Favourite faces for favourite mythic ladies: Epipole of Carystos with Gwendoline Christie
Forty ships left Euboea to aid the return of Helen of Sparta, and upon one of those ships rode a young woman hiding in plain sight, with hair cropped short and clad in garments she’d taken from her brother.
(It was her brother’s knife, also, that she’d taken to her hair when King Elephenor had made his call for men to join him, pulling on the braids until her scalp bled, making herself the image of a man to go where she never should.)
Living secretly among soldiers was hard, and Epipole had to keep her distance. Had to hide her womanly ways, the very nature of her gender that the warriors spoke so crudely of around the fire. She spoke very little with them, there instead for the glory of battle, there for the pride of Athena and to see greatness just once. She fought like a bear and slashed like a lion, striding like a stallion so that none would suspect she was a mare.
The battlefields outside Troy turned to sticky mud where soldiers fell, but Epipole did not fall: Epipole, taller than most, a golden head above her fellows, a girl among men, a wolf among wolves.