Villain Spotlight: The Four Horsemen
Welcome back all of my ghostly friends and fairweather fiends. You know, I wanted to do a Villain Spotlight post on this group for a while, and in the midst of my unnatural current obsession with Supernatural, I sort of re-energized my terrible and sometimes ridiculous liking of a certain quartet. Unfortunately, it is not of the barbershop variety, but as luck would have it, they are the end of the world type of group. Ladies and gentlemen, please put your pustulant hands together for….The Four Horsemen.
Now, you guys all know that I have a liking of the occult, and fortunately for everyone not in a summoning way, but more in terms of lore. Something about it causes me to get a massive semi, and I’ve been questioning it for years. The Four Horsemen, barring Satan, are some of the most feared and terrible creations to ever ride through any realm, and if they showed up to my house right now, I would seriously ride bitch with Pestilence, my personal favorite. I know you must all be thinking that death would be my favorite, or possible war, but sadly, they are not. We’ll get to why in a bit, and there is a specific reason, but I sincerely hope you do not think less of me after you find out. Now, shall we take a look? I think we shall. I also felt since there are four of them…..obviously…..I’d do a sort of list culminating with my favorite. I understand they come in a specific order…but we’re not going to do it that way.
The red horse rider and bringer of endless battle to the earth. War is depicted as being the second horsemen to appear during the end of times, and in his wake, destruction and the end of peace is wrought. Fuck yeah. War represents the inner workings of man at his most primal. I apologize to the female audience for giving all humans the title of man, but it just makes things a bit more simple for now. At his most basic and violent, War brings out the worst in people, and it brings about either a mass civil war, or a war of conquest upon the kingdom of man. Pretty jacked up if you ask me. War rides his fiery red steed and carries a giant sword signaling a call to arms. Unfortunately for us, when we see him, shit has already been set in motion by our first horsemen, so we are essentially already fucked by the time he gets here.
War has been depicted over time as quite a few different incarnations. In the novel Good Omens, it was a lady, in the game Darksiders, it is a muscle bound warrior who actually is more righteous than anything else. It all really depends on how you view them, although most of the time it is as more evil than good, but to them, its just a job. With War descending upon mankind, we are now fully within the Apocalypse.
Ah the one that seems to receive the most flack. In my experience, Famine is the least popular of the Four, as ridiculous as it sounds, but I feel like this one doesn’t get as much credit as it deserved. War brings people to battle, but Famine brings people to the brink of insanity while riding a Black horse and carrying a set of weighing scales. Have you ever gone a day without eating and change into some kind of monster because you either forgot or were too busy to shove something into your gullet? Well, imagine that on a global scale, and you don’t have a way of easing that once it gets to a breaking point. That is Famine, and that is what it will do to you. With nothing to eat and the need to feed rising, what do you think will happen? If you said little Billy and Little Suzy are going to get barbecued like so much pulled pork, then you are correct.
Famine will turn anyone into a ravenous monster when given the right circumstances. Considering at this point, we are 3 Horsemen in, I think the circumstances are just right for some home cooked cannibal feasts. When you have no other option, we all have to eat something, as gruesome as it sounds. Famine should be taken more seriously in my opinion, and upon re-reading that statement, it sort of sounds completely ludicrous.
We have come now to our Horsemen who appears last, Death, and in most cases, the worst of them all. The thing with Death that makes him so terrifying is not the Pale horse he rides, although that is frightening, but the absolute finality of his appearance. This is it people. The one that brings an end to all. If by some chance you have survived the first 3, and then think to yourself that you are some kind of bad motherfucker, think again. You’re nothing. Sometimes depicted as wielding a scythe, sometimes a sword, and sometimes nothing at all, Death lives (or unlives?) his namesake, and is the last thing you will ever see.
I personally really like Death as a Horsemen. I know it may not seem so strange considering who I am, but Death tends to stick out to me because of his utter blackness and hopelessness that it exudes. With the other horsemen, you can potentially survive, albeit not easily, but with Death, you may as well call it quits. But, like I mentioned earlier, Death is not my absolute favorite. That honor goes to our last and ironically the one that shows up first.
I fucking love Pestilence. Riding on a white horse and firing off arrows filled with all of the germs of all of the diseases, this motherfucker starts the whole shebang. Pestilence is in my opinion, far and wide the worst of all of them. Not since it is the first to appear or the most terrifying, but because it is the most awful of them all to be involved in. Imagine the entire world covered in a miasma of filth and the worst sorts of diseases you could imagine. Everyone you ever knew or will know is dying horribly with no cure and no end in sight besides Death….and this is just the opening pitch. The rest of the game is just to kill off the rest of the planet, the beginning is where the fear, desperation, and the initial shock on everyone’s faces is brought upon. Simply terrifying. Sometimes, Pestilence is even referred to as being the possible Anti-Christ, but I’m not sure if I buy that, mainly because I’m hoping it is someone else, as that would give me someone else to idolize. I kid, I kid.
Now I hope the slight excitement in my words isn’t taken in a wrong way as I really just like the lore and mythos of the Horsemen, especially Pestilence. Pestilence just exudes that sort of presence that really drives home to point that this is the end, and there is nothing that we can do stop it. A funny side note, if you haven’t read the novel Good Omens by Neil Gaiman, in which case you really should, there is a funny little bit concerning this Horseman and the fact that as a people we have discovered quite a few cures and vaccines for certain pathogens….which sort of causes a slight issue. I highly recommend checking it out.
Well there ya have it. For something that has gripped me in such a way there is surprisingly little information regarding the Horsemen, and for playing such an important part in the Apocalypse, I feel there should be more about them. It’s sad to think that such harbingers of doom barely even get a few lines in that most famous of books. However, maybe this just adds to their allure and mystique. Till next time my kiddies!
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