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The Odyssey in Rick Riordan's "The Lightning Thief"

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Elizabeth Quinn

on 16 April 2015

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Transcript of The Odyssey in Rick Riordan's "The Lightning Thief"

Lotus-eaters in
The Lightning Thief
Rick Riordan's 2005 book
Lightning Thief
is the first in a series of five entitled “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.” It is a young-adult fantasy series about a boy who is a demi-god (part human, part-god). The series brings Greek mythology to life.

Its first book includes a direct reference to the Lotus-eaters of T
he Odyssey
Lotus-eaters in
Lightning Thief
Thank you!
The Odyssey
in Rick Riordan's
"The Lightning Thief"

As you can see, they are given lotus flower cookies, which drug them into forgetting their quest and wanting to stay forever. This consumption of the lotus is more similar to
The Odyssey
, but much different from the general aura of temptation the hotel has in the book.
Lotus powers draw the protagonists away from their destination and their journey. They are distractions and obstacles. The lotus temptation can represent temptation in any society, making this mythology from
The Odyssey
Superficial distractions can draw people in and distract them from what is really important in any time period. Rick Riordan’s reference to the Lotus-eaters in
The Lightning Thief
demonstrates the significance of this theme of temptation cross culturally.
"Lightning Thief" Movie
-In Book 9 of Homer's
, after leaving the city of the Cicones, Odysseus and his men are on course back to Ithaca. Then a huge wind sends them off course to the land of the Lotus-eaters.

-Once crew members consume the fruit of the lotus, they forget home and want to remain forever on the island, "their only wish to linger there with the Lotus-eaters" (9.108).

Lotus-eaters in
The Odyssey

-Once the men gave into the temptation to eat the lotus fruit, "all memory of the journey home dissolved forever" (9.109-110)

-Eventually, Odysseus dragged his men back to the ship and tied them down until they were far from the island of the Lotus-eaters.

Lotus-eaters in
The Odyssey
In the book, the main character Percy and his friends Annabeth and Grover are on a mission, but they find themselves by a place called the Lotus Hotel and Casino. They are exhausted and are lured in by the free food, hotel room, and crazy games.

They are each given a LotusCash card with unlimited money on it and they have fun until they do not want to leave.

"I couldn't remember the last time I had so much fun" (270)
Percy Jackson as Odysseus
The Odyssey
, Odysseus does not eat any lotus fruit and he stays focused, dragging the men back to the ship. In
The Lightning Thief,
Percy does get distracted by the hotel. But he realizes that something is wrong when the guy playing video games next to him is acting odd. After a while, Percy learns that the man thinks the year is 1977.

I found a guy who told me it was 1985. Another guy told me it was 1993. They all claimed they hadn't been in here very long, a few days, a few weeks at most" (271-72).

Percy then comes to the realization that the temptation of the Lotus Hotel and Casino draws people in forever. He does everything he can to tear his friends away from their games and get them out of the hotel. Upon leaving, they discover they were in the hotel for 5 days, even though it felt like only hours.
In 2010, a film adaptation was made of this book. It differs greatly from the book, to the diappointment of many fans of the books. The lotus scene in particular is much more sensationalized than the book.
"Lightning Thief" Movie
In the movie, when Percy finally meets the guy who thinks it’s the 1970s, he snaps out of it, as in the book. But, in the movie, the guards are all on alert desperately trying to keep them inside. The girls are pushing the cookies on them like drugs. Percy and his friends have to beat up guards to escape. They even have a whole "drive the casino car prize through the glass door" escape scene.

It is very sensationalized and action-packed, with villainous hotel staff consciously barring the kids from their quest.
"Lightning Thief" Movie
Full transcript