Witches, Worship, and Woe

Hopewell Valley Student Podcasting Network 

Books, Ballads, and B-Roll

Witches, Worship, and Woe

Episode #8

You are listening to Books, Ballads, and B-roll the podcast with your hosts Bee and Alastair.

In this episode, we’re going to discuss: connections between media related to witchcraft, religion, and persecution. Also, we have some special guests on this episode: our friends Fox and Tommy!

Trigger warning

  • Rape
  • Religious critique
  • Spoilers

Segment 1: Good Omens

The book Good Omens is a 1990 novel written collaboratively by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It’s a comedy about the birth of the Antichrist and the coming of Armageddon that centers around a demon named Crowley and an angel named Aziraphale who become unlikely friends and ultimately team up to try to prevent the end of the world.

  • Fox discusses the magic system used in Good Omens, and how it relates to the powers of the different characters
  • Alastair discusses the connection to historical depictions of witches and differences from more modern ones
  • We talk about the comedic plotlines, religious commentary, and different characters in the novel
  • We compare the novel to the show adaptation

Segment 2: Her Ghost in the Fog

Her Ghost in the Fog was released in 2000 by Cradle of Filth, a metal band. The song tells a story from the perspective of a man whose love was killed and raped by a group of men while picking herbs. They excuse their actions by claiming she was a witch. When the narrator comes across his love, who is at this point barely alive, he is devastated. After they make a vow to each other and say their goodbyes, he burns down the church where the men have gone, killing them before then killing himself. 

  • Tommy talks about the history of church burnings in response to the Christian erasure of Pagan religions, a phenomenon that may have inspired this song
  • Tommy discusses the emotion of the vocals and explains the appeal of black metal, a uniquely raw genre

Segment 3: WandaVision

WandaVision is a miniseries by Marvel featuring the characters Wanda Maximoff (aka the Scarlet Witch) and Vision. The show follows Wanda and Vision’s life together in the idyllic suburban town of Westview, New Jersey. As the episodes progress, it becomes clear that something is off. It seems that their life only exists inside a strange magical bubble, which is being observed from the outside by SWORD (Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Division) by being broadcasted to television as a fictional sitcom. It seems like Wanda is semi-intentionally, semi-unconsciously using her magic to create an alternate reality in which Vision survived the conflict with Thanos.

  • One thing that makes the show so fun is that each episode pays homage to a different decade in sitcom history, starting in the 1950’s and continuing until the present day
  • The show also incorporates the 1600s, as one of Wanda’s neighbors turns out to have been a witch during the Salem Witch Trials. This is an interesting contrast to the futuristic technology that frequently appears
  • WandaVision is more nuanced than some Marvel films where there’s a heavy emphasis on “good” vs. “evil”; Wanda is both the hero and villain

Music Credits:

  • Flowers and Weeds (Acoustic Guitar & Penny Whistle) by Axletree
  • Marty Gots a Plan by Kevin MacLeod

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