The Ultimate Supernatural Clash!
From films to books to politics, Armageddon is a term which represents a culmination of cataclysmic events- devastating to humans and destined to change the worlds of both heaven and earth forever. Some believe it to be a figurative representation of the finality of nuclear war, but more commonly, Armageddon is represented as a monumental clash of supernatural forces. As we regularly find in Fantasy Fiction.
Although adopted figuratively by media, Armageddon’s roots are deeply entrenched in religious belief. With its inception in Jewish works, most notably the Hebrew Scriptures, the concept of Armageddon was enthusiastically adopted in Christian works, most notably in the Revelations, where it is described as a figurative place where demonically driven Kings of the earth will wage war on the forces of God at the end of history (Britannica; https://www.britannica.com/place/Armageddon).
Are We Obsessed By Armageddon?
Bearing in mind the general demise of religious fervour in recent time, why are we still so fascinated by Armageddon? In fact, a resurgence of the term has been seen particularly in literature and films from the 20th century onward. Books such as Katherine Anne Porter’s ‘Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939), the American bestseller ‘ The late great Planet Earth’ ( Hal Lindsey, 1970), and the ‘ Left Behind series of novels penned by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins (1995) of which more than 40 million copies have been sold, and are featured in a computer game are a testament to the growing popularity of the concept of some kind of Armageddon. Added to that the 1998 film of that name starring Bruce Willis, amongst many other apocalyptic based offerings, is safe to say we are pretty much obsessed.
Maybe, in light of the impending doom rising before us as we continue to rape and pillage the earth, and scientific predictions shake the heads at our stupidness, we recognise all too keenly the frailty of the human condition- and either because we are not prepared to change our destructive ways, or feel powerless as ineffectual members of society, we still prefer to feel we have some influence in the outcome of an Armageddon-like event. It’s this belief that Fantasy Fiction taps into!
As creatures who insist on believing in the linear structure of time, but have no concept of its beginning, we instinctively feel there also must be an end. Conversely, perhaps for the optimists amongst us, we see Armageddon as an opportunity for rebirth, of cleansing, and as a glimpse of a better world and society- of utopia. Or perhaps we are over thinking it and we are reading far too much Fantasy Fiction! What do you think?