Episode 3.12: The Number of the Beast is 666

“Then I [John of Patmos] saw a second beast, coming out of the earth.  It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon.  It exercised all authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.  And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people.  Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of earth. … The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.  It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark… or the number of its name.

“This calls for wisdom.  Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast… That number is 666.”  (New International Version)

William Blake The Number of the Beast is 666

The Number of the Beast is 666 by William Blake


Richard Armitage as The Great Red Dragon

In both pictures above, the Dragon displays his glory for the Beast from the Sea.  in the Blake painting, however, the Beast from the Earth joins them in the guise of a sheep-like creature – a lamb but not a lamb – the proverbial “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

As frequently as Will is referred to as a lamb throughout the series, the appearance of the second Beast cannot be dismissed.  There is a dichotomy to Will:  He is kind and he is a killer.  He is dedicated to justice and he’s willing to bend the rules.  Hell, for the second half of Season 2, he’s so dichotomous that even he doesn’t know where his sympathies and loyalties lie.  Will is at once the Christ-figure of the Lamb and the minion of evil, a lamb-beast.

When you boil it all down, you have a lamb with a temper and a beastie that looks nonthreatening.  There really is no better description of the dual aspects of Will.

Anyway… things don’t end so well for this merry band of baddies:  The Dragon gets bound in chains for a thousand years and the Beasts get thrown alive into a fiery lake of burning sulfur.  But at least the beasts go together, I suppose.  To keep one another company in hell.

See: Part 1, The Woman and The Dragon & Part 3, The Beast Out of the Sea