New Netflix Show Makes Ancient Hero, Like, Super Gay

Gage Klipper Commentary & Analysis Writer
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Netflix has a well-known habit of “diversifying” the historical record. Often, it’s ham-handed to the point of absurdity, like injecting a rainbow coalition into the 19th-century English court in “Bridgerton”. But the streaming giant’s latest historical drama is a bit more insidious, interweaving elements of truth into an agenda-driven fiction.

Alexander: The Making of a God” tells the story of Alexander the Great, the Greek conqueror of Ancient Egypt who dealt a death blow to the great Persian Empire in the 3rd century BC. He is one of the great men of history, who built one of the largest empires the world has ever seen, and any depictions of him are a boon for modern audiences in our spiritually enervated society. Yet even taken at face value, the Netflix adaptation falls flat — which is somewhat surprising given how the multi-billion dollar studio marketed the show as its latest mega-blockbuster.

Only mildly entertaining, the six-part miniseries features a D-list cast, surprisingly poor production values and gives an exceptionally brief overview of Alexander’s conquests. About equal focus is given to Alexander’s romantic conquests — selectively edited, omitted and manipulated. Much focus is given to his relationship with the Persian queen Stateira, the historical record of which is shoddy, to say the least. His other wives, including both Stateira’s daughter and the famous Roxana, are omitted entirely; one would think that Alexander spent his days as a bachelor. Yet his true love is depicted as his best friend, Hephaestion.

Hephaestion was a real person, a trusted friend and advisor to Alexander who accompanied him on his campaign. But within the first 10 minutes of the show, we see a softcore gay porn scene between the two men, denoting their uncomplicated love before Alexander must become king. This is no doubt partly a marketing ploy, a scintillating scene that Netflix inexplicably believes will hook its target demo early (despite purple-haired types not typically being interested in ancient military history). While not overly raunchy by modern standards, odd dialogue is laced throughout to highlight a very modern relationship.

“Does he need me?” Hephaestion asks Alexander’s mother at court. “You know Hephaestion, you mother him more than I do,” she responds.

Later on the road to Egypt, he remarks, “I’ve missed this, adventuring together,”  resentment bubbling over Alexander’s relationship with Stateira. “It’s nice to get you on my own for a few weeks.”

Overall, the relationship is portrayed as sensual, pining and categorically romantic. Alexander loses interest in Hephaestion as his mind turns to conquest, while Hephaestion yearns for the battles to end so he can once again have Alexander’s undivided attention. While it feels like every stereotypical, will-they-won’t-they gay relationship Netflix injects into its repertoire, it’s not totally off base. Starting with K.J. Dione’s landmark book “Greek Homosexuality,” to the appeal to the ancients in Supreme Court arguments in Obergefell, the left has long appropriated Greek culture to argue that the only explanation for opposing “natural” LGBT movements is Christian bigotry. The left wants us to believe that the Ancient Greeks imbibed our slogans like “love is love” and “gender is a spectrum.” However, while the Ancient Greeks did indeed institutionalize homosexuality, their conception of it was entirely different from ours today. (RELATED: New NYT Piece Could Signal Tide Is Turning Against Child Mutilation)

For the Greeks, homosexuality, or perhaps more aptly “pederasty,” served a core social function: education into the military and masculine virtues of a highly militaristic society. The Greek practice involved two relatively young males typically no more than 10 years apart in age. The practice was prominent among (and perhaps even exclusive to) Greek aristocracy so that the erastes (the older man, mid-to-late 20s) could teach the eromenos (the younger boy, around 15-18) how to be an upstanding Greek citizen.

The relationship would develop similar to that of the knight and squire in the Middle Ages. In the male-only gymnasia, the older man would educate his pupil on how to fight and prepare him for excellence in a military career. He would often instruct him in philosophy and literature as well.  However, unlike the Middle Ages, the relationship did include a sexual element, although it was confined to “intercrural” relations — between the legs. So while homosexual relations flourished, sodomy was deemed “unworthy of a free citizen” and often came with harsh social or even legal sanctions. The sexual element eventually stopped with age, as both men went on to marry, but the friendship often remained strong throughout their lives.

Crucially, the relationship was designed to build a bond between the two men so strong that they would fight and die for each other — and their city-state — on the battlefield. For this reason, homosexuality was considered deeply threatening to tyrants. No where is this more clear than in the famous bond between Harmodius and Aristogeiton, credited for the overthrow of tyranny in ancient Athens. The tyrant’s brother Hipparchus insulted both men, so the two lovers vowed to enact retribution — to assassinate both the tyrant and his brother. While the plot was only partially successful, it created the conditions for a democratic Athens to emerge, and the two lovers forever became known as the Tyrannicides — the killers of tyrants. As scholar Victoria Wohl argues, homosexuality in Athens was “democratic politics in sexual terms.” (RELATED: Looks Like The Left’s Greatest Indoctrination Centers Are Starting To Fail)

While Alexander and Hephaestion fight together in the Netflix portrayal, it’s nothing more than a modern relationship in togas. Alexander loses interest in the relationship, distracted by conquest, while Hephaestion cares for nothing but Alexander’s love and devotion. Both character arcs would be equally foreign to the real Greeks. The relationship was a function of battle and conquest — not a distraction or alternative.

Partially, the attempt to portray the Ancient Greeks as proto-LGBT is mere ignorance; the rainbow propaganda of our era is so prolific that the culture cannot conceive of homosexuality in any other way. But for those who know better, it is a much more insidious affair. They want you to believe that all the insanity built under the rainbow flag is just a natural way of life, perverted by bigoted Christians and prudish conservatives. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth. Greek homosexuality was constructed to uplift society, while the LGBT movement of today exists only to tear it down.