Some Spoilers are included for Helluva Boss and Hazbin Hotel!
Hazbin Hotel, a Youtube series, and the first show Vivziepop created is a hotel that hopefully will rehabilitate sinners. Helluva Boss and Hazbin Hotel both take place in the same universe. Vivienne Mercado said that the Hell in her Helluva Boss and Hazbin Hotel series is not a copy of the Hell of Christian tradition. Mercado is called Vivziepop on her YouTube channel, and I’m using that name in this article.
She has taken some liberties, but still, the show bears some similarities with a cultural understanding of Hell, especially Dante’s Inferno. Dante’s Inferno is part of a trilogy that Dante Alighieri wrote about Dante’s journey through Hell to Purgatory. Dante was Catholic, but he took liberties in his depiction of Hell. Dante’s Inferno has been called Christian Fanfiction. I would agree. As this blog has shown, we can learn wisdom from most media. While this violent cartoon is not trying to be Dante, all media can teach wisdom or provide an accurate picture of the human condition. Whether or not this happens in these shows is to be determined.
Is everyone irredeemable? What is Hell like? Hazbin Hotel and Helluva Boss somewhat answer these questions of this nature in two hilarious YouTube shows. I find shows about Hell and Heaven fascinating, and I’m curious how this show addresses areas of morality, religion, redemption, and relationships. As much as these characters are “supposed to be bad people” there are a lot of sweet moments too. I’ll begin with a description of the lore, which is both invented and inspired.
Like Dante’s Inferno, there are nine circles of Hell. Seven of them represent the seven deadly sins. Everyone goes in a ring based on the worst sin they committed in their previous life.
In contrast, Hazbin Hotel and Helluva Boss place all earthborn sinners in the pride ring. You could argue that all sins come from pride because people sin because they believe they know best. This Hell is also composed of many different creatures, including Imps, Hellhounds, and princes of hell. Speaking of princes, Vivziepop confirmed that seven princes control the seven circles of Hell, but we have yet to meet all of them. This is where this story defers from Christain and Dantean notion of Hell. People experience positive emotions there–at least non-humans do.
From the episodes we’ve seen so far, the rings of Hell, rather than rightfully punishing people for the sins they commit, are places where people relish and fully enjoy the sins of that ring. Only those born in hell can enter these rings, so the sinners cannot reach them. Asmodeus is in charge of the ring of lust, which runs like a lusty restaurant. Couples come to the tables as a place to express and celebrate their lust. Humans cannot go to the Ring of Lust, so at least sinners do not just celebrate their sin. That would make no sense. The problem is that romantic love, expressions of affection, and appreciation are as disgusting in the Lust Ring.
Therefore, when Moxxie sings a love song for Millie, he is kicked out of the ring of lust. The last episode of Helluva Boss shows that lust is not sufficient to make either Stolas or Blitz happy. Blitz feels like Stolas is using him, and rightfully so. Then Stolas starts to care about Blitz. He finally wants to get to know him. Valentino is in an abusive relationship with Angel Dust, who performs for him. I wonder if his persona is accurate or if Angel Dust is putting on an act. His video “Addict” makes me feel bad for him.
I’m a little confused why the rings exist. If the sinners are not punished according to each one, what is the point? The princes who ruled each ring may have created them based on what sin they liked doing the most. For instance, Asmodeus loves all things lust-related.
As Charlie creates the hotel, I wonder if there will be any change to the rings. Asmodeus and Fizz seem like a couple, will he realize that he loves Fizz and that lust is not enough? No one judges him, but you never know. They are a likable couple so far so I can see him rebelling a bit and falling in love with Fizz.
So, that leads to my predictions for both shows.
We don’t know much about the earthborn sinners, but we know the demons are capable of good. Stolas and Blitz are loving, imperfect fathers, and Moxxie and Mille show love for each other all the time. Yes, they do terrible things, like try to murder husbands and people they want revenge on, but they also do good. This is important when we think of what happens next.
- Charlie will realize that Heaven is a Bad Place.
So, as to the question of rehabilitating sinners, I’ll start by saying that not everyone deserves to go to heaven. In the fourth episode, C.H.E.R.U.B, we meet the angels who rival Blitzo by fighting to get an elderly man into Heaven. Blitz’s group, IMP, is hired to kill him by his old business partner, Loopty. They died when they created a de-aging device, and it backfired. Loopty died, while Lye survived. Loopty went to hell for his corporate greed, and his business partner on earth reaps all the benefits of the business they created together. The man, Lyle Lipton, is a trillionaire and gives none of the money to others. He has a framed photo of money for goodness sake. He hates being old. The cherub angels come to convince him to live. Then he can be a good person and then go to Heaven. IMP plans to convince him to die so he’ll go to Hell. The story ends with Lyle deciding to live, but then he dies and goes to Hell for being a greedy person.
Despite the cherubs’ attempts to show him the goodness of life, most of their arguments are about appreciation. They argue for the beauty of the earth, music, and art and that Lyle may one day fall in love. All of these are self-centered, all will make Lyle happy, but they don’t talk about loving others. God is also absent from their arguments. The God of Vivziepop’s universe is distant. He is also far from Hell, which is correct from a Christian perspective. But, God also seems distant in Heaven and Earth. The cherubs never mention God in their speech or God’s relationship to the created world or these good things and reasons to live. In Christianity, sinners enjoy Heaven because they are with God forever. But this God seems isolated and confusing. I’m not sure if these people even interact with God at all, which is outside the point of Heaven from a Christian perspective.
The cherubs are rude and disrespectful to Blitzo, Moxxie, and Millie. They are funny, but they seem sketch. I feel like they would murder a child without hesitation. Maybe Heaven will be a case of toxic positivity, pretending to be happy all the time is good for no one. There are several online theory videos that predict Hazbin’s Heaven is a miserable place. Perhaps people are forced to be happy all the time and cheerful in this Heaven. In a Heaven without a present God making things good and these annoying cherubs being cheery all the time, I probably wouldn’t enjoy this Heaven either.
So, my theory is that either or both shows will have their characters find out that Heaven is a terrible place. I guess that it will be Hazbin. Humans are stuck in pride ring, so maybe Hazbin Hotel will allow them to enter all the rings. If they let go of their pride, perhaps they could enjoy Hell as it is. Others characters, I think, will remain in the pride ring.
2. Some human sinners are unredeemable and are just selfish
This old man does not care about anyone besides himself, so he belongs in Hell. He will probably remain rude and useless. As shown by the rude reporter, some people are just bad. They don’t want to change. We see people die in hell but then come back. This is based on a Prometheus myth; souls are erased using holy steel. I wonder if some souls will be destroyed in the show. If someone is evil enough, the show may say death into nothingness is necessary for some. What will the evil rich old man do in the pride ring? If he is unredeemable is the best punishment suffering or disappearing completely? Although I can see human sinners staying in the pride ring or gone for good, unfortunately, I’m guessing there will still be bad demons who were born in Hell, but everyone has to deal with them. But how about the others?
3. The show will argue that life circumstances and power makes us bad
Helluva Boss and Hazbin Hotel are comedies. They are not solving moral questions about the problem of evil, nor are these characters supposed to be examples of how to live morally. Still, they deal with evil, and we can learn from what the show calls evil. I am guessing that power and cycles of abuse will be the worst evils. Angel Dust, for instance, became an addict and died from drugs. He was born into a mobster family, so it could have been his environment that made him an addict. He could be going along with his family and never have learned to be good. We also see Blitz’s insecurities delve from his past experiences. His desire for status and power appeals to him because he has none. He thinks a successful business will make him happy and give him respect.
4. The Main Characters will learn to love better
Some of these sinners have committed terrible atrocities. Alastor was a murderer on earth and buried his victims on the deer-hunting ground. He also kills demons in Hell to become powerful. He comes to the Hotel to watch sinners fail to become better. Charlie seems idealistic; her plan seems like it won’t work. I’m looking forward to hearing Alastor’s backstory and if the show finds a way to justify his actions. Did he kill bad people? Or are his actions wrong, but is he able to redeem himself? Since these characters are likable, I think they will. Charlie is overly optimistic, but Alastor is a pessimist. Their ability to work together will probably be both disastrous and challenging. It will also help both of them find a healthy medium. Hopefully, it will be hilarious.
I was surprised to see murderous characters portrayed as better than greedy and prideful people. Our pride makes us do things that harm others and ourselves. I would agree that manipulation can do plenty of damage to a person, and this is obvious in the series. Helluva Boss is quite bloody, and IMP kills people in Hell with little regard to the consequences. Alastor and Angel Dust are murderers, which is terrible. However, they are more sympathetic than the greedy rich guy.
With Blitzo, it seems he will have to confront his past, and with Stolas’ help, learn to love him. It will be similar to other characters; they will decide to be better through the love of one another. There is also some self-sacrifice. Stolas might lose the respect he gets from the upper class. I’m hoping this happens; it seems like the owl gets whatever he wants. We love others not for what they do for us, but for themselves as people. Dante claims that all love is perverted, we love ourselves more than others. Therefore, we must redirect our love to what matters most: others. Stolas must let go of his pride and status to truly love Blitzo. He needs to be humble, which would be weird but nice to see in the pride ring.
Overall Thoughts and Questions
Power dynamics create the most evil on the show. Hell itself is composed of a hierarchy, and overlords like Valentino can treat Angel Dust like garbage despite this disparity. The difference in social status between them is why Stolas makes Blitz feel bad about himself. He is so high above Stolas in society, and he teases Blitzo and enjoys that he has authority over him. This is evident in the nicknames he calls him, “impish little plaything” and “Blitzy” are a few. Stolas needs to be kicked down a peg, at least metaphorically. Despite his faults, Stolas does care about Blitzo and his daughter. He is greedy, he wants Blitz and his status and power too, but he isn’t unwilling to change.
Overall, I’m a little disappointed by the worldbuilding. I know both shows are new, but I found much of the information I included on Hell came from the wiki page. Vivziepop also reveals information through interviews, Twitter, and the character’s Instagram accounts. Yes, these characters have Instagram. It is kind of cute, but I don’t check their accounts regularly. Creating character social media accounts is an intriguing and fun way to add to the story. As the episodes take time to come out, they can be fun bits of content for fans to look at while waiting for the next episodes. I hope these posts remain an addition rather than a necessary element to the story.
I’m hoping to get answers to big questions, like why sinners are only allowed in the pride ring and what the different rings of Hell look like soon. I want to see what happens next with Stolas and Blitzo watch their relationship grow, but I also want to learn more about this fictional world. I should be able to enjoy and understand the worlds of Hazbin Hotel and Helluva Boss without watching any youtube videos or any interviews or seeing any social media posts.
I’m curious to see what happens next. I like this show. It surprisingly has good messages that things like lust fail to make us happy because they are self-serving. Power can do horrible things to people. But Charlie’s plan to help others become better is a good one. Considering her father is Lucifer, I am surprised she’s a well-intentioned character. It may be idealistic, but I’m hoping she will learn along the way. I am quite curious about how the show will depict Lucifer and God. I’m not expecting a Christian message or program. This God will probably look very different from the Christain one if shown at all. From what I’ve seen on the wiki, this God is not a Trinity, and there is no Jesus or Holy Spirit. I would be surprised if they were even remotely similar, but that also gives God the power to be evil. Will God be good is Lucifer the good one in this world? If Lucifer is the king of pride, is he selfish? How is Charlie so determined to help others.
Stolas and the main characters better not die. It would feel cheap to kill anyone right now. Considering the creators love Stolas and Blitzo as a couple, it seems unlikely. I like them too, though I hope they’re able to fix their problems. They’re pretty unhealthy right now, and Blitz has to work himself a bit. Stolas needs some awareness of people outside of himself. For other characters, I want to see more development. I want to learn about Alastor and Angel’s backstories and learn more about Charlie. I hope they don’t give Alastor a love interest like they said they wouldn’t. It would be nice to have a character who isn’t paired off. Everyone is deeply flawed, so I hope they can learn a bit and become better people. Whatever happens, I’m hoping for good storytelling and tons of jokes.
Note: I heard that Hazbin Hotel will be recast. The previous cast was fantastic and I’m a little disappointed I won’t be hearing them again. As to the new cast, I won’t I’m not sure how I feel about this yet, but I’m reserving judgment until more information is released.
Have you seen Hazbin Hotel or Helluva Boss? What did you think of the show’s portrayal of Hell so far? What do you like or not like about it? Let me know down in the comments below.