Sunday, May 26, 2024

A Disaster Chosen One Redeems Herself

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What, it’s another Warrior Nun piece? You bet your ass it is! This dumb show is one of our new favorites here on the Fandomentals and there’s just so much to mine from these first 10 episodes. You might have already read our articles about Dutiful Princess Beatrice or Glorious Dumbass Ava. Today, however, I’m delving into our favorite Disaster Chosen One, Lilith.

To reiterate from our introductory article, a Disaster Chosen one is someone who either has thrust upon them, or believes they do, a ~destiny. Except they fail spectacularly at carrying out that prescribed role. Sometimes this can have horrific consequences (Anakin Skywalker), and sometimes it’s a character who realizes their “destiny” was actually terrible and actively turns away from that path (Lena Luthor).

Sister Lilith (played by Lorena Andrea) is somewhere in the middle.

Dark Beginnings

When Warrior Nun starts, we’re introduced to a very authoritative, painfully composed, strict young woman who has been told by her family and the Church that, thanks to previous women of her line having carried the Halo, this will be her ~destiny as well. She has trained her entire life for this role, and as the episodes progress, we realize this has left her with a warped set of values and purpose.

First, we have to face facts. Lilith very much wants the Halo. And that means another woman must die for her to have it. While she might have had some level of affection for dearly departed Sister Shannon, she was ultimately an obstacle in Lilith fulfilling her destiny. When Shannon lays dying and Mary is sobbing and holding her, Lilith is in the background, still severe, but with a borderline giddy glint in her eyes. At last, she’s about to become the Halo bearer.

Except no, because fate has other plans and the Halo winds up in our favorite Glorious Dumbass, Ava Silva. Who is very much NOT with joining up on the Church’s sacred mission, isn’t trained, isn’t even a believer, and very much wants nothing to do with a group of stalker nuns.

All Lilith sees is that some unworthy brat stole the Halo from her. Even after the OCS tranq Ava, drag her back to the Cat’s Cradle, non-consensually change her clothes and tie her down to the bed, which, seriously, WTAF ladies, WTAFFFFFF? Anyways, ahem. Even when Ava is in her first stint at the Cat’s Cradle and has even more members of the Catholic church either beating her or telling her what to do, Lilith is at the front of that pack, seething at this woman who can’t take this divine destiny seriously, who doesn’t want anything to do with them, and who cannot stop being a dumbass if her life depended on it.

Lilith is not amused.

Ava is everything Lilith hates because in Lilith’s mind, she’s desecrating a divine destiny and rubbing it in Lilith’s face. We already knew back when Ava woke up tied to the bed that the sisters weren’t sure if removing the Halo would harm her… and we heard Lilith saying she wanted to remove it anyway, consequences be damned.

And as much as I want to throttle all the sisters for their treatment of Ava in the first few episodes, I understand where Lilith is coming from. This was her prescribed role since birth, hammered and trained and proselytized to her until she has tunnel vision so badly she’s willing to throw away friends, found family, and even her basic morals to get her hands on the Halo. She’s a young woman, crushed under the weight of expectation placed on her by nearly every other person in her life. Lilith can’t even entertain the option of failure, which is honestly tragic. She can’t imagine any sort of life where she isn’t the Halo bearer.

Because it’s this weight, this burden that warps her ideals and her morals. When then-Cardinal Duretti puts it into her ear that she ~should be the Halo bearer, implying he’d look the other way if she dispatched that pesky obstacle (namely, Ava), Lilith can’t resist and runs headlong into full-blown Disaster Chosen One version BAD. Is it right?

Not in the slightest. And in that she has a foil in the wonderful, wonderful Mary. Mary who lost Shannon and is hellbent on protecting the new Halo bearer, even from other sisters. Mary who tells Lilith to her face that she’s heading down a dark path, and that she’s let her desire for the Halo twist her into something wrong.

Lilith, back away from the Halo bearer and drop the knife.

A Disaster Chosen One Makes a Choice

Eventually, Lilith still gets to Ava first, and without Mary’s interference very well could’ve killed Ava by carving the Halo from her back. (And proves that at this point she’s only thinking purely obsessively, otherwise she might have realized that the Halo might, you know, consider her unworthy of it after murderboating an innocent woman.) And it’s Mary who thankfully prevents Lilith from carrying out an act she couldn’t have come back from.

Of course, minutes later things go really south for Lilith. A tarask (we call them Carl around these parts) shows up, flings Mary through a car window, and is closing in on Ava. Lilith, looking at Ava’s terrified face, meets her crucible… and in her defining moment, throws down her destiny.

She sacrifices herself to save Ava, and is impaled on Carl’s claws and dragged back to wherever Carl lives.

But that’s not the end of Lilith’s story. She shows up again, out of nowhere, mostly healed and with a few extra abilities. You know, like razor sharp claws and teleporting. Nifty.

Courtesy of kiss-my-selfie

Even though she’s still sorting out what happened to her, the Lilith we see now is able to show a far more earnest, vulnerable side to herself that we never saw before. We see her drop her armor when she apologizes to Ava (even if she’s still a bit of an authoritarian to Beatrice and Camilla), and again in the crypt with Mary. We see her eager and earnest, begging to help Beatrice blow up the Vatican for Ava (although I do agree with Mary, probably not a good idea to let her hold the dynamite).

Lilith by the end of the season is still a confident young woman, but now she’s on a road to a healthier, if not more supernatural existence, without the weight of that destiny bearing down on her. She’s creating her own.

And that’s why she’s ultimately a positive example of a Disaster Chosen One, because she, like Zuko and Lena Luthor before her, ultimately rejected a darker path or destiny, and with the help of our resident Glorious Dumbass, Ava, is on a new journey to forge a better future, one that is uniquely and solely hers.

Have strong thoughts about this piece you need to share? Or maybe there’s something else on your mind you’re wanting to talk about with fellow Fandomentals? Head on over to our Community server to join in the conversation!

Images courtesy of Netflix

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