The Conception of Hera

LAST UPDATED 19 Sept 2008 13:26

Rejuvenation of the Lords of Kobol

This one requires invention of a small amount of backstory, but the implications add another level to the show as well as high drama. It reaches into hidden storylines, but is in line with the facts presented, ties up a few more pieces and fits with the way the show is constructed. So it’s presented as speculation, but its fascinating all the same.

The Beacon Clue

In Torn, the cylons come across a beacon that contains a deadly virus. It infects the baseship and the S7 start to die.

Sharon: No. The data set indicates that as soon as the Hybrid was infected, the Centurions started shutting down. We don’t know how ours are gonna be affected.
D’Anna: I assume our Raiders and baseships are also susceptible.
Simon: Of course. We are all created from the same genetic pool.
Doral: Then no Cylon can board that ship without risking infection

The key here is that the S7 are all built from the same genetic pool.

Later, in A Measure of Salvation, Cottle talks about the virus.

Cottle: I identified the virus. We know it as lymphocytic encephalitis. The disease is carried by rodents. Rats, mostly. But a couple of hundred years ago, humans developed an immunity. Now I can create a simple vaccine that will dramatically reverse the effect of the virus o­n the Cylons. But, uh, they have an antibody in their blood which breaks down the RNA of the vaccine. So they will need regular, close-interval injections of the vaccine. Or they will die.

So the humans developed an immunity to the virus “a couple of hundred years ago” and since the S7 are still susceptible to the virus, the show is trying to tell us that the S7 are based on genetic material that is over 200 years old.


In Home Pt II, Sharon talks about the colonials history…

Sharon: We know more about your religion than you do. Athena’s Tomb, whoever, and whatever she really was is probably up there. That part is true.

It seems that the cylons know more about colonial history than the colonials do. Since they were waiting for the fleet when they arrived at Kobol for the first time, then its safe to assume that they knew the location of Kobol before the colonials did.

Since there is a tomb on Kobol dedicated to Athena, a Lord of Kobol, its safe to assume that there may well be the remains of previous mortal incarnations of LOK entombed on Kobol as well, probably after the colonials first left to create the 12 colonies 2000 years ago.

So lets assume that the cylons built the S7 bodies by using genetic material from a previous generation of mortal LOK that was found on Kobol during the first cylon war, around the same time the cylons were experimenting on humans.

Which of the Lords of Kobol are mortal and which stay within TPBLAD changes with each cycle. This is backed up by Leoben’s comment in Flesh and Bone…

Leoben: You kneel before idols and ask for guidance and you can’t see that your destiny’s already been written. Each of us plays a role, each time a different role. The last time, I was the interrogator and you were the prisoner. The players change, the story remains the same…

So lets make the assumption that the Opera House figure that appears as Head.Six in this cycle was a mortal LOK in the previous cycle and the remains of this body were found on Kobol by the cylons and used to create the S7 member we know as Sharon (Athena).

Children of the Lords of Kobol

Head.Six: Isn’t she beautiful, Gaius?
Baltar: I don’t think I have ever been touched  so deeply in my entire life.
Head.Six: You’re going to make a wonderful father.
Baltar: Speaking metaphorically, of course.
Head.Six: And literally. She’s our child, gaius. Our little girl.
Baltar: What?
Head.Six: Do you want to hold her?
Baltar: Mm…yes. Yes, of course I do.   But she’s not real. Any more than, uh… any of this is. Real.
Head.Six: She’s real.
Baltar: She is?
Head.Six: She may not be with you yet, but she will be. Soon.
Baltar: I’m having a little difficulty– I’m trying to understand, I want to understand. I–
Head.Six: [Sighs]
Baltar: You are the mother.
Head.Six: And you’re the father.

So we know how Head.Six can be the mother. Head.Six is an expression of one of the Opera House figures, this figure was a mortal reincarnated LOK in the previous cycle, and now the DNA from that body has been used to build the S7 member we know as Athena – the biological mother of Hera!!

The problem is that we need to make Baltar the father. Doing that would not only make true, Head.Six’s line about them both “literally” being the parents of Hera, but would also make Hera the child of two Lords of Kobol! Head.Six is the mother through DNA from the previous cycle and Baltar is the father through being mortal in this cycle.

So we can easily invent some backstory in which Athena sleeps with Baltar once she arrives on Galactica and is placed in the brig. We know Baltar is the prisoner interrogater and we also know that this type of thing happened later with Tigh and Caprica.Six. Remember it is Tigh’s head character, Head.Ellen that tricks Tigh into sleeping with Caprica.Six in order to procreate. This also takes place in the brig with Tigh being the mortal LOK and Caprica.Six being based on genetic material from the previous cycles mortal LOK. Since the LOK can appear to the S7 at anytime, perhaps Athena had a head character that also tricked her by making Baltar appear as Helo.

The similiarities are just too great to ignore but there is one further problem. Athena was pregnant before she met Baltar so for this to work they would have to reveal some aspect of S7 biology that allowed for someone already pregnant by perhaps a few weeks to become pregnant again. Since the father is a mortal form of LOK, I am sure that the producers of the show could work around this issue if they really wanted to. However…

Alternate conception of Hera

In Kobol’s Last Gleaming Pt II, Sharon tells Helo she is pregnant.

Sharon: Helo, I think there’s something else that you should know. I’m pregnant.

Just two episodes later, in Valley of Darkness, Baltar has a “dream” in which Adama takes Hera and appears to drown her in a nearby river.

Adama: Is this the shape of things to come?
Baltar: That’s my understanding
Adama: Only one thing for it then.

We know that the river is a metaphor for the space between life and death. So although this appears as though “dream” Adama is drowning Hera, it could also serve as a scene that describes the conception of Hera by the Lords of Kobol (see Speculation – where to next for another scene in which an LOK appears as Adama). They are effectively sending her forth into the world to replace Sharon’s child.


This would all create a very dramatic storyline in which Helo realises he is not in fact Hera’s father and this is just the type of character exploration that the show revels in.

There is a potential indication of this happening, though I can’t find the original source…

6/14/08: Tahmoh Penikett describes what happens to Helo in the fourth season: “His demons will come out. Helo has a definite penchant for violence, especially if he feels his family is at risk. I did a great scene the other day where he’s starting to understand the possibility of becoming a future leader. Helo is learning that regardless of how you feel, morally or ethically, cerntain decisions have to be made – and sometimes they require compromises.” (Secondary Source)


Using genetics, we can also see how it should not be possible for Athena to be the biological mother of Hera.

There are only two “hair type” genes, one for curly hair (c) and one for straight hair (S). Since we all inherit two sets of genes from our parents, we hold two hair type genes, one from each parent. The combination of these two genes determines which hair type you will express. If you have two curly genes (c) you will have curly hair, two straight (S) genes and you will have straight hair and a straight plus curly gene will result in wavy hair (w).

Hera obviously has very curly hair, in fact you could say its her defining feature, almost as if the show is trying to say something. Somebody with curly hair cannot have a straight hair parent and Athena along with the all the #8’s have straight hair. A curly hair child must inherit the curly gene from both parents and a straight hair parent doesn’t have the curly gene (they have two straights).

(See Galactica Science for further information)


So it would seem that the “next generation of Gods children” is another generation of Lords of Kobol and not a new generation of humans. The Lords of Kobol rejuvenate mankind through a cycle of destruction and rebirth but they are also part of the cycle and are in turn rejuvenated themselves.

Anders: I don’t suppose you’re gonna tell me what this is all about. I mean, what’s so important about this kid?
Laura: She may very well be the shape of things to come. That’s either a blessing or a curse.

The theory does require some work in the remainder of Season 4 for it to make sense to the audience but this would be entirely within the way the show is constructed. They throw things out there and then hope to resolve them later on…

RDM: and you just find ways that they all sync up together eventually…its its its especially as we’ve been constructing the end of the series its surprising how many of those pieces we were really able to pick up again and actually weave back in and there was surprisingly little that I feel like we never got around to actually, actually tying up (Source: Revelations Podcast)


2 Responses to The Conception of Hera

  1. John says:

    I am having a slow day at work, but some people must have very slow days at work to generate this much conjecture.

    One isue that is unclear for me is whether two cylons can have a child. I thought from previous episodes the answer was no. If the Six who is in the brig, is pregnant, then how is Tigh a Cylon? Cylons, as in early episodes, tried to or mated with humans. Cylons can not breed.

  2. Darkendes says:

    According to this theory, Tigh would technically be a human who is tuned into one of the Lords of Kobol. Not really a Cylon at all, but someone who believes himself to be one – he’s actually a Lord of Kobol stuck in a human body, or so this theory says.

    I’m not sure I buy into it, but it does manage to grab a bunch of loose pieces and make them sound like they’re meant to be put together a certain way.

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