He and Percy duel again, with Luke trying his best to convince Percy that he’s the good guy in this scenario – that the gods don’t deserve their love or devotion since they rarely give it themselves.
Chatting about this scene with Den of Geek, Charlie Bushnell says that Luke “truly just believes that the world will be a much better place if Kronos was in charge” and that he’s kind of blinded by the possibilities of bringing back a “Golden Age” of civilization under Kronos.
It’s hard not to feel for Luke in this moment, knowing what he’s been through and how abandoned he’s felt. While Bushnell doesn’t necessarily agree with Luke’s methods, he definitely understands where his character is coming from. According to the young actor, “Luke’s felt abandoned his whole life by his father, and his mother essentially went crazy from the Oracle [so] he ran away from home at nine and had to fend for himself. And then he met Thalia, and then Thalia was turned into a tree. And like, he basically like just lost, all these people that he cared about. And there’s just one thing after another, like leading to this moment.”
Just as Luke is about to strike at Percy, Annabeth reveals herself by throwing her dagger at him. Using her invisibility cap, she’s heard their entire conversation, and can’t believe that someone she thought of as family would betray her or the gods. Luke escapes through a portal, leaving no clues about where he’s gone or what he’ll do next.
Fans of the books will recognize this as a fairly drastic change from how this moment takes place in The Lightning Thief. In the book, Luke summons a monster into the camp to attack Percy and leaves him for dead, with Annabeth not learning of his betrayal until Luke is long gone from Camp. Adding her into this scene for the series, however, leads to a more heartbreaking moment — and Bushnell agrees.
“Even though there’s not much said, between Luke and Annabeth, I think, you know, a picture can say more than 1000 words,” Bushnell says of this important moment for his character, “And I think even just that look that they give each other is so powerful.”
While he doesn’t think that Luke necessarily feels any regret in this moment, he does feel the weight of their history and their sibling-like bond. “Annabeth is essentially one of the few people that he considers, like, his true family,” Bushnell says “I think it was a bit heartbreaking for him as well in that moment, because he knows that she’s feeling betrayed.”