- "The first time I met Zavala, I was really intimidated. He's kind of a lot to take in, you know? But then we got to talking about the City and the Walls and how we're all going to die and the nine hundred things that want to wipe us out. And I realized he's actually much scarier than most people give him credit for."
- —Amanda Holliday
Zavala was born sometime before the Collapse, and was revived by a Ghost into a Guardian. He traveled to the famous camp that would eventually become The Last City, helping to build the city alongside people such as a younger Speaker.
Zavala eventually became a student of Lord Saladin, and fought in the Battle of the Twilight Gap. Later, after parting ways with Lord Saladin, he was a competitor in the Crucible. As Commander, multiple factions have approached him to try and gain his support. In particular, he was approached by New Monarchy via Executor Hideo, and was offered to be made king of the City if he had joined their faction, but he refused, likely not wanting to reignite the Faction Wars (see quote below). He also turned away Arach Jalaal when he pleaded with him for support. However, he did vouch for Future War Cult's inclusion into the Consensus, considering their focus on combat more useful to the City than dangerous. When his predecessor as Vanguard Commander, Osiris, tried to broker a contract between the City and a mercenary group of Titans called the Sunbreakers, Zavala found the terms of the deal unacceptable and rejected it, causing the Sunbreakers to hate the Vanguard and Zavala. In return, Zavala erased nearly every mention of the Sunbreakers from the City's records.
Zavala's role in the Vanguard is the overall defense of the City and military strategy against enemy forces, both on Earth and abroad. He tasks Guardians with a preemptive strike against the House of Devils by killing Sepiks Prime, as well as recapturing Freehold by eliminating the Cabal chain of command.
The Taken War
Mending Relations with the Sunbreakers
- "A Sunbreaker's fire has not been seen in the City for years. Their association with Osiris, the stupidity of our youth... it all seems so long ago."
With the threat that the Taken posed to the solar system, Zavala began to consolidate all Vanguard forces and sought to rebuild relations with groups that had left or been exiled from the City. Amongst these groups were the Sunbreakers, an order of Titans who utilized Solar Light and had close ties to Osiris. Having rejected a deal with them long ago, Zavala now regretted that decision, and upon learning that a legion of them had been spotted for the first time in years in the Ishtar Collective on Venus, he requested that The Guardian serve as his representative and meet with them. Monitoring the Guardian's progress, Zavala detected a Sunbreaker beacon that was intermixed with a Vex signal, and discovered it contained a message from Ouros ordering a retreat through a Vex gate and that the Sunbreakers had been there for a task related to Osiris. The Guardian subsequently learned that the Sunbreakers managed to open the gate and flee to their Forge on Mercury.
As the Guardian headed to Mercury, Zavala admitted that he was responsible for the schism between the Vanguard and the Sunbreakers, and warned them that they hated Zavala. Tracing the Sunbreakers to The Burning Shrine, the Guardian impressed Ouros and was granted the power to utilized the Hammer of Sol, along with any other Guardian who proved worthy. The Guardian returned to Zavala, who lamented the exile of the Sunbreaker's and reflected on the mistakes of his youth. He was glad that their fire had now returned to the City and would once again keep it safe, strong, and warm.
The Red War
- "I'm en route. If we attack together, we can take back our home, or we die trying."
Zavala helped the Guardians fend off the Red Legion during their massive invasion, but when their cage cut all Guardians off from their Light, he was forced to flee Earth. He flew his ship to Titan, where he was joined by Sloane, and began calling all surviving Guardians to rally there. Too late, he learned that the moon was infested with Savathûn's Hive, leading to many deaths among the Light-less Guardians. That failure forced Zavala into a depression, wondering if without the light, are they even Guardians anymore. Fortunately, one Guardian managed to regain their Light and fight off the Hive on the Arcology power stations, giving the Vanguards forces a temporary base and Zavala hope once more. After sending the Guardian into the New Pacific Arcology to procure a CPU to decrypt high-level Cabal transmissions, Zavala learns about The Almighty, a massive Cabal warship constructed to destroy suns and it has been placed outside of the Solar System's sun. While most despaired on the hopelessness of the situation, Zavala's resolve remains strong, declaring that with what was left of the Vanguard's forces, they would launch an assault on the Almighty but before he does so, Zavala states he needs his old fireteam. He needs Ikora and Cayde.
Sending the Guardian to find the Hunter and Warlock Vanguard, they succeed in finding them while disrupting Cabal operations in the System. Zavala is reunited with his comrades on Earth at The Farm where they discuss a strategy to take down the Almighty, liberate the Last City and free the Traveler. He learns from Ikora that they cannot destroy the Almighty without causing a chain-reaction that would destroy the sun along with it. Nonetheless, Zavala suggest they get the Guardian on board to permanently disable the Warship while the Vanguards forces would sneak into the Last City to liberate their home and take down Ghaul. Cayde also provides a Vex teleporter that would allow them to reach the Dominus quickly. Hawthorne provides the means to sneak into the Last City and a plan to get the Guardian to the Almighty as well. The Guardian would steal the security pass and personal ship of Thumos, the Unbroken to reach the Almighty while Hawthorne aids the Vanguard.
The Guardian succeed in disabling the Almighty which allows Zavala to initiate their attack to liberate the Last City. Despite having no Light to aid them, Zavala and the Vanguard's forces succeed in taking out Cabal troops and checkpoints but was almost killed by a Red Legion soldier. Thankfully, he was saved by Hawthorne, who thanks her and calls her a Guardian. As the Guardian returns to join the fight, Zavala and his team hold off the Red Legion as they get to their position while Cayde sets up the teleporter. The Guardian reached them, wounded but alive, and use the teleporter to infiltrate Ghaul's command ship, the Immortal, near the Cage. There the Guardian faces off and defeats Ghaul, ending the life of the Dominus. In the chaos, the Traveler awakens after centuries of slumber and restores the Light, driving the Red Legion from the Last City.
A New Golden Age
- "None of us will take the Speaker's place. And all of us will. We must find our own consensus now."
- —Zavala, after being questioned by Executor Hideo about replacing the Speaker as leader of the Consensus
With the City reclaimed and the Traveler awake, Zavala congratulates the Guardian while proclaiming this the start of new Golden Age for all humanity. As the fighting calmed down, Zavala and the Vanguard set up a new base near the ruins of the Tower while reinstating the Strike protocols to battle the enemies of the City once again.
With the Speaker's death, Zavala became the acting head of the Consensus. At the first meeting of the Consensus held after the battle, Executor Hideo protested that only a Speaker could call them to order, and Lakshmi-2 asked what the bylaws said about choosing a new one. Zavala informed them that there was no process for choosing a new Speaker, and Ikora suggested that they would have to create one. Until then, Zavala stated that they would move forward without a Speaker, with all the members of the Consensus having to work together without a formal leader to keep the City running and safe.
At a subsequent meeting of the Consensus, Zavala asked the Titan Callisto Yin to join them, and thanked her for saving the Firebreak Order's sacred Fire Victorious, lit by the legendary Titan Wei Ning, from Firebreak Plaza during the fall of the City. Hideo informed them that repairs to the Plaza were nearly done and the Fire Victorious could be returned in a relighting ceremony soon, but Yin informed the Consensus that the Fire Victorious would not be returning to the City in the same fashion as before. Each member of the Firebreak Order would now carry some of the fire with them in the shell of their Ghosts in order to spread Wei Ning's eternal flame to each battlefield they fought on. 
Personality and Traits
Resolute, experienced, strong and charismatic, Zavala is a perfect exemplar of the Titan class of Guardian and a gifted leader that leads the Vanguard with the utmost determination. Zavala's first priority is the protection of the Last City and takes that charge seriously. No matter what force that seeks the destruction of the Last City, Zavala would face that enemy head-on. His one true goal is to defeat the Last City's enemies and reclaim the Solar System. Zavala has complete faith in the Guardians purpose in defending those in need. For this reason, he doesn't approve of those who doubt the Guardians abilities while espousing the dangers of the Last City's enemies, such as Eris Morn. Despite this, Zavala finds the value and skills in everyone and will defer to their advice when needed.
While Zavala is a capable, strategic leader, he can appear rigid and orthodox to others, especially Cayde-6, whose care-free attitude annoys Zavala to no end. While he would prefer people to follow orders and the chain-of-command, he will admit when a unorthodox strategy works. Though he can at times clash with Cayde, he nonetheless considers Cayde both a teammate and a friend. In contrast, he gets along well with Ikora Rey, though he has little patience for Warlock curiosity.
The only time Zavala ever doubted himself and the Guardians as a whole was when the Last City fell to the Red Legion at the beginning of the Red War. As it was his duty to protect the Last City, Zavala felt he failed at everything he was meant to protect. Though he originally sought to counterattack, after losing Lightless Guardians to the Hive in a foolhardy attempt on Titan, did Zavala's spirit nearly break. He was even questioning if without the Light, was he even a Guardian anymore. It was only The Guardians efforts and learning of their restored Light did Zavala regain hope. Even after learning about the Almighty and its threat, Zavala's resolve remained strong, determined to defeat those who threaten the very existence of everything he knows. Zavala's overall confidence is restored after the liberation of the Last City and the awakening of the Traveler.
Commander Zavala serves as the Vanguard Tactician upon completion of the Red War campaign. Vanguard Tactician tokens earned from strikes can be turned into Zavala to receive Vanguard Tactician Engrams, which can reward Vanguard weapons and armour.
- Origin Story - also available as a reward for completing the Strikes milestone
- Nameless Midnight - also available as a reward for completing the Strikes milestone
- Nightshade - also available as a reward for completing the Strikes milestone
- The Showrunner
- The Last Dance
- Daedalus Code
- Deadpan Delivery
- Curtain Call
- Main Ingredient
- Wicked Sister
- "The Scout's reporting from Mumbai."
- "There is a difference between victory and invincibility."
- "Tell me, about their light."
- "What's wrong with these people?"
- "Didn't we have enough Kings after the Collapse? Have we forgotten our history?"
- "Still, the walls stand."
- "Despite it all, here we are."
- "What do they think of us? Do they think of us?"
- "One victory is not enough. Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the dark."
- "Deploy the Fifth. The North West wall is weak."
- "The Traveler weakens while we remain idle."
- "What sort of game does Shaxx think he's playing?"
- "Every second we waste in idleness is a second lost to Darkness."
- "If we wait we die! But if we attack together we can take back our home, our light, our hope! Or we die trying"
- He is voiced by Lance Reddick.
- He seems to be familiar with the works of the ancient Chinese war general Sun Tzu, as he is heard paraphrasing The Art of War.
- His armor is the Jovian Guard, a PlayStation exclusive Armor set, although the symbols are different denoting his status as the Titan Vanguard.
- Zavala is a Mexican surname.
- Zavala has a hidden soft spot for knitting and crocheting, and got visibly excited when he was presented with a homemade sweater courtesy of Eva Levante.
- The Destiny 2 gameplay trailer revealed Zavala as a Defender Titan, utilizing the Ward of Dawn against enemy attacks even from overwhelming force such as missile barrages from Red Legion Warships. Earlier, during the Battle of Six Fronts, Zavala wielded Striker abilities against the Fallen.
List of appearances
- ^ Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard.
- ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Iron Banner Rep
- ^ Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Lord Shaxx: Quotes
- ^ Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Executor Hideo: Quotes
- ^ Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Arach Jalaal: Quotes
- ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Future War Cult
- ^ a b c Bungie (2015/10/25), Destiny: The Taken King, Activision Blizzard: Bound by Fire
- ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard
- ^ Bungie (2015/10/25), Destiny: The Taken King, Activision Blizzard: A March of Fire
- ^ Youtube - Destiny 2 - Meet Commander Zavala
- ^ a b Bungie (2017/5/12), Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Peace by Consensus
- ^ Bungie (2017/5/12), Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Fire Victorious Shell
- ^ IMDB - Destiny (2014)
- ^ "One victory is not enough. Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the dark."