shivver13 (shivver13) wrote,
shivver13
shivver13

Angel, demon, or somewhere in between?

Good Omens has pretty much taken over my life for the last month. I've watched it probably seven times in total: once when it came out, once before the trip to the Midwest, once on the trip out, once on the trip home, and then random episode viewings during the trip and since we got home. A good fraction of the conversation between me and my husband are about the show or the book (or both), much like Doctor Who has been ever since I first watched "Rose" in 2013.

I haven't abandoned DW; it's just not the fresh new thing right now. GO is, and I'm even considering writing a fanfic or two. We'll see where that goes, but otherwise, I'm still an entrenched DW writer and working on some things for Camp Nanowrimo.

I think the biggest problem right now is that I just have no one other than my husband to talk to about GO. I've gotten most of my friends to watch the show, and while they liked/loved it, no one cares to discuss it more than "Oh, that was a gas!" (Yes, one of my friends literally said that. Dates him, doesn't it?) I'm a member of the Neil Gaiman fan group on FB and it's still the main topic of discussion there (except they've just announced that Netflix made a deal with Gaiman to adapt Sandman and that's the big news now), but they're not interested in discussing themes and things. So I'm stuck blagging (now there's an obscure reference) and clogging the ether with my fangirling.

And the bottom line is that you suffer for it. Muahahaha!

Note: What I write here might be considered sacrilegious. You've been warned.


I think the thing I still wonder, after all of these viewings, is what God's plan actually was. Yes, yes, it's ineffable, but you can't help but wonder what she was trying to accomplish. The angels and demons thought that the Great Plan of creating a world that lasted for six thousand years and ended in fire and flame was the Ineffable Plan, but as Aziraphale pointed out, it couldn't be: whatever God plans must happen, and Armageddon didn't. Not to mention, that plan doesn't make much sense, at least to this human. Crowley said, at least as far as the Great Plan was concerned, God was testing the humans and she shouldn't, in his opinion, test them to destruction, but the Great Plan had nothing to do with the humans. They were only innocent bystanders while the angels and demons went to war with each other. There's the bit that it all hinged on Adam and his choices, but testing one boy isn't much of a fair test of the species.

The real hint, though, is that God, by her own admission, plays an ineffable game of her own devising. No one knows the rules. When this line is said, it's implied that it's the humans who don't understand, but as we see, no one understands, not even the Metatron, who is arguably the closest to God.

Given this, I posit that God's real intention was not to test the humans, but to test the angels and demons. She gives them this Great Plan that she says the world is going to follow, then sits back to see if any of them has a problem with the frankly horrible things that transpire. The angels are supposed to be paragons of good, but do they ever question it when they're told do evil things? Do they stoop to dirtying their hands to help the humans follow the right path? The demons have already fallen, long before the Great Plan was set in motion, and been told they will never be able to make amends, but do any even try?

Yes. Aziraphale and Crowley are the only ones, because unlike the rest of their brethren, they walk among the world created for the Plan and realize there's more at stake than just the battle between the two sides. Their actual decision to try to avert Armageddon is entirely selfish, as neither wants to give up their comfortable lives, but the seeds were planted early - for Aziraphale, in the Garden itself, as his sympathy for the plight of Adam and Eve motivates him to give them his sword. Early in the plan, at the Ark, both the angel and the demon are quietly questioning how drowning a whole civilization could possibly be just. Gabriel wouldn't have cared - if God said to do it, how could it be evil? - and Beelzebub would have enjoyed every minute of it. Aziraphale's and Crowley's time among the humans teaches them that there's more to existence than preparing for war. They grow beyond their functions, and that's what I think God was testing.

The book touches on the concept that angels and demons do not have free will, that they cannot make choices for themselves and deviate from their function, and I'm glad that the show didn't introduce this idea, as it would be hard to reconcile that idea with Aziraphale's and Crowley's agreement, that they would do each other's work to make it easier. It still bothers me a bit that Aziraphale agreed to go tempt the Scottish baron for Crowley, as during the course of the entire show, including the modern era scenes, he was so tetchy about doing anything that might even think about putting a toe over the evil line.

The real question, though, is does this God know what's going to happen? We know she's omniscient, insofar as she knows everything that's happening right now - yes, Aziraphale, she already knew you gave the sword away - but does she have the omniscience that knows the future as well? The answer must be yes - Agnes Nutter could not be more knowledgeable than God. So God must have set this all in motion knowing what everyone's going to do and how it's going to turn out, and if that's the case, then we must also come to the conclusion that God is a shipper. She built a world and created a complex Plan - crafted a six-thousand-year story - to bring Aziraphale and Crowley together, as well as Shadwell and Madame Tracy, and Newt and Anathema.

Love it.

I'm going to end here with one last observation, about how the show subtly depicted the difference between humans and supernatural beings. The legions of angels and demons all had distinguishing characteristics, such as unusual eyes, skin decorations, or, in the case of the demons, animals on their heads. (I absolutely adore Beelzebub's hat. I may have said that before, but it bears repeating.) Aziraphale and Crowley, however, had to fit in among the humans, so they had to look human for the most part, but still exhibit some traits that belie their true nature.

(As an aside, it's interesting that Crowley is able to shift his form but cannot mask his eyes. I wonder what the reason for that is. The script notes that in the graveyard, both Hastur and Ligur have reptilian eyes and this hints why Crowley wears sunglasses, so perhaps that's the one thing that demons cannot control, perhaps as part of their punishment. I don't remember if Hastur at Megiddo had reptilian eyes while meeting Warlock.)

It was only after having a picture of Crowley as my desktop background for a few days that I realized one of the things they did to give him an otherworldly air. His skin is absolutely perfect. DT is a freckly thing with a permanent five o'clock shadow. The makeup artists for GO hid all of that and smoothed out his crow's feet with a preternatural glowing bronze finish that just isn't quite normal. Aziraphale isn't much different - he also glows, as does Gabriel. It's a perfect, understated way of communicating that these people just don't belong here on earth.
Tags: good omens
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