However, I've started to notice a problem unfolds as I'm reading these stories. You see, while reading about these incredible heroes and their feats of strength, I need to envision someone in my mind. Someone strong, someone with rugged good looks and wearing the kind of outfit one would wear back then. Someone with a gloriously epic amount of facial hair, and someone with the voice of a young god. Someone that would, in essence, get the ladies wet, and get the gays hard. You would think it would be hard for me to imagine such a hero, but fortunately, Hollywood gave me that image back in 2006, courtesy of...Gerard Butler in a little movie called 300.
Now when I read about Gilgamesh, when I read about Odysseus, or Roland or Beowulf, and I need a mental picture of the hero in action, I get this image in my head.
It is seriously unavoidable. Let me give you a few examples of what I'm talking about.
From The Illiad:
Opposite him, Achilles exploded forward, fury incarnate behind the curve of his shield, a glory of metalwork, and the plumes nodded and rippled on his helmet's crest, thick golden horsehair set by Hephaestus, and his spearpoint glinted like the Evening Star...
|Boom. That just happened.|
Or we can take a line from The Song of Roland:
Roland in pain, maddened with grief and rage: rushes where they are thickest and strikes again, strikes twenty men of Spain, strikes twenty dead, and Walter six, and the Archbishop five. The pagans say: "Look at those criminals! Now take care, Lords, they don't get out alive, only a traitor will not attack them now! Only a coward will let them save their skins!" And then they raise their hue and cry once more, rush in on them, once more from every side...
So, as you can see, I'm probably pretty screwed when it comes to getting this image of a "hero" out of my head. Why? Well because Gerard Butler was freaking BA in that movie. The beard, the abs, the voice, it's all there. He's the perfect candidate for an imaginary hero in my head to go along with all these stories. I suppose the only real problem is that any time there's action, I just see him kicking a bunch of dudes into a hole instead of running them through with a sword or choppin off heads. Kind of makes for some anti-climatic moments in reading, and I'll give you an example of that.
Inspired again by the thought of glory, the war-king threw his whole strength behind a sword stroke and kicked him into a hole.
Next thing, they say, the noble son of Weohstan saw the king in danger at his side and displayed his inborn bravery and strength. He left the head alone, but his fighting hand was burned when he came to his kinsman's aid. He lunged at the enemy lower down and kicked him into a hole.
Once again the king gathered his strength and drew a stabbing knife he carried on his belt, sharpened for battle. He then kicked the dragon into a hole.
See? It kind of makes for a predictable story. "How did Beowulf eventually kill Grendel?" "Well, he actually did the weirdest thing. He had a really neat sword named Naegling, but he left that alone, yelled something about Sparta, and kicked the dude in a hole. It was the weirdest ending I've ever read."
So there's a little peek into my brain. I wouldn't stay long, it might be hazardous to your health.
p.s. I would officially like to start the movement to make Gerard Butler stop showing his butt in movies. Since the majority of people who read my blog are middle aged housewives, I think I'm starting in the wrong spot, but hey. The man is naked in EVERY SINGLE MOVIE. I'm pretty sure he mooned someone in The Lion King. He just shows up to the set, drops his pants, they shoot the scene and he's out. C'mon.