Samson’s Hair: Symbols of Power


I’m always shocked to see what kind of Biblical connections we can make in fiction where there are none intended. Samson’s Hair is a symbol of power, and it comes from a looooong and bloody story with lots of death, and there’s no happily-ever-after. But one thing that sets the story apart from others is the symbol of strength – something that’s sometimes lacking in Biblical stories due to the fear of worshipping false idols.

The story goes that Samson was asleep in Delilah’s arms when she took a bribe from some Philistines to learn the secret of Samson’s strength. The secret was his hair – and I’m sure she didn’t find it too hard to get that tidbit of critical info out of him – so she had his hair chopped off while he was sleeping. He was captured then, and eventually turned to God for renewed strength and was able to die in an epic collapse of the temple when he shoved two pillars apart and smashed it all to rubble.

But in this story, the symbol of strength is only later Samson’s prayer and faith in God… early on, it’s his hair. I wish my hair had superpowers. All my hair has is the power to fray obnoxiously at the ends. Oh and to get in my eyes when the wind is blowing.

In fiction we often see symbols of power in a physical form, such as…

The Dagger that carries the Sands of Time in Prince of Persia


I’m guessing Jake Gyllenhaal doesn’t need no stinkin’ dagger to gain power over raving #fangirls like me. Must be the hair.

Thor’s Hammer (Myth or Movie, take your pick!) But again, hm, that HAIR! 😉


The Matrix of Leadership (TRANSFORMERS!!!! Revenge of the Fallen)

156- the Matrix of Leadership suddenly crumbles to dust after thousands of years



Physical symbols of power are used in so many different forms of fiction. Having that one thing the protagonist pursues as though his life depends on it (because it usually does) really drives a character and a story. Or having that character need to protect the symbol of power from apprehension… that does the trick, too. I’m always inspired when there’s that physical pursuit, like Delilah of Samson’s hair.

Where have you seen symbols of power in fiction, and what movies come to mind when you think about that pursuit for the powerful object? How do these objects change the overall goals of a character?


About Nola.Sarina

I am an author of dark fantasy, horror and paranormal romance books. My dark fantasy series, The Vesper Series, is a twist on Original Sin. The series is represented by Michelle Johnson of Inklings Literary Agency. I find my favorite books with new takes on all things supernatural, paranormal and biblical, including vampires, angels and demons, and am an advocate for the New Adult market category for fiction.

Posted on April 30, 2013, in Movies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Mmm…Jake Gyllenhaal. 😀 Oh, where was I?

    You know I actually haven’t seen Prince of Persia yet. I should really get on that. I’ve also never seen Transformers. :-O I just watched Iron Man for the first time a couple weekends ago.

    Pursuit of a powerful physical object? Well, how bout “keep it hidden, keep it safe.” The One Ring of power in The Lord of the Rings. I’m a big fan of the movies, more so than the book although I did love the book & I don’t often read fantasy. The One Ring was the first to pop in my head.

  2. That’s funny, I was just talking about LOTR and didn’t even think to add it to this post! Hahaha. Prince of Persia is GREAT. The actress in that, Gemma Arterton, is AMAZING too. #Girlcrush

    • You just wanted to leave room for me to comment 😉 haha! Oh a possible new #girlcrush? I definitely need to watch! The real question is why haven’t I when I LOOOVE Jake? My MC is named Jake because of him for God’s sake!

  3. #JoesAndJakesAteOurBrains – You rock!! Mmm…let’s face it. Brokeback Mountain was one of the hottest movies EVER! I’m still pissed they didn’t give both of them Oscars. Crash? Best Picture?? For real?! *mini-rant over* But yes. YES.

  4. Isn’t it interesting? I like the long hair too…ermm…ummm…on woman. 😀

    A “Two-fer” comes to mind. The Ark of the Covenant. A well played symbol in both the Bible and Raiders of the Lost Ark. In each there are also places where we see what happens when the symbol falls into the wrong hands. Namely melting Nazi’s and the Philistine brought to it’s knees by hemorrhoids. (Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?)

    Great post!

  5. Spike Cordiner

    First thing that sprang to mind for me? The Ark of the Covenant in Indiana Jones. Closely followed, of course, by the Grail.

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