|“||Sol, guide us with your brightness and your glory. You, the all-seeing, unconquerable light, may darkness never come, so that we may serve.||”|
|— A line from the Mithraic chant[src]|
The Mithraic are a radical religious faction dedicated to the sun god Sol. On Earth, during the mid-22nd century, two warring religious factions tore the Earth apart and reduced humanity to two groups of people — the believers and the non-believers. As the Religious War reached its peak and the human race teetered on the edge of extinction, the Mithraic departed for the "new world" on the Heaven's Ark, while the atheists sent two of their androids to the planet Kepler-22b to start a peaceful, godless colony of human children.
Though it harbored the Mithraic for several years, the Heaven's Ark was later ambushed and destroyed by Mother when three of its soldiers came to Kepler-22b and attempted to take her child, Campion, with them, while planning to deactivate her. Using her shape-shifting abilities, she posed as Marcus to board the Ark and massacred most of the adults aboard, ultimately crashing it into a mountain for finality. She then entered the simulation and kidnapped their children to raise as her own, alongside Campion. As she adjusts the children to their new home and family, she teaches them principles of atheism and insists that they leave their Mithraic roots behind.
The Mithraic won the Religious War, suggesting that the only survivors from Earth are those of the Mithraic who boarded the Ark, in 2145. Consequently, this reduces the only surviving atheists to those who live on Kepler-22b, within the colony started by the androids Mother and Father.
The Mithraic get their name from a real-world ancient religious cult of the god Mithras. The god Mitra originally came from ancient Persia, or modern Iran. At the height of the Roman Empire, he began to be worshipped as Mithras in a Roman mystery cult. The cult became very popular, especially with soldiers. The sun god Sol was originally a separate god, but Mithras was often worshipped together with "Sol Invictus," the conquering sun.
In Raised by Wolves, the two gods have been blended into one and the Mithraists, or "Mithraic," worship a single god called Sol, who is associated with "the Light." Such is the reason as to why the Mithraic characters wear sun emblems and sun pendants.
Mithraic Mysteries Edit
Members of the church often refer to the "Mithraic mysteries," which promises of an "an orphan boy who dwells in an empty land [and] who will discover the Mithraic mysteries." What these mysteries entail, as well as whether they will have anything in common with the real-world ancient mysteries, is presently unknown.
Throughout Raised by Wolves Edit
Height of the Religious War Edit
During the year 2145 in Boston, a squadron of soldiers run through a figged out trench during the peak of the war, firing at initially unknown objects attacking from above. An atheist male soldier named Caleb calls out to Mary, and they press against the ditch to hide. Above them, an outstretched airborne android fails to notice them as it continues to shriek. The pair escape, though a flying vehicle crashes ahead of them, and they run towards it. Mary ignores an android pleasantly asking for help as he burns in fire to check on the pilot, who is dead. Caleb extinguishes the android and grabs him, as the group escapes the large explosions around them. They shoot an unarmed person as they enter a building, laying the android down. Caleb discovers the android to be a type A medic used for the Mithraic, who happens to have a log of all the passengers on the Ark. Caleb comes up with a plan to disguise themselves as a passenger (incidentally, Marcus), and volunteers to go first in a cosmetic surgery by the android while Mary cooks a rat dinner.
Caleb later tests her ability to test a new voice. Some time later at night, Caleb finds Mary, now without bandages, crying in the mirror. She hates it, but he replies otherwise. He takes off his own bandages, revealing his new face. He tells her it's Marcus now, and her name is Sue as she begins to break down. The newly-christened Marcus consoles her as she reiterates the Mithraic motto.
Arrival of the Imposters and Departure of the Ark Edit
The pair later travel to an abandoned, desolate structure. Inside, they find a cooking pot and demand the inhabitants to show themselves. Emerging from behind the counter are the real Marcus and Sue, staring at their imposters. The real Sue begins to say the Mithraic motto, but they are killed by the doppelgangers. 'Marcus' shuffles through their files as 'Sue' helps herself with the food, and discovers the couple have a son, much to her shock. They find their boarding keys, with papers saying he'll be delivered to his parents in the boarding area.
At a defunct stadium underneath an Ark lander, the new Marcus and Sue are in line for the boarding gates, as an intercom announces prayers and priests bless those waiting. Marcus spots a boy sitting on a bench with other children, and thinks that the son. The couple approach, nervously greeting him. The boy, Paul, replies hello to his parents without emotion. A cleric refers to Marcus as Captain Drusus, telling him Paul was taken good care of. An announcement reiterates all passengers have their identification ready, and the family get back in line. In a waiting area, where seats are replaced by seamless white pods, a large group of priests arrive and welcome the passengers as brothers and sisters, asking them to join in prayer to repent the sins committed on Earth. One priest hands Sue a circle of bread and she drinks from the goblet. Paul does likewise, though Sue reaches over to him as he says he's scared. She tells him it will be alright as Marcus finishes his ritual.
The Ark's lander then launches into space, with a view form the ground revealing dogs having been left behind.
Inside the Simulation Edit
A thousand Mithraic passengers make the thirteen-year journey to Kepler-22b aboard the Ark of Heaven. Their bodies remain in a physical state of hibernation, though their minds are able to interact with each other.
In a virtual landscape simulation inside their minds, Marcus and Sue revel in the fact their new bodies kept their appearance, and comment how time works differently. They spot Paul playing inside a Mithraic seal on the ground. Marcus says they are his parents, and they should go talk to him. Sue snaps back they're not.
Down with Paul, the pair compliment his holographic drawings. Paul, however, says she or he never talk to him and walks past them. The couple locks eyes, and Paul blames the simulation on people acting differently. Marcus notices Sue almost wretches on the floor, and tells Paul there are some places where kids can go play. When Paul leaves, Sue begins to panic, declaring she can't be his mother, can't be a mother. Marcus asks why, but Sue shoots back he knows why. She announces she'll go talk to Paul, to Marcus' encouragement.
In another section where a group of children, including Holly and Vita, are playing duck duck goose, they find Paul sitting alone. Marcus tells him to get up and asks why he isn't playing with the other kids. Paul despondently responds they think he's weird. Marcus jokes he gets that from his mother, and Sue playfully says unless he doesn't think they're cool enough as she spins him. Marcus fools around with the other kids much to their amusement as they play their own game of duck duck goose. Paul chases after Marcus and in a series of heartening moments, stumble into a cleric, who rhetorically asks if they're enjoying themselves. Conducting into a more serious manner, the cleric says she's pleased a man of war is bring back joy in his life. She adds their new Eden will never know war, and that it's best now to master happiness. They praise Sol, and the small family count back into their game.
Arrival of Soldiers to Kepler-22b Edit
Upon discovering that the Heaven's Ark is orbiting the planet, Father attempts to make contact with the ship to have them take Campion with them, as how he is not able to continue with his core objective with only one human child. Mother learns of Father's actions and becomes enraged; she temporarily deactivates him.
Several days later, Mother and Campion awaken to the sound of radio broadcasting. They witness other humans arriving to the scene. Marcus approaches behind them, announcing them as the Mithraic, who believed all of Earth's survivors were with them. He asks how they got here, though Mother refuses to answer. She kindly tells them to get off their land, but they are adamant on staying for dinner, and later, for the night.
At nightfall, Mother escorts the soldiers to the igloo. Inside, the soldiers let on they know she's an android, and remarks they must have gotten here faster on a smaller craft with human embryos. The cleric remarks on the orphan boy who dwells on an empty land, and his comrade adds the prophet who will discover the Mithraic mysterious. They speculate they're could be others - while the boy may be a prophet, they agree to take him with them as she's malfunctioning. They call on their android, Jinn, and order him to take her out. Jinn agrees, calling her a low end model and doesn't anticipate a struggle.
As first light, Campion catches the men gathering their crops though is dismissed by the majority. Marcus tells him to come, and he questions him on the android. Campion, refusing to lie, begs him if he can fix her as Mother overhears. He's assured by Marcus he can, as they got more than 1,000 people across the galaxy in one piece. He tells the boy to visit the Ark, but he's unsure. Marcus tells Campion she's becoming dangerous as she breaks down, but Campion doesn't want to leave Mother. At the mention of Marcus' son and live animals. Mother becomes enraged, and begins to walk to her son, though Jinn engages her in a battle. Marcus grabs Campion and runs as the boy screams for her. Inside the hut, Mother suffers a beating, but she overpowers Jinn. Outside, she punches the man holding Campion and in a series of supersonic screams, kills the other three soldiers. She tries to calm a scared Campion, but notices Marcus running away. Kissing him on the head, she goes after him, transforming to her metallic form and flies off.
Marcus reaches his lander and tries to power it, though the engines fail to turn on as Mother approaches, sinisterly knocking on the screen. As she strokes the surface of the ship, the camouflage feature deactivates. Marcus, realizing his fate, arms himself with a gun and shoots mother as she appears right behind him, though the shots fail to affect her. He bows his head in defeat and strokes the side of his face, sending him out of the ship, apparently dead.
Mother's Massacre of the Crew and Kidnapping Edit
Now hijacking the craft, Mother goes straight to the the bigger mothership, the Ark. Inside the command room, a female voice asks for identification, and mother assumed the form of the soldier. Evan, the main speaker, is released that 'Marcus' is back. He asks him if he found the source of the signal. 'Marcus' responds negative. Noticing his atypical behavior, Evan asks if he's alright. 'Marcus' answers the cleric is inured and needs help. The commander confirms the gate will be open and a medic group will be on standby.
Inside the landing zone, two more soldiers open the gate to find Mother resuming her original form. She belts another scream, which immediately kills the pair in a bloody explosion. A firing squad descends on her. Unaffected, Mother takes them out one by one with a scream. Once that threat passes, she examines the door in front of her, with the command room armed and wait god the other side. In a freezing breath, she punches through the weekend door as she's met with a wave of bullets.
In a final scream, they explode in balls of blood. Mother approaches the holographic console and asks for an immediate impact to Kepler-22b. The system refuses, and for an override requires a security retinal ID. Mother approaches the side of the table, and finds a live member. Forcing the scared man into a seat, she advises him to sit still or she'll hurt him badly. Ripping his eyelid out, she strikes him against the screen, which grants her request. As the system alerts the passengers for impact, a screen with the nursery catches Mother's attention, and she utters Campion's name. She blindfolds herself in a purification shower. Inside a virtual winter wonderland where a large group of children are held, she enters and blindly greets a young girl in delight, to the curiosity of the others.
Back on Kepler-22b, a launcher lands on the other side of the farming plot, and Campion runs to it. The door opens, and five children walk out, followed by a still-blindfolded Mother, who goes to greet her son. However, Campion backs away from her touch. She tells him to do his best at making his friends comfortable as she still needs to attend to some chores. The frightened children gather around in prayer.
Survivors of the Ark on Kepler-22b and Rescue Mission Edit
On Kepler-22b, Marcus outstretches his hands for warmth, and notices the long rope feathered nearby. He wraps himself and lies near the edge, noting he feels better. Much later, two of the extraterrestrial creatures find Marcus' still body near the edge of the abyss, and push him into it. However, the rope keeps him from falling into the hole. Suddenly, soldiers from the Mithraic find his body, and pull him up. They hoist him on a stretcher and make their journey through the barren wasteland.
Marcus wakes to a light in his eye and finds Sue checking on him, asking if he's alright. Marcus questions where's Paul, and reluctantly Sue confesses the necromancer took him and other kids captive before the Ark crashed, and they have to get him back. The view pans to the remains on the ship, revealing a number of survivors among the wreckage.
At the Mithraic camp, Marcus explains to an elder how the necromancer must have been reprogrammed by the atheists to be a caregiver. The elder refuses the idea that atheists reprogrammed one of their necromancers. Marcus says she's reverting - she's killed all but one of the children in her charge and will kill theirs next. The elder is doubtful they're still alive as their locators can't tell them that. Marcus, however, is determined that the kids are still alive, and begs to take the soldiers for a rescue mission. The elder, as the highest ranking survivor, still won't give him the order. He says the remaining group must scavenge for food and water, and they must cremate the dead. Despite resistance given the children may not have the time, they'll be no use for the children weakened as they are. Another soldier approaches, informing the elder they found his wife.
As a body burns with the priests chanting along, Marcus tells an emotional Sue if there's one true line in their big book of bullshit, it's that you reap what you sow.
Church Members Edit
- Mithraism was chosen as a stand-in for Christianity in the show; which many theologists think is a stand-in for Paganism. Many elements of Mithraism, as depicted in the show, are derived from Christian traditions and customs; therefore, Pagans traditions and customs.
- Though the Mithraic is based on a real-world religion, "many elements of the Mithraic religion in the show would [likely] be completely unrecognizable to an ancient follower of Mithras."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Pentagram. Raised by Wolves. Season 1. Episode 2. HBO Max.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Raised by Wolves. Raised by Wolves. Season 1. Episode 1. HBO Max.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Raised by Wolves: Mithraism and Sol Explained - Den of Geek
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Virtual Faith. Raised by Wolves. Season 1. Episode 3. HBO Max.