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Old April 20 2010, 10:27 PM   #166
Lapis Exilis
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

darkwing_duck1 wrote: View Post

2) There is a vast difference between making a relatively minor change (Odin/Gaia vs Odin/Jord) that really doesn't affect the character portrayal all that much and changing a fundamental aspect of the character (in this case changing his race in an inappropriate manner).
How is changing Thor's parentage from two Norse gods to a Norse god and a Greek goddess (Gaia is completely, entirely and nothing other than Greek) relatively minor? And it's not changing the character's "race" - Heimdall is not suddenly an African god - it's changing the character's skin color. He's a god, his skin color could be green and it wouldn't really mean anything because he's not human, not born on earth and has nothing to do with earthly races.
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Old April 20 2010, 10:38 PM   #167
Nerys Myk
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Will Sif have golden hair in this movie?
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Old April 20 2010, 10:41 PM   #168
Greg Cox
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Another advantage to casting this guy, besides the fact that he presumably rocked his audition, is that he will be more visually distinctive, instead of just being another bearded white guy in armor. It will make it easier for casual viewers to distinguish Heimdell from Baldur, Fandral, Volstagg, and the others.

Whatever works . . . .
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Old April 20 2010, 11:23 PM   #169
darkwing_duck1
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
darkwing_duck1 wrote: View Post

2) There is a vast difference between making a relatively minor change (Odin/Gaia vs Odin/Jord) that really doesn't affect the character portrayal all that much and changing a fundamental aspect of the character (in this case changing his race in an inappropriate manner).
How is changing Thor's parentage from two Norse gods to a Norse god and a Greek goddess (Gaia is completely, entirely and nothing other than Greek) relatively minor? And it's not changing the character's "race" - Heimdall is not suddenly an African god - it's changing the character's skin color. He's a god, his skin color could be green and it wouldn't really mean anything because he's not human, not born on earth and has nothing to do with earthly races.
Gaia, as presented in the comic, is NOT "Greek", she is the living embodiment of Earth. If anythiing, she is a pan-pantheonic figure.

And yes it IS changing Heimdall's "race". In both mythology and the comic, Heimdall is indisputedly, absolutely, 100% white skinned. He is never portrayed as dark-skinned, be it Moorish, African, or otherwise.

Put simply, the Norse gods look like Norsemen, not Asians, Africans, Hindi, or any other ethnic group. To case cross race is nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt, and patently offensive to the race replaced, and condescending to the replacement race.
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Old April 20 2010, 11:37 PM   #170
Greg Cox
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

^ Worked fine on XENA and HERCULES and the new MERLIN tv series.

This sort of non-traditional casting is nothing new. Modern audiences have been accepting it for years now. The fact that Guenevere is played by a black actress in MERLIN hasn't stopped the series from being a big hit in the UK--where you might expect people to be sensitive about the Matter of Britain.

A couple of black Viking space gods won't hurt the THOR movie one bit.
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Old April 20 2010, 11:40 PM   #171
Lapis Exilis
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

darkwing_duck1 wrote: View Post
Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
darkwing_duck1 wrote: View Post

2) There is a vast difference between making a relatively minor change (Odin/Gaia vs Odin/Jord) that really doesn't affect the character portrayal all that much and changing a fundamental aspect of the character (in this case changing his race in an inappropriate manner).
How is changing Thor's parentage from two Norse gods to a Norse god and a Greek goddess (Gaia is completely, entirely and nothing other than Greek) relatively minor? And it's not changing the character's "race" - Heimdall is not suddenly an African god - it's changing the character's skin color. He's a god, his skin color could be green and it wouldn't really mean anything because he's not human, not born on earth and has nothing to do with earthly races.
Gaia, as presented in the comic, is NOT "Greek", she is the living embodiment of Earth. If anythiing, she is a pan-pantheonic figure.

And yes it IS changing Heimdall's "race". In both mythology and the comic, Heimdall is indisputedly, absolutely, 100% white skinned. He is never portrayed as dark-skinned, be it Moorish, African, or otherwise.

Put simply, the Norse gods look like Norsemen, not Asians, Africans, Hindi, or any other ethnic group. To case cross race is nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt, and patently offensive to the race replaced, and condescending to the replacement race.
Put simply, "Gaia" is a Greek word, and the use of the word Gaia to represent the living embodiment of the earth is part of Greek mythology, not Norse, not pan-pantheonic - Greek. Only. Exclusively. Not even vaguely related etymologically or mythologically to anything that is even in the general vicinity of Norse according to 2000 years of written and oral tradition. In fact, I don't believe the Norse anthropomorphized the earth at all, so the very concept is foreign to their mythology and is wholesale imported from the Greek tradition.

If you can accept that the comic can rewrite Gaia to be Norse, or somehow beyond the boundaries of the Norse pantheon so that her inclusion is a "minor" revision, then I don't follow why you can't accept the movie rewriting the Norse gods to include more than one skin color. What is the difference between these two changes?
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Old April 20 2010, 11:45 PM   #172
Greg Cox
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Will Sif have golden hair in this movie?

Is Sif even in the new movie? I believe the female lead is Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman.

A character whom, it might be pointed out, appears nowhere in the traditional myths.

Heresy!
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Old April 21 2010, 12:28 AM   #173
Checkmate
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Put simply, "Gaia" is a Greek word, and the use of the word Gaia to represent the living embodiment of the earth is part of Greek mythology, not Norse, not pan-pantheonic - Greek. Only. Exclusively. Not even vaguely related etymologically or mythologically to anything that is even in the general vicinity of Norse according to 2000 years of written and oral tradition. In fact, I don't believe the Norse anthropomorphized the earth at all, so the very concept is foreign to their mythology and is wholesale imported from the Greek tradition.
Uhm. You should probably look up Fjorgyn and/or Jord sometime before you start ranting like that.

Just sayin'.

Last edited by Checkmate; April 21 2010 at 12:39 AM.
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Old April 21 2010, 12:44 AM   #174
Nerys Myk
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Will Sif have golden hair in this movie?

Is Sif even in the new movie? I believe the female lead is Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman.

A character whom, it might be pointed out, appears nowhere in the traditional myths.

Heresy!
Heimdall is black! Sif isnt golden haired! (or in the movie) Next they'll be making Thor blond and clean shaven!!!!
Heresy is too small a word!!!!!!
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Old April 21 2010, 01:04 AM   #175
Lapis Exilis
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Checkmate wrote: View Post
Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Put simply, "Gaia" is a Greek word, and the use of the word Gaia to represent the living embodiment of the earth is part of Greek mythology, not Norse, not pan-pantheonic - Greek. Only. Exclusively. Not even vaguely related etymologically or mythologically to anything that is even in the general vicinity of Norse according to 2000 years of written and oral tradition. In fact, I don't believe the Norse anthropomorphized the earth at all, so the very concept is foreign to their mythology and is wholesale imported from the Greek tradition.
Uhm. You should probably look up Fjorgyn and/or Jord sometime before you start ranting like that.

Just sayin'.
While both the words "Jord" and "Fjorgyn" are variants of Norse words for "earth", neither of the mythological entities so named are equivalent to the concept captured by the name Gaia. For example, Jord, the more commonly known name of the mother of Thor, is associated with the earth, but she is not the earth itself - which Gaia is. Jord is also a jotun and born of other entities. Gaia is the primordial earth, has no parents since she is the creatrix of the Greek pantheon, and has no human-like form (I did mispeak when I said anthropomorphized - which the Norse did and the Greek did not, so I applied that word where it did not belong in reference to Gaia) which was what I said regarding importing the concept of "Gaia", unless the comic has a female person walking about named Gaia and then it is more the situation that they simply gave Jord a Greek name. I'm not particularly familiar with the comic, so I don't know which it is.

But even if Jord were exactly equivalent to Gaia, it wouldn't change the main thrust of my "rant", as you call it, which is - why is it acceptable to import another culture's goddess into the Norse mythology of the comic book Thor, but not okay to import another culture's skin color into the Norse mythology of the comic book Thor? That is, after all, the subject of the debate at hand. Do you have an opinion on that question?
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Old April 21 2010, 03:47 AM   #176
Broccoli
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Aragorn wrote: View Post
He's playing a god. They can look like whatever you want them to look like. This isn't like casting John Cho and Chris Rock to play JFK and RFK.
I would see that movie.
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Old April 21 2010, 03:51 AM   #177
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Checkmate wrote: View Post
I don't remember the Norse mythologies extended to the modern era, either.
Exactly, which is why it's nonsense to appeal to the original mythology to justify racist objections to non-traditional casting.

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
^ Worked fine on XENA and HERCULES and the new MERLIN tv series.

This sort of non-traditional casting is nothing new. Modern audiences have been accepting it for years now.
Exactly. This is a settled argument and has been for a while (except, perhaps, in the mythical "unreconstructed South").
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Old April 21 2010, 06:51 AM   #178
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Red Ranger wrote: View Post
The gentlemen doth protest too much, methinks.
That's your argument ?

How about explaining your nonsensical comment about James Rhodes taking over as Iron Man, for starters ?
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Old April 21 2010, 07:17 AM   #179
Trent Roman
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Dennis wrote: View Post
Exactly, which is why it's nonsense to appeal to the original mythology to justify racist objections to non-traditional casting.
Hey, watch how broadly you cast those aspersions. My point was, and remains, that the mythos should strive to be true to the cultural context. And yes, if Marvel's Asgard has spaceships, I'd like those kept out of the film too. Realism is obviously a futile goal in a fantasy film, but I'm generally of the opinion that naturalism makes for better superhero films.

Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
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Old April 21 2010, 07:44 AM   #180
Hermiod
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Dennis wrote: View Post
Checkmate wrote: View Post
I don't remember the Norse mythologies extended to the modern era, either.
Exactly, which is why it's nonsense to appeal to the original mythology to justify racist objections to non-traditional casting.
When I read through a thread full of comments about "white people this, white people that" from people who then claim the moral high ground and start calling others racist the only thing I can do is laugh.

My argument against casting purely iconic characters (such as Superman and Captain America) with actors who do not look the part has always been about respect for the artists who created them and not patronising minorities by throwing them a bone. Go find some racism in that, I dare you.

Last edited by Hermiod; April 21 2010 at 10:23 AM.
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