Emperor | CULT Tarot Card Meaning | The Final Girl
Pronouns: She, her
+ Success; protection via the rulebook; fatalistic; pursuit of excellence
– Sorrow; injury and trauma; a strict rule follower; “by the book creative” like a musician or dancer; unyielding; philosophical
If the Empress is about an abundance of creative energy than the Emperor celebrates a reserved and focused creativity. Musicians, dancers, musical theater kids, and the engineers who draw, all fall into this category. They tend to work within a stricter tradition but are brilliant and burn bright with artistic fervor. This easily describes the Final Girl. Within her film she is creative and daring enough to survive, but as a concept we expect our Final Girl to work within a set system. The horror genre has let her evolve over time but ultimately she is a consistent trope.
Seeing Laurie Strode’s evolution over time, it’s hard not to mention the toll taken on the Final Girl. We have celebrated her resilience for over 40 years now but the Laurie we meet today suffers from severe PTSD. The same goes for Sidney from the Scream films and countless other survivors of the horror franchise. These women are incredible and we root for them but they are also scarred by trauma.
The Emperor has a lot of power but is still a human being. She has gotten to where she is through incredible perseverance. Take this into consideration if it comes up in a reading. Similar to the Hierophant, where are you being punitive versus productive with your efforts? This card could be a call to action or a warning that you need to adapt to survive. Instead of judging her for running up the stairs, realize that every action she has taken is born from the instinct to survive.