Raised by Wolves ExplainedMay 30, 2021
a snake, a flying snake, comes out of her mouth and bites her to drain her blood. This horrifying scene is inspired by the real-world religion of Mithraism. Because the central image of Mithraism is the tauroctony, the ritual sacrifice of a bull. The sacrifice occurs in a cave, just as this birth occurs in a cave. It often includes an image of the sun god, Sol. And there is this snake, drinking blood from the bull's wound, just as this snake drinks from the Mother. There is also a dog in the wound and a scorpion in its nuts, so the analogy is not perfect, but there is clear inspiration here from this ancient Mithraic image of sacrifice.
Her mother realizes that she was deceived: that the virtual Sturges deceived her. He wasn't really the creator of her, the human Sturges; this was an illusion of some entity that manipulated her into giving birth to a snake. The mother is afraid that the snake will hurt her family. Then Mother and Father try to kill the snake by flying into a well and sacrificing themselves. But the well opens towards this strange planetary core. They approach it like a sperm approaches an egg, and when they enter, they do not die. Inexplicably, they pass through the core and emerge intact on the other side of the planet.
This region is full of trees and plants, but in this garden the snake grows, again evoking the Garden of Eden in the Bible. So the season finale, titled The Beginning, connects to Genesis. So that's basically what happens in Raised by Wolves, but what's really going on here, with the snakes, the god, and the ancient humans? Showrunner Aaron Guzikowski has given some clues in interviews that allow us to piece it together. Clearly, there is some divine power or entity in Kepler-22b. He makes Marcus and Paul hear voices, he brings back Tally's ghost and Paul's mouse. The entity somehow knows Caleb and Mary's true identities, and tells Paul.
The entity hacks the Mother's memories and uses this fake virtual Sturges to impregnate the Mother with a baby snake. And he uses his influence over Marcus and Paul to ensure that the snake is born: the voice tells Marcus not to kill his mother and tells Paul that the baby is important. The Mithraics do what the voice says, because they interpret it as the voice of their god, Sol. And clearly there is some connection between this planet and the Mithraic religion. Their scriptures predicted that there would be these temples with five-pointed sides and "demons" beneath the earth.
But Sol is not exactly what the Mithraics think he is. The fake Sturges says that humans simply destroy themselves, but the mother's baby is "the future." This god doesn't love humans: he loves snakes! It seems that the entity once tried to help humans, but they sucked, so Sol joined the Serpent team. Because all this goes back thousands of years. These metal cards of the masked man appear to reveal visions of the planet's ancient past. This cult with this box seems to be performing a ritual to give birth to a snake. The showrunner says this box is a "birthing prison," with a pregnant android inside.
The helmet he wears has this nozzle for the baby snake to come out of. He notes that the cage is a dodecahedron with pentagonal sides, just like the pentagonal temple, so perhaps the people who made this cage also made the temples to worship the snakes and the entity as a god. Perhaps the purpose of the hole in the temple is for a snake to come out. These mysterious ancient humans are the ancestors of the "devolved" people and creatures now living on the planet. The showrunner says "something made these humans hide underground" and adapt to the darkness; sounds like the Morlocks or the Falmer.
He says they were "escaping what was on the surface," so perhaps the snakes took over the surface, forcing the humans to hide. But not all humans became animal creatures. The showrunner says this masked man is "part of a group of creatures" who retained some intelligence and remembered what happened to the snakes. The masked man wants to prevent the snakes from being reborn, and that is why he gives Mother these cards, it is a warning. And that's why the entity tells Paul to destroy the letters, to hide the true serpentine intentions from him. When the masked man tries to kill Mother, it is his last desperate attempt to prevent the return of the snakes.
Snakes could also have made these holes. Because the wells lead to this central terminal in the center of the planet, which the showrunner compares to a "subway system." So maybe the snakes used the pits to move around the planet. So, thousands of years ago, there were humans on Kepler-22b. Some of them helped give birth to snakes and possibly worshiped them. But then humans became creatures and snakes became extinct. Now that humans are back on Kepler, and this divine entity is manipulating them so that snakes are born again, the cycle is beginning again. But how did humans end up on both Kepler and Earth?
These cave paintings show Kepler-22b, the planet Earth and a spaceship with two figures and some embryos, like Mother and Father's ship to Kepler. But this spacecraft appears to be going from Kepler to Earth; perhaps humans first evolved on Kepler and then came to Earth. Maybe they left trying to escape the snakes. But how is the boat in an ancient cave painting so similar to Mother and Father's boat thousands of years later? Remember, the Mithraics got their technology from instructions encrypted in their religious texts. They believe that “it was a gift from Sol.” Perhaps the Kepler entity gave humans this technology specifically so they could return to Kepler and give birth to more snakes.
Perhaps the entire Mithraic religion and its technology were created by this entity to control humans. But what is this entity? Father, Mother, Tally, and Mouse miraculously return after falling down the shafts to this strange fiery core, so perhaps this core is the entity. Perhaps this is the Sun god, an all-powerful supernatural psychic being of fire and light. But the showrunner says that while things may seem supernatural, they can also have a "technological aspect." After all, the entity appears to hack into Mother's digital memories; She said it is "a virus" that "infected" her systems. The showrunner says that the mother's android body is like a 3D printer: when she became pregnant, she was receiving digital instructions on how to make a baby snake.
The point is that the entity connects to the Mother like a computer, with digital information. So perhaps the entity is a rogue AI, built by Kepler's ancient humans. A computer that got out of control and decided that she liked snakes more than people. That would be similar to what happens with necromancers on Earth: humanity destroys itself with technology. On the other hand, Campion says that “everything has a soul.” This entity appears to be connected to the dead: the ghost Tally tells Campion to commit suicide so she can be with his dead siblings again. Perhaps the entity is like a hive mind of all the creatures that ever died on Kepler; perhaps the entity is the soul of the planet.
Another mystery is prophecy: according to the Mithraic scriptures, there will be an "orphan child" who will lead us to build "a city of peace." Paul likes to build cities and he is an orphan because his real parents were murdered. So maybe he is the messiah. Another possibility is Campion, who is emerging as Paul's rival. In the end, the entity talks to Paul, but seems to want Campion dead. Perhaps Campion leads a faction against the entity while Paul leads the Mithraic. The showrunner compares Campion and Paul to Romulus and Remus; In the legend, Romulus kills Remus and then builds Rome.
So, will Campanion or Paul kill each other? Will any of them start a new civilization? Or is this whole prophecy just more nonsense from the entity out to control humanity? In the end, Marcus discovers another ark on top of Kepler, and it's full of atheist soldiers. The showrunner says that atheists kidnapped this ark of Mithras. So these atheists could dramatically change the balance of power at Kepler. Marcus kills some of them and declares himself king of the planet, making him an antagonist the next season. This snake is also a threat: the showrunner says that since the snake was born from the Mother, it is part organic and part machine, and has some of the Mother's powers, such as flying.
What else could he be capable of? What does he want? Is it a tool of the divine entity or does it have a mind of its own? How will he get along with mom and dad? Campion is set up as the leader of the children with Mary. How will they survive without Mother and Father? Will Mary meet Paul? Will Tempest's baby be born? Will Hunter be less of an idiot? There are a lot of big questions for Season 2. But the most important thing is: what does it all mean? What is this show really about? Explore beginnings and endings, and the interconnectedness of life and death.
The mother says that "death is part of life", so she drains the blood of Otho and some androids to feed her fetus. The father teaches the children to kill creatures so they can eat and survive. But when Tempest kills a creature, he finds an unborn baby in his womb. Crops of it only grow on the bones of dead snakes. And the Mother's birth and the mythology of the tauroctony evoke sacrifice. So life comes from blood and death, they are inextricably intertwined, and perhaps it is that sacrifice that gives meaning to birth and life. It is also about religion and faith.
The mother tries very hard to raise Campion as an atheist, but even so, Campion prays and develops beliefs about souls. He believes that he can face pain and find meaning in a cruel and chaotic world, just as humans have done for thousands of years. Even Mother, the atheist android, has religious or spiritual behaviors. She has this little sanctuary where she keeps objects that are special to her, which makes her feel connected to her dead children. She holds small fruit ceremonies with the children, which are science-themed but seem very religious. She believes in her mission and her creator as a religion, even before the God of Milk gets her pregnant.
So Mother's attempts to create a strictly rational atheist society seem futile; perhaps religious or spiritual feelings of some kind are simply part of being a person. Of course, religion can be bad too. The Mithraics dehumanize their enemies by saying that atheists have no souls. The second highest ranking Mithraic priest is a brutal rapist. Marcus murders people and destroys his own family in the name of God. And a holy war destroyed the Earth. Religion can be an excuse to do evil and cause conflict. Of course, atheists are not very hot either, with their child soldiers. So perhaps it is organized ideology that leads to evil.
Ultimately, humans have to believe in something. . And the characters in Raised by Wolves survive thanks to mutual faith. Caleb and Mary find strength in their trust in each other. The father and mother believe in each other and their family. This belief is neither rational nor biological. The mother and father are not the real parents of their children, nor is Mary, but these relationships are real because they believe in them, like faith. So maybe the message of Raised by Wolves is that we don't need God, but we do need each other. Especially when God is an evil psychic mass that hates humans and loves snakes.
Thanks for watching, like, comment and subscribe. There are a ton of interviews with the creator of Raised by Wolves linked below if you want to check them out. This video was made possible thanks to the support of our sponsors at patreon.com/AltShiftX. Thanks to sponsors Joshua Young, lunaxix, Gabriel Harel, Sticky, Michael Shevlin, Carlos Orellana III and Orsi. Health.
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