what kind of annoys me about the whole Kul Elna thing
is that people were all like ‘Bakura was just a child when it happened’
it was scarring yes
in that time when it happened (If TKB was 8 or so) he’d pretty much be considered a man…
I wrote a fic a few years ago where I did some heavy research on ancient Egypt, and you seem to be mixing up the child spouses of the Pharaohnic line with the commoners.
A boy would have been considered a “man” when he began to sound and look like a man—after the first few huge changes of puberty, in other words. If you look at the American news media that might sound pretty young, but remember that in the last 150 years or so, puberty has inexplicably dramatically accelerated for reasons still unknown. (Want a nice, dramatic example? Go look up pictures of Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. Then realize that when she was in that movie, she was sixteen years old.) “Puberty” for Bakura would have been somewhere between fourteen and seventeen years old and probably closer to the latter; the fact that the 15-year-old pharaoh is still so small is actually totally normal, because he probably hadn’t gone through puberty yet. He wouldn’t be the only child pharaoh to have taken the throne, either; Tutankhamen is the most famous, but there were certainly others. There are several indications that this is the case, but probably the most significant is the presence in Atem’s court of Akhenaden and Siamun—two high-ranking, older men who can guide him, instead of a court of his peers.
He also probably died married, although we never see his wife. The pharaohs were often married off as children so that as soon as they started getting boners—sorry for the crudity, but it’s true—they could start producing offspring. This was hugely important because of the mortality rate; a pharaoh with only five or ten kids might end up without an heir. The commoners? Usually married between 16 and 21 or so. Child marriage was only a thing in royal circles.
The likelihood is that Bakura was many years away from manhood when the Kul Elna massacre happened—and, worse, remember the Egyptian mythos: without a name and a body you cannot enter the afterlife. Everyone he’d ever known not only was dead—which wasn’t a big deal to the Egyptians, or more correctly it was such a big deal that it’d ceased to be one—they were gone forever with no hope of an afterlife. That’s what would have been the truly scarring event, and it’s probably actually a lot of what led him to the path he chose; he couldn’t fail to be destroyed by Ammit upon his own death, but if everyone he knew and loved was already nonexistent because they had no hearts and names to be judged on Tehuti’s scales with, why should that matter to him? He’d be joining their fate of oblivion.
So yes, he would have seen the event very much as a child, and had the people known of it, it’s likely that Atem’s father would have been overthrown. (It’s also likely that the young Bakura would have been adopted, by the way; adoption had no stigma because it was seen as a way of continuing a family when your wife turned out to be barren.)
Just one little nitpick…Judy Garland did have boobs at age sixteen, but she had to bind them to play Dorothy so she’d look younger (the flat chest was what you were referring to, right?). But otherwise I have no problems at all with this!