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Michael Foster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Grover has two functions in The Lightning Thief. On the surface, he is supposed to be Percy’s guardian, protecting him from the evil that tends to be attracted to the Half-Bloods. Obviously, he is not very good at it. He serves as the “comic relief,” injecting humor into the many dangerous episodes to lighten the tone, preventing it from becoming too dark and threatening.

Grover also serves as a foil, a character that is paired with the protagonist to allow the protagonist to seem more “heroic.” While Grover is often cowardly, Percy is courageous. In instances where Percy does not have information about the gods, Grover supplies that information. Grover’s silliness allows Percy to seem more mature and commanding.

In the theory of the Hero’s Quest, the hero always goes on his quest with companions. One of these can be a “fool,” such as Grover is. The companions are essential to the quest, as they highlight the qualities of the hero in the story and help him along the way. Other examples are Frodo with the other hobbits in The Lord of the Rings, Dorothy with the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Harry Potter with Hermione and Ron Weasley. Thus, Annabelle and Grover are the typical companions of Percy Jackson, the hero on a quest.

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