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The Darkness
Grimoire The Darkness.jpg


Track and destroy the Traveler
Spread its influence across the universe

At war with:

The City
The Reef



Notable groups:

Unknown extragalactic race

Notable individuals:

Black Heart

Other Names:

The Deep

"What if I told you that eons beyond the void lie worlds that do yearn to aid in our struggle? What if I told you there is a way to grant them passage into your mind, to let them guide your eye against our one true enemy? That they have told me that the dusk of the pyramid draws nigh? Would you believe me?"
—Eye of Another World description

The Darkness[1] is a powerful,[2] paracausal alien force inimical to the Light. It is the ancient enemy of the Traveler,[1] and actively tracks it through the cosmos.[3] The Darkness once ruled the universe, and the Hive believe that the Light must be consumed for the Darkness to reclaim its domination.[4] While never encountered directly, the Darkness employs many minions, with some of its most powerful servants being worshiped as deities unto themselves. The Vex, Hive, and Taken are linked to this force.[5] Hive Wizards call upon the Darkness for their powers, [6] whereas the Vex worship the Darkness in the form of the Black Heart.[7]


The Collapse[edit]

The Director's depiction of the Darkness arriving in the Solar System.
The Darkness closes in upon the Traveler.
"Something hit us. Killed our Golden Age. Nearly wiped us out. Only the Traveler saved us, and at a shattering cost."
Grimoire description.

The only solid information on the Darkness comes from an ISR report from centuries ago.[1] At that time, the Darkness appeared just beyond the edge of the Solar System in what was termed as a "TRANSIENT NEAR EXTRASOLAR EVENT", with the only means of determining that a transient event had even occurred was through the detection of a 0.3 second displacement of gravity waves, as well as anomalous interactions in the local Higgs field traced to sterile neutrino scattering.

An AI observing the event, the Warmind Rasputin, was able to derive some information, based solely on the phenomena that it could detect, but was unable to ascertain its mechanism. Rasputin conducted an "Omnibus analysis" of the event's effects on local spacetime, measuring a wide range of data points including direction, distance, range, speed and size as well as a comprehensive pattern analysis of the event itself. This last set of data showed, to a certainty of "9 Sigma", a definite and measurable pattern which had a complex, almost linguistic, structure that demonstrated both intelligence and intent.

In an attempt to better understand the phenomenon by recreating all of its known variables (also known as a "bootstrap simulation"), Rasputin reran the data through a series of iterations which included a number of randomized inputs, in a process known as a Monte Carlo analysis. Despite this, it was unable to derive any definitive information about the event or its source; however, it was able to determine that whatever was behind the event was clearly a complex structure, acting with clear purpose. Rasputin concluded that the source of the event not only failed to conform to any known phenomena in the Standard Model of particle physics (thus labeling it "acausal"), it was also directed, acting with anger, and almost certain to reach the solar system in a short amount of time. As a result, the previously issued Skyshock alert was upgraded to OCP:EXTINCTION, and a number of defensive protocols were added.[8] The Darkness nonetheless swept through the Solar System, devastating human civilization in an event called the Collapse. Only due to the Traveler's intervention did humanity survive.[1] Seven centuries later,[9] the Darkness was set to return.[10]

Events of Destiny[edit]

The Black Heart, an aspect of the Darkness.
This section needs expansion. You can help Destinypedia by expanding it.

Centuries after the Collapse, a lone Guardian encountered the Exo Stranger on Venus, and was subsequently sent on a quest to find the Black Garden. After battling through the Sol Divisive Vex and reaching the center of the Garden, the Guardian discovered an entity, the Black Heart, that the Vex seemed to revere as an object of worship. The entity could not attack the Guardian directly, but attempted to defend itself by taking control of the Sol Progeny, three enormous Vex Minotaurs. After a protracted battle, the Black Heart was apparently destroyed along with its three Sol Progeny vessels. Upon the defeat of the Black Heart, the Black Garden was relocated to Mars from its prior location, and Light began to return to the dormant and damaged Traveler.

Following the battle in the Black Garden, Ikora Rey hypothesized that the Black Heart had been an aspect of the Darkness itself.

Events of Destiny 2[edit]

A mysterious fleet in orbit above the Milky Way

After the death of Dominus Ghaul and restoration of the Light, a fleet of pyramid ships activated in response, and started moving en masse toward the Milky Way. The shape of these ships bear a resemblance to the black tetrahedrons featured in the vision the Guardian experienced upon losing their Light, as well as the triangular shadow used to represent the Darkness in the opening cinematic.

Curse of Osiris[edit]

In the Simulant Future, Osiris encountered a massive shadow-like entity on Mercury.[11]

Known Darkness Entities[edit]

The Nature of the Darkness[edit]

Because so few survived the Collapse, the exact nature of the Darkness is unclear. Several theories as to what it is have been proposed by various scholars among the Guardians and other people of the City.

Minor positions[edit]

  • Pujari claimed that the Darkness is both a physical and moral presence, evil made tangible. It was a storm of corruption emerging from the Golden Age.[12]
  • Saint-14 argued that the Darkness was an invading armada of aliens. Some suggest that these aliens had been previously rejected by the Traveler for their sins.[12]
  • Ulan-Tan suggests that the Darkness is the necessary symmetry to the Traveler as part of a cosmic balance.[12]
  • The Monists believe the Darkness is a technologically superior force, to the point of post-singularity, and that the universe is just a simulation. Such an advanced intelligence could mimic acausality by bending the rules of the universe's programming.[12]
  • The Acataleptic Clause, and the Praxic Warlocks, believe that not only is the Darkness unknowable, but that people shouldn't bother trying to understand it and instead simply fight it.[12]
  • A heretical position from the Binary Star Cult states that the Traveler itself triggered the collapse, and used humanity as a sacrifice/proxy army in its war against the Darkness.[12]

Toland's understanding[edit]

Toland, the Shattered understands the Darkness as the natural evolutionary endpoint of the entire universe. Since the beginning of time, everything has been in competition with everything else for no reason, other than that is the way of the universe: the law of the jungle. As atoms came into being, they defeated the "primordial broth" that preceded it. From atoms came stars, from stars came galaxies, worlds were created, and finally life arose, all due to the eternal competition.

Toland envisions a future where three archetypal "nations" compete with other: the first represents the perfect rule of law, the second represents knowledge made paramount, and the third represents sheer, total conquest. The third nation will succeed, inevitably, and in time will lead to a greater conflict between other nations which all represent the desire to conquer and dominate. The universe thus becomes a place where only the most ruthless entities succeed, to the point where they actively hunt and exterminate other life long before it can ever be a true threat. Finally, at the end of time there will be only one entity that rules the universe so absolutely that nothing will ever exist except by its consent, so it will rule forever. In essence, Toland asserts that this incontestable supremacy is the goal or driving force of the Darkness.

An alternative way of life, where law and knowledge and might worked together rather than competed, as in the case of humanity and the City, is little more than "the dream of small minds", and is unlikely to succeed against an entity of pure conquest.[13]

Dreams of Alpha Lupi[edit]

The Dreams of Alpha Lupi poem contains a verse related to the Darkness, and possibly representative of the Darkness's own perspective. The verse explains that the universe, despite its vastness, is beholden to simple, enduring laws that shape it and give one the impression that it is inexhaustible and eternal. Life is an affront to the universe because it refuses to accept the limitations imposed on it by the natural order.[14]

Darkness itself[edit]

Ghost Fragment: Darkness 4 contains an excerpt of unknown origin, addressing an unknown recipient.

Its opening line: "This war is all there is for you." is also a line of dialog, spoken by Future War Cult representative Lakshmi-2, in which she asks the player what they would do if, "on some dreadful night, the Darkness were to come creeping up" and whisper the aforementioned statement to them. This would suggest that the excerpt in Ghost Fragment: Darkness 4 is the full text of that opening statement, indicating that the Darkness is addressing a Guardian, attempting to entice them into turning away from the Light, or at least plant the seeds of doubt. [15]

The Books of Sorrow[edit]

"Out in the world we ask a simple, true question. A question like, can I kill you, can I rip your world apart? Tell me the truth. For if I don’t ask, someone will ask it of me. And they call us evil. Evil! Evil means ‘socially maladaptive.’ We are adaptiveness itself."
—The Darkness

Following the arrival of Oryx, the Taken King in the Sol System, records were discovered aboard Oryx's Dreadnaught that provide new insight into the Darkness' history and nature. These records suggest that the Darkness is a manifestation or embodiment of the universal struggle for existence: whereas the Traveler seeks to nurture civilization by encouraging peace and mutual cooperation, the Darkness is dedicated to the annihilation of all beings and civilizations who do not possess the strength to survive in the face of conquest. Its eventual goal is to bring about a universe inhabited solely by those entities who have survived by defeating all opposition. To this end, it has destroyed countless planets and civilizations, either through direct action or through its disciples, such as the Hive. [16]



There are a handful of Guardians who fell into the darkness, notably Dredgen Yor.[17] Yor came to desire taking innocent lives and sowing despair, claiming he had developed a hunger for it. Toland, the Shattered claimed to be able to communicate with the Darkness,[18] whereas Eris Morn was able to survive and escape the Hellmouth wielding the very power she fought against.[19] Eris had one time even used the power of Darkness to rescue the Guardian from being trapped in the Oversoul Throne. As noted above, it would appear that the Darkness attempts to turn Guardians away from the Light. One example is when Pujari had his vision of the Black Garden; the vision made him doubt the righteousness of the Guardians when the vision told him, "You are a dead thing made by a dead power in the shape of the dead. All you will ever do is kill. You do not belong here. This is a place of life."[20] This hearkens back to Ghost Fragment: Darkness 4, where the Darkness calls Guardians "a dead husk" animated by "an ancient corpse," referring to the "dead" Traveler.


According to Fallen Lore, their civilization was destroyed when the Great Machine left them and the Whirlwind tore the sky. The Great Machine and Whirlwind are the Traveler and Darkness respectively, making the Fallen one of the races to survive the Darkness's devastation, and confirming Saint-14's hypothesis as partially true. A reclaimed (though corrupted) Fallen story mentions that the Fallen respect what they cannot steal from, which is "why the dark is worthy of love beyond all other love that astonishing ability to evade being robbed".[21] When The Consul refers to the Traveler as "this great machine", this provides confirmation that the Fallen were indeed referencing the Traveler, as the Consul notes "I believe other civilizations would be more precise in their naming", perhaps a deliberate reference to the Fallen.[22]


The Hive clearly derive their power from the Darkness, and feed on and hate the Light. The Hive religion, based around the 'Sword-Logic', closely matches Toland's theory above. The Hive made a pact with their highest gods, the Worms, who grant the powers of Darkness to the Hive. They worship the Darkness as a force of destruction, and their worship has taken the form of chronicling every planet they have seen the Darkness destroy, a massive archive known as "the World's Grave" found deep within the Hellmouth.[23] The Hive religion has a pantheon of other gods, but one in particular, Oryx, is of significant importance. Oryx commands both the Hive and his own personal army, the Taken, by using the power of the Darkness (see below). This power he stole from his patron deity, the worm Akka, so that he could access the Darkness directly like the Worms could. Osiris prophesied that should the Spawn of Crota succeed in snuffing out the worlds of Light, Oryx's coming would be unfettered,[24] reminiscent of the Darkness's predicted arrival.


The Vex worship the Black Heart, described by Ikora Rey as part of a greater power, presumably the Darkness.[25] The Monist's theory about the Darkness matches the Vex's goal of programming themselves into the fabric of the universe.[26] Osiris theorized that some Vex technology is tuned to react to the presence of the Darkness.[27]


The Cabal do not appear to worship the Darkness like the other races, but according to a dead Ghost, they are secretly running away from a terrible power following them.[28]

Evocate-General Umun'arath, Primus of All Legions, once said in reference to Cabal civilization and culture that "The war is all there is. All this is just logistical support." This echoes the above-mentioned phrase used by the Darkness and Future War Cult.[29]

During his exile, the former emperor Calus sought the means to defeat his usurper Ghaul by exploring the secret places of the galaxy and pushing the limits of reason. He eventually crossed paths with a perfect void, most likely the Darkness itself, and resolved to become its herald.[30] He would watch it consume the light of the universe, and all among the last of the living would know his greatness.[31] Calus also knows of the pact that Oryx made with the Worms, comparing it to Ghaul's takeover of the legions.[32] Calus' strange powers and his claims of "knowing the truth" about the galaxy and his mockery of the Guardians' "feeble light" implies that he may have some knowledge of the inner workings of the Darkness.

Awoken & Jovians[edit]

The Awoken were once humans, but were transformed during the collapse upon reaching the edge of the asteroid belt. Beyond the belt, "the edge of the Deep Black", the system is totally immersed in Darkness.[33][34]They are otherwise still part of the Light, as Awoken can become Guardians.

Likewise, the Jovians, particularly people such as Xûr, were once humans, but were more heavily transformed than the Awoken by the Collapse. Legends do not offer a concrete explanation but imply that they were shaped by the Darkness.[35]; its safe to assume the same happened to the Awoken, but to a lesser extent, due to their proximity. Though they are willing to aid humanity through Xûr, the Light is a foreign concept to Jovians and causes them pain.[36]


Through Oryx, the Darkness can take direct possession of the other races, thus creating the Taken. When a being is Taken, they are sent to another plane of existence, where they are robbed of their free will and brainwashed by the Darkness into abandoning their former selves. They are convinced that being Taken has "liberated" them from their fears and grants them new powers. The ability to create Taken was derived from the Worm God Akka, but Oryx killed him and stole as much knowledge as he could. Reports from the Ecumene fighting Taken described them of having abilities that are "physically illegal," meaning their very existence broke all known laws of physics.


  • The Darkness bears resemblance to the Armies of the Dark and its leader in Bungie's Myth series—a resurgent dark force that is the antithesis to the (forces of) Light.
  • The idea of the Darkness arising from a primordial universe bears resemblance to the origins of the W'rkncacnter from Bungie's Marathon series.
  • In the Standard Deviation model of statistical analysis, a value of 8σ represents a probability of approximately 99.999999999999%, which means that a 9σ value represents a certainty so close to absolute (100%) as to be statistically insignificant from it.
  • The Darkness being flagged as Acausal indicates that it has no cause-effect relationship. The simplest explanation is that the event heralding its arrival had no known mechanism from which to derive said cause and effect. It is also possible that it may be acting on an effect-then-cause relationship, or that it is being directed by future inputs. The Taken are likewise described as Acausal.
  • Sterile neutrinos are hypothetical particles (leptons) which do not interact via any of the Standard Model interactions (strong force, weak force, etc.) except for gravity. They are believed to be responsible for a number of unexplained astrophysical phenomena, including dark matter and dark radiation, neither of which are currently detectable through any portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, except for gravity.
  • Gravity waves are generated when an object or event interacts with the curvature of spacetime in such a manner as to create changes in that curvature, which then ripple outward away from the event at the speed of light (or 186,000 miles per second) in a wave-like manner. In reference to the ISR report, the event which triggered the SKYSHOCK alert lasted 0.3 seconds, which suggests that whatever displaced local spacetime during the event measures some 55,800 miles in diameter (assuming a spherical shape), making it almost twice the size of the planet Uranus (31,518 miles) and a little over three-fourths the size of Saturn (72,367 miles).

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Gameinformer: A Player's Journey
  2. ^ Bungie Destiny Story
  3. ^ The Guardian: how the makers of Halo plan to change the future of shooters
  4. ^ Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Hive
  5. ^ Gameinformer: A Player's Journey
  6. ^ Game Informer January 2014, page 55
  7. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, Activision Blizzard
  8. ^ Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Darkness
  9. ^ IGN: Bungie's Destiny Story Details, Concept Art Leaked
  10. ^ YouTube - Destiny: Official E3 Gameplay Experience Trailer
  11. ^ https://www.reddit.com/r/DestinyLore/comments/7jde4k/spoiler_osiris_is_fighting_something_darker/
  12. ^ a b c d e f Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Darkness
  13. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Darkness 3
  14. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Darkness 2
  15. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Darkness 4
  16. ^ Planet Destiny - Grimoire: Book of Sorrows
  17. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Thorn
  18. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Might of Crota
  19. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Crota's Bane
  20. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Legend: The Black Garden
  21. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Fallen 2
  22. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard
  23. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, Activision Blizzard, Story mission The World's Grave
  24. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, Activision Blizzard, Quotes: Osiris
  25. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Sol Progeny
  26. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Atheon, Time's Conflux
  27. ^ Bungie (2015-5-19), Destiny: House of Wolves, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Timekeeper
  28. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Cabal 2
  29. ^ Cabal Booklet
  30. ^ It Stared Back Lore
  31. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Calus' letter
  32. ^ Cabal Booklet
  33. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Awoken
  34. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Saturn
  35. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Legends 2
  36. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Quotes: Xûr, Agent of the Nine