Welcome to Cracked VS, a new feature where we pit two topics against each other and let ‘em duke it out. Today’s topic: mythology as depicted in pop culture VS mythology as actually observed by the ancients.

Movies are the mythology of our time. Instead of telling stories about Odysseus coming home, corporations make films about Spider-Man doing that. And sometimes these modern myths are based on ancient myths, tweaked to fit our 21st-century ideas and sensibilities -- which isn’t exactly a bad thing, unless you’re trying to learn ancient mythology from movies. (As a general rule, you shouldn’t really try to learn anything from movies). We are here to tell you about the literal stuff of legend, and how it compares to their modernized, pop-culture versions.

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THE REALITY OF MYTH Mythical stuff isn't really (you know what we mean) like Hollywood tells you. Loki: Not Thor's brother. Thor's hammer: A short thing. Dwarves and elves: Not different? Genies: Not friendly servants. Hercules: No beef with Hades. Amazons: Not beef with Ares. Mermaids: Not-singing sea dwellers. Unicorns: Normal animals. Pazuzu: Friend to children. Valhalla: Afterlife for half warriors.
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