Tower Prep contains a variety of intricately interconnected themes and motifs:
Rooks and Towers
The Rooks presumably take their name from the bird (a rook or raven) seen on Cornelius Tower's emblem. However, the word "rook" has a second meaning: It is the name of the chess piece also called the "tower" or "castle." The rook in chess has a crenellated battlement that resembles the top of the Tower Prep logo. (See picture at right.) Crenellations are the cut-out portions of the walls of a battlement, originally used to protect archers. Coincidentally, Ian's last name is Archer.
In "New Kid", when Ian first enters Headmaster's office, the camera lingers specifically on one of the towers in a miniature model of the school. The tower has what are either crenellations or ravens perched on top of it.
Ravens, of course, are also referenced in the name of the drug Corvus H-40. "Corvus" is the Latin word for rook or crow.
Tower of London
A legend that might be connected to the show's symbolism is that of ravens at the Tower of London. According to legend, if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, the kingdom of Britain will fall.
Symbolically, it might be that the "ravens" (the students) are being kept prisoner at the "Tower" (the school) because someone fears what would happen if they escape.
"Odin" is the codename used by the leader of the Rooks fraternity. It's also the name of the Norse god who is associated with a pair or ravens called Huginn and Muninn that fly all over the world and bring him information. This is analogous to the way that Headmaster (the "Odin" of the elder Rooks) uses spies to gather information for him. The ravens were said to perch on the shoulders of Odin, who was sometimes called the "raven-god."
Interestingly, Huginn means "thought" and Muninn means "memory," two topics that relate to Cornelius Tower, as exemplified by his expertise in psychology and hypnotism.
Cornelius Tower lost an eye, as did Odin. According to myth, Odin sacrificed one of his eyes to drink from Mímir's Well to gain knowledge of the past, present and future. Ian's preflex ability is a form of knowledge of the future.
Tower Prep contains numerous Latin words or phrases:
- The school's motto excellentia per obsequium is Latin for "excellence through obedience"
- Science lessons include Latin species names such as dasyurus maculatus (the tiger quoll).
- Latin phrases are written on the walls of the Rooks' hideout.
- Corvus is Latin for crow.
- Chemica Desin is apparently named for the Latin root word desin-, the verb for cease or desist.
- The stones in the graveyard are marked with fictional Latin species names.
- Cornelius Augustus Tower's first and middle names are ancient Roman names.