Monday May 9, 2022

HBO’s Raised By Wolves features a number of mysteries that require some explanation, notably the identity of the savior from Sol’s prophecy and whether it’s Paul or Marcus. It remains unclear what exactly this character’s role will be in the story’s development, but the figure of Sol’s prophet remains one of the most important and most discussed plot elements of Raised By Wolves. However, there are multiple characters in the show who could possibly fit the description of the savior from Sol’s prophecy.

Raised By Wolves tells the story of a religious conflict between the Mithraic and the atheists. The Mithraic gained the advantage when they discovered encrypted messages in their scriptures that contained blueprints for technology (notably, the designs for Raised By Wolves‘ terrifying Necromancers). Thus, the Mithraic were able to use these weapons to dominate Earth and combat the militant atheists. The Mithraic religion also prophesied the coming of a savior.

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Based on the information that Raised By Wolves has offered so far, it’s unclear who exactly this savior might be. In season 1, episode 1, the Mithraic soldiers who come across Mother and Father’s settlement believe that Campion might be the prophet. However, Caleb (as Marcus) and Marcus’ son Paul, both orphans, seem to be the most obvious candidates. Here’s a closer look at why Paul or Marcus could be the savior–or neither of them could be the savior of Sol’s prophecy at all.

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Much of the Mithraic’s actions in Raised By Wolves seem based on their religious scriptures. Sol’s prophecy, as described in those scriptures, guides their vision of the future and gives them hope for how humans will survive on Raised by Wolves‘ Kepler-22b. Although the full picture and details of this prophecy are not explained in season 1, there are a number of allusions and hints littered throughout. The feature of this potential prophet that is most emphasized throughout the series is that he will be an orphan boy who would “come to lead the race into the next evolution of humanity.” In Raised by Wolves season 1, episode 3, “Virtual Faith,” Paul refers to this as the “pentagonal prophecy.” He explains that the prophet will be “an orphaned boy in an empty land.”

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The location of the unfolding of this prophecy seems equally important. When the Mithraic remnants stumble upon a strange stone in the desert on Kepler-22b in episode 4, “Nature’s Course,” they all assume it is the fulfillment of Sol’s prophecy because it “has five points… like in the prophecy. The temples in the holy land where hid the answers to the Mithraic mysteries.” It appears that the prophet will be the one to uncover the mysteries of these Mithraic temples.

Most of the characters in Raised By Wolves, including Paul himself, do not know that Paul is, in fact, an orphan. Because of this, when Paul starts having prophetic dreams, the other characters question whether the scriptures were mistranslated. In season 1, episode 7, “Faces,” a character states: “Perhaps the boy foretold to unlock the mysteries is not an orphan, after all.” Of course, both Marcus and Sue know that Paul is actually an orphan, meaning that he could very well be Raised by Wolves‘ prophet from Sol’s prophecy. For most of the first season, Paul doesn’t know that his parents were killed and that Caleb and Mary stole their identities, so he does not interpret his visions as being indications that he is the prophet. This is probably a good thing, as believing oneself to be a savior often leads to delusions of grandeur (as is seen with Marcus’ character). However, Paul finds out that Marcus and Sue aren’t his real parents, and even shoots Sue/Mary. This is revealed to him by a mysterious voice, which does feed into the idea that Paul may well be the prophet. Raised By Wolves‘ season 1 finale, “The Beginning,” suggests that the voices Paul is hearing are guiding him in a similar manner to Caleb.

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Caleb is an orphan who was trained at a very young age to become a soldier for the militant atheist army. He spent most of his life fighting and somewhere along the way met his partner, Mary. As Earth became uninhabitable due to years of constant conflict, Caleb and Mary decided to board the Mithraic ark in order to escape, taking the identities of Marcus and Sue. While Mary/Sue was able to retain a strong grasp on her true identity, it seems that Caleb/Marcus has become confused about who he really is due to his immersion in the Mithraic religion and culture. In Raised by Wolves season 1, episode 7, he literally hallucinates a fight between him and his old self. It is clear that his sense of identity has been shattered. This is primarily caused by the voices that Marcus hears, guiding his actions. The first instance occurs during his confrontation with Ambrose (the previous leader of the Mithraic). When the relic miraculously burns Ambrose, Marcus says that it was “Sol’s judgment,” and later on, as he is about to kill Mother, he again hears a voice. This time, the voice tells him to “let her live. And you will be king of this world.” The voices infect Marcus’ mind like a virus, making him more detached and aggressive. While, at first, it seems that Marcus is playing into his perceived role as the prophet as a way of justifying his murder of Ambrose and persuading the others to follow his orders, as the story progresses, he starts to lose himself in this role. While Sue believes that these voices are simply a psychological side effect of time spent in the virtual simulation, Marcus becomes convinced of their reality and announces to her that he is, in fact, the savior of Sol’s prophecy.

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Based on Raised By Wolves‘ themes so far, it seems very likely that there will be no savior and that the voice is not really Sol. Given the number of clues that Kepler-22b has been home to humans before, it’s possible that the Mithraic religion and the pentagonal prophecy are tools created by an ancient people in order to shape mankind’s development and bring about a particular outcome. What exactly that outcome is, and where Sol’s prophecy will lead the Mithraic remains to be seen. Reddit user nerdyintentions proposes a more radical theory: perhaps this entire story is set in a virtual reality that was designed to simulate a timeline in which Mithraism wins out over Christianity. It’s possible that those running the simulation are attempting to influence the outcome through religious prophecies and voices. Considering that filmmaker Ridley Scott is producing the show and there exists a number of similarities between Raised By Wolves and Scott’s Alien sequels, it’s possible that the story will develop in a comparably pessimistic manner, meaning that characters’ and audiences’ expectations will be subverted at every turn.

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Raised by Wolves releases new episodes Thursdays on HBO Max.

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