. When Grover tells Percy this, we realize that everything Sally does is for Percy.

Chapter 11

"You see, Annabeth, a bad woman was jealous of me, long ago, when I was young. I had a…a boyfriend, you know, and this bad woman was determined to break us apart. She caused a terrible accident. My sisters stayed by me. They shared my bad fortune as long as they could, but eventually they passed on." (11.96)

Love among the gods often seems to end in violence. Here, Aunty Em (Medusa) tells the group about her lost love and what it led to.

Chapter 15
Annabeth Chase

"We're…uh…fine," Annabeth stammered. She was madly straightening her dirty T-shirt, trying to comb the loose hair out of her face. (15.29)

What do you think about Annabeth's crush on Luke? What do we know about their friendship? Does Luke like Annabeth in the same way? Do we see any other instances of romance or flirtation among the demi-gods and their friends?

Percy Jackson

"I thought she was married to somebody," I said. "Hephaestus."

"What's your point?" he asked.

"Oh." I suddenly felt the need to change the subject. (15.126-128)

Infidelity seems to be a big part of the gods' lifestyle. Even Grover doesn't seem to think that there's anything wrong with Aphrodite and Ares's love affair, or at least, he lets Percy know that their affair is not good to chit chat about. What other examples of love affairs among the gods do we see?

Chapter 16
Percy Jackson

"It's not luck that you found Thalia and me, Grover. You've got the biggest heart of any satyr ever. You're a natural searcher. That's why you'll be the one who finds Pan." (16.75)

It seems to be out of love that Percy pays Grover this huge compliment. Do you agree with him that Grover has a big heart? When do we see examples of Grover's big heart at work?