The Promise of the Pantheon

Have you guys seen the Gods of Egypt trailer? If so, then you’re probably just as confused about how it reflects ancient Egyptian mythology as I am. If not, then here you go:

Now my first reaction was at how white the actors were for this film. This is ancient Egypt, right? In fact, an article on that topic was the first hit when I did a Google search for the film just now. My second reaction was, wait, are those supposed to be Egyptian gods? And that shield is breaking in slow-motion, right?

The only main woman I saw wasn’t even willing to do anything herself. She just wanted to convince the male protagonist to do it instead. Coming from a land where you had awesome ladies like Cleopatra, Nefertiti, and the goddess Isis, I kind of expected a more interesting female character, even if she isn’t the main protagonist. Yes, I haven’t seen the film yet of course, but so far it’s ticking a lot of boxes for me that make me want to avoid it.

I expected more from a film that was supposed to focus on the Gods of Egypt, or at least ancient Egypt. I guess I’ve been spoiled by the awesome stories covered over at HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast such as Under the Pyramids starring Houdini and The Mummy’s Foot. Sure they’re both kind of ridiculous stories in a way, but they still have at least some respect for the original culture and lore.

One of the best comparisons I’ve read for this film came from a CinemaBlend article:

Basically what we have here is the recent Clash of the Titans remake with the serial numbers filed off and the geography changed to Egypt in order to change the names of the characters.

Bingo. That’s what this movie feels like, and that makes me sad. The ancient Egyptian pantheon has so many interesting stories and unique characters that there are endless entertaining tales that could be spun regarding them. Just reading over Isis’s Wikipedia page gives plenty of interesting ideas, like how she creates a golden phallus for her dead husband. That’s true dedication there.

So my sister and I came up with a challenge. I told her that if she wants to see more interesting stories with the Egyptian gods in them, then we need to write them ourselves. So that’s what we’re going to do.

We have until the end of the year to each write a short story (doesn’t have to be anything long) that includes one of the many gods. Personally I’m leaning toward Thoth, and it’ll likely include something horrific, because why not? He’s always been one of my favorites. Did you know they used to mummify ibises in his honor? They found a ton of these guys (estimated at 1.5 million) in one of the catacombs.

Anybody else wish there were more interesting ancient Egyptian stories around?

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