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Fridge / Asterix

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Fridge Brilliance

  • Gaul in 50 BC was not really a united nation, just a land governed by several various tribes. They were all looking out for themselves; Vercingetorix was the only major figure who could unite the Gaulish tribes against the Romans, and once he was crushed by the Romans the tribes all fell in line, independent and defiant in their own way but no longer rebellious. This is an explanation as to how the Gauls and Romans managed to live together in the story.
  • Vitalstatix could, conceivably, lead his tribe in reconquering the Gauls from Rome, yet he never does. Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield actually hints at why: Vitalstatix fought at Alesia, where Caesar, in his masterpiece of tactic and strategy, broke Vercingetorix' rebellion... And he hasn't got over that debacle yet.
    • History states that Vercingetorix surrendered to save as many of his men as possible. He must have taken that to heart and is staying alive to honor his chieftain's sacrifice.
    • Alternately he learnt from Alesia that peace is a lot less troublesome and more mutually benefit to everyone. He still enjoys fighting Romans and being cheeky to Romans, but is more respectful of them and is smart enough to avoid irking Caesar into bringing down his Empire on his small village.
  • Asterix and the Chariot Race depicts the Italic peoples (Gaulish tribes in Italy, and non-Gauls) as still culturally independent, if politically subdued (except the "Irreducible Umbrians", who still fight), even if by this time they're all Roman citizens (having actually fought against Rome to become citizens. One of Caesar's own relatives, a Lucius Julius Caesar, proposed one of the laws that ended the rebellion by granting them citizenship) and are being culturally absorbed. They're likely experiencing a (brief) cultural revival as a result of the news brought back by those who have been "besieging" Asterix' village, with some Umbrians (the people who held their culture the longest) actually rising back in arms.
    • The Samnites, Rome's historical rivals, are not mentioned at all. An oversight? No: as punishment for not surrendering during the Social War once Rome started granting citizenship to those who did, the Romans wiped them out and dispersed the survivors. Kinda hard experiencing a cultural revival in those conditions...
  • What does Impedimenta see in her husband? A lot, actually. He’s the leader of a tribe that has never known defeat and is a regular annoyance to the Roman Empire. It’s what comes with it – the tribe being a bunch of kooks – that irks her, reasonably enough.
  • On Obelix' white and azure striped pants:
    • They denote Obelix is actually wealthy, and has been for a long time: azure cloth had to be imported all the way from India, and if he could afford that...
    • In Obelix and Co. Preposterous suggests Obelix to change outfit to reflect his newly (more) enriched status, even if he, as a Roman economist and status symbol expert, should know his clothes already hint at great wealth... Except he's Roman, and to him that color is cursed.
    • Obelix' azure stripes likely play a part on why the Romans are especially terrified of him: while they know he's human and his strength comes from a magic potion, the fact he's that strong and wears azure would make the Romans instinctively think of him as a Humanoid Abomination.
  • In Asterix and the Cauldron, Asterix and Obelix join a theatre company in the hope of making money. The theatre company's show is presented as being self-consciously avant-garde and confrontational, in a parody of the late 60s avant-garde performance art scene, with no story or characters, just the actors insulting the well-heeled Roman audience and making faces at them while the audience laps it all up. Then, Laurensolivius points at Obelix, who is expected to say the first thing that comes into his head—which is "These Romans are crazy." This turns out to be a Berserk Button for the previously blandly smiling Roman prefect in the audience, who loses his temper and demands that the entire troupe be arrested and thrown to the lions for insulting the honour of Rome. But why was the prefect fine with the show up until then? Because he doesn't mind Rome being insulted as long as it's by Roman citizens. As soon as Obelix, a Gaul, does so, it's an act of insubordination from a conquered people. It's a sharp comment on the thin skins of conquerors, and the fact that mockery only hits its target depending on who's delivering it.
  • For years, I used to wonder why the proverbially-fearless Roman legionaries were so utterly terrified of the Gauls. Heck, the comic's never even shown anyone die in the fighting, for Toutatis' sake... And then I realised: that's exactly the problem. The Gauls don't give the Romans an honourable death in battle; what they do is, from the Romans' point of view, worse — they humiliate them. They send them limping back to their camps, having to live with the knowledge — and with everyone else knowing — that they, supposedly the world's greatest fighting force, have been humbled by a band of barbarians armed only with their fists. Again. And again, and again, and again...
    • What happens to Centurion Ignoramus and his men on their first fight in Obelix and Co lends credence to this: Being some of Caesar's best soldiers, they look upon the previous demoralized garrison of Totorum with contempt and Ignoramus rallies his legionaries with a confident speech about how they will be the ones to finally overrun the Gaulish village. One single-handed, resounding defeat by Obelix later, and they give up completely and spend their days lounging about the camp, keeping as low a profile as possible while waiting for their relief to show up... just like their predecessors. Caesar was almost apoplectic with rage when he learnt that his crack troops were broken and demoralized to the point of uselessness in a single day by a single Gaul.

Fridge Horror

  • In Asterix and Obelix All at Sea it's shown that drinking the magic potion while under the effects of it will turn you to stone, as it happened to Obelix when he finally succeeded in drinking it, and it's not clear if Obelix returning to flesh but as a child was the effect of Getafix' attempts at curing him (because, being of stone, it's at least doubtful Obelix could actually drink the healing potions) or just what naturally happens. If it's what naturally happens... Roman admiral Crustacius became a statue after drinking a barrel of potion while under the effects of it already, and Caesar placed that statue in the circus, hoping that one day the lions will eat stone or Crustacius will return to normal.
    • At the start of the book, Caesar swore he'd feed Crustacius to the lions if he failed to recover his ship. He's just trying to keep his word, and making his own private joke about it.
    • Obelix was permitted to drink a little potion in "Asterix & Cleopatra", when our friends were locked inside a pyramid, and he didn't seem to suffer from any bad side effects then. As a matter of fact, it's hard to tell if drinking the potion at that point had any effect on Obelix at all.
      • Dosis facit venenum, my friend...
      • These events had different dosages- In "Cleopatra", the dosage was small, just few drops. In "All at Sea"? He drank an entire Cauldron.
  • In Asterix at the Olympic Games, Vitalstatix, just to have Asterix and Obelix take part to the Olympic Games and mess with the Romans, declared they were Romans. Just to mess with Caesar he accidentally surrendered to him, and had Caesar found out the village would have at least lost its reputation.
  • In the Time Skip sequence of Asterix and Obelix's Birthday: The Golden Book, set in 1 BC, the village's palisade is torn down, Petibonum is mentioned as the local commerce center, and Asterix, Obelix and many of the others are shown to be still alive. The implication is that at some point, somehow, the Gauls surrendered. And there's actually ways it could have happened:
    • As pointed out above, Vitalstatix had surrendered by accident to have Asterix and Obelix take part in the Olympic Games. Chance is, Caesar or someone else found out and called him out on this, forcing him to surrender for real to at least preserve his honor.
    • While the village still resists, the rest of the Gauls is under Roman control... And, as shown as early as Asterix and the Big Fight, they're already culturally integrating the population, with many other stories showing they have already integrated the Gauls economically. The realization that his village's continuing resistance on the long run is amounting to nothing, Vitalstatix, already a Shell-Shocked Veteran from Alesia, could have hit the Despair Event Horizon and concluded the Romans will eventually win in some way, so he surrendered just to get on with it and spare his villagers the worst of it.
    • Caesar himself has only a few more years before his fated assassination at the hands of Brutus and his conspirators, and while HE might have been seen the Gauls as a Worthy Opponent, no matter how often he tried to crush them, but his adoptive son, heir and eventual successor Octavian might not have had any such sentiment. This is the same man who murdered Caesars biological son, the same infant Asterix and Obelix saved in Asterix and Son, so it's entirerly belivable that Octavian would have been far more ruthless than Caesar and had simply murdered Getafix or found some other dishonorable way of crushing the Gauls spirit once and for all.
    • The very likely fact that eventually this comic's adorable Caesarion will be killed before ever managing to become a man and his mother will commit suicide also counts.

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