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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Writing, Again: Part XIII - Myth and "-Machy"

When it comes to writing Lords of Kobol, some of my favorite stuff comes from mythology.  I'm talking about the Greek mythology; not the show's mythology.  I love reading up on these ancient tales and then trying to figure out a way for Cylons to enter the mix.

So it's fun.  It's a good storytelling exercise.  Like making Hades the lord of the underworld.  Or punishing Prometheus for revealing forbidden knowledge to mankind.  Sometimes I like to take the mythology and turn it completely around.  Honestly, the only example of that I can think of would be Hephaestus' loving marriage to Aphrodite.  (In mythology, their marriage was rather loveless and she slept with everyone but Heph.)

With Of Gods and Titans, there were many, many more myths to explore.  This gave me a skeleton of narrative ideas and also fertile ground for creative integration solutions.

Sorry.  I seemed to have gone corporate for a second there.

Basically, there are shloads of good myths about the gods and the Titans and that gave me shloads of opportunities to make cool stuff up.

For most people, they might not notice the connections to real myths.  If you're a Greek scholar or a fan of this stuff, you might even get more enjoyment from it all.  But for the masses, there's really only one Titan story we all remember:

Francisco de Goya's "Saturn Devouring His Son"

Admittedly, it's pretty damned hard to forget that Cronus (Saturn) ate his kids.  Maybe you forgot that Rhea (Cronus' wife) hid baby Zeus and tricked Cronus into eating a stone instead, which later caused him to puke up his other children.  Still, that's the part about the Titans everyone knows.

I won't spoil it, but I will say that I'm particularly proud of how I made this story fit into the Lords of Kobol universe.

But there's a lot more myths to be had.

The war between the Olympians and the Titans is called, in Greek, "Titanomachy."  "-machy" is a suffix meaning "war" or "conflict."  Again, I won't spoil anything, but there are other "machies" involving the Titans and the Olympians.  They are the "Gigantomachy" and the "Typhonomachy."  If you want, feel free to Google or Wiki those, but maybe you'd like it better if you studied up on that biz after you read Book Five.

Still, for my purposes, it's intriguing to think that most people only know the story of Cronus eating his children.  But how did Zeus overthrow the Titans?  It's in the book.

I know I said this is a post about myth, but I won't be getting into the mythology of BSG here, or the whole One True God and its Messengers thing.  I'll save that for a later post about the theology of Book Five.

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