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Author Topic: Gods in Movies and Books  (Read 7877 times)
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« Topic Start: March 04, 2008, 10:10:34 pm »

(This is mostly aimed at Greek Recons seeing as their gods are the most famous.) How do you feel react when your gods are represented in fiction and in movies, like Disney's Hercules? Do you consider some of the ways they portray them disrespectful? Or do you feel that it doesn't matter as long as they didn't mean anything by it (because most people have no clue that people still worship the Greek gods)? How do you think specific gods might react to being represented like that?

It's just something I've been idly wondering about for the past few weeks.
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« Reply #1: March 05, 2008, 12:45:15 am »


Considering since it seems most people consider the Greek gods to be dead (what, did someone build a god nuke and blow them all up? how do you kill a god?!), its not suprising. I'm not really insulted because I know they're not purposely out there to defame the gods. Most people see them as "myths", fake stories meant for less civilized people (yet the Greeks created many things we use today, like certain types of philosophy and maths).

Though when a certain show portrays your god as a pot-bellied, bald chemist, it tends to rankle my "fur" as it were. But you just can't let it get to you. It's a waste of time and energy. So I just sigh and hope they get it right the next time.
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« Reply #2: March 05, 2008, 12:49:46 am »

How do you think specific gods might react to being represented like that?

Mostly it doesn't bother me (the ancients had plenty of contradictory and unpleasant depictions of the gods, so it a way it's almost traaaaDition!) but sometimes it makes me wince. (Disney's Heracles. Ouch.) Or feel vaguely guilty/dirty for enjoying it. (I really *like* Xena for the most part.)

Then again, sometimes they get something so bang on (Ares transitioning into farmer Mars in Xena) that it makes me wonder if Someone isn't poking someone. Cheesy
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« Reply #3: March 05, 2008, 12:51:30 am »

(This is mostly aimed at Greek Recons seeing as their gods are the most famous.) How do you feel react when your gods are represented in fiction and in movies, like Disney's Hercules? Do you consider some of the ways they portray them disrespectful? Or do you feel that it doesn't matter as long as they didn't mean anything by it (because most people have no clue that people still worship the Greek gods)? How do you think specific gods might react to being represented like that?


The Greek and Roman deities are, at this point, pretty much the common property of Western culture.  If I were to get upset at every single representation of the gods that didn't align with my beliefs, I'd have to spend my time being pissed at an enormous chunk of Western art and literature -- including the ancient Greeks, who criticized and mocked their gods all the time.

The only time I get upset is if someone is presenting something as *fact*, and being demonstrably inaccurate (or religiously bigoted).  But fiction is fair game.  In fact, I think it's actively dangerous for society as a whole to try to police artistic representations of divinity too closely. 
 
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« Reply #4: March 05, 2008, 05:43:43 am »

Mostly it doesn't bother me (the ancients had plenty of contradictory and unpleasant depictions of the gods, so it a way it's almost traaaaDition!) but sometimes it makes me wince. (Disney's Heracles. Ouch.) Or feel vaguely guilty/dirty for enjoying it. (I really *like* Xena for the most part.)

That's pretty much my take on it, too.  Disney's Hercules irritated the hell out of me, but I wouldn't say it offended me per se.
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« Reply #5: March 05, 2008, 07:58:59 am »

That's pretty much my take on it, too.  Disney's Hercules irritated the hell out of me, but I wouldn't say it offended me per se.

I liked it when I was a kid, but when I think back on it now... *shutters*  Zeus is not that happy-go-lucky.

I will say though that I'm not ashamed for liking the Hercules and Xena version of Ares.  In both of those shows he had the best lines and they appealed to my dark sense of humor.  However, their interpretation of Aphrodite was just annoying.
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« Reply #6: March 05, 2008, 08:26:23 am »

How do you feel react when your gods are represented in fiction and in movies, like Disney's Hercules? Do you consider some of the ways they portray them disrespectful?

Unless they are trying to present their story as factual, it really doesn't upset me. After all, the ancient Greeks often depicted the Gods in their literature in ways that were obviously non-factual and even disrespectful. That said, some things like Disney's Hercules make me shudder and some things the Japanese have done with the Greek Gods in anime make me laugh at how weirdly they can be portrayed. On the other hand, some things really impress me. Rick Riordan's young adult books The Lightning Thief and The Sea of Monsters, for example.
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« Reply #7: March 08, 2008, 05:50:51 pm »

(This is mostly aimed at Greek Recons seeing as their gods are the most famous.) How do you feel react when your gods are represented in fiction and in movies, like Disney's Hercules?

I've only seen one of mine in fiction, which is The Morrigan.  She was portrayed as evil in a Buffy comic.  The fact that they portrayed her as evil irritated me, but didn't surprise me.
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« Reply #8: March 09, 2008, 11:32:10 am »

I liked it when I was a kid, but when I think back on it now... *shutters*  Zeus is not that happy-go-lucky.

I will say though that I'm not ashamed for liking the Hercules and Xena version of Ares.  In both of those shows he had the best lines and they appealed to my dark sense of humor.  However, their interpretation of Aphrodite was just annoying.
No, I was introduced to Greek myth when I was very young through Ray Harryhausen movies (starting with Clash of the Titans and moving backwards) so I've had years and years to get used to the nonsense.  Like everyone else has said, it's not done with intent.  And most people don't know these deities are real and still have worshippers.

I also love Xena/Hercules more than I usually like to admit.  Though their portrayal of Aphrodite is the closest anyone's ever come to actually offending me.  (Mostly, though, I just wonder if the writers have any mysterious problems with their love lives.  Or worse. Shocked)

The actor that plays Ares on that show was so gorgeous, I forgive a lot.  Plus, like you said, he gets all the best lines.

On the other hand, when they started playing around with Hindu deities, things did not go so well for them.  They didn't rerun those episodes in the US for a long time.
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« Reply #9: March 09, 2008, 06:22:13 pm »


Though I do have to say, the only series that has ever pissed me off (if you'll excuse my language) by its gross misinterpretation of any pantheon is Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry series. I finally figured out who Andais is. *sigh*
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« Reply #10: March 09, 2008, 07:04:34 pm »

Though I do have to say, the only series that has ever pissed me off (if you'll excuse my language) by its gross misinterpretation of any pantheon is Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry series. I finally figured out who Andais is. *sigh*

I don't read LKH, but who is Andais and why is it a gross misinterpretation? 

Yes, I'm fishing for more reasons not to read her books.
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« Reply #11: March 09, 2008, 07:43:50 pm »

I don't read LKH, but who is Andais and why is it a gross misinterpretation? 

Yes, I'm fishing for more reasons not to read her books.

Well, in LKH's world, they are not longer gods but are fey/sidhe. Not bad, right? When they got kicked out of Europe, they signed a treaty with some US presidents to bind their powers to prevent more wars from happening. Andais is the queen of the unseelie court, where in Merry's world, they are the Misunderstood Angsty Souls of Darkity-Darkness. Sorry, I'm just a bit bitter here to see such an excellent idea go to waste.

Whats made me angry is that Andais is this sado-masochistic (LKH has little idea, if you've read her blogs or books, on what subjects like BDSM actually are) ruler who forces her niece (aka Merry) to have sex with men or else she will not inheirit (sp?) the throne. She used to be a bad-ass character, but is now resorted to some lame secondary character who, if you're read the recent "books", seems to be the only one with common sense. She's like Cruela DeVil, except lamer.

It's just incredibly hard to explain how Andais' character has gone down the drain. She's just there to make Meredith look like the better person, honestly.

Er, sorry. I went on a rant. I apologize. What made me angry the most is the only logical Tuatha De Danaan that Andais is (and if she's isn't one, I'm sorry for fudging?) The Morrigan. In the book Merry knows she used to be a goddess of war and battle, and then there is a hint of her being a fertility goddess as well. When I figured this out, I really wanted to scream "INJUSTICE!" because what I've heard of Morrigan from this forum, as well as from off-site sources, and then reading these books and realizing where LKH got her information from, it.. it makes me angry.

Then again, she's never been one for actual research. I even read a discussion in which people don't even know what date it is in Anita's world, because technology from the 00's is appearing in a place where its clearly in the 80's. It would be nice if she would just EXPLAIN. But alas, it is not meant to be.

</end rant> Once again, I want to say sorry for the long rant. I'm just upset at how both her series have gone.
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« Reply #12: March 09, 2008, 08:22:12 pm »


Your rant is understandable, no need to apologize for it Wink

But the Morrigan as a sadomasochistic Fay Queen?  I had to do a double take.  Granted, I don't know tM but from what I learned from her followers here I wouldn't be surprised if a flock of ravens pecked LKH to death.
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« Reply #13: March 10, 2008, 10:19:05 pm »

Your rant is understandable, no need to apologize for it Wink

But the Morrigan as a sadomasochistic Fay Queen?  I had to do a double take.  Granted, I don't know tM but from what I learned from her followers here I wouldn't be surprised if a flock of ravens pecked LKH to death.

It was the only Goddess I could think of that "matched" (and I use the term loosely here, folks) who Andais was, that someone with the infantile researching skills LKH has. I don't say 'infantile' lightly, because there are so many things she gets wrong! *headdesk*

Okay, I'm going to stop now.  Lips sealed But I agree with you. It didn't dawn on me at first, but when it did I instantly thought of the Cauldron and how many of her followers would be peeved. I am assuming of course, but I don't think Andais is the most flattering of characters, despite her not being apart of Merry's train of Merry Can Do No Wrong.
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« Reply #14: March 11, 2008, 07:06:29 am »

(This is mostly aimed at Greek Recons seeing as their gods are the most famous.) How do you feel react when your gods are represented in fiction and in movies, like Disney's Hercules?

I have come to the conclusion that as a direct result of that movie, I associate the color light blue with Hermes.

Other than that...I've been awake too long to give a straight answer.
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