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Loki: Discover the history of Pompeii and its other appearances in pop culture

In the second episode, the god of cheating travels in time to the destruction of the Italian city

[Warning: Spoilers from Loki’s second episode to follow]

At some point in Loki’s second chapter, released at dawn today (16), the god of cheating (Tom Hiddleston) has a brilliant idea to try to find the variant that is giving AVT agents a headache: look for it by various apocalyptic events or natural disasters, where an individual separated from his own time could move more freely, without fear of the consequences, as everyone around him will soon be dead.

To test the theory, Loki and agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) travel to AD 79 and visit the Italian city of Pompeii, mere minutes before the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius. The catastrophe, which actually happened, decimated all its residents and buried the city in a 4 to 6 meter layer of volcanic ash.

Today, Pompeii is an important archaeological park and a popular tourist attraction in Italy. That’s because the volcanic ash, when excavated, left the city’s structures very well preserved, revealing a unique portrait of what life was like in the Roman empire in that era – spacious and luxurious buildings, with elaborate decorations, canteens, restaurants and much more.

The morbid side of this historic heritage is that volcanic ash also “bumped” several of Pompeii’s citizens, leaving spaces that archaeologists could use to create casts that revealed the chilling poses in which many of them died. Sinister, right?

Pompeii on TV…

Loki isn’t the first production to use the Pompeii disaster in its plot, however. Back in 2008, the Doctor Who series also visited the Italian city in the episode “The Fires of Pompeii” (4×02), where the Doctor (then played by David Tennant) and his partner Donna (Catherine Tate) arrived at the scene the day before the eruption and – of course – discovered that a race of aliens was trying to invade Pompeii.

In this typically delusional chapter of the series, which includes stone monsters and a tunnel that leads straight to the heart of Vesuvius, the Doctor and Donna end up saving a family from destruction – that of sculptor Caecilius, played by Peter Capaldi, who would later take over himself. the lead role of Doctor Who.

… And in music!

Finally, to complete our tour between media, how about remembering one of the biggest pop-rock hits of 2013? “Pompeii”, by British band Bastille, was directly inspired by the tragedy of the Italian city.

Lead singer and songwriter Dan Smith told Radio X about the song’s lyrics: “I was reading a book and I saw the images of bodies preserved by the eruption. It’s a dark and powerful image, but it made me think how tedious it must have been. , after the event, being stuck in that position for hundreds of years. So the song is like an imaginary conversation between two of these people, trapped in a tragic death pose.”

Hence the lines: “The walls kept falling / In the city we love / Gray clouds above the hills / Bringing the darkness from above / But if you close your eyes / Doesn’t it seem like anything has changed? / What if you close your eyes / No is it like you’ve been through this before?”.

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