Study Guide

The Lightning Thief Chapter 7

By Rick Riordan

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"My Dinner Goes Up in Smoke"

Word of the bathroom incident spread immediately. Wherever I went, campers pointed at me and murmured something about toilet water. Or maybe they were just staring at Annabeth, who was still pretty much dripping wet.


  • Percy tries to apologize for the toilet incident, telling Annabeth it wasn't his fault. But he knows in the pit of his stomach that it was his fault.
  • Annabeth tells him that he needs to talk to the Oracle.
  • Percy is overwhelmed by all that he's soaked in during this first day. He wants to go home.
  • "Don't you get it Percy? You are home. This is the only safe place on earth for kids like us," says Annabeth (7.17).
  • Annabeth tells him that he is half-human, half-god.
  • "Your father isn't dead, Percy. He's one of the Olympians" (7.24).
  • Annabeth tells Percy that her dad is a human – a professor of American History at West Point. Her mom is Athena, goddess of wisdom and battle. Annabeth lives in cabin six, Athena's cabin.
  • Percy wants to know who his dad is.
  • Annabeth says that his dad might send him a sign claiming Percy as his own. But she also warns Percy that the gods often don't claim their children.
  • Percy remembers seeing some lonely, unhappy kids in cabin eleven, and he realizes that they are probably "undetermined" or unclaimed by their immortal moms or dads.
  • Annabeth tells Percy that if he belongs to a goddess like Aphrodite or Demeter he might be able to go home after the summer is over. Their force is not as powerful as that of some of the other gods and goddesses, and monsters have a harder time picking up on it. Then she gives us some more useful info on monsters:

    "in the mortal world, we attract monsters. They sense us. They come to challenge us. Most of the time, they'll ignore us until we're old enough to cause trouble – about ten or eleven years old, but after that, most demigods either make their way here, or they get killed off. A few manage to survive in the outside world and become famous. Believe me, if I told you the names, you'd know them. Some don't even realize they're demigods. But very few are like that." (7.49)

  • Annabeth tells Percy that the borders of Camp Half-Blood are sealed to keep monsters and mortals out. Monsters can't get into the camp unless they are intentionally stocked in the forest for practice fights or summoned by someone inside the camp for a practical joke.
  • Percy learns that Annabeth is a "year-rounder." She's been at Camp Half-Blood since she was seven.
  • Percy asks if he could leave Camp Half-Blood right now if he wanted to. Annabeth tells him that it would be suicide, and that he would have to get Mr. D's and Chiron's permission to leave. They won't give permission until the end of the summer, unless Percy was granted a quest.
  • Annabeth cuts herself off when she mentions the quest.
  • Percy remembers that Annabeth asked him what he knew about the summer solstice when she was nursing him back to health after the Minotaur attack. He doesn't know anything about the summer solstice, but he brings it up anyway.
  • Annabeth prickles with eagerness – she knows Chiron and Grover are keeping a secret from her about the summer solstice.
  • She says, "Something is wrong in Olympus, something pretty major. Last time I was there, everything seemed so normal" (7.71).
  • Annabeth, Luke, and some of the other year-rounders took a field trip to Mount Olympus during the last winter solstice.
  • Mount Olympus, we learn, is located on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building.
  • Annabeth tells Percy that soon after their field trip to Mount Olympus, the weather got really bad, as though the gods were fighting. She thinks that something important has been stolen from Mount Olympus, "and if it isn't returned by summer solstice, there's going to be trouble" (7.77).
  • Annabeth is hoping Chiron and Mr. D will grant her quest. She wants to help solve whatever problem is brewing on Mount Olympus.
  • Percy is overwhelmed by everything he has heard, and he's tired and hungry. He leaves Annabeth thinking on the pier.
  • Percy returns to cabin eleven, the Hermes cabin.
  • Luke asks him how his day went, and Percy tells him it's been exhausting.
  • Percy asks Luke what Annabeth means when she talks about him being "the one," and why Clarisse says that he's not "'Big Three' material."
  • Luke tells him that Annabeth is desperately hoping to get a quest. Luke says that he messed things up for her when he failed on his quest a few years back to the Garden of Hesperides a few years back. Chiron apparently told Annabeth that he saw her fate, and she wasn't ready for a quest yet. She would be ready when someone arrived. Since hearing that prophecy, Annabeth thinks that every new camper is "the one" and that she is ready for her quest.
  • Dinner time. All campers head to the outdoor dining room for dinner.
  • Who are these campers, you might be wondering, and how many of them are there?

    In all, there were maybe a hundred campers, a few dozen satyrs, and a dozen assorted wood nymphs and naiads. (7.109)

  • Percy can ask for anything to drink, and it will magically appear in his glass. He asks for blue Cherry Coke, in honor of his mom who loves blue food.
  • Percy toasts to his mom, knowing in his heart that she must still be alive.
  • All of the campers offer up a piece of their meal to the big bonfire in the middle of the dining room.
  • As Percy makes his offering, he silently asks his dad, whoever that may be, to claim him.
  • The bonfire smoke smells delicious.
  • The campers then have a campfire where they sing songs and make s'mores. Percy feels at home.
  • The campers all return to their cabins, and Percy falls into a deep sleep as he thinks about his mom. But we know there's lots of excitement to come:

    I wish I'd known how briefly I would get to enjoy my new home. (7.149)

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