Title: Midnight Cowboys and Roman Generals.
Fandom: Night at the Museum, Night at the Museum 2: Battle at the Smithsonian
Spoilers: Night at the Museum and Night at the Museum 2.
Disclaimer: The characters in this manifesto belong to 20th Century Fox, not me.
In 2006, a movie was released that took the box office by storm and actually made kids want to go to a museum. The movie follows struggling divorcee Larry Daley trying to prove to his son that he can hold a job longer than a few days, but he gets more than he bargained for when the entire museum is revealed to come to life at night. 'Night at the Museum' took in 42.2 million dollars opening weekend, and maintained a #1 position until it's third week. Many fell for the character of Ahkmenrah and Larry Daley, but a select few of us brought our attention to two of the... smaller roles.
Jedediah and Octavius. The feuding historical figurines from the Diorama room brough plenty of squealing fangirls to fall head over heels for either of the pair. But perhaps it was the Brokeback Mountain reference that truly brought the fangirls to their knees.
In the immortal words of my friend Liz; 'Oh my God they are so Gay.'
But it wasn't until 'Night at the Museum 2: Battle at the Smithsonian' arrived in 2009 that the shippers became truly active. Really, it was as if the code word had been spoken and the many silent shippers suddenly started screaming.
"It's OCTAVIUS, Mary."
The leader of the Western exhibit, Jedediah is a true cowboy. Even full-knowing he's part of an exhibit, he attempts to spurn his crew of railroad workers to blow a hole in the mountain of their exhibit, claiming he cannot fight manifest destiny. In the first film, he is rivals with Octavius, frequently engaging in all-out warfare with the General's Roman army, even when Larry gives them full reign to roam the museum at their leisure. He's a fiery personality, outgoing and free-willed. His living counterpart, Jedediah Smith, was a hunter, trapper, fur-trader, trailblazer, and explorer in the Rocky Mountains in the early 1800s. He is portrayed by Owen Wilson.
The Roman General of the Rome Exhibit, Octavius is noble, arrogant, and a bit of a kiss ass. He too attempts to make his empire grow, and rivals with Jedediah in the first film with many battles which engage both groups of Westerners and Romans. He is extremely proud of his Roman heretage, often making comments about how the Romans are the best, and how they 'work alone'. He does however, prove to be smething of a suck-up, often calling Larry 'my liege' after he asserts his role as the caretaker of the Museum. His living counterpart was Gaius Octavius, or, Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of Rome. He is portrayed by Steve Coogan.
"Manifest Destiny, you
can't fight it, neither can I!"
The first film introduces these two as heavy rivals, they hate each other, fight constantly, refuse to work together. But by the end of the film, they mesh as best friends. When Larry asks the two of them to take care of Cecil's van, the two work very well together. They stab the tire, and the air rushing out is so strong for the miniatures, that three of them are blown clear away, leaving only Jedediah and Octavius holding the spear, and striking the following exchange.
Jedediah: I ain't quittin' you!
*Octavius looks at him oddly*
Exsqueeze me? Was that a 'Brokeback Mountain' reference in my kid's movie? By the end of the movie, these two are such close friends, they've taken their hats and helmets off in each other's presence and are driving a remote controlled car around the museum together. But still, it isn't until the second movie where things really come into play.
Larry has left the museum after two years to follow his career as an inventor, as the head of his company Daley Devices, he doesn't have time to visit the museum anymore, and on his most recent visit, he discovers that most of the museum is being packed up and sent into storage in Washington. (Jed and Octavious share a crate.)
But, the little Capuchin Monkey Dexter steals the Tablet which brings them all to life, and it is accidentally sent to the massive storage basement beneath the Smithsonian in Washington DC. Larry gets a call from Jedediah, and rushes to Washington to see what all the trouble is about.
Turns out, Kahmunrah, Ahkmenrah's elder brother, wants the tablet to unleash his hellish army and take over the world as Pharoah, bringing the greatest villains from history under his command; Al Capone, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Ivan the Terrible.
While the group from the Natural History Museum is captured inside a travelling crate and guarded by Al Capone's thugs, it is Jedediah and Octavius who slip through a hole in the box and escape. Before they leave, however, Octavius requests that they 'chest bump', and they do so. They aren't afraid to be physical, plus, can you imagine if they chest bumped shirtless?
Ahem... During their escape, Al Capone's flunkies see them, and Jedediah sacrifices himself to buy time for Octavius to escape, though Octavius is reluctant to leave his friend's side. When Octavius sees Kahmunrah has Jedediah held captive, and is using him as a hostage to make Larry help him work the Tablet, Octavius claims that he will rescue Jed, and 'will not fail him'. Octavius tears off across the lawn of the White House, hoping to gain the aid of the Presidant, but is stopped in his efforts by a Squirrel.
Yes, you heard me correctly. But our Octavius is not to be stopped by the ever mighty Squirrel. He takes on the beast and rides it to the Lincoln memorial, and recruits the Abe Lincoln statue into helping him save Jedediah, resulting in one of the most historically bizarre battles in movie history.
During this, Jedediah has been places in an hour glass, and while we're pretty sure if he had died in the sand, he would have come back the following day, we're not going to let that get in the way of what led up to the closest thing to a love scene these two have ever had together. Mid-battle, the hourglass containing Jedediah is knocked over across the floor and lands with the sand crushing Jed; Octavius comes to his rescue.
Octavius: Jedediah, they need us!
Jedediah: Ain't gonna make it. This midnight cowboy's done his last hoedown. Octavius, remember me as I was, wild and free! And-
Octavius: No need for final words!
*places hand against glass, looking helpless*
Jedediah: Whoa whoa I'm not finished yet.
Jedediah: I wanna get to the story of our relationship, the evolution from enemy to friend.
Jedediah: It'll make you cry.
Octavius: No! Because you are going to live!
*pulls helmet off, smashes the glass, freeing Jedediah*
Before I continue, let me explain another reference to effectively, a 'gay cowboy movie'. Jedediah references 'Midnight Cowboy', in which Jon Voight plays a guy trying to become a 'stud', and has sex with both men and women in the film. Jon Stewart joked that 'Midnight Cowboy', being thirty-five years before 'Brokeback Mountain', was a new genre of cinema: gay westerns!
Something tells me that the writers didn't just toss around ideas and say; 'Hey, how about he calls himself a midnight cowboy? That sounds westerny.'In Conclusion...
"So, really, why the hell should
we listen to your thoughts?"
So I have presented my case, dear readers. Now, I shall express my beliefs on the relationship.
Jed and Octavius really don't make a sappy-dappy lovey couple. They don't cuddle and tell each other 'I love youuu.' We all know the Romans were pretty uncaring to homosexuality, hell, most of 'em were banging their young wards or their generals. So we know Octavius probably wouldn't be entirely opposed to a sexual relationship with a man, but Jedediah is from a period in time when homosexuality is met with violence and seclusion. There's nothing to say that he would be comfortable with any sort of public display of affection.
So we can say this for them; they love each other on a friend basis, they're there for each other, they've got each other's backs, and they aren't going to give up on each other. But that's not to say they couldn't be something more. I could go on about the little nuances in the film that point towards 'They have buttsex when nobody's looking', but that's not their relationship. There's is the kind of relationship where they'll play cards and booze with the guys, laugh and talk and joke around; but the second nobody's around, they're making out and fighting for who's gonna be on top.
I like to say that they're merely friends who makeout.
So yes, they were born hundreds of years apart, and yes they're small plastic miniatures that only come to life at night, and yes everything about them is illogical and impossible.
But then again, isn't that love?
Sappy Ending Line be Damned,
here be Stuff from us Fans.
Chest_Bump is the only Jed/Oct community out there, tons of fic, art, icons, and stuff is posted here.
One of my favorite ficlets, by amycoolz, delightfully awkward and amusing. PG-13.
NC-17, 'A Little Swim', links to previous chapters are on the link, very kinky and in-character.
xTheAuthoressx is doing a fanfic100 on the pairing, those she has can be found there. They vary from NSFW to pretty G.Art
-NC-17, the first official porn of these two. NSFW.
-NSFW, but awesome. Yoshikimos is probably my favorite Octediah artist.
-Very cute, Humon has several other bits of art.