At first, HBO Max’s Raised By Wolves features a seemingly harmless android called Mother, but as a former necromancer, her true powers are impressive and deadly. As Raised by Wolves seasons 1 and 2 unfold, Mother reveals a seemingly endless array of powers, some small and others quite lethal. While Raised by Wolves season 1 lays out the extent of Mother’s abilities, she does have some surprises up her sleeve during season 2.
Raised by Wolves opens with the androids Mother and Father landing on the planet Kepler-22B. Together, they are on a mission to raise and care for human children. At first, Mother and Father appear to be similar. They’re both androids that look like humans, building their new home just as human colonists would. Similarly, like androids, they both struggle to understand human emotions. The Mithraic colonists arrive and threaten their mission, along with the mysterious Entity that’s seemingly guiding everyone’s actions at great cost. It’s revealed in Raised by Wolves season 1 that she is a necromancer, an android designed as a killing machine, who Campion Sturges has reprogrammed to care for human children.
In Raised by Wolves season 1, Mother singlehandedly flies up to the Mithraic ship and begins disintegrating people with her eyes and piercing scream. She causes the ship to crash, leaving few survivors. She collects five children from the vessel and returns them to her camp, where she intends to care for them and raise them to be atheists. By the end of the episode, several of Mother’s powers have become apparent, but others are not revealed until later episodes as season 1 plays out. Raised by Wolves season 2 sees the full extent of Mother’s powers, and how she can control her emotions to kill Seven. Here is every power Mother has, what they do, and where they come from.
Much of Mother’s power comes from her necromancer eyes. When she puts them in, she gains the ability to perform many impressive feats. She is as vulnerable to harm as a standard android without them, although she can still use certain minor abilities. Nevertheless, Mother’s eyes are the source of her greatest power, enabling her to perform many feats on this list. What’s more, she can use them to project a form of radiation that causes swelling of exposed skin and gruesome burns.
At the end of the Raised by Wolves season 1 premiere, the Mithraic colonists come to confront Mother and Father. When they become aware of Mother’s true nature, they are immediately afraid of her eyes. But before they can look away, Mother burns and kills several of them with her gaze. Only Marcus escapes. From there, Mother uses her other powers to board the Ark and destroy the Mithraic. The Mithraic return throughout the season and a new threat is found in Raised by Wolves season 2, in which Mother must fight her own child and the android Grandmother.
Perhaps Mother’s deadliest ability is her supersonic scream. Unlike her eyes, which can be avoided by simply looking away, her scream is much more difficult to guard against. It sounds like a deafening shriek, capable of causing a living target to explode into a puddle of gore. Mother can hurl this focused blast of sound at a distance of several yards, making it an efficient and highly-deadly ability, especially considering her ability to fly and maneuver quickly into position.
When Mother (Lamia) employs her necromancer eyes, she can shift into a form of molten metal, making her impervious to bullets and other forms of attack, and Mother can also fly and hover in this state, moving about in open space with ease. She seems to achieve this ability by interacting with the planet’s electromagnetic field. In this way, she can also manipulate earth, dirt, and rocks without touching them and interfere with technology.
Mother uses her ability to fly in almost every episode. At first, she uses it to scout the area for threats, but these excursions soon turn into an excuse to fly to the working simulation pod, where she plugs in to retrieve her archived memories of the man who reprogrammed her to care for children, Campion Sturges. She’s later trapped in a simulation pod at the end of Raised by Wolves season 2 by Grandmother.
One of the first powers Mother discovers is her ability to shift into other forms. In the first episode, while attempting to comfort Campion over the death of his sister Spiria, she somehow shifts into Spiria. Campion is amazed—and a little creeped out—and Mother remarks that she didn’t know she was capable of such a thing.
Later, Mother uses her shape-shifting ability to resemble Marcus and board the Ark. She then transforms into herself and kills almost everyone on board using her sonic scream. Interestingly, as the show progresses, Mother doesn’t find a reason to use her shape-shifting ability again. Still, it’s an ability that comes in handy during Raised by Wolves season 2.
Another ability Mother uses when she has her eyes and is in necromancer form allows her to dissolve or freeze objects with her breath. She can expel superheated breath, capable of melting metal. She can also expel freezing cold breath that freezes objects and living things. This power seems to derive from access to dark photon energy, a technology that the Mithraic discovered by studying their scripture.
Mother is capable of several useful powers even when she doesn’t have her necromancer eyes installed, one of which is the ability to heal people. Throughout seasons 1 and 2, Mother heals cuts and scrapes on the human children on several occasions. This is certainly a useful skill as a caregiver, despite not understanding Campion’s scaly hand (at first).
Notably, Father doesn’t appear to have this ability either. Given that Mother can heal without her necromancer eyes, it seems that this skill is one Campion Sturges was able to program for her specifically. If this is another property of necromancers, it seems counter to their killing nature and may be evidence that death is not the only intention necromancers have.
Another thing that Mother can do is cause people to sleep instantly on command. This ability is another one that turns out to be extremely useful as a caregiver. It’s also another skill Mother can employ without her necromancer eyes, and one that Father doesn’t have. Again, it’s interesting to speculate where this ability may have come from, either as something programmed by Campion Sturges, or perhaps deeper in origin.
Where Raised By Wolves Season 2 Leaves Mother And Her Powers
Raised by Wolves season 2 leaves Mother’s powers very much intact, though she’s not able to use them as she’s now trapped. At the end of the latest installment, Mother had to face off against her Snake child, Seven, aka the Necroserpent. Initially, she couldn’t do this, as her programming doesn’t allow her to destroy her own children. Mother was able to take Grandmother’s veil to numb her emotions so that she could go up against the Serpent. This, in turn, caused Grandmother to feel her emotions. Therefore, her original course for humanity changes into something more sinister.
Rather than keep the humans trapped on Kepler 22-b, she wants them to turn over into a dumbed-down and nearly vegetative state (as this is her idea of happiness). Obviously, this won’t fly with Mother and Father. Despite Mother’s great power, Grandmother was able to trap her in a hibernation pod. It’s unknown as of yet how Mother will escape the hibernation pod, nor if she will encounter the original Campion in the simulation.
Whatever the case may be, Mother, as a necromancer, was originally built by the Mithraic from plans the religious group found in their scriptures. She was built to “purify” the Earth of nonbelievers. Still, after Campion Sturges captured and reprogrammed her, she remains devoutly loyal to her mission to raise and care for human children. Hopefully, Raised by Wolves season 3 will offer new information concerning the true nature of Mother and the necromancers.
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