Netflix’s series Troy: Fall Of A City is a unique show, that offers a different perspective of Homer’s Iliad.
The series of Troy and the Feminism movement
Feminism and racism are concepts of the New World, making an appearance after the 15th century C.E. With the European colonialism and the occupation of African soil, gave birth to what we know today as racism. Also, feminism is a movement of the 20th century. Taking these facts into account it’s the greatest fallacy to try and enforce these views on a different historical time and the myths of a certain group of people. Let alone, when behind those myths, a decent researcher can find the truth behind the lines, about the life and the way of thinking of these people. It is a blaspemy and anathema to the face of history, art, culture, on so many levels. Netflix’s series Troy: Fall of a City, actually applied these fallacies. And the results speak for themselves.
The series were a bust. Low review critics and many negative comments. The series hoped for a season 2, focused on Odysseus. But that never came to be (thankfully).
Nowadays, many are familiar with the myth of the 10-year-long Trojan War (if you haven’t read the text, you can find it here). Iliad actually covers 51 days of the war, from the events of the death of Patroclus, to the duel between Achilles and Hector. The rest are written later in Odyssey (i.e. the Trojan Horse) and later writters, like Virgil. The entire story is actually cocluded much later, by the Church fathers of the Western and Eastern Roman Empire, who wrote down the epic tale at its entirety. The epic tale of the Trojan War, has raised countless generations, from the ancient years, until this very day, with tales of bravery, heartbreak, cunning and sharpness.
Changing the Myths
Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, were to the ancient Greeks, what the Bible is to the Christians. After all, Iliad is part of Greek History, as it contains many truths of their history. Changing the core of the stories that shaped a nation for millenia, is a dangerous thing to do.
Wolfgang Petersen’s 2004 movie Troy, did that too. But there is a big difference. The core of the story, the morals, remained unchanged. Yes, they made Agamemnon and Menelaus pricks too. But they kept the part of their honor clean (i.e. Agamemnon dies not touch Briseis and Menelaus actually has battle honor). Troy: Fall of City version, throws context out of the window. They actually tried to make the viewer to sympathize with Alexander (Pares). The one guy that violated every notion of honour, just for his own pleasure. He who doomed his country, just to bed another’s wife. And all that with the help of one of the most evil godesses, Aphrodite.
Although the many mistakes, the series make a good job depicting Priam and Odysseus, the most wise men in the text. The conflict between them, the strategic blows that they keep throwing at each other is a pleasure to watch. A trully well written and interesting side character, Xanthius (David Avery), was a pleasure to watch. The secretive man, with the mission of espionage on the enemy. But there is a problem in general, when the side characters are more fun from the main ones. Also, there is a problem, when your fictional character, is not even in the original myth that you were inspired from.
The Good Trojans, the Bad Greeks
One of the misconceptions made by the series (a tragic one) is the creation of good and bad guys, not taking into consideration the historical time, the traditions and laws of war. Warfare in ancient times, let alone in ancient mythological folklore, is quite different than the reality that we are used to today. We can’t compare the invasion of Greece to Troy, like the invasion of Russia to Ukraine. And also, we mustn’t manipulate events in order to push out an ideology. Like with the story of Alexander the Great. Many are those today that they want to paint him as a bloodthirsty monster. But actuall research, portray Alexander as kind, even to his enemies. He was ruthless in war, yes, but this aspect of his characters is in immediate bond with the time he lived.
In the series, many times, Greeks are regarded as the villains. While it is true that people like Thersites, were total pricks in the text (he ends up dead by Achilles, according to later traditions), it is manipulative and devious to create characters, in order to demonize a situation. After all, Greeks and Trojans, historically speaking, are two different civilizations. Although more free, the Asian heritage of Troy, indeed gave a more positive view, even in the eyes of Greeks of the Classical Era. But the discipline and hard work of the Greeks, throughout their history, gave to the world philosophy, democracy and other values. You can’t just, as a company, demonize characters (only the white characters by the way) and try to serve it to the people as entertaiment. When you do this, shows lack of interest in the actual topic, which is Troy, with the expected results.
Heroism in the Epos of Iliad
Agamemnon and Menelaus were two of the noblest of men among the United Greek Army. Agamemnon, according to the myth, was not king because of his greediness, or because of his army. He became the leader, after the assembly of the Greek Kings took place, and decided that the best and noblest of rulers, was Agamemnon. Where is the conducts of honor that the ancients had, into the screen? Why not show Agamemnon, who sacrificed everything for his country, a just leader, as he was? Yes, he had flaws. All of the characters of the Iliad have flaws. But that is the point of the story. Although the mistakes and struggles, they are still the heroes of the epic Tojan War. This is especially shown when the leaders of the two opposite sides were fighting in duels. Everyone had respect for each other.
Heroism is a complecated theorem, that many philosophers tried to expain its nature. Aristotle tried to describe it, while Virgil dared to expose it, but no one really can know who or what can be defined as brave. That’s why Homer used stories. He used the example of these fine soldiers that faced their enemies without the fear of death, in order to inspire to the Greeks back then their lost civilization. To motivate. The problem is, that Troy is a trully masculine tale, speaking about volour, honor and other rather masculine traits. For today’s social standards, this creates a toxic storyline, that they think that the people won’t watch. But what happens, is that series like Punisher, Knightfall and other series, oblitarated crappy series like She-Hulk and other feminist-oriented series.
And when the companies are getting asked on why their series suck, they deflect by saying that the viewers are slaves of the patriarchy.
The Black Achilles Controversy
One of the major and politically motivated choices that the show made, was to choose a black actor to portrait the character of Achilles. And not only Achilles, but also Nestor and others. Do not get me wrong, David Gyasi, was exceptional at delivering the role. But when political propaganda tries to manipulate and use black actors, in order to manipulate a story or a myth, it is not acceptable. In general, either in a series or any kind of movie, either it is a historical or mythological, the screenplay needs to respect the cultural inclines of the original script that they are using. Let us explain.
When Iliad described Achilles the way it did (blond hair, not very tall but muscular and young, because he was 16 when he was called to arms), they did it because this discription fits to the people of Phthia. Phthia, or later called Iolkos and today known as Volos, is a certain place in the Greek peninsula. Achilles, even if he was a mythoological figure, describes certain people that did exist. Not taking that into consideration, is at least idiotic. When an author writes a story, he writes it with a certain vision in mind. This vision cannot be translated by everyone, let alone an aneducated, on that matters mind. Not everyone can understand history. Not everyone can understand culture. And that is okey. But when someone make a movie or series and try to pass their ignorance as culture or woke propaganda, then you cross a line.
The Meaning of Troy and the Trojan War
The main concept of Homer’s Iliad, is firstly the Heroism of the Heroes of old (Homer lives during the Greek Dark Ages, a time where culture has declined dramatically) in order to reignite the spark of hope, that the Greeks of that time seemed to have lost. But also, recognizes another thing. The never ending conflict between the East and the West. Of course, Iliad is a myth, but history has shown that the civilizations of the East (Hittites, Persians, Egyptians), have always been in constant war with each other. One can only take a glimpse on the Persian Wars or the campaign of Alexander the Great. Even in later historical times, when Asia was conquered by the Arabic and Asiatic tribes, the constant fighting among them kept to recent times.
Iliad is not a tool of political propaganda. The media and companies like to turn everything political and shovel it down in the throats of the consumer. Stories like the Iliad existed for a specific reason. They survived throughout history, for their unique identity. Because their message was something that noone produced ever again. The excuse that many brought up, that this is a myth, so it is completelly fine to change everything around the story, is at least criminal. Just imagine if something like that happened to a myth of an African tribe. People would gather with torches outside the offices of the production.
People seem to not understand that Homer’s Iliad is Greek heritage. Not European, nor white men’s heritage. It belongs to the Greeks, as it describes a part of their historical existance, during the collapse of the Late Bronze Age and the eternal conflict with the East.
The particular series about Troy, try to make Helen a feminine figure of the 21st century and place her in a society of the 12th century B.C.E. This mind-the-gap fallacy is what actually is destroying the modern cinematography in general. The women empowering movement, tries to sell to the world the idea, that women are just as capable as men. Also men are the root of evil in this world and should be apologising day and night for the opression that occurred towards women, throughout history. But this is not the point of the story, the moral so to say.
First, it is to show the power of brotherhood and love for one’s friend (Achilles and Ptroclus for that matter, although many want this crappy theory that Achilles, a married man and womanizer was a homosexual or bi), the bravery of men, the passion of lust and love between a man and a woman, the patriotism of Hector and the quest of Achilles for eternal glory. And of course the faith that the gods can walk amogst men and interfere with them. Helen is at the center. The peculiar thing with Helen, is that she is not even a main character of the story, but rather the cause for it. She is not an example of bravery, like the people of today want her, but she is not the villain, or the root of evil. Helen is actually a victim.
Aphrodite’s spells made Helen abandon her husband, not freedom or love. After all, if someone of those so called progressives made an actuall research, Helen willingly returns to Menelaus. And he accepts her back, with joy.
The alterative look of Troy in ancient literature
The worst part is that already from the 4th century BC, we can find a text from the poet and theatrical writer Euripides, which is called “Helen”. According to that tradition, Helen actually never left with Paris, only her shadow, a trick made by Hera, in order to avenge Paris for choosing Aphrodite as the most beautiful woman. Helen was never an unfaithful wife, but rather a pawn in the games of the Gods. She was miraculously transferred to Egypt, where she stayed under the protection of King Proteus. The King had a son, Theoclemenus, who lusted after Helen. When his father died he tried to force her into marrying him. But Helen remained loyal to Menelaus, who later arrived in Egypt and saved her.
If you are a multi-billion company like Netflix or BBC and you want to make a feminist version of the Trojan Myth, you do not need to go far. But companies do prefer a mediocre screenplay, than actual research. Also, the femininity in ancient Greece is a strong mother and a loyal wife, like the Spartan women, the feminist symbol of Ancient Greece. After all, Euripides describes Helen as loyal to her husband, due to her Spartan upbringing. This is not an appealing topic today, because our world has already twisted and manipulated the meaning of femininity and masulinity. Abnd for the sake of the political agendas, they sacrifice historical meaning and truth, to please a small portion of the viewers. The other half tries to think critically. That’s why this show, among others, was an actuall bust. Because it mocks the things that it should be. Epic and historical.
Bonus Chapter: Historical Troy
For the fans of history and archeology, it is now a known fact that a large scale campaign took place, just before the collapse of the Bronze Age (around 1200 BC). Of course, nobody can surely conclude that the city of Troy existed. Archeological data suggest, that at the Hissarlik Hill, lies a large metropolis. To be precise, archeologists found twelve layers at the site, of a city that was destroyed and rebuild multiple times. But in order for historians to make a case for the Troy of Iliad, needed concrete evidence, of a city that was large and thriving, but also violently destroyed by fire.
The scientists concluded that, the city they were looking for was VIIa. The archeological evidence matched the descriptions of Homer. Also, the site was destroyed by fire, around 1180 BC, just before the collapse of the Bronze Age. The city was rebuilt, but it was never the same. Around 950 BC, the site of Troy (called VIIb) was only a small village. During the Archaic period, people started to come back, rebuilding. Hissarlik Hill is considered the place that Alexander the Great also visited, before he started his Asian Campaign. Given the fact that Alexander considered himself a descendant of Achilles, he used financial resources to mantain the temple of the goddess Athena. This temple also was a museum, allegedly holding legendary weapons as the Sword of Hector and Aeneas, as well as the Shield of Achilles, crafted by Hephaestus himself.
Overall Score of Troy: Fall of A City: 4/10
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