Gather around children, for it is story time.
After a few months i shall cover yet another subject I am very fond of : Mythologies.
I can't really say where this fascination comes from but I know that I fucking LOVE reading through all the different myths, stories, legends and backgrounds of Deities, Demi Gods, Creatures and mystical elements.
I don't remember knowing all that much before 6th grade, where in France you study Egypt in history. Their social classes, alliances with Rome, hierarchy and of course religious beliefs. I believe that during those classes when we talked about the gods they prayed to I became fascinated, after all I already saw the Dreamworks movie Prince Of Egypt (telling the story of Moses in ancient Egypt) and some of the Gods were briefly brought up so they meant nothing to me. Until I started digging into Egyptian Mythology on my free time
And by Horus did I fall into a what seemed to be a bottomless well of stories, gods, powers, prayers and family trees.
Let me make it simple, in Egyptian Mythology there are more than 2000 gods...... 2 FUCKING THOUSANDS !
Some of which really had cool designs, all of them being half-human and half-animal they were pretty damn awesome
For example Sobek, God of the Nile represented as half Human and half Crocodile.
I believe though that it was with the following mythologies that i became a bit obsessed with the concept of mythology.
2. Greek / Roman
I lumped these 2 together because............... well............ they're the same basically xD Romans took over Greece and were like "yo dog, your Gods are awesome we goin' take them and change their names and you are forbidden to pray to the old gods, 'kay?"
Because damn, those stories everyone knows them today : Zeus, Hera, Hercules, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hades, Poseidon..... all of these deities are still famous today. Thanks to Disney obviously for keeping the stories alive to some extent.
To us it's mythology, things that never happened, things that aren't real but to the Greeks and the Romans, it was hard facts ! It didn't hit me until much later but to them it was almost like comic books, you could say "i heard of a story where Hercules flattened a mountain out of anger and rage...." and people would listen to your version of the story. (Which kind of begs the question : when will we start talking about Christian / Muslim / Jewish mythology? A question for another time)
This time around the mythology wasn't so complex, it was pretty simple actually : 70% of all that happens in the Greek Mythology is simply because Zeus is not a very faithful husband to Hera.
All joking aside there are some cool creatures and stories that have nothing to do with Zeus's schlong : Lion of Nemea, the Hydra, Scylla & Charybdis or simply Typhon (seriously read the story of Typhon vs Olympus it's pretty cool / WTF)
It made my imagination go wild, all these monsters, all these gods but mostly all of these heroes because Greeks being a very belligerent culture they had a lot and I do mean A LOT of legendary heroes : Theseus, Perseus, Hercules, Orpheus or Bellerophon. All of these heroes accomplished great and seemingly impossible deeds : slaying monsters, saving people from certain doom, proving their worth time and time again. BUT most of these heroes (if not all) have either a tragic background (to give you a simple idea go read up on the entire family of Oedipus which Megara -- wife of Hercules -- is a part of), or have tragic endings.
Games such as God Of War (mainly the 4 console games : 1, 2, 3 and Ascension) portrays these in a very detailed fashion.
FINALLY we arrive to the 2 last mythologies that i've been diving into ever since i started almost 20 years ago (by Thanatos I feel old).
With the arrival of the MCU and the latest installment of the God of War franchise I don't think I have to present to any of you this FUCKING BADASS mythology.
Odin, King of the gods (both Aesir and Vanir) knows about the coming apocalypse (Ragnarök) and does everything in his power to prepare for it. He knows of this since he sacrificed his eye in order to be allowed to drink from the well of knowledge. Odin has an insatiable thirst for knowledge, that is why he sends his 2 ravens Hugnin and Munnin (both Thought and Memory) to fly across all the 9 realms to collect intelligence for he knows that in the end Ragnarök will happen, that he, the Allfather, shall die on the battlefield alongside all of the fallen heroes in Valhalla (the Einherjar), Thor will destroy Jormugandr (the World Serpent) but will be killed by it's poison, Loki will kill Baldr setting in motion Ragnarök, Heimdall and Loki will fight to the death and both die, Fenris will devour the sun and plunge the world into darkness.... only a handful of humans and even fewer gods will survive this, and once the ashes settle, the world will start anew with the sound of the wings of Nidhogg flapping loudly in the distance.
That, simply that description of how the world shall end got my adolescent years boiling in excitement. (what ? me ? a book worm ? not at all !)
The fact that the Norse mythology is so much focused on War, Death and Bloodshed got my metalhead teenage self so happy.
(This MyTake is getting a bit long so I'll finish up quickly)
What's left today?
4. Geek shit
Today I can simply dive into any lore I want simply because every book, game, movie and comic book has developed the idea of pre-existing lore. Take one of the most complex and diverse mythos ever : Warhammer 40 000.... It is so vast and diverse but always 100% bad ass!
So now I dive into :
- Warhammer 40 000
- Star Wars (the Legends that Disney decided to forget)
- Witcher books and games
- Comic Book superheroes and villains (fuck there is so much i could say about them and their parallel universe iterations
I love the idea of mythos, lore and deities (NO WONDER I'M A GEEK)
What are your mythologies you love and could talk for days on end ?