Raised by Wolves Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Pros: Interesting visual style; amazing acting by Amanda Collin; attributes of space fiction, post-apocalypse and religious parable; the theme of confrontation between religion and atheism; Dialogues of Mother and Father Cons: Extremely slow narration and lengthiness of some episodes; widespread use of the Deus ex machina technique; the illogicality and unjustification of many decisions Raised by Wolves / “Raised by Wolves”

Genre fiction
Creator Aaron Guzikowski
Cast: Amanda Collin (Mother), Abubakar Salim (Father), Vinta McGrath (Campion), Travis Fimmel (Marcus), Niamh Algar (Sue), Felix Jamison (Paul), Ethan Hazzard (Hunter), Jordan Loughran (Tempest), Steve Wall (Ambrose), etc.
Channel HBO Max
Year of release 2020
Episodes 10
Site IMDb

Raised by Wolves contains two references in its title. This is both a completely obvious allusion to Rudyard Kipling’s most famous work, and a reference to the Latin expression Homo homini lupus est. After all, the last surviving children of the Earth in this series are raised by robots and people who do not know how to love and sincerely hate each other.

According to the plot of Raised by Wolves, after the Earth, due to a long war between religious fanatics and atheists, becomes uninhabitable, several ships with the last people are sent to the planet Kepler-22b. The atheists send a fast and light ship without life support with two android robots and a supply of human embryos. Followers of the dominant religion of the Earth, Mithraism, who have more time and resources, build classic arks with chambers for suspended animation and send the chosen ones to them – priests of the highest castes and the military. The atheist ship arrives earlier, and before the Mithraists arrive, the androids hope to raise the first generation of atheist children on Kepler-22b. But, of course, something goes wrong.

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Raised by Wolves, the script of which Aaron Guzikowski wrote with a clear eye on the films of Ridley Scott, is interesting not only for its fantastic plot, but also for its attempt to contrast not just two religions with different dogmas, but religion and atheism, faith in human reason and science. At the same time, the authors of the series push viewers to the conclusion that religion and atheism are not so different, and that blind faith in the rational can turn its adherents into intolerant fanatics who are no better than fundamentalists blinded by religious dogmas.

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The Mithraists, with their medieval hierarchical society and intolerance of others, are no better than the androids programmed by atheists, who in words teach children pacifism, respect for the opinions of others and faith in their own strength, but in reality destroy everyone who disagrees with them. At the same time, atheism imposed by androids often, on the contrary, pushes the children they raise to faith, and, in addition, allows others to easily manipulate fragile minds that are unable to distinguish truth from lies.

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Raised by Wolves, which combines high-tech space technology and virtually invulnerable androids with low-tech agriculture and desperate attempts to survive on an inhospitable planet, looks very atypical for a science fiction series. Add here elements of mysticism and many mysterious artifacts that are sure to pop up later, and you get a very unusual mixture indeed. But this series has a number of very obvious problems.

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And one of the main ones is the use of the Deus ex machina cheating technique in almost every episode. Suddenly, traces of mysterious buildings are discovered on the planet, clearly connected with the cult of Mithra. Suddenly the android mother has powers that she herself did not even suspect. Suddenly it turns out that there are large predators on a seemingly uninhabited planet. Suddenly, from the huge crew of the ark ship, the very person who survives is the one who is connected with another character on the planet. All of a sudden. All of a sudden. Suddenly… By the fifth time it stops being funny.

Another problem of the series is the illogicality of the actions of almost all the characters. If you have the most valuable, literally the most valuable item in the universe, why not hide it more reliably from any accidents? If you’re tasked with the last surviving members of a race, why not double-check everything around you ten, a hundred, a thousand times? And then double-check again! If you are a mechanism whose main task is to fight for the survival of the species, why do you yourself reduce the chances of survival by destroying valuable material and, more importantly, valuable genetic resources? Etc. There is too much illogicality in the behavior of both people and machines, which seem to be based only on logic.

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The strange appeal of Raised by Wolves is largely based on the unusual character of the Mother. Having literally become the mother of a new humanity, the android robot keeps a terrible secret that breaks her psyche and literally tears her apart. And here we must pay tribute to the Danish actress Amanda Collins, who created a frightening and attractive image of a creature trying to understand itself. Fantastic job.

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Raised by Wolves probably won’t appeal to everyone. It is very slow, viscous, and in places simply dreary, but the combination of elements of fantasy, mysticism and religious philosophy makes it unusually attractive. The series received warm reviews from the press and viewers, and HBO renewed it for a second season without waiting for the end of the first. So far, 7 of the 10 episodes planned for this year have been released and, frankly, it’s very interesting where this story will ultimately take us.

Conclusion:

A fantastic interpretation of the story of Mowgli with robots and religious fanatics instead of wolves and wild animals

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