What is the meaning of the octopus in The OA?

15 September 2023
Science fiction has long been a medium through which creators explore profound philosophical questions, challenge societal norms, and delve into the mysteries of existence. "The OA," a series that masterfully intertwines elements of mysticism, interdimensional travel, and human connection, is no exception.

At the heart of its intricate narrative lies a symbol both enigmatic and profound: the octopus.

This creature, known for its intelligence and adaptability, becomes a central figure in the series, representing a myriad of themes that challenge our understanding of reality and our place within it.

From the shifting sands of multidimensionality to the ancient wisdom that transcends time, the octopus serves as a conduit for the series' exploration of deeper truths. Its presence in the show is not merely a nod to the wonders of the natural world but a carefully crafted symbol that resonates with the series' overarching themes.

the meaning of the octopus in the oa

Representation of Multidimensionality

In the natural world, octopuses possess a unique ability to adapt, changing their form, texture, and color to blend seamlessly with their surroundings. This adaptability mirrors the shifting realities and dimensions portrayed in "The OA." For instance, Prairie (Brit Marling, Another World) and her group find themselves transitioning between different dimensions, each with its own set of rules and realities. 

In a particularly memorable scene, Prairie, while in a club, encounters Old Night, the telepathic octopus. This meeting underscores the fluidity of reality in the series, as Prairie is thrust into an environment where communication with such a creature is possible, highlighting the show's theme of multidimensionality.

Connection to Ancient Wisdom

Old Night is not just any octopus; he claims to be an ancient being with profound wisdom. During their encounter, Old Night communicates with Prairie, suggesting that she has not yet seen her true self and hinting at the existence of a dimension where she can. This interaction introduces viewers to the idea that there are entities older than our understanding, entities that have witnessed the ebb and flow of time and hold knowledge beyond human comprehension.

Physical Connection and Interconnectedness

The scene in the club where Old Night physically connects with Prairie by attaching its tentacles to her is both haunting and profound. This act symbolizes a deeper interconnectedness of all beings. Through this connection, Old Night sends Prairie into an out-of-body experience, allowing her to glimpse another dimension and gain insights into her own existence. This theme of interconnectedness and the idea that true understanding can come from connecting with entities different from oneself is vividly depicted in Prairie's intense experience with Old Night.

Death and Rebirth

Octopuses have a unique life cycle, marked by reproduction followed by death. This natural cycle resonates with the themes explored in "The OA." During Prairie's interaction with Old Night, he induces a state in her that simulates death for a brief moment, allowing her to access another dimension. This act can be likened to the octopus's cycle of life and death, symbolizing the continuous journey of the soul and the idea of rebirth in another dimension.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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