The Excalibur

Faces In The Crowd – Percy Jackson vs. Harry Potter

Calysta Goodwin, Managing Editor

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As far as teenage readers can remember, there have always been big debates about what literary series are better than others. It seems that one of the biggest debates in our generation specifically, is the debate between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, and for good reason.

Published in 1997, the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was quick to win the hearts of readers. Once people became attached to that young, orphaned wizard destined to save the entire wizarding world, millions of readers wanted nothing more to be able to call Hogwarts their home. This caused the standard for upcoming series to shoot way up.

However, eight years later, the story of a young demigod (the child of a Greek god and a mortal) thrown from his life and trapped by the words of prophecy easily met that new standard. The amount of people debating who their godly parent would be just about met the number of people choosing their Hogwarts house. And thus, Percy Jackson re-captured the hearts of readers.

So, in an attempt to settle this debate, students here at East Ridge High School were asked their opinions about their literary loves.

Mason Conrad (12th Grade)

  1. What is better: Percy Jackson or Harry Potter? Why?
  • “I like Percy Jackson better because I’m more into gods and goddesses and Greek mythology.”
  1. Which do you feel connects to readers more? Why?
  • “I think Harry Potter connects with readers more, there’s so much more of a fan base and there’s tests and merchandise and theme parks that can get the readers involved in the book.”
  1. Does popularity of a series affect the quality when you read it?
  • “Popularity of a series has never affected anything I’ve read. So what if it’s popular? A good book is a good book.”
  1. What house would you be in/who is your godly parent?
  • “My godly parent would definitely be Athena or Aries.”

Christian Charpia (12th Grade)

  1. What is better: Percy Jackson or Harry Potter? Why?
  • Percy Jackson. The Greek mythology myths have always fascinated me more as a child and I could relate more to the struggles that the main character went through.”
  1. Which do you feel connects to readers more? Why?
  • “Readers connect more to Harry Potter, but I feel that’s due to the movies coming out and being done so masterfully that what [fans] read is what they saw, and it was perfect in their eyes.”
  1. Does popularity of a series affect the quality when you read it?
  • No, personally, as many book series I like people often times never heard of them, and I generally tend to like all that I read, so popularity is never an issue.”
  1. What house would you be in/who is your godly parent?
  • “My godly parent would be Athena.” 

Taylor Couture (11th Grade)

  1. What is better: Percy Jackson or Harry Potter? Why?
  • “I love both, but I think I’m gonna go with Percy Jackson as my favorite because it fed into my love of Greek mythology when I was younger. I always wanted to control water and plants when I was younger and people in the series could do that.”
  1. Which do you feel connects to readers more? Why?
  • “Personally, I think Percy Jackson again because I never had any trouble connecting with the characters, in some parts of Harry Potter I didn’t relate to the characters at all, specifically in books four and six.”
  1. Does popularity of a series affect the quality when you read it?
  • “Definitely not. My favorite book series have almost never been the ones people talked about, they were small authors, but I loved their work all the same.”
  1. What house would you be in/who is your godly parent?
  • “I’m a Hufflepuff and a child of Poseidon, although if Hestia wasn’t an eternal maiden I’d totally be her kid.”

Alex Seelmeyer (11th Grade)

  1. What is better: Percy Jackson or Harry Potter? Why?
  • “I can’t pick a favorite because I feel both of them have the same elements to them. They both have adventure, humor, depressing parts, developed characters, and very real characters that I think everyone can relate to.”
  1. Which do you feel connects to readers more? Why?
  • “I think, in the general view of the books, Harry Potter has a tendency to connect to more people, because the Percy Jackson books do connect to people who have grown up with one parent or have gone through boarding schools and foster homes and stuff like that, but more people can connect to Harry Potter because it’s not that extreme and it’s just not that intense.”
  1. Does popularity of a series affect the quality when you read it?
  • “No, because I feel when I read books I read them more when they seem interesting to me. I mean, lots of time people can say a book series is great but I can’t connect to them. Kind of like I don’t think The Hunger Games is that great, I think it isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. I just cannot connect with it, it doesn’t interest me.”
  1. What house would you be in/who is your godly parent?
  • “I’m a Ravenclaw and I took a quiz and I was told I’m a child of Apollo… Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, I’ve yet to decide!”

Xenia Teplitzky (10th Grade)

  1. What is better: Percy Jackson or Harry Potter? Why?
  • Harry Potter because you can see the story about how kids are put into a place where they actually grow into their expected role despite all of the obstacles.”
  1. Which do you feel connects to readers more? Why?
  • Harry Potter because all of the characters have flaws and you can identify with those flaws.”
  1. Does popularity of a series affect the quality when you read it?
  • “No, it doesn’t, because you always have your opinion on something, even when it’s mainstream.”
  1. What house would you be in/who is your godly parent?
  • “Slytherin.”

Andrew Sawyer (10th Grade)

  1. What is better: Percy Jackson or Harry Potter? Why?
  • Percy Jackson, because it has a way better plot.”
  1. Which do you feel connects to readers more? Why?
  • “I’ll only say Harry Potter because it has more realistic parts to it. Percy Jackson is based on Greek mythology, but Harry Potter just has some parts that make sense in reality.”
  1. Does popularity of a series affect the quality when you read it?
  • “No.”
  1. What house would you be in/who is your godly parent?
  • “Mars.”

Claire Griffin (9th Grade)

  1. What is better: Percy Jackson or Harry Potter? Why?
  • Harry Potter, because they’re more interesting and the Percy Jackson movies have nothing to do with the books. And I like magic more, magic is fun.”
  1. Which do you feel connects to readers more? Why?
  • “I have a friend who’s madly obsessed with Percy Jackson. But Harry Potter because I feel it has more to it. And it connects with a younger audience.”
  1. Does popularity of a series affect the quality when you read it?
  • “Never, because I kind of forget there ever is a ‘fandom’ connected to it. I think that if you connect a community to a series it kind of ruins it for you.”
  1. What house would you be in/who is your godly parent?
  • “I’m a Hufflepuff!”

Brooklyn Lee (9th Grade)

  1. What is better: Percy Jackson or Harry Potter? Why?
  • Percy Jackson, it’s just like I love the whole concept of him finding out that he is a demigod and him not believing it at first and just everything he went through. And it just works in everything he can do, and how he can’t even speak to his parents because of Zeus. And just the fact that he was being blamed for stealing the lightning bolt even though he didn’t. And then the next book Thalia ended up coming back and it was great. Everything about the series is intriguing, because when you think one thing will happen, another thing will happen entirely. Not to mention it has so many cliffhangers and it keeps you wanting to read it.”
  1. Which do you feel connects to readers more? Why?
  • “I do feel like Percy Jackson would relate to more readers because there are a lot of people who grow up without a father and without knowing why. And just Percy has so many talents he didn’t know about and so many other people have that too.”
  1. Does popularity of a series affect the quality when you read it?
  • “No, because at the end of the day, like even when it wasn’t really, really popular [Rick Riordan] just puts the most effort into his books. He makes every theme top notch.”
  1. What house would you be in/who is your godly parent?
  • “Athena, definitely.”

So, after interviewing our valued knights, it seems the Ridge has declared Percy Jackson to be more liked than Harry Potter, however, Harry Potter seems to be considered as what connects more to it’s readers. What this means for the never-ending debate, we cannot be sure. The playing field has been leveled once more.

1 Comment

One Response to “Faces In The Crowd – Percy Jackson vs. Harry Potter”

  1. Carson Middle School Student on July 16th, 2018 8:57 pm

    I saw this link and wasn’t intrigued so I decided to decided to see what it was about. This is a topic that often troubles me. I am a good 50/50 of Potterhead and Demigod-Lover so I wanted to see what other people think. I would say that they are both GREAT series. I grew up with Harry Potter and have recently found the Percy Jackson series. I would have to say that the Percy Jackson series is a nice easy read for me with awesome humor, sarcasm, and depressing moments. One of my favorite characters in that series is Leo Valdez because he’s so conflicted and I can kind of relate to him. The Percy Jackson series can sometimes get quite stereotypical with the main hero being quite perfect (even with his flaws), that one emo gay kid, that one wise girl, that blond muscular perfect super man, ect. The Percy Jackson never gets boring, though. It’s action packed without being just pure fight scenes. I LOOOOOVE the Percy Jackson series. The author is so in touch with his fans and loves messing with us. You cheeky Uncle Rick!
    I would say that the Harry Potter series is better though. J.K. Rowling is a pure genius and from the first chapter she has you caught in the world of Harry Potter. She creates such a world that you completely fall in love with. There’s a reason it’s the third most bought book in the world. Not that I go by popularity, I’m just saying. Rick Riordan pumps out a book every year (which I absolutely looove). J.K Rowling put so much time into her books. She spent five years just make the world and writing what the rules of magic were. She went through five pages of words that started with the letter Q just to find the word quidditch. And all of it was powered by something powerful. Her mother had died and she said that’s what fueled her to write the books. Dementors were inspired by her depression in her twenties. Quidditch was inspired by love troubles. All of it is personal. What I love is that Harry Potter is not the stereotypical perfect hero. He has anger issues, can be hot-headed and rude, and isn’t just going around saving random people. He is so relatable and shows even the best have demons.

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