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From the ashes, we will rise.
— Bill Cadogan

The Second Dawn, also known as the Second Dawn of Man or the Second Dawn of the Human Race, was a doomsday cult that was founded by Bill Cadogan before the Nuclear Apocalypse. The cult is the ancestors of both the Grounders and the Disciples, after some members chose to remain on Earth while others crossed over to Bardo.


The Medal of the Second Dawn.

The Second Dawn was founded by Bill Cadogan, who believed that the apocalypse was coming. Followers had to advance through 12 levels and "only those who reached level 12 could achieve salvation." A Seattle Daily Chronicle article written in December 2042 claims that only those with lots of money could "unlock the twelve seals" since it required payments of over $10 million to the cult. The article also claims that many of the cults members are celebrities, entrepreneurs, royals, and the "who's who of society elite." Cadogan himself would insist that the Second Dawn weren't a cult to both Clarke Griffin and Gabriel Santiago who knew of the Second Dawn from his time on Earth before leaving on Eligius III. Denying it to be a cult, Cadogan claims that the Second Dawn were a collective of great minds dedicated to the continuation of their species.

According to Jaha's research, "In the two years before the bombs, Cadogan sold off most of the Second Dawn's real estate holdings, generating tens of million of dollars". However, Cadogan did not sell his childhood home even though he hated it. Underneath the home, he expanded on a bunker his father had built. Second Dawn followers below the twelfth level believed that this was the bunker that would provide salvation when the apocalypse comes. Unknown to everyone except those at the twelfth level, the real Second Dawn Bunker was built under Baltimore (which would become Polis). When the Nuclear Apocalypse happened on May 10, 2052, Cadogan and other Level 12 followers successfully hid within the real bunker while hundreds of lower level followers perished in the decoy bunker. Ultimately, 1,104 people made it into the bunker in time, 92% of the Level 12's.

Over the next two years, Cadogan worked to find a way to use the Anomaly Stone to take the cult to another world. 20 people committed suicide over a 6 month period while the remainder began worshipping Cadogan for saving them.

On October 1, 2054, Becca Franko descended to Earth from Polaris. She landed not far from the Second Dawn bunker and was met by a ground team including Tristan, Reese Cadogan, and Callie Cadogan. Becca saved Tristan from lethal radiation exposure by making him a Nightblood and used the Flame to help Cadogan open the Temporal Anomaly to Bardo. However, Becca advocated for using her Nightblood instead to rebuild the surface and save the remainder of the human race on Earth. Cadogan rejected this idea while Callie was able to get half of the kids and some of their parents to join her in secretly becoming Nightbloods to retake the surface. After Becca discovered "the final code" leading to Judgment Day, Cadogan learned of the Flame and had Becca burned at the stake in order to get the AI and the code.

Following the execution of Becca, the cult split for good. Those following Callie left the bunker, taking with them enough Nightblood doses to save 2,000 more people, ultimately becoming the founders of the Grounders. As Callie also took the Flame, Reese and Tristan, both Nightbloods themselves, chased after her to recapture the AI. The rest of the cult, now becoming ancestors to the Disciples, departed through the Anomaly to Bardo.

The Disciples

Main article: Disciples

The Disciples

The Disciples were a guard faction of the Second Dawn.

After Callie Cadogan and the other Second Dawn members splintered off from their group in the bunker, the Disciples and the other Second Dawn members in the bunker, led by Bill Cadogan, traveled through the bridge towards Bardo, where they settled there. There they became a theocratic regime known as the Disciples, sharing the same name of the Second Dawn's guard faction, its predecessor.



These characters were only shown in flashbacks from over 200 years ago and are therefore presumed deceased.

Notes and Trivia

  • "From the ashes, we will rise," is a phrase used by Bill Cadogan, the cult founder.
    • It later became part of the Grounder's prayer, "Kriken sonraun en branon. Kom graun, oso na groun op. Kom folau, oso na gyon op." (Old life and new. From the Earth, we will grow. From the ashes, we will rise.)
    • The phrase is the slogan for Season Four.
  • The Grounders' maxims "Blood must have Blood" and "Your fight is over" originated from the cult. The sayings can be seen on the wall décor within the Second Dawn Bunker.[1]
  • The cult used #fourhorseman hashtag and Cadogan spoke of the horsemen coming.
  • The Second Dawn is somehow connected with the Disciples and Bardo as revealed by Nathan Miller and Niylah finding their symbol on another planet in "Nakara."
  • The Second Dawn links the origin stories of both the Disciples and the Grounders, as both groups turn out to be descendants of the cult.
    • The last war that humanity faced ended up being between the remnants of these two groups. However, both sides decided not to fight each other and thus humanity was able to pass the Judge's test and achieve transcendence.


Season Three
Episode Appearance Status
Wanheda (Part 1)Absent
Wanheda (Part 2)Absent
Ye Who Enter HereAbsent
Watch the ThronesAbsent
Bitter HarvestAbsent
Terms and ConditionsAbsent
Stealing FireAbsent
Join or DieAbsent
Red Sky at MorningAbsent
Perverse Instantiation (Part 1)Absent
Perverse Instantiation (Part 2)Absent
Season Four
Episode Appearance Status
Heavy Lies the CrownAbsent
The Four HorsemenAppears
A Lie GuardedAbsent
The Tinder BoxAbsent
We Will RiseAbsent
Gimme ShelterAbsent
God ComplexMentioned
Die All, Die MerrilyAbsent
The Other SideAbsent
The ChosenMentioned
Season Seven
Episode Appearance Status
From the AshesAbsent
The GardenAbsent
False GodsAbsent
Welcome to BardoAbsent
The Queen's GambitMentioned
The FlockAbsent
A Little SacrificeAbsent
The StrangerAbsent
Blood GiantAbsent
A Sort of HomecomingAbsent
The Dying of the LightAbsent
The Last WarAbsent