The Protagonists

Bene Ha Elohim 
Sons of God 

 A Novel 
by K. T. Hehir and C. J. Hehir

The Protagonists

Excerpted from Appendix 3
(Contains spoilers)

Writing this novel has been a roller coaster ride of emotions. In making our protagonists real and multi-dimensional, we have tried to inject in each one of them a soul, imbuing in our characters distinct strengths of emotion, a highly evolved intellect and personalities that show growth and change. 

With Mishael’s characterization, we have been able to exercise liberty in our portrayal of his dual nature as a flawed human being and as a sinless angel of the Lord. However, with such a limitless scope of liberty has been the danger of committing the clichés of characterization that would have reduced Mishael to a derivative of many popular heroes of fiction. We have, therefore, applied economies of scales in narrating about his heroic exploits, concentrating instead on the gamut of details that makes him discrete yet personable and relatable: his fears and insecurities, which he sometimes masks with his verbal witticisms; his mannerisms and quirks, such as the myriad ways he obscures his eyes to avoid being seen as weak and his fixation with physical cleanliness; his sense of loneliness and solitude, a condition he finds unbearable but inevitable, whenever he is separated from the brothers he loves, which is frequent; his longing to be seen as mature and his struggles to align his mental and emotional maturity in harmony with his physical appearance, an exercise that is usually thwarted by his own lack of experience of, and exposure to, the demonic world; and his near-unshakable connection with Michael – no matter where Mishael finds himself, he longs to be back in the bosom of his surrogate father, whom he loves with all his heart, and he almost always keeps his telepathic communication line with Michael open at all hours. The reader will not fail to notice the details of the special and tender father-and-son bond between these two central protagonists, the narratives of which are repeated throughout the storyline. Through Mishael’s relationship with Michael, we have wanted to portray a facet of the close and loving bond a son can have with his father. 

The Archangel Michael is the quintessential hero of this piece, only more so because he is perfect – perfectly righteous, perfectly just, perfectly kind and loving. With Michael, who is the Lord’s leading minister, he is depicted as commanding all the units of the Lord’s armies of warrior angels. A ruler of the heavenly powers, having been endowed with authority as guardian of the nation of Israel, he is also portrayed as a dignified prince, usually composed in the midst of his adversities and quick to think on his feet when bringing a crisis to a denouement. In the angelic echelon, Michael, together with Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael and Remiel, is in the hierarchy of an elder. Because he has spent thousands of years learning about the universe and cosmos while seated at the Lord’s feet, Michael is as his namesake, the Michael of Scripture, whose name means ‘Who is Like God’. Ergo, he is described as bringing up Mishael with dignity, patience and loving kindness, which are some of the divine attributes of God. He is earnest about raising Mishael in a loving and protective environment, but one that respects Mishael’s dignity as a free will individual. At times, this conviction has put him at loggerheads with his right hand man, Gabriel. 

A member of the elite cadre of warriors in the Lord’s army, the Archangel Gabriel is an elder and a Commanding General. His longstanding role as the Lord’s chief messenger to the human race is underscored by his trademark tenderness and an incisive understanding of human nature. His years of experience dealing with the human race means that he is swift on the draw to recognize the root of Mishael’s crises, and acutely aware of, and sympathetic to, Mishael’s human needs. On the other end of the prism, being more aware of the capricious nature of human behaviour, he is susceptible to being sceptical and suspicious, and, therefore, is more guarded in his attitude towards Mishael. Whereas his love for Mishael is unquestionable, Gabriel is the authoritative figure within their relationship dynamics, just as Michael is the nurturer, and this is demonstrated in his impassioned desire to be punitive of Mishael as a form of discipline.