Lovecraft Country’s “Full Circle” revealed multiple ancestors tied to the Book of Names; here’s who each of them are and what they mean to Atticus.
WARNING! Spoilers for Lovecraft Country season 1 ahead.
Throughout the entirety of Lovecraft Country season 1, glimpses of Atticus “Tic” Freeman’s (Jonathan Majors) ancestors are seen, but they aren’t all present until episode 10, “Full Circle”. His ancestors are comprised of the women in his family, beginning with Hanna in the early 1800s. As Lovecraft Country progressed, more of Atticus’s lineage was uncovered, especially once the Book of Names’ spell was broken. Here’s who the ancestors are and their purpose.
Misha Green’s Lovecraft Country is adapted from Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name, with some major and minor adjustments made for the series. It begins with Atticus’s search for his father Montrose (Michael K. Williams) in Ardham, Massachusetts, overrun by shoggoths and the mysteries of H.P. Lovecraft’s horrifying monsters and racism. As the Freeman family’s story unfolds, women start to become central to the storyline with Hippolyta’s (Aunjanue Ellis) time traveling adventures, Ji-Ah’s (Jamie Chung) kumiho powers, Letitia “Leti” Lewis’s (Jurnee Smollett) unbreakable determination, and Ruby Baptiste’s (Wumni Mosaku) complicated metamorphosis abilities. When Atticus, Leti, and Montrose traveled through time and space to the 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma race massacre to retrieve the Book of Names, the importance of his ancestors moved to the forefront of the battle against Christina Braithwhite (Abbey Lee).
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Once the trio returned from Tulsa, they broke the spell on the Book of Names, which triggered Atticus and Leti to faint and travel to what can only be assumed is some sort of ancestral plane. While there, Leti meets with Hattie (Regina Taylor), Atticus’s great-grandmother; Atticus meets with Hanna as well as his mother Dora. He is told to harness his energy that began with Hanna when she “realized that this magic was not something to be feared but a gift to pass on.”
The Ancestors & Their True Purpose
The ancestors are made up of the first Black woman in Atticus’s family lineage: Hanna, who was Titus Braithwhite’s slave, who he impregnated. When his home was burning to the ground, she grabbed the Book of Names to ensure it would remain in her family’s hands. While Hanna was escaping the burning lodge, she placed a spell on her bloodline that would keep her descendants hidden from anyone who knows magic. Following Hanna is Hattie, Atticus’s great-grandmother, who held onto the magical book until the Tulsa race massacre, when it burned in the fires that destroyed the town. When they traveled back in time, they retrieved it before it could be burned; Hattie explained to Leti that it had been bound for the protection of the family.
Dora, Atticus’s mother, is the next in their lineage and is aware that her son must die in order to save everyone from Christina. Each of the ancestors serves a purpose to inform the couple of the importance of the autumnal equinox and the fate that was laid out for the both of them before they were even aware of it: Atticus must die, and Leti must protect the book as. In “Full Circle”, it’s clear that the women in Atticus’s direct bloodline are the strongest magical practitioners. Even Leti – who isn’t a direct descendant, but carries one in her womb – is just as powerful as they are. The magic in their family appears to be more impactful on women. Atticus doesn’t seem to have the strength to keep Titus Braithwhite anchored to the living realm; he requires the three deceased ancestors to assist with the spell. It’s possible that the women in his family are more magically inclined in a symbolic way that represents the power of Black womanhood, motherhood, and Black communities.
The ancestors are aware of the magical terrors that Atticus must face in “Full Circle”, but Lovecraft Country season 1 expands beyond Tic’s immediate bloodline with Leti, who will take over the roles that they once held as protectors of the Book of Names and direct descendants of Titus Braithwhite. Leti must recite Hanna’s spell that would bind all white people from doing magic in order to keep their family safe. Lovecraft Country‘s ancestors are all of the powerful women in Atticus’s bloodline who have kept the Book of Names safe and spent centuries creating the binding spell that will stop all white people from doing magic.
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