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Raised by Wolves Explained

Raised by Wolves Explained

Raised

by

Wolves

is a new sci fi show about  robots and religion on an alien world,   life and death and parenting, ghosts and snakes  and necromancers, virtual reality, prophecy,   secret identities, ancient alien  megaliths with strange fiery holes,   and sex with God in milk – “Milk!”. It’s  got.. this fella, and this bloke with the hat,   and there’s whatever.. this is.. and  then.. the snake happens?? There’s a   lotta crazy stuff going on. So what happens  in
raised by wolves explained

Raised

by

Wolves

, and what does it mean?  In the future, the world is dominated by a  religious group called the Mithraic – they’re   loosely inspired by real religion called  Mithraism, that was popular in ancient Rome,   alongside early Christianity. In the  real world, Christianity became popular,   but Mithraism faded away – but in

Raised

by 

Wolves

, the Mithraic take over and Christianity   falls – in one episode we see this painting  that looks like Christ on the
cross cast down,   with the Mithraic sun rising above. Cause the  Mithraic worship a sun god called Sol, and they   preach about light and purity. Their practices  are similar to Christianity, with communion and   baptism and atonement for sin. But years ago, the  Mithraic discovered that in their holy scriptures,   there were “formulas” and “blueprints”  encrypted into the text – that allowed them   to build advanced technology – like “quantum  gravity”
spaceships, “dark photon energy”,   and necromancers. Necromancers are powerful robots  used as weapons of mass destruction. They can fly,   and change their appearance, and use frost and  heat breath, and their scream and their gaze can   explode people .  Ridley Scott, who’s a producer on the show, says   their design was based on a statue of Atlas in  New York. The necromancers represent a terrifying   destructive power that seems both technological  and “godlike”.
The Mithraic and their necromancers   waged a “Holy War” to “take over the world”,  and wipe out all other religions. The resistance   against the Mithraic were called the atheists.  They didn’t have advanced technology like   necromancers, so the atheists used child soldiers,  even child bombers in the war. According to the   official comic, the atheists “blanketed the Earth”  with bombs. But the bombs failed to stop the   necromancers, and left the Earth
“uninhabitable”  – . Others   blame the Mithraic for ruining the Earth, so  it’s unclear whose fault it was. But either way,   the Mithraic and atheists both seem pretty  awful, and their war wrecked the Earth. There   wasn’t enough oxygen, animals went extinct, it  seemed that everything on the planet would die.   So the Mithraic built an ark to take a  thousand refugees to a new world – a planet   called Kepler-22b, which is a real exoplanet in  a distant star
system. But the atheists didn’t   have an ark, so they were screwed. Episode 2 follows Caleb and Mary,   two atheist soldiers living off rats in the ruins  of Boston. They find two Mithraic officers called   Marcus and Sue, who have passes to board the Ark.  So Caleb and Mary kill Marcus and Sue, and get   plastic surgery to look them, and steal their  identities, and get on the Ark to escape Earth.   Thing is, Marcus and Sue had a son called Paul.  So Caleb and Mary not only
join their enemies,   and pretend to be Mithraic believers, they also  have to play mother and father to a child whose   real parents they murdered. The Ark takes thirteen  years to fly to Kepler-22b. So the Mithraic’s   bodies are put into hibernation while their  minds are plugged in to a digital simulation,   so they can hang out and pray and play duck duck  goose for 13 years. And in that time, Caleb and   Mary come to genuinely love Paul as a son. Mary  is unable to have
kids, so despite her atheism,   getting Paul is like a miracle for her. Within  their fake Mithraic identities, Caleb and Mary   become a real family with Paul. But when the Ark  arrives above the “Promised Land” of Kepler-22b,   it turns out that someone else got there first. Back on Earth, there was this mysterious atheist   guy called Campion Sturges, and he had  a plan for a new “hope” for humanity.   He captured a necromancer, and reprogrammed her to  be a mother. He
put Mother and an android called   Father and a bunch of “frozen human embryos”  in a small fast ship and sent it to Kepler-22b.   He programmed the androids to raise the humans in  a peaceful atheistic society, hoping to avoid the   problems that caused war on Earth. So in Episode 1, Mother and Father   arrive on Kepler. It’s a harsh primordial  landscape, but there’s breathable air,   and Earth-like plants. Mother  and Father wear goofy grey outfits that make   them
look “naked, like Adam and Eve” in the  Bible, when they start life in a new world.   Cause Mother was modified to grow their frozen  human embryos into babies – so the death-bringing   necromancer becomes a life-giving mother. She  uses these six feeding tubes on her chest,   that look like the nipples of an animal. Cause the  show’s title,

Raised

by

Wolves

, is a reference to   the legend of Romulus and Remus – children who  were

raised

by a she-wolf. Mother is
compared   to a wolf – and she’s a non-human raising kids,  just like the she-wolf. According to the legend,   Romulus founded the city of Rome, just as Mother’s  children are to start a new human civilisation.   So Mother and Father raise six human children on  this alien world. They build a little settlement,   farm for food, and form a strange little family.  As androids, Mother and Father aren’t meant to   have real emotions, but they develop quirky  personalities, and
come to love their children.   But the planet has dangers and mysteries. They  find the bones of some giant serpents. And the   surface is dotted with huge deep pits –  a child called Tally falls in and dies.   Four more children die of a sickness,  until only the youngest remains – a boy   called Campion. So the colony seems doomed. That’s when the Ark arrives, with a thousand   Mithraic on board. Father thinks Campion should  join them, but Mother sees the Mithraic as a  
threat. She’s committed to an atheistic colony,  and seems to be malfunctioning, overwhelmed with   grief for her kids. So Mother temporarily kills  Father. And when the Mithraic try to take Campion,   Mother goes on a rampage, and destroys the Ark  – she kills a thousand humans, probably the   majority of all humans left. She only saves five  Mithraic children to join Campion in their colony.  At first, these kids hate and fear Mother – they  try to escape, and Campion tries
to steal her   eyes, which she needs to use her deadly powers.  But Mother and Father persist in protecting and   caring for the kids, and eventually most of them  come to love Mother and Father. The eldest girl,   Tempest, quickly rejects her Mithraic faith.  Cause while she was in hibernation on the Ark, a   Mithraic priest raped and impregnated her. Mother  supports Tempest as she struggles with the trauma   and anger and the baby inside her. But Hunter  stays loyal to the
raised by wolves explained
Mithraic. He comes from an   upper-class Mithraic family, and is often kind of  a pompous douche. Holly is close with the youngest   child, Vita. And the fifth Mithraic kid is Paul,  the adoptive son of Caleb and Mary – Paul is quiet   and clever, and makes friends with Campion. So this strange family struggles to survive   on Kepler-22b. They’re attacked by mysterious  humanoid creatures. And they find out that the   food they’ve been growing makes kids sick. So they  start
eating the creatures instead – solving both   problems. Mother and Father have arguments  about how to raise the kids – Mother tends   to be more strict, while Father’s more  permissive. As a necromancer, Mother is   much more powerful than Father, and he sometimes  feels she doesn’t respect his efforts – and,   y’know, she killed him that one time. So there’s  drama, and survival, and increasingly, weird shit   happens. They start seeing the ghost of Tally,  the kid
who fell down a pit. And Paul’s pet mouse   falls into a pit, but then miraculously comes  back. It’s like things don’t stay dead on this   planet. And Mother makes a discovery in the woods. The ghost of Tally leads Mother to a simulation   pod from the crashed Ark. She uses it to access  memories of her creation by Sturges on Earth.   She realises that Sturges loved her, and  becomes obsessed with him. Sturges seems to   come alive within the simulation. So Mother  and this
virtual Sturges have crazy trippy   VR sex in a waterfall of milk beneath the  stars. And inexplicably, miraculously, Mother   gets pregnant. This robot get pregante from  divine cybersex, like a sci fi Virgin Mary,   and this Sturges tells Mother that this new baby  is her true mission. That her human kids were   just a practice run – this baby is the future for  humanity. So Mother questions everything about her   creator, and her purpose. This pregnant  atheist android has a
crisis of faith.  Meanwhile, a bunch of Mithraic   survived the destruction of their Ark, including   Caleb and Mary. And the Mithraic discover a  mysterious stone in the desert, that fulfils   a Mithraic prophecy. According to their scripture,  in the “holy land” there are five temples, with   five-pointed pentagonal sides. And these temples  hold “the answers to the Mithraic Mysteries”,   the deepest secrets of their faith. So  the Mithraic start to worship this
temple.   But the secret atheists Caleb and Mary  don’t care – they just want to find Paul.  So Caleb confronts the Mithraic leader, Ambrose.  And suddenly Caleb hears mysterious voices   in his head, then the stone temple  miraculously burns Ambrose to death.   Caleb declares this “Sol’s judgement”, and  becomes a prophet and a leader to the Mithraic.  So, Mary still just pretends to be religious,  but Caleb gradually becomes a believer for real,   and embraces his role
as a prophet. We get  flashbacks to Caleb’s past as a child soldier   on Earth. He had always been powerless and  exploited. But as Marcus the prophet, everyone   follows him, and the power is intoxicating. Caleb leads the Mithraic to find their kids,   and along the way they encounter a mysterious  masked man – apparently there are native people   living on Kepler-22b. The Mithraic find Mother’s  settlement, and reunite with their kids – Paul   and Hunter betray Mother and
Father so they get  captured. Caleb takes Mother’s eyes so she can’t   weaponise, and he tries to kill Mother, but the  mysterious voice of Sol tells him to let her live.   The voice promises that Marcus will be  “king of this world”. So Caleb was an   atheist just days ago, but suddenly he’s a prophet  hearing god’s voice, but he doesn’t know what Sol   wants from him. He gets aggressive and controlling  and self-destructive. He has crazy visions,   and loses touch
with his identity – he has a  hallucinatory knife-fight with himself where   Marcus kills his past identity as Caleb – it’s  like the fight at the end of Fight Club, but if   Tyler Durden won. Marcus goes full crazy – so Mary  and the kids and Mother and Father all escape him.   Marcus prays to Sol for guidance, begging to  know his destiny, but hears nothing – his god   and his family and his sanity all abandon him.  The other Mithraic figure out that this Marcus  
isn’t really Marcus, so they beat him up, and  force him to swallow Mother’s necromancer eyes.   And uh – you are not meant to eat those. They’re  full of dark photon energy, it’s like swallowing   some potent magic plutonium, it does things to  his body and mind. So in the finale, Marcus is   broken and mad and has nothing but a deranged  belief in his own divinity .  Meanwhile, Mother discovers that the fetus  inside her is hungry for blood. So she captures   a Mithraic
guy called Otho, and drains his blood  to feed her baby . Otho   was a high-ranking priest on the Mithraic Ark  – and he was the one who raped Tempest. Otho   says he did it because Sol told him to. But now,  Sol has stopped speaking to him, no matter how   much he prays – just like how Sol abandons Marcus  too. Otho attacks the group, so Tempest kills him,   finally getting vengeance and closure. Mother bonds with Mary – they’re both   parents to children who aren’t
biologically  theirs – Mother is an android raising humans,   and Mary is raising Paul, whose real parents she  killed. They prepare for Mother to give birth,   and the kids get excited, thinking the baby is a  child of Sol. And Paul starts hearing Sol’s voice.   His pet mouse who miraculously returned leads  Paul to some mysterious cave paintings that   hint at human life on this planet. Then  the voice tells Paul the truth about his   parents – that the woman he thinks is
his mum  actually murdered his real parents. So Paul   shoots Mary. Mary survives, but suffers the guilt,  and rejection of the boy she loved as a son.   Paul runs off into the night – it seems  that Sol has chosen a new instrument.  Father finds out that Mother is pregnant, and he’s  angry that Mother lied to him, and kept secrets   from him, and she cheated on him with virtual  milk God to get robot pregnant, and now she says   maybe this baby is their new mission??
Father’s  so upset he considers wiping his own memories,  but then, that mysterious masked man attacks  Mother, so she kills him, and it turns out he’s   a ‘devolved human’. Meaning, there were once  human beings on Kepler-22b. But for some reason,   they evolved into these animalistic creatures.  This masked man is part of a group who kept   some of their humanity and memory. He has  these metal cards that give Mother a vision   of like a cult and a box, but before she
raised by wolves explained
figures  it out, Mother gives birth, and it’s not a human   baby – it’s a serpent, a flying snake bursts from  her mouth, and it bites her to drain her blood.   This horrific scene is inspired by the real-world  religion of Mithraism. Cause the central image in   Mithraism is the tauroctony – the ritual sacrifice  of a bull. The sacrifice happens in a cave,   just like this childbirth happens in a cave.  It often includes an image of the sun god,   Sol. And there’s this
serpent, drinking blood  from the bull’s wound – just like this serpent   drinks from Mother. There’s also dog on the wound,  and a scorpion on his nuts, so the analogy isn’t   perfect, but there’s clearly inspiration here  from this ancient Mithraic image of sacrifice.  Mother realises that she was bamboozled – that  virtual Sturges tricked her. He wasn’t really   her creator, the human Sturges – this was some  illusion by some entity manipulating her into  
birthing a serpent. Mother’s afraid that the snake  will hurt her family. So Mother and Father try to   kill the snake by flying into a pit, sacrificing  themselves. But the pit opens up into this strange   planetary core. They approach it like sperm to  an egg, and when they enter – they don’t die.   They inexplicably pass through the core, and  come out the other side of the planet, intact.   This region is lush with trees and plants, but in  this garden, the serpent grows
– again evoking the   Garden of Eden in the Bible. So the season finale,  titled The Beginning, connects back to Genesis.   So that is basically what happens in

Raised

by 

Wolves

, but what is actually going on here – with   the snakes and the god and the ancient humans?  Showrunner Aaron Guzikowski has given some hints   in interviews which allow us to piece it together. Clearly, there’s some godlike power or entity on   Kepler-22b. It makes Marcus and Paul hear voices,  it
brings back the ghost of Tally, and Paul’s   mouse. The entity somehow knows Caleb and Mary’s  true identities, and tells Paul. The entity hacks   into Mother’s memories, and uses this fake virtual  Sturges to impregnate Mother with a serpent baby.   And it uses its influence on Marcus and  Paul to ensure the serpent is born – the   voice tells Marcus not to kill Mother,  and tells Paul that the baby’s important.  The Mithraic do what the voice says, because  they
interpret it as the voice of their god,   Sol. And there clearly is some connection  between this planet and Mithraic religion.   Their scripture predicted there would be  these temples with five-pointed sides,   and “demons” beneath the earth. But Sol is not  exactly what the Mithraic think he is. The fake   Sturges says that humans just destroy themselves,  but Mother’s baby is the “The future”. This god   does not love humans – it loves snakes! It sounds  like the
entity once tried to help humans, but   they sucked, so Sol joined team serpent instead. Cause this all goes back thousands of years. These   metal cards from the masked man seem to  reveal visions of the planet’s ancient past.   This cult with this box seem to be performing a  ritual to birth a serpent. The showrunner says   that this box is a “birthing prison”, with  a pregnant android inside. The helmet it’s   wearing has this nozzle for the baby serpent to  come out.
Notice that the cage is a dodecahedron   with pentagonal sides, just like the pentagonal  temple – so maybe the people who made this cage   also made the temples, to worship the serpents  and the entity as a god. Maybe the purpose of the   hole in the temple is for a serpent to come out. These mysterious ancient humans are the ancestors   of the ‘devolved’ people and creatures who  now live on the planet. The showrunner says   “something caused these human beings to  hide
underground”, and adapt to the dark   – sounds like the Morlocks or the Falmer. He  says they were “escaping from whatever was on   the surface” – so maybe the serpents took over  the surface, forcing the humans underground.  But not all the humans became animalistic  creatures. The showrunner says this masked man   is “part of a group of creatures” who retained  some intelligence and remembered what happened   with the serpents. The masked man wants to stop  the
serpents being reborn, and that’s why he gives   Mother these cards, it’s a warning. And that’s  why the entity tells Paul to destroy the cards, to   hide its true snakey intentions. When the masked  man tries to kill Mother, it’s his last desperate   attempt to prevent the return of the serpents. The serpents might also have made these pits.   Cause the pits lead to this central terminal at  the centre of the planet, which the showrunner   compares to a “subway system”.
So maybe the  serpents used the pits to move around the planet.  So – thousands of years ago, there were humans on  Kepler-22b. Some of them helped birth serpents,   and possibly worshipped them. But then the humans  devolved into creatures and the serpents died out.   Now humans are back on Kepler, and this godlike  entity is manipulating them to have the serpents   born again, the cycle is starting over. But  how did humans end up on both Kepler and Earth?  These cave paintings
show Kepler-22b, and planet  Earth, and a spaceship with two figures and some   embryos – just like Mother and Father’s ship to  Kepler. But this spaceship seems to be going from   Kepler to Earth – maybe humans first evolved on  Kepler, then gone to Earth. Maybe they left trying   to escape the serpents. But how does the ship  in an ancient cave painting look so similar to   Mother and Father’s ship thousands of years later?  Remember, the Mithraic got their technology
from   instructions encrypted in their religious texts.  They   believe it “was a gift from Sol”. Maybe the  Kepler entity gave humans this technology   specifically so they could come back to  Kepler to birth more serpents. Maybe the   whole Mithraic religion and their technology  was created by this entity to control humans.  But what is this entity? Father and Mother and  Tally and Mouse all miraculously return after   falling down the pits to this strange fiery
core  – so maybe this core is the entity. Maybe this is   the god Sol, a supernatural all-powerful psychic  being of fire and light. But the showrunner says   that while things may seem supernatural, they  might also have a “technological aspect”. After   all, the entity seems to hack into Mother’s  digital memories – she said it’s “a virus”   that “infected” her systems. The showrunner says  that Mother’s android body is like a 3D printer   – when she got
pregnant, she was receiving digital  instructions on how to make a baby serpent. Point   is, the entity connects to Mother like a computer,  with digital information. So maybe the entity is a   rogue AI, built by the ancient Kepler humans. A  computer that got out of control and decided it   liked snakes more than it liked people. That would  be similar to what happens with necromancers on   Earth – with humanity destroying itself with  technology. On the other hand, Campion
says   that “everything has a soul”. This entity seems  connected to the dead – ghost Tally tells Campion   to kill himself so that he be together again with  his dead siblings. Maybe the entity is like a hive   mind of all the creatures who ever died on Kepler  – maybe the entity is the soul of the planet.  Another mystery is the prophecy – according to  Mithraic scripture, there’ll be an “orphan boy”   who will lead us to build “a city of peace”.  Paul likes
to build cities, and he’s an orphan   because his real parents were murdered. So maybe  he’s the messiah. Another possibility is Campion,   who’s set up as a rival to Paul. By the finale,  the entity speaks to Paul, but seems to want   Campion dead. Maybe Campion will lead 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, then builds Rome. So will Campion  or
Paul kill each other? Will one of them start   a new civilisation? Or is this whole prophecy just  more bullshit from the entity to control humanity?  In the finale, Marcus discovers another ark above  Kepler – and it’s full of atheist soldiers. The   showrunner says the atheists hijacked this  ark from the Mithraic. So these atheists   could dramatically shift the balance of power on  Kepler. Marcus kills a few of them, and declares   himself king of the planet – setting him
up as  an antagonist next season. This serpent is also   a threat – the showrunner says that since the  serpent was born from Mother, it’s part organic   and part machine, and has some of Mother’s powers,  like flight. What else might it be capable of?   What does it want? Is it a tool of the godlike  entity, or does it have a mind of its own? How   will it get along with Mother and Father? Campion  is set up as a leader of the kids with Mary.   How will they survive without
Mother and Father?  Will Mary reunite with Paul? Will Tempest’s baby   be born? Will Hunter be less of a douche?  There are lots of big questions for Season 2.  But most importantly, what does this all mean?  What’s this show really about? It explores   beginnings and endings, and the interconnectedness  of life and death. Mother says “Death is a part   of life”, so she drains the lifeblood of  Otho and some androids to feed her fetus.   Father teaches the kids to kill
creatures so that  they can eat and survive. But when Tempest kills   a creature, she finds an unborn creature baby in  its womb . Their crops only   grow on the bones of dead serpents. And Mother’s  childbirth, and the mythology of tauroctony,   evokes sacrifice. So life comes from blood  and death, they’re inextricably intertwined,   and maybe it’s that sacrifice that  gives meaning to birth and life.  It’s also about religion and faith. Mother tries  so hard to raise
Campion as an atheist, but still,   Campion prays, and develops beliefs about  souls. He believes so he can cope with grief,   and find meaning in a cruel chaotic world, just as  humans have for thousands of years. Even Mother,   the atheist android, has religious or spiritual  behaviours. She has this little shrine where she   keeps objects that are special to her, making  her feel connected to her dead children. She   holds fruity little ceremonies with the kids,  that are
themed around science but feel very   religious. She believes in her mission and her  creator like a religion, even before she gets   knocked up by milk God. So Mother’s attempts to  raise a strictly rational atheistic society seem   futile – maybe religious or spiritual feelings  of some kind are just part of being a person.  Of course, religion can also be evil. The Mithraic  dehumanise their enemies by saying that atheists   don’t have 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 the atheists aren’t crash   hot either, what with their child soldiers. So  maybe it’s organised ideology that leads to evil.  Ultimately, humans have gotta believe in  something. . And   the characters in

Raised

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Wolves

survive through  their faith in
each other. Caleb and Mary find   strength in their belief in each other. Father and  Mother believe in each other, and in their family.   This belief is not rational, or biological.  Mother and Father aren’t the real parents of   their children, and neither 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 blob who hates humans and loves snakes.  Thanks for watching, please like comment and  subscribe. There’s a bunch of interviews with   the creator of

Raised

by

Wolves

linked below  if you wanna check them out. This video was   made possible by the support of our Patrons at  patreon.com/AltShiftX. Thanks to Patrons Joshua   Young, lunaxix, Gabriel Harel, Sticky, Michael  Shevlin, Carlos Orellana III, and Orsi. Cheers.