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Series / Troy: Fall of a City

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Troy: Fall of a City is a British-American miniseries filmed in South Africa based on the Trojan War and the love affair between Paris and Helen, played by Louis Hunter and Bella Dayne respectively. The show tells the story of the 10 year siege of Troy, set in the 13th century BC. The series was commissioned by BBC One and is a co-production between BBC One and Netflix, with BBC One airing the show on 17 February 2018 in the United Kingdom, and Netflix streaming the show internationally outside the UK.

General Tropes:

  • Adaptational Diversity: Due to Colour Blind Casting, Achilles, Patroclus, Aeneas, Pandarus, Zeus and Athena are all portrayed by black actors (mixed racenote  in Athena's case), Achilles and Patroclus are unambiguously bisexual rather than Ambiguously Bi this time around and Artemis is portrayed by a black actress with albinism.
  • Adaptational Heroism: While still not a saint, Paris is far more likeable than the original thanks to undergoing Character Development. The original Paris would not have attempted suicide to save Troy.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Despite popular belief, Achilles and Patroclus were at the most Ambiguously Bi in the Iliad. The miniseries goes ahead and just makes them unambiguously bisexual.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Unlike the original story, the series goes out of its way to portray the Greeks as villains, ignoring the fact that they are the wronged party, through emphasizing misdeeds they committed and portraying those mostly omitted in adaptations (like Odysseus murdering Hector's infant son, albeit reluctantly at Agamemnon's command). Meanwhile, it omits the misdeeds committed by the Trojans, such as Hector's pointless sacrifice of his army and his constant looting of the corpses of his enemies.
    • Helen elopes with Paris at least partially out of personal ambition rather than being tricked by Aphrodite. Women in Troy have far more power than in Greece and she wants this for herself. A case of Truth in Television since Hittite women could rise to positions of power.
  • Adapted Out: While this adaptation is more faithful than most, several characters are not present on both sides, such as Teucer, Neoptolemus, Memnon and others.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Amazons, naturally, are a group of warrior women that fight on the Trojans' side.
  • Ancient Grome: Mixed references to Artemis (Greek) and Diana (Roman) as goddesses of the hunt and moon, as well as the omission of Selene (Greek goddess of the moon) suggest a muddled understanding of Greco-Roman mythology.
  • Anti-Villain: Odysseus doesn't like the atrocities his fellow Greeks end up committing, but he's forced to comply out of loyalty. His occasionally harsh tactics are also motivated by a desire to end the war quickly, so he can go back to Ithaca.
  • Ascended Extra: Hermione, the daughter of Menelaus and Helen, appears and even has a secondary role. Aeneas also has a more prominent role and the series shows his survival.
  • Battle-Halting Duel: Between Hector and Patroclus, and also discussed by Achilles.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Queen Hecuba prefers to cut her wrists than let herself be taken as a slave by the Greeks.
  • Black Vikings: Many of the Trojan and Greek characters are portrayed by black actors, which wasn't true in reality of these peoples (although, of course, it's fictional to begin with). In fairness, being Mediterranean peoples, historical Greeks and Trojans would have had a definitively darker hue of skin compared to the white actors portraying them too, who are mostly of British or Irish stock.
  • Cassandra Truth: Not only Cassandra, but priest Litos as well know bringing Paris back was a huge mistake.
  • Colorblind Casting:
    • While Zeus, Athena and Artemis are all portrayed by black actors other relations of Zeus such as Aphrodite (either his daughter or aunt depending on the version), Helen (his daughter) and Hermes (his son) are all played by white actors.
    • Similarly while Achilles and his first cousin once removed Patroclus are both played by black actors, his paternal uncle's son Ajax, someone more closely related to him than Patroclus, is played by a white actor.
  • Combat by Champion: Menelaus challenges Paris to one, and unsurprisingly he beats the tar out of the prince. He would've killed him there and then had Paris not fled at the last moment.
  • Death by Adaptation: Played With regarding Astyanax's. Some tales say Odysseus kills him which happens in the finale, others that it was actually Neoptolemus (Achilles's son), but some say he stays alive and follows his mother, before founding a new Troy as an adult with Ascanius (Aeneas's son). Hecuba kills herself here rather than be Made a Slave, as her fate was in the original story.
  • Demoted to Extra: Ajax and Nestor have far less important roles compared to the original story.
  • Death of a Child: Odysseus is forced by Agamemnon to kill Astyanax, Hector and Andromache's baby son, by throwing him off the walls of Troy.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: Menelaus' reaction when the Greek army arrives to ransack Troy even though Helen promised to leave with him if he lets Paris and the remaining Trojans live.
  • Divine Race Lift: Zeus is portrayed by a black actor, while normally of course he's shown looking Greek, though due to Colour Blind Casting, this only extends to a small portion of his relations.
  • Divine Intervention: The goddesses are shown giving their blessings to their respective champions, but as Zeus puts it, they can favor mortals, but they can't change their fates.
  • Downer Ending: The Trojans are massacred, the survivors enslaved. Achilles and Patroclus are dead. Odysseus, the only surviving Greek to have held on to any semblance of morality, is forced to murder a baby. And the series ends with the remaining Greeks simply sailing away while the Gods wander through the ruins.
  • Dramatic Irony: When the Greeks arrive at Troy, Agamemnon confidently declares they'll take the city in a couple of days, since, after all, the gods must repay his sacrifice of his own daughter. Viewers who know anything about the Trojan War know how wrong he is.
  • Enemy Mine: The Amazons don't like the Trojans very much, but they hate Greeks even more.
  • Fingore: During his fight with Achilles, Hector is defeated when the former strikes at his sword hand, cutting off his fingers in doing so.
  • Freudian Excuse: Andromache is initially hostile toward Helen mainly because Helen is a mother, who left her daughter behind when she fled, while Andromache herself is trying unsuccessfully to conceive. The fact that Helen abandoned a role that Andromache is desperately trying to assume feeds her resentment.
  • Get Out!: In the second episode, the two sides attempt negotiations. The Trojans know Paris screwed up and are willing to make concessions to the Greeks, as they don't actually want to have a war...but the economic demands the Greeks make are so insulting that the Trojans, even the ones who wanted to give Helen back, categorically reject them and order the Greeks out.
  • Heroic Suicide: Paris throws himself off a cliff to avert a prophecy which says he'll doom Troy (he's also distraught at his adopted father's death, which helps). The Amazons revived him though, but Aphrodite says it still counts since he was temporarily in the underworld. Obviously not, given the ending.
  • Human Sacrifice:
    • Agamemnon is forced to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to the goddess Artemis in order to allow his army to set sail.
    • Paris' attempted suicide can be seen that way as well.
  • Informed Flaw: Throughout the series, we are told what a horrible person Menelaus is and how he does not deserve Helen. Yet we never see any evidence of this. Instead, we are presented with a reasonable man, whose wife cheats on him and betrays him at every turn.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Interestingly, Agamemnon does this at the start of his arc — after he sacrifices his daughter for the sake of the war, it becomes clear that he is then willing to do anything, commit any atrocity, in order to justify that, and drag the rest of the world down to his level.
  • Loophole Abuse: Menelaus promises on his honor that he'll let Paris and the remaining Trojans live if Helen willingly returns to him. When the other Greeks come to destroy the city anyway and Helen calls Menelaus a liar, he responds that he no longer has any honor to swear on.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places:
    • Paris and his lover have sex in a field.
    • Achilles and Patrocles have sex with Briseis on the beach, plus each other.
  • Manly Gay: Or rather, Manly Bisexual. Achilles and to a lesser extent Patrocles are fearsome warriors, along with being lovers. The two also have a threesome with Briseis on the beach.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Helen is very beautiful and goes topless multiple times while having sex with Paris or washing herself.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: When messengers arrive in Ithaca to bring Odysseus to war, he tries to make himself look insane, by sowing a field with salt and attempting to plow it. Unfortunately, the messengers see through it, and call his bluff by placing his infant son in his way, forcing him to stop.
  • Offing the Offspring: Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter Iphigenia to appease Artemis, though he's distraught at doing so.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • As the priest of Artemis offers up sacrifices to appease her wrath, he closes his eyes to pray, and almost visibly craps himself when he opens them, to see the Goddess of the Hunt herself standing right in front of him, looking very pissed off.
    • The reaction of the Trojans when they learn that Agamemnon has sacrificed his daughter to get the Greek fleet to Troy. Up until then they thought they could negotiate, but once they learn he's done that they realize just how determined the Greeks are.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: It's occasionally difficult to tell what accent Australian Louis Hunter is going for.
  • Papa Wolf: This is how Diomedes confirms Odysseus is only pretending to be insane, by putting his son Telemachus in front of the plowing path. Odysseus immediately gets him out of the way and punches Diomedes.
  • Race Lift: Achilles, Zeus, Patroklos, Aeneas, Pandarus and Athena. They're usually depicted as ethnically Greek and Asiatic respectively, but are portrayed by black actors in the series, with Athena mixed race.note 
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Achilles goes into one when he thinks the Trojans have violated the twelve-day truce. He would have killed Priam himself had Paris not shot him in the Achilles' Heel, giving his father the chance to fatally injure him.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: A brief one, but Zeus is shown to be accompanied by a vulture, rather than an eagle.
  • Senseless Sacrifice:
    • Helen ultimately agrees to leave with the Greeks in exchange for them to leave Paris and the rest of Troy in peace. The Greeks have no intention of respecting that wish.
    • Agamemnon kills his own daughter in exchange for a favourable wind to carry the Greek ships to Troy. Considering that the war lasts for ten years, he could just have waited for the wind to turn.
  • Sequel Hook: The last two shots of the final episode are of Aeneas gathering survivors, and Odysseus departing on his ship, setting up potential following seasons for The Odyssey and The Aeneid. The writers have stated that there will probably be a Season 2 covering the Odyssey.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Ajax is shown still alive at the end of the series, whereas in a post-Iliad episode of the Trojan War he killed himself.
  • A Threesome Is Hot: Achilles, Patroclus, and Briseis have a very hot and romantic three-way on the beach.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Menelaus starts out as a pretty reasonable and understanding king. However, as the war goes on, Menelaus' attitude gets increasingly worse, and by the end he is just as, if not more, sadistic, cruel, and bloodthirsty as Agamemnon.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: For the first few episodes, Paris is a selfish, immature, man-child who starts the war because he's horny and then runs away from any real responsibility. However, after his duel with Menelaus, he goes on a spiritual journey that results in him becoming much more serious, focused, and dutiful.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Hector to Priam and Hecuba when he calls them out on their deception that they left Paris to die, locked Cassandra away and lied about it to the whole city.
  • Tragic Villain: Agamemnon is portrayed here as a man forced to do heinous things to lead his men into war, and it drives him over the edge.
  • Trojan Horse: Of course. Interestingly, this adaptation presents the Trojans as less credulous than usual — they dismantle the horse almost completely to check that there are no nasty surprises; it just so happens that they leave the head, where Odysseus and Menelaus are apparently hiding, alone. Additionally, the rest of the horse was stuffed with grain, something the Trojans really needed at this point.
  • Truer to the Text: When compared to Troy, the series follows the events on the Trojan Cycle more faithfully.
  • World's Best Warrior: Achilles, obviously. Despite the fact that this adaptation keeps the Gods and mysticism as part of the story, Achilles is eventually shown to not be in any way invulnerable — he's just so skilled in combat that nobody can stand against him.
  • Worthy Opponent: Achilles likes to seek these out — but has come to see the outcome as inevitable, because he's just that good.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Odysseus very reluctantly drops Hector and Andromache's infant son from the walls of Troy to his death, at Agamemnon's order. Andromache curses him for this.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: This is Helen's reaction when she realizes Menelaus is going to let the Greek army to sack and burn the city of Troy.

Alternative Title(s): Troy The Fall Of A City