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Friday, March 20, 2015

Heresy in the First Degree- Thodin of the Ostral-B Pair

That omg moment when you wake up at 5 a.m. nearly 13 years after the show is over and realize that they probably added Thodin to the Divine Assassin collection (you can own them all!) and used him to help with the culling and cleansing in s1ep4's Giga Shadow. Disclaimer- I don't read fanfic. Ever. Unless a friend shoves one in my face and that hasn't happened in years. If a Lexx fan out there has actually written about this happening to Thodin, kudos to you. I'm sure there is at least one Russian fan out there who was brilliant enough to run with this idea.



Thodin, proclaimed Arch-Heretic by His Divine Shadow, is the leader of a small gang of Ostral-B rebels, or "heretics" opposed to the Divine Order when we see him. He was likely much more than that, since leading a strike force into the heart of enemy territory to steal the biggest weapon of mass destruction ever created would take the sort of precision and team loyalty that any black ops team knows means do or die.

We have some idea of how long this had been in the planning stages. In the first movie I Worship His Shadow, we learn that Stanley Tweedle is still carrying one or more secret codes embedded in his teeth. We further learn in the fourth movie Giga Shadow that Stanley was originally caught by Sub-Nebulae mercenaries (Sub-Ns for short) and turned over to His Shadow, who then named him Arch-Traitor and kept him alive for years in the ironic position of processing prisoners as a security guard, which sent strong messages to outlying planets not yet incorporated into the League of 20,000 Planets. Thodin not only knew Stanley Tweedle and mocked his title of Arch-Traitor, but was probably his commanding officer when Stanley was assistant deputy backup courier in charge of getting the codes across enemy territory.

Not turning this into a Stanley bio, but Stanley is crucial to understanding more about Thodin, since he is the last living person to have spoken to him (unless you count the Zev kiss and then the heretic who was immediately eaten by a Cluster Lizard), and their last conversation revealed so much in so little time about their relationship before Thodin was killed.

Click to go to The Pic Bug
Thodin was beyond angry at the sight of Stanley, to the point of distraction from his mission. One might think that if Thodin had been able to set his emotions aside, he might have been able to utilize Stanley's inside knowledge of the Cluster, particularly the finer points on security (makes sense, doesn't it?), but Thodin was so obviously incensed to find Stanley still alive that he couldn't help taking the extra minute to berate Stanley personally for the difficult position his capture had put them all in, on top of the many years Stanley had been humiliated as the Arch Traitor anyway. Meanwhile, Stanley was surprised and relieved to see Thodin still alive since the Reform Planets had been destroyed after his capture, based on coordinates found in one of his teeth. Basically, Thodin had to come re-steal what they had stolen in the first place, except now the Lexx was more than codes- it was fully grown and would have to be flown out.

:edit: 3-22-15 I originally prepublished this post before I was done, which a handful of you saw (12 direct link hits from twitter and G+, additional whole page views also happened before I did this update). The issue I posed to twitter (which turned out to be a nonissue for the one fan who responded) was about how the Ericon raid was played out. I have oscillated from one event to two events back to one event. "The first raid to smuggle out the Lexx codes must have gone off without a hitch until Stanley got caught, after that it turned into a war going back to steal a copy of the Key so they could steal the actual Lexx." I recant that. It was one trip to Ericon for both the codes and the Key, they barely made it out alive, and the Key lived inside Thodin all the years Stanley was prisoner on the Cluster, where the Lexx was being grown. How Thodin actually acquired the key during the heist is left to speculation. It was doubtful he throttled anyone for it since a- the Lexx hadn't been grown yet, and b- it was meant for His Shadow. This makes Thodin the true original captain of the Lexx, and this may be why he was able to willingly pass it along. Everyone afterward has inherited the key by means of death or sexual ecstacy, a spiritual 'death' state.


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Originally, the Lexx was designed by two Ericon biocode specialists, one of whom turned out to be Brizon. The Lexx was meant to be grown on the Cluster for His Shadow, a planet killer more powerful than any weapon that had ever been built in the two universes, including the Foreshadow, which we watched destroy every living thing on Brunnis 2 in only 20 shots (I counted the firing noises, it might have been 19 if editing put two sound effects too close together), leaving behind a blackened dead planet. The Lexx would be able to blow a planet up into pieces with one shot, making the stolen codes (over which a war cost millions of lives) a last desperate hope against a government that had been spreading across the Light Universe for thousands of years engulfing all of humanity, following a war with a race of Insects that had lasted thousands of years more before that. The League of 20,000 Planets forced a restrictive political religion that not only turned humanity into a slave culture, but very literally absorbed humanity into itself, as we see in Giga Shadow. The League didn't hesitate to reward crime syndicates for their cooperation in acquiring and turning over information and hostages, and Stanley Tweedle happened to be the one who got caught attempting to smuggle the stolen codes after the Heretics finally wrested them off Ericon.

The planet of Ostral-B, above all the other Reform Planets, was apparently famous as a staunch hold-out from the League and became synonymous with heretics and traitors, which is most likely League-speak. Joining the resistance meant politically aligning with Ostral-B, which was very dangerous since His Shadow had the resources to wipe out all life on a planet in minutes. As we must imagine, defense technology had developed into planet-level cloaking capabilities, which is confirmed in season two's Brigadoom. Since Brunnis 2 was destroyed 2000 years before Thodin's attempt to steal the Lexx, we don't know whether Brunnis 2 was part of the Ostral-B reform alliance or if the Ostral-B alliance came later. We do know that the Ostral-B were aware of the Brunnen-G being lost to history, and could reasonably make the assumption that they either once shared technology or one may have grown out of the other from another time further back, which could also conceivably make the Brunnen-G and Ostral-B very distantly related, as Vulcans and Romulans are in the Trek universe. But all that is speculation. For now, let us assume that Thodin and Stanley Tweedle were both actually from Ostral-B.

I have mentioned the curious incongruity between what appears to be low level culture and high level tech keeping that culture in place on the Cluster and throughout the League. That Thodin and his gang look a bit like steampunk warriors belies the sheer knowledge and experience they had with Insect technology for what must have been not only lifelong but intergenerational warfare. We can probably assume from even this small amount of information gathering that Thodin was an extremely high-ranked and well-known person bordering on legend across the Light Universe. The Cluster had evidently been attempting to acquire this publicly named Arch Heretic for years, as we see they already have his judicial proceedings prerecorded for very swift justice and execution. Ironically, it would seem that Thodin and his rebels might have somehow previously infiltrated the Cluster's automatic coding locks and procedures and used being captured as a sure way in without getting caught, because they were ingeniously already caught. I also believe they chose the gate change, but this is still highly debatable, and they obviously had no idea their own Stanley Tweedle would be manning that particular switch, just as Stanley had no idea they were on board the transport to which he was refusing to give docking permission. From I Worship His Shadow- Part 2- The Cluster, "A security guard with 991 demerits is almost late reporting to work at Department 511 Level 4. A prisoner transport has been diverted to Gate 511. This is Thodin's day of justice... "



This being the most important day in the history of the two universes, we're very surprised to see Thodin killed early on, after surviving so much war in the first place. His presence turned out to be crucial as he carried a copy of the Key to the Lexx, biotech created to reside within the body of its captain, which should have been His Shadow. As Thodin rants to Stanley about the war on Ericon where millions died so he could get the Key, we don't yet realize that Stanley failing to smuggle the Lexx codes in the first place is the reason it must be stolen now after it is grown. The Key, originating from Insect Essence and biocoded along with the Lexx, is the only way to operate the Lexx, using a host as an interfacing catalyst. If the codes had been smuggled successfully, Thodin would already be on the brink of using the Lexx himself as its captain, instead of stealing it.

~~~~~~~~~

:edit: 3-22-15 Since I'm coming back to this two days later, that's go ahead and switch gears before I get lost in the history obsessing again.

Thodin was played by Barry Bostwick. I don't think he has a twitter, but here he is on facebook.


Ok, THODIN. This outfit is outrageously awesome. I've seen all kinds of speculation in forums through the years about what kind of warrior outfit this is, is there any significance, on and on. First of all, get standardized military uniforms out of your head. This isn't Earth, and it's not the Cluster. Next, notice the vibrant colors, much like the Brunnen-G. Kai wasn't wearing a warrior outfit when he was killed. Now think about what Thodin was actually doing, his goals, how he aimed to achieve his goals. I'm going to jump to a scenario that helps me visualize a little more what's actually going on.

Thodin and his gang of heretics wanted to be caught so they could get to the Lexx. They wound up on a transport carrying Zev Bellringer and Giggerota. Zev is from B3K. It's highly improbable that Zev had ever been off-planet, so I'm going to assume that the prisoners on this transport were gathered from B3K. Giggerota was charged with ravaging temples and eating priests, a setting which seems to be a theme when we look back through Zev's memories and conceivably fits in with being assigned to a wife bank training center and then going berzerk. But why are the heretics on B3K? Because the Reform Planets have all been destroyed. These are presumably the last of the heretics hiding out among the B3K citizenry, and we know that B3K is part of the League of 20,000 Planets. Thodin has probably been lurking in a base of underground operations on B3K ever since Stanley got caught. Or, who knows, maybe they had previously infiltrated the League and established this base before it all went down, and now it came in handy.

So if Thodin is hiding and wants to get caught so he can get into the Cluster and steal the Lexx, what does he need to do to get caught? Well, I'd call donning a ceremonial Ostral-B outfit and wearing it in public on B3K a good way to get some big attention real fast. From there it wouldn't take much for Thodin and a few co-conspitators tussling with authorities and being recognized to wind up exactly where they wanted to be, on a transport heading to the Cluster for special execution. We know Thodin smuggled in a bug bomb which was preprogrammed with blueprints and detailed instructions, so it's likely that B3K was an ideal place to lay down an undercover information pipeline that might have gone all the way into the Cluster. That would explain how they were able to get the gate change, which apparently got them as close to the Lexx as possible once they were inside. From there, Thodin and his gang acquired black packs and then managed to quickly reach the Lexx, so they clearly had help on the inside regarding building plans, codes, timing, you name it. This plan must have taken years to set up. (Remember that when you see Stanley slapping at the bug bomb.) At any rate, I can imagine how apropos it would have been, had Thodin successfully pulled off the Lexx heist, to blast up the Cluster wearing ceremonial Ostral-B garb after his planet had been blown up. BOOYA!!


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There are two things that Thodin unwittingly did that weren't according to plan and unintentionally made huge differences later. After the bug bomb detonated and he was pulling his heretics off the prisoner slabs, Thodin caved to releasing a prisoner known as Giggerota the Wicked. Giggerota is later responsible for getting Stanley up to the command center of the Lexx in a moth, then it's her idea to steer toward the Frontier, which gave them a head start. While we are speaking of prisoners, remember that Thodin was detained inside his own special unit during transport, so he isn't wearing the slab bands like the other heretics or like Zev is still wearing even after her transformation. He and Zev probably never saw each other before they met near the Lexx, even though they came in on the same transport, since she was already in processing by the time the bug bomb detonated and Thodin was brought back to the slabs. He and the other heretics never blinked at her slab bands (I doubt any of them recognized her as being from the same transport), and were so caught up in running into Stanley and stealing the Lexx that Zev wasn't much more than a wild card thrown into the mix. Thodin is responsible for shoving her onto the Lexx before she could be killed by a Divine Assassin. Zev is responsible for both bringing 790 on board and knocking out Stanley's tooth, a combination that proved extremely useful as another code was discovered for a flight path to the Dark Zone. She also told Stanley to stand up and die with dignity, which Stanley later exaggerated into mocking Divine Predecessors like no human in the Light Universe had ever done in all the millennia that humans had been savagely enslaved and abused.

I know I go off on tangents, but because of Thodin, these other things happened. Under all that brusque, Thodin apparently had a heart of gold for the ladies, and it made all the difference in the Two Universes.

--there may be a part 2 down the road--

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