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Is Child Sacrifice a Recurring Villain in Today’s Pop Culture?

Game of Thrones and the new Thundercats reboot both draw on an ancient evil for their fantasies.

Dave Swindle


April 22, 2012 - 8:30 am

The barbarian king Craster pays a bloody price to maintain his revolting family harem.

At the beginning of last week’s episode of Game of Thrones — “What is Dead May Never Die” we learned a new disturbing truth: the wildling king Craster, an ally of the Night’s Watch, in addition to enslaving 19 wives (many of them his own daughters) also practiced child sacrifice, offering up his male children to the white walkers.

Other recent pop culture properties also draw on this theme. Cartoon Network recently relaunched the ’80s-cult hit Thundercats. To keep the show engaging for the adults who grew up with the original 20 years ago, the writers infuse each episode with more mature mythological and historical references.

Gone are the days of a talking snarf nursemaid. And in with a future aeon where Mumm-Ra’s ancient spirits of evil demand a child sacrifice, in episode 17, “Native Son.” Here’s the teaser below, hinting at the false kingdom gained from making deals with the devil.

So are these just two random occurrences or has anyone else noticed other instances of child sacrifice showing up in recent popular culture? I wonder if there could be a connection between the return of attachment-parenting and a revival of the child-murdering demon as a villain.

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David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media. He writes and edits articles and blog posts on politics, news, culture, religion, and entertainment. He edits the PJ Lifestyle section and the PJ columnists. Contact him at DaveSwindlePJM @ and follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He has worked full-time as a writer, editor, blogger, and New Media troublemaker since 2009, at PJ Media since 2011. He graduated with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) and political science from Ball State University in 2006. Previously he's also worked as a freelance writer for The Indianapolis Star and the film critic for He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their Siberian Husky puppy Maura.
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