13

What exactly constitutes a Holy Ground in Highlander canon?

Most that I recall seem to be Christian burial places, but some were non-Christian burial places.

But pretty much ANY place is a burial after millenia of history, so does that mean any place at all can be (albeit, unknowingly) a Holy Ground?

Please note that the Highlander Wikia Holy Ground entry is not very helpful:

What exactly qualifies as holy ground and how an immortal can know the ground is blessed is never explicitly stated. There are cases of qualifying holy ground including land blessed by non-Christian faiths and clergy but there is no explicit statement as to how two immortals would know of a patch of ground's status unless it were indicated to be holy via markings etc.

So, what I'm looking for in a good answer would be a compilation of Holy Grounds from the entire canon with some proposed fitting pattern (or, better yet, a Word of God statement from someone connected to the franchise, but I will settle for a reasonably backed-up-by-source-material ruleset in the absence of such).

Incentive: A good answer showing a WoG source will likely earn you a post-factum bounty.

2
  • The wikia entry is pretty much it, it's always presented as a place of prayer or other religious significance. It's also 'typically' been relevant to the characters involved. I'm not sure I understand your confusion.
    – user4963
    Mar 22 '12 at 0:56
  • Note to self: If you discover that you are an immortal like the highlander, never go anywhere without a priest carrying a bottle of holy water. Have him bless the ground around you as soon as you sense the presence of another immortal.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jun 12 '15 at 7:25
10

If you count the audio books as canon, there is STILL no definition given.. but they do indicate that the immortals have a natural ability to 'sense' being on holy ground, much like the sense that tells them that another immortal is near.

From the Highlander Wiki:

That said, in Kurgan Rising Duncan is lured into taking another immortal's head on consecrated ground. Macleod notes that he should have instinctively realized the ground was consecrated implying that the immortals have an ability similar to their Buzz that acts as a warning system.


"Duncan: But the thing that I don't understand, is why I didn't realise Justino had consecrated the building. Why didn't I sense that I was standing on holy ground? I should have known instinctively.

4
  • I've taken the liberty of providing a quote.
    – Valorum
    Jan 9 at 17:13
  • Consecration – Wiki
    – Mazura
    Jan 9 at 19:35
  • "From antiquity, canon law required that a new church be solemnly consecrated, or at least dedicated to God by a blessing, before divine services could be held. In Judaism, a formal consecration ceremony takes place, patterned after the traditional dedication ceremony of Solomon’s Temple. The doors are formally opened during the reading of certain psalms. The perpetual light is then kindled, and the scrolls of the Torah are put in their place. In the United States the tendency is to centre these dedication ceremonies about the sabbath service. ...
    – Mazura
    Jan 9 at 19:36
  • "In Protestant churches the dedication consists in reading from scripture, prayers, and sometimes anointing. Consecration of a Roman Catholic church includes anointing the walls with chrism, the places of anointings being indicated by 12 crosses." – britannica.com
    – Mazura
    Jan 9 at 19:36
2

This may not be much help, but the franchise tends to play a bit fast and loose with what they consider "holy"; it can be a blessed, consecrated, sacred, significant or burial ground of any faith or people, it seems.

For example of this, in the Highlander:The Series season 3 episode "The Samurai", I don't believe the family shrine of Hideo Koto, was an established "burial ground", but because it had been revered and his body had been buried there, it was considered "holy". MaCleod and the immortal he fought, Micheal Kent, merely walked a few yards away, and were no longer "on" holy ground. It was never established whether they instinctively "knew" they were out of range, or if there was some boundary they had to pass.

For that matter, the only in-series recollection I have of immortals fighting on holy ground [and the resulting consequence] was Connor MaCleod fighting with Kane in a Buddhist Shrine in Highlander III: The Sorcerer , where the blades of the immortals were destroyed and they were whiplashed by wind and energy.

So again, it could be as simple as "any ground for which people have reverence", as opposed to something specifically "made holy" through an act such as burial or consecration.

1
  • MacLeod's blade was ostensibly broken by the impact with Kane's, which was shown to remain intact. So they weren't both destroyed, nor was MacLeod's blade obviously destroyed by anything other than the impact with Kane's. Jan 9 at 17:28
1

There is no "word of god"

From incidents in the movies and series it is shown that merely being a burial ground/grave does not make the ground holy. Methos, in a flashback, kills another nameles immortal while literally standing on the site of the mass grave of people who died in one of his earliest memories.

However, the following are shown as holy ground at various points in the movies and series:

  • several christian churches
  • a church graveyard
  • a Buddhist shrine
  • a family (Shinto) shrine
  • a stone circle
  • a watcher-owned building specially concecrated

From this it appears that holy ground is any area consecrated for religious purposes or used for regular religious prayer/worship and/or ritual, regardless of the religion.

4
  • 1
    Can you offer specific evidence of these sites (which episode/films, which immortals)?
    – Valorum
    Jan 9 at 16:52
  • 1
    @Valorum In week or two. My collection of movies and box sets is currently halfway accross country from where I am ... in general, christian churches and church graveyards are used as neutral meeting places in the original movie and throughout the TV series. Buddhist shrine was in the third movie. Stone circle was a Methos flashback in (I think) season 2 of the series. Family shrine mentioned by Ramirez to Connor in one of the movies. Watcher-owned building from the series, they kept drugged immortals there to try preventing the gathering. I'll reference when I've had a chance to watch again.
    – Gwyn
    Jan 9 at 17:14
  • Don't tell me. Add it to your answer :-)
    – Valorum
    Jan 9 at 17:14
  • 1
    As I said, once I've had a chance to re-watch.
    – Gwyn
    Jan 9 at 17:15
-1

I have no concrete, specific, reference for this, but every place referred to in either the movies or TV series as holy ground has had some kind of marker visible, whether it be a grave marker, a carved stone, or active religious ceremonies being performed on the premises, so I think it would be a fair assumption that, in order to be holy ground, a site must be marked as such and/or be a location where organized religious ceremonies take place.

1
  • If you can offer no evidence, then this is a comment, not an answer.
    – Valorum
    Jan 9 at 16:52

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