- The Dipp -Here's How The Origin Of The Keys On 'Locke & Key' Compares To The Comics
In episode eight, Locke & Key Season 2 finally serves up the history lesson fans have been craving since the show began. Thanks to hot teacher Josh, a pair of old journals, and some flashbacks to the Revolutionary War, the origin of the keys is no longer a mystery (although the origin of the demons who live behind the Black Door is still maddeningly vague). As expected, the show's writers made some changes in adapting the origin story of the keys from Joe Hill's comic book series for the Netflix show, but on the whole, the TV version of Locke & Key didn't stray too far from its source material this time around.
The big news is the current Keepers of the Keys have the ability to make new keys just like their ancestors did. In Season 2, Uncle Duncan creates his second key, the Demon Key (the first key he created was the Memory Key), at the behest of Gabe. Meanwhile, Tyler is tasked with creating a key to counteract the effects of the Demon Key, which leads to him forging the Alpha Key. Unfortunately, the Alpha Key has the heartbreaking side effect of killing both the demon possessing a human host and the actual human.
Much like Peter Parker, the Lockes are quickly learning that with great power comes great responsibility — and also that messing around with demonic forces always ends with someone getting hurt, even when you have good intentions. But hey, at least they're not alone, because their ancestors had to learn a similar lesson when they created the first key after an unfortunate run-in with the presumptive big bad of Season 3, Captain Frederick Gideon.
On The Show, The Locke Ancestors Forged The First Key To Lock The Black Door
There's still a whole lot of questions surrounding the demon dimension that lies behind the Black Door, but at least viewers now know why the door is there in the first place. In the aftermath of Gideon hearing the whispers in the sea cave, and removing a rock which opened the divide between the normal world and the demon world, demons escaped and entered the Revolutionary soldiers who were in the cave. Any entity that didn't find a host became a piece of Whispering Iron.
While most of the men ran from the pieces of iron that escaped from the divide, Gideon welcomed being possessed. After witnessing how dangerous the captain and his men became after becoming infected, Benjamin Locke and his sister, Miranda, realized they had to block the passage between the worlds. Luckily for Benjamin, he could hear the Whispering Iron, which led him to build a door and forge a key.
His first attempt at creating a key failed, but thanks to Miranda's inexplicable knowledge of the rituals of alchemy (she's definitely an OG witch, right?), the siblings realized they needed to create the key with intention and offer a blood sacrifice in order to imbue it with power. As a result, Benjamin's second attempt worked, which led to the forging of the Omega Key to lock the newly built Black Door.
Additionally, the siblings are shown picking up the Whispering Iron they found in the cave, and musing about what else they could potentially create. And thus the Locke family's legacy as the Keeper of the Keys was born.
Here's How The Creation Of The Keys Goes Down In The Comics
In the comics, it's not the Red Coats who find the doorway, but rather a group of American rebels who are hiding in the sea caves. These same rebels ask Benjamin, who is a gifted locksmith, to drain the cave below his property to allow them to have a safe place to take refuge from the British. Once the cave is drained, they notice a door with unusual markings on it.
The door soon begins whispering to the soldiers, which leads to them opening it and revealing the alternate dimension of Leng. At the same time, the Children of Leng, who are essentially symbiotic demons in need of a human host to survive in our world, escape and begin possessing the soldiers. Just like on the show, any demon that fails to find a host becomes a piece of Whispering Iron which can be used to create a key.
Once Benjamin sees what is behind the door, he becomes determined to close it for good. He first tries to forge a lock, but he soon realizes no normal padlock will keep a door to a demon dimension closed. This leads to him listening to the Whispering Iron and innately understanding he can use it to craft a key to keep the door shut.
So What's The Difference?
Basically, the biggest difference in the two origin stories is on the show, Benjamin is a young teen with no confidence in his abilities to forge weapons like his father. It's not until he and his sister craft the first key after the captain kills their father that he finds a sense of purpose. Seeing Benjamin and Miranda work together to find a solution to closing the door feeds back into the show's overarching story of the importance of family in a way that Benjamin's solo mission in the comics doesn't.
Additionally, the British are responsible for opening the demonic flood gates in Season 2, while in the comics, Benjamin and the rebels' decision to drain the cave is what uncovers the door. This gives the show the opportunity to introduce Gideon, who returns in the final moments of the season, and sets up a showdown between the captain and the modern Lockes in Season 3.
Overall, the keys' origin story is fairly similar, but the show's writers wisely saw a chance to create a villain who could take the place of Dodge in a potential Season 3, whereas, the comics were largely just focused on showing how the Locke family came to be in possession of a boatload of magical keys.