I just got back from seeing Wonder Woman and I loved it. So good. It was almost everything I ever could have wished for Diana.
Almost. Because fuck the decision to make Zeus her father. I have hated this change in her origin story every since it was first introduced and even though it was largely glossed over and Zeus is a non-figure here, it’s still horrible. There was something so powerful and beautiful about Diana’s original origin as a child of clay brought to life by Aphrodite. It was a moment of women helping women and uplifting each other in a moment of great sorrow and longing and showed not only Hippolyta’s desperation for a child but Aphrodite’s goodness and grace in granting it. And now it, like so many other things, is ruined by Zeus’ dick.
Also, though, thematically it really does not make sense for Diana to be Zeus’ daughter. “I choose love” she tells Ares before laying down a royal smackdown. It is a moment for Steve Trevor and a powerful moment. I am not taking away from that. But imagine just how much more powerful that moment could have been if the Amazon history had gone a little different.
Zeus creates man in his image to be good and kind. Ares fills their hearts with hatred and drives them to war. Aphrodite creates the Amazons to fill mankind’s heart with love and turn them away from war. And for a while it works, but soon Ares gains the upper hand again and the Amazons are enslaved. The gods go to war against Ares and he kills every one of them until only Aphrodite is left. She defeats Ares but is unable to kill him and he flees. With the last of her strength, Aphrodite hides Themyscira and leaves behind the Godslayer so the Amazons can stop Ares should he ever return.
“I wanted you so desperately that I sculpted you from clay,” Hippolyta tells a young Diana. “And Aphrodite heard my prayers and gave you life.”
So the movie continues on until Diana finds herself face to face with Ares. She tries to strike him with the Godslayer but it shatters. “You fool,” Ares tells her. “The sword isn’t the Godslayer. It’s you. Only a god can kill another god and you are the child of Hippolyta and Aphrodite.”
“I choose love,” Diana tells Ares. And it’s a powerful moment as is. But imagine how much more powerful that moment would have been if instead of just affirming Steve’s sacrifice, Diana was affirming the very reason the Amazons were created. Affirming their creator. Affirming her own sense of self and her place as a living legacy to the Goddess of Love.