8 Things To Know About Raised By Wolves Season 2

The Ridley Scott–produced sci-fi hit is back to answer some big questions: What's the deal with the alien snake baby? Is Marcus actually “Future Jesus'? Series creator Aaron Guzikowski and the cast tease season 2.

by | February 2, 2022 | Comments

When Raised by Wolves premiered to HBO Max a year-and-a-half ago, it surprised audiences with its high-concept hard-sci-fi flair. The new series featured futuristic, dystopian, space weirdness that was completely on-brand for a Ridley Scott joint — he’s both a producer on the show and directed the show’s first two episodes.

It’s not hard to see the Alien-like aesthetic in Raised by Wolves, but the Aaron Guzikowski–created series is not (as far as we know) connected to that universe. Although there is a strange planet to explore, killer space serpentine creatures messing about, and a plethora of white android goo to provide that sort of vibe.

In case you need a refresher, Raised by Wolves follows two androids, Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim), who are sent to an unexplored planet called Kepler-22b after Earth is destroyed in a massive religious war between the atheists and the Mithraics, a religious sect who worship the sun. Their job is to care for a new generation of human children in an effort to cultivate an atheist civilization from scratch. But while Father is a simple service-model android, Mother turns out to be a reprogrammed “necromancer” — an all-powerful godlike death-dealer previously used in the war on Earth. And after a rough decade on the planet, a colony ship of Mithraic survivors arrives to stake a claim on the planet as their potential new home.

Travis Fimmel in RAISED BY WOLVES s2

(Photo by Coco Van Oppens / HBO Max)

Travis Fimmel and Niamh Algar play Marcus and Sue, two criminal imposters who use advanced technology to reform their identities as two passengers on this ship. Over the course of season 1, Marcus undergoes a sociopathic evolution and becomes a full-fledged follower of Mithraism leaving Sue to fend for herself as the Mithraic soldiers find themselves picked off one-by-one.

Playing on the themes of faith vs. science, zealotry vs. logic, and similar ideas that feed humanity’s tendency to repeat its destructive history, Raised by Wolves interspersed genre elements in a deeply woven story and beautifully imagined world. So many questions remain as season 2 arrives.

Rotten Tomatoes spoke with Guzikowski and some of the cast to find out more about where things are going. Here are eight things you need to know about Raised by Wolves season 2.

1. Everyone’s in a new location called ‘The Collective.’

(Photo by HBO Max)

Contrary to the dark and brooding template of season 1, Mother, Father, and the children find themselves in a place called The Collective, this time around. The climate is warmer, the supplies are plentiful, and by all accounts, the group has found an optimal place to call home.

“We’re now in the tropical zone, which was our aim to get to in season 1,” Salim explained. “And I think we have a second chance to really not only explore this new space, and be with our children, but also explore and learn about ourselves, which I think is also really exciting.”

There’s one big issue impacting this idea of peace, according to Guzikowski: “Mother has signed them up to join this atheist collective because, in Mother’s mind, they’re an atheist family. But, of course, her children are mostly comprised of Mithraic children, some of whom still very much believe in Mithraism. So, they are not looked upon kindly by their new neighbors.”

Threats and physical altercations between the factions loom.

“It’s very much about the war and who they believe is responsible for ruining the world,” Guzikoski said. “It’s very much the Mithraics’ fault. So, in their mind, the people they’re threatening are the descendants of evil mass murderers.”

2. An artificial intelligence called ‘The Trust’ runs the show.

(Photo by HBO Max)

“The Trust is this quantum computer and is very godlike in a lot of ways,” Guzikowski said. “It was actually grown and its only real purpose is to be incorruptible; to make decisions that benefit the whole and only benefit the whole. It can’t get angry. It can’t decide that, No, we’re gonna give everything to these people, or whatever it might be. It always looks at things through the numbers, through the Collective, and what’s best for everybody, which can be problematic as we come to discover.”

3. Mother struggles with deep emotional trauma.

(Photo by HBO Max)

Remember that one time in season 1 when Mother discovered herself to be impregnated at the hands of her creator and ultimately gave birth to a toothy flying alien serpent through her mouth? That visceral turn of events didn’t just add another layer of WTF-ness to the story’s bonkers trajectory, it added context to Mother’s journey from repurposed robot to parental figure to suicide survivor. In short: she’s dealing with a lot.

“There’s definitely shame connected to the serpent,” Collin revealed. “And the whole guilt of having leaned yourself into trusting that it was love. It was, essentially: I got carried away and thought someone loved me. And we had a baby. And it was a weapon of mass destruction, basically. So there’s that, which is the sci-fi story of it. And then there’s the human side of it, which is the shame.”

Going on an emotional rollercoaster wasn’t a part of Mother’s programming, but it’s clear she has evolved since we first set eyes on her at the beginning of episode 1. Now, she’s struggling to reconcile these very human feelings and what they signify regarding her role in this society.

“There’s something with this serpent that relates to how she sees herself in relation to humanity,” Guzikowski added. “Why is the thing that she created considered a monster and why is it that she has to give everything to humanity? She is the servant of humanity, and yet she is basically a god. I think she’s trying to kind of work through that, because this relationship she has with this serpent child is real in a lot of ways. And it’s causing her to question, Why am I serving humanity? What’s in it for me?

4. The power dynamic has shifted.

(Photo by HBO Max)

Throughout all of season 1, Raised by Wolves presented the Mithraic soldiers as the ones with the weaponry and influence, while the atheists were on the run and constantly fighting the elements to stay alive. As Guzikowski explains it, season 2 flips the script on that power dynamic. Now, the atheists are the dominant faction.

“Last year, we got to know the Mithraics, the religious sect who were mortal enemies of the atheists back on Earth,” he said. “But now it’s kind of in reverse. Now, the atheists are kind of on top – they have the gear, the machinery, and they have a ship. The Mithraics have been reduced to almost nothing.”

5. Marcus is on a religious mission to save humanity.

(Photo by HBO Max)

And then there’s Marcus. He was left to fend for himself as his crew was decimated at the end of season 1. But that hasn’t stopped him from viewing himself as humanity’s savior and in season 2, his sole mission is to maintain Mithraism at all costs and to convert everyone he meets.

“Marcus is searching for the Tree of Knowledge,” Guzikowski explained. “He’s going to convert all of these atheists; he’s not going to try and fight them. And according to the prophecy, all who eat from the Tree of Knowledge will be made pure. So, when he finds this tree, he’ll have a way in which to basically turn all of these atheists into believers. So that’s his quest, as it were, for season 2.”

6. A new character named Decima is his first recruit.

(Photo by HBO Max)

Newcomer Kim Engelbrecht plays Decima, an engineer who is ultimately saved by Marcus in season 2. She is a Mithraic believer, Engelbrecht said, but her relationship with Marcus is complicated by that of the one she’s trying to cultivate with the android version of her dead daughter, Vrille (Morgan Santo).

“Decima is trying to have a relationship, or rekindle a relationship, with her daughter, that’s deceased,” she said. “And I think once you create something, you immediately think that there’s going to be some sort of connection. She’s trying to have this connection with a daughter, which doesn’t come immediately, and it doesn’t come naturally, because she’s not a daughter, she’s an android. Compared to the way that she feels about Marcus, in this relationship that she has with him, there’s this connection, which she can’t explain.”

7. We’ll be getting more Earth backstory this season.

While we did get glimpses into what life was like on Earth during the great war, season 1 spent most of its time developing the Kepler 22b story, exploring the character struggles of Mother, Father, and their children, and built upon the conflict between the atheists and Mithraics, while giving breadcrumbs leading to the big mysteries hiding all over the planet.

Since this notion of a prophecy is regularly mentioned, we had to ask if we’ll be getting more backstory about what went down on earth. Guzikowski says yes.

“You’ll definitely get some of that in season 2,” Guzikowski teased. “And then as the series progresses, you’ll get more in terms of the events that took place on earth. I think of season 2 in terms of the hows and whys of the war and what the underpinnings of that were.”

8. When all is said and done, parenting is complicated.

(Photo by HBO Max)

Mother has a definitive idea regarding her children’s purpose, specifically Campion’s (Winta McGrath), who she expects to take on leadership duties once he’s old enough. But children tend to rebel, search for their own independence away from their parents, and discover their own identities in the process. If it’s one lesson we can take away from Raised By Wolves, it’s that, whether android or human, parenting is hard.

“My first one is nearly five,” Collin said, “I think as every new parent, you think your job to raise children is to give them good values and be the best version of themselves. But it takes a while to figure out what that looks like. And my four-year-old told me, Lay off mom, I know how to live my life. It’s natural for a child to disagree, right? That’s the privilege of the child, in a way. It’s what I think so much about lately.”

For a series so embedded in science-fiction lore, and android machinations, this deeply-human theme continues to resonate in season 2. According to Salim, compared to Mother’s need to mentor, guide, and control, Father’s caregiving role takes a bit of a back seat.

“I have a feeling that Mother wants to control the kids and kind of be like, This is what we need to do. This is what you need to think. This is what you need to feel,” he explained. “Whereas, I think Father’s a bit more relaxed. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the better way of doing it. Because Father ends up essentially having the kids in very dangerous scenarios, because of his laxness. No one has the answers on how to be a good parent. Even with Google in your head, you still have no idea what’s right, and what isn’t. Aaron proves this very well in season 1, and it evolves more in season 2: These two have no idea what they’re doing.”

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