Netflix’s The Old Guard is a massive streaming hit. But there’s more to the story behind Andromache of Scythia than viewers may realize.
The Old Guard is officially one of Netflix’s most popular films of all time. Thanks in no small part to Charlize Theron’s starring role as Andromache of Scythia aka Andy. The leader of an immortal group of assassins. Critics have praised Theron’s moving and heartfelt performance as the heroic and compassionate Andy. Which makes the reveal of the truth of the character’s past as a slave owner all the more shocking.
The Old Guard is based on a graphic novel of the same name by Greg Rucka. Recently, the next installment in the series. The Old Guard: Force Multiplied #5, was released. Detailing some of the history behind the immortal team. Most crucially, we accompany Nile, played in the movie by Kiki Layne. On a quest to uncover some troubling facts about Andy’s past. Nile is placed on the right scent by Noriko, and finally has a showdown with Andy regarding a certain Law 282 from the Code of Hammurabi, a Babylonian code of law of ancient Mesopotamia.
Backed into a corner, Andy finally admits the code has to do with slavery and reveals that at one point in her very long history used to be a slave owner. This shocks Nile to her core, particularly given her own identity as an African-American.
Instead of expressing regret over her past, Andy tries to defend her actions by stating that only men who killed and raped women under Andy’s protection were taken as slaves. But it is clear that there is a great deal more darkness in Andy’s character than Nile had suspected. Something Andy herself admits in a panel where she states.
“You think I’m a good guy? I’m a fucking killer, Nile! That’s what this curse of immortality has made me! It’s given me seven millennia to practice! I am a goddamn god of war.”
While the earlier comics, and Charlize Theron, portrayed Andy as a battle-weary soul. It is now clear that there used to be a time when she embraced all the worst aspects of being a warrior. The question is, whether this new side to the character will be explored in upcoming sequels to The Old Guard, which director Gina Prince-Bythewood had previously hinted are very likely to be made, given the first movie’s popularity.
“Greg always envisioned the story as a trilogy. So there’s certainly more story to tell if the audience wants it.”
For now, any sequels that materialize on Netflix will have a lot of ground to cover before they get to the point of the latest graphic novel in the series. But the seeds for the conflict depicted in The Old Guard: Force Multiplied #5 might already have been laid at the end of the movie, which sees the return of Quynh, who is actually Noriko from the comics. Prince-Bythewood has confirmed that the sequel will explore more of the tortuous history between Andy and Quynh.
“Quynh’s character obviously has a big part in the future. The one thing that was in the graphic novel and in the original script that we couldn’t do. It was really a time thing, and a question of focus – what I would obviously love to see everyone’s backstory of how they came into being an immortal.”