Reimagined from Reality: Second Favorite

Find out about this blog series – Reimagined from Reality – in the Introduction post and the Finding the Story post.

This week we are diving into the Second Favorite. This character is one of my favorites if only because I have never seen her in any adaptation of the book of Esther! If you aren’t familiar with this character, she appears only very briefly and very vaguely after Esther is crowned as queen.

Now when the virgins were gathered together the second time…

Esther 2:19

Here’s what we know about the Second Favorite, and how I reimagined those facts into the character of Lilith Lange:

  • The Second Favorite was chosen from the harem. Some scholars believe that this was a second harem gathered from the people, however others to believe it was the same harem that Esther was chosen from. [1]
    • Lilith is in the harem with Roxana, gathered at the same time as Roxana.
    • Lilith is determined to become queen, and envies the favor Roxana receives from the palace staff.
  • The Second Favorite was chosen after the king’s marriage to Esther. We don’t know how much time passed, but it was no longer than five years. Also, scholars believe that the mention of this “second gathering” was a well-known event, providing the time stamp to Jews, even though modern readers do not recognize this reference. [1]
    • Lilith is called to the king’s bed literally the same day that he marries Roxana. Yikes.
    • Lilith’s position as the king’s mistress is not well disguised, and palace gossip quickly spreads about her constant companionship with the king, instead of Roxana.
  • The Second Favorite was chosen to be the king’s head mistress, or secondary wife. [1]
    • Lilith is very confident with her body, and is very self-assured that she will be able to seduce the king and be crowned as queen.
    • Roxana is chosen by the king because of her ability to read minds, not because of sexual attractions. Thus, Lilith is chosen to be the king’s mistress as she pleased him most in bed.
      • This further emphasises the relationship between the king and Roxana, that it was not true marriage.

And the rest of her character came entirely from my imagination! She is rather villianous, especially when she isn’t chosen as queen. She was a very fun character to unravel and explore, although she also causes quite a bit of trouble and I wouldn’t be surprised if she was one of the more hated characters in the story.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Find out anything you didn’t know or haven’t considered before?

Next week, we will dive into Hamen and Zaresh…

References

[0] The Book of Esther
[1] Bible Hub: Commentaries on Esther 2:19

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