Study Guide

The Lightning Thief Chapter 5

By Rick Riordan

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"I Play Pinochle with a Horse"

  • Percy is nursed back to health by the pretty girl with princess hair. She feeds him pudding that tastes like buttery popcorn.
  • She asks him questions when she's alone with him, but Percy doesn't understand what her questions mean. She mentions something about the summer solstice.
  • When Percy fully wakes up, he finds himself resting in a nice chair on the porch of the farmhouse. The view of the countryside before him is stunning. He doesn't feel that it's fair that there should be such beautiful scenery on such a beautiful day when his mother has just died.
  • Grover is there and is feeling very sorry for not protecting Percy better.
  • Grover gives Percy a present in a shoebox: it's the horn that Percy snapped off of the head of the Minotaur (formerly known as "Pasiphae's son").
  • Percy drinks a special drink, and it tastes like his mom's homemade chocolate chip cookies.
  • Grover takes Percy into the farmhouse to meet somebody named Chiron and somebody named Mr. D.
  • Along the way, Percy notices that there are kids outside everywhere, wearing t-shirts that say "Camp Half-Blood." They are canoeing, running, swimming, shooting bows-and-arrows, and doing all kinds of summer-campy stuff.
  • Chiron and Mr. D are playing a game. The pretty girl is there too.
  • Percy discovers that Chiron is Mr. Brunner! The name "Mr. Brunner" is a pseudonym (a fake name) that Chiron used when he became a Latin teacher at Yancy. Percy is so happy to see his favorite teacher.
  • Mr. D is the director of Camp Half-Blood, and he reminds Percy of Smelly Gabe. He's not very nice and is kind of ugly.
  • Percy learns that the pretty girl is named Annabeth. She tells Percy that he drools a lot when he sleeps. Then she leaves to check on his bunk in cabin eleven.
  • Mr. D invites Percy to play a game of Pinochle and is shocked when Percy tells him he doesn't know how to play.
  • Grover is very nervous around Mr. D.
  • Over the course of the Pinochle game, Percy realizes that Mr. D is Dionysus, the god of wine.
  • He learns that Mr. D has been sentenced to work at Half-Blood hill for a few hundred years before he can return to Mount Olympus. His father, Zeus, is punishing him for crushing on a wood-nymph that he was supposed to stay away from.
  • Percy tells the group that he doesn't believe in gods and goddesses. Mr. D is furious and leaves as soon as the game is over.
  • Chiron and Percy are left alone.
  • Chiron tells Percy that the Greek gods are alive and well and that they have been for thousands of years. He tells Percy that gods have moved constantly over the years, settling in places where the "fire" of Western Civilization burns brightest. At this moment in time, it burns brightest in America. Just look at the architecture, the statues, and the symbol of the eagle that is everywhere in America, Chiron says. Mount Olympus is now in America.
  • Percy is baffled by this explanation, and he wants to know who Chiron is and who he (Percy) is.
  • Chiron tells Percy that they don't yet know who Percy is.
  • He tells Percy to go find cabin eleven and to make some new friends.
  • As he does so, Chiron stands up, out of his wheelchair. Instead of legs, Percy realizes that Chiron has the body of a white stallion.

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