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The Reimagining of Myth

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, May 28, 2022
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Mythologies are fascinating. And with good reason. Each set represents centuries, if not millennia, of common unconscious and community narratives about all aspects of human existence: from the big questions of who we are to the wonders and terrors of nature to the wonders and terrors of society.

In short, they are stories made to capture humanity's interest.

That's why they're such excellent fodder for creativity. Reimagining myths is a treasure trove of regeneration and innovation, as they should be (religions are dynamic, and mythologies were religions once).

Reimagining myths can be anything, from keeping the story and plot intact but changing the setting to keeping the setting and altering the story in key points to serve a different purpose or meaning. (Ovid is notorious for doing this, so this reimagining thing is old. Really old)

The only thing that should be kept constant is the constellation of characters- they must be designed in a way and arranged with each other and towards the plot in such a manner that they are recognizably descendants of whatever myth is being reimagined. They, too, must be recognizable in some way. Their personality can drastically vary but the audience should still be able to recognize them for who they are (or who they were inspired from) at least by act 2.

Usually in a myth reimagining the plot remains roughly similar, at least in the main points. In Hades and Persephone's myth, Hades likes/loves/lusts Persephone, kidnaps her, and eventually gets to have her as his wife. There are innumerable variations on how these plot points connect with each other (from romantic to horrific) but generally, they always emerge. Often, a lot more plot points from the original myth are there.

The allure of the reimagined myth is that something classic and powerful acquires a novel sense, which invites the audience to explore other aspects of the human condition, or perhaps different questions being posed, or simply enjoying the story retold in some new manner.

Which myth reimaginings do you enjoy? Have you ever tried to reimagine a myth?

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anonymous?

PaulEberhardt at 11:12AM, May 28, 2022

I'm sure I incorporated myths somewhere at some point. I forgot where and what, but I must have done that, likely in some kind of disguise. I'm not so sure about aliens, but I do know that myths are the ultimate classics for a good reason. There's something very fundamentally human in them that raises them above mere stories.

Andreas_Helixfinger at 10:13AM, May 28, 2022

Well, one piece of myth reamagining I really like is that of the video game El-Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, which is set in the pre-biblical mythological landscape of the book of Enoch. The game makes a very unique and fittingly outlandish depiction on heaven, the angels, the Grigori (Fallen angels) and the Nephilim (A race of giants born from the copulation between angels and humans)

bravo1102 at 7:29AM, May 28, 2022

And then there's the pseudo archeology folks reinterpretation of ancient myths into alien astronauts. They mine a lot of the stories often mangling them beyond recognition as bad as Marvel in attempts to find some distant history. But taken as a work of fantasy the whole Annunaki thing would make a neat comic. I toyed with the idea of inserting it all into my history but decided to make man the source of all gods and rigid folks demystifying it all and then becoming myths themselves.

davidxolukoga at 6:36AM, May 28, 2022

@marcorossi yeah, reimagining.

Corruption at 6:36AM, May 28, 2022

I find it interesting how old myths have survived to this day in different ways. For example, Father Time, Mother Nature, Jack Frost, The old man and baby of New Years, and many more are remains of old myths (Chronos, Gaia, Loki, Mathias [an aspect of Sol Invivicus, and ancient Sun God]) However, reimagining myths is nothing new, and was practiced long ago to get followers, hide that they were worshiping different Gods from those in charge, and to absorb other religions. A simple example is the ancient Greeks claiming that some Gods of some islands were actually Titans or children of more important Gods who angered the more important ones. One comic I like is Mind Mistress that is a remake of the story of Athena

dpat57 at 5:24AM, May 28, 2022

I have greatly enjoyed scribbling shorts with Greek mythology characters. Sold a Perseus and Medusa story a while back... just pocket money, nothing huge... I might blow the dust off others and throw them out into the world to see what happens (I am terrible for forgetting about stories I wrote). Oddly I never thought about making them into comics, although they could easily serve as outlines. But I was in prose mindset when I made them, they maybe work better as is. Hector and Achilles made it into my stick figure comic but that probably doesn't count lol.

Tantz_Aerine at 4:40AM, May 28, 2022

@martcorossi ditto about Theia Mania. Excellently done.

marcorossi at 4:16AM, May 28, 2022

@davidxolukoga NOOOOO! I mean, Hera didn't even try to kill him in the cradle.

usedbooks at 4:15AM, May 28, 2022

I almost forgot the book Pyramids by Terry Pratchett! A camel accidentally brings all the gods to life because of math. Both older gods and newer ones. Several fight over who gets to carry the sun across the sky.

davidxolukoga at 4:14AM, May 28, 2022

Disney's Hercules was pretty awesome.

marcorossi at 4:00AM, May 28, 2022

I'm a big fan of Theia Mania, a webcomic about Hades/Persephone. On the other hand there are some reimaginings that I find irritating, like the old TV serie Hercules or the movie Troy, because they shoehorn myth in some rigid and stupidized form of morality (e.g. Achilles is not invulnerable because he would be un-heroic, and is a nice chap instead than a man-killing machine).

usedbooks at 3:53AM, May 28, 2022

I am particularly fond of (comedic) stories with Christian mythology. Good Omens and Dogma come to mind right away. I also enjoyed Little Evil, a darkish comedy. Nobody's Looking is a weird one. I like eastern mythology stories too. I usually end up researching the backgrounds. Ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece are a bit overused. I used to get a kick out of Norse mythology takes, but those got a bit boring thanks to Marvel. (The anime Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok was a fun ride.) JRPGs modify known mythology to create their own or they borrow terminology and sometimes change the spelling. I end up on a lot of rabbit hole internet searches to explore the origins.


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