GHOST's Cardinal Copia Could Become Papa Emeritus IV If He Proves Himself
Followers of Ghost who were paying attention to the storyline of the next album, Prequelle were expecting a Papa Emeritus IV unveiling, as a new Papa was unveiled with every previous album release.
But instead, the Ghost higher-ups killed off all the previous Papas, fans were stunned (maybe that's too strong of a word) that the next in-character vocalist of the band would in fact be a Cardinal – Cardinal Copia to be specific. In a new longform interview with Revolver, band mastermind Tobias Forge reveals that Copia could still end up being Papa Emeritus IV if he proves himself:
“There’s another aspect to ‘Prequelle’ that might not be immediately apparent: the age-old story of the master and the apprentice, of the older generation passing the torch to the younger. ‘That’s why we have a new guy,’ Forge explains. ‘The Cardinal is not the boss. He’s just the toastmaster. A cardinal is junior to a pope figure. We still have Papa Emeritus [Zero, a.k.a. Papa Nihil] but he’s passing on. He needs to teach the Cardinal to become a pope, to earn his skull paint.’
“Forge says it was always the plan for Ghost to have a succession of Papas. Each one has a built-in term limit — kinda like presidents. ‘And then there was gonna be a moment in time where you have to sort of chew through a little bit of an underdog person that you might not like,’ he says with a laugh. ‘So we end up with this character that I’m not even fond of myself. He’s new and he is an imposter and he hasn’t proven himself yet. But if he does, he will become Papa IV.'”
Obviously, it's a fun bit of lore to add to the band's ongoing story, and I could see with the release of an EP or something a year into the band's album cycle, they advance the storyline to have Copia become the new Papa.
If there is one thing Ghost understand, it's solid marketing.
You can read our interview with Forge here.
Prequelle is out this Friday, June 1. Look for our review tomorrow.