Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Start of the Bana-Mighdall

What happened to Antiope? What about her people?

We last left off with Antiope abandoning the gods after the Heracles enslavement and the Amazons separating. For awhile Antiope and her Amazons found a peaceful co-existence with men when she married the Athenian king Theseus. It ended horribly when Antiope was murdered in her bed. A young Amazon named Phthia was discovered by Theseus. She blamed the king who had suspicions of her involvement since she was wielding a weapon near his youngest son, Hyppolytus. (*1) She claimed she was trying to protect the baby from his father.

Melanippus the captain of the royal guard and the king 's first son took this as his chance. He hated all Amazons and while Phthia was imprisoned he took his hatred out on her. She never confessed to the murder she was accused of no matter what he did. Theseus didn't buy what his son claimed and pointed out how they lacked any evidence. The Amazons had been their best allies and when they learned of their queen's death they would not take the execution of another Amazon well.

Ariadne: Centuries later the Bana-Mighdall believe Theseus searched for someone to blame for Antiope's death and kept Phthia in his dungeon to silence her. (*2) Ariadne was Theseus' former wife that he banished from the kingdom apparently just so he could marry Antiope. When this is explained to Diana in present day she responds by stating Ariadne did murder Queen Antiope and Circe sent her.

When Ariadne had been found guilty of the murders of Antiope and Phthia (*3) the Amazons of the past thought it sounded suspicious. They didn't think Ariadne could enter Athens unnoticed and no one knew where Phthia's body was. Before Phthia could actually be killed she was freed and her people decided there would never be peace between Amazons and man. Ariadne could have spoken up to admit her guilt to free Phthia or even confessed her own innocence. She didn't do either making the Amazons blame her as much as Theseus. Ever since they used the name Ariadne for outsiders to signify "evil intruder" or "one who must not be trusted."

The Golden Girdle of Gaea

Remember the two Golden Girdles the gods gave Hippolyta and Antiope? Hippolyta had hers taken by Heracles and was given Antiope's when the sisters separated. Antiope's girdle, at least in this origin, became Diana's lasso. Somewhere along the way Antiope got her sisters' girdle back.

Once freed Phthia and the Amazons broke into Antiope's tome to take the girdle. She made a speech to the gods of Olympus on how they were betrayed twice by men. The girdle was reclaimed for its power that would be used for conquest.

The Amazons eventually founded their Bana-Mighdall, the temple of women. Unfortunately in the first encounter Diana has with the Bana-Mighdall shows how far the Amazons have fallen from their original values. (*4)

*1 Based on the name it looks like Antiope was honest when she said she'd never stop loving her sister.

*2 They don't know ask much as Diana since Circe told her the real story.

*3 Consort was used in this arc a few times.When the story of Antiope's death comes out Phthia is called her consort. We know they weren't lovers since Theseus dismisses his son hinting at Phthia resenting Antiope and the king. Theseus claims Phthia saw Antiope as a second mother. While consort could also mean "to associate" or "keep company" it seems odd to use that word. In the same arc it was used to imply a deeper bond. Once with an Amazon demanding she had the right to avenge her consort (another Amazon) which the queen allows. I took this as a sly way for the writer to have them be referred to as lovers.

*4 There are some kind members of the Bana Mighdall but nothing is really done with them.

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