11

There were many references to the Lords of Kobol throughout the first season of BSG, culminating in the eventual discovery of Kobol itself. They were described as 'gods', implying that they were not human, and it seems like finding out who and what they were would be foremost on the minds of both the characters and the viewers. However, nothing much was said about them and then the show just moved on, ignoring one of the more interesting mysteries presented to that point.

Is there anything mentioned in the show that I missed, or discussed by writers or staff in other mediums, that would give us a clue as to the nature of the Lords of Kobol? Do we know if they were intelligent aliens, some form of magical being or angel that fits in with the religion of the show, or something else?

  • How I took understood it (granted, it's been years since I've seen the show) was that it was similar to astrological signs. – Kevin Fischer May 7 '18 at 19:26
  • 1
    The writers were definitely making this show up as they went. I wouldn't bet much on their being a substantial unrevealed mythology. – Stephen Collings May 7 '18 at 22:43
  • 1
    @StephenCollings I think the recent BSG series was pretty oddball, but I though the Caprica prequel was better structured and thought out - somewhat underrated, IMO. – StephenG May 8 '18 at 5:09
6

The Lords of Kobol were the Gods of the mainstream religions of the twelve colonies. They are referenced again in the prequel series Caprica.

A central plot point of the Caprica series is a group of religious extremists who do not follow the mainstream religions. There's a brief reference in Wikipedia's episode list which summarizes episodes, including episode one.

They were described as 'gods', implying that they were not human, and it seems like finding out who and what they were would be foremost on the minds of both the characters

References to the Lords of Kobol are made in the same way we'd say something like "God" or "Allah" or similar. To go looking for them as if they were an unknown to discover would be very strange - like starting a search for God. They're not going to do that and (surprise) they don't.

Do we know if they were intelligent aliens, some form of magical being or angel that fits in with the religion of the show, or something else?

I don't think there is much reference beyond this offhand casual use of the term and the names of the deities in either BSG or Caprica.

There's a wiki which has a more detailed page on the Lords of Kobol including a fairly long discussion of the "reimagined" series (which I know nothing about personally). I can't say anything about it's accuracy one way or another.

But regarding your core question, I think in BSG they're simply Gods which are a normal part of common mythology/religion and not something to search for. The characters accept them as we accept our own cultural references to Gods and religion.

  • This answer makes sense from the perspective of season 1, but once they find Kobol as a real place the gods stop being metaphysical ideals and become something more substantial. If one of our spaceflights brought back photos of a gleaming castle floating on the clouds (or whatever image of heaven any given religion happens to describe), I very much think we would begin a search for god, and that would not be strange at all. It would, in fact, be strange to just shrug and ignore it. – Nicholas May 8 '18 at 20:08
  • 1
    No. I can give you a photo of Mars, Venus, Jupiter and so on. Just because a culture names something that doesn't make it real. You call a collection of Gods by "Lords of Kobol" that's just a collective term for them, and as they're God of your main world religions, you naturally name them after the home world. This would be like referring to e.g. all Greek gods as "The Lords of Greece". It's just a convenient naming. – StephenG May 8 '18 at 21:07
  • 1
    I see your point. However, Kobol was as mythical a place as the Lords were in BSG mythology. Simply finding a habitable world, with ruins in the exact shape of a city described in scripture, brings the mythical into the real world. If you show me a small city on a mountain top in Greece, build with materials and technology beyond the times, in a perfect image of descriptions of Mount Olympus, you'd better believe we'd be spending millions to figure out what's going on, even if we don't immediately jump to the conclusion gods lived there. – Nicholas May 9 '18 at 13:24
  • This also then leads to the question: was the Cylon "true" god the real god and the Lords of Kobol were merely beings that were deified by the ancient humans of the day? Reason I say that is because the "true" god sends two spiritual beings (spirit Six and Baltaar) to guide literal Six and Baltaar to their new home and fulfill their destinies. The 12 Lords of Kobol don't ever get depicted as lifting a finger to help the humans in their struggle, yet they are worshiped. To me this implies that they were just mythological figures and Kobol was a planet with a lot of religious control in practice – MissouriSpartan Aug 29 '18 at 20:58
  • You would have a very hard time convincing modern people who believe in a non-interventionist God that God was not real simply because they didn't get direct help from the deity. – StephenG Aug 29 '18 at 21:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.