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What's In A Name (Red Rising Spoilers)

I think it might be a symptom of how some of my favorite books are written that I'm beginning to pay attention to every little thing.

This morning I had a "wait a minute" moment where I was thinking about the series "Red Rising" by Pierce Brown and a question popped into my head. Why did the author choose the words "Red Rising" for the name of the series?

After a while I came up with the idea that the most fitting explanation is that the "Red" doesn't mean the entire galactic caste of Red, but Darrow, himself. This kind of works in and of itself, BUTT...

I have a suspicion the author might go awesome and throw a twist in the story. Up until the present book we have been lead along with the idea that this war was about establishing freedom and equality of the castes. But that seems a little too happy-ever-after for this type of book or the current zeitgeist. Not only that, in the books the New Society is already showing cracks.

Even though positions of power have opened up, Gold is still in charge. As your read the books from first to present you realize that the rhetoric slides from removing the Golds to re-educating them. That Gold are natural leaders and that they should be on top- the should be leading, but they should be leading to help mankind, not abuse them. This might also be signified in Darrow's own transformation. He goes from a powerless Red to a powerful Gold and by the time of the second book of the first series he already claims that he identifies more with Gold than he ever did Red.

So not only is Gold still in charge, Darrow- the icon of the revolution itself- identifies with them and sees them as naturally being at the top. It is also not stated, but it is a bitter pill to consider that a natural "Red" did not overthrow the system. A Red had to become a Gold in order to affect a Society ruled by Golds. In essence, there is no real revolution. Unless the Red's and other races modify their genetics to be like Golds, or their is mass interbreeding, or Gold is exterminated, Gold will rule.

And some people are clearly upset about that. The New Society is already being torn apart by those who see how unfair this is. Dancer- Darrow's old friend and one of the Reds who set him on this path- is seemingly becoming one of Darrow's enemies because he too may realize that Darrow is no longer about the spirit of Revolution. But the thing is...it might also be that Dancer isn't either.

Dancer is likely going to lead another insurrection of one kind or another against the New Society and he may be the one to, in the end, champion Red as the real leaders. And what cosmic irony it would be- falling in line with real world patterns- that the abused in history in turn become the abusers. That the Red's who were once the slave-caste of the entire galaxy now come to overthrow and enslave Gold. My guess is that this enslavement will not take on the color of the old societies form, but will nonetheless, in effect, be an enslavement or a general oppression of Gold.

This is all speculation, but it started with thinking about the title of the series. Up until now this uprising has been nothing more than a civil war among Gold. It can hardly be considered a "red" rising. But that may mean that the real uprising hasn't yet materialized. That the title is, in a way, foreshadowing the end of the story. That Red will replace Gold as the top caste of society, if not the tyrants of that society.


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