6

Since the Strangers are supposed to have a hive mind, do all the Strangers have access to John Murdoch's memories once Mr. Hand is imprinted with them?

1 Answer 1

2

It's a little more complicated than that. The other strangers appear to be able to see what Mr Hand is thinking (and the memories he's accessing) but without any ability to control those memories. They're relegated to the position of observers.

Mr. Wall swallowed his annoyance for the common good. “Indulge us, Mr. Hand . . .” he murmured as if speaking to a child. “If you were Mr. Murdoch, yes?”

A faraway look fell over Mr. Hand’s pale features like a curtain. The others knew what was happening. Mr. Hand was remembering.

“If I were Mr. Murdoch—I would . . . remember how my wife had hurt me, by sleeping with another man,” Mr. Hand said softly.

The Strangers watched with awe—and envy—as images bubbled up in Mr. Hand’s mind . . .

Dark City: Official Novelisation

Note that while they have a hive of shared memories, the Strangers aren't necessarily controlled by a single cohesive force. They have personalities and drives that are unique to each individual alien, hence why Mr Hand is able (and willing) to volunteer to be the one imprinted with the memories of John Murdoch.

10
  • 1
    To analogize, a true hive mind as usually portrayed in fiction would be like a mainframe connected to remote dumb terminals. All the terminals can do is access the mainframe and have no capacity for independent action The Strangers operate more like networked computers with shared backup drives and a remote desktop app that allows them to monitor what's going in with another computer on the network without being able to control it. Aug 12, 2020 at 19:29
  • @KeithMorrison - Yes, the Buggers in Ender's Game would be a close fit to that description.
    – Valorum
    Aug 12, 2020 at 19:31
  • The scene where they're unaware of Mr. Quick's death and not having captured John during their first attempt until being informed of it by one of them who was there, the scene where rearranging the city doesn't go exactly according to plan and the others are unaware until they're informed by one while John witnesses them tuning for the first time, and the scene where at least one Stranger is killed by being smashed between two buildings while the rest of the Strangers are oblivious to it and don't prevent it by stopping the tuning which is what led to the buildings colliding corroborate this. Aug 13, 2020 at 11:02
  • However, wouldn't these instances refer to a degree of individuality that Mr. Hand categorically denies when he meets Emma where she met John for the first time when Mr. Hand tells her something along the lines of having to live in a world where you don't have individual memories and every member of the species has access to all the memories such that you can't distinguish if a specific memory in question is something that you did or some other member of your species did? Aug 13, 2020 at 11:03
  • Since you've read the novelization, @Valorum, do you remember there being any indication therein of them having found this degree of individuality only as a result of using dead human bodies as hosts? That's probably the only way that I can personally think of as reconciling this. Aug 13, 2020 at 11:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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