Given that the effects of Getafix's potion are permanent on Obelix since he fell in it as a child, why didn't the Gauls throw all of their children in the potion? By doing so, in about 15 years they would have an army of super-Gauls with which they could easily annihilate the Roman army.

Is there any in-universe explanation as to why this isn't an option?

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    It could just be a happy accident that it actually worked like this for Obelix. If they threw just one other child in the pot and they didn't survive, or failed to drink the whole thing, or it had some horrible side-effects. They probably wouldn't try again. It's pretty clear that Obelix is something of an anomaly. – AJFaraday Mar 7 '19 at 15:28
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    Do you have child or have been around teenager as an adult? Because I don't wan't to have my house destroy because of my 8 years old kid that I reprimanded for drawing on his granite tablette, at night, in his bed, using the light of a candel. I was alerted by the hammer sound and worry about the fire hazard of a candel in a bed. – xdtTransform Mar 7 '19 at 15:47
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    I think there might be merit in suggesting Getafix would not allow it. There are several plot moments where the druid refuses potion when the tribe wants it for some trivial or crack-brained purpose. Permanent super-strength could easily twist the happy-go-lucky Gaulish nature into something ugly and arrogant. There's a more practical thought as well: the Gauls often settle their problems with a full-village punching brawl. Can you imagine the sheer devastation if all the brawlers had super-strength? – Blaze Mar 7 '19 at 16:30
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    Maybe because they couldn’t feed them? Obelix requires huge amounts of food. – Michael Mar 7 '19 at 17:21
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    @Michael or maybe Obelix could only drink it all because he has such an appetite ;) Who knows which trait came first^^ – Frank Hopkins Mar 8 '19 at 11:40

Simple: because that was a pretty lucky accident that probably is too risky to attempt to replicate.

Let me elaborate:

There are two comics that you should consider:

The first one is a retelling that explains HOW Obelix felt in the cauldron when he was about 6.

The story is narrated by Asterix, apparently to the conventional readership, and tells that in childhood, Obelix was often bullied by other boys, until Asterix, to assist his courage, induced him to drink some of the magic potion that made the villagers invincible. When they are interrupted in the act, Obelix falls into the cauldron containing the potion, and drinks it all, and is thereafter permanently under its influence.

As you can see, Obelix actually drinks the magic potion, not just "bathe" in it (so, sorry, no Achilles reference).

Now consider what happens in the second comic, Asterix and Obelix All at Sea. In the story, Obelix actually manages to drink an entire cauldron full with the aforementioned potion. The results? First he gets turned into a stone statue, and then in a kid version of himself.

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You may say that that effect was due to Obelix already having super-human strength when he drank the second cauldron... but the same comic show the same destiny happening to Crustacius, a roman Admiral- who never fell in a cauldron when young!

So, apparently, drinking too much magical potion in a single go may have dire consequences. Based on the results, you may even say that it will have dire consequences most of the times! This is somehow implied in multiple occasions during the series: every single time Obelix is given some magical potion (for example during the pyramid escape in Asterix & Cleopatra) Panoramix (or Getafix if you prefer his English name) always try to give him as little potion as possible (hinting he may already have feared that overdosing it may cause problems).

It is also worth noticing that even when Obelix originally fell in the magic potion that wasn't without side effects either: before the incident, Obelix is shown as being extremely pacifist. While that personality trait may just originate from fear and the inability to defend himself, it is undoubted that he changes after gaining his characterizing strength. Even his usual over-the-top reactions to being called "fat" - "WHO ARE YOU CALLING FAT" - seems to be something he developed after the incident.

At least I think we can assume Obelix appetite isn't a potion side-effect: based on the first comic, "How Obelix Fell into the Magic Potion When He Was a Little Boy", he was already somehow overweight before the incident

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    Definitely not an Achilles reference. Obelix has no physical weak points. – Mindwin Mar 7 '19 at 17:25
  • First line should read "too" risky. And just for novelty value, did you know that Panoramix / Getafix is called Miraculix in German? ;-) – DevSolar Mar 8 '19 at 8:44
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    About the "reference" or lack thereof, the "He fell into it when he was a little boy" is the literal translation of "Il est tombé dedans quand il était petit", which is a phrase that means more or less "He has been doing that since he was young", usually used for mental or artistic skills. Goscinny, the original writer for Astérix, was very fond of wordplay. – Jean Hominal Mar 8 '19 at 16:48
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    You also need to consider that the magic potion wasn't just readily available in large quantities. "The Gauls" didn't have the potion at their disposal, one druid in one village knew the recipe. And he guards that secret very dilligently. So to create an army of Obelixes, you would have to have him brew the potion all day - if he went along with the plan at all. Judging by his personality, he probably would just refuse. – Henning Kockerbeck Mar 8 '19 at 23:34
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    This ties in well with the real life too - medical drugs (and, really, any substance we consume) are only useful when taken in the right dosage. Take too little, and the effects will be too weak. Take too much and it becomes poisonous, and what happens to you depends much on your luck. – Vilx- Mar 9 '19 at 20:44

I have read all the Asterix comics, and most of them several times.It is never stated directly why no others have followed Obelix's path, but there are some possible in-world explanations:

  1. Obelix isn't very bright, and this could be a result of the overdose of strength potion, as could his obesity. Few parents would want their children to become super-strong at the price of them becoming fat and stupid.
  2. There may be some unknown long-term effects, such as sterility or early death from heart failure, and, following the principle of caution, parents refrain from exposing their children to this risk.
  3. Apart from Asterix and Obelix, few of the Gaul villagers ever seem to leave the village's environs. Since Getafix's potions generally are easily available in times of crisis, there is no need to dose up permanently, no more than there is a need today to wear combat armor all the time.

And then there is the obvious out-of-universe explanation: The stories wouldn't be fun if all the Gauls were super-strong all the time.

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    Here's another possibility. Getafix is currently vital and making a bunch of warriors permanently super strong would largely remove any need for him or his services, for the current generation anyway. The way it currently is Getafx gets to decide when and where the village can exert their power. This idea is more inline with some grimdark reimagining of the tales of A & O so it's not a serious suggestion. – Eric Nolan Mar 7 '19 at 14:59
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    You say "Obelix isn't very bright", which I can agree with, but calling him stupid is going a bit too far. Sure, he's not as smart as Asterix, but the other villagers aren't either! – Mr Lister Mar 9 '19 at 12:22

TL;DR: The universe of Asterix is not meant to be consistent.

The author of the Asterix comics did not set out to create a logically consistent universe. His writing lends itself more to parody and one-time problems the heroes have to face.

Our tendency as fans of a particular story (and by extension, its universe) is to seek logical truths that we can use to envisage all kinds of scenarios that the original author did not intend. Very few authors start off by first creating the laws of a universe, and then creating its characters and dilemmas.

An easy example of this I can quote from Asterix itself: in one of the comics (It was one where Asterix and Obelix where in Rome, I cannot remember which) the simplest outcome would've been to storm Caesar's palace and take what they needed to complete the quest; Obelix tries this route, but Asterix stops him, saying "these guards are a lot tougher than what you're used to at home" (who can imagine anyone standing up to Obelix??). This tells us the heroes have to face certain trials, even with the help of a potion that makes its user invincible.

I loved these comics when I read them as a child. And the fact that you cannot always depend on your "invincibility potion", taught me a lot :)

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It's a moral thing. Gauls are not to use the power of the potion for anything, but to defend themselves. It mustn't be used to fight each other. Getafix is very clear about that. I think that is the answer.

And: it must be very annoying to have superpower in everydaylife. Remember how often Obelix destroys doors and other stuff.

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  • Do you have any evidence for this that you can edit in to back up your claims? – TheLethalCarrot Mar 8 '19 at 13:37
  • @TheLethalCarrot You know there's something about that ringing true for me, I couldn't point to a specific reference but I have a feeling I've read more than one comment along those lines from Getafix or Asterix. – Pelinore Mar 8 '19 at 23:28
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    During the events of Caesar's Gift a schism occurs among the villagers, and it escalates until Getafix flat out refuses to offer his services to anyone until they grow the hell up. It's not until the internal conflict is resolved, and the challenger trying to sacrifice himself to resolve the external crisis and Vitalstatistix begs Getafix to give the challenger the potion to save him that he opens his door again. – Shadur Mar 9 '19 at 12:41

The Gauls stood up against the Rome because they choose to give themselves and their children the freedom to live their life the way they see fit.

Forcing them to become eternal warriors would go against anything they could ever want for anyone, maybe the kid you just forced to become an abomination would have liked to become a bard but now he crushes any Instrument he touches.

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    ... Right, so why haven't they dunked Cacofonix into the kettle a few times at this point? – Shadur Mar 9 '19 at 12:38
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    @Shadur Because he'd still be able to sing, and they'd have no chance of keeping him tied up and gagged! – Pont Mar 10 '19 at 9:40
  • ... Good point. – Shadur Mar 10 '19 at 10:21

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