Netflix’s ‘The Old Guard’ tells the story of a group of individuals who have been around for a long time. They are mercenaries who have never failed a single assignment, and the reason, as is revealed soon enough, for their unbelievably impressive streak of wins is the little gift that nature has bestowed on them. It turns out that they can’t be killed. No matter what you do to them, they will always heal from their wounds and come back to life just as they were, without a scratch.
This team is led by a woman named Andy, who commands the loyalty of her team and proves to be an excellent leader in battle. She is also the oldest of them all and hence, knows everything there is to know about the Old Guard and their immortality. In the middle of the film, an interesting detail is dropped about her that gives us some hint about her long and mysterious past. Here’s what you should know about her.
Andromache of Scythia: Historical Significance
‘The Old Guard’ follows the story of a bunch of people who have been alive for a long time. While the latest immortal is discovered in the present day, the oldest of the group doesn’t even reveal their real age. The group is led by a woman named Andy. It is later revealed that her real name is Andromache of Scythia. While others use landmarks in history, for instance, the Crusades, to give us an idea about their age, Andy simply tells us that she is very, very old. To understand the extent of her immortal life, one only needs to pay attention to her name.
On the surface, there isn’t really any Andromache of Scythia in history or mythology. But when you separate the two terms you’ll find that there is a lot to dig in to find out more about Andy. Let’s start with her first name, Andromache. In the Greek Mythology, Andromache (or Andromake) was the wife of Hector of Troy and the daughter of the king of Cilician Thebe, Eetion. Her name translates to “the fighter of men”, which falls in line with the nature of Andy, who is practically unbeatable. Andromache was known for her loyalty and survival in the face of suffering, which is another set of traits that we can use to describe the heroine of ‘The Old Guard’. But that’s not the only Andromache that mythology has to offer.
Another Andromache to appear in Greek mythology is the queen of the Amazons. The Amazons were a fierce tribe of warrior women, who also became the focus of the superhero figure, Wonder Woman. According to the stories about them, they used to live in the territory that falls in Asia Minor and were known for their aggressive nature and brutal strategies adopted to win the war. Interestingly, they also fought on the side of Troy in the Trojan War, which brings us around to Hector’s wife. Going by this information, it wouldn’t be hard to believe that Andy is one of the Amazons.
While the Amazonians are now partly considered a myth and partly considered a backstory for the DC character, some archeological discoveries have unearthed burial sites of female warriors, who are considered to be the inspiration for the myth of the Amazons. The sites were found in (you guessed it) Scythia, which, in modern-day, falls somewhere in Iran and other areas of eastern Europe. For the ancient Greeks, Scythia was the territory in the north-east of Europe. They were nomadic people, and their origins are believed to have been traced back to around the 10th century BC! So, yeah, when Andy meant she was very, very old, and then some, she really meant it.
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