'Manifest' Season 2: The peacock, star and other symbols that dot the show and what they mean
While there were few signs in Season 1, we have had many in the second season and somehow all of them point to Ben Stone's significance
One of the biggest aspects of NBC's 'Manifest' focuses on the folklore and symbology that is littered across the episodes and the plotlines. It's clear that these symbols offer clues as to what the eventual answer might lead us to.
While there were not many in Season 1, we have had many more in the second season. So let's take a look at all the symbols we have come across and what that means for the future of 'Manifest'.
First, there is the peacock. The peacock initially appeared in Season 1 finale and since then we have been wondering what it meant. When Ben saw the peacock in his calling in that episode, many fans even theorized that Robert Vance was not dead as the peacock symbolizes immortality and resurrection.
Across different cultures, peacock means different things. In Greco-Roman mythology, the peacock is identified with goddess Hera who created the bird from her servant Argus, his many eyes placed on the peacock's tail.
In Hinduism, the peacock is associated with patience, compassion and good fortune. In East Asian cultures, the peacock is associated with Kwan-yin (or Quan Yin), an emblem of love, compassionate watchfulness, goodwill, nurture and kind-heartedness.
Babylonian culture signifies the peacock as a guardian to royalty and in Christianity it is seen as the "all-seeing", which directly associates with the callings the Flight 828 passengers receive.
In some myths, the peacock was seen as guardians to paradise, while in others, the peacock was seen as God's messengers. Some showed the peacock as a symbol of fertility (thereby forecasting Grace Stone's pregnancy perhaps).
In Season 2, this expanded when we come across the compass that belonged to one of the passengers' ancestors. Engraved on it was a peacock, inside a triangle, topped with a star. This further complicates things.
Then there are the stars. Stars more obviously convey divinity and creativity. But combined with the peacock and the triangle, it points to one thing — the Pavo constellation, "pavo" being Latin for peacock.
The Pavo constellation is observed from the Southern sky — the constellation is believed to represent the Java green peacock which the Dutch navigators de Houtman and Keyser probably encountered on their journey to the East Indies.
How this plays into the show, we don't know yet but it must be important.
Then there is the tarot deck created by Yusuv Al-Zuras. Keen viewers might have realized that Al-Zuras is an anagram for Lazarus, whom Jesus brought back to life four days after his death. Yusuv, similar to the Arabic equivalent to Joseph, means "God increases".
The first tarot cards were simply playing cards and not those designed with mysticism in mind and the first of these cards were brought to Europe by Mamluk soldiers. As Christianity grew, so did its influence on the design of the cards, with more Christian symbolism being reflected in the deck. By the 18th century, the cards became used for divination purposes.
Al-Zuras and his deck may have been introduced a few episodes ago, but it is clear that the writers have only just started digging the mystery that this will be. There was the ancient manuscript we saw in the last episode which featured an illustration of Ben Stone carrying his daughter, Olive, out of the burning building.
The illustration of the peacock inside a triangle with a star on top is also seen on Al-Zuras's deck. The biggest star in the Pavo Constellation is the Alpha Pavonis — the alpha peacock. Perhaps the alpha peacock is Ben and it portrays his role as the ultimate protector and savior, and possibly even divine. If showrunner Jeff Rake has his way, we will have to wait till his six-year plan unfolds.
'Manifest' airs on NBC on Monday nights at 10/9c. The next episode will air on March 2.