7 Ways We Are Secretly Like the Reapers

So I was having a conversation with ironblood1384 a little while ago, and he made an interesting comparison between humans and Reapers. Now, the Reapers are giant space bugs and are the main antagonist in the Mass Effect series. They are feared and despised by all in the galaxy. That got me thinking about what makes us detest characteristics in other people, because who wouldn’t make a leap in logic like that?

After all, people tend to distance themselves from people who remind them of their worst qualities, or who embody a negative characteristic we fear we may have ourselves. So today I’d like to present a little thought experiment about that, and entertain the idea that one of the deeply-seeded reasons we hate the Reapers is because, on some level, we identify with them, both for better and worse.


Seven Similarities

7. We are technologically advanced to the point where we are able to accomplish things once thought impossible.

Image result for technology robots

6. We are sometimes blind to experiences that don’t already exist in our own worldview.

5. We are surrounded by technology and believe it keeps us safe or makes us superior to other, more natural, creatures.

Image result for computer servers

4. There is a possibility we will accidentally destroy the things we are meant to protect.


3. We sometimes ignore the generations that came before us instead of learning from them.

Related image

2. We have good intentions and do what we can with the information available to us.


And most importantly…
1. We do not exist in Andromeda.

It’s coming…

What do you think? Aside from the whole space-bug-vaporizing-all-galactic-life detail, are we and the Reapers more alike than different? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~ Athena

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  1. cool comparisons. Yea I’d say current day humanity is very Reaper like, humans through our history have committed such acts against not only Earth, the creatures within it, but against our very own species.

    Odd side tangent. I thought of exterminators from a bugs perspective to be reaper like. Upon googling, there are some exterminators that call themselves “The Bug Reaper”, or just plain out “The Reaper”

    coincedence? I think not!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. :O It’s a sign! haha

      And thanks, I’m glad you liked the list. It’s kind of weird to think about humans as having something in common with these destructive monsters, since we like to see ourselves as the heroes in our own stories… hm… You’re right though; we’ve done a lot to hurt our planet *and* ourselves…


  2. Oh we are definitely destroying things we should be protecting. I have no opinions on these shady Reaper characters, but I REALLY want to play Mass Effect. All this Andromeda hype buzzing on the internet isn’t helping, haha.


  3. I have found that humans will jump through all sorts of mental loops in order not to be seen as the bad guy. We’ll create scapegoats and reasons all to be seen in a positive light. I think it’s one of the reasons there’s still a climate change debate. Because the thought that we caused this is too much for some of the powers to be to bear. We like to have a concrete and visible enemy to fight, and when we don’t, we’ll point the fingers everywhere except where they should fall. I really love narratives that have humans as the bad guy, because even within them you see it happen not to mention the interpretation. I find myself agreeing with villains sometimes, which can be both scary and eye opening. For example in The Matrix when Agent Smith calls humans a disease, it’s hard to disagree with the spirit of that assessment when you consider his reasoning, and well, we did scorch the sky after creating AI and then believing it would still be subservient to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely. For me, the thing about villains is that they have clear motivations that are understandable and worthwhile to them, but not from the perspective of the protagonist. An example would be Handsome Jack from Borderlands, who is a villain with an interesting backstory… Don’t want to spoil, but his actions *almost* become reasonable when you find out where he came from.

      I agree with your example about agent Smith from The Matrix. And we also see movies like Frozen and Beauty and the Beast casting the “villains” in a more main-character light, which have made them (Elsa and the Beast, respectively) seem a lot more human/relatable/more like a protagonist than the characters who would normally be seen as heroes (Hans and Gaston). But that’s a discussion for another day 😉

      I do agree that it’s uncomfortable to think about, and unfortunately that uncomfortable place is the only place we’ll find real solutions to any of these problems. Admitting that, perhaps, you are part of the problem – or that you have one – is the hardest, but most important, step to moving forward.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I loved when I found out that Elsa was supposed to have been the villain, but then when they heard “Let It Go” that changed their whole point of view. In the original story of the Snow Queen, the titular character is the villain of course. I’m also quite fond of Maleficent. I’m glad to see Disney flipping their script a bit, and I never really even considered that they’d made a hero character more villainous as far back as Beauty and the Beast. Hunchback did sort of the opposite in making a character who would normally never be seen as the hero heroic with Quasimodo.

        You’re absolutely right. Admitting it is the hardest part, but it’s the one that’s most integral for any kind of progress. As much as I feel stupid for being wrong, I’ve learned the most from it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Gosh I’ll have to put my short little essay on “three kinds of villains” somewhere… I’ll have to see if there’s an option for that on Archive of Our Own… or I’d really have to do some fancy footwork to make it about video games and post it here (haha). But I do think that both Elsa and the Beast are the villains in their own tales, regardless of how sympathetic they are… Of course, there are secondary villains, but… yeah that musing will have to be posted somewhere at some point….

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I would love to read that! I think they’re probably the least villainous type of villains, but I can see what you mean by that. Both of them cause adversity to the protagonist and are the catalyst for the action of the story. I honestly never thought of comparing Beauty and the Beast to Frozen, but it’s honestly brilliant. There are so many comparisons that can be made.

            Hm, if you use video game villains as an example, I think you should definitely be able to post it!

            Liked by 1 person

      1. It also occurs to me that could be like a hunter who wears the furs and bones of his prey. In this case, the hunter wears the dead items like a trophy claiming to posses the spirit of the animal. But in the end, the animal and its soul are dead, just like the civilisations the Reapers harvest.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Apart from what I’ve said before there is one important way that the Reapers are like us, and organics in general. It has a desire to reproduce. I could argue that the main reason for the harvest is to create new Reapers. This would make the Harvest effectively a sexual act, which makes the whole thing even more sordid.

    Liked by 1 person

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