II : The High Priestess

Claudia Wolf

A faith which is too pure invites a new tragedy

   Claudia, a priestess in the religious organization, appears in the game as Heather's adversary. As the game progresses, it becomes known that she was once friends with Alessa when the two of them were young. Even though she kills Harry, Heather's father, as well as Vincent, who is supposedly of the same faith in upholding her cause of the revival of God and the establishment of paradise, her actions are rooted in genuine piety in that she desires the salvation of peoples' souls. Hers is a sorrowful existence, which cannot be simply tucked away into the category of "villain."

C r e a t o r ' s    C o m m e n t a r y

The High Priestess card in the game suggests Claudia. This card means mystery, faith, and dogmatism. Doesn't it seem that the self-righteous way that Claudia behaves as a consequence of being too genuine is in accordance with the meaning of the card?
(Hiroyuki Owaku)

She is willing to take any steps necessary to attain her goal of creating paradise.

An unhappy connection with Leonard, her father, which is the cause of her self-righteous personality

   The one who guided Claudia to the town's indigenous religion was her father, Leonard. It seems that Leonard, who held strict religious views, forced his beliefs onto his daughter and inflicted physical punishment upon her for irreligious behavior. From an episode in which he stabbed a patient because of a religious dispute and from the radical memo in which he calls himself a "protector of the seal," it can be surmised that Leonard possesses extremely elitist ideas. Claudia has come to hope for a salvation in which not only the chosen ones but everyone is saved, which is completely opposite from Leonard's ideas. One can think that in the background, there were feelings of repulsion and hatred towards her strict father.

Leonard's strict attitude towards Claudia on the phone indicates the extremist nature of his piety.
Vincent seems to have witnessed the physical punishment inflicted upon Claudia by her father. Could Leonard's violence have been well-known even inside the religious organization?

Unique abilities as a sorceress that sleep inside Claudia

   In the early stages of the game, the otherworld appears even though Heather has not yet awakened as Alessa. This is undoubtedly due to Claudia's power. Let's inspect a few instances that indicate her abilities.

Claudia issued the instruction to kill Harry. It seems that she can manipulate the hearts and minds of believers.
The shopping mall being swallowed by the otherworld was due to Claudia's influence as well.
It seems that her abilities were feared along with her profound devotion.
Witch from seventeen years ago, Dahlia Gillespie?
   In the first game, Dahlia Gillespie was a priestess like Claudia who attempted to revive God. Faith in God is a tradition that has been handed down over the years in Silent Hill, and, separated by a period of seventeen years, each of these two women who belonged to the same religious organization took steps to bring about God's revival. However, to Dahlia God is an object to be exploited, while to Claudia, God is a being that will bring salvation. Although they use a common means of "reviving God," their intentions are fundamentally different.
   In order to arrange the differences between the two of them, let's look back
at the first game.
The case of Dahlia
 from [SILENT HILL] 
   Dahlia's intention is to destroy and negate existing concepts by reviving God. However, she has no concept of salvation through the "establishment of paradise." The revival of God is strictly a means to destroy the present world and for her to personally command power. For this reason, she finally comes to make her own daughter a sacrifice. It is evident that her thought patterns exploit people she can take advantage of such as Kaufmann and Harry to the fullest extent possible.
The case of Claudia
 from [SILENT HILL 3] 
   As with Silent Hill's long-standing tradition, Claudia's intention is to remake the present world into paradise by reviving God. Because of her experiences during her childhood, she perceives the world as being full of suffering and in order to "save everyone," she attempts to create paradise. And so one can think that for everyone to be saved, some sacrifices like Harry and Vincent are unavoidable.

Although they are both priestesses who aim to revive God, their motives are fundamentally different.

Through the entire game, Dahlia never speaks the word "salvation."

Her genuine faith is the cause of her actions, and she has no intention to try to exploit God.

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