“When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide”
–Demons by Imagine Dragons
Every Time I hear the “Demons” track by Imagine Dragons, I keep picturing the Lords of the Underworld dedicating it to each of their respective sweethearts! Although Imagine Dragons talk about their inner flaws when they use the word “Demons”, the Lords of the Underworld would literally be referring to spiritual manifestations of demons, trapped within their bodies. Who are these Lords you ask? I’m glad you asked because I’m going to tell you. Each of the Lords of the Underworld Books by Gena Showalter are lessons on how to live with your demons and about the people who will save you from your demons. Real demons in the book, everyday inner demons in reality. Since I have only read about one Lord of the Underworld so far via Gena Showalter’s Darkest Pleasure I will be covering the story from that book’s POV. The Darkest Pleasure puts Reyes (Lord of the Underworld bound by the demon of Pain) in the spotlight.
Pandora’s Box is a fascinating tale of how one woman unleashed evil into the world by opening a box (or jar depending on which version you have read) which she was told not to open. While some would argue that this is a valuable lesson in obedience, everyone forgets to reason with the fact that sometimes curiosity overrides obedience. Nobody told her what would happen if she opened the box, if they had I doubt she would have opened it at all. Everyone fails to see that women are victims of being tricked into things because of their trusting nature.
Pandora’s story is another classic example of how women are always faulted for bringing about the fall of man and the universe in general. Most fail to see that the same could as easily have happened to a man.
In the Lords of the Underworld series, Pandora is actually the Guardian of the box, tasked with its protection. However she is tricked by the Lords of the Underworld and her attention is diverted from the box. The Lords were immortal warriors at the time and were pissed off with the fact that they weren’t given the task assigned to Pandora. Vengefully they open the box and release the demons out into the world, without knowing about the contents of the box. The box goes missing and the Gods recapture the demons, but having nowhere to put them place each demon within the immortal warriors who released them and they become the Lords of the Underworld. The Lords became the box. By doing this Gena not only exonerates Pandora but all women, letting man take the blame for once and putting women in the role of saviours.
The PAIN-ful truth
Since Darkest Pleasure is Reyes’s story and he houses the Demon of Pain, this point is interesting. In the Pandorian legend, when Pandora opened the box, thousands of insects escaped the box and bit her. For the first time in her life Pandora felt pain. It can safely be assumed then that pain was the first negative emotion that mankind experienced. These insects escaped spreading pain and other evil emotions around the world.
Hunter Hunter everywhere
What’s up with Hunters? They practically live in every fantasy author’s story. The Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare have Shadowhunters. The Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon have Dark-Hunters and now Gena’s Lords of the Underworld series have Hunters. All three categories of Hunters are tasked with killing demons, but while Shadowhunters & Dark-Hunters are portrayed as protagonists, Gena’s Hunters are the secondary antagonists of the story since her demons warriors have soul.
Your Inner Demons
So the demon list!!! At-least the ones that appear in the Darkest Pleasure because this is the best part! Reyes the focus of the Darkest Pleasure is the Keeper of Pain. Other Lords in this book are Lucien-the Keeper of Death, Aeron-the Keeper of Wrath, Paris-the Keeper of Promiscuity, Maddox-the Keeper of Violence, Sabin- the Keeper of Doubt, Gideon-the Keeper of Lies, Strider-the Keeper of Defeat, Torin-the Keeper of Disease and Amun-the Keeper of Secrets. Cameo is the only woman warrior mentioned who was with the Lords when they opened the box; she is the Keeper of Misery. A short mention of the death of Baden-the Keeper of Distrust is also made. All the Lords are protagonists in the book series since they battle with their demons on a daily basis to retain whatever little humanity is still there within them.
In the Pandorian legend we all know that the last occupant of the box (normally shown as a white fairy or dragonfly) Hope saves the day, and says that though she cannot end suffering she can give the world something that will help humanity endure suffering and thus she gives humanity Hope.
In an interesting twist of events, Gena makes Galen the Keeper of Hope the antagonist in the series.
Housing your inner demons has double meanings in the series. While the Lords have to live alongside their demons as a matter of survival, some of the demons mentioned are the ones we battle with on a daily basis. In the Darkest Pleasure, the only way Reyes can satiate his demon is through hurting himself physically or unleashing his demon during battle. Even the act of sex requires him to experience pleasure through pain, which is why he seeks it from women who engage in BDSM practices. Pain craves blood, one way or another. Reyes cannot form an attachment to women, since his demon manifests itself onto then making them lose their sanity and cause pain to themselves or others.
The demon of pain is a loose interpretation of pain addicts-those who derive pleasure or satiation from pain, the demon of promiscuity refers to sex addicts, the demon of death refers to those with suicidal tendencies, the demon of lies refers to liars and so on. All of these demons can take root in a person at any given point of time and then battle begins. Whether it’s with the Lords or us mere mortals it has been reflected that the battle is always an internal one, that these demons are very much a part of you.
There’s really no HOPE for us is there?
Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man- Friedrich Nietzsche
Nietzsche paints a very sinister picture of Hope, normally attributed as the one of the most positive and strongest of human emotions, maybe second only to love. The Pandorian legend places Hope as the one creature that helps humans fight their demons. On Pandorian lines, Hope is still warring with the demons and the Lords who house them, but Gena in keeping with the sentiments of Nietzsche portrays Hope as the “worst of all evils” through Galen the Keeper of Hope and leader of the Hunters. Because he was jealous of the fact that Lucien had been made Captain of the Guard, Galen tricked the Lords into opening the box. After he became the Keeper of Hope, he disappeared. His main agenda now is defeating the Titan ruling God- Cronus and retaining control of the heavens.
Galen under the banner of the Keeper of Hope instills a sense of false hope and uses humans as a means to an end. Bottom line. Don’t trust someone based on the imagery he brings out or title he bears, because the face he shows you may be quite different from the true face he hides.
Facing our demons
Danika Ford is essentially one of the keys (the All-Seeing Eye) to finding Pandora’s box. The other artifacts are the Cage of compulsion (which the Lords have), the Cloak of Invisibility and the Paring Road. Danika is wanted by both the Gods and Demons of heaven and hell because Demons want to use her to secure passage into heaven since she acts as a portal between realms and the Gods want her to retain control over the heavens since she can cross over realms and witness what is happening in every realm.
All the artifacts pointing to Pandora’s box are said to be guarded by the monster Hydra. In Greek mythology this creature guarded the entrance to the underworld under the Lake Lerna. Essentially Hydra is thought to be some form of protector and the Lords think that Reyes is Danika’s Hydra. Because Danika is a portal, she tempers Reyes’s demon and sends it to hell, giving his demons temporary release. Because she is the All-Seeing Eye she is not affected by Reyes’s demon, which allows Reyes and PAIN to form an attachment to her without making her a pain-obsessed maniac.
Living with your demons can be excruciating. The Lords overcome their demons when they meet their soulmates, who invariably temper the demons through love. The Lords face their demons by giving their demons a new outlet or direction. In Reyes case, he overcomes his demons, simply because the new feeling he encounters of having any harm come to his soulmate Danika is more painful than anything he will ever face for the rest of his existence. He stirs his need for pain towards causing pain to anyone who would threaten his Danika.
Which basically goes to show that love plays a very important role in helping us dispel our demons, whether it is love you receive from another or love that develops towards another. Love stands as the strongest of all emotions, even Hope.
I can pretty much hear Reyes telling Danika “Your love is a PAIN is my A**!!” and she’d probably straddle him and tell him and his demon to “Go to hell!”
Reyes, Danika & Chibi Pain by GsLordslta (http://gslordsita.deviantart.com/art/Reyes-Danika-and-chibi-Pain-335732934)
Pandora’s box (http://a1.s6img.com/cdn/box_004/post_14/595763_2288323_b.jpg)