Raised by Wolves tells us the story of a new creation. “In the beginning, the Creator Atheists created a new caretaker of humanity, the android known only as Father and Mother. A true gift from the Creator Atheist to start humanity again. Sent from the heavens above the Creator Atheists, seeded the barren planet Keplar 22b with Father and Mother. Each were fully grown robots covered in human likeness and capable of survival. They went about the task of being fruitful and multiply, birthing 6 human children at one time after nine months of external incubation.

Father assisted with each birth but did not put the child into it’s Mother’s arms after he cleaned away the birth gel, placing each child on a comfortable table. The 6th child, was born but did not have life inside of him. He was grown to term but not alive at birth.

Father – as a machine would do – desired to feed the child to its siblings. Mother refused, instead, she held the 6th child close to her heart and vocalized a song. Tears fall from the machine’s eyes and landed on the child’s head like anointing oil and the child came to life.

In honor of their Creator, they named the miracle child, Campion.”

[SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Raised by Wolves then you may not want to read this article. No efforts are made to keep from Spoiling this series. You’ve been warned.]

[PARENTAL ADVISORY: This series is rated TV-MA. If you haven’t seen Raised by Wolves, then you should be aware of the content before you watch. Episode 1 contains adult content, including some language, graphic violence and nudity. The nudity is the same as watch a female superhero in skintight clothing, so it’s not technically nudity, but is. The themes discussed in Episode 1 are pretty intense and can raise questions that you should encourage and be prepared to answer. Be aware that other episodes may contain the same or more TV-MA content.]

This is the first glance of a world created by Aaron Guzikowski with executive producer and director Ridley Scott. Much of the anticipation of this series surrounded Ridley Scott’s previous Sci-Fi works and what this new series could bring.

Some have even said Ridley Scott is the father of modern science fiction, but I wouldn’t.

Still, I watched with eagerness for what this sci-fi “father” would produce. Could it be some back history to the Alien movies, like Prometheus or Alien Covenant? If this sounds very foreign to you then you haven’t seen these movies and you would probably have little interest in them.

I will admit that sci-fi has always been my choice of movies to watch. There is something deeper in science fiction than most other types of movies. Science Fiction had in it, an attempt to understand the human experience and I liked that.

Raised by Wolves did not disappoint.

Episode 1 brings us into a broken humanity, so broken that robots are assigned to save us. We don’t know exactly what happened to humanity or how it has almost ended, but we know that these two androids, Father and Mother, are our last hope.

Raise by Wolves is telling humanity what kind of disastrous future awaits us if we don’t wake up and see the error of our ways. At least that’s what we are told at the beginning.

In this episode we are exposed to two different factions within humanity, the Atheists and the Mithraic.

The Atheists are presented as the scientifically minded citizens of earth, evolutionist that have seen the inevitable end of humanity through the lens of science and have decided to take arms against the true adversary, the religious.

The Mithraic are presented as the religious, corporate minded citizens of earth, believers that hold to scripture as their god and a belief in fate and prophecy. It seems like they are the majority and wield great military power over the Atheists and even their own Mithraic brothers.

The Mithraic hold to familiar religious beliefs:

  • Sin is an important part of a person’s existence,
  • Organized religion is supreme and should be followed with blind obedience
  • War is a necessary part of breaking sin’s power over people
  • Belief that humanity is inherently wicked and must be put back into order by obedience
  • Life continues after death, the righteous to eternal life, the unrighteous to eternal death
  • Believes that there is an invisible Creator, who picks and chooses prophets to guide and communicate God’s will to humanity.

The Atheist hold to familiar atheistic beliefs:

  • Sin is a man made construct use to control and dominate free thinking people.
  • Technology will be our ultimate savior, rational thinking will preserve humanity
  • Peaceful at heart, but will fight against oppressors if necessary
  • Belief in the ultimate goodness of humanity
  • This life is all there is, after it is over, there is no life after death
  • Does not believe in what cannot be seen, life is what you make it and your choices (and others) determine how humanity will ultimately exist.

In Episode 1, we are quickly introduced to what each side believes and the values they hold, but most of our information is given to us by the android, Mother, and by what we experience watching her and Father try to raise human children.

Image of Mother, a white woman with short hair.

Mother

An image of Father, a black man with short curly hair.

Father

Image of Campion, the son, a white boy with long, straight hair.

Campion

The “Raising” Part

As they raise these children, they encounter dangers from the environment. Father and Mother unearth a giant skull of an animal. They have never seen an animal, but something of this size and with sharp teeth, could be a danger to them all.

One of the little girls wanders away from camp and falls into the pit that Mother and Father crashed into and almost died. She seems to be following someone but we don’t see a person and it is later assumed that she fell into the pit and has died.

The “Wolf” Part

Mother learns about it and mourns her dead by howling like a wolf. Is she the Wolf of Raised by Wolves?

Their efforts begin to fail and in less than 10 years, all but two children are dead. Spiria and Campion remain, but Spiria is deathly sick. Campion appears to be mildly sick, but doesn’t show as much symptoms as Spiria.

This scene is pivotal to understanding the perspective of Mother, who is dedicated to Atheistic philosophy and her understanding of the Mithraic beliefs, which it seems that Campion is sympathetic to. Campion is at a loss for the deaths of each child, not knowing why they are dying has turned him to believe in something he cannot see.

What he can see with his eyes, he can’t comprehend, so he turns to what he cannot see to give him some hope.

Mother reiterates to Campion the hope that can be found in atheism, even as she holds the dying, Spiria in arms.

Mother: The civilization you’re seeing here will be built on humanity’s belief in itself, not an imagined deity.

Campion: And if it’s not imaginary? They [the Mithraic] won the war after all. What if praying will make Spiria better?

Mother: No, Campion. Only science can do that.

Campion: It didn’t help the others.

Mother: Because we have more to learn. We will never advance unless you resist the urge to seek solace in fantasy.

Campion looks at her and then looks down to the ground.

Mother: You are atheists. Peaceful, technocratic. It is the only way to progress…

Mother is interrupted by Spiria’s harsh coughing, reminding Mother that Spiria will soon be dead. Mother looks at her seemingly coming our of her happy trances like speech. She looks at Campion and her face changes to sadness and looks down as she says to Spiria:

Mother: Now Spiria, [Mother smiles again] Can you please list the ways in which the number five relates to all manifestations of life?

Mother smiles, while looking at Spiria and the camera cuts to Campion looking at mother, then he looks to the floor.

Atheists’ have Belief

Raise by Wolves does a great job of highlighting some of the troubling issues with an atheistic philosophy. Science cannot prove everything because everything can’t be examined, tested and reproduced in an experiment. A lot of science must be taken by faith.

For Campion, as a human, he has a natural tendency to believe that there is someone or something greater than himself and even though he doesn’t see it or can touch it, he can feel it in his soul. The two robots, disguised by flesh cannot not.

To them, it doesn’t make any sense because technology has so much power to change humanity, yet, humanity remains unchanged.

It’s true that the external parts of humanity, like transportation, energy creation and more and more powerful technology, have changed. But internally, people are still doing what is wrong and doing what seems to be against their own best self-interest.

Campion, feels powerless as he loses his siblings and reaches out to an “invisible and powerful being” that he’s only ever heard of through the atheistic filter of his robotic Mother and Father.

After this scene with Mother and Campion, Father is outside and sees an object in the atmosphere of the planet. It’s very far away and barely visible, but he can see it and knows what it is. It is the Ark, a space craft launched from earth, one of the last survivors of humanity and totally inhabited by the Mithraic people, Campions people.

The “by” Part

Spiria is dead and they gather over her fresh grave, only Mother, Father and Campion remain. This is the second time we hear Mother sing or vocalize. The first time, here song and tears, brought Campion back to life. But now, there will be no more resurrection, only a faint promise by a cough, that Campion will soon be buried alongside the other 8 children (one child fell into the pit and the body was never recovered).

Mother comforts Campion, and a white liquid falls from her nose. Father offers to help her but she rejects his helps and leaves.

In a structure they built, Campion silently prays. He doesn’t know much about it, but he does know that he doesn’t want to die. Father catches him and warns him not to let mother catch him.

Episode one escalates as Father logically reasons that Campion will be better off being under the care of the Mithraic people on the Ark. Mother disagrees and he secretly attempts to go into the pit where their spacecraft sits on a ledge, with hopes of contacting the Ark.

Campion stealthily follows and catches him about to descend. Campion asks, Why?

Father: So that when Mother and I are gone, you will be taken care of.

Campion: But they are our enemies.

Father: They are all that’s left of mankind, Campion, your kind. The war is over.

Father: You will have to pretend to prescribe to their beliefs.

Father fails to contact the Ark and returns back to the surface.

At this point, it is revealed that there is something even more different about mother. Alone, she begins to levitate off of the ground and her body transforms into a bronze, muscular body with her hair in cornrow braids. We see her back on what appears to be earth as she flies above a city and there is a battle happening.

Mother is revealed to be malfunctioning and as Father tries to assist her, they struggle as Father wants to contact the Ark to give up Campion. Mother cannot give up her only surviving child and fights with Father and severely damages him. It looks like she took out his heart, but it is unclear if he is dead, or only mostly dead.

Campion sneaks to the spacecraft in the pit and activates the ship by mistake sending a message to the Ark, then, after he narrowly escapes, the spacecraft falls off of the ridge and disappears into the hole and explodes.

The Last “Wolf” Part

This next scene ties to the name of the Series. Mother is alone and she is acting like a wolf again. She finds bones in the ground and then proceeds to dig up as many bones as she can find like a wolf would do. There are lots of bones, and they mostly resemble dinosaurs. They have large bodies and sharp teeth. This isn’t the first time they’ve seen bones, but now, this looks like a graveyard.

Campion finds her asleep from exhaustion and lays next to her and holds her tight as Campion falls asleep.

Marcus, a soldier with the Mithraic

Marcus

The Mithraic people send a shuttle and now encounter Mother and Campion. This is our first encounter with the religious people of the story. They are crude and rude. They also have an android that serves to protect and fight for them. The main character from the group is a man called Marcus.

They each have military style uniforms with a large red flaming sun over their chest representing the name of their God, Sol. After spending some time with Mother and Campion, they decide that they would take Campion.

OMG, did she just become a Terminator?

The Mithraic soldiers attempt to take Campion by force, with Marcus grappling with Campion and at first seem to prevail. Mother is trapped in a hutwith the Mithraic android and engage in a battle, robot vs. robot. She prevails and comes out of the hut and lets out a loud screeching sound and two of the Mithraic attackers  wasted away and die. Nothing remains except for a mist of blood.

Campion hides his face and Marcus escapes. Mother transforms into a bronze and braided form and chases after him. She takes flight with her arms stretched wide, almost as if she were handing on a cross.

Mother, standing with outstretched arms with the sun and haze behind her.

The story has changed rapidly: she finds the man who escaped as he reaches his shuttle, she knocks him unconscious and throws him out of the shuttle. Mother pilots the shuttle craft to the Ark, where she continues to kill people with her screams. Her victims explode into a cloud of blood and no weapon can penetrate her body. She discovers and steals 5 children and returns to the planet after putting the ship on a crash course to the land below.

The Ark crashes, passing over Campion’s head, and exploding. Mother appears with the spacecraft and walks out of the craft with five children. There were more children, but she chose these five to replace the five that she lost.

Mother acts like nothing happened even though she has blood all over her uniform. Campion narrates.

Campion: I know I’m not safe with her anymore. That part was always inside her. Maybe there is something hidden inside me.

End of Episode and I’m intrigued.

Here’s a summary of what I’ve learned so far,

Philosophy

The Atheists fall primarily into the philosophy category as they don’t attribute their beliefs to a god. They pursue academics and technology to create a better future for humanity but are failing to compete with religious belief. They are on the losing side of the war, although it seems that everyone is paying a high price for what they believe is right.

The Mithraic philosophical bent is tightly woven with their theology. They use their understanding of god and what he wants to influence their understanding of reality and how they will continue existing. They seem to have a more connected structure to what they hold true and because of their blind allegiance to their religious leaders, tend to get more done without as much in fighting or disagreements as the Atheists.

Theology

The Atheists do not believe in a form of god that exists as the Mithraic’s believe. Although they do not call their understanding of how science and technology work to save them, they do rely on their faith in humanity to create a better future. In this episode, it’s the Atheist’s chance to create mankind in their image and likeness.

The Mithraic believe in a god that exists and has the potential to influence human direction. Their god is invisible and speaks through written scriptures and talks only through a few people. There is a belief that there is prophecy of a savior type that will lead them into a better future. They believe that their god is willing to kill to get his will accomplished and that they are chosen for such a work

Religion

Both the Atheists and Mithraic practice religion.

The Atheists believe in themselves as god and attribute the future as being within their power to create or change.

The Mithraic believe in a supernatural god and attributes the future as being in the power of that god, named Sol. Their religion requires complete obedience to their religious leaders and hold to philosophies that put man in a sinful position before this god.

Both have practices and allegiances to their faith and both pursue, through war which god is the real god.

Glossary

Sin – most religions use this word to describe something that a god doesn’t want us doing. It can be something commonly thought of as immoral, or something commonly thought as moral, but not to that god’s requirements.

Some religions believe that Sin is part of every humans life and isn’t with them as a choice, but as a default condition of humanity. Some religions believe that sin is something that enters from without and is not something you are born with, but something you allow into your life at some point in time.

Most religions, Sin is bad (except maybe Satanism, where Sin is probably good).

God – most religions use the term god to describe a being that is greater than humanity and is ultimately the cause of human existence. Some religions have powerful, but not all-powerful abilities, like the Greek gods. Others have all-powerful gods like Christianity, Judaism or Islam. The basic abilities of a god include but are not limited to

  • Knowing more than we do
  • Having more power than we do
  • Desires to communicate to us
  • Some desire to kill us
  • Others desire to make us happy
  • Some have an afterlife, most with a place you don’t want to go.
  • Most are invisible or rarely show themselves.

Atheists – people who do not believe in a god/gods or god like beings. They believe that science and technology (even ancient technology) are key to understanding our reality and existence. The basic abilities of an atheist are, but are not limited to:

  • Claiming to know more than we do
  • Having more power than we do
  • Trying to convince god-believers of how ridiculous they are
  • Confused to why god-believers don’t see it their way
  • Would like to make us happy but can’t
  • Would like to make us unhappy, and work hard at it
  • Disbelief in an afterlife, this is all the life we have to we better start getting the most we can from it
  • Hiding in academics, technology and the mind sciences.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Raised by Wolves, Episode 1 and you will continue to read the upcoming reviews of Episodes 2-10!

Raised by Wolves HBO Series

Introduction | Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9 | Episode 10

Interested in learning more about Raised by Wolves, visit the Fandom Wiki Page here.