Who Is Raymond Reddington Really and Is She Elizabeth Keen’s Mother? 

The question of who the real Raymond Reddington is NBC’s The Blacklist TV series is yet to be answered. However, it is essential to state that one of the most prevailing fan theories making the rounds is that she is Elizabeth Keen’s biological mother. Another theory is that he was Elizabeth’s father who was in a relationship with her mother, former KGB agent, Katarina Rostova.

Amongst all the twists and turns, as well as the highs and lows fans of the series have been made to experience, the identity of the real Raymond Reddington remains one of the best-kept secrets of the TV series. Given that the series is currently in its series finale, everyone associated with the series, including the showrunners and the fans, hopes that it is a question that gets a definitive answer. While we wait on that, let’s explore all we know about the character Raymond Reddington including the possibility that she is Elizabeth Keen’s biological mother.

Is Raymond Reddington A Woman?

There is every chance that Raymond Reddington is indeed a woman. Over the course of the series’ previous nine seasons, the showrunners have teased fans with a theory that suggests that the real Raymond Reddington is a woman. As we well know, this theory has yet to be confirmed but several factors have led fans in the direction of that thought process.

One of those factors lent credence to itself towards the end of the show’s season eight firstly because of a conversation between Liz and the man we know as Raymond Reddington aka Red in the series. During the conversation, she had asked him if he knew her mother, and his response, which stated that he knew her very well, and with a knowing smile to boot, helped solidify the theory that Red is a woman.

Another clue, perhaps the most significant clue that Raymond Reddington is a woman, is the letter that Red gave to Liz to read after shooting him dead. According to him, the letter was from her mother and would explain everything she needed to know about the real Raymond Reddington.

Who is the Real Raymond Reddington?

From season 6 of the series, fans are given a glimpse into who the real Raymond Reddington is. He was revealed to be the man Elizabeth’s mother Katarina Rostova, who was a KGB agent, was in a relationship with.

The story arc revolves around the fact that she had been sent to seduce and begin a relationship with him. He found out all about it when Liz was only about four years old, and there had been a huge fallout that ended with a young Liz shooting him in the back while he was attacking Katarina, followed by a fire outbreak.

Based on the story arc, the shot was fatal for Reddington despite being pulled out of the fire by Katarina and her lover, Ilya Koslov. Ilya then assumed the identity of Reddington after his death and even went through plastic surgery to fit in.

Is Raymond Reddington Elizabeth Keen’s Mother?

One of the more believable fan theories is that Raymond Reddington is Elizabeth Keen’s mother who it seems faked her death by walking into the ocean following the death of the man she had been sent to seduce. One of the vital scenes in the series that further lends credence to this assumption came during the season 8 finale.

As Red held a dying Liz in his arms, a montage of intercutting scenes which primarily featured Red and Katarina holding her as a baby suggests that Elizabeth realized that the man holding her in his arms was her mother who transformed her appearance.

In season 7 fans were elated by the reunion between Elizabeth and her mother Katarina Rostova. That joy was short-lived as it was later revealed that the woman claiming to be Katariina was another KGB spy named Tatiana Petrova, now deceased. This reality, along with the scenes that played out just before Elizabeth died led fans to believe that Red is Elizabeth’s mother.

We also found out from season 6 of the series that the real Katarina Rostova is also still alive following her apparently faked suicide. Given that her current whereabouts are unknown, the theories suggesting that she might be Raymond Reddington continue to gain traction.

Is Raymond Reddington Elizabeth Keen’s Father?

While there is no conclusive factor to support this theory, Raymond Reddington portrayed by actor James Spader may be actually Elizabeth’s father. Given his history of defying the odds throughout the series and the fact that not all gunshot wounds are fatal, the theory that he is the real Raymond Reddington starts to make sense just because of the aforementioned factors alone.

It could be that he survived, underwent extensive surgery, and personality change. While he doesn’t see himself as Liz’s true father because of those changes, at the core, he may be Liz’s biological father even though that theory has yet to be substantiated by the showrunner John Eisendrath who it seems has no real control over the revelation of Raymond Reddington’s true identity.

With the show in its final season, fans remain hopeful about finding out whether the Red we know is Liz’s father. Although, given what we know about this series, fans should not expect the long-awaited answer to be cut and dry.

Who Was Raymond Reddington Before Surgery?

For now, no one seems to have a clue about who Raymond Reddington was before the surgery that transformed his appearance even though it has been verified that he indeed had surgery to alter his appearance. At first, he was thought to be Ilya Koslov, the childhood friend and occasional lover of Katerina Rostov, Liz’s mother but that has been proven to be false.

The information gap about the real Raymond Reddington makes it impossible to know who he was before the surgery and the aspects of him that the surgery modified. Based on the scenes portrayed in season 6 episode 1 titled Dr. Hans Koehler, it is revealed that Katarina Rostova arranged for the plastic surgery and that Dr. Hans Koehler, a close confidant of Red had performed the surgery 30 years prior.

Has Raymond Reddington’s True Identity Been Revealed?

Raymond Reddington’s true identity has yet to be revealed despite several fan theories and teasers by the showrunners throughout the last nine seasons. Given that they have announced that season 10 of the series would be the finale, it is worth assuming that we would find out sooner rather than later the true identity of Raymond Reddington.

Fans should also be mindful of the series’ reputation of ambiguity, steeped in its ability to churn out shocking twists and reveals, and not be surprised if the series ends without Red’s identity being revealed regardless of whether it will leave the show’s loyal supporters with a feeling of disappointment.


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