Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tales of the Greeks

Just finished watching Jason and the Argonauts.  Since I appear to be the only insomniac blogging about D&D on the West Coast, figured I'd post a quick one while the rest o y'all were sleeping. Don't worry...I still have to get up around 6am tomorrow.

Pretty cool movie, not sure if I've seen it before (if so, it was a looooong time ago).  I love the Greeks and their mythology, though I'm more up on my gods and goddesses than all the various heroes (oh, I know the basics, but I get some of the stories confused...for example, Jason and Odysseus).

Anyway, I'm pretty sure it was Heracles that killed the hydra, and not with a stab to the heart. Cinematic license, I guess.

I loved the portrayal of the Greek deities in the film...even moreso than in Clash of the Titans (which I also recently watched). Ray Harryhausen's films endow these mythic beings with such...I don't know...humanity while still retaining their regal divinity.  

I thought Hera's  character in Jason was especially well-done; so often she is portrayed as one cold-hearted bitch.  Here she was playful, loving, and motherly as well as a soul-mate-spouse of Zeus.  Usually she's shown as a nagging shrew, or a vengeful "wronged woman" (which she often is); but it was nice to be reminded why she's still Zeus's queen.

Awhile back I wrote a series of articles for Vault of Pandius detailing the use of Greek Olympians and Elder Titans in a BECMI campaign.  I was feeling a little miffed that the Greeks (my favorite pantheon of gods) had been so snubbed by the Wrath of the Immortals set.  Perhaps I'll make them available here...at least they have some stats for Grecian Immortals (as well as how to use them in a Mystarran campaign).

BTW: for those who are unaware of Pandius, it is the top resource for non-product BECMI stuff on the Net.  Lots of good stuff there for folks who like Mystarra and the Known World, including a bunch of (bleah!) conversions to 3E. I strongly recommend all B/X players check it out if they haven't already!


  1. One of my all-time favorite movies. The moment where Talos turns his head to look at Hercules was seared into my brain as a kid, and the skeleton fight is amazing. (Harryhausen has said that his only regret about the skeleton fight was that the scene wasn't filmed at night. Its effect would have been doubled.)

  2. I gotta' agree, Talos is a highlight. In my youth, an illustration of Talos from the story of Theseus (Harryhausen mixes a lot of his mythology) provided plenty o inspiration for golems.

    Of course, now that I've seen Jason, I can totally see where the ida behind B/X "bronze golems" come from...Talos, the man of bronze! Ha. Looking forward to including one of these 20HD monstrosities in my next adventure.