‘Silo’: Who Are the Flamekeepers & What Are the Officials Putting in Water?

Gloria Hilderbrandt Silo who are the flamekeepers

If Silo sometimes appears to you as some massive twisted social experiment, you’re not that far off from the show’s main premise because it partially is. There are several secret layers to Silo 18, and Juliette Nichols is slowly, as the episodes pass by, getting closer to the point of no return, which will eventually result in her being sent out to clean. In this week’s episode aptly titled “Flamekeepers,” Juliette went through a lot of trouble talking to Gloria Hildebrandt. Gloria mentioned that she is the so-called “Flamekeeper” and that the officials are putting some kind of drug in the water to make people forget what it was like before. So we decided to take this opportunity to tell you everything we know about Flamekeepers and the alleged drug in the Silo’s water system.

Flamekeepers were a secretive group of people living in Silo 18 that remembered the “before” time and circulated relics for the purpose of remembering the outside world. They are highly dangerous since the knowledge they possess, including relics, can incite chaos in a society as brainwashed as Silo. Gloria was right that there is a drug that induces mass amnesia, and truly, the officials in Silo are administering propranolol, which is a medication that can erase memories of traumatic events. A single pill is highly effective, which is why it’s used as a means of control.

Now that we’ve given you a short answer to our original question, it’s time to analyze it in more detail. The post will contain some general spoilers from the ‘Silo’ book series that the show was based on, so read at your own risk.

Flamekeepers remember the surface life, and this is what makes them highly dangerous.

Juliette has discovered quite a lot about Silo since she took over the duties of sheriff, and in the last week’s episode, we saw that Juliette came across a black market for relics in the Silo, which eventually led her to acquire a certain travel guide that detailed what the world looks like before the catastrophe took place.

The travel guide had a few names written inside it, Gloria, Anna, and George. Now George Wilkins was Juliette’s boyfriend, and Anna was his mother, but who was Gloria?

This is what Juliette set off to find out when she visited Silo’s medical center. She found out that Gloria is being sedated 24/7 and is being kept under surveillance, and is forbidden to leave the medical due to her “condition.”

Juliette and Gloria

With the help of her father, who is also a doctor, Juliette managed to snatch a few hours alone with Gloria. After some back and forward with Gloria and the fact that she didn’t trust her in the slightest, Gloria revealed that the book was, in fact, legit and that it belonged to her, and then she passed it on to the next Flamekeeper, Ana Wilkins, George’s mother.

The concept of Flamekeepers is interesting because they are just one of many “secret” groups in Silo that operate in the shadows. Only their goals are less sinister than the goals of IT, for example, or whatever Simms is trying to accomplish.

Anyway, Flamekeepers remember what it was like outside before they were forced to live in the Silo. They “remember” the old way through relics such as the traveling guide and sharing stories. There are only a few of them left. I mean, I’m pretty certain that Gloria is the only Flamekeeper left unless you count Juliette as Flamekeeper now.

Gloria Hildebrandt silo

The Flamekeepers are dangerous because knowing what the outside looks like could pretty easily incite riots in the Silo. The rest of the population will start to wonder what happened to this vibrant, lush planet and why it looks like a desolate wasteland today.


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Through asking questions, people might discover that there are 50 other Silos around them and that the surface is not as toxic as they are led to believe. Also, they might discover that Silo 1 exists, populated by the literal “puppet masters,” and that Mayor and Judge are not the true leaders of the Silo. Instead, that honor belongs to the head of IT.

Propranolol is being administered through the water system to keep the people docile

Propranolol dates back to history, even before Silos were built. The pill was brought to the public’s attention at more or less the same time when nanobots were invented. It was marketed as a magic pill that is, with a single dose, able to completely erase recollections of traumatic events of the past.

The pill is administered in diluted doses to cloud the memories of Silo residents so that they can’t remember their past and what happened both outside and the events that took place during the rebellion in Silo 18. The records of the rebellion were destroyed for a reason, and even though the event is referenced occasionally, we know almost nothing about it. Adding amnesia-inducing drugs to the water is just one extra layer of security.


‘Silo’: Why Is Mechanized Transportation Prohibited?

Why are the officials trying to breed out Flamekeepers?

Now we need to return back to Episode 1 and what happened to Allison, Holston’s wife. Allison and Holston won the lottery to have kids, this was their second time winning the lottery, but despite that, they didn’t manage to conceive. We saw Allison’s birth control being taken out, and Allison likewise believed this to be the case until she got involved with George Wilkins, and Gloria revealed to Allison that “they don’t want people like you having kids.”

In one of the most grisly scenes we’ve seen so far, this turned out to be true since Allison managed to take out her own birth control, proving that there was a large conspiracy in the Silo that included reproduction.

Gloria also mentioned that Juliette’s father was in on it, and after some back and forth, he admitted that he was responsible for Gloria never having kids since he, indeed, never took out her birth control.

The Silo officials are truly “gatekeeping” reproduction. Even though everyone has a chance to have kids on paper, this is rarely the case. Public lottery that involves several layers of transparency can’t be rigged, but your birth control can. Juliette’s father said that this is because of genetic diseases, and partially it’s true. Closed communities everywhere on Earth tend to have more or less the same prevalent genetic features, or diseases, for that matter.

This is nothing new and shocking, as this is how nature has worked since forever. Children don’t need to inherit the disease, but in Silo, they can’t take those chances, and genetics can be unpredictable more often than not.

But Flamekeepers were secretly forbidden from reproducing because the officials were trying to breed out curiosity and rebelliousness. Curiosity and rebelliousness are a far greater danger to the status quo of the Silo and their society than any minor medical disorder that the child might inherit from the parents.

Besides the danger to society, there are greater stakes at hand if the population is unruly. It threatens their lives as the Silo with the greatest population of Flamekeepers will be either restarted (their memories wiped) or killed off.

This is where Bernard comes in. In this week’s episode, he mentioned that the servers have to stay under his command in order for Silo to function properly, as the servers are in charge of distributing powers and duties throughout Silo, and he was partially right on that matter.

Bernard Silo

But he also let out one piece of information, naturally: the servers are also keeping tabs on every single resident of Silo as well as on the population as a whole. Their physical shape, their beliefs, overall “viability of the Silo.” The data is sent to the main Silo 1, where its being analyzed.

Out of all 50 Silos in total, the Silo with the best overall data, best health, and the most docile and brainwashed population will get to return to the surface. All other Silos will be destroyed, and their populations culled. And this is why Bernard, leader of IT and secret head of Silo 18, has to do everything he can to keep people as healthy as possible and more docile than ever.

Flamekeepers are a threat to the status quo. They ask too many questions and bring the stability of the society of the Silo under question. Silo with too many uncontrollable residents will most certainly not be good enough to return to the surface and create a new and better human civilization, as the New World Order doesn’t want you questioning things.


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Now that Juliette knows all of this, or at least has suspicions about certain things, she is just one step closed to being sent out to clean. To learn more about Flamekeepers, we will have to wait for next Friday when Episode 8, titled “Hanna,” is released.

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