Explaining Sleepy Hollow’s Four Horsemen


The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are some of the most interesting villains on TV right now. One of the reasons is that the writers of Sleepy Hollow tied it to the old legend from where Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman came from. Second, anything related to the bible and the apocalypse makes any fictional story much more attention-grabbing. The descriptions from the holy book don’t really match the look of the four horsemen on the show, but some details were kept. Let’s look at them one by one.

Death aka The Headless Horseman

“When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.” Revelations 6:7-8

The Headless Horseman or Death is the first one to be showed on the hit Fox show, although in the bible, he was the last to be released by the Lamb (Jesus Christ). In the bible he still has his head and he rode a pale horse. Depending on the translation, the horse that he rode can be either greenish in color or pale like the skin of a corpse. He would be depicted on paintings like the grim reaper with the hood, no flesh on his head and body, and carrying the iconic scythe.

War aka Henry Parish aka Jeremy Crane

“When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.” Revelations 6:3-4

We now know that Henry Parish is the second horseman plus the son of Ichabod and Katrina. War on the bible also rides a red fiery horse same as the show and they also both wield a great big sword. The bible describes War as being “ready for battle” so it’s assumed that he wears armor but it wasn’t described what kind.


“When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” Revelations 6:5-6

On the show, Famine hasn’t been released yet so we still don’t have any clue on who he is or what he can do. However, all of the four horsemen were already shown so at least we know what he looks like. In the bible, he carries a weighing scale symbolizing the scarcity of food. The scale is used to weigh bread or wheat which becomes a lot more expensive comes famine time. Others depict the scale as a symbol for justice so it suggests that Famine is a law giver or a judge. In the bible he rides a black horse which is different on the show because Famine on Sleepy Hollow rides a pale steed. Sleepy Hollow’s Famine also wears a hooded cloak and wields either a spear, scythe, or a staff.


“Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.” Revelation 6:1-2

Conquest, Victory, or Pestilence was the first horseman to be released on the Bible. I think it’s pretty obvious why the writers of the program didn’t choose this one for the headless horseman because Conquest or even Victory would be a pretty lame name for the first villain. On the show, Conquest rides a black horse with red eyes, carries a bow and arrow, and is in the form of a samurai. On the bible he also carries a bow but he’s the one riding the white horse. In paintings, Conquest wears a crown and garments befitting of noble or royal people. This gives the impression that he’s a leader of sorts to the point that theologians even say that he’s Jesus Christ himself.

There you have it guys, the four horsemen explained. Now you can geek out even more when you’re talking about Sleepy Hollow.

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: