The Prophecy
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Prophecy can be found here.

The angel Simon (Eric Stoltz) sucks out the soul of recently-deceased Colonel Arnold Hawthorne, considered to be the darkest soul on Earth, and hides it in the body of a young Native American schoolgirl named Mary (Moriah 'Shining Dove' Snyder). When the archangel Gabriel (Christopher Walken) comes looking for Hawthorne's soul in order to fulfill a prophecy that will end an angelic civil war in heaven, the only one to stop him is former seminarian-turned-police-officer Thomas Daggett (Elias Koteas). However, Gabriel will stop at nothing, even ripping Mary to shreds, to get that soul.

No. The Prophecy is based on a screenplay written by American film-maker Gregory Widen, who also directed the movie. It was followed by four sequels: The Prophecy II (1998) and The Prophecy 3: The Ascent (2000), both also written by Widen, plus The Prophecy: Uprising (2005), and The Prophecy: Forsaken (2005).

God has put humans in His grace by giving them souls and pushed aside the Angels, who have no souls. Consequently, some of the Angels became jealous, and they started a second war in order to regain their favored position at the right hand of God.

'There shall be a dark soul, and this soul will eat other dark souls and so become their inheritor. This soul will not rest in an angel, but a man, and he shall be a warrior.'

Hawthorne is said to have the 'blackest' soul on earth at the time. He was convicted of conducting human sacrifices and alleged cannibalism by he and his troops at The Battle of Chosin Reservoir in North Korea in 1950. Simon wants to hide Hawthorne's soul so that it can't be used as the 'dark soul' in the angelic war. Gabriel wants to use it to his side's advantage.

In some Christian theology, a soul in the state of grace is considered 'white', whereas a serious sin (sometimes referred to as a 'mortal' sin) blackens the soul. Consequently, the angels only have to look at a person's soul to see how black it is. Hawthorne's soul was the blackest soul on earth.

When Mary gets sick thanks to Hawthorne's soul inside her, Grandmother Emma (Emma Shenah) calls in a hand trembler (aka ndilniihii). In Navajo medicine, the hand trembler attempts to diagnose the cause of the illness by analyzing the movements of her hand. Depending upon the diagnosis, the patient may require a certain 'sing' (also called a 'way'), a specific chant that can only be performed by the 'singer' (Medicine Man). In Mary's case, the hand trembler determines that something is inside her and that Mary will need to have the Enemy Ghost Way.

How does the movie end?

Emma, Katherine, and Thomas take Mary up to Old Woman Butte where the Medicine Man (Albert Nelson) and the elders of her clan are preparing for the Enemy Ghost Way ceremony. Meanwhile, Gabriel has resurrected Rachel (Amanda Plummer), a dying woman who he wants to drive him to Old Woman Butte. Lucifer (Viggo Mortensen) appears to Katherine and Thomas and tells Thomas that the key to defeating Gabriel is by using Gabriel's lack of faith. 'What if an angel, just like you, didn't understand?' he hints. Thomas lays a chain across the road and, when Gabriel finally arrives, he pulls the chain tight, ripping apart Gabriel's car, so Gabriel walks the rest of the way on foot. He breaks open the door to the hogan and attempts to interrupt the ceremony, but Thomas drives his truck through the door, knocking Gabriel aside and beating him with a tire iron. Lucifer then appears. Gabriel tells Lucifer that this is his (Gabriel's) war, but Lucifer replies that the war is based on arrogance, which is evil, making it Lucifer's war. Lucifer then rips out Gabriel's heart. Thomas tells the elders to complete the ceremony, and Hawthorne's soul is eventually expelled from Mary's body and destroyed. Taking a bite out of Gabriel's heart, Lucifer asks Thomas and Katherine to come home with him, but they refuse. In the final scene, the Medicine Man scatters the remains of the sand paintings to the Earth. In a voiceover, Thomas muses, 'And in the end, I think it must be about faith. And if faith is a choice, then it can be lost...for a man, an angel...the devil himself. And if faith means never completely understanding God's plan, then maybe understanding just a part of it, our part, is what it means to have a soul.And maybe, in the end, that's what being human is after all.'

Was Thomas an angel?

No, as evidenced when Thomas decisively tells Lucifer, 'I'm NOT an angel. I'm just a man, which means I got something you don't. It's a soul.' Some viewers have suggested that another comment from Lucifer, in which he tells Thomas 'What if an angel, like you, didn't understand?' could be taken to mean that Lucifer is saying that Thomas is an angel, Awkward as the sentence is, it should be interpreted as 'Imagine an angel didn't understand, just like you don't understand.' Thomas was simply a man who, while studying to become a priest, began to have prophetic visions of the war between the angels in heaven.

Yes. The shooting draft for the movie can be found at Weekly Script.

The alternative version is the European video release version under the title "God's Army". As it never got a theatrical release, it was released directly on video and subsequently shown on TV in a full frame transfer. The loss of almost 40% of it's original widescreen image resulted in certain scenes being unusable, as even in a pan-and-scan transfer it was impossible to convey the visual elements convincingly. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.

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