Horizon Zero Dawn Explained: What Does The Ending Really Mean?
3. Horizon's Comment On Religion And Fanaticism
There's a phenomenal character moment towards the close of the game, where having discovered her true origin and what must be done (the destruction of HADES), Aloy walks back out to greet the Nora tribe, who have long-since revered these large underground metallic structures as Gods and deities.
Even that itself - the notion that "what came before" must be respected and obeyed based on assumption, is religion in a nutshell.
Based out of the fact that the act of birth is a continuation of life, the Nora revere the power of motherhood as a very important thing, and cast out the motherless infant Aloy, even seeing the children throw stones at her.
She's an abnormality, she doesn't belong - yet now she's accessed the holiest of places, and what is in reality a security system triggered through facial recognition, gets seen as some sort of 'holy blessing' on behalf of these 'machine deities'.
The Nora tribe bow before Aloy in a heartbeat, begging for forgiveness and hailing her as the almighty "Anointed". Brilliantly, she rejects the notion outright, calling out the hypocrisy in their behaviour:
"First you shun me, now this?! I am NOT to be worshipped, and I am not your anointed"
Guerrilla have written Aloy's actions as a comment on religious zealotry itself, alongside the fickle notion of happenstance 'blessings' making certain colours or creeds 'okay' in the moment, regardless of how interactions went down beforehand.
Aloy continues to tell the tribe of her adventures, that there are far more people "just as good as you" outside their walls, all with their own belief systems and ways of life.
Ostensibly, this is a way of educating anyone with a restrictive religious or militant political views, that there are far more people in this world than just them.