Raised by Wolves season 1 recap: Important things to remember before season 2

Amanda Collin in Raised By Wolves Episode 6 - Photograph by Coco Van Oppens/HBO
Amanda Collin in Raised By Wolves Episode 6 - Photograph by Coco Van Oppens/HBO /

Raised by Wolves season 2 returns soon on HBO Max, and considering it has been a while since the first season of this dense sci-fi saga debuted, it’s a good idea to recap the most significant events that occurred in the show’s first season.

The first season of the prestigious HBO Max sci-fi epic executive produced by Ridley Scott premiered on Sept. 3, which seems like another lifetime at this point. It would be hard enough to recall events from a regular show with such a substantial break, but Raised by Wolves is a dense tale with extensive lore and intricate world-building.

More than a year between seasons is a long time to hold onto important details. Even if the hiatus wasn’t that long, viewers would probably need to read a few recaps or rewatch the season to keep track of all the characters and storylines. Raised by Wolves season 2 starts on Feb. 3, so before then, the following article will touch on the most important things to remember from season 1.

Raised by Wolves season 2
Amanda Collin in Raised by Wolves Season 1, Episode 1 – Photograph by Coco Van Oppens/HBO Max /

What to remember for Raised by Wolves season 2

Let’s start with a reminder of the show’s basic plot. After the Earth is ravaged by an all-consuming war between atheists and an uber-religious group of Mithraic who worship Sol, atheists send a pair of androids, Mother and Father to Kepler-22b. The androids are programmed to take care of human embryos and raise them to start a new generation. Mother was the more ferocious of the pair as a war machine, or necromancer as they’re known in the series, reprogrammed with maternal instincts.

Over a decade, Mother and Father struggle to raise children, with many of them failing to survive due to toxic food, terrifying creatures, and all kinds of dangers roaming the undeveloped planet. Things become even more challenging when Heaven’s Ark, a ship deployed by the Mithraic, arrives on Kepler-22b containing some of humanity’s last living members.

At the head of this group is an atheist couple, Sue and Marcus, who killed a Mithraic couple and stole their identities, and their son Paul, to gain access to the ark and a chance at survival. Over time, Sue and Marcus begin to feel true love for Paul despite him not being their biological son.

Raised by Wolves season 2
Winta Mcgrath in Raised by Wolves season 2 – Photograph by Coco Van Oppens / HBO Max /

Mother’s serpent-like baby

One of the more shocking moments of Raised by Wolves season 2 was when Mother became pregnant after becoming intimate with her creator, Campion Sturges inside a hibernation pod simulation. At the end of the season, Mother finally gave birth to a strange, snake-like creature that can levitate like Mother. It also feeds on her blood and grows quite large as a result. The snake seems related to the massive serpent skeletons we’ve seen scattered throughout Kepler-22b.

How did Raised by Wolves season 1 end?

While most of the human children raised by the androids die, Campion (named after Mother’s creator) survives and thrives. Throughout the first season, tensions rise between Mother and Father on how to deal with the children and the arrival of the Mithraic. When Mother realizes she is a necromancer, a powerful machine that was used by the atheists to destroy Earth, she attacks the Mithraic and kidnaps their children.

Her disagreements with Father result in her killing him, but Mother later revives him. Over time, these children grow attached to Mother, Father and Campion. Father becomes increasingly disgusted by Mother’s violent tendencies and even wants to erase all of his memories of her, but when he sees Mother giving birth to the dangerous serpent-like creature, he and Mother choose to work together to protect the humans.

Mother and Father get into their ship with the snake baby and try to sacrifice themselves and the baby by driving into the planet’s core. But instead of dying, they just emerge on the other side in a strange tropical zone. The snake baby escapes.

Raised by Wolves season 2
Niamh Algar in Raised by Wolves season 2 – Photograph by Coco Van Oppens / HBO Max /

Sue, Paul, and Marcus

Sue and Marcus have a major split by the end of the season as Marcus becomes fully indoctrinated into the Mithraic religion. Sue and Paul end up splitting from Marcus to go with Mother, Father and the other human children.

At the end of the first season, Marcus finds himself hearing whispers and hallucinations from “Sol.” The last we see of him, he has found himself in the path of a group of armed atheist soldiers. It’ll be interesting to see where Marcus’s arc goes now because he’s now completely devoted to Sol and has no issue murdering atheists. He calls himself the “king” of this new world.

Interestingly, Marcus seems to be set up as a false prophet, but Paul might be a real one and perhaps even the subject of a Mithraic prophecy that says an orphaned boy will become the leader of the next human revolution. It sounds like it will be Paul or Campion who takes that position. Paul hears real visions from Sol that inform him that “Sue” is not her real mother despite her appearance.

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Raised by Wolves season 2 premieres Thursday, Feb. 3 exclusively on HBO Max.