Total War

Who Was… Achilles?

Content of the article: "Who Was… Achilles?"

Achilles, the man, the myth, the legend, literally! Achilles is, in a roundabout way, the cause of the Trojan War because of a prophecy that concerned him, or more specifically his mother, Thetis. Thetis had a prophecy around her that said her son would be greater than the father, which made both Zeus and Poseidon decide to not sleep with her, but rather conspire to have her married to a mortal king, Peleus. Peleus convinces Thetis to marry him after he holds onto her despite her shapeshifting into various forms, and at their wedding, does not invite Eris. Eris throws a golden apple into the proceedings, which leads to the Judgement of Paris, which leads to the Kidnapping of Helen which leads to the Trojan War.

But back to Achilles. Achilles, a demigod, is prince of Phthia, but Thetis isn't jazzed about his half-mortal side. When he is a baby, his mother tries to make him immortal either by burning off his mortality (earliest source for this is the Apollonius's Argonautica from the 3rd century B.C.E) or by dipping him in the river Styx (earliest surviving source is Statius's Achillied from the 1st century C.E), in either story, she misses one part of him, his heel. The reason for his depends on the source; according to Apollonius this is because Peleus walks in one night, freaks out at seeing his son being on fire and snatches him out of it before Thetis is done, and according to Statius, it is because Thetis was holding Achilles by his ankle when she dipped him in the Styx.

The Greeks are destined to win the Trojan war if Achilles fights for them, but Achilles will die in the war. Thetis, not exactly happy about her son dying, decides to hide a teenaged Achilles among the people of Skyros, specifically as a girl (it is a this time that Achilles fathers Neoptolemus, who will go to Troy after his father dies and ultimately survive the war). This fails as Odysseus, having failed in his own ploy to get out of the war and deciding if he has to go then everyone has to go, tracks him down and manages to reveal him, either by seeing a disguised Achilles's interest in a weapon or by faking an attack and seeing Achilles leap to the defense. Achilles then decides (or is convinced) that it's better to live a short but glorious life rather than a long, obscure one.

Read more:  Dear CA, please delay Warhammer 3 as much as you want.

So Achilles goes to war leading the Myrmidons. At first, the Greek ships stop at the wrong place and Achilles wounds Telephus, king of Mysia (who he will later heal), but eventually they get to Troy. Achilles quickly goes off and sacks a bunch of cities belonging to Troy's allies, so he's off to a smashing success. We don't know too much about this period as it was detailed in the Cypria, which is mostly lost to us, but from the Iliad we know that it is during this time that Achilles drives Aeneas off from his home city and beats Hector at least once (although never manages to kill him).

Now the Trojan was continues on for 9 more years. In the ninth year, Achilles captures Briseis, a queen, as well as a Chryseis, the daughter of a priest of Apollo. He gives Chryseis to Agamemnon (as Agamemnon is war chief and is supposed to get a share of all spoils), but this turns out to be a bad idea as her father prays to Apollo who inflicts a plague on the Greeks until they give her back (this is the start of the Iliad). Achilles demands that Agamemnon give her back, Agamemnon agrees on the condition that he gets Briseis, this angers Achilles (angry Achilles will become a theme) and he states he is going to sit out the war because he's been offended, but he agrees none-the-less.

Achilles then whines to his mother that Agamemnon has taken away Briseis and asks that she do something to make Agamemnon pay and make him realize what a bad decision that was. Thetis agrees and gets Zeus to do something, which Zeus starts off by letting the Trojans win.

Achilles kind of sits back and relaxes while this is all going on, despite his men calling him him a heartless monster. He says that he will fight when the Trojans get to his ships, and not a moment sooner. He even mocks Patroclus (his close comrade/possible paramour) when Patroclus is shedding tears at the Greek deaths by saying he's crying like a woman.

Read more:  Common-sense fixes to diplomacy

Unfortunately for Achilles, the something eventually comes into full play, when Patroclus, dressed in Achilles's armor, is killed by Hector and the Gods (Achilles had relented enough to let Patroclus borrow his armor and drive back the Trojans, just a little). Achilles then flies into a great rage/sorrow, and screams so loudly that the Trojans decide to retreat for the day (he can't join the fight immediately as his armor is now in Hector's hands). Achilles then gets a brand new set of armor forged by Hepheastus, has a 'fuck it, I'm more pissed at the Trojans now' peace talk with Agamemnon, and gets ready to fight the Trojans the next day. He also postpones the funeral of Patroclus until he gets some revenge.

Achilles takes to the field the next day, and pretty much routs the entire Trojan army by himself. He also fights a river-god, Scamander, who was pissed that Achilles killed so many people that the river got dammed (Scamander is winning but Hera and Hephaestus come to bail Achilles out). Apollo manages to distract Achilles from killing the army long enough for the Trojans to escape back into Troy (and mocks Achilles too), but one Trojan stays outside, Hector.

Suffice to say, this ends very poorly for Hector, and Achilles starts to drag his body around the city to demoralize the Trojans, which works very well (He will ultimately give the body back to Priam when the Gods demand he do so). Achilles, having gotten his revenge, has a grand funeral pyre for Patroclus built (upon which he sacrifices Trojans, which kind of worries everyone else) and hosts funeral games.

That's kind of it for the Iliad, although not for Achilles. Achilles will later kill the heroes Memnon and Penthesilea when they try and bail out Troy, marking him as THE hero-killer for the Danaans. Achilles will ultimately die from getting shot with an arrow, whether at the gates of Troy or in a temple where he thought he was going to get married, and his ghost has one final appearance where he demands that Priam's youngest daughter is to be sacrificed to him, proving that not all grudges end at death.

Read more:  SFO Grimhammer (skaven) frustration


Similar Guides

Top 7 NEW Games of January 2021

New year - new month - new games. Take a look at the first 2021 games you’ll be playing on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Switch, and more.

More about Total War

Post: "Who Was… Achilles?" specifically for the game Total War. Other useful information about this game:

Top 10 Best Video Games of 2020 (So Far)

In times of uncertainty, video games allow us to escape from the stress of the real world. For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the best games released in the first half of 2020.

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *