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God (Silent Hill)

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This is God...?
~ Heather Mason's reaction to The Order's God.

God, also known as the Creator of Paradise, Lord of Serpents and Reeds, the Holy Mother and Samael (the name of a demon given by the cult's opponents), is the mysterious sun goddess and principal deity of the powerful resident cult known as The Order within the haunted northern American town of Silent Hill and the foremost antagonist and boss featured in the Silent Hill series of survival horror video games. It is also the Order's main goal to birth their deity into this world and bring about the creation of paradise. They have succeeded in birthing God twice, but each time it has died at the hands of the game's protagonist. Despite this, it is unclear whether the being fought in the games is a real deity or a manifestation brought into being by the town's innate power and the Order's very own fanaticism. However it is heavily implied to have been responsible for the titular town's current state.

The goals of many of the series' antagonists (as in Dahila Gillespie in the first Silent Hill and Origins, Claudia Wolf in 3, and Walter Sullivan in 4) revolved around initiating the rebirth of this goddess, hoping to bring about the Apocalypse, and through the destruction of humanity, a promised Paradise. She is the central deity of the Order's Holy Woman Sect.

When a physical manifestation of God is presented, She acts like a powerful monster, rather than an intelligent being. It is possible, considering the malevolent nature of the Order, that God is actually a powerful kind of monster that the cult worships, and is merely represented as a woman to make it seem less hostile and threatening. This is supported by the fact that Valtiel, depicted as a monster, is revered by the Order as one of God's "angels".

Mythology

The Order's mythology depicts God who is their enigmatic, female sun god, as an orange-haired woman in red robes, who descended to Earth sometime in the distant past and relieved humans of suffering.

According to the Order's beliefs, humanity existed before God. Here, people knew only pain and hatred. Seeking salvation from the world around them, a man offered a prayer and a serpent to the sun. And a woman, offering prayer and a reed to the sun, asked for joy. Taking pity on a world consumed by sadness, the pleas of these two people breathed life into God, and from them, She was born.

The world, as it was then, had no understanding of linear time. So, the first thing the god did was establish a linear, measurable time, separating it into night and day. After this, She outlined to humanity the road to salvation and gave the world joy. Since people were unable to die, God took away their immortality. The reason for this was so people could know the freedom that comes from death.

The Order's Paradise

Paradise as described according to the beliefs of the local religious cult in Silent Hill known as The Order.

Her next act was the creation of other deities and angels, those most notable among them being Lobsel Vith, the Yellow God or the Yellow Angel, and Xuchilbara, the Red God or the Red Angel. This was done so She would have help in leading humanity to follow Her in obedience. Her final gift to the world would be Paradise.

With Her creation of the world completed, God set about creating a place where people would be eternally happy. With its creation, though, "God's strength was used up" and she collapsed and "returned to the dust". However, before dying, God promised that she would return to Earth if people remained faithful to her.

Incarnation and Resurrection

Dahlia and Alessa

The Incubator

God's first form, the Incubator.

In 1975, an Order priestess named Dahlia Gillespie discovered that her daughter Alessa possessed great psychic powers and decided to use her as a vessel to birth God. Dahlia's group, the Order's Holy Woman Sect, believed that God would be born from fire, so she torched Alessa during the impregnation ritual, which was held in their home. The ritual succeeded in placing God within Alessa, but the birth was indefinitely delayed when Alessa split her soul in half with the help of Travis Grady, a passerby whom she was using as a conduit for her power. The half of her soul that Alessa split off was formed into a baby that was picked up and named Cheryl by Harry Mason and his wife. Seven years went by before Cheryl returned to Silent Hill. During that time, Alessa was kept alive in a basement room in Alchemilla Hospital by Dr. Michael Kaufmann, an associate of Dahlia's. While unable to be born, God thrived on the pain experienced by Alessa and grew stronger over time.


The Incubus

God's dark manifestation, the Incubus.

Finally, in 1982, Harry and Cheryl returned to Silent Hill, and were separated after their car crashed. Cheryl rejoined with Alessa soon after, and she was returned to her full power. Harry, Alessa, Dahlia, and Kaufmann all became trapped in the Otherworld, a realm derived from Alessa's nightmares that was created by the power of God growing within her. Knowing that Dahlia would still try to bring God into the world, Alessa devised a plan to destroy, God, herself, and the Otherworld using the magical symbol called the Seal of Metatron. However, Dahlia manipulated Harry into sabotaging Alessa's plan and helping in her recapture. As a result, God was successfully birthed into the world in the form of a glowing serene woman, based on Alessa's mental image of God's appearance. Just as Dahlia's plan came to fruition, Kaufmann arrived on the scene and shot her. He then threw a vial of Aglaophotis, a substance used to dispel evil spirits, at God, weakening it considerably. This caused it to mutate, and a flying demonic entity unleashed from her body, based on Dahlia's image of God. This new manifestation of God killed Dahlia with lightning and tried to kill Harry Mason as well, but Harry fought it off and managed to mortally wound the already weakened deity. In an act of self preservation, as the demon dies, God created an infant girl that had the potential to birth God. Believing he was interacting with Alessa, Harry accepted the child, and escaped from Silent Hill with her as God finally died.

Claudia and Heather

The God Fetus

The fetus of "God" that Heather Mason dispelled.

17 years later, the child, now named Heather, was living with Harry in town far from Silent Hill. Claudia Wolf, an Order priestess who sincerely wished to bring paradise to Earth by summoning God, tracked down Heather with the help of a detective named Douglas Cartland. Knowing that Alessa's pain nourished God, Claudia had Harry killed by one of her followers to fill Heather with hatred for her. Seeking revenge, Heather followed Claudia back to Silent Hill, eventually confronting her in the Order's main church. Instead of satisfying her thirst for vengeance, Heather swallowed an Aglaophotis pill that Harry had placed inside a pendant he had given her for her birthday. This caused Heather to vomit up that fetus that would become God. But before she could kill it, Claudia picked up the fetus and swallowed it, birthing God herself. This form of God resembled Claudia's childhood friend Alessa, whom she viewed as the world's savior. However, God was born improperly, and was once again very weak. This allowed Heather to kill the deity, and it has yet to be born again.

Walter and Room 302

302

Room 302 possessed.

Walter Sullivan was an orphan raised at Wish House, an orphanage run by the Order as means of indoctrinating future members from the children. From a young age, Walter displayed great powers not unlike Alessa's, and he was chosen to summon God. The Order's Holy Mother Sect that ran Wish House, believed God would be birthed through a ceremony known as the 21 Sacraments, which required 21 sacrifices to birth God. When Walter was 24, in 1991, he began the ritual. However, instead of using a woman as the vessel for God, he used the ritual in an attempt to reunite with his mother using room 302, the apartment in Ashfield where he was born, as the vessel. Having been abused at Wish House as a child, Walter held a grudge against the Order, and used several of the priests as part of the 21 Sacraments. Walter's attempt at the ritual continued after his ritual suicide, but his plans were stopped when Henry Townshend, current resident of room 302 and sacrament number 21, destroyed Walter's spirit. It is unknown what would have resulted if Walter had succeeded.

Alessa's Dream

Flauros the Demon

The Demon

In the prequel Silent Hill: Origins, the Demon is probably God in a different form.

Silent Hill Comics

Samael (Silent Hill)

Samael

Samael in the Silent Hill comics is mostly likely God's true name or not and evidenced in God's Incubus form.

Silent Hill: Revelation

God while renamed "The God", was both the principal deity and major goal of the Order of Valtiel in Silent Hill: Revelation.

Symbolism

God is a manifestation of the Order's namesake deity. She is a powerful god that is much like the Incubus or Incubator, in which she spawns in a physical form determined by the birth mother's thoughts of how she should look. In this case, God resembles Alessa, as Claudia thought that God would resemble her, and held Alessa very close to her heart. Her monstrous aspect could be due to Heather's thoughts on how the god of such a twisted cult would look - this, combined with the fact that it was Heather's hate and anger that nurtured her in her utero, makes it likely that Heather's perception of the god could influence her eventual appearance, despite the fact that Heather does not birth her properly. As in the paintings of the God in the church, her status as a divine being is evidenced by the blood-red veil that hangs above her, and she is impervious as long as she is draped in it. It is unknown how God would have looked or behaved if Heather had properly given birth to her, and not Claudia.

It is also speculated that God is, in fact, a morphed and brutally disfigured form of Claudia combined with the unborn fetus's power, much like the Incubator. If this is true, Claudia has literally become a vessel of God's power and Heather's beliefs could be just a misunderstanding of the actual situation. This also explains the absence of Claudia's corpse. The monster's legs are deformed and skeletal, which can suggest the pains and agony of birthing God in a vulgar way.

The Nature of God

Through the course of the Silent Hill series, God, as a being, is rarely explored in depth. Instead, players are shown the Order acting in her stead, following what they consider to be her commands. Through their actions, God is portrayed as a strict being, demanding complete faith and devotion from Her subjects, as well as various forms of sacrifices. In exchange, She seems to grant her followers rather bizarre powers, an example of which is Claudia Wolf and her ability to conjure shifts between worlds. By examining the Crimson Ceremony, if that work can indeed be attributed to the God, she is painted, not only as strict, but vengeful as well, promising wrath and bitter vengeance, presumably on those who fail to heed her call.

In Silent Hill: Homecoming, God is presented as, simply, a malicious being. 150 years prior to game events, the founding families of Shepherd's Glen sought to separate themselves from the Order for unknown reasons. Fearing retribution from God, however, those four families entered into a pact with their divine patron, the Order's deity. In exchange for the life of one child from each of the four families every 50 years, they and their new home would be spared from her wrath. When Alex Shepherd accidentally drowns and kills Joshua Shepherd, the pact is broken and Shepherd's Glen becomes entwined with both the Fog World and the Otherworld, indicating its status as "damned".

God's nature as a benevolent deity is often called into question. God's behaviors and actions are often violent and inhumane, exemplified by Her interests in torturing lost souls and punishing those whom She feels require it. She appears to be much closer related to the common definition of a demon than a god. In Silent Hill 3, Heather even asks Father Vincent if God could be considered the Devil, to which he responds, "Whichever you like.". God seems to feed on suffering, as all of her rituals and birthing sacraments focus around both physical and mental agony. It often seems that God has little interest in preserving members of the Order unfortunate enough to be caught in the Otherworld, as members exhibit a fear of it and the mangled bodies of Order members are not an uncommon sight. God's intelligence may also be questioned, as all of her incarnations act no different from the other creatures that inhabit the Otherworld.

Another possibility is that God is in fact a construct of the combined beliefs and perceptions of the people involved, much like the monsters may be as well. For example, God herself looks like Alessa when she was birthed from Claudia's body instead of Heather's. This is because Claudia geniunely believes that God would look like Alessa.

If this is the case, then it may be that there are no actual supernatural beings influencing the town, only an unexplained phenomenon which merges reality with the subconscious thoughts of human beings. This could explain why the God appears as a creature which is as vulnerable to physical damage as most other monsters.

God's creations, actions, and desires are more suggestive of a demon and/or malevolent dark deity rather than a benevolent deity of light.

Influence of real-world religions

No single religion can be listed as an influence for the Order's deity, and by proxy, the Order's teachings and rituals themselves also have multiple influences. The creators cite Christianity, Japanese folklore, and Fog World rituals as inspirations for the faith as detailed in the series. The faith of Silent Hill also bears a striking resemblance to demonic and Satanic worship.

A distinguishing trait sets the Order apart from other religions, in regards to its mythology. The Order proposes that humans had a history, if a jumbled, non-linear one, before God came into being, and that God only came into existence with the help of humans. This is contrary to every mainstream religion, in which the reverse is true. This may mean that the goddess in Silent Hill was artificially a human-made deity rather than an actual divinity.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Masahiro Ito has stated that the God was the hardest model for him to design.
    Silent Hill 3 Music - Kill God-002:22

    Silent Hill 3 Music - Kill God-0

    God's Theme

  • Defeating God in under 8 minutes in the HD Collection awards the trophy/achievement "Blasphemy".
  • The "veil" that covers the head of God may be symbolic of the placenta, an organ inside of the womb that is vital for the fetus to receive nutrients from its mother, something that could connect to God evidently being malnourished. When spread out, the placenta is also somewhat transparent, supporting the "veil" possibility.
  • The song "My Heaven". which is played during this battle, is the reason for the high-pitched noise during the battle, which was made by distorting the sound of a dentist drill.
  • The Incubus is often known as (or actually is) Samael.
  • The Incubus bears a surprising resemblance to Baphomet.
  • The Incubus makes a total of three cameos in other Silent Hill games.
    • In Silent Hill 4: The Room, Jasper Gein has an Incubus T-shirt with the word "Hades" beneath it.
    • In Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, classroom 4D's projector in Midwich High School may display a drawing of the Incubus, depending on the player's Psych Profile.
    • In Silent Hill: Downpour, there is an Incubus-like painting on the 1st floor (Archive/Offices) of the Centennial Building. The painting is titled "Demon Samael".
  • What is more particularly bizarre about the identity of God lies the fact that the name "God" (in English God) is masculine, while he was appointed by the Order with the personal pronoun "she" (She), but never "Goddess" (Goddess). Therefore it cannot determine with certainty about the God's gender, however, observing the various forms in which reincarnates, for example, the Incubus, one might infer that God is or could be a hermaphrodite, or watching it's form in Silent Hill 3 and remembrance of Alessa, could also be asexual.
  • Among the various documents that are found in the chapters of the series, there is one present in Silent Hill: Downpour, entitled Early Residents ("The First People"). There it is written in this flyer that anthropologists have discovered and found some artifacts belonged to a tribe of Native Americans who once lived and made a home in Silent Hill, in an area near the Devil's Pit. The remains found were used for ceremonial rituals held in Silent Hill for the deity called Kwekwasawe ("The Raven" or "Raven"). This could be the original name of God mentioned in this manuscript and it is demonstrated and revealed that the tribe who called the region "The Place of Silenced Spirits" before it was later renamed Silent Hill, were known as the Kwekwasawe Kanesda ("Nest of the Raven").

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