Within the 18th century, the dominion of Dahomey had a formidable and highly effective feminine military referred to as the Agojie. The military was strengthened in the course of the reign of King Ghezo. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the movie reveals how King Ghezo selected Basic Agojie Nanisca to be the lady king. This movie not solely reveals Agojie’s bravery and her protest towards the slave commerce, but in addition emphasizes her battle towards patriarchy. Nevertheless, it’s questionable how a lot the story portrayed within the movie deviates from the reality. There are a number of conflicting views on this, and we can even go into element to debate these variations.

Written by Dana Stevens and Maria Bello, the partly fictionalized narrative of “The Girl King” could be very highly effective and transferring, however there are a number of issues to debate about how completely different it’s from its actual story. Basic Agojie, Nanisca, performed by Viola Devis, was a very fictional character. In truth, Nanisca’s daughter Nawi was additionally a non-canon character within the movie. Nevertheless, within the early nineteenth century, when the Agojie troopers numbered about 6,000, names like Nanisca and Nawi have been discovered amongst them. Though the writers have taken sufficient inventive leeway, the movie appears spectacular and fascinating sufficient to maintain us glued to the display. But when we analyze historical past, we may discover quite a few inaccuracies within the presentation of “La Mujer Rey”.

The time interval depicted within the movie was 1823, underneath the reign of King Ghezo. Throughout the reign of King Ghezo, Dahomey was free of its tributary standing, which fully eradicated its hostility with the Oyo Empire. Portrayed by John Boyega, King Ghezo was a royal historic determine, as depicted in “The Girl King.” In response to Dahomey historical past, King Ghezo deposed his brother and took management of the dominion in 1818. Till 1859, he was the ruler of Dahomey. Throughout his timeline, the Agojie military, or Dahomey Amazons, grew to become extra highly effective and fierce. However Agojie’s existence was a lot older, having been shaped lengthy earlier than the coronation of King Ghezo. In response to Dahomey historical past, they have been most likely shaped within the seventeenth century, most likely in the course of the reign of King Houegbadja. An enormous lack of male troops in battle served as the principle purpose for bringing these girls collectively to kind a military. Even in response to some historic advisers, the Dahomey custom believed within the empowerment of ladies. They didn’t wish to construct a safety system in a traditional manner like different states, however slightly needed to construct Dahomey sturdy and safe from all sides, which is why they included an all-female military.

We’ve seen the tragic story of Nawi (performed by porthuso Mbedu) within the movie: how her adoptive dad and mom ostracized her and despatched her to the king as a result of she was not going to get married. In truth, that was right as a result of, in the course of the reign of Ghezo, feminine captives or orphans have been accepted into the king’s palace and admitted to the military. Even Agojie welcomed many 8-year-olds into her group and skilled them in mercenary expertise. However was there actually a wedding ban for Agojie? The reply is sure.

The Agojies weren’t allowed to marry or have youngsters. This genuine data is represented on movie. Simply because the story mentions the empowerment of ladies within the Kingdom of Dahomey, it additionally mentions the suppression of their needs by patriarchal affect. The Agojies have been forbidden to marry and have been inspired to just accept King Ghezo as their highest precedence.

Gina Prince brilliantly captured this facet on movie by means of Nanisca’s admission to Amenza that she wasn’t courageous sufficient to acknowledge her son. That is the place “The Girl King” needs to convey that true braveness lies not solely in combating like a warrior however in prioritizing our personal decisions. Being an excellent fighter, a mom, or each, all choices should be acknowledged. In actuality, Agojie’s scenario had not modified; slightly, rumors advised that they have been concerned in romantic relationships with one another.

Nevertheless, the Agojies have been not likely that sort. The best way they’re portrayed within the movie is a little bit of a heroic portrayal. Certainly, they have been heroic and courageous troopers, however they have been extraordinarily violent. The Agojie troops fought fairly fiercely and often introduced the enemy’s severed heads again to the dominion. In truth, there have been rumors that they used to chop the throats of their victims and drink their blood. I am not going to move judgment on the reality of this, however there are some information within the film which can be fully lined in sugar. The palm oil commerce started in the course of the reign of Ghezo, however there is no such thing as a point out in Dahomey’s historical past that that they had stopped the slave commerce on the recommendation of Agojie. Throughout King Ghezo’s timeline, the slave commerce continued because it elevated the King’s wealth. There may be point out of a ritual the place the Agojies, led by Ghezo, would sacrifice a big variety of folks to extend their prosperity and energy. The mid-credits scene of the movie, in my perspective, embodies that ritual in a extra optimistic and heroic manner when Amenza is praying for religious closure for the deceased troopers. Even earlier than that, we noticed Agojie troopers supply their blood to a deity for energy. “The Girl King” represented all of those traditions by way of bravery and emotional devotion, however in historical past, these rituals have been terrifying and lethal. Finally, within the nineteenth century, the Agojie troops started to dwindle.

It is secure to imagine that the sequel to the film can be quite a bit bloodier. We’ve already witnessed that the fictional story of the movie has highlighted Dahomey’s anti-slavery stance and the defeat of European slavers. So, conserving in thoughts the inventive freedom of the author, we count on to see Agojie’s struggle towards slavery, the upgrading of his palm oil commerce, and the terrifying struggle towards these European slavers. Subsequently, the outstanding rise of Agojie and “The Girl King”, the dominion of Nanisca, may characterize a outstanding theme within the sequels.


See extra: ‘The Girl King’ ending defined: Can Nanisca rescue Nawi? What does the mid-credit scene imply?


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