Raised by wolves premiered on September 3, 2020 and brought absolute madness to HBO Max. With Ridley Scott serving as executive producer, the Aaron Guzikowski-created sci-fi drama had audiences locked in from its first episode with its captivating visuals and riveting storyline. Raised by wolves focuses on humanity torn apart by religious differences, which leads to a ton of religious, specifically Christian, references.
Raised by wolves tells the story of Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim), two androids sent to a new planet, Kepler-22b, with the task of raising human children after the destruction of Earth by “The Great War” . The series, set in the 22nd century, depicts civilization torn apart by two religious factions, the Atheists and the Mithraics, who are now vying for control of this new world.
This article contains spoilers for Raised By Wolves.
The Mithraics are a monotheistic faction dedicated to the god Sol. Sol is associated with “the Light”, causing all Mithraics to wear a sun pendant, while soldiers and clerics have the sun emblem on their clothing. The Mithraics regard all non-believers as unclean and unworthy of the light of Sol. To be considered pure, a convert must undergo a baptism where they proclaim their belief and acceptance of the Ground.
The Mithraics in the show take their name from the god Mithras, who was the center of an ancient Roman cult (and is considered by some to be the christian basis iconography). The god Mithra or Mitra dates back to ancient Persia, modern Iran, and was very popular with soldiers. Although the sun god Sol was a separate god, Sol and Mithra were often worshiped together under the “Sol Invictus” (unconquered Sun). In Raised by wolvesthe writers merged these two gods to give us the Mithraic god Sol.
The other faction of Raised by wolves it’s atheists. Atheists do not believe in a deity and are the only real opposition to the Mithraics. They are technocrats and believers in science, considering that they have “opened their eyes” to the possibilities of the universe. They believe that human potential comes from within rather than being a gift from a god.
The atheists follow the Trust, a quantum computer built by the same creator as Mother and Father, Campion Sturges (Cosmo Jarvis). Atheists view the Trust as an ideal leader because they are always impartial, truthful, and will not make judgments based on emotion. Under the guidance of the Trust, they were able to develop a thriving colony in the topical area of Kepler-22b.
Christianity and raised by wolves
From the start of Raised by wolves you are given themes of Christianity. From the first episode, it feels like watching a science fiction version of the Bible, especially the Old Testament and the origins of Christianity. Mother and Father resemble Adam and Eve, being a man and a woman who have fallen into a new world with the task of starting a peaceful civilization. While Mother and Father are building their colony, the Mithraics traveled to Kepler-22b on a ship called the Ark of Heaven, and like Noah’s Ark, only a select number of people are able to travel to this new earth to save mankind.
When Paul (Felix Jamieson) comes on the scene, you instantly feel the vibes of Cain and Able or Romulus and Remus. Both stories are about twin brothers with one brother leading to the destruction of the other. These stories strongly discuss the idea of good triumphing over evil, which is a theme throughout Raised by wolves. Another biblical connection to evil that the show uses is the serpent, which Mother becomes pregnant with through an immaculate conception. She tells Father, who in this New Testament scene would be Joseph, that she was impregnated by their “maker.” Even though Father is an android, he feels jealous but stays out of his duty, much like the story of Jesus’ birth in the Bible.
The Mithraics only shout Christianity. Their belief that “Soil is light” is exactly like the Christian belief that God is light (or, as 1 John 1:5 says, “This is the message we heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light there is no darkness at all.”) The Mithraics have a hierarchy with their Eminence, just like the Christian Pope, being at the top. The Mithraics have total and blind faith in their leader, whom they believe able to speak to God. They constantly talk about the Tree of Life, which when planted gives the feeling of the Garden of Eden. The story continues with the evil serpent eating the tree, symbolizing the story of sin deadly.
The Wars of Religion from Raised By Wolves
religious themes in Raised by wolves continue with the religious wars of the 22nd century. The Mithraics were able to defeat the atheists through their use of necromancers. The Necromancers were mortal androids capable of flight, and when they fly, they look very much like a flying Jesus (perhaps mid-Ascension). The Atheists, with their child soldiers, were no match for the superior technology of the Mithraics. The Mithraics were able to decode formulas they had found in ancient scriptures, believing them to be gifts from heaven and proof that Sol existed.
Most stories about a religious war tend to draw ideas from the Crusades, and Raised by wolves was no exception. The idea that you either accept our god or perish is not specific to the Crusades, but it is one of the most talked about wars in history. Even the outfits worn by Mithraic soldiers and clerics are clearly inspired by Crusader uniforms.
Although the two seasons of Raised by wolves were well received, it was canceled after its second season, which premiered in 2022. The story left fans with a huge cliffhanger, which led to the cast and fans launching a campaign to save the canceled series. . Even though the series doesn’t see a resurrection, the moral of the plot is clear: humanity just can’t help it.