This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Caustic "Icide Guide"

Brother kills brother in the next episode in our “Icide-Guide”: Fratricide! Kevin, Joe, and Toren cover Ashoka, the Ottoman Empire, fratricidal animals, the myth of Osiris, Cain and Abel, Medea, Hodur, Richard III, and A History of Violence.

Music: “Cain and Abel” by Louis Armstrong



Series Navigation<< SuicideHospiticide >>

11 Responses

  1. I’m pretty sure that the live coals are probably those small soot creatures from spirited away. From the furnace room. 😛

  2. Didn’t Juliette Lewis’ character also kill her brother in From Dusk till Dawn to prevent him from turning?

  3. I was listening to another podcast this morning, Horrible Histories, which I think Toren put me on to, and discovered that Genghis Khan also committed fratricide. He killed an older brother with the help of one of his younger ones, because… umm, I think he bullied him out of some food or something. Can’t remember.

    I did a little Latin at school and I think the -cide bit comes from cedere (ke-de-ray), meaning to cut – so decide means to “cut away” one of the choices you have, and probably means to “cut down” in the context of words like fratricide and patricide, etc. Frater is brother, similar to pater (father) and mater (mother), and Huggosaurus was right regarding sister killing being sororicide, from soror meaning sister. I wonder what nephew-icide is, given that’s what Richard III was accused of.

    Speaking of that, I’ll have to find that Richard III film you mentioned (is that what it’s called?) as it sounded really good. The Shakespearian presentation of Richard III is now regarded as pretty nasty and probably a bit heavy handed, but Shakespeare was writing it from the opponents’ viewpoint, so it made sense to vilify him. Not sure they ever figured out whether he actually did away with his nephews either.

    Great episode guys!

    1. “Nepotism” is literally “rule by nephews,” so I would guess that nepocide is the murder of a nephew. Bet that’d be a fairly short episode, though.

      1. Ah, of course! Good point. 🙂

        I’m still hanging out for the child killers (as in, the children are the perpetrators) episode. I’m sure it’s coming.

  4. One of my favourite examples of fratricide in pop culture is from Act 1 of The Protomen, a rock opera by the band of the same name, which is based loosely on the original Mega Man games.

    In a city under martial law by Dr. Wily, Dr. Light builds Protoman in an attempt to spark a revolution among the citizens and overthrow Wily. What instead happens is that the citizens stand by and watch as Protoman is brutally killed by Wily’s robot army. Heartbroken at the loss of what he considers his son, Light builds Mega Man, and warns him not to play the hero, lest he suffer the same fate that his late brother did.

    At the end (Spoiler warning but since the album came out in 2005 I’m probably fine) it’s revealed that Wily rebuilt Protoman, who now has a deep disdain for humans, and warns Mega Man that much like they did last time, they won’t fight alongside him, they’ll just treat him like a martyr.

    In the ensuing conflict, the citizens start chanting for Mega Man to kill his brother and he does so, having been pressured into it. Afterwards they praise him as a hero and tell him that he ‘had no choice’ and that there was nothing he could do. Disgusted by their words and lack of support after forcing him into killing his brother, he leaves the citizens to die at the hands of Wily’s robot army.

    It’s probably one of my favourite musical stories of all time, and I figured since there was fratricide in it it’d be appropriate to share here 😀