Mother (Jenova) == Mother earth/mother nature ?

Molosev

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The main difference I can see is that with the Lifestream it appears to only be spiritual energy which rejoins the Lifestream rapids under the Planet’s crust and then is later recycled as a new lifeform with a new consciousness, etc (and thus the Lifestream as FFVII’s afterlife relied on reincarnation rather than an eternal existence, but the spirit would live on in new life). Whereas with Jenova the energy never transcended into a spiritual form at all and remained corporeal, like a decaying, yet changeable, alien zombie
The statement that Jenova is not composed in part of spiritual energy could be challenged.
At the end of Final Fantasy VII during Cloud's last hallucination, the entity that resembles Sephiroth (an entity possibly contaminated by Jenova) breaks down into small red lights that merge with the green lights of Lifestream. This could be an indication that Jenova also has a spritual existence. Now in the video clip that I present above it seems that the entities are broken down into different colors without being declared as foreign to Lifestream. Maybe these different colors are just there for the purpose of the demonstration but perhaps also that they represent different levels of consicence within the Lifestream.
 
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Dionysos

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The statement that Jenova is not composed in part of spiritual energy could be challenged.
At the end of Final Fantasy VII during Cloud's last hallucination, the entity that resembles Sephiroth (an entity possibly contaminated by Jenova) breaks down into small red lights that merge with the green lights of Lifestream. This could be an indication that Jenova also has a spritual existence. Now in the video clip that I present above it seems that the entities are broken down into different colors without being declared as foreign to Lifestream. Maybe these different colors are just there for the purpose of the demonstration but perhaps also that they represent different levels of consicence within the Lifestream.
I've just watched the ending scene again and I guess it depends on how you view the scene and that whole moment.

Cloud's spirit seems to leave his body and travel through some weird psychedelic tubes before finding Sephiroth in his physical prime (the way Sephiroth probably views himself). After Cloud defeats him, Sephiroth does burst into light and appear to be assimilated into the Lifestream (red at first, but then eventually green lights encircle Cloud).

A few things about this. It can be viewed as a battle of wills between the will of Cloud and the will of Sephiroth. Possibly neither are physically present, but they are battling in spirit only. In 'reality' Cloud appears to be standing on a platform which is breaking apart and about to toss him into the Lifestream (something perhaps his vision was warning him about when green Lifestream particles encircled him). He also imagines Aerith reaching out to him but in reality it is Tifa trying to save him.

Likewise, Sephiroth is still sealed up in the spot he has been in the whole time (being the creepy puppet-master he is), but his will reached out to Cloud for that one final battle after the party defeated him.

At this moment, I do believe it wasn't the body of Jenova which Cloud was fighting. I believe the last piece of Jenova encountered in the game became Jenova Synthesis. After that, it is Sephiroth. While Jenova cells live on through Sephiroth (as well as anyone involved in the Jenova project) he also has human DNA and thus can probably die and filter into the Lifestream like anyone else. The fact that Sephiroth survived as he did after being plunged into the Lifestream during the Nibelheim incident is probably largely to do with the Jenova cells within him, combined with his own will. He was reluctant to join the current of the Lifestream, and wanted things his own way. But he is eventually killed by the player party.

In fact, Sephiroth's death (and the death of others infected with Jenova cells - such as the Crisis Core characters and Hojo) are at the root of Geostigma, for the cells infected the Lifestream which washed over the Planet to hold back Meteor. So in that sense people who contain Jenova cells can become one with the Lifestream.

Another possibility is that it's not that Jenova isn't capable of ever becoming spiritual energy, just that she'd delayed her decay and held onto her mortal, physical boundaries longer than terrestrial lifeforms usually can. So if we were to compare Jenova as a whole with the Lifestream as a whole, the fact that Jenova seemed reluctant to transcend beyond physicality into a spiritual essence appears to be the main difference between them (there are some remarkable similarities otherwise that you have pointed out).


As for the different colours in Bugenhagen's demonstration, it is possible that these are for display purposes only, but we simply don't know enough about it. We only see the Lifestream as a stream flowing with all forms of life merged into it. We never see the tributaries which flow into the Lifestream. It is possible that there are different colours for plant matter, animal life, fungi, etc, but that it all becomes green once it reaches the main channel of the Lifestream. Perhaps that goes a way towards explaining how materia has different colours and isn't all Lifestream green.

That's speculation though. And since the red colour appears to be used for trees in the demonstration, if it was intended it is a little inconsistent when that colour is used for Sephiroth. Of course the colours could mark different things than the type of matter, such as age or type of death, or anything else.
 
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Starships

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The whole "fell from the sky " and the name Jenova being close to the name Jehovah always gave me a Satan/ Anti Christ vibe more so than a Mother Earth one. Or maybe even God himself or in this case herself.

I think it's more of the case of borrowing some themes from the bible.

Final Fantasy loves to have villains that desire to become a god, symbolize pure hate or hatred itself, or a god-like figure. In fact, it seems to be a JRPG theme.
 

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Something that caught my eye recently and that could help tie a link between "mother nature" and "mother Jenova".
If we take the original soundtrack titles for clues potentially connected to the plot and not pure abstract poetry, it's interesting to note that Sephiroth's theme is named "Those chosen by the planet", tending to suggest that Sephiroth is one of those (this piece plays in kind of every scene in which he appears, one could argue that in those scenes the heroes appear too...). This is totallly paradoxical if Jenova's evil influence is already at play during the Nibelheim incident but can possibly work better if Jenova is close to mother nature.

It seems like after all his readings in the Mansion's basement, Sephiroth arrived to the conclusion that it is "mother nature" (Lifestream) who was cheated/harmed. And when he depart to meet his mother at the reactor this is what he has in mind, he wants to help her regain control.
Because what turned it into a mad man can not only be that he learned his mother Jenova was a Cetra (an ancient human). It's also because he learned that the Cetra people decided to stop their migration and began to consume the very spiritual blood of the planet.
So maybe the title reflects how he sees himself at this precise moment, but then why "Those" if Sephiroth is alone doing his things (can't say that the clones are really helping much). Maybe "Those" represent him and his mother.
We know that Nobuo Uematsu wrote the score specifically to accompany the Nibelheim incident. Maybe "Those" refers to every character that participate in this event, Sephiroth included. But in this case, the event could rather be seen as an act of manipulation of its children by the Planet (Lifestream) in order to fulfill its will.
That she decides to arrange the bricks that will lead to her destruction would be an astonishing choice, but perhaps cleaning up herself of the harmful beings that modern Cetra have become would make more sense. And she could also be preparing an attempt to leave on board the meteor, trying to give a chance to the next migration.

Alternatively "Those" could represent everyone in the party except Sephiroth but then why would it be part of the name of his recurrent musical theme ?
Also this is a quite dark musical theme, probably not something that would fit for a heroic team (Could and Co) that would be chosen to save the planet from evil forces. I agree that their "evident" mission (maybe different from Cloud's real mission) is meant to be seen as dangerous, uncertain and scary but I personally wouldn't see this depressing hymn (with a heroic name) as the matching score. I wouldn't have the feeling to receive the slightest mark of encouragement.

I wonder if others can hear a resemblance between the melody of this piece and the melody of the opening cinematic. Something about the scales or the patterns used. Maybe a switch between major and minor modes.
I personally feel a resemblance between the opening cinematic's melody (in which we see Aerith for the first time) and the one from the coresponding scene of the movie "Parking".
 
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Molosev

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I just read an article about Mother goddess (déesse mère), I can't remember if you already mentioned her in our exchanges but I'm pretty sure you did.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the names "mother", "godess", "gaia", "Ishtar" and "Isis" (among many other) on the same page (the french page).
I looked at this picture of her that was represented on an old celtic cauldron and thought that maybe it could have been a reference for Jenova's head.

Jenova's just there to tie together the themes of environmentalism. Shin-Ra, Sephiroth, Jenova--they're all just foils to get the playable characters to find a personal stake in putting the well-being of the Planet above their own.
I find it difficult to conceive that "Jenova" can be used to connect the themes of environmentalism if we consider that it is foreign to the original life of the planet. Environmentalism is by definition a flood of political ideas that aims to preserve the nature of human action, which should therefore be considered a private matter to the planet. To say that "Jenova" is responsible for the degradation of the planet would be to remove any responsibility of the human race for this degradation. Which would rather tend to kill a possible ecologist message in my opinion. But I admit that I have for some time tend to question the primacy of this message in the game. I see more and more the human race in this game as an army of puppets.
If Jenova represents mother godess in some way, I can read a global environmentalist theme that would include Jenova.

I can see wings on this cauldron's panel that make me think of Minerva, Sephiroth, Genesis, Angeal and his copies, Omega weapon.



jenova_original.jpg
 
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Dionysos

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I wonder if others can hear a resemblance between the melody of this piece and the melody of the opening cinematic. Something about the scales or the patterns used. Maybe a switch between major and minor modes.
I personally feel a resemblance between the opening cinematic's melody (in which we see Aerith for the first time) and the one from the coresponding scene of the movie "Parking".
I think the opening theme does have aspects of Sephiroth’s theme within it. They’ve even doubled down on this in the Remake's introduction because in that they’ve expanded the introduction and have introduced some choral chanting and more explicit Sephiroth elements into it. A sense of foreboding being the intended effect, presumably (and it achieves this, in my opinion).

Like I said in your other thread (and I’ll reply again in there ASAP) I personally think that this theme's title represents either the theme of the struggle with Sephiroth (rather than Sephiroth’s theme itself) or a theme reflecting the delusions of grandeur in that Sephiroth believes himself and Jenova to be chosen by the Planet. His misconceptions in the library about Jenova's identity led him to believe that he had some sort of divine right to cleanse the Planet in some way of the people who had wronged it.

Dionysos
I just read an article about Mother goddess (déesse mère), I can't remember if you already mentioned her in our exchanges but I'm pretty sure you did.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the names "mother", "godess", "gaia", "Ishtar" and "Isis" (among many other) on the same page (the french page).
I looked at this picture of her that was represented on an old celtic cauldron and thought that maybe it could have been a reference for Jenova's head.

If Jenova represents mother godess in some way, I can read a global environmentalist theme that would include Jenova.

I can see wings on this cauldron's panel that make me think of Minerva, Sephiroth, Genesis, Angeal and his copies, Omega weapon.


View attachment 8958
There are two forms of Jenova at the Nibelheim reactor that I think we could consider. The first is the metallic effigy presumably created by Shinra (the so-called 'Jenova Doll') which Sephiroth rips out in order to gain access to the second form (the true, organic corpse of Jenova).



I’ve also considered some Ghost in the Shell and Metropolis (German silent film from 1927 which was way ahead of its time) vibes in her metallic effigy and the way the tubes stick into both the effigy and the organic aspect of her. Considering that both of these fictional works contain characters with ambiguous identities (and with Metropolis' False Maria she is a robot turned into a human in order to seduce and lure people into a violent uprising), Jenova the shapeshifter is at home with such themes.

I don't know about any particular confirmed influences on the form of Jenova, but there might possibly be some influences coming from the sculptures and ornaments of various goddesses in various cultures (including earth goddesses). Whether we consider her to be an earth goddess or not, Jenova is definitely presented as being like a goddess (in Sephiroth’s mind at the very least). Both the effigy and the body of Jenova share multiple characteristics with the depictions of deities worldwide.

For example, wings on deities were a fairly common method of expressing divinity in a variety of cultures. It was an easy way to express visually that the figure was above mortal beings. Most forms of Jenova have wing-like structures of some description. The metallic effigy is the only version to have the wings appearing more angelic and beautiful (the Shinra company's rendition of an ideal form for Jenova, perhaps, and the form of the single wings which her 'offspring' Sephiroth, Genesis, Angeal, etc, would ultimately grow at some point in their lives). The preserved corpse has fleshy protrusions stretching out from her back which resemble wings in a loose sense. The more grotesque forms of Jenova which are fought by the party tend to have their arms stretched out in a T-shape, but these arms also look a bit like wings with their wingspan at full length (like the Angel of the North pose). The organic forms of Jenova appear to be influenced by the 'weird fiction' genre and the indescribable horrors of the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft, and also films such as John Carpenter's The Thing.

But it has been discussed (here and elsewhere, such as in the book Final Fantasy and Philosophy) that there may be an intended subversive criticism of Western religions in Final Fantasy's Jenova. Jenova, like Jehovah/Yahweh/God is to Japan, is an alien influence on FFVII's Planet - at least that is how the Cetra see her.

In the mind of the Cetra she is feared as a calamitous destructive force, more like Set in some renderings of Egyptian myths, Typhon in Greek mythology, Satan and the anti-Christ in Christianity, and so on. She was probably not actually considered a deity by the Cetra, but I think the symbolism works.
 
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