- "And a door would open to the sky... Abominations created of cold intelligence would walk the planet, and the rebellion of evil would tear the world apart." – The Prophecy of Rao, Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton, Episode 1
Rao's prophecy was a legendary Kryptonian prophecy written on the ancient Scrolls of Rao. The prophecy foretold a new beginning for the planet Krypton, stating that one Kryptonian would arise from the ashes of Krypton and start a new Kryptonian paradise.
According to Zor-El and his disciple Augo, Rao's prophecy foretold the creation of Brainiac, Zod's defiance, and the corruption of the Ruling Council. Zor-El devoutly believed in Rao's prophecy, and believed that it was his destiny to fulfill the prophecy. He fulfilled the prophecy through his own actions, using Brainiac to ignite Krypton's core.
Over the years, many Kryptonians attempted to fulfill Rao's prophecy and create a new Kryptonian paradise on Earth. These Kryptonians often use the same two-part plan:
- Destroy Earth's population and turn it into a new Krypton.
- Re-populate Earth with any remaining Kryptonians (or humans who have been turned into Kryptonian vessels).
At least five such attempts have been made to fulfill Rao's prophecy:
- Nam-Ek and Aethyr, two of Zod's disciples, wanted to join with Kal-El to turn Earth into a utopia. As a male and female Kryptonian, Nam-Ek and Aethyr would be able to re-populate Earth together.
- Brainiac tried to destroy Earth through a computer virus and the worldwide blackout of Dark Thursday. Once Zod escaped from the Phantom Zone and possessed Lex Luthor, he planned to re-populate Earth with Lana Lang.
- After being resurrected as a clone by the blue crystal, Zor-El tried to destroy humanity by using the Fortress of Solitude to cause an eclipse. He planned to re-populate the planet together with the clone of Lara-El.
- In an alternate universe, Brainiac manipulated Lex Luthor, the President of the United States in that reality, into destroying Earth with nuclear weapons. Brainiac planned to re-populate the planet using Kara and Lex, whom Zod would have possessed.
- Zod attempted to use his Kandorian army to take over Earth and turn it into a New Krypton. Instead, the Kandorians agreed to use the Book of Rao to teleport to a new world where they could live instead.
Even Jor-El tried to convince Clark to re-populate Earth with "Kara of Krypton", a Kryptonian vessel designed to lure Clark into training. It is unknown if Jor-El genuinely desired to re-populate Earth, or if he merely had "Kara" attempt to seduce Clark as a ploy to begin his training and unite the Stones of Power.
Symbol of Rao
The symbol of Rao is a gold Kryptonian charm.
In the Comics
In the comics, Rao is the name of the red sun around which the planet Krypton orbited, and is also the name of the Kryptonian god who is said to have ignited the sun. He is considered the chief of all deities. It is suggested that Rao purposefully had Clark be the lone survivor of Krypton because of the great tragedy it would make.
According to the Kryptonian mythology, Rao is the first being to be born out of the void before the universe. Feeling lonely, he sought to bring order to the chaos from which he was born, and thus created the universe. After countless eons of ordering the cosmos, Rao created Krypton, a planet meant to be a jewel in his creation. Rao then created all the other Kryptonian deities from his own essence, and these deitylings called him "Father Rao." Among Rao's children were Nightwing, Flamebird, and Vohc the builder; Vohc would later become the first heretic, a satanic figure in the Kryptonian mythology.
- Zor-El: (to Kara) General Zod is no ally of mine. He believes a civil war will bring about a new Krypton. My work is about Rao's prophecy, a new beginning—a greater good for us all.
- Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton, Episode 3
- Augo: (gesturing to war-ravaged Krypton) Kara, look out there. Nothing but pain and ruin. On Earth, you will feel no pain. It's the promised land we've been waiting for. The Scrolls of Rao have foretold of one who will rise from the ashes and start anew in paradise, where he will live as a god among men. Your father will be the one to lead us to salvation. It is a fate which cannot be changed.
- Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton, Episode 4
- Lara: Zor-El. Whatever you were planning will fail. With the portals destroyed, you will perish with us all.
- Zor-El: The prophecy will be realized.
- Lara: Jor-El should have banished you to the Phantom Zone when he had the chance.
- Zor-El: That was not destined to be, nor is Krypton's survival.
- Lara: You are a sad excuse for a Kryptonian, and a disgrace to the House of El. Jor-El and I may not have much time left, but Kara's warning will give our son Kal-El a chance.
- Zor-El: A chance for us all, my dear. My resurrection has been prophesied.
- Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton, Episode 5
- In a sense, Clark is destined to fulfill Rao's prophecy by being a "god among men" on Earth.
- Rao's prophecy is never explicitly mentioned as involving re-populating Earth. As a result, Clark may be fulfilling Rao's prophecy just by being the Last Son of Krypton.
- Alternately, the fact that Dax-Ur was able to father children and the Kawatche legend of being descended from the original Naman indicate that humans and Kryptonians can interbreed, so perhaps humanity will in time become the "new Kryptonians" by sharing their DNA.
- The prophecy also states that the chosen Kryptonian will rise on Earth and create a paradise. Zor-El believed this to be a Kryptonian paradise when in fact it references the fact that Clark, as Superman, will improve life on Earth and create a better place to live for humans.
- Rao's prophecy said that "abominations created of cold intelligence would walk the planet, and the rebellion of evil would tear the world apart." This could refer to the supercomputer Brainiac, or to the clones that Jor-El told Tess Mercer were "abominations who shouldn't have been created." It could also be talking about the invasion of Darkseid.
- Clark fulfilled a part of the prophecy in the episode Salvation when he used the Book of Rao to send the Kandorians to their new world.