Antiope

antiopefilmA new official image from the upcoming Wonder Woman has been released, and it features our first look at some of the Amazons from Themyscira. On the far right of the pic you can spot Antiope, portrayed by Robin Wright in her live action debut: she’ll be Queen Hippolyta‘s sister, and another mother figure for young Diana in her formation. Not much else is known about her, apart from the fact that she’ll be a relevant figure in Themyscira, and that she’ll have something to say about the presence of men on the island, maybe entering in direct conflict with her idealistic niece. Anyway, waiting to see the first live action version of Antiope on screen, let’s take a look at the original one (not the first version, an envious Amazon rival to Hippolyta who got killed by the Shadow Demons, but the other, post-Chrisis one).

Many years ago, around 1300 B.C., the gods of Olympus gathered in a meeting called by some of the goddesses: they wanted to create some champions of humanity, who could bring peace in a world devastated by war, quickly forgetting its gods. Zeus, believing that men forgetting the gods was a “nonsense”, refused to give his help, and Hera followed her husband; Ares was happy with a world prisoner of war, and left as well; most of the male gods followed Zeus as well, and only Hestia, Athena, Aphrodite, Demeter and Artemis remained, more than intentioned to bring their project to fruition. They gathered from the Well of Souls the spirits of all the women who had been killed by men’s hatred, then imbued them into clay bodies in a lake in Greece: the Amazons, strong women who would have carried in the world the peace message of Gaea, were born. The first to emerge from the lake was Hippolyta, while the second one was her sister, Antiope. The two sisters were entrusted with the title of Queens of the Amazons, and they would have reigned together in armony; as a symbol of their position and of their devotion to Gaea and the goddesses, the two queens were given a Golden Girdle, which also increased their natural warrior abilities. Antiope ruled along with Hippolyta, trying to interrupt the ongoing wars and to bring to the world Gaea’s peace, but Ares messed things up, antiopecomics1and made most of the men distrust the Amazons and their message. Antiope and the others grew constantly frustrated by men’s refusal, and despite they tried to bring peace in Greece, in Turkey and even in Rome, their efforts proved to be useless. The Amazons’ number grew as they added to their population the many women they freed from slavery and from men’s brutality, and it was this way that Antiope found her adoptive daughter, Pythia, who followed her to the place the Amazons called home, the enchanted city of Themyscira. Growing frustrated over the many failures, the Amazons decided to stay in Themyscira, living in peace among their equals, leaving the city only if emergency required it, being known as warriors of peace everywhere, but refusing to take part to wars they couldn’t possibly stop.

Despite living in Themyscira, the Amazons always led help to the women needing it: when Antiope and Hippolyta found an ill woman on horseback leading a girl along, they knew their intervention was required. The woman was Hypsipyle, queen of Lemnos, and the girl was her daughter, Phthia, her heir. The two had been banished by the population of Lemnos after a rebellion, but a soothsayer told her she must come back home, accompanied by a warrior queen. Antiope took upon herself the task of escorting Hypsipyle back to Lemnos, while her sister remained in Themyscira: what the delegation found in Lemnos was complete horror, as all the warrior women in the city (Lemnos was a matriarchy like Themyscira) had killed each other in a period of anarchy following the queen’s exile. Hypsipyle, looking at her people’s fate, died of grief; Antiope, learning the lesson of what could happen to Themyscira as well, came back home wiser but harsher, and she also adopted Phthia, creating a strong bond with the orphaned princess. Back in Themyscira, however, the Amazons faced a new threat when the demi-god Hercules tried to conquer them with his army: defeated by Hippolyta, the warrior was offered peace nevertheless, and he agreed. Hercules’ general, cunning Theseus, drugged the wine in the following banquet, and the men imprisoned and raped the Amazons. Hippolyta asked for Athena’s help, and the goddess agreed to save her “daughter”, but only if she agreed not to antiopecomics2pursue vengeance against her captors, as this would have been below the Amazons’ values and reason for living. Hippolyta agreed, but Antiope didn’t: when the Amazons were free, Antiope led a small faction of Amazons against the men still in the city, and slaughtered them. Hippolyta tried to stop her sister, but she angrily turned against her, claiming her right to exact vengenace on the ones who had killed and raped so many of her sisters. The choice was clear: whether she agreed not to follow Hercules and Theseus back to Greece, or she would have left Themyscira for good. Still furious and humiliated, Antiope gave her Golden Girdle to Hippolyta, in replacement of the one Hercules had stolen from her, then she took the faction of Amazons still faithful to her and left Themyscira, starting a hunt for the invaders: no oath would have prevented Antiope from obtaining the vengeance that was rightfully hers.

Antiope is a strong yet impulsive woman, and her experience makes her much more distrustful and pitiless than her sister Hippolyta. The gifts from her five “mothers”, the Olympic goddesses, have blessed her with wisdom and immortality, but also with superhuman strength, durability, speed, agility and reflexes; despite she exists to defend peace, she’s a fierce warrior, an unmatched swordswoman and a lethal hand-to-hand combatant, proficient with every traditional Greek weapon. Proud and imperious, Antiope is ready to renounce to the very oath that brought her to life to protect her and her sisters’ dignity, a queen fitter for war times than for the Amazons’ peace building.

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9 Comments

  1. […] Antiope […]

  2. […] Antiope […]

  3. […] witnessed to the first Amazonian civil war, which ended in a schism: Hippolyta’s sister Antiope gave up on the way of peace, and decided to lead a group of rogue Amazons to Athens to exact her […]

  4. […] Hippolyta begged her belligerant sisters to step down from their bloodthirst, but her sister, Queen Antiope, decided to disobey Olympus and to hunt down Herakles and Theseus in the outside world. Trigona had […]

  5. […] without flinching). She’s also the last warrior Diana has to defeat before facing her aunt Antiope, and she’s obviously recognised as the strongest Amazon on Themyscira. Finding her in […]

  6. […] and Theseus invaded Themyscira, as she was a descendant of the Amazons who had chosen to follow Queen Antiope in her bloody revenge against Men’s World. She was born in Bana-Mighdall, a new city for […]

  7. […] at first failed in their quest, but they eventually tricked Queen Hippolyta and Queen Antiope, chained and raped them, putting an end to the golden age of the Amazons: after that episode, the […]

  8. […] Egeria, portrayed by professional martial artist Madeleine Vall. In the movie, she’s one of Antiope‘s top warriors, and we see her both during her training and during the brief battle that sees […]

  9. […] are often used referring to the same character) was born in quite a dire times for the Amazons: Queen Antiope had abandoned Themyscira to exact her revenge on the men who had attacked the island, and many […]


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