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Focal world(s):

Ascendant Realm


Prey upon and gain power through granting wishes to other beings

Average height:


Average weight:



Idiosyncratic speech patterns
Shapeshifting abilities

Average lifespan:


Notable individuals:


Other names:



"And thus the Ahamkara were made extinct, their call silenced, their solipsistic flatteries erased, their great design - if it ever existed - broken. Of this you can be assured, oh reader mine. "
Grimoire description[2]

The Ahamkara are a mysterious and powerful species of shapeshifting, wish-granting creatures that first appeared in the Sol System after the Traveler arrived.[3][4]


"Behold, Sister, the lie that makes itself true."
Uldren Sov[5]

Ahamkara are powerful, shape-shifting paracausal creatures capable of granting the wishes of other intelligent beings. They can appear in any form they wish, but they frequently choose shapes that exhibit draconic or reptilian attributes, hence their alternative name "wish-dragons".

The Ahamkara draw upon their wish-granting magics from the Anthem Anatheme, to transform desire into reality to suit one's purposes. To do this they use a characteristic phrase when addressing other beings, taking the form of "O/Oh (subject) mine". This phrase is apparently a curse, invoking paracausal powers of ownership over the addressee. The Worm Gods, the Cabal Emperor Calus, and the Witch Queen Savathûn have also been recorded as using this phrase, suggesting either a relationship between them or universal applicability of this phrase.

According to Ikora Rey, she once wished to know more about Ahamkara and had her wish granted. The Warlock Vanguard learned the primary desire of the Ahamkara is to become "more real," or to transcend their current reality in some way. They refer to this path by which they seek to attain their goal, as the Anathematic Arc. Ikora speculates that this goal may entail escaping their universe into one that is either subordinate or superordinate [i.e. a universe that exists within theirs (such as the distributary) or the universe that the Destiny Universe exists inside of (such as our universe)]. By granting the wishes of Guardians and other beings, they apparently move closer to this objective[6].

Ahamkara bones are often incorporated into charms and new varieties of armor. These were known to cause auditory hallucinations in their bearers as if the bones were speaking to them.[7]

In the course of their dealings with Ahamkara, the Awoken learned that mirrors and other reflective surfaces can be used to see through an Ahamkara's illusions, leading them to strategically place polished, reflective geodes as countermeasures in certain areas of the Dreaming City[8].



The origins of the Ahamkara remain a mystery. According to the Witness’s parables, in the primordial state before time or the universe began, entities existed that derived sustenance from the gradient between "what was and what might be." This may hint at the origins of beings such as the Ahamkara, which continue to base their existence on the difference between actual and possible realities.[9]

The Ancient Past[edit]

"THE DRAGONS. Our gods should be ours alone. Their smug freedom is an insult to me. I'd shut them all in cells. Bring them to me! "
Xivu Arath

References to the Ahamkara are found in the Hive's Books of Sorrow; the Harmony are described as having "wishful bishops" that make use of "dragon-wishes." Xivu Arath noted the Harmony's relationship with "the dragons" with outrage and demanded their imprisonment. Notably, the Harmony had previously been visited by the Traveler.

These "dragons" were confirmed by Empress Caiatl to have been Ahamkara during her recounting of her upbringing on Torobatl; her father, Emperor Calus, kept an Ahamkara bone that originated from the Harmony's system.

Arrival in the Solar System[edit]

The Ahamkara first appeared in the Sol System following the Traveler's arrival; several sources describe them as being part of the "neolife" that was generated by the Traveler's actions, but their exact origins are unclear. Whilst Cayde's Treasure Island Book indicates they were studied by the Ishtar Academy during the Golden Age; the Awoken claim they were first to discover the Ahamkara after the Collapse, well before they ever came to Guardian attention.

The Awoken have had extensive experience with the Ahamkara, with some rumors claiming that the Awoken discovered them living within the rocky planetoid that was used to build the foundations of the Dreaming City[10]. The Techeun Shuro Chi, however, suspected that the Ahamkara originally were sent by the Nine[11].

The Reef[edit]

The first Ahamkara to be found by the Awoken was a young Riven, brought to the Queen by her brother, in search of a power that would secure the safety of the nascent Awoken society in the Sol System.[5] Riven's wish-granting abilities, along with those of other Ahamkara, played an integral role in the construction of the Dreaming City.[12] While most of the Ahamkara preferred the worlds of the inner system, they passed freely through the Dreaming City, coexisting with the Awoken. Riven was the city's only permanently residing Ahamkara.[13] Though the Awoken and the Ahamkara enjoyed a constructive relationship, the former soon learned to be wary and careful when dealing with the latter -- all Ahamkara were tricksters, and fundamentally self-interested.

City Age[edit]

The Ahamkara were known to the Guardians during the City Age, and many made bargains with the creatures in order to reach greater power and fulfil other desires. It was ultimately decided that the price of these bargains was too great, and after much debate among the City's Consensus and Vanguard members, they ordered that the Ahamkara be exterminated in an event that came to be known as the Great Ahamkara Hunt.[14][15]

During this time, the Ahamkara had congregated on Venus, where they appeared to be engaged in some form of terraforming endeavor. According to Eris Morn, no two eyewitnesses could agree on what the nature of this terraforming project was, or in what order the relevant events had occurred. A paracausal phenomenon was observed to have manifested over the site of the Ishtar Academy and induced suicidal actions in at least one observing Guardian.[16][17]

In response to the growing chaos, the City asked the Reef for assistance and received a great deal of weaponry on loan. Mara Sov's generosity had ulterior motives: having trapped Riven in the Dreaming City,[18] she saw a powerful advantage in possessing the only living Ahamkara.[19][17]

Eventually, the Ahamkara were hunted down and seemingly rendered extinct in the Sol system. Whilst Riven is the only confirmed survivor, rumors have been spread of more Ahamkhara spotted as far out as Jupiter and Io[1]

Arrival of the Taken King[edit]

"W E M U S T B E F O R E H E T A K E S T H E M A L L"
"imagine his power"
"No, no, no!"
"that our touch be lethal"
"w e w i l l i t s o"
"that our judgment be true"
"W E W I L L I T S O"
— The Nine[20]

At the onset of the Taken War, Oryx, the Taken King invaded the Dreaming City, Taking Riven in the process. This event drove the Nine into a frenzy, as they feared that Oryx's power would become too great to face with an Ahamkara to serve him. Communications between the Nine during this time seem to suggest that the Nine knew of additional Ahamkara within the Sol System and that they killed them to prevent them from falling into Oryx's hands as well.[21]

After Oryx's death, Riven was left directionless, until she was visited by Savathûn, the Witch Queen, who took up her Taken reins as her brother had done.


Riven, desiring to escape from the Dreaming City, manipulated Uldren Sov into unsealing the only known gateway to the Dreaming City from the Tangled Shore. The Ahamkhara sent a Taken Chimera through this gateway to finally kill the Awoken Prince and force upon the portal. Instead, the abomination was slain by the Young Wolf, denying Riven any chance of leaving the Dreaming City. Entering the Dreaming City themselves, the Young Wolf was greeted by the orders of Mara Sov who demanded they slay Riven and tear out her heart.

Six Guardians would launch a raid into the Keep of Voices at the heart of the Dreaming City, where Riven was trapped. Throughout the incursion, Riven's siren would whisper to the Guardians in different familiar voices, including Mara Sov, Ikora, Uldren and Zavala. After a fierce battle, Riven was slain and her heart was cleansed of Taken essence by the Techeuns Kalli and Shuro Chi. Feeding off of the power of a powerful wish granted to six elite guardians, Riven was able to grant one last wish, manipulating the laws of Ascendancy and causing the Dreaming City to be cursed in an endless three-week time loop.

With the defeat of Riven, there are no known Ahamkara present in the Sol system. Whether they are truly extinct or not remains to be seen.

The Witch Queen[edit]

As part of the Vanguard's efforts to determine how Savathûn "stole" the Light to create her Lucent Brood, the Young Wolf broke into the Temple of the Cunning within Savathûn's Throne World. There they encountered an illusion of an Ahamkara strongly resembling Riven, or at least the form she adopted during the events of The Last Wish raid as a Taken.

Discovery in the Throne World[edit]

After assisting Eris Morn in diving into Hive magic to deal with Xivu Arath, the Guardian would discover something Savathûn called the Heirloom, revealed to be a pure Ahamkara egg, inside the Imbaru Engine within the Throne World. After discovering this egg, the Guardian spends time mulling over why Savathûn gave the Vanguard such an item. At Eris Morn's side, they make a monumental discovery: the code to the 15th wish briefly appeared to the Guardian on Savathûn's wing during her resurrection in the final tithe ritual. Ikora would realize that Ahamkara wish magic may be needed to enter the portal inside the Pale Heart of the Traveler, to confront the Witness before it can complete the Final Shape.

Since the only Ahamkara in the Sol System, Riven, was slain, Mara Sov and her Techeuns would use her Heart to conjure her spirit, so she could grant the 15th wish. While the spell roused Riven's spirit as hoped, the Ahamkara refused to grant the Guardian's wish for a "new pathway". Instead, she bargains with Mara: in exchange for granting the wish, Mara and the Guardians would ensure the safety of her eggs that she had hidden within her lair, thus ensuring the safety of her kind's future. Though this bargain risks the Ahamkara species to thrive and terrorize the people of Sol once again, Mara agrees to Riven's bargain as their little other choice. However, after descending into Riven's Lair, the Guardians and Mara learn that her clutch of eggs had been cast into the Ascendant Plane to orbit the material plane. How this was done and by whom is unknown but Mara, Petra, and the Techeuns worked out a strategy to "catch" the eggs one at a time using the Ley Lines, thereby allowing them to draw the eggs to Riven's Lair for the Guardians to secure before either Sol Divisive Vex or rampant Taken could capture or corrupt them.


Ahamkara are shape-shifters, seemingly capable of taking on any form they desire[22]. Most often, they seem to prefer dragon-like or serpentine forms, hence the name "wish-dragons". Other Ahamkara are recorded as having adopted the forms of other species, such as humans or Vex, in the course of fulfilling various Guardians' wishes. They are known to alter their forms in response to the expectations of their viewers; when Riven encountered the Guardian Savin, for example, she responded to his preconceptions by shifting into a more monstrous form[23]. At various points, Riven was also known to adopt the shapes of a winged and crested beast, a "needle-nosed basilisk," or an "antlered creature with tiger's paws". After her Taking and corruption of the Dreaming City, Riven manifested to the Young Wolf as an enormous serpentine, clawed and tentacled creature, with a fanged head covered in numerous eyes and protected by folding bone plates. Sires are the Ahamkara that serve the role of a mother while dams serve the role of a father. Baby Ahamkara are named "whims.'

Ahamkara vary greatly in size, an effect caused both by growth and their shape-shifting nature. When Riven was young, she was small enough to fit in one of Uldren's hands;[5] as time passed, she grew so large her head alone was sometimes the size of a Pike.[24] The Ahamkara Azirim grew in size after influencing and leading a large number of Awoken to their deaths, perhaps a result of having fed upon their desires. Ahamkara can die when they grant their own wishes, as was the case with Taranis when he scattered Riven's clutch.

Perhaps as a result of their shapeshifting abilities, Ahamkara skeletal remains display great diversity in size and form. Ahamkara skulls, for example, may feature two, four, or no eye sockets, may or may not have horns, and exhibit a range of different tooth shapes. A consistent feature appears to be a split lower jaw, not unlike a pair of arthropod mandibles.

Ahamkara appear to have a central core, referred to as their "heart", that may be extracted upon their death. In the case of Riven, this heart took the form of a spherical "bubble" enclosing a compressed pocket of space, which can be entered by Guardians. During the process of extracting Riven's heart, a Guardian within the heart may observe a pair of massive hands in the distance, presumably belonging to the Guardian who is holding the heart. The existence of this "heart" curiously parallels the "ravenous heart" of Oryx, the Taken King, which persisted beyond his death and lives on within the weapon Touch of Malice, and that of Nokris, Herald of Xol, who bequeathed his heart to Xol in exchange for forbidden knowledge.

Ahamkara were studied on Venus by the Ishtar Academy because of their unique genome, which contained unknown new proteins.[4] They were apparently parasitic in some sense, one of several pieces of evidence that may indicate some relationship to the Worms. [4]

Infant Ahamkara are known as whims.[25]

Known Ahamkara[edit]


"Reality is the finest flesh, oh bearer mine. And are you not...hungry?"
— Skull of Dire Ahamkara

The fossilized remains of the Ahamkara are of continued interest to Warlocks, who adorn their armor with them and thereby acquire unique powers. Some Hunters and certain Titans also wear armor with Ahamkara bones, but have less of an understanding of the risks involved. The bones seem to retain a will of their own, flattering and urging their owners to recklessness.[26][27][28][29][30][31][32][15]



  • The name "Ahamkara" comes from the Sanskrit term for attachment to one's ego.
  • Lord Gheleon possessed many Ahamkara bone fragments.[33]
  • Some players believed that the winged, flying creatures seen in the skies above Venus may have been living Ahamkara. According to Bungie, these creatures are "batadactyls". They got their informal name during an argument between members of Bungie's environment team over what animal the creatures most resembled.[34]
  • It is implied in several lore entries that the Ahamkara are aware of Destiny being a video game. In Destiny 2, the lore tab for Skull of Dire Ahamkara suggests that it speaks directly to the player of the game, and the Claws of Ahamkara suggests that they are trapped in a prison behind a screen.
    • An intentionally unused lore entry strongly suggests that Ahamkara can view the actual development of Destiny through concepts relating to the Anthem Anatheme, and tell when the player of the game finds things that are not intended to be available in-game. However, its canonicity cannot be verified.
  • It has been speculated that Ahamkara are closely related to, if not the same species as, the Worm Gods, given their similar attributes and use of the phrase "O___mine". This was later suggested not to be the case by the craftmind Medusa in a lore entry, who hypothesized that this is due to the both species separately evolved to harness the underlying power within the phrase.[35] However, since this lore series changes the stated identity of the person delivering the information, its validity is suspect.
    • The "Unveiling" Lore Book mentions two groups of entities that escaped the primordial "garden" that gave rise to the universe, the "insects" and the "worms". This would seem to further suggest that the Worms and Ahamkara are distinct, albeit fundamentally similar, creatures.

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bungie (2014/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves, Long Tomorrow 9G Helm
  2. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, Grimoire: GHost Fragment: Legends 3
  3. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Warlock
  4. ^ a b c Cayde's Treasure Island Book Cayde's Treasure Island Book
  5. ^ a b c Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Lore: Telic I
  6. ^ https://www.bungie.net/en/explore/detail/news/51148?fbclid=IwAR0VpyHyrvhUYr6_-PGbaWGvvRj3O9NeSox6cG6Ln1wRk3YEHb5nXqfWMg8
  7. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny
  8. ^ Pilgrimage: Harbinger's Seclude, Shiny Geode
  9. ^ Bungie (2019/10/1), Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Unveiling - Gardener and Winnower
  10. ^ Pilgrimage: Harbinger's Seclude, Shiny Geode
  11. ^ Pilgrimage: Harbinger's Seclude, Shiny Geode
  12. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Gauntlets of the Great Hunt
  13. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Riven
  14. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, Item Description, [1]
  15. ^ a b Bungie (2017/28/3), Destiny: Age of Triumph, Item Description, Knuckles of Eao
  16. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Mask of the Great Hunt
  17. ^ a b Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Plate of the Great Hunt
  18. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Hood of the Great Hunt
  19. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Greaves of the Great Hunt
  20. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Lore: Reextinction
  21. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Lore: Reextinction
  22. ^ One Thousand Voices
  23. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Lore: Savin
  24. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Riven
  25. ^ Bungie (2023/11/28), Destiny 2: Season of the Wish
  26. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, Item Description, Sealed Ahamkara Grasps
  27. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, Item Description, Bones of Eao
  28. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, Item Description, Claws of Ahamkara
  29. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, Item Description, Scales of Eao
  30. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, Item Description, Ahamkara Scale
  31. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, Item Description, Skull of Dire Ahamkara
  32. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, Item Description, Young Ahamkara's Spine
  33. ^ Bungie (2016/20/9), Destiny: Rise of Iron, Grimoire: Lord Gheleon
  34. ^ Ride Along - Venus - Bungie Commentary
  35. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Lore: asudeM