We have our own views of what hell is, do we? Well, the series is surrounded by the author’s idea of what hell is I’m afraid. There was a particular section in part two that literally took you on a hellish fun ride, but I will come back to that in just a moment.
Many may remember a story called Inferno that was written by Dante Alighieri. In his story, he described to you his version of the pit that is designed categorically–nine circles–and at the bottom in the frozen central zone of the ninth circle is where the destroyer resides, Satan. While one soul lived, depending on the level of their sin against God and what they did conclusively, would determine how they would be judged.
The categories in Dante’s world are as follows:
9th-Treachery (This circle being fitting for Satan for his treachery against God while in heaven)
According to Dante, every foul soul that has fallen out of favor goes to their designated destination after they have passed away. For instance, if a person were abusive or always seeking to cause anarchy with their fellow man–breaking one of the ten commandments given to Moses by God for the people which states ‘Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself’–that person will go to the 5th circle for ANGER or perhaps the 7th circle for VIOLENCE according to Dante’s design. Another example would be if a person were, while they lived, a womanizer or fornicator, that person would go to the 2nd circle for LUST. Additionally, if they cheated someone out of finances to prevent their well-being, that person would go to the 8th circle for FRAUD.
Gustave Doré‘s engravings illustrated the Divine Comedy (1861–1868); here, Dante is lost in Canto 1 of the Inferno.
There was a proposed protagonist in Dante’s story, Dante himself, who by way of ferry across the “Vestibule” of Acheron entered into hell with his guide Virgil. Dante was supposedly summoned by a woman named Beatrice who is among the heavens. Therefore, Dante makes it a point to enter hell in order to adhere to her calling. There, he witnessed a countless number of souls and evil fiends. These things encompassed his overall journey through the pit as he maneuvered through each circle with the help of his guide. *Note: Thresso was Barry’s guide in part 2.
This tale sounds exciting!
In “Secrets of Their Shadowed Hearts” there was reference to hell a few times, but one incident in particular stood out. It was the conversation that Susie Cormick, who was possessed by an angelic deity, had with the keeper of the circle of GLUTTONY at an inn that her and her group had stopped at for rest. This instance was a small slice of the pie. The bigger picture was in “Secrets of Their Shadowed Souls” when Thomas himself was condemned to hell for his crimes. His entire chapter was hell based from his tongue. From his account, you experienced everything he experienced from the moment he and Barry parted ways in limbo.
Thomas was in hell and stated crisply after Barry and Death had departed:
“…he left me—in the dark, in the cold with nothing but my memories to keep me company. Fuckin’ hell, all I could think about was how much he’s always stayed ahead. During that time, I couldn’t think much of anythin’ else. I got lonely fast in that room, abyss – or whatever the hell it was – after limbo. For the longest I was just in there for days I think, just killing time. Robbed of my sight, I was a blind man officially, but I don’t think my vision was really gone. It was suppressed, obscured according to that Reaper who fed my brother those lies, or maybe I just don’t wanna admit that it was the truth. Rubbish! If he hadn’t said anything, I wouldn’t have been there by myself in that place that was meant to make one think.”
As Thomas advanced further into the pit, we learned that he was an exception to normality like his brother who had a choice to go either up or down in limbo. Unlike in Dante’s Inferno where a soul was placed based on their overall major sin against God, Thomas–as an exception–bounced between many circles; some in which were: Lust, Gluttony, Anger, Violence, and Treachery; Lust for being a fornicator, Gluttony for hoarding food, shelter, and money from those he considered beneath him, Anger for his jealous acts towards his brother, Violence for his relentless, malicious acts of cruelty, and Treachery for ultimately killing his brother in the end. This is five out of nine circles that he traversed, each of them having their own difficulties and punishments. Barry, too, is guilty of these very crimes, but as mentioned in the book, he received grace and did not have to suffer.
The primary punishment Thomas faced was death. He died over and over and over again no matter what he did, no matter what angle he took. For example, the blood suckers (hellish vampires) that latched onto him, he could not even choose to get burned in the spurting flames, what he wanted as opposed to getting sucked. This was an example of one’s lack of choice in that plane. I purposefully had dying be a horror because no one man, no matter how tough, wants to undergo being killed. Why is that? It’s because death has a potential to be wrought with pain. In his hell, Thomas died nearly two hundred times! It got to the point where he became determined to never die again. His new objective now was to escape only after his body and mind had suffered immense torture.
www.jugardota.com Guia de Phoenix, Icarus
Cerberus, the blood sucking vampires, the overload of insects were only a few creatures Thomas encountered. The phoenix, a mythical bird, was but another. This flaming bird was designed to be a fail safe in this tale to prevent souls from escaping. They worked alongside hell’s knights, the wizards and warlocks, who used their powers of evil against other souls for the purpose of killing them. The phoenix killed souls by using the fire that surrounded it to burn them as they tried to ascend into Earth’s plane. I personally thought the phoenix was an appropriate addition to show how creatures we often uphold each day were actually designed to cause harm.
So, at this point, you can see Thomas describing in full everything that is happening to him from the initial darkness, to the burning lava, to the many creatures and pain, to his memories of his past, all the way to his tremendous escape and possession of a body. That very body (a hollow being), might I add, he possessed throughout the entire sequel. That body carried the unremitting weight Thomas bore while he was in hell and everything showed unmistakably on his real face that only Barry (an angelic deity in training) could see.