He has been portrayed by Harvey Stephens, Jonathan Scott-Taylor, Sam Neill, and most recently, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick. All previous actors to play Damien Thorn had their hair dyed jet black for the role.
Name etymology[edit | edit source]
The name "Damien" sounds vaguely like the English "demon", but is not at all etymologically related (meaning "he subdues").
Since the original Omen movie, Damien has become a name with powerful evil connotations, despite the fact that historically it is associated with many saintly figures. Damien is the French form of the English name Damian (Latin Damianus), popular as the name of a martyred Christian saint of the third century. Damien is also the first name of Father Karras in The Exorcist.
Character[edit | edit source]
In the original film, Damien was born in Rome at 6:00 a.m. on June 6, 1971 (2001 in the remake). In the fifth book, a timeline is applied and gives his year of birth as 1949. Supposedly, his birthday (the sixth hour of the sixth day of the sixth month) constitutes the number 666. The number also appears on his body as a birthmark and it is discovered in the novelization of the first film that he has no fingerprints. Though he is originally unaware of his parentage, he gradually comes to understand and accept his identity as the Antichrist as he grows older.
Biography[edit | edit source]
The Omen[edit | edit source]
In the first film, set in 1976, Damien is adopted by British-American ambassador, Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck), and his wife, Katherine (Lee Remick) at their hospital after they lose their son in what Robert believes is stillbirth while his wife Katherine is unaware of the replacement. At the age of five, Damien's nanny is hypnotized by a demonic dog and mysteriously hangs herself at his birthday party, claiming to have done it for him.
Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton), a priest from Italy who was present at Damien's birth, warns Robert about his son and quotes an old prophecy about the Antichrist that Damien allegedly fills, but Robert will have none of it. Damien's new nanny, Mrs. Baylock, a demon from Hell, helps to guard him, along with the black dog. Soon, things begin to come together; Damien begins to tremble with terror when his parents attempt to take him to a wedding in a church. It is then said that he has never been sick in his life.
When Katherine becomes pregnant with another child, Damien knocks her off a balcony with his tricycle and the unborn baby is killed. With the help of photo journalist, Keith Jennings (David Jennings), who is eventually killed in a freak accident, Robert investigates Brennan's own mysterious death and accepts that Damien is the Antichrist, born from a jackal and placed in his care so that he would rise up through the world of politics. An exorcist in Megiddo, Israel named Carl Bugenhagen (Leo McKern) gives Robert seven ancient daggers he had inherited that could kill the Antichrist; Thorn brings Damien to a church to lower his influence, but police catch and kill him before Damien is harmed. Damien's enemies are dead and he's left in the company of the President.
Damien: Omen II[edit | edit source]
In the second film, set in 1978, seven years later, Damien is now 12 and living with his uncle, Richard Thorn (William Holden), his uncle's second wife, Ann (Lee Grant), and his cousin & Richard's son from his first marriage, Mark (Lucas Donat), after a temporary stay with the U.S. President.
The young Damien doesn't understand his true potential and when he learns the truth of his lineage, he is at first horrified and does not wish to accept his evil destiny. However, others begin to suspect that he is not the sweet young boy that he appears to be. Within his life, there are many Satanic acolytes working to help him ascend to his rightful place as the Antichrist, but at the same time, lone journalists, doctors, and scientists try to stop him and warn his foster parents. Mark sees and hears things he shouldn't; although Damien is fond of his cousin, he kills Mark when he refuses to join him.
After Mark's death, Richard starts to believe the warnings about Damien and tries to kill him with the Seven Daggers of Megiddo, but Ann refuses to let harm come to him, instead killing Richard before Damien sets both of them on fire.
Omen III: The Final Conflict[edit | edit source]
In the third film, set in 1981, Damien is now 32 and is appointed Ambassador to the Court of St. James', the same position his adoptive father held in the first film. Unlike the two incarnations of Damien portrayed in previous Omen films, the adult Damien is entirely aware of his unholy lineage and his destiny.
An alignment of the stars in the Cassiopeia region of the night sky (the traditional location of the stellar signal of the Second Coming) causes the creation of a super "star", described in the film as a second Star of Bethlehem. Damien realizes it is a sign of the Second Coming of Christ and he orders all male children in England born on the morning of March 24, 1982 (the morning when, in the story, the Cassiopeia alignment occurred) to be killed in order to prevent the Christ child's return to power, as predicted in the Book of Revelation.
Thorn has also become involved with journalist, Kate Reynolds (Lisa Harrow), who interviews him for the BBC- a complex relationship which undermines his plans to dominate the world. In the interview, Damien's personal brilliance is backed when it is revealed that Damien attended Yale University and was a Rhodes Scholar, captaining the Oxford Polo and Rugby teams. Damien also focuses his attention on her pre-teenaged son, Peter, whom he takes as a disciple. Ultimately, the relationship is his undoing. Meanwhile, Father DeCarlo (Rossano Brazzi) and six other priests armed with the ancient daggers hunt Thorn in the hope of killing him before he can destroy the "Christ child". However, one by one all the priests die until only DeCarlo survives.
Finally, in spite of Thorn's efforts, DeCarlo informs Reynolds that the Christ-child is "out of his reach" but that nonetheless, the task still remains to destroy Damien. In a final act of evil, Damien uses Reynolds' son Peter (Barnaby Holm) — now slavishly devoted to Damien — as a human shield against DeCarlo's dagger. As Peter lies dying, Damien tries to strangle Father DeCarlo to death. In a desperate bid to salvage his waning power, Damien calls out for Christ to appear before him. As he does this, Kate Reynolds sneaks behind Damien, stabbing him in the back with the dagger. Christ appears in a flash before a dying Damien and peace reigns over the Earth. Damien's last words are, "Nazarene.. you have won... nothing."
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