He has been portrayed by Harvey Stephens, Jonathan Scott-Taylor, Sam Neill and most recently, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick. All previous actors to play Damien Thorn had their hair dyed jet black for the role.
- Main article: Damien
The name "Damien" sounds vaguely like the English "demon", but is not at all etymologically related (meaning "he subdues"). It is interesting that since the original Omen movie came out, Damien has become a name with powerful evil connotations, despite the fact that historically it is associated with many saintly figures. Damien is the French form of the English name Damian (Latin Damianus), popular as the name of a martyred Christian saint of the third century (see Saints Cosmas and Damian). Another prominent Damien was Father Damien of Hawaii, who died while establishing leper colonies there. Damien is also the first name of Father Karras in The Exorcist.
In the original film, Damien was born in Rome at 6:00 a.m. on June 6, 1966 (2001 in the most recent remake). Supposedly his birthday (the sixth hour of the sixth day of the sixth month) constitutes the number 666. The number also appears on his body as a birthmark, and it is discovered in the novelization of the first film that he has no fingerprints. Though he is originally unaware of his parentage, he gradually comes to understand and accept his identity as the Antichrist as he grows older.
In the first film, Damien is adopted by American ambassador to Britain Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) and wife Katherine (Lee Remick) at their hospital after they lose their son in what Robert believes is tillbirth, while his wife Katherine is unaware of the replacement. At the age of five, Damien's nanny is hypnotized by a demonic dog and mysteriously hangs herself at his birthday party, claiming to have done it for him.
Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton), a priest from Italy who was present at Damien's birth, warns Robert about his son and quotes an old prophecy about the Antichrist that Damien allegedly fills, but Robert will have none of it. Damien's new nanny Ms. Baylock, a demon in human form, helps to guard him. Soon, things begin to come together; Damien begins to tremble with terror when his parents attempt to take him to a wedding in a church.
When Katherine becomes pregnant with another child, Damien knocks her off a balcony with his tricycle and the unborn baby is killed. Katherine and her husband are now aware of what their son may be; with the help of photojournalist Keith Jennings, who is eventually killed in a freak accident, Robert investigates Brennan's own mysterious death and accepts that Damien is the Antichrist, born from a jackal and placed in his care so that he would rise up through the world of politics. An exorcist in Megiddo named Carl Bugenhagen (Leo McKern) gives Robert some ancient daggers he had inherited that could kill the Antichrist; Thorn brings Damien to a church to lower his influence, but police ambush and kill him before Damien is harmed. Damien's enemies are dead and he's left in the company of the President.
In the second film, set in 1978, seven years after the first movie, Damien is now twelve and living with his uncle Richard Thorn (William Holden), his uncle's second wife Ann (Lee Grant), and Richard's son from his first marriage, Mark (Lucas Donat).
The young Damien doesn't understand his true potential, and when he learns the truth of his lineage he is at first horrified and does not wish to accept his evil destiny. However, others begin to suspect that he is not the sweet young boy that he appears to be. Within his life there are many people working to help him ascend to his rightful place as the Antichrist, but at the same time, lone journalists, doctors, and scientists who try to stop him and warn his foster parents. Mark sees and hears things he shouldn't; although Damien is fond of his cousin, he kills him to get him out of the way.
After Mark's death, Richard starts to believe the warnings about Damien and tries to kill him with the Daggers of Meggido, but Ann refuses to let harm come to him, instead killing Richard with them before Damien sets both of them on fire.
In the third film, Damien is appointed Ambassador to the Court of St. James, the same position his adoptive father held in the first film. Unlike the two incarnations of Damien portrayed in previous Omen films, the adult Damien is entirely aware of his unholy lineage, and his Wikipedia:Destinydestiny.
An alignment of the stars in the Cassiopeia region of the night sky (the traditional location of the stellar signal of the Second Coming) causes the creation of a super "star", described in the film as a second Star of Bethlehem. Damien realizes it is a sign of the Second Coming of Christ and he orders all male children in England born on the morning of March 24, (the morning when, in the story, the Cassiopeia alignment occurred) to be killed in order to prevent the Christ-child's return to power, as predicted in the Book of Revelation (see Massacre of the Innocents).
Thorn has also become involved with journalist Kate Reynolds (Lisa Harrow), who interviews him for the BBC. In the interview, Damien's personal brilliance is backed when it is revealed that Damien attended Yale University, and was a Rhodes Scholar, captaining the Oxford Polo and Rugby teams—a complex relationship which undermines his plans to dominate the world. Damien also focuses his attention on her pre-teenaged son Peter whom he takes as a disciple. Ultimately, the relationship is his undoing.
Meanwhile, Father DeCarlo (Rossano Brazzi) and six other priests armed with the ancient daggers, hunt Thorn in the hope of killing him before he can destroy the "Christ child." However, one by one all the priests die until only DeCarlo survives.
Finally, in spite of Thorn's efforts, DeCarlo informs Reynolds that the Christ-child is "out of his reach" but that nonetheless, the task still remains to destroy Damien. In a final act of evil, Damien uses Reynolds' son Peter (Barnaby Holm) — now slavishly devoted to Damien — as a human shield against DeCarlo's dagger. As Peter lies dying, Damien tries to strangle Father DeCarlo to death. In a desperate bid to salvage his waning power, Damien calls out for Christ to appear before him. As he does this, Kate Reynolds sneaks behind Damien, stabbing him in the back with the dagger. Christ appears in a flash before a dying Damien and peace reigns over the Earth. Damien's last words are, "Nazarene.. you have won... nothing..."
The Omen remakeEdit
- Main article: The Omen (2006 film)
In other mediaEdit
- Damien is parodied (together with his father and Jesus, who are recurring characters) in the South Park episode "Damien", and has a cameo in "Professor Chaos". Also, the episode "Tsst" ends in a similar fashion to the first film.
- "Damien" is a song written by the American metal band Iced Earth off of their 2001 Horror Show album. The lyrics of the song include references and direct quotations from the Omen series.
- The popular British sitcom Only Fools & Horses features a recurring joke in which Rodney Trotter fears that his nephew is the Antichrist. The boy is named Damien Trotter after jokingly, shortly after the boy is born, Rodney suggests this as a name for his nephew. Rodney is astonished and horrified when his brother, Derek "Del Boy" Trotter and his partner decide the name is a good choice. Omen-like music (usually "O Fortuna" from Orff's Carmina Burana) often plays whenever Rodney sees Damian.
- Rapper DMX has a song titled "Damien" on his debut album It's Dark and Hell is Hot. On his second album Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood he has a track titled "The Omen" which features the controversial artist Marilyn Manson. The final in the series of songs is on his album "The Great Depression" with the song titled Damien III.
- In the Seinfeld episode The Nap: Elaine: Hey, Kramer, listen, you've seen the Omen right? What exactly was that kid? Kramer: Who, Damien? Nothing, just a mischievous, rambunctious kid.