Legion in popular culture
Legion, the demon of Gadarenes, is the name given in one of three New Testament accounts of the exorcism connected with the Gadarene swine. As the only named demon in the New Testament the name "Legion" has received frequent use in popular culture.
The Christian New Testament gospels of Matthew (8:28-34), Mark and Luke describe an incident in which Jesus meets a man, or in Matthew two men, possessed by demons who, in the Mark version, when asked what their name is, respond:
- "My name is Legion, for we are many."
Use in medieval and pre-modern period
Uses of the story with the name "Legion" in classical literature and arts is not common. Some notable exceptions include:
- In Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Toby says he will speak to Malvolio, who has been acting strangely, even "if all the devils of Hell be drawn in little, and Legion himself possessed him."
- "Our name is Legion, and we are Many" is from Daniel Defoe's "Legion's Memorial," delivered to the British House of Commons on May 14, 1701, in which Defoe defends the right to petition, claiming to represent 200,000 petitioners.
Use in popular literature
- My Name is Legion is a 1942 short story by Lester del Rey included in the collection War and Space.
- My Name is Legion is a 1976 collection of three stories by Roger Zelazny.
- My Name is Legion is a 1999 crime novel by Sheila Martin Berry.
- Legion is one of the main characters in Nyctivoe, a vampire-inspired contemporary 2001 play by Dimitris Lyacos.
- Legion is the name of the main villain, a disturbed veteran of the conflict in Afghanistan, in Chasing the Dead, a 2010 thriller by journalist and writer Tim Weaver.
- My Name is Legion is a 2004 novel by A. N. Wilson.
- O Meu Nome É Legião ("My Name is Legion" in Portuguese) is a 2007 novel by António Lobo Antunes.
- Randall Flagg, the villain in Stephen King's The Stand, is referred to as Legion by Tom Cullen, who also has a trace memory of Flagg being kicked into a herd of pigs by Jesus. Flagg is also a main antagonist in King's Dark Tower series, where he is directly referred to as Legion.
- "Our Name is legion" is also quoted in Stephen King's It. During Interlude One, the Gas Station Worker's Wife is commented to have heard voices from the drain of her sink during the 1957 incident.
- "We are Myria LeJean" is used to introduce this character in Terry Pratchett's Thief of Time. She is a manifestation of an auditor, a being which will be destroyed if it shows any sign of individuality. "Myria" is easily associated with "myriad", and "LeJean" with "legion", alluding to this bible passage.
- It is quoted in William Peter Blatty's novel, The Exorcist.
- Legion, William Peter Blatty's sequel to The Exorcist.
- The line is alluded to in John Dies at the End when the character Dave is confronted by a human, Justin, whose body is being controlled by a swarm of tiny, supernatural parasites. When Justin rejects his old name and Dave asks what he should call him instead, his reply is "Just call me 'Shitload.' Because there's a shitload of us in here."
- In Gene Wolfe's book series Book of the new sun, the necrophage autarch of a distant future planet earth calls himself "Legion".
- In The Taking by Dean Koontz, an extraterrestrial being utters the lines "Yimaman see noygel, see refacull, see nod a bah, see naytoss, retee fo sellos. "My name is legion, is Lucifer, is Abbadon, is Satan, eater of souls."
- In Simon R. Green's Deathstalker novels, Legion is one of the antagonists that attacks Mistworld.
- In Tana French's 2007 novel In the Woods, Legion is the name Dublin Murder Squad detective Cassie Maddox gives to a former college student who was the reason she dropped out of school. In her telling of the incident Cassie identifies him as being a psychopath.
- Legion, a science fiction novella series by Brandon Sanderson.
- "We Are Legion (We Are Bob)", a science fiction novel by Dennis E. Taylor.
In video games
- In Mass Effect, the character Sovereign, part of a race that desires the destruction of all technologically advanced life in the galaxy, declares "We are legion."
- Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 feature a character named Legion. It is one of the Geth: numerous semi-sentient programs inhabiting synthetic bodies referred to as "platforms." Legion, due to the large number of geth programs which inhabit its platform, is capable of independent thought and even shows signs of emotional attachment. It recognizes and acknowledges Mark 5:9 as an appropriate metaphor for its state of existence.
- In Eve Online, the Amarrian Tech III Strategic Cruiser platform is named Legion. Unlike conventional Tech I and Tech II starships which are fixed in shape, purpose and ability, the Tech III Strategic Cruiser can take up multiple shapes and roles due to its modular design. There are currently 1024(4^5) possible permutations for each Strategic Cruiser class. The name of the Amarrian Strategic Cruiser draws its meaning from the Christian background of Amarrian religion.
- In many of the Shin Megami Tensei games, a cluster of souls in the form of a single demon is referred to as Legion.
- Legion is the main antagonist to Acclaim's Shadow Man. They try to harness the power of dark souls and bring about the Apocalypse.
- In the Castlevania series, Legion is a recurring mid-game boss. It is usually presented as a huge orb made up of countless human bodies, which create a protective barrier around a core. This core is revealed once the player manages to destroy the barrier, and is shown as having three or more tentacles stretching out of it, usually capable of emitting energy beams or a damaging chemical. It is often described as The one who is many, or something similar.
- In Manhunt 2, a gang named The Legion sometimes say "Our name is Legion, for we are many." This can also be heard in the beginning of one of the trailers for the game.
- In TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, the Prometheus model robots, from the robot wars level, say the phrase "We are legion."
- In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Kain states: "But each of us is so much more than we once were. Do you not feel with all your soul how we have become like gods? And as such, are we not indivisible? As long as a single one of us stands, we are legion..." This occurs during the final boss battle against Kain. It is re-quoted in the Soul Reaver 2 introduction movie.
- In the Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars expansion pack, Kane's Wrath, the player plays the role of an AI called LEGION who, in the third act of game is ordered to command an army of cyborgs. Kane utters a double entendre: "You are LEGION."
- The Legion is the name of the alien race and main antagonists of the game Epoch Star. Whenever the player engages Legion forces, they will say, "We are the Legion for we are many."
- In the tabletop game Warhammer 40,000, the race of undead alien robots called Necrons have a quote in their Codex source book: "Their number is legion, their name is death." The warriors of the Thousand Sons legion of Chaos Space Marines, essentially possessed suits of armor, have a special rule called "we are legion", indicating their lack of individuality. Chaos Daemons have a daemonic gift called "we are legion," which represents the daemon having multiple souls trapped inside its body and allows it to fire at multiple targets.
- When the player chooses to use the Chaos Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, selecting a Chaos Marine squad may result in the response "We are legion" as the squad's acknowledgment of the player's selection. This is a double reference as, following the Horus Heresy, loyalist Space Marines were divided into Chapters, whereas Chaos Space Marines have retained their original designations of "Legions."
- In Blood Will Tell, one of the 48 fiends the protagonist must destroy is named Legion. He has many faces upon his body from those who worship him.
- In Animal Crossing: City Folk, while playing hide-and-seek with townsfolk, after finding one, they might say "We are legion, for we are many."
- In Dark Age of Camelot, Legion is the strongest creature that rules over Darkness Falls.
- In BioShock 2, Father Wales, when locking one of the doors in Siren's Alley, shouts, 'We are Legion!" before summoning a horde of splicers.
- In Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, one of the companions in the player's party (depending on the player's choices in-game) is inspired by Legion. Its name "One of Many" refers to the phrase "My name is Legion, for we are many".
- In Borderlands, during the fourth set of downloadable content, the "Interplanetary Ninja Assassin" Claptrap refers to the Claptrap revolutionists as Legion.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, there is a quest for Caesar's Legion called "We Are Legion."
- In Batman Arkham City, Ra's Al Ghul says "We are Legion," referencing his eternal life and power provided by an ancient demon's blood.
- In Diablo 3, the final act as the player approaches Diablo who has been reborn with all the lords of hell within him his cry before combat begins is 'I am legion'
- In AdventureQuest, Legion—in a parody of the Castlevania enemy—is a mini-boss in the quest for the Morningstar set of items.
- The Fire Emblem series, specifically the twelfth and thirteenth installments, features a character that can clone himself infinitely and talks in third person. He is named Legion in the international versions of the game (His Japanese name is ローロー Rōrō).
- In Shovel Knight: Spectre of Torment, a character friendly to the player is named 'Legion'. Legion is made up of hundreds of tiny, dark, mysterious creatures.
- In the series finale of Angel, a television series and spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Marcus Hamilton (Adam Baldwin) uses the quote, "We Are Legion. We are Forever." to describe Wolfram & Hart just before being defeated by Angel.
- In American horror television series Millennium in the episode "The Judge", a serial killer employs delinquents and ex-convicts to brutally murder, and carry out his "justice". When arrested and interviewed by former FBI Agent Frank Black, he follows Frank's question of "What should I call you?" with "My name is Legion".
- A multi-faceted character named Legion appears in the British Television series Red Dwarf, in the episode "Legion". When the character is asked his name, he replies "My name is Legion, for we are many".
- The title of the episode "Legion" from the animated series Gargoyles is an allusion to the Biblical quotation. The episode features a cyborg (Coldstone) possessed by multiple spirits of dead Gargoyles.
- In the series Paranormal State episode "I am Six", the case involves a woman who is possessed by a demon who states "I am Six." Later, psychic Lorraine Warren states over phone that "I am Six" means being a legion of demons.
- In Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, Nick takes on a computer virus called Legion.
- In the series Witchblade in episode 5 of season 1 a suspect named Edward Noland yells in the alley, "My name is Legion, for we are many."
- The third-season premiere of Justice League Unlimited is titled "I Am Legion". The episode sees the first appearance of the multi-villain team, the Legion of Doom. Also, during the episode, Lex Luthor appears to be sharing his body with Brainiac – effectively making him possessed.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the character Envy is able to assume the actual form of a Legion-like creature whose body contains the faces of various souls who were used to create his core.
- In the first episode of the third season of Supernatural, entitled "The Magnificent Seven", the man possessed by the demon Envy (one of the Seven Deadly sins) utters the phrase "I am Legion, for we are many."
- In Storm of the Century, the demon Andre Linoge is referred to as Legion. His surname, Linoge, is an anagram of Legion.
- In the Doctor Who episode "The Impossible Planet", the Ood are taken over by the Beast and call themselves "the Legion of the Beast".
- In the House M.D. episode "Epic Fail" one of the suggestions received as to a patient's diagnosis is possession by the Biblical demon Legion, which the team dismisses out of hand due to the lack of a herd of pigs.
- In the 30 Rock episode "Idiots Are People Two!," Tracy Jordan, while leading a protest outside of the studio, says "We are legion. We are America."
- In an episode of Six Feet Under, the character Margaret Chenowith says, in a conversation with her daughter Brenda, "You’ve spent 32 years being your little brother's nursemaid to avoid having any emotional life of your own. And now that he's been put away, you’re gonna have to face your own demons, and, sweetheart, they're legion."
- In the Tokusatsu show Kamen Rider Wizard, a Phantom (Monster of this show who born from a person with magical power, The Gate, when they are thrown into despair) named when human Naito has based and renamed on Legion. He debuts in the episode "The Day Magic Vanished". Where he destroys the magical power of the protagonist Souma Haruto (A.K.A. Kamen Rider Wizard) by possessing his Underworld (The subconscious of a human which are represented by memories of a person or thing) and destroying his inner Phantom which is the Dragon.
- In the UK Sci-Fi comedy Red Dwarf, the crew are lured into an abandoned station where they meet an amalgam entity named Legion, composed of their combined conscience, knowledge, and personality.
- The Greek band Rotting Christ has a song on its album "Genesis" entitled "Under The Name of Legion"
- The black metal band Marduk wrote a song entitled "Legion" using the line "My name is legion, for we are many in here"
- The quote 'My name is Legion' and two lines later 'We are many' is used in the song 'Ghost in the Firewall' by progressive rock band Arena.
- "My Name is Legion" is a song by Electric Hellfire Club from the album "Witness The Millennium". There is a line stating, "My name is Legion: for I'm many".
- The death metal band Arch Enemy made a song called "Nemesis" with the line "We are legion, Voice of anarchy This is revolution Creating new disorder"
- In a Black Sabbath song called "I" appears a line, "I am Legion, strength in numbers a lie, the number is one"
- The Demons & Wizards song "Crimson King" contains the line, "I am Legion." This song is actually about Stephen King's Dark Tower where Randall Flagg is one of the villains.
- Drum & Bass musician Breakage released a song entitled 'The 9th Hand' on Planet Mu in 2006 which contained the sample, "My name is Legion, for we are many."
- "Mi nombre es Legión" ("My name is Legion", in Spanish) is a song by Spanish band Siniestro Total, written for the soundtrack of El día de la bestia (The Day of The Beast), a movie by director Álex de la Iglesia. Its opening line says "My name is Legion/for we are many, we are multitude".
- The Severed Heads song Legion opens with the line "My name is Legion."
- A hardstyle song by Hellraiser & The Engineer, was titled "Legion (For We Are Many)"
- The HammerFall song "Legion" from the Album No Sacrifice, No Victory contains the line "My name is Legion, for we are many", including the intro where it's spoken with a deep demon voice.
- Marian Gold's song "Missionary," from his United album, contains the lyrics, "I'm not the one you're listening to, while I sit here in front of you/ My name is Legion, don't you know?," apparently as a description of a crusading psychiatrist possessed by a spirit of cruelty and domination.
- "Ich bin viele" (German for I'm many) is a song by Eisregen. The refrain says: "Denn ich bin viele... Mein Name ist Legion" which is German for "for I'm many... my name is Legion"
- "Der Fuerst der Finsternis" is a song by the German musical project E Nomine. Two lines state: "Mein Name ist Legion, denn wir sind viele" which is German for "My name is legion, for we are many".
- House and techno artist Felix da Housecat in 1996 released the single "Legion for we are many" under his alias Aphrohead.
- The Mountain Goats recorded a song on the 2004 album We Shall All Be Healed titled "Pigs That Ran Straightaway Into the Water, Triumph Of," a reference to the biblical story of Legion.
- The phrase 'I am Legion for we are many' is also used in Warren of Snares, a song by post-hardcore band Fall of Efrafa.
- All That Remains's album For We Are Many can be seen as a reference to Legion.
- In The Mars Volta's song "Metatron" there is one verse in which appears: " "I am Legion, said the pen" ".
- The artist Cold Specs, in her song "Holland", uses the chorus "We are many."
- In Lamb of God's song "Torches" on their 2015 album Sturm Und Drang, Randy Blythe says multiple times, "I am the infernal, I am legion"
- At the end of Tool's song Jambi on their 2006 album 10,000 Days, Maynard James Keenan says "Silence, Legion. Save your poison. / Silence, Legion. Stay out of my way!"
- In the 1990 film The Exorcist III, Legion is referenced by the Gemini Killer, a man who gained notoriety by a series of murders, leaving his calling card – carving the sign of the Gemini into the left palm of his victims and the removal of the index finger. After his death, the demon from the original film allows its spirit to possess the body of Father Damian Karras – the priest having died immediately after his descent down the steps in the original Exorcist film. The film was based on William Peter Blatty's own novel, Legion
- In the 1996 Daiei film Gamera 2: Attack of Legion, the giant turtle Gamera battles an insect-like alien dubbed "Legion" by the Japanese military, because the kaiju commands an immense army of smaller symbiotic Legion. A Japanese soldier also quotes the biblical scripture in Mark to which the name is a reference.
- In a 1999 film, Storm of the Century, the antagonist had identified himself as Legion, with his original name being Andre Linoge (an anagram of Legion). Constable Mike Anderson notices this and tells another character the Biblical story of Legion.
- Legion possesses the body of a girl named Leah (played by Barbara Mamabolo) in the 2006 horror film 5ive Girls.
- In the 2007 superhero film Ghost Rider, after Blackheart (played by Wes Bentley) reads the contract of San Venganza, he absorbs all 1,000 of the damned souls who signed their names to the contract. After the process is complete, he proclaims, "My Name...Is Legion, For We Are... Many."
- In The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Legion is mentioned as one of the six demons to possess Emily Rose when one of the demons says "I was with Legion".
- We Are Legion is the name of a film released in 2012 about Anonymous, a loosely associated hacktivist group.
- David Charles Haller / Legion is the name of Charles Xavier's son in X-Men. He's a mutant suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder (now called Dissociative Identity Disorder), with each personality possessing a different power, thus being "one and many".
- In Marvel's Ghost Rider #17 (1976), a composite demon calling itself/themselves Legion battled the titular hero and his then-ally Son of Satan.
- In Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn, the main villain is Legion. He is revealed to be the entire populace of a planet once imprisoned by the Guardians of Oa.
- In I Am Legion, released by Devils Due/Humanoids Publishing, Legion is a child who is able to control the minds of men.
- In Spawn, the hero Spawn absorbs the souls of thousands of murdered people, who thereby become Spawns themselves, and he utters the phrase, "I am Legion, for we are many."
- In Geist-Panik, a webcomic by Brian Wilson, there is an evil character by the name of "Lee John".
- "The Gadarene" is a graphic novel by Edd Blott and Drew Blom. It is inspired by a poem by John Piper (theologian) which is based on the Biblical story of Legion.
- The main antagonist in the Missionary Man comics calls himself Legion and his character is demonic in appearance and behavior.
On the Internet
- On Wednesday, January 23, 2008 the Internet-based group "Anonymous" released statements on YouTube and via a press release, outlining what they call a "War on Scientology". During Their YouTube video they state "If you want another name for your opponent, then call us Legion, for we are many.".
- Jeffrey, D.L. (1992). A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature. W.B. Eerdmans. p. 443. ISBN 978-0-8028-3634-2. Retrieved Feb 14, 2018.
- Smith, Norman B.: "'Shall Make No Law Abridging. . .': An Analysis of the Neglected, but Nearly Absolute, Right of Petition", University of Cincinnati Law Review (54):1153 (1986)
- "Ghost Rider Script - Dialogue Transcript". Script-o-rama. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
My name is Legion, for we are, many.
- War on Scientology, WikiNews.