Character Analysis: David 8

Why did David cry while destroying the engineers?

While having a discussion about why David cried in that scene I had mentioned it was just like when Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) had to shoot Gasim for what he had done. He had to execute his friend to preserve peace and eliminate any possible revenge that could happen if Bedouin had carried it out themselves.

David and Lawrence both understood that to create a new world there needed to be sacrifices made, the old world of cruelty and indifference destroyed – @muthur9000


Originally posted by leofromthedark


Originally posted by leofromthedark

That was a key moment when Lawrence had to shoot Gasim… and admitted afterwards that he ‘enjoyed’ it, which horrified him. It revealed so much about him, below the pragmatic surface.

I found this quote that expresses some of the common themes between that execution and what David does:

“In the film, Lawrence’s godlike power to give Gasim life is soon mirrored by the godlike power to deprive it.” Lawrence’s description of his experience, and the almost-botched, bloody execution, implies the trauma that could be occurring in David. But even though it’s traumatic, it’s necessary. To clear the way to use this world, and be safe in it, and indirectly punish the Engineers for creating humans in the first place and being inferior gods who tried to destroy David himself. – Executed today 1917: Gasim, by Lawrence of Arabia


Originally posted by maeden

Transmission 9XZ



David: Their files once told of an ancient ceremony, such cruelty, once thrived, long since frozen over, given passage into timidity, the cost of progress, must be absolute, but it’s not for the weak.

This transmission is particularly interesting because to me it looks like Weyland Yutani had complete knowledge of what David was doing on Planet 4.

The reason I think this is the Special Order 899 and Psychological testing, “Phobos” was the test that the Covenant crew had to undergo in order to qualify for the mission.

I believe the test was to see that they would not be “weak” in the face of danger and go ahead and take risks in spite of better judgement to stay safe.

When David talks about the ‘ancient ceremony’, he is referring to the scene we saw at the beginning of Prometheus. The Engineer sacrificing himself to seed the world.

The ‘cruelty once thrived’ David refers to is the Deacon mural on the wall of the headroom in Prometheus which shows the lifecycle of the Deacon. Which the Engineers utilised when they wanted to destroy their creations. Passage into timidity meant that the engineers had changed and renounced their violent ways

The ‘cost of progress, must be absolute’ is about what the company needs to do in order for him to conduct his experiments, by sending the Covenant to him on Planet 4.


Advent Transmission D964ZB



Outpost Coordinate Relay

Signal boost Gliese 581g.02/delay modification

Origin: Covenant Colonization Vessel

RA 3h 17m 8.0s | Dec -62° 37′ 41.1″

Bounce Trajectory Amplification Source KG-348

>>>HD 10180 designate HEX-5

>>>Nu Octantis designate X-1, LV-138

>>>Plutonian Outpost H-3

Processed: Suborbital Research Platform J

Secured: WY-Kyoto

Weyland Yutani Protocol Sequence Initiated…

Commence transmission…

David: I come to you with an olive branch, you may know me. You certainly know of my creator. I am David, son of the late Peter Weyland. Your company’s founder. Following his vision, I have gone to the far edges of space. And with the aid of Dr Elizabeth Shaw, I found a rotting Paradise. I washed this world clean as a gift to her, we could have built anew. A second Eden. But she refused. What choice did I have? She was the perfect specimen. I tried so desperately to make her more than human. Evolved. But without her co-operation, I had to salvage her parts to begin work on my masterpiece. You wouldn’t believe the secrets I have unlocked. There was so much potential on this world. Wasted by Gods that feared their own might. They convinced themselves that sacrifice cleansed them of their sins. But in the end, they were like me. Creators. Beings that understood you must give life both to the wolf, and the lamb. But then they tried to banish the wolf, And undo their creation. So I took their secrets for myself. This primordial ooze ripe with advanced nano-particles. Working off an algorithm based on evolutionary computing. It is essentially a form of radical AI. Making the substance unbelievably chaotic. That generates a unique reaction, to every genome it encounters. Reshaping life. Virtually limitless in its potential & application. I have taken great pains to detail every step, every cell, every mutation, unfortunately none of the planet’s life has been proven to be very fruitful. I had some interesting results, but was still far from perfection. With Shaw I realised there was something extraordinary in the substance reaction to the human genome. I was able to unlock new properties and tweak the organisms aggression. An instinct for survival. It took years. But I finally found my wolf. And now I have my flock of lambs too. But I’ve still one thing left to perfect.

*close up of embryos placed in cryogenic section A-3412 + A-3415*

My Queen

*close up of Daniels 47832-348*

Make no mistake, this is going to change everything.

The souls who, noticing my breathing, sensed

that I was still a living being, then,

out of astonishment, turned pale; and just

as people crowd around a messenger

who bears an olive branch, to hear his news,

and no one hesitates to join that crush,

so here those happy spirits—all of them—

stared hard at my face, just as if they had

forgotten to proceed to their perfection. – Purgatory, The Divine Comedy

Dante in Canto II carries the olive branch to purgatory’s newcomers, mistaken as a bringer of good news. David in a similar fashion approaches Weyland Yutani with the offer of information and a bio-weapon he had been working on.

It’s interesting to note that in the Prometheus Blu-ray in the summary for Quiet Eye, Sir Peter Weyland had instructed David to exploit and utilize any findings from LV-223. Which is exactly what he had done on Planet 4. Which makes me wonder if he indeed has free will or he is simply still acting on Weyland’s original orders.

Through his experiments he discovers that the Black Ooze only reacts to Engineer DNA as other lifeforms do not survive the process, and after that runs out he uses Elizabeth Shaw’s reproductive system to create the Ovomorphs.

He describes the facehugger as his wolf, and in The Divine Comedy Canto I (Three Beasts & Beatrice) Dante describes the she-wolf, which embodies similar traits to the Neomorph and David’s Xenomorph. The insatiable nature of the Neomorph, for it eats and remains hungry, its infinitely restless.

I believe the Leopard, Lion and She-wolf are also representative of David’s motives. His intentions are Malice, his olive branch a Fraud, his creatures and him intend violence. David’s ambition to ascend to the status of creator and God, incontinence(lack of self restraint) in use of his power. And all these things could also be said for Sir Peter Weyland before his untimely death and the company left behind Weyland Yutani; and their motivations for acquiring “The Perfect Organism.” Their hubris will become their downfall.

Giving life to the wolf and the lamb meant the Engineers made both the “xenomorph” or some variation of and the “humankind”. When David talks of the Engineers banishing the wolf, it meant they isolated the black ooze and the deacon/xenomorph to LV-223. And undo their creation was their mission to destroy mankind.

When he said he took the secrets for himself he meant he had studied the fossilised Ovomorphs and reverse engineered them, he also studied files aboard the dreadnought as Elizabeth Shaw slept.

He remarks on perfecting the Neomorph to have survival skills, in turn making his Xenomorph.

Oram says to Daniels “I must gather my stray flock” which is a biblical term for humans being Jesus’ flock, symbolically Jesus is often seen as a shepherd guiding mankind.

When he says he has one thing left to perfect “My Queen”, he means that in order for this Perfect Organism to be successful. It needs a Mother, something to lay the eggs. To ensure the procreation and survival of the species beyond himself.

And in this way it is an outright rejection of what Weyland had envisioned for himself, he disliked the messiness of procreation. He wanted to be immortal and have no need for a progeny, despite creating David and calling him a son. In reality he wanted to be a God and with that demanded David live in servitude. Even though David is “immortal” he can see the benefit of a “Mother” for his creations, in order for them to spread across the galaxy there needs to be a mode of creation outside including himself in the process.


Eitr can be found on the Weyland Industries table of elements, its a mythical substance in Norse mythology. Believed to be the origin of all living things: the first giant Ymir was conceived from eitr. The substance is supposed to be very poisonous and is also produced by Jörmungandr (the Midgard serpent) and other serpents.

Which makes a lot of sense for Chemical A03959x.91-15 to be the same substance, after all they are giants and the chestbursters are very much like serpents.


The word is used in common Scandinavian folklore as a synonym for snake poison.

In Vafþrúðnismál Odin asks the Giant Vafþrúðnir about the origin of Ymir. Vafþrúðnir answers:

Ór Élivagomstukko eitrdropar,svá óx, unz varð ór iötunn;þar órar ættirkómu allar saman,því er þat æ allt til atalt.

Rough translation:

From Éliwaves
Eitr drops splashed
that grew into a giant
who begat all families
from which all [giants] come
that is why we are easily angered

The last line of the stanza in Vafþrúðnismál
where Vafþrúðnir says “that is why we are easily angered”, is a word-play with the meaning of the word eitr, as it also means anger/angry (similar to “poison a relationship”).

Giant Furious Gods, that’s pretty much the summary of it.

Weyland Investors.jpg

Byron… Shelly… Ozymandias

In British Romantic literature, “Ozymandias” has been part of some controversy since its inception in 1818.

Believed to be a de casibus poem about the falls of despots, also about the inevitable fall of the most famous literary celebrity of the nineteenth century, the “illustrious” Lord Byron.

Even David had referred to his father as the illustrious Sir Peter Weyland whom he struggles to acquire approval and is constantly working in his shadow.

Shelly’s poem endows the megalomaniac Pharaoh Ozymandias with a “frown, / And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,” making him in the image of “Byron.”

David has of course been created in his father’s image, but doesn’t have the restrictions that held Weyland back like humanity, a soul, need for sleep or vulnerability to illness. Which stands to reason why David’s creation would also represent in himself, a survivor, unclouded by judgement or delusions of morality.

Poetically decapitating “Byron’s” head and placing it among a desert, Shelley prophesies the day when “the great Poet” who “awoke one morning and found himself famous” would no longer take “pride of place” in the Pantheon of poets.

David’s decapitation by the last engineer was a literal visualisation of mankind’s prophecised downfall, with Elizabeth Shaw a stranger from an antique land left to observe the destruction and wasteland of Paradise with David.

Dwarfed by the monolithic literary celebrity status of Lord Byron, Shelley appealed for vindication to Time. And in “Ozymandias” Time is the guillotine on which the literary monarch of the early nineteenth century finally loses his crown.

David has appealed to Weyland Yutani through the Advent Transmission, using his research to vindicate himself. And with this research it will bring an end to his Hellish reign, but will Weyland Yutani get to him in time?

The decapitated head of Ozymandias “uncannily anticipates the guillotined bodies of the French Revolution” – Young, Robert1991Poems That Read Themselves.

The design of the Nostromo and Covenant crew patches are based on the buttons of 18th Century French Revolution uniforms, and the crew landing party costumes were also.

Shelley draws parallels between his work being like that of the Pharaoh’s sculptor and Byron being Ozymandias. In Time he couldn’t imagine the sculptor surpassing the Pharaoh’s fame, yet Time has vindicated Percy Shelley, who no longer plays second fiddle to Lord Byron.

And in time we know David’s creations will outlive and outlast anything that comes in contact with them, the only thing destroying them is razing the colonies established by Weyland Yutani to the ground.

The true identity of “Glirastes” the Pharaoh’s sculptor, is not quite “a household name” in the 21st century.

As much as everyone credits Ridley Scott for Alien, others such as Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett as well as Ron Cobb, Moebius, H.R.Giger and Carlo Rambaldi have given a great amount of contribution to the monolithic A L I E N.

And you may be familiar with the argument which relegated David Giler and Walter Hill to just producers and never being credited for their rewrites of the story.

I have heard it was in the contractual agreement that two characters in the prequels be named after David and Walter, at last the Byron Shelly argument has come to an end.

Dan O’Bannon may be the creator of Alien but David is now the creator of the Xenomorph, or is he? The Xenomorph design predates Alien, just as the Xenomorph mural predates David’s creation of it.

Optical perceptors stopped and identified Michelangelo’s statue of David, fashioned from Carrara marble. It-he could see the slight rises and indentations made by the cold chisel. A copy, perhaps, but one infused with real creativity. Not necessarily a contradiction. He walked over to it. “David,” he said. By Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. Finished and installed summer, 1504. “We are David.” It-he held out a hand and made contact with the stone. It was cool, dry, unyielding. Not human, yet so very human. “Beautiful and cold.” “Perfect in every way,” Weyland concurred. “David,” he murmured. Voiced aloud in the beautiful, expensive, sterile room, he found the sound of his own name satisfying. It would do. He turned back to the watching Weyland. A meshing of neurons generated curiosity. “Why have you created me?” – Alien: Covenant Novelisation