Let’s just remember for a second that in the beginning of The Song of Achilles, Patroclus is described as being too slow, too small—basically not a warrior, never going to be a warrior. Throughout the book, he’s shown as not really having a love of fighting and chooses to learn medicine from Chiron on Mount Pelion. And then, at the very end, in the most 180 character development I’ve ever seen in my entire life, Patroclus dons the armor of his most beloved, the demigod known as the warrior to end all warriors, the best of the Greeks, and goes into battle. Into fucking battle.
He goes against everything that anyone ever thought of him; what he thought of himself. This man—against the words of his father who never showed him the love he deserved, who was cast out into exile by that same father, this man who would rise to be the pin in the grenade—does what no one expected him to: He leads a charge against the Trojans that spins the war on its head in such a way that gods have to get involved.
Achilles, aristos achaion, refuses to fight because of an argument with Agamemnon over honor, and sweet, gentle, kind Patroclus with his heart full of only love for his people, for his friends, for the man he holds most dear—this man, without grace (I mean he’s dropping spears and accidentally almost knocking his helmet off for hell’s sake) makes what’s described as a ‘fateful decision’ and says, “You know what? Send me. I’ll do it.”
Even if you read the Iliad, it goes the same way. We remember Achilles, this strong, bronze, divine being as the one who kills Hector. Ask anyone about the Trojan War and I’ll bet you 100:1 that people will always mention Achilles before Patroclus, but you know what? It should be the other way around. The amount of courage it takes to know that you have no special skill, you’re mortal, and there’s an extremely high chance that you’re going to die, and yet you still go to the largest battle before the demigod does—the fact that that exact moment is when the entire war turns and what was once a losing battle is refueled… That to me is more heroic than anything.
I realized that I’m a soft person. I think I’m sensitive. I wanted very much to be tough and I think movie stars have a certain kind of resilience and toughness to them, but I’m quite a sensitive young lady in some respects.
i hit a big goal of mine (1.5k) and truly thank you! you’re the most wonderful community here. everyone is so lovely and you’re some of the most amazing people. in lieu of this, and my failed previous blog rates/aesthetic (oh dear!) i decided to do archive moodboards if anyone is interested.