Reimagined from Reality: Haman & Zaresh

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 Haman and Zaresh, the diabolical husband and wife duo of the story of Esther. While Esther’s story has several characters who are villainistic, Haman (and Zaresh by proxy) is the primary antagonist when the final conflict arises, and the character with the most malicious intent.

While we only see Zaresh twice in Esther’s story, I wanted her reimagined character to be much more prominent in my retelling.

Here’s what we know about Haman & Zaresh, and how I reimagined those facts into the characters of Torgen & Kissa Moghdam:

  • Haman was an Agagite, longtime enemies of and bigoted to the Jews. [1] (Esther 3)
    • Torgen is a satyr, and satyrs and fairies are known to have racial tension between them. While he has politics motives beyond his bigotry, he leverages his power to suppress and insult fairies whenever he can.
  • Haman was elevated to a position of high honor by Xerxes after the plot to assassinate the king was uncovered. (Esther 3:1)
    • Torgen is present and bold in the king’s court throughout the story, but he is the king’s right hand man from at least the king Esther is chosen as queen (or leveraging himself to that place. I changed this for simplicity, and so that we get to see Torgen more throughout the story.
    • Frederick gives his signet ring (total authority) to Torgen after Roxana has been banished from court, which allows him to inact his plan against the fairies.
  • Haman was insecure and easily upset. (Esther 3:5, 5:9-14, 6:6)
    • Torgen’s insecurity is covered up with ego, always wanting to appear above everyone else.
    • Torgen doesn’t put up with disrespect, and manipulates Frederick to target his enemies.
  • Zaresh was the real brains. (Esther 5:9-14, 6:12-13)
    • Kissa is the mastermind behind all of the Moghdam schemes, thinking about the big picture and directing her husband in their endevours. (While Torgen may be the head of the family, Kissa is certainly the neck! *did you get that reference?*)
    • Kissa is much more malicious and subtle than Torgen. She uses her wit and words as weapons when in public, but is more abusive and blunt privately.

This is largely where I started with these characters and then just kept expanding them. It was a struggle to give them dimension and motivation beyond “super evil villains”, but it’s hard to build sympathy for psychotic racists so…

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

And this is the last characters I’ll be doing a little dive into with this blog series. I hope you enjoyed it and maybe even learned something new! If nothing else, I hope your love for the story of Esther and the God sovereign over all of it through this series.

References

[0] The Book of Esther
[1] Wikipedia: Agagite

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