Niobe

Finally, we arrived at the last Amazon appearing in Wonder Woman (not the last character, though): Niobe, portrayed by Jacqui-Lee Pryce. In the movie, she’s mainly seen during the trial against Steve Trevor, and she stays in the background as the human soldier is questioned with the Lasso of Truth. She’s just a background character in the film, and in this she’s just the same as in the comics, as she appears only in a couple of issues, and without a particular role in any of them. Nevertheless, there’s something to say about her as well: let’s see together.

Niobe was an amazon, thus not properly born, but rather created from clay by five goddesses of Olympus who entrusted her with a mission: Athena, AphroditeHestiaArtemis and Demeter imbued the artificial bodies with the souls of women killed by men, and let Zeus give life to them. The Amazons’ purpose on Earth was to bring peace, comprehension and compassion to men, who were exterminating each other with war and violence. Niobe and the others founded their own city, Themyscira, in Turkey, and from there they started a number of expeditions all around the world, especially in Greece and in Rome, where they became the stuff of legends. A day came when the Amazons abandoned their mission, though: the hero of men Herakles attacked Themyscira, and with a trick he and his men captured all the Amazons, raping them and later chaining them to be sold as slaves. When Athena freed her “daughters”, the Amazons slained their captors, then two groups formed: one, led by Queen Antiope, wanted to exact revenge on Herakles and to look for him around the world to punish him, while the other, led by Queen Hippolyta, chose to be faithful to Athena’s mission and not to taint their hands with blood anymore. Niobe was among the second ones, and she followed Hippolyta: the “loyalists” were faced by the gods, who punished them for the carnage they were responsible of by giving them another mission, to guard the Doom’s Doorway on a remote island that would have become the new Themyscira. Niobe, a gentle soul, decided to give up on her violent ways while on the island, and she became a priestess, taking upon herself the duty of informing the Amazons of the will of the gods.

As a priestess, Niobe lent her help to all the other Amazons who filled the same position, and she served in several temples. She didn’t have any particular role in raising Diana, Hippolyta’s daughter, but she worked with the oracles to look into her future and to advise the queen about it. When Diana, as Wonder Woman, travelled to Men’s World, a new era was predicted for Themyscira: Diana, in fact, rebuilt the bridge of peace between Themyscira and the outside world, a process that knew its fulfillment when the princess came back to the island accompanied by a delegation of twelve personalities from Men’s World. When the delegates were coming to the island, Niobe was serving in the Temple of Healing, taking care of Penelope, who had fallen ill after contracting a mysterious fever that was clearly of magic origin. Niobe helped Epione take care of her, but no improvement seemed to be possible…until the humans arrived on the island, led by Wonder Woman: only in that moment, Penelope awakened, apparently in her full strength, with no memory of her own illness. As the patient tried to walk away of the temple without even letting the healers take a look at her, Niobe tried to stop her…but then something intervened, something dark and powerful, that confused her mind and erased whatever she wanted to say. Not even remembering who she wanted to stop and why, Niobe let Penelope go: she had fallen victim to Ares‘ spell, who was using Penelope as his own puppet to ruin Themyscira’s reborn relation with the outside world. In a certain way, Niobe had been the interpreter of the gods’ will as she wanted to, only it was the wrong god she was doing the bidding of, and she wasn’t even aware of it…

Niobe is a good-hearted woman, gentle and committed to the Amazons’ original mission of bringing peace and understanding in the world. As an Amazon, she possesses suprhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, reflexes and enhanced senses; a skilled warrior, she prefers nevertheless to put in use her intellect and her sensitivity, and she acts as a healer, a priestess and an aid to the oracle, wanting to be at her people’s service with something else than swords. Of all the Amazons’ gifts, Niobe is surely one of the best embodiments of compassion.

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3 Comments

  1. Not the last Amazon, there’s stll Timandra, played by Danielle Lewis!
    BTW, good job with this site, it’s the first thing I search to start the day haha

    • D’oh! I missed her in the credits!
      Thanks a lot! 😉

  2. […] Niobe […]


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