Character Connection: Achilles

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Character Connection

Don’t you just love larger-than-life characters? The ones who jump off the page and grab you? Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t be indifferent to them.

I would love to know about the characters who just won’t leave you! Most of you will probably post about how much you love (or loathe) each character, but this is a great place for the more creative ones among you to let go and have fun! Write yourself into a scene with Anne and Diana. Write a love poem in elvish for Aragorn. Draw a picture of Harry obliterating Voldemort. The possibilities are endless.

Be sure to post the book’s title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

Mr. Linky will be posted here on The Introverted Reader every Thursday.

Yup. That Achilles. If you don’t know his part in the Trojan war, stop here. This is one big re-telling of those events with my own spin on them.

I cannot stand Achilles. Ever since I first came across his story, probably when I was 12 or 13, I have thought he was the biggest wimp ever. Oh, sure, he’s a great fighter–now that he’s practically invincible since his mom gave him that little dunk in the river Styx. Cheater. And, sure, the Greek army was lost without him. But look at all the havoc his little temper tantrum caused.

So, his “honor” is besmirched when Agamemnon–what was it?  Took away his slave girl/sex slave? Something equally appalling anyway.  The big manly man goes and sulks in his tent. No talking it out, no overlooking the slight for the greater good of his friends and countrymen. No, just a retreat like a 3-year-old brat to his tent.

I hated this weird
over-the-top Air Jordan
attack move Brad Pitt
kept doing as Achilles in Troy

So then, his cousin/best friend/lover begs him to come back and join the war because, dammit, the Greeks are actually losing without him, stoking his own already over-inflated opinion of himself. Well, Mr. Reasonable just can’t listen. It’s all about the honor and proving a point, so even though he gets an apology and Agamemnon offers the girl back, in his tent he stays.

Well, what’s a best friend loyal to his country to do?

Dress up in Achilles’ armor, in the hopes of striking fear in the hearts of the Trojans and giving the Greeks an edge that way.

Wrong move, dude.

The Trojans hate Achilles, so when the cousin/best friend shows up and they think they’ve got Achilles in their sights, he becomes the prime target. And Hector, a hero who really is a hero, kills the well-meaning guy.

Well. Now Achilles gets off his ass to help.

It’s not his fault that his best friend got killed. Oh, no. It’s Hector’s. Of course it is. I’m sure there’s something about Achilles moaning around about how it wasn’t a fair fight and how Hector should have known it wasn’t really Achilles he was fighting. If it’s not in there, it should be. It’s something Achilles would think. So now the war is personal. Forget that the Greeks are the attacking forces here and that Hector’s just trying to protect his city. Forget that Achilles himself is the one who practically forced his loser best friend to fight in his armor. Achilles is sad and when Achilles is sad, Achilles is pissed.  Yes, he’s that emotionally sophisticated.

So, of course, Achilles somehow manages to kill Hector. Remember, he’s practically invincible, so who’s talking about a fair fight now? That’s not enough. Now he has to tie the real hero’s body to the back of his chariot and drag him around and around the city of Troy as Hector’s father, mother, wife, brothers, and everybody else looks on. To the Greeks this was horrifying. As I recall, they had a huge respect for dead bodies.

Then, he finally stops dragging the body around like a cat with a string, but he still won’t let the Trojans have the body of their hero back. Nope. He’s still sad, he’s still pissed, it’s still not his fault.

There’s more, but that’s the part that really pisses me off. I love Hector. Sulky Achilles should not have gotten to finish him off. The only consolation is that Paris, Hector’s useless beautiful brother, does manage to kill Achilles with a lucky arrow to the heel. How mortifying is that to the big tough hero bully?

Who did you connect with this week? Link your post on Mr. Linky, then be sure to go check out the other Character Connections!

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  1. I cannot agree more! Hector is sooo much better! I usually lose interest in the Troy movie once Hector dies.

  2. I'm with you 100%! Ever since I was a kid I've despised Achilles! (and Brad Pitt as him didn't help much). Like you said, Hector was the real hero.

  3. Ah, I'm with you on Achilles being a dud of 'hero', he's such a heel (couldn't help myself).

    Although I did like the air jordan moves in the film. Not realistic, but fun filmology.

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