Do you think there's any mythological or must significance to the number 44,444? I've googled around a bit and nothing's turned up, but i havent gone that in depth so who knows :o
Thanks a lot for the ask Joe, in fact its a very interesting issue to ponder on right before the next issue!
First of all, i suspect that Gillen went into “hmm, let’s say there’s gonna be a lot of people, maybe around 50,000, thats A Lot, but let’s make this number repetitive and use 4s!” This is why I started thinking mostly about the symbolical meanings of four (if youre into numbers’ meanings you probably wont find anything interesting from now on).
I’d say that the most popular (and the most ominous, which is always a wicdiv #mood) popcultural meaning of number 4 is the East Asian one. 四 is almost homophonic with the word for “death” in Chinese, and so are its Sino-Xenic descendants in Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. I wonder how does it impact the perception of gods such as Cassandra (Japanese-British) and Woden (a known weeb).
We have 4 corners of the world (N, S, E, W, and corresponding winds), 4 elements (at least in the Western culture), 4 seasons (again not everywhere bc clima and cultural differences).
The most interesting Biblical meanings i know are: on the 4th day God finished creating the material world (later came life), and the Eden was surrounded by 4 rivers. There were 4 Evangelists, and the cross has 4 sides. Oh, and there are 4 Horsemen of The Apocalypse (at least in the Bible, Discworld had 5 until one decided to sell milk in Ankh-Morpork…) I guess that in the Western culture 4 seems to be more of a “harmonic” number associated with natural order, stability and stuff.
4 is often associated with a square, and apparently Pythagoreans considered it a number of the God? But besides square, tetrahedron is a nice figure and the first platonic solid (which are cool and nice and regular). (and i tried to convert 44444 to binary, oct and hex, but nothing cool came)
Finally regarding the repetition thingy: I guess that it is mostly used to make a number and its meaning more prominent (like in the Bible 6 is a “human” thus “imperfect” annd “not God’s” number, and 666 is famous number of the beast). Some various numerology (lmao) blogs I found say that repeating 4s are good because of perceived stability. And the only cultural usage of repeated 4s that I (and a lot of Polish high-schoolers) know is (lo and behold)
A imię jego czterdzieści i cztery! (and his name is fourty and four!)
Which is an excerpt from a Polish romantic drama “Dziady” and is a part of a vision that one character has. This fourty and four dude is a supposed saviour of Poland who is yet to come. Nobody exactly knows why did Adam Mickiewicz use this number (apparently he told it was under inspiration), many people tried linking it to some cult business Mickiewicz was involved in, many people linked it to Kaballah, most popular interpretation being that D and M from “ADAM” are 4 and 40 letters in Hebrew alphabet (you can verify this better than I could, right?), other interpretations I have in the polish notebook are Konrad (the protag of the drama, but i dont rmr why), 4 being a number of “wholeness”, and personification of the nation (wtf?). Okay, this part was supposed to be cracky, but got long.
anyways i see Woden being more like “lets say its 44,444 people because 4 is Death and it is Cool and will Piss Off Cass” than “let’s reference some fucking polish drama nobody care about unless they are polish and have to write the final high school exam soon”.
And on a personal note, I strangely like the fours. Mostly because I perceive 4 synaesthetically as green, and green has always been my fav colour :)