Movies & Television

What are Sea Sirens? Black Panther's Talokanil Explained

Namor and the Talokanil from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had a haunting presence when they approached land and we explain what the sea sirens are – the inspiration behind the race.

The Marvel sequel is rich with representation, including a wonderful portrayal of Mayan culture in particular. Wakanda Forever also features four languages in addition to English: Xhosa, Yucatec Maya, Haitian French, and Spanish. 

Co-written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a sequel to the 2018 debut of the Marvel character and stars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Dominique Thorne, Florence Kasumba, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman, and Angela Bassett.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever | Official Trailer

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever | Official Trailer
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What are Sea Sirens? Black Panther’s Talokanil Explained

The Talokanil – Marvel’s answer to Atlanteans – formed after ingesting a magical herb that cured their smallpox, but the price required them to give up living on land and take to the sea.

The first time we see the Talokanil -whose skin changes color to blue when outside the water – is during a mining vessel sequence that begins with workers walking to the edge of the boat to jump off after hearing an eerie melody. 

The Talokanil sing a hypnotic song that put listeners into a trance until they walked off the edge of the boat, similar to the humanlike beings called sirens from Greek mythology.

Also compared to Mermaids, they were described as having alluring voices whilst singing a bewitching song that often lured sea folk to their downfall.  

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Cr. Marvel Entertainment, YouTube

Sea Sirens of Greek Mythology

Greek legend states that sirens appeared in one of Homer’s poems, Odyssey, reciting how Odysseus saved the lives of his crewmates from the creatures.

In mythology, the sirens became a symbol of “dangerous temptation” and were usually represented as women throughout the Christian and medieval eras.

The similarities between sirens and mermaids lie in their physical form, where both creatures are said to have the upper body of a human combined with fish tales.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s ‘Sirens’ Song

Ludwig Göransson’s Wakanda Forever score is on its way to becoming one of the most popular scores of the MCU and it even features a unique siren song belonging to the Talokanil.

Simply titled “Sirens”, the melody is extremely haunting and mimics the rhythm and melody of your typical sea shanty, which is a clever way for the Talokanil to hypnotize mariners with familiarity.

The track builds into a deafening crescendo of layered audio following this repeated melody and many fans are saying that it mesmerized them during the screening.

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now in theaters worldwide.

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Jo Craig
@shingeekyjo

Being a pop culture writer and a proud geek of all trades, Jo loves to dissect fandoms and marvel at their insides. The entirety of The Lord of the Rings, superhero origins, the Ghost of Tsushima score, the Wings of Freedom, and the endless search for a sleepy Tyranitar are but a few of Jo's passions, with a penchant for contributing to the geek culture community.

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