|"Once again, we return."|
- "I want everything you have."
Laura Wilson, currently known as Persephone, the Greek Goddess of springtime, vegetation, flowers, fertility, death, rebirth and the underworld, is a teenage girl who became embroiled in the Recurrence when she befriended the god Lucifer. Obsessed with the Pantheon, she eventually achieved her dream of becoming a god herself. She also appeared in the 1920's Recurrence, and presumably in all Recurrences, although unseen. Persephone is the God that Ananke's sister claim would appear last during each Recurrence.
Laura was born in or around late May of 1996, and lived with her parents in Brockley, South London. She came from a mixed race family and had a younger sister named Jenny. Laura's mother was into rave culture, and her father was once in a band in the 90s, but later became an electrician.Laura's interest in the Pantheon predated the 2010s Recurrence. She attended Ragnarock 2013 and argued with David Blake, as he claimed that the current generation was uninspired and didn't deserve a Recurrence, but Laura passionately disagreed.
As the new Recurrence got underway, Laura became enthralled with the Pantheon and regularly attended their shows. By the end of 2013, she had seen Baal, Inanna, Sakhmet, Tara, Lucifer, Minerva, and several of Woden's Valkyries. She tried to hide this interest from her parents because she wanted it to be "all hers."
The Faust Act Edit
On January 1, 2014, she attended a show by Amaterasu and met Lucifer afterwards, who invited her backstage. This made her a witness when gunmen opened fire on a group of gods, and she subsequently attended Lucifer's trial and witnessed the Judge Holmes murder.
Laura mentioned Ananke, whose name she had overheard at the trial, in order to persuade Lucifer to let her visit. There, Lucifer offered to grant her divine powers in return for Laura's help freeing her. Laura went to Cassandra for help with investigating the other gods as suspects in the judge's murder.Laura attended a gig by The Morrigan and witnessed Baphomet acting violently, resulting in an argument with Badb that threatened to harm the crowd. Laura talked them into calming down and performing together instead. After the performance, the police arrived, and Laura witnessed Baphomet attacking a police officer, making him a suspect. However, The Morrigan gave him an alibi afterwards and offered to help Laura in the future. She was then arrested, resulting in an argument with her parents.
Before Laura's investigation could continue, Ananke summoned her to a meeting with the Pantheon at Valhalla. Ananke and the other gods explained that Lucifer's behaviour put all of the gods at risk by scaring the public and that jail was the best place for her until the murderer revealed themselves. Laura was angry about their willingness to abandon Lucifer, but passed on the message anyway.
After hearing Ananke's message, Lucifer grew angry and escaped from prison in spite of Laura asking her to stop. Lucifer revealed during the escape that the offer of divine powers was a lie to get Laura to help. Laura continued to follow her to try and talk her down, but could not get past the police barricade. When the other gods began attacking, Laura went to The Morrigan to ask for help. She managed to get Lucifer away from the other gods, and Lucifer thanked her, giving Laura her last cigarette. Ananke then killed Lucifer right in front of Laura.Laura gave an interview while still stained in Lucifer's blood, making her an instant celebrity. However, in spite of the fame, she sunk into a depression over Lucifer's death. One day, she imitated Lucifer, snapping her fingers as though to light the cigarette Lucifer gave her. To her surprise, the cigarette lit.
Laura spent several months attempting to reproduce the miracle to no success, remaining reclusive until Inanna contacted her to ask for her help with investigating the events around Lucifer's death, believing that a fan of the Pantheon was involved. She then advertised herself to speak at cons, resulting in an engagement at Fantheon. There, she contacted Cassandra for help with her investigation.After the convention, Baphomet tricked Laura into attending a karaoke party with him and The Morrigan; she was initially reluctant to stay, but changed her mind when he said she needed company who understood what she was going through. She came further out of her shell by attending one of Dionysus's parties, resulting in her effectively joining the gods' social circle. In particular, she spent a lot of time with Inanna. The day that Urdr's incarnation took place, Laura sensed something was wrong and began crying without knowing why. However, when Urdr grew upset at Ragnarock 2014 because she felt the audience did not understand her performance, Laura comforted her and said she was glad for her.After the concert, Ananke approached Laura in order to discuss her disappointment that she was not one of the twelve gods. When Laura admitted that she still wanted to be part of the Pantheon, Ananke revealed that she was, unexpectedly, the thirteenth god. She then prompted her transformation into Persephone. Ananke invited Persephone to sing, and, while she was distracted, attempted to kill her using a miracle. However, she was stopped by Baphomet and Inanna, who had followed her there, having realised they were all being manipulated by Ananke. Ananke killed Inanna instead, and Baphomet escaped with Persephone to the Underground.While burning Inanna's body, Ananke was seen by Laura's parents and subsequently exploded the house, killing them and Laura's sister, who was asleep inside. The rest of the world were told Laura had died with them. Meanwhile, Persephone and Baphomet stayed hidden in the Underground, where Persephone sunk into a state of despair. Baphomet tried to cheer her up without much success. The two slept together, and Persephone admitted that they needed to do something. They therefore developed a plan to rescue The Morrigan, who had been kidnapped by the other gods, and take down Ananke.
Rising ActionEditOn 9 September 2014, a barman in Highbury & Islington received a phone call from Persephone, requesting to book the place for a gig. She performed there two weeks later, attracting public attention as a new god. This caused Ananke, Sakhmet, Woden and the Valkyries to arrive and attack her, but they were no match for her in battle. The battle was actually a diversion so Baphomet could break into Valhalla and rescue The Morrigan, but they didn't manage to get out in time, having decided to take Minerva with them. Persephone therefore broke into Valhalla herself and took them all down into the Underground.
Persephone reunited with Dionysus when Baphomet brought him into the Underground. She told him her story, and although he didn't know what to make of it at first, he was reassured by the other gods' belief in her. However, they were then attacked by Ananke's faction and battle broke out. Ananke's group kidnapped Minerva and left, leaving Minerva's mechanical owl behind. On this, they found unwatched footage of Ananke confessing that she intended to kill Minerva as part of a ritual. Persephone declared that they would do "whatever's necessary" to stop her. She contacted Urdr and asked her to participate in their attack on Valhalla, but she refused.As battle broke out, Persephone fought Ananke's forces, including an even more weaponised version of the Valkyries. However, the battle was disrupted by Urdr, who persuaded both sides to calm down and check on Minerva. They found that Ananke was indeed attempting to sacrifice her, and united to fight against her. Persephone captured her in her vines and confronted her about all the deaths she had caused, forcing her to admit that she had been killing gods for thousands of years. Although Urdr wanted to keep Ananke locked up in a cage, Persephone disagreed, wanting her to pay for her crimes with death. Baal convinced her to back down, telling her it was not what her parents or Inanna would have wanted. Persephone seemed to be swayed by this argument, but then recalled her sister Jenny, who had been killed in the explosion at her house, and whose wishes on the matter she would never know. She killed Ananke in a fit of rage, violently exploding her body. The other gods were horror-struck by this, but agreed that they would call it self-defence to protect her from jail. Persephone then proclaimed that they could do "whatever they want."
Imperial Phase (I) Edit
Following this, she moved into the Pantheon's new headquarters in the Shard with Baal and Minerva. She entered into an open relationship with Baal, having liaisons with other gods, such as Sakhmet and Amaterasu, whenever she felt like it. She also slept with Baphomet yet again over Christmas, after he he allowed her to see golems of her dead family. As the new year began, she was confronted by Minerva about her treatment of Baal, to her great annoyance. She then made the decision she wanted her fans to address her as "The Destroyer".
Persephone met with the Norns and Woden to discuss Woden's involvement in Ananke's crimes. When they threatened to turn him over to the police, however, he blackmailed them with footage of Ananke's death. Persephone did not respond well to this and dragged him down to the Underground, where she threatened to make him suffer terribly if he didn't comply with her terms. Upon their return to the surface, Woden agreed to set the Valkyries free and help Urdr in whatever way possible. Though the situation was resolved, Urdr was concerned with Persephone's readiness to resort to extreme acts of violence.
Later that evening, Persephone relaxed with Baal and Minerva, watching television footage of Ananke's speech to the world after Lucifer's death. Persephone questioned Baal about his conviction that the Great Darkness was real, but he was evasive on the subject. As Minerva started ranting about being left to die by Amaterasu during the battle, she was suddenly snatched away by a mysterious shadowy cloud. Baal, moving to fight, revealed it was the Great Darkness.
Baal left in pursuit of the Great Darkness, telling Persephone to call Amaterasu. Amaterasu escorted her to Baal's family's house, where they continued fighting them, but Persephone's powers only seemed to make them bigger. Baal then showed up and defeated them.
The next day, Persephone attended a Pantheon meeting about how to deal with the Great Darkness. The gods were split between fighting them, doing further research, or doing nothing about it and letting anarchy reign. Persephone had the deciding vote and chose anarchy, which led to her breaking up with Baal.
Persephone embarked on a month of hedonism, with Sakhmet by her side. At one of Amaterasu's parties, she discovered that Morrigan found out about her affair with Baphomet and was abusing him. She then left and had a one-night stand with a Lucifer lookalike. The next morning, she awoke to find that Sakhmet had gone on a killing spree and was currently wanted by both the Pantheon and the police.
Imperial Phase (II) Edit
When questioned by the police she told them she had no idea where Sakhmet was, and repeated this to Baal later. She then accompanied Urdr and Dionysus to question the other underworld gods, but left at Morrigan's command. She returned home to find that Sakhmet was indeed hiding out at her place. Morrigan also paid her a visit, and warned her to stay away from Baphomet.
Sakhmet, professing boredom, went out, and Persephone called Baal to give him her location. When Sakhmet returned, she told her she had killed Amaterasu. Persephone appeared unconcerned by this revelation. She confessed to Sakhmet that she gave the others her location, and at that moment, Baal showed up and started fighting Sakhmet. When it looked like Baal was losing, Persephone started fighting Sakhmet in his stead. Sakhmet had Persephone pinned to the ground and was about to kill her when her head suddenly exploded. She had been killed by Minerva.
Later, at Valhalla, Persephone and Urdr started talking about the evening's events. Urdr informed her that Dionysus was brain dead after being attacked by Woden, meaning he, Amaterasu and Sakhmet had all effectively been killed that night. They started arguing and Urdr ended up throwing a beeping device at Persephone, only to realise it started beeping significantly more near the wall. They followed the sound and Persephone used her vines to smash through the wall, revealing a hidden set of stairs. They proceeded upwards and discovered Woden's secret laboratory, where they found a prisoner locked up.
It was revealed that the prisoner was actually Jon Blake, the son of David Blake. He was really the god Mimir, but his place in the Pantheon had been taken by his father, who had assumed the role of Woden at Ananke's behest when it became clear Jon wouldn't cooperate with her. Jon had been forced to make various items according to his father and Ananke's plans, but he managed to slip something of his own in there without them noticing: the beeping device that led Persephone and Urdr to him.
Unfortunately, Woden arrived and locked them all behind bars, having finally worked out how to counter Persephone's powers. He needed Urdr for his plans, but deliberated killing Persephone, who was surplus to requirements. Jon bargained for her life by promising to tell him what Ananke's machine did if he let her live. Woden then left, and Persephone confessed to Urdr that the reason she had been so self-destructive was that she felt responsible for her family's deaths. She explained that she had wanted divinity more than anything, and had been willing to give anything for it, and so she felt like she had got what she wanted at the expense of her family's lives. She then moved to kiss Urdr, but was quickly shut down. Jon pointed out the awkwardness of the situation and Persephone moved to release his locks, becoming shocked to see his living head apart from the body as he told them the machine did nothing.
Mothering Invention Edit
Persephone's thoughts narrate the arc, breaking the fourth wall as she comments about a secret to reveal later. She thinks about her situation, realizing the "road to hell is paved with good intentions" but the "road to a place is also the road out of it, just depends on the way you takes" and decides to change her behavior, including telling Cassandra and Jon to call her Laura instead of Persephone, and commenting that, if the machine does nothing, then they can't trust Minerva any longer.
Verdandi and Skuld find Woden's secret lair after they stop being Norns, as the cage they were in nullified their miracles. They manage to set them free and Laura reflects more, this time about friendship, when they decide to tell the world the truth about Woden. As they leave the lair, Woden teleports Jon's head to him, and they run back into the lair to find out he isn't there. As they receive a message from Minerva, Cassandra fishes information and Minerva tells them about Ananke's supposed ritual that could free her from the Recurrence and that are more secret rooms in Valhalla, specifically telling them about one behind Baal's portrait in the main hall.
Laura decides to get to the secret room on her own, despite Cassandra's protests, and tells the Norns to tell the world about the recent events. She reflects on her relationship with Baal, and after finding out the secret room, concludes she didn't knew him at all. Inside it, she finds the burned remains of children, and realizes, to her horror, that he is actually Baal Hammon and has been lying about it all along. Baal suddenly appears, threatening her with fire.
Baal asks her if she is willing to listen his story, and she agreeds. After confessing to her he is indeed Baal Hammon and that he had been sacrificing children every four months to protect his family from the Great Darkness, he imprisons her in a cage of fire. Laura, deciding that her desires to live are bigger than her desires to die, reveals him that she is three months pregnant, though she doesn't know who the father is. Baal lets her go underground and proceeds to burn down Valhalla. Laura emerges from the ground and sees the flames of Valhalla in the distance, as well as Baal leaving in a lightning bolt. She turns to her phone, and finds a message from an unknown number, asking her if any of what Cassandra had said was true.
"I want everything that you have" - Laura, Issue 1Initially, Laura was completely obsessed with the Pantheon and anything related to it. She went to the shows and gigs of several gods, and completely abandoned school under the idea that the only future she wanted was with the gods. She tried to play cool while around them in the beginning, and was completely smitten by Lucifer and Baal's styles. She displayed a brave side, even if inconsequential.
After Lucifer's death, she suffered a change for the worse, as she began to display signs of depression from the events she went through and having ultimately seen Lucifer's death and held her corpse. She became more distant, but more bent on discovering of proving Lucifer's innocence, becoming even closer to the gods, specially Inanna.
"Persephone's in hell" - Persephone, Issue 18After becoming Persephone, she initially entered into a state of full depression due to the deaths of her family and Inanna, but her thirsty for revenge against Ananke led her into a persona of hate, anger and courage, displaying her powers in incredible performances and waging full war against her. After she achieved revenge with success and settled their score with Ananke's murder, however, Persephone became purely reckless, still falling victim to depression, not caring about herself or the others anymore and wasting her time with meaningless actions. She came to completely hate the choices she had made and began to see her role as the Destroyer as a form of punishment.
However, after the deaths of Amaterasu, Sakhmet and Dionysus, as the secrets of the Pantheon began to unravel, Persephone began to reflect about her actions up to that point and began to change her behavior, asking for the Norns and Jon to call her 'Laura' and expressing what she is thinking and feeling more freely
Lucifer was the first god Laura interacted with, and so was her entry point into the lives of the Pantheon. Lucifer began flirting with her after one of Amaterasu's concerts, and Laura soon became passionately determined to find who framed her for the Judge Holmes murder. Even though Lucifer was sometimes dismissive of her, Laura remained convinced of her innocence and genuinely cared about Luci's well-being, causing Lucifer to describe her as having "too much faith". Lucifer's death had a profound effect on Laura, and she stopped communing with the gods for some time afterwards.
Cassandra helped Laura investigate the judge's murder. Although she was occasionally dismissive of Laura's fannishness, the two gradually became friends.
Laura's parents were mostly kept in the dark about her involvement with the Pantheon. They were concerned by Laura's secretive and sometimes law-breaking behaviour, but did little to prevent her from continuing it, for which she accused them of not caring enough. However, when Laura was in trouble, they tried to support her and keep her away from the press.
Laura quickly became best friends with Inanna when he recruited her to gather information about the shooting. He often comforted her about her grief over Lucifer's death and her sadness about not being one of the Pantheon. Laura eagerly anticipated Inanna's reaction to her transformation into Persephone, and was devastated when he was killed.
Laura wanted revenge on Ananke for trying to kill her and succeeding in killing her parents. Ananke told the other gods that she was 'The Destroyer', turning them against her.
Baphomet was one of the first gods Laura came into contact with after her incarnation as Persephone. During her depression, Baphomet and Morrigan tried to cheer her up, and the two became good friends. They slept together, an action Laura admitted was a mistake. They then worked together against Ananke.
Persephone and Sakhmet became lovers briefly, while Persephone was dating Baal. Their relationship was mostly sexual, though Persephone tried several times to get an emotional reaction from Sakhmet, to no avail. Persephone acknowledges that Sakhmet is a threat, but seems to have genuine affection for her as she was conflicted about capturing Sakhmet when she went rogue.
Baal and Persephone had an open relationship after the events of Rising Action. They loved each other to an extent, but were not truly committed to each other, with Baal still in love with Inanna, and Persephone occasionally sleeping with Sakhmet and Baphomet on the side. Persephone later reveals to Baal that she is pregnant, but does not know who the father is.
Minerva joined Laura once she discovered the crimes Ananke had committed. They became allies against Ananke. After the gods moved to the Shard, they began to live together and shared a friendly relationship due to having both a close proximity to Baal, but now Persephone no longer trusts Minerva.
Laura and The Morrigan first met in a performance by Morrigan in the metro, which was interrupted by Baphomet. The Morrigan promised to help Laura, and after she fell into depression, Morrigan tried to cheer her up alongside Baphomet. After she was imprisoned, Laura, now Persephone, helped her to break free and the two became allies. Persephone mentioned dating Morrigan briefly, to Cassandra, describing it as "having an angel of death for a girlfriend". However, their friendship dissolved when The Morrigan discovered Persephone slept with her boyfriend.
Laura described herself as having no friends whom she considered relevant.
PowersEditPersephone is a powerful Goddess with abilities over vegetation and the underworld.
- Chlorokinesis: Persephone is able to summon giant flowery vines from the ground, using them in a variety of ways in combat, such as whip-like weapons or a large vessel to fight the Valkyrie-Tech. The vines are even powerful enough to break through the seemingly impenetrable walls of Valhalla. These vines are typically summoned with the signature "kllk", similar to other Gods. She has overpowered Ananke, Woden, the Valkyries and even Sakhmet, who is considered the best fighter in the Pantheon. However, her vines are not effective against the Great Darkness, making them bigger instead of destroying them.
- Displaying the Past: She has demonstrated the ability to show people past events through the use of a black aura that resembles her tentacle-like vines. The events she has been able to show so far aren't seemingly restricted to ones she was present at, as she was able to show Cameron's transformation into Nergal. It is likely she is only able to show past events she is aware of, as Baphomet had told her what happened to herself (as she was unconscious) and Inanna, which was then shown to Cassandra. This ability has even been proven to work on Cassandra, who was previously never affected by the gods' abilities.
- Underworld Manipulation/Erebokinesis (possibly): Persephone dragged Woden down to the underworld with where he seemed to fall into an endless void of darkness as she taunted him for his past misdeeds. It is known if this is her manipulating the underworld or its own darkness within it.
- Underworld Teleportation: As an underworld god, Persephone has the ability to transport herself and others to the Underground, where she can evade the detection of non-underworld gods.
- Performance: Persephone's performances slowly engulf her audience in a black tentacle aura, making them feel a variety of emotions, most of which seem both physically and emotionally painful. "Persephone's in Hell" is seemingly chanted or heard during the performance; whether this is Persephone herself or something else is unconfirmed. When she performs her eyes become neon skulls surrounded by black.
Laura's godly identity is based on Persephone, the Greek goddess of springtime, vegetation, flowers, fertility, death, rebirth and the underworld. Persephone causes the seasons by travelling between the Earth and the land of the dead; when she is in the underworld, her mother's grief causes winter. She was famously abducted by Hades, who tricked her into remaining in the underworld for six months of the year by giving her pomegranate seeds to eat. Persephone translates to "she who destroys".
Persephone has been a part of the Recurrence since the first one known in 3682 BC. She incarnated in a puff of pink smoke, and Ananke beside her encourages her to sing. She begins to, but Ananke clicks her fingers and removes her head. This scene is repeated every Recurrence, possibly taking place in different locales besides where the main Recurrences take place, according to creator Kieron Gillen. The majority of incarnations of Persephone have had their heads removed by Ananke without much resistance, with the exception of a few who fought back. were able to actually kill Ananke, or were embraced by her. Typically she incarnates in a female form, appearing as a male only 3 times in the Recurrence cycle. Its interesting to note that each male incarnation has been embraced by Ananke.
The first time the head of a Persephone is seen to be used in a ritual is at the end of the 1923 Recurrence. Her head had been removed in 1922 by Ananke in a saloon in North America. She doesn't speak to the other Gods, and for some reason they don't acknowledge her before the ritual takes place.
- Laura's name originated from the song "Laura" by Bat for Lashes.
- Laura's design originated from the look of the girls on the bus near Kieron Gillen's home.
- Influences on Persephone's appearance include Sky Ferreira, MIA, Siouxsie Sioux and FKA Twigs.
- Persephone's fighting style is inspired by American ballet dancer Misty Copeland.
- Kieron Gillen has described Laura as one of the hardest characters to write, saying that, "With her, I lose so many of the easy tricks, the things I’m good at. I often write her badly, and re-write and re-write until it’s there. It’s rarely enjoyable, the moments when I smile in pleasure rather than empathy so rare. She is the train that crashes my heart."
- Persephone released a phone called Eleusinia, which was advertised in Pantheon Monthly. Eleusinia is the name of an ancient Greek festival in honour of Demeter, Persephone's mother. The Eleusinian Mysteries were a series of religious rites which tell the story of Persephone's kidnap by Hades and subsequent return to her mother.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 In Issue 6, the caption "The Life of Laura Wilson, aged Seventeen and Three Quarters" appears, the date being 28 February 2014.
- ↑ Issue 22
- ↑ Writer Notes: The Wicked + The Divine #1
- ↑ Writer Notes: The Wicked + The Divine #1
- ↑ Writer Notes: The Wicked + The Divine #11
- ↑ Writer Notes: The Wicked + the Divine #18
- ↑ WicDiv Challenge Day 13 - Tumblr