As I stated in my first Methos essay, `Fanon, Canon, Schmanon,' I came into the fandom late. My first serious indoctrination came from Seasons Three, Four, and Six (AKA the 'screen test' season.) Then Seasons One and Two.
I had seen CaH and Rev, when they originally aired. But none of the other Fifth Season Episodes.
Methos as 'Death' was so cool. One of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse--holy shit! And for a thousand years. Oooh, yeah. And he didn't just kill a thousand. Nope. He killed ten thousand!
Oh yes. I could get behind Badass!Methos. Yum.
The Fifth Season finally arrived. And I sat down and reveled in watching Methos. Over and over.
The more I watched, though, the more I felt a sense of there being a lot more to the Horseman aspect of Methos' past than seen in CaH and Rev.
And what I'd seen seemed wrong. All wrong.
Methos being a marauder, I could deal with that. Methos being a sadistic bastard? Yep, I could handle that too. But being a marauder terrorizing the entire Middle East for a thousand years on the scale 'Highlander' posited? No way.
Want to know why? I'll give you the reasons I've worked out.
The horses. Horses in that time (3000+ years ago) were small. Not even five feet (15 hands) at the shoulder. There is no way in hell someone the size of Silas could have ridden a horse without 1) breaking it's back, 2) looking like a complete idiot.
Horses are not very efficient animals. They need high protein fodder. And lots of it. Lots of water, too. Unless the gang had a huge oasis as their base of operations, horses just weren't feasible.
Somehow, the Four Camelmen of the Apocalypse doesn't sound that great. But camels were, and are still, the best non-motorized desert transport.
And speaking of oases, just exactly which `Arabian Desert' in the Bronze Age did the gang inhabit? Take a look at a map of the Near and Middle East. There's literally thousands of miles of territory in Saudi Arabia alone. Yet, we're told they ranged over half the continent.
Okay, so the gang systematically destroyed every village they came across. That meant they had to keep moving. For a thousand years no less.
Which leads me to my next problem with the 'Highlander' scenario.
War. There was constant warfare in that region during the time period the Horsemen were supposedly ravaging across the countryside. The Hyksos. Hittites. Philistines. Medes. Greeks. Babylonians. Israelites.
I can't believe one or more of the governments wouldn't have systematically hunted down and exterminated marauders who were killing off the people needed to supply their armies with manpower, food and materiel.
And, the ten thousand Methos killed? Averages out to ten a year. Imagine the kill ratio if he'd been a professional soldier. Think about it. Seriously.
Then Cassandra enters the picture. This is where I really began to get a sense that things were screwy. Her whole attitude in CaH and Rev seemed way off. The small-time frame flashbacks, while being emotionally charged, did nothing but leave me with more unanswered questions.
She claimed that Methos had killed her. When it was quite clear that it was Kronos.
Women in that time and place only had two uses. As wives or slaves. Shouldn't she have known that? So, she was a healer. Great. Not a big selling point among immortals.
How long was she held captive? Long enough for her to come to accept Methos as her master. Possibly even to love him. Certainly long enough to know that the 'brothers' shared in everything? She should have realized that as a slave she was as likely to be passed around as any other piece of property.
Okay. She escapes. Is allowed to escape. For at least two thousand years she goes on with her life. Becomes a mystic. A Prophetess. Takes a hand in leading Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod to his destiny as the Millennial Champion.
Then, wham, just before Ahriman shows up she becomes a total basket case. Why?
Still with me? Good. Now, here's my theory…
Around 2000 bce Methos met Silas in what is now Syria. They wandered east, eventually meeting up with Kronos and Caspian in what is now northern Iran. A distance of less than a thousand miles.
The four immortals wandered around for many, many years. But wanderlust would strike Methos and he would take off on solitary adventures. Eventually going as far away as Britain for a time.
This isn't as far fetched as it sounds. Ships from Crete sailed the far corners of the Known World.
Ah, but Methos hates the sea, you remind me.
Yes. But, we don't know when he began to abjure sea travel, now, do we? (I'll explain my pet theory about that later.)
In any case, Methos eventually came to be involved in the Trojan war circa 1250 bce. Immediately after that, he returned to his brothers. To find that Kronos and Caspian were different. Rougher. Harsher. Still, they were the closest thing Methos had to family. So he settled in with them again.
What Methos didn't know was that his 'brothers' had ingested rye meal tainted by ergot. Under the influence of ergotism they had gone on a frenzied rampage. Caspian, already unstable, felt empowered by the experience. Kronos, who I believe was of above average intelligence, felt god-like under the influence of the ergot.
By the way, I did research ergotism. It periodically across swept vast regions of Asia Minor.
As to Silas, I believe he was mostly unaffected.
In any case, the two immortals began experimenting with other psychotropics. Finally finding one that met their needs for a suitable high.
When Methos returned, Kronos was happy to share this new form of entertainment with his brother. However, Methos was appalled at the idea. So, Kronos fed him the drug in his wine. The rest, as they say, is history.
Methos came out of the drug-induced killing spree to find himself covered in blood and gore. Furious at himself and Kronos. He attacked Kronos. But was overwhelmed by his three brothers. The family dynamic was forever changed. Kronos vowed that if Methos left, he would hunt him down and take his head.
A vow that Methos took seriously. And Methos wanted to live. So he stayed.
Eventually, they crossed paths with Cassandra's people while on a drug induced rampage. At which time one of the armies in the area heard about the marauders and decided to hunt them down. Methos immediately convinced his 'brothers' to leave. They traveled to Persia--now Iran--and settled down as model citizens.
Sometime in the 6th century bce Methos met a man named Zarathustra. He was a holy man. A mystic on a mission to change his people's religious future. His aim was to revise the sacrificial cult practiced at the time.
Zarathustra taught that all bad/evil came from a demonic god named--Ahriman.
But, evil can be fought with sacred fire. Mithras--the twin of Ahriman--was the son of Ahura Mazda the god of light, the solar deity. The mediator between god and man.
Now, it is canon in 'Highlander' that Ahriman is real. What if Methos was the basis for Mithras? The names are incredibly similar.
What if he had had personal experience with Ahriman. Had, in fact, been the first Champion?
To me, this would explain a great many of things. Especially if Cassandra and the others had been part of the cycle from the beginning.
Therefore, Methos was glad that Cassandra escaped out of the influence of the Horsemen and Ahriman.
It would be a good reason for him to have imprisoned Kronos (thought I don't know why he didn't just kill him). Knowing that neither Caspian or Silas were able to go on without their leader.
In any case, the next Champion came and went. I have to suppose he was able to defeat Ahriman.
Or not? Things were pretty bad for the next thousand years. War. Famine. Plague. More wars. Religious conflict. Hm.
Well, suppose that Ahriman was defeated. So he used the thousand years to prepare for the third Champion. He 'found' Cassandra and began to subtly twist her memories of the past. Influenced her to take Roland Kantos as her student. To teach him the very things he could use against MacLeod. To kill the Champion before he ever became immortal.
Ahriman could have used his power to have Kronos released from the well. Sent him to America where he could possibly cross paths with MacLeod. And kill him before the end of the millennium. Encouraged Caspian in his despicable crimes until he was caught and confined. Just waiting to be found.
Suppose MacLeod was besieged by immortals hunting him because Ahriman was directing them. That Ahriman was behind the tragedies that haunted MacLeod all his life.
Maybe `Adam Pierson' joined the Watchers because he knew what was in store for MacLeod. That he was guiding him all along. Pulling him out of imminent danger when he could. Just look at how many times he charged in to rescue the man. Whether he wanted to be rescued or not. From Kalas. The Dark Quickening. The Watchers during the Galati Affair. He sacrificed Silas. Kept Keane from taking MacLeod. Stood by passively as MacLeod killed his former student--and lover. (Canon if you go with the Watcher CD.)
It's only at the point where Ahriman comes on the scene and Rich is murdered that he realizes he has to leave.
Nor should we forget Horton. Was it mere coincidence that among those the mortal hunters targeted many were immortals MacLeod knew, and loved? The Galatis. Darius. Fitz.
I believe it was telling that Ahriman used Horton's aspect to torture MacLeod.
So, taking all the above into consideration, it seems logical that the events of CaH and Rev were choreographed by Ahriman to put Methos and MacLeod at odds. That the demon, knowing he had to separate the old Champion from the new, set both Cassandra and Kronos in MacLeod's path.
That, quite possibly, he had been warning Methos away from MacLeod for some time. In the end, Methos did the only thing he could do. He got out of Dodge. To the relative safety of Tibet. Where Methos used Oriental mysticism to help when he could. Like, sending MacLeod the Tibetan singing bowl?
Plausible? I think so.
Also plausible to me, that MacLeod would have felt abandoned by his friend in his hour of need. That there would have been a profound coolness between them afterwards. At least until Methos saved MacLeod's head in the O'Rourke debacle.
Which, you know, *could* have been a last-ditch ploy by Ahriman…
So, they all live happily ever after. (No movies, see.) At least until the end of the present millennium.
Oh, yeah, want to know what I think put an end to Methos' seafaring adventures?
Remember that little rowboat excursion to Iceland with the Irish monks in the 700s? What if the boat sank and Methos ended up stranded all alone there for fifty or so years?
You see, the official discovery of Iceland was in the 800s.
Neat theory, no?
Well, I hope you've enjoyed my little essay. Or I've at least given you thinking fodder.
Originally posted c 2003
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