In Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, the original master plan (foiled by dumb chance and human incompetence) was that the newly born Antichrist should be brought up in the family of the US Cultural Attaché in Britain.

Why was this considered the best place for the Antichrist to grow up? Is this a subtle dig at American culture by the two (British) authors, implying that the cultural section of a US embassy is where the world's greatest depths of moral depravity are to be found?

(I'm still in the middle of reading the book, so apologies if this is answered later on. But I'm past the point where Crowley and Aziraphale know there was a mix-up, so I suspect we won't be seeing much more of the Dowling family after this.)

  • 3
    Haven't read the book but it sounds like a reference to the move The Omen.
    – TGnat
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 14:29
  • 2
    @TGnat I agree, the use of the USA's UK UK Diplomatic Mission is a straight reference to The Omen, where the 'father' is appointed Ambassador to the Ct of St James's. The writer of The Omen is an american.
    – Spagirl
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


I'd say that yes, this is a subtle dig at American culture in the way that you described. A fair proportion of the UK population see the American 'ruling elite' as only having their own interests at heart. Raising the anti-christ in this environment would give the child a good grounding for the tasks ahead of him/her.

I'd also suggest that it was a reworking or homage to the film 'The Omen' where the anti-christ (Damien) is placed with Robert & Katherine Thorn. Robert Thorn is then appointed to the post of U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

  • 2
    "I'd say that yes, this is a subtle dig at American culture in the way that you described." why?
    – user111
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 12:11
  • 1
    I agree with @Hamlet that this answer could do with some more explanation. Your edit definitely improves it, but there may be some in-book justification too: e.g. by comparison with all the other subtle digs by means of associating some facet of human society with Crowley or Aziraphale. Traffic wardens, Manchester, etc.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 19:40
  • 1
    I would also think the birthing scene of the American diplomat's child gives impression that he (the diplomat) is a callous or just insensitive person, as the book states something like: (he wasn't around during that time) the ambassador had heard that watching childbirth was the most emotional and bonding experience one could have, and he wasn't going to miss any of it. He had it taped and sent to him so he could enjoy it later
    – Gnudiff
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 20:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.