The Epic of Gilgamesh has long fascinated scholars and readers alike, standing as one of humanity’s most remarkable literary and historical works. While many have delved into its text seeking to decipher Gilgamesh’s tyranny and enigmatic behavior, a fresh interpretation offers a captivating twist. Instead of viewing Gilgamesh’s quest as a search for eternal life on Earth, this unconventional retelling suggests that he was actually striving to find a way back to his mother Ninsun’s home planet in the heavens. In doing so, it sheds light on the origins of humankind and explores the gods’ influence on our existence.
Gilgamesh and the Nephilim: A Beginning Shrouded in Mystery
Gilgamesh, the greatest of all kings, reigned over the city of Uruk in Sumer for an impressive 127 years. Born two-thirds god and one-third human, his birth and heritage raise questions about the principal characters and their origins. The Nephilim, translated as “those who from the heavens came,” were beings who arrived on Earth from the celestial realm. Tightly guarding their rocket ships and spacecraft, hidden deep in the mountains, they were enigmatic space travelers.
The Fascinating Birth of Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh’s mother, Ninsun, known as the “wild cow of the fold,” was a goddess hailing from a distant planet in outer space. She had voyaged to Earth as part of a group in search of minerals vital for their own planet’s survival. As a child, Gilgamesh grew up hearing stories of his mother’s celestial origins and the divine benefits he would possess once he ascended to the throne.
It is within this context that Gilgamesh’s erratic behavior emerges. Frustrated by his inability to visit his mother’s home planet, he vented his emotions by killing young men during the day and indulging in rape at night. Desperate to curb her son’s tyranny, Ninsun sought to find him a companion who could match his strength and become his equal.
Enkidu: A Friend and Equal for Gilgamesh
Ninsun embarked on a remarkable endeavor, creating Enkidu, a hero-friend for Gilgamesh, by genetically designing the first Homo sapiens. Enkidu, born in the wild, roamed with the animals, disrupting the hunts of local hunters. Fearful of his extraordinary strength, one hunter sought the aid of Gilgamesh. Shamhat, a priestess, was tasked with enlightening Enkidu about his humanity and introducing him to Uruk and its king.
Enkidu’s transformation from a beast to a man began when he encountered Shamhat at a waterhole. Their encounter proved transformative for Enkidu, leading him to shed his animal-like behavior and becoming more like a Homo sapiens sapiens. They then embarked on a journey to Uruk, where Enkidu would meet Gilgamesh, their fateful meeting forever changing the course of their lives.
Gilgamesh’s Quest and the Location of the Portal
With Enkidu by his side, Gilgamesh learned of a heavily guarded site in Lebanon, where the gods hid their rocket ships and spacecraft. These vehicles allowed them to travel to and from their home planet. Sensing an opportunity to fulfill his desire to return to his mother’s celestial abode, Gilgamesh resolved to reach the site, undeterred by the dangers that lay ahead.
Though Enkidu proposed an alternative journey, Gilgamesh remained steadfast. His determination to secure a ticket to his mother’s planet drove him forward. Realizing the perils that awaited Gilgamesh, his mother beseeched Shamash, the commander in chief of all the space stations on Earth, to protect her son. Though Shamash was unable to grant Gilgamesh permission to leave, he vowed to safeguard him throughout the treacherous mission.
The Confrontation with Humbaba
The arduous journey took Gilgamesh and Enkidu over 2,300 miles, spanning 15 days. Along the way, Gilgamesh experienced vivid dreams hinting at divine protection. Guided by Enkidu’s wisdom, he pressed on. Finally, they confronted Humbaba, the fearsome guardian of the cedar forest. Humbaba, surprised by their preparedness for battle, unleashed his taunts and threats but ultimately succumbed to their joint strength.
After slaying Humbaba, Gilgamesh and Enkidu entered the deserted forest, only to realize that their quest had been thwarted once again. Gilgamesh’s one-third humanity proved to be an obstacle preventing him from leaving Earth for his mother’s home planet. Disappointed but undeterred, they began their journey back to Uruk, taking with them a treasured cedar tree.
Ishtar’s Proposal and a Missed Opportunity
Upon nearing Uruk, Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, propositioned Gilgamesh, hoping to make him her groom. However, still reeling from his disappointment, Gilgamesh rejected her advances, reciting the long list of lovers she had discarded in the past. Enraged and humiliated, Ishtar returned to her home planet, leaving Gilgamesh with yet another missed opportunity to depart Earth.
This interpretation of the Epic of Gilgamesh only scratches the surface. Gilgamesh’s journey of self-discovery is filled with enthralling encounters with the gods. Stay tuned for part two, where more tales of Gilgamesh’s adventures and encounters with the divine will be unveiled.
To explore more captivating articles, visit Capturing Fantasy.
Top image: The Epic of Gilgamesh. Source: Luca Oleastri / Adobe.