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Silent Hill 2

My Pyramid Head cosplay (2010-2011)
My cosplay for 2010-2011

Silent Hill is sadly one of the most misunderstood game franchises in existence. Part of this is due to the fragmentary and disjointed way in which the original games tell their stories. The designers of the first three games didn't just tell the player what the game's story is. There is no “Bond villian wrap-up” at the end. The designers respected the intelligence of the player, gave us clues piece by piece over the course of each game, and relied on us to put it all together in the end.

But too many fans rely on information that has been circulated by many third-party documents, including some “official” strategy guides and plot analysis that contain possibly inaccurate information that ignores information specifically provided within the game. And when Team Silent disbanded after Silent Hill 4, this erroneous information became the basis for the plots of the future games (and the movie), further tainting people's ideas of the original plots.

As such, this is going to be the first in a series of analysis and interpretation articles that I will be posting on this blog in anticipation of the upcoming Silent Hill Downpour.

Of course, any discussion of Pyramid Head is going to include PLOT SPOILERS for the game. If you haven't played the game yet, read ahead at your own risk. Also, this post contains images and video that may not be safe for work!

The “Rape Time” myth

One example of an unfortunate misunderstanding with the franchise is that Silent Hill fans have latched onto this idea that Red Pyramid Thing (a.k.a. “Pyramid Head”) is a raving serial mannequin-rapist. I believe that label is unjustified.

The idea that Red Pyramid Thing is a mannequin rapist comes almost exclusively from this first major encounter with the creature in the apartment buildings.

Turn off the friggin' flashlight you moron!

First sighting of the Red Pyramid Thing in Silent Hill 2
First sighting of Red Pyramid Thing

Prior to the above sequence, the monster had only been glimpsed once. Through bars in a hallway in the apartment prior to entering the room in which James heard a gunshot (this room happens to be one of the most interesting rooms in the whole game for many reasons which I won't discuss here). At this point, however, Red Pyramid Thing is just standing behind the bars motionless. The player cannot interact with it at all, and it is unclear whether the thing is alive, or just something propped up on the other side of the bars similar to the myriad of hanging bodies present in the first game.

While the actions of Red Pyramid Thing in the mannequin scene do appear to have sexual connotations, no actual physical “rape” occurs. Many viewers of this scene symbolically attach the idea of rape to it, probably because the scene so closely mirrors a scene from the 1980's movie Blue Velvet, in which a character witnesses an actual rape by looking through the shutters of a closet.

Silent Hill 2 v Blue Velvet closet rape
Thanks to NUR_EIN_TIER from the Letters from Silent Heaven fan site

In the end, any implications of “rape” are symbolic at best, as the Red Pyramid monster's obvious intent is to dominate and kill the unfortunate mannequin monsters. At the beginning of the scene, they are alive and struggling against Red Pyramid's grasp while he apparently is trying to shove the mannequins down the sink's garbage disposal. In the end, they are lifeless and motionless, and Red Pyramid Thing simply drags them out of the room. So while the “rape” idea is implied by the scene, the “murder” aspect is explicit.

The rape idea is seemingly supported by this boss encounter at the end of the apartment section of the game.

But whether or not the Red Pyramid Thing is actually “raping” the monster, or if it is just trying to eat or smother the mannequin is unclear. In either case, Pyramid Head does kill the monster. So again, “rape” is only implied, whereas murder is explicit.

After this, Red Pyramid Thing never interacts with another monster in the game. What other significant event occurs in the game's narrative after leaving the apartment?

Maria, nurses, the “Abstract Daddy”, and the role of Pyramid Head

The introduction of Maria in the park immediately follows the first “battle” with Red Pyramid Thing. From this point on, Red Pyramid Thing seems to focus all its energy on killing Maria as many times as it can.

Mary from Silent Hill 2
James' wife Mary
Maria from Silent Hill 2
The sexy doppleganger Maria

Why doesn't Red Pyramid Thing attempt to rape Maria? She is supposed to be Mary reincarnate. And an even more sexual version of Mary reincarnate to boot! So you'd think that if Red Pyramid Thing is supposed to represent Jame's desire to have sex with his (dead) wife, then you'd think that Pyramid Head would be all over Maria.

But that isn't the case. Unless you consider killing her by impaling her with a spear (twice) to be symbollic of rape. Otherwise, Red Pyramid Thing takes no sexually aggressive action against Maria.

Silent Hill 2 nurse
Nurse from Silent Hill 2

What about the nurses? They are a very sexualized monster with their exposed cleavages and miniskirts. But Red Pyramid Thing never interacts with them. In fact, the only time it even shows up in the hospital is to push James off the roof.

Anyway, Red Pyramid Thing doesn't have to be a representation of Jame's repressed sexual urges because Maria is already doing that. That is, in fact, Maria's whole purpose in the game.

Furthermore, Red Pyramid Thing's presence as a rapist doesn't fit in well with its primary role of being a punisher for James. How does raping mannequins “punish” James? Is James supposed to be jealous? Is Pyramid Head being a cock-block? “Hey you! Go away! I was gonna rape those mannequins!”

Besides, if we characterize Red Pyramid Thing as a representation of Jame's sexual urges, and we accept that it is “raping” other monsters, then we are really implying that James is a rapist. But other than Angela's unfounded and paranoid accusations (which even she immediately dismisses), we have no indication within the game that James is capable of commiting such an act.

Abstract Daddy from Silent Hill 2
The Abstract Daddy symbolizes rape

In fact, there is already another monster in the game that is exclusively dedicated to being a representation of sexual assault: the “Abstract Daddy” (a.k.a. “Doorman”) monster. Angela was a victim of sexual molestation by her father, and the abstract daddy is a symbol of her father's sexual abuse. This is a literal and explicit symbolism because Angela directly refers to the abstract daddy monster as her daddy before and after the fight, and she accuses James of wanting to take advantage of her “like he always did” (pointing directly at the downed abstract daddy body).

Why do we need two monsters in the game dedicated to sexual assault? In addition to a victim character? And two other characters already devoted to exposing Jame's sexual frustrations? The fans seem to have gone out of their way to unnecessarily overlap Pyramid Head's role in the game with that of other monsters and people who already explicitly fill that role, and making everything in the game about sex. Yes, sex is a big element of Team Silent's style of horror. But not everything in the game has to be symbolic of it.

UPDATE Oct 9, 2014: Eddie and the role of Pyramid Head

Even more telling is what happens to Pyramid Head at the end of the game. In the climactic battle between James and Red Pyramid Thing at the end of the game, James must fight not one, but two Pyramid Heads! What does the appearance of the second Pyramid Head mean?

One very significant event that occurs between James' final encounter with Pyramid Head in the hotel, and his previous encounter with it in the labyrinth, is the death of Eddie. After clearing the labyrinth (in which there is only one Pyramid Head), James confronts and kills Eddie in the meat locker. Despite the very real justification of self defense, James is hurt and feels guilty by the fact that he had to kill Eddie.

James feels guilty for killing Eddie
Despite killing Eddie in self-defense, James still feels guilty.

With the blood of two humans now on his hands, James encounters two Pyramid Heads in the hotel - each representative of one of the murders. James is not sexually frustrated by killing Eddie! Nor is the second Pyramid Head a result of any sort of sexual frustration regarding Maria or Angela, as these characters have been present since the beginning of the game, and there's only been a single Pyramid Head during all that time. It isn't until after killing a second person that James' guilty desire for self-punishment manifests a second Red Pyramid Thing.

In this encounter, James explicitly states the purpose of the Red Pyramid Thing:

"I was weak. That's why I needed you....
Needed someone to punish me for my sins....
But that's all over now.... I know the truth....
Now it's time to end this.

Here, the character himself - and by extension, the game's writers! - is telling the player what Red Pyramid Thing means in the context of the narrative.

The meaning of Pyramid Head revealed
James explicitly states the meaning of Pyramid Head!
In the final confrontation with it, he must fight two Pyramid Heads, each representative of a different murder.

And the battle doesn't end with James killing the Pyramid Heads. They kill themselves. Here, James is finally letting go of his guilt and moving on emotionally. He doesn't need the Pyramid Heads to punish him anymore, and so they impale themselves with their spears.

Each Pyramid Head then holds a colored egg: a rust-colored egg and a scarlet egg. The scarlet egg most likely symbolizes James' guilt for killing Eddie. This blood is fresh on his hands. The rust-colored egg, thus, symbolizes his guilt over Mary. This murder has been buried within James' subconscious, and the blood is old and dried. The eggs act as keys to the door to the game's final boss, where James finally confronts the actual symbol of his sexual frustration (Mary or Maria, depending on your ending). Both eggs must be used to unlock the doors (though both doors lead to the same place), so James is literally leaving the guilt behind and moving on.

Alternate interpretation: the second Pyramid Head represents Maria

There is an alternate explanation for the second Pyramid Head. Instead of representing James' guilt for killing Eddie, it may represent his guilt for failing to protect Maria. In this case, the eggs have slightly different meaning. The rust-colored egg still represents Mary, who was tarnished and made ugly by her disease. The scarlet egg, then, would represent Maria, who is young, vibrant, and alive.

Maria is dead
Maria dies for the first time much earlier in the game,
and James is clearly hurt and guilty,
but no second Pyramid Head appears.

This seems to be a valid interpretation, but I don't personally buy it. Maria dies multiple times earlier in the game, and she appears [initially alive] in the final encounter in which there are already two Pyramid Heads. In this interpretation, the second Pyramid Head appears as a result of Maria's death in the labyrinth. But Maria had already died once in the hospital basement, but no second Pyramid Head had appeared. Furthermore, it is unlikely that these eggs would symbolize the duality of Mary and Maria, since that is what the final boss is designed to do. James isn't leaving his desire for Mary or Maria behind, as he must still encounter the symbol of that desire in the final boss.

Whether the second Pyramid Head represents James' guilt for killing Eddie or his guilt for failing to protect Maria (maybe which one it is depends on which ending you get?), the bottom line is that the Pyramid Head(s) still represent James' guilt over a death, and not his sexual frustration.

But I have to admit, that Pyramid Head is pretty sexy...

Regardless of all that I have said, to deny the sexual symbolism of Red Pyramid Thing would be absurd. It is in many ways a Freudian construct. Its body is roughly shaped like an erect penis. It carries around an oversized knife - which it does still continue to use (albeight only briefly) after James encounters Maria. And it likes to impale women with a spear (or two).

Pyramid Head concept art
Pyramid Head
a dildo (for comparison purposes)
“model” of a penis
Pyramid Head is a work of fiction. Any similarities to actual penises, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.

Now, I want to stress a very important point here: I am not suggesting that the scene of Red Pyramid Thing assaulting the mannequins in the apartment should not be taken sexually. There most definitely is an element of sexual abuse/molestation occurring. What I am saying, however, is that Pyramid Head's intent is not to “rape”. Nor is that actually what it is doing. Pyramid Head's actions are acts of violence. Not acts of sexuality. The violence only appears sexually suggestive - and this is, in fact, by design.

Red Pyramid Thing does not get its jollies from pretending to make little-red-pyramid-things with the mannequins. Its purpose in the game is to punish James and to force James' subconscious to come to terms with the events surrounding his wife's death, rather than allowing James to fall victim to the seduction of Maria.

Red Pyramid Thing and Maria are at war with one another. They are contrasting sides of James' psyche battling for supremacy in the real world. With James watching.

Occam's Razor

So if Red Pyramid Thing isn't raping those mannequins, then what is it doing?

The most likely alternative is that it is attempting to destroy them.

As stated above, Red Pyramid Thing's purpose in the game is to torment and punish James, and make him come to terms with his past. It does this most effectively by attacking and killing Maria (who resembles his wife, Mary), and therefore constantly reminding him of the death of his wife.

After the appearance of Maria, Red Pyramid Thing devotes all of its attention to killing her repeatedly because she is a definitive, physical representation of Mary. She is the one thing in the universe that reminds James of Mary more than anything else. But prior to James meeting Maria, the Red Pyramid Thing doesn't have any one person or any one thing to pick on specifically. Or does it?

Mary mannequin in Silent Hill 2
A mannequin dressed like Mary holds the flashlight

Recall that at the beginning of Jame's quest through the apartments, he finds the flashlight. Where is the flashlight? Tucked into the neck of a shirt being worn by a mannequin. A mannequin that is dressed up like Mary. I repeat: the mannequin is dressed up like Mary.

Do you get where I'm going with this?

That mannequin establishes a precedent that the mannequins are “Mary-ish”. So all violence commited against them by Pyramid Head (or by James) can be seen as symbolic violence against Mary.

So in summary:

A mannequin is dressed up like Mary. Therefore, mannequins represent Mary.

So Red Pyramid Thing assaults and kills mannequins to remind James of the death of his wife.

But then Maria comes along, and Red Pyramid Things says “Whoa! Why am I wasting my time butchering mannequins when that hot piece of Mary-look-alike ass is strolling around town?”

Red Pyramid Thing doesn't have to go back to assaulting mannequins - or any of the other monsters from then on, like nurses - because it has zeroed in on a single, ultimate target: Maria. Pyramid Head isn't a representation of rape, but he is a representation of violence, and is specifically representative of violence against women (a theme that Team Silent would revisit in Silent Hill 3). So yes, his design is sexualized because as a symbol of masochistic violence, he must be "masculine".

It's that simple. And you know what they say about the simplest explanations.

In fact, given this revelation, I can't help but wonder if maybe the number of mannequins that you kill might factor into whether the player receives the “Leave” ending or the “Maria” ending...

So why do so many Silent Hill fans insist that Pyramid Head is a mannequin-rapist? To the point that they cosplay as Pyramid Head wearing the movie helmet, black business suit, briefcase, and oversized wristwatch on which all the numbers have been replaced with the word “Rape”? I don't know. Maybe this scene from Blazing Saddles just might sum it up:

Comments (28) -

05/09/2012 13:54:20 #

This is not only a nice analysis of Pyramid Head, but also a great debunking of popular SH fanboy nonsense. Cool job!

05/10/2012 07:42:57 #

Thanks, Joe! I appreciate the feedback. Be sure to share with your Silent Hill fan friends!

05/11/2012 06:51:49 #

Thank you for clearing that up. You don't know how long I've been trying to talk to my friends about this xD

10/07/2012 19:34:48 #

CLEARLY, Pyramid Head is acting sexually towards the mannequins, there are way more scenes than just that one in which he does so.

Jane Doe
Jane Doe
10/23/2012 16:47:30 #

Okay, first of all, just because there was no physical penetration doesn't make it any less sexual. Red Pyramid is clearly, and I mean plain as day, enacting strong sexual violence on the mannequin monster. Secondly, the Red Pyramid thing is caught multiple times in violent sexual encounters with other monsters like the Lying Figure. Look closer at the monster before the first boss fight, it's a Lying Figure not a Mannequin (clue: it has a head and no arms) so that alone kind of debunks your Mannequin = Mary theory and makes me question whether or not you actually played the game. I don't understand how you can admit the incredibly strong phallic imagery in the monster's appearance alone but deny it is clearly forcing other monsters into submissive and highly suggestive positions. I can bring up other games and even the movie for more evidence of Pyramid Head's actions but there's plenty in the first game alone. It is not a myth, the Red Pyramid Thing is a sexual predator, penetration or no.

12/06/2012 15:00:45 #

@Lisa: Actually, no. The two scenes presented are the only sexually suggestive scenes featuring Pyramid Head in the entire game. The Fukuro video doesn't count because it isn't in the game. It was made later, after the game had released and the "Pyramid Head rape" meme had already started to propagate within the Silent Hill community.

@Jane Doe: Yes, I did play the game. I've personally completed the game four times (getting each of the default endings at least once), as well as watched three (going on four and maybe five or six) different friends play through the game in its entirety. You are correct that the second scene features Pyramid Head assaulting a Lying Figure. That was an honest mistake on my part, and the "Mannequins = Mary" thing is is intended as more of a food for though kind of idea rather than a game-changing absolute interpretation.

As for PH being a sexual predator, please reread the section titled "But I have to admit, that Pyramid Head is pretty sexy". In it, I state that there is absolutely an element of sexuality in Pyramid Head's design and actions. I also concede that the "rape" scene in the apartment is certainly intended to remindthe viewer of a "rape". The allusion to Blue Velvet in the framing of the shot makes that pretty obvious. But members of Team Silent will be the first to admit that one of the things that they strive to achieve in their games is to present an unclear image and let the player's mind wander. I believe there's a quote from SH2's director along the lines of "What your mind can imagine is far more disturbing than anything we can show on-screen".

The scene is not an explicit rape, but it sure is designed to look like a rape! This is done to make the scene more uncomfortable and unsettling for the player. The designers planted the seed of sexual symbolism in our minds, and the fans took it to the extreme! If Pyramid Head were a symbol of sexual frustration, then he should have been dry-humping Maria up and down the town. But PH doesn't. Nor should he, because he's a representation of Jame's unconscious guilt, and James (as far as we can tell) is not a rapist! James himself states "I needed you to punish me", not "I needed you to remind me of how horny I am."

06/24/2013 07:44:29 #

This article assumes that rape is about sex, which it is not. And like Jane Doe said, not all of the monsters Pyramid head attacks are mannequins.

07/18/2013 04:25:22 #

About what you said up there: "Pyramid Head's actions are acts of violence. Not acts of sexuality." I must say that rape is mostly an act of violence, and it is also about power and submission. Rape is not a sexual relation, it is VIOLENCE. That is why the scene sugests rape and that is also why it is so fiting for such a violent character.

07/25/2013 06:37:18 #

@Lara, that is kind of the point of this whole article. Pyramid Head is a representation of Jame's guilt over his acts of violence, and NOT a representation of repressed sexual urges.

One thing that I am kicking myself for missing in this analysis is that at the end of the game, after James has killed Eddie, a second Pyramid Head appears! This cements the symbolic nature of Pyramid Head as being a representation of murder and not sex, since James certainly doesn't have any sexual intentions towards Eddie.

08/28/2013 10:06:20 #

You're trying to single-handedly knock out a symbolic "definite" meaning for a creature that exists in a dimension whose integral themes are a completely chaotic medley of overt and repressed sexuality and violence.

So relegating the MAIN bloody protagonist to something of a straightforward ruffian makes absolutely no sense.

01/10/2014 22:26:08 #

No idea if this comment system will work, but hey let's give it a go.

I just wanted to say that, everyone's swinging about Pyramid Head being this manifestation of James' violence; but if you think about it for a moment, ignoring all the finger pointing on 'rape' and 'not rape'. If James was not violet towards Mary, yet grew frustrated from her illness & verbal abuse to him. -- Pyramid Head being the entity of his violence -- Who is to say that, the aforementioned "sexual urges" as to the excuse of why the manifestations to the Mannequins/Nurses exist; isn't also manifested in Pyramid Head? James was sexually deprived throughout his wife's illness. If he was restraining his dick, like he was restraining his frustration/violence (though he ultimately gave in to both put her out of her misery and to 'vent' as is implied), Pyramid Head would be the focal vent for both.

Remember boys and girls, this is a game that was intended to make sales with public audiences, if there was a physical/rendered penis, and the act of brutal rape, this game wouldn't of been on shelves unless the scene was deleted, that's just how things work.

Now my opinion on the scene that started this all is simple: It looked more like a struggle, rather than hip-thrusting whilst holding them down to preform any act. Hell, unless he came in 5 seconds, I'm pretty sure he wasn't having sex with them. At the end, when the Mannequin's legs were spread, that was the mannequin doing it, not PH. The creature itself (mannequin) is sexual, and PH not once knelt down to get to 'business'. - However, I do agree with the whole analogy on how that scene was made to plant the seed of sexual symbolism, particularly with the peeking-shutter-door point. But in itself, it was not a rape scene, it was just a murder with 2 monsters that are perverse in themselves. If you saw 2 clowns flailing around in the mannequin's place with the exact same movements, no one would even 'THINK' about it being rape.

The notorious "Fukuro" cinema (assuming that's it's official name) and that short scene before the boss fight of PH clearly humping in to the monster -- sorry but I refuse to take that as 'smothering' -- could very well be sexual acts, yes. Though we could still argue if it's actually rape or if the monster is willing/enjoying it. But that's just an endless debate that'll never be answered, so there's little reason to bring -that- in to fruition.

On a footnote, people say James isn't capable of such a foul act of sexually assaulting someone, though not once did they specify what his supposed Sins (plural) were outside of the fact that he smothered his wife to death. Remember that he drank heavily when she fell ill, and was battling with sexual restraint; he didn't want to do anything because he was already hitched with Mary. He may of been in love with her, but that implies he had other thoughts lingering in his mind. - Now I'm not trying to vilify the beloved James, because in sanity he's a good guy... but everyone has a dark side.

Bottom line here is simple: Pyramid Head is just as likely to be a manifestation of James' sexual exertion as he is to be James' violence incarnate. Flipping the coin to the other side, one could also say that he hated himself for both of those lingering thoughts/desires, which would only ~add~ to Pyramid Head being a grand personification of his desire for punishment (what he hates in himself/of himself). Silent Hill is a very, very intricate art piece, with more than one perspective, and more than one right; as more than one wrong.

As for this review, honestly I think it had a good roll going up until the Penis equivalent... No offense.

Conclusion? Pyramid Head isn't a traditional 'rapist' as we'd imagine someone with such a title, but a manifestation of -pain-, which governs all elements of James' repressed emotions. It's an alternate dimension, it's his sub-conscious coming to life, keep that in mind.

05/11/2014 23:58:39 #

This has all of the answered you could ever want ;)

Hope it helps

silent hill fan 1
silent hill fan 1
07/12/2014 11:41:42 #

People need to get over this rape stuff  it happen there nothing we can do about it

09/18/2014 22:36:26 #

I'm so glad you were given the Silent Hill Rosetta Stone. I appreciate that you are such a big fan of the series and dedicate so much time to try and interpret the symbolism/meanings of the game. However it is frustrating to me that you proclaim how Pyramid Head is implied to be raping the mannequins in the apartment to set up your argument but then you go on to say it is "obviously" Pyramid Head trying to force the mannequin down the garbage disposal... you say in other posts that fans force the symbolism in the game to fit their own vision of the game yet you do the same thing yourself when you make statements like "this scene obviously represents this instead".
I think you miss the point that the games were left ambiguous for a reason and the original team Silent has never spelled everything out for and left it up to interpretation. So it's good you have found such a clear "obvious" meaning of Silent Hill for yourself but don't go saying that other fans are completely wrong and that you are right!

09/24/2014 17:56:59 #

Silent Hill isn't all open for interpretation. That is a common misconception among fans. Yes, there are some things left open for people to interpret and theorize, but the actual idea in the games is to scatter around pieces of a puzzle and then the game asks you to collect all the pieces and fill in the blanks to find out the answer, which is there. Every puzzle has an answer. THAT is the reason why this game doesn't present answers directly, because YOU have to find out the answer, by using the clues provided. Not interpret things so that you can't be wrong.
As for PH, the original creators, including Owaku himself stated that Pyramid Head is ONLY a representation of James's desire for punishment for his guilt. He has nothing to do with James's sexual frustration or rape. Never EVER did the original creators say anything about PH being related to anything sexual in any way.

09/25/2014 03:24:20 #


You got my back, bro! Smile
Do you have a source for Owaku stating that PH is not a representation of Jame's sexual frustration? If so, that would be an excellent thing for me to add to this post! There are a couple other major points that I've realized since posting this article, so it needs some revision anyway, and I'd love to have a quote from Owaku to verify it.

As for whether or not the other creators saw PH as being a sexual creature, I often get referred to the "Fukuru" video that was (I believe) made by Ito and a few animators. That video does present PH in a more sexualized manner. I tend to dismiss this video because a.) it isn't in the actual game,
b.) Ito isn't a writer, so his opinions aren't necessarily authoritative on issues of plot and narrative, and
c.) the video was made well after SH2 was released, and so the PH rape myth was already propagating, so the video may have simply embraced that popular fan interpretation post-hoc.

09/25/2014 16:49:16 #

I got the info from the Book of Lost Memories I think. It provides also further info about the nightmares and the "otherworld". Of course the book itself isn't to be taken all as face value, but is something to consider and it also provides quotes and interviews from the original creators.
There was also the misconception that Walter has encountered the Pyramid Head once and he called him the "Red Devil". That however has been desputed here

09/25/2014 17:20:17 #

I also found some interviews with the Silent Hill creator himself and what inspired him to do Silent Hill in the first place.
You might use it in your other blog "Silent Hill is about occultism". There is that Malik guy who makes some quite good points and some not so good ones.

10/09/2014 08:30:47 #

Hi all,

I have added a new section to this article that discusses Eddie's influence on Pyramid Head, and the symbolism in the final fight with Pyramid Heads. Not sure how I missed including these topics in the original post, but I've been meaning to add this bit for quite some time now.

12/21/2014 04:06:25 #

This is just a part of my viewing perspective:
I agree with you.
Well, maybe we should ask ourselves, what makes a traditional rapist a traditional rapist. You said that everyone has a dark character. What is dark and what is its opposite? Lets just simply say "good" and "bad". What is "good" and "bad"? I think we can say "good" is to be conscientious and bad is to be not conscientious. That's the thing called "superego" in psychoanalysis. This is the thing we "get programed" when we where a child (what "good" and "bad" is). So, a "traditional raper" (like you said) describes a person who cannot challenge himself, for what he has done (because his superego wasn't programed - e.g. by his parents - to feel guiltiness), although he is guilty (due to ethical law). PH is a sembol for James guilt (and maybe guiltiness, there is a huge difference, and that's interpretation). The existence of PH is the prove itself that James has not a bad /dark character. He is ALWAYS challenging himself for his guilt and guiltiness. He is guilty, because he killed his wife. Maybe he felt frustrated and this frustration had become aggression later which was visualized by sexual acts (PH).

Well, just a piece of my theory...I think a psychologist could analysize the holy game to write a summary of it.

Sata Takayoshi (CGI director) said in the Making of Silent Hill 2 video that they wanted to use things which touches the feelings of everyone. Such as sex and death. Right after he says that, the PH scene is shown. I don't think that this happened accidentally.

12/21/2014 08:11:58 #


There is no argument that PH doesn't have elements of sexual symbolism in its aesthetic design. So I agree with you on that point. Showing scenes of PH after Takayoshi's comments on "sex and death" in the "Making of" video is showing an example of how the team used sexual motifs and imagery in order to add an additional icky factor to the representations of death. It should not necessarily be taken as an example of the team outright depicting acts of sex. The point is that PH's scenes are designed to look sexual in order to appear more disturbing on a primal level, but they aren't actual acts of sexuality. It's a subtle difference.

The fact that a second PH appears after James kills Eddie makes PH's relation to James' guilt for murder pretty explicit!

Thanks again for the great discussion, everyone! Everyone has very good points of view and insight into this topic. I'm so glad that this hasn't just devolved into flame wars, which is what I usually received when I posted stuff like this on forums, LoL.

04/18/2015 07:59:23 #

Really good analysis, man! And by the way, it's a really good game. It's kinda rare these days to find this...Piece of art, no?

02/28/2016 03:53:55 #

One idea I've had about the eggs released by the duo PH towards the end: could the rusty one have that appearance to symbolize Mary's disease?

03/01/2016 03:44:26 #


Yes, the idea that the rust-colored egg symbolizes Mary is a popular interpretation, and I did mention it in the section: "Alternate Interpretation: the second Pyramid Head represents Maria"

In both interpretations, the rusty egg represents Mary, and is rusty to symbolize her disease. The second egg either symbolizes Maria or Eddie, both of whom were young and healthy (and in Maria's case, vibrant).

08/20/2016 09:49:24 #

What about the third pyramid head that killed maria, why did you forget about that?

07/20/2017 14:27:34 #


Late to the party but this brought so much joy to see it wasn't just me seeing all these things!

I got increasingly annoyed while reading SH2 "theories" that are so narrow minded I didn't think I played the same game. The game I've played countless times in 10 years! The more I played the more I saw the closet-scene as a vertical-parallel to how James killed Mary. (Though he can't smother something with no face, of course he'd be struggling.

Another annoyance is "James is a  misogynist!" Where does that even come from?! Him trying to help Angela though she's (rightfully!) unstable, or that he killed Mary to put her out of her misery. And maybe his own only DEEP DOWN - which is exactly why he's going through this guilt struggle SH style.

Taking that Guy considers the In Water canon and confirmed Mary was in the car, I have no doubt he went to SH, her favorite place, to dispose of her body with his own life because he was beyond guilty for what he did. The magic of SH took over then.

Seriously- great analysis!!

(Despite my possible James-sympathy-love bias, I'm still a highly logical female annoyed at "fans" who reach and reach to demonized him more than necessary without any understanding the story at all.)

05/12/2018 15:58:29 #

I have read all of your analysis about Silent Hill but I never read this one before, excellent article as always!

Seriously, I think you should make videos about your analysis, I know that there are some like Twin Perfect where some of your ideas are shown, but specific topics like this about "Pyramid Head not being a rapist" are absent, and even more people can see your work.

For now, I still sharing your work every time somebody talks about fan-overtheories.

08/19/2021 17:16:29 #

Hm.  I agree with the majority of what you’ve said, but I’d go farther: I don’t think there’s any intentional sexual symbolism to Pyramid Head’s design, nor that he’s representative of violence against women.  I can’t quite wrap my head around the idea that his body looks like an erect penis - no more than any standing human, I’d have said, or slightly less - and the knife… well, sometimes a large knife is just a large knife.  As for women, yes, Mary is a woman and violence is committed against her, but her sex is unrelated to the violence in question.  Misogyny is not a component.

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