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    Gluteus_Maximus's Avatar

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    Default History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    I was watching Good Omens episode 3 yesterday. In its 28 minute-long lead up to the opening credits (This could be a discussion in itself), it skips through the years showing Aziraphale's past and semi-romance with Crowley. The great flood, 67 a.d., 563, 1603, and the next one lands at 1793.

    We see Aziraphale trapped in the Bastille. No doubt, he's there because archangel Gabriel sent him to perform a minor miracle, as was what he was doing in all these time-skipping scenes. The executioner comes in to meet him, remarking that he has killed 998 aristocrats and Aziraphale will be the 999th. Crowley comes in, stops time for everyone but them, and switches Aziraphale's aristocrat clothes with the executioner's revolutionary one, thus saving Aziraphale from "a lot of paperwork".

    I'm sure history buffs can notice the mistakes here. For starters, the Reign Of Terror began in 1793, and it's unlikely this executioner has killed that many Aristocrats. Second of all, the bastille? The Bastille was torn down in 1789, stormed in July and almost gone by November. The guillotine was invented just after this. Aziraphale would never have been held in the Bastille.

    Instead, he would have been held in a completely different prison (Wikipedia page says 'Luxembourg' but I'm skeptical) and not the Bastille. I was fantasizing about making an edit that fixes this, but the best way to do that would be to get a line of David Tennant saying 'Luxembourg', which is more difficult than it sounds.
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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    It is about the Story and not about History Facts. It has angels and god doing magic / miracle stuff in it.

    Accept the rules of Jeremy Bearimy. More or less that is how Paradise Lost works, and many epics (especially religious ones) ... Jeremy Bearimy.
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    The Reign of Terror's start date is somewhat uncertain--some historians put it as early as 1789. What *is* certain is that for the 13 months from June 1793 to July 1794 there were over sixteen thousand official death sentences passed in France, of which 2,639 were in Paris alone--so a single executioner having made his way through 998 previous executions is entirely plausible.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramza00 View Post
    It is about the Story and not about History Facts. It has angels and god doing magic / miracle stuff in it.

    Accept the rules of Jeremy Bearimy. More or less that is how Paradise Lost works, and many epics (especially religious ones) ... Jeremy Bearimy.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    And in that same sequence we see the characters wearing armor that shouldn't be invented for almost 1000 years. While these mistakes can be annoying, very annoying, when you know something that the writers were too lazy to look up, it's just healthier to let it go.

    At least, so long as the show isn't presenting itself as historical. If it is, go to town.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    Wait, what? Did I read that right? Crowley has someone executed in Aziraphale's place (which wouldn't actually harm him), and Az is just okay with that?

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    Wait, what? Did I read that right? Crowley has someone executed in Aziraphale's place (which wouldn't actually harm him), and Az is just okay with that?
    This was what bugged me about that scene. It's perfectly in character for Crowley, but wildly out of place for Aziraphale (who I believe was a vegetarian in the original work as well). The historical (in)accuracy doesn't raise a blip in comparison.

    It was one of the few places where I felt the adaptation made a misstep.

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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    Maybe it was someone who was gonna get executed anyways?
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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gluteus_Maximus View Post

    We see Aziraphale trapped in the Bastille. No doubt, he's there because archangel Gabriel sent him to perform a minor miracle....
    He was in Paris because he was hungry and Paris had something he was craving so he popped on down and then got snatched up because his clothes made him look like a part of the aristocracy.

    Don't personally care if there are historical inaccuracies, never really was one for memorizing dates to begin with, and its not a show for which historical accuracy really matters.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sholos View Post
    Maybe it was someone who was gonna get executed anyways?
    It has a head executioner that was bragging about how many people he killed.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    It has a head executioner that was bragging about how many people he killed.
    That's no guarantee said head executioner wasn't eventually destined for the chopping block himself. There's certainly many famous examples of revolutionaries being turned upon by their own revolutions under one pretense or another.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    Executioner's eventual destiny doesn't matter, he's still being executed to avoid inconveniencing Az. They can't foresee human destinies anyway.

    Re the Bastille, that's just the writer taking a shortcut, because the audience will hear the word 'Bastille' and think 'prison, French revolution' whereas if he said 'Luxembourg' much of the audience will think 'what the hell did Aziraphale get arrested in Luxembourg for?' which would distract from the scene.

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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    This was what bugged me about that scene. It's perfectly in character for Crowley, but wildly out of place for Aziraphale (who I believe was a vegetarian in the original work as well). The historical (in)accuracy doesn't raise a blip in comparison.

    It was one of the few places where I felt the adaptation made a misstep.
    One of the whole points of the story is that Crowley and Azraphale, being the ones in the trenches of humanity, have gotten some gray into their black and white morality.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    That's some pretty dark grey, though.

    One of my issues with the actual book was that Crowley wasn't dark enough, he just does that one fairly lighthearted gun swap trick.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: History Mistake in Good Omens (spoilers)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    That's some pretty dark grey, though.

    One of my issues with the actual book was that Crowley wasn't dark enough, he just does that one fairly lighthearted gun swap trick.
    I think that's the point.
    At the point when the story takes place those two have spend so much time interacting with humans and each other that they have become a bit too human.
    Plus, I think neither of them was a ideal demon/angel to begin with.

    Also, I'm pretty sure if it hadn't been for Aziraphale Crowley would have left those clowns to kill each other.
    Or maybe not.
    Wouldn't be fun after all.
    But to me it always came of as a small favour to his best friend.

    As for swapping Aziraphale and the executioner?
    Well, the guy A)already killed a lot of people and B) kept track of and bragged with it.
    So, considering our favourite angel was C)next on the list- at least a minor inconvenience - and isn't exactly perfect at his job anyway he might've waved it off as „Eh, dude kinda deserves it.”.
    And who knows? The executioner's buddies might let him go when they notice it's him.
    "If it lives it can be killed.
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