Friday, May 22, 2009

The 66 Seals

Season 4 of Supernatural started with the breaking of the first of the 66 seals that needed to be broken to allow Lucifer to walk the earth, and it ended with the last of those 66 being destroyed. Dean broke the first by being a righteous man spilling blood in hell, and Sam broke the last (which turned out to be Lilith herself) by killing her. Sam was the one to take the action that opened the door to Lucifer's cage, but if we step back and look at the entirety of the process one could argue that Dean's breaking of the first seal was actually worse. Why?

1. Because it started the domino effect. It seemed that the seals started breaking faster and faster as the season moved along once this first seal was broken.

2. Because what he did to break the first seal was self-serving. It was totally understandable considering what he was going through, but still self-serving.

3. Even though Sam was trusting and being tricked by a demon, he honestly thought he was doing the right thing and preventing the apocalypse. He was even willing to sacrifice himself to Lilith if it prevented Lucifer rising.



Though I am not a theology expert, I don't believe the 66 seals are real. But the concept of seals in Christianity is familiar and a good jumping-off point for creating a fictional storyline because of that familiarity and unease about it. The opening of the seven seals is included in the Book of Revelation and signal the End Times (must like the 66 do in the Supernatural world). The first four (Conquest, War, Famine, Death) are identified with different color horses and are more commonly known as the Four Horses (or Horsemen) of the Apocalypse. They are followed by the Vision of Martyrs (a vision of those slain for the Word of God), Great Earthquake/Visions in Heaven/Marking of the 144,000 servants of God, and Trumpets of Angels/End of the World.

I think stories that are tied even in the loosest way to one of the modern theologies make people more uncomfortable than stories that couldn't possibly be real (vampires, werewolves and djinn, oh my!). Perhaps that's why this season has been a bit uncomfortable while also being incredibly awesome.

Do you all feel the same way about stories which draw on Christianity or other modern religions?

5 comments:

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Great topic, Trish! I'm interested to see how commenters will handle this touchy topic. :)

I don't see drawing on Christianity or any other religion for fictional purposes any different from drawing on the Greek or Roman or Norse or Native American gods. It's all mythological ways of exploring the same important themes: good versus evil, sacrifice, choice, etc., and because it's fiction, it doesn't have to be a commentary on real-life religion.

I'm not sure I agree that Dean's breaking of the first seal is actually worse than Sam's breaking the last, though. At first I did, though I felt really defensive of Dean. LOL But then I thought about it some more.

1. The end goal, raising Lucifer, couldn't have been done without BOTH seals. So, yeah, Dean's started it, but Sam's finished it. It took a heck of a lot of effort for both to be achieved.

2 & 3. Sam's thirst for revenge was just as self-serving as Dean's need to stop the pain. PLUS, they were both manipulated and directed toward the final action, AND Sam had people telling him what he was doing was wrong, that he had to stop, and he chose to ignore all of them and continue. He trusted a demon over his brother and Bobby and Pam and angels, while Dean had absolutely no support, no reprieve from his suffering, and no knowledge that it would have any affect on anyone but himself and the probably bad people he punished instead.

Not that it matters. Both brothers have plenty of cause for guilt and self-recrimination, and both will wallow in it for a while. :)

youngleon said...

hi there, the 66 seals do actually exist. otherwise lucifer could walk the earth without killing anybody on earth itself... ok yes it was a storyline but they couldn't of made that up.. there are actually 600 seals in the whole entire world. Lilith herself is actually a fact, non fictional.. she does exist. but i've done some real hard research on this myself (took over 3 years, but got there) and yes 600 seals do exist along with lilith herself.

not only that, they used my name (Lilith) as the demons name...

Leigh Larocque said...

This is a hugely intense show im so inlove with this show i have all the seasons and watch it non stop i think its great and educational to others as myself . Lucifer rises all hell is loose and also with the demon and hells gate .. leighlarocque@hotmail.com

Actress , Dancer ,, Singer

Leigh Larocque said...

This is a hugely intense show im so inlove with this show i have all the seasons and watch it non stop i think its great and educational to others as myself . Lucifer rises all hell is loose and also with the demon and hells gate .. leighlarocque@hotmail.com

Actress , Dancer ,, Singer

Leigh Larocque said...

This is a hugely intense show im so inlove with this show i have all the seasons and watch it non stop i think its great and educational to others as myself . Lucifer rises all hell is loose and also with the demon and hells gate .. leighlarocque@hotmail.com

Actress , Dancer , Singer