The Allegory of the Triple Goddess in Hereditary and Relic

Female Aging, Family Generations, and the Figure of the Crone

  • Marta Miquel Baldellou
Keywords: Triple Goddess, aging, genealogy, life cycle, crone


Ari Aster’s Hereditary (2018) and Natalie Erika James’s Relic (2020) are contemporary films which present significant intertextualities revolving around triads of female characters and draw particular attention to the figure of the older woman. This article aims to provide an analysis of aging femininities in these two films taking into consideration Robert Graves’s mythical archetype of the Triple Goddess, which refers to three distinct mythical figures—the Maiden, the Woman, and the Crone—that join in one single entity. Since the archetype of the Triple Goddess is paradigmatic of different mythical triads, from the Charites to the Gorgons, it will be taken as an allegory in order to interpret images of aging in these two films, as their female characters are portrayed as members of a triad as well as they also represent the same woman at different life stages along her aging process.