Bookfessional: When They Get the Mythology Wrong

Posted July 26, 2017 by Jessica in Bookfessional, Jessica / 8 Comments

Bookfessional: When They Get it Wrong

My love of folklore and mythology began almost as soon as I learned to read, and as reading has been my numero uno hobby since around that same time, I’ve had decades to become something of a smarty pants on my favorites.

Even if you don’t seek out the knowledge deliberately, you can’t help but pick up some of it by osmosis, when you read the same types of books for years and years.

The upside is, yay, knowledge. Somewhat impractical knowledge, but fun just the same. The downside: being hypercritical every time those mythologies are introduced into a new movie (or tv series, or book).

I’m not talking about creative license, I’m talking about glaring inaccuracies, mutually exclusive concepts, etc.

Drives. Me. NUTS.

I belatedly recently saw one of the summer blockbusters . . . I’d been meant to see it opening weekend, but life happened, and that might be a good thing for once, b/c I feel enough time has passed that I can rant and nick pick freely. Even so, said blockbuster will remain nameless to avoid spoiling any other victims of life.

SO. Greek Mythology 101 (or my amateur version of it):

Hephaestus

The imperfect god of engineering. Imperfect in form, that is, and that’s not a slam at any humans who were born and/or made less than the societal version of perfect, it’s a commentary on the superficial nature of Greek gods.

Anyway, I can’t remember the specifics, but as an infant or toddler, Hephaestus was tossed off Mt. Olympus. Literally. He was thrown off the city of the gods down to the earth below. He survived, but his leg never healed properly, so he was constantly the subject of ridicule, b/c gods can be assholes.

Like Aphrodite, goddess of love, beauty, and sex, who was given to Hephaestus as his wife.

Ignoring the fact that giving anyone to someone else as a life partner, let alone the goddess of love, is a dick move, Aphrodite chose an easy target (Hephaestus) for her wrath, rather than taking out her anger on who actually deserved it (pretty sure that would be Zeus).

But regardless of what brought them together, Hephaestus loved his wife, and lived in constant agony, b/c she loathed him (b/c icky flawed god who lived underground and ew, ew, ewwwww!), and also b/c she was having a not-so-secret affair with Ares, god of war.

SO. When I was watching Summer Blockbuster, and Ares inexplicably demonstrated his affinity for manipulating metal, an ability reserved for his mortal enemy, I got irritated.

Then when he later (again inexplicably) throws lightning at the offspring of the god of lightning, I was incredulous (and that’s putting it politely).

And since that’s basically where the story ends, it was kind of ruined for me. Maybe if all the nonsense had happened mid-movie, I’d’ve had a chance to recover from it, but it didn’t, so I couldn’t.

Summer Blockbuster’s version of Greek mythology did not jive with the real mythology, and knowing it made it impossible for me to enjoy it. *kicks aluminum can*

What about you? Has a book/movie/sitcom been ruined for you b/c they got it wrong?

Jessica Signature

My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.

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8 responses to “Bookfessional: When They Get the Mythology Wrong

  1. Sonia from The Book Wielding

    Wait, what? Ares can do what? *tries to contain rage fit*
    They didn’t. They didn’t dare…
    And BTW, this time, Hera helped, to avoid the major fight that was happening over Aphrodite. Zeus was showing some interest too, so she chose her son.

    Can you message me the name of failing blockbuster so I may skip it? Thanks.

  2. I’m exactly the same! For a long time I wouldn’t read or watch anything that retold mythology because I knew I’d just be disappointed. After so many years of comic book movies I’m much better than I used your be but it still annoys me when they don’t stick to the mythology! What movie was this?
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Iā€™m still here!

  3. This is why I am constantly getting confused. Mythology was something I studied a long, long time ago. Sometimes I would read something and be like “hey, I remember that”. But then I would read something else that totally negated what I read in the last book. So now I doubt everything I know or did know about mythology and just try to keep up with whatever the book dishes out to me. So much confusion, and it really affects my rating of a book.
    Tanya recently posted…Book Tag ~ Mid Year Freak Out

  4. Okay, so I have the same problem. None of what you shared was news to me – which means if I were to watch the summer blockbuster I would also share your incredulity and frustration. Problem is, I have no idea what movies are out at the moment because yeah, I so can’t afford movie tickets lol! I do the dollar theater and by then, it’s like a Winter lackluster, rather than a summer blockbuster. Any chance you can leave me a hint as to what film I should avoid in the future?
    Berls recently posted…Babbling about getting rid of ARCs!

  5. Great topic you discussed here. I actually admire it when an author can get the mythology right. Now there has been an author, that doesn’t, but normally I get the feeling they do it that way to add a unique spin and I never take those seriously, but honestly it does drive me crazy.

  6. I know which movie you are talking about and I guess because I don’t know these things it didn’t bother me. šŸ™‚ I love mythical books and movies but I will admit that I don’t know my Romans from my Greeks or Norse, so if they get it wrong I don’t know…lol. The movie you couldn’t enjoy has been my favorite movie this year…lol. šŸ˜‰
    Stormi recently posted…Audiobook review of Grace Against the Clock