Exo Stranger

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"I don't have time to explain why I don't have time to explain."
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Exo Stranger
Biographical information

Other name(s):

A Link To The Future





Eye color:


Political and military information



Notable info:

Capable of transtemporal warping
Former bearer of The Stranger's Rifle/No Time To Explain

"I don’t even have time to explain why I don’t have time to explain."[1]

The Exo Stranger is a mysterious Exo that roams the wild without a Ghost, but hails from a future where the Darkness won. Her purpose and intentions are unknown, but she has taken an interest in The Guardian's activities and keeps tabs on them while also providing guidance to them against major threats to humanity.[2]

She re-emerges on Europa aiming to help the Guardians understand the Dark power of Stasis.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Prior to the uploading into the machine body, Exo Stranger was known as Dr. Elisabeth Bray, nicknamed Elsie. She was a member of Bray family, a daughter of Clovis Bray II and a granddaughter of Clovis Bray I, the family's patriach. Much like other members of her illustrious family, Elsie had grown to become a brilliant scientist and engineer.

At the age of thirteen, Elsie built a Sparrow with the help of her adopted sister Ana for reasons she could not remember. This Sparrow would later become a production model, as the G-335 Anseris Overdrive.[3]

Elsie designed at least two starships for Clovis Bray: the Eon Trespass and the Shadow Trespass. She completed work on the Eon Trespass three years before her disappearance,[4] and attended the naming ceremony of the Shadow Trespass, which she designed with panels that helped it avoid detection by other ship's sensors.[5]

Along with her sister Willa as well as Ana, Elsie worked at the BrayTech Futurescape in the Hellas Basin on Mars. Although she primarily worked in weapons research and development, she assisted other BrayTech scientists working on the Sn0-armor project.[6] After discovering Ana was working on a prototype line of scout rifles, Elsie looked over her work and was pleased by the progress her sister was making. She returned the rifle to Ana and told her that only she could finish the design.[7]

Elsie's work with weapons led her to to discover that the test nodes used for gauging weapon effectiveness in field conditions could be easily configured for use as a locking mechanism that could be easily hidden in many places.[8] She would later make use of her discovery to protect a project of hers inspired by a friend researching the Vex on Venus with the Ishtar Collective, which made use of a Vex Core to simulate alternate timelines for the purpose using the information gained to alter the original timeline.[9][10] This project developed into the Worldline Zero sword, which allowed Elsie to see visions of the future.[11] The concept of the weapon itself also piqued the interest of Willa, much to the horror of Elsie, who was concerned about the potential dangers should others obtain it. Elsie wiped the traces of her research, and hid the sword in a storage cache within the Core Terminus locked using the test nodes.[12] She disappeared three days later, after leaving a message apologizing to Ana and asking that the Worldline Zero be used to "make things right."[11]

Rebirth as an Exo

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

In the Mysterious Logbook, it is revealed that Elsie had fatal prion insomnia. She inherited this disease from her father, Clovis Bray II, who had developed this condition as a result of the genetic modifications done to him by his father, Clovis Bray I[13]

Although initially reluctant, Elsie eventually uploaded herself into an Exo body, both to save herself and to reduce the risk of her own corruption by the Vex. She subsequently came to the rescue of her grandfather when he was being tortured by a copy of Maya Sundaresh, who had subverted the elder Bray's automated surgeon during a multi-organ transplant.

Later, Elsie sent a message to her grandfather, in which she claimed to have constructed a paracausal weapon capable of utterly destroying the Vex around 2082 Volantis. Believing that this would compromise future Exo development and foreclose the future of humanity, Clovis I confronted his granddaughter and killed her in a fit of rage. However, he kept a backup of her initial upload scan, and reloaded her into a new exobody.

A Strange Visitor

"I've followed this Light as far back as it goes."
— RECORD 472 - BRIDGE - 2.1[14]

At an unknown time the Exo Stranger encountered Rasputin, who recognized her but did not understand her purpose. He thus asked her how he could imitate her ability to step between timelines so he could achieve his own goals.[15] This meeting may have occurred during one of her numerous reappearances to stave off an unknown future, as in another point in time—or times—she observes the Traveler and the Last City falling to numerous unknown enemies, and among the dead sees herself appearing occasionally.[16] Her appearances across the timeline caught the attention of some within the Last City, who began to research and develop theories about her origins and purpose. Some speculated she was a member of an Exo squad who was continuing her mission from a long-forgotten war, although others dismissed her as a hallucination caused by Vex technology. Many of those who had the rare encounters with her insisted that she had saved their lives and prevented numerous catastrophic events.[2] The Guardian Praedyth, who was trapped within the Vex's Vault of Glass, recorded that he saw her as the one constant throughout multiple realities with varying degrees of importance and moods, but always with a gun.[17]

A Strange Observer

The Exo Stranger

Although the Exo Stranger's primary concern was the Vex, her the Hive infesting Earth's moon Luna caught her attention after she accidently transmitted herself to the moon and noticed their presence. She risked several more visits to Luna to observe them, once inadvertently arriving within their tunnels and being forced to fight to the surface, and deduced that although they seemed feral in many aspects they had a keen intelligence and complex intentions. The Stranger speculated that the Hive and Vex had common enemies and a connection to the Darkness. This belief was reinforced when a Fireteam of Guardians halted a Hive ritual she had planned to observe, which she learned was in fact ripping the Light away from the Traveler, similar to the Black Garden. After confirming this by traveling back to before the ritual was halted, a new figure caught her interest: a new Guardian and their Ghost who helped halt the ritual and mentioned Venus. The Stranger traveled back once more to watch as they discovered the reemergence of the Hive on the Moon outside the Temple of Crota, but noted no indication of Vex presence or activity to warrant the mention of Venus.[14]

Returning to her observations of the Hive, she concluded that the conflicts between the Guardians and Hive indicated the aliens were planning on an invasion of Earth. The Stranger concluded that Luna was the Hive's "black heart" and primary breeding ground in the system and that they needed to be stopped to prevent them from bringing about the same dark end the Vex were working towards. Some time later, the Stranger traveled back further to observe the Ghost find the Guardian and resurrect them and subsequent acquisition of a Jumpship in the Cosmodrome of Old Russia. She became interested in the presence of the Fallen within the region as well, wondering what they sought to find in its broken tech and landscape.[14][18] With her observations complete, the Stranger traveled back to when she had first observed the Guardian, only this time allowing them to notice her presence, as she believed them to be interesting and unlikely to fail where others had and wished to recruit them against the Hive, Vex, and Darkness.[14][19]

The Path to the Black Garden

The Exo Stranger gifts the Stranger's Rifle to the Guardian
"It's not every day you get a transmission from a mysterious Exo who claims to know us and wants us to go to Venus and…things are getting weird, aren't they?"
— Ghost[20]

The Stranger made contact with the Guardian as they prepared to enter the Temple of Crota and descend into the Chamber of Night to save the Traveler from a Hive ritual. She remarked that they were interesting and had promise and admired their bravery, but commented that there were other threats which existed that they would not believed. The Stranger requested that they come find her if they lived and transmitted a set of meeting coordinates within the ruins of the Ishtar Collective on Venus.[21]

Following the Stranger's coordinates, the Guardian traveled to the Ishtar Sink on Venus, where they fought through the Vex to reach the meeting coordinates in the Ishtar Academy. Once the Vex within were destroyed, the Stranger revealed herself to the Guardian, but deflected their questions about who she was and why she was watching them by noting they had little time and that she could not even explain why she was unable to give more answers. As she received a transmission from an unknown party, she reassured her ally that she would do something. When the Ghost questioned what she was saying, the Stranger informed him she was not talking to him and called him "little Light", much to his annoyance. The Stranger addressed the Guardian once more and noted they succeeded where many other strong Guardians failed, but was interrupted once more by her mysterious partner and reassured them that she was with the Guardian and their Ghost. She quickly explained that the Vex were the reason she had summoned them, and the Ghost realized that she was not a Guardian. The Stranger noted that while she was not reborn in the Light, she believed that working with those her were could do much good while crushing a damaged Vex beneath her boot.[1]

The Stranger then informed them of the Black Garden, the birthplace of the Vex, and a powerful entity responsible for keeping the Traveler in a state of catatonia. She explains to them that the only way to heal the Traveler is to destroy the heart in the Black Garden. When they asked for aiding in finding the Black Garden, the Stranger sadly noted that she had a different path to walk. The Ghost suggests speaking with the Awoken instead, an idea the Stranger agrees with, although she notes that they waver between the Light and the Darkness and states that she believes that they all must choose a side, even if is the wrong one. Upon another transmission from her ally, the Stranger drew her weapon and asked how many foes they were facing. Upon hearing their response, she told them to kill their engines, hold position, and avoid being found before teleporting away and leaving the Guardian and their Ghost behind to follow her clues, along with a new nickname for the Ghost despite his irritation.[1]

After the Guardian destroyed the Black Heart of the Garden, the Tower celebrated this great victory. The Stranger traveled to the Tower and met with the Guardian within the hanger, noting that while the Speaker could give his pretty speeches, they both knew that the fight would continue out in the solar system. Handing them her rifle, the Stranger warned that there were more terrible things that she had witnessed being born out in the Darkness which drew closer every day. Gazing at the Traveler, she noted that while this was the end of one chapter of the Darkness that threatened humanity, another would begin and that their fight was far from being over. With that cryptic warning, the Stranger stepped out of the ledge of hanger, disappearing once more as she teleported away to continue her own mission and fight.[22]

The Stranger's hands in these events were of great interest to Lakshmi-2 and the Future War Cult, who began increased recruiting and increasing their studies of the Stranger in response.[23] Later, the Guardian recovered No Time To Explain, a weapon that the War Cult believed was connected to the Stranger based on its design, but multiple members of the Cult disagreed about its true origins and relationship to the Stranger.[24]

Dark Future Timeline

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

In the Dark Future timeline, the Stranger witnessed the fall of the Last City, disappearance of the Traveler and Ghosts and death or corruption of most of former champions of the Light. She was among few survivors scattered far and wide, always having to search for a safe place to rest. At last, she was found by her sister Ana Bray apparently in an effort to rally the last forces of the Light against Savathun and Eris Morn. Though the Stranger refused to teach Ana how to use Stasis, the sisters visited the Deep Stone Crypt together to restore Warmind Rasputin back to life in an Exo body. They recruited former Vanguard commander Zavala, now crippled and powerless, and found Dominus Ghaul's plans of the Traveler Cage, harboring a plan to track and retrieve the Traveler. The sisters joined forces with Mara Sov and her small army of various species, including Fallen and Cabal, onboard the Leviathan abandoned by Emperor Calus. They were successful in finding and immobilizing the Traveler outside the Solar System, towing her back to Earth.

With the power of the Light back under their control, Bray sisters and Mara Sov attacked the Scarlet Keep on the Moon, fighting agains Dark Guardians and the Hive. What seemed a likely victory turned into a devastating defeat, with the Light army slaughtered by the Vex and Eris Morn mockingly thanking Ana for bringing "all of my detractors in one place". Ana Bray, being corrupted from the very beginning, murdered Mara Sov and attempted to entice the Stranger over to the Darkness. The Stranger refused, and Ana stabbed her; the Stranger found the strength to kill her sister with the same knife. She failed to reach Eris Morn: after seeing a tide of the Darkness encapsulating the Traveler and the last explosion of the Traveler's light, the Stranger found herself transported back in time to the day Cayde-6 was named Hunter Vanguard after his victory over Taniks, the Scarred. It is implied that the Stranger lived through the same time loop several times, every time failing to prevent the corruption of the Guardians and Ana Bray and traveling back in time to start all over again[25].

The Stranger Returns

The Exo Stranger returns
"Inside us all is the strength to control Darkness. Now is our chance to seize it. We can all use it for good, to save humanity. I wield it now with intent to stop our enemies whether light cannot."
— Exo Stranger character spotlight

Six years after her last appearance, the Stranger reemerged on Europa shortly after a Pyramid had arrived there, along with Eramis and her House of Salvation. She allied with The Drifter and Eris Morn after the two were also drawn to the moon.

At some point the Exo Stranger can be seen near Variks, Kell of Kells who sends out a distress call to the Guardians asking for help.

Personality and Traits

Exo Stranger with her companion.

The Stranger appears to be working for an unknown faction who know more about the war against the Darkness than Guardians do.[1] She possesses much technology that even Ghosts don't fully understand; she is capable of appearing and disappearing out of reality,[2][1][22] and her weapon has parts that "shouldn't yet exist."[26]

Upon getting the chance to interact with the Exo Stranger in depth during their campaign on Europa, the Guardians find the Exo Stranger to be dedicated to her mission in preventing another Collapse by almost any means necessary. She believes that the Guardians must be willing to delve into unknown powers to preserve and save humanity but would never resort to malicious means to meet that goal. Though she understands that the Darkness brought about the Collapse and it is indeed a dangerous force, the Exo Stranger believes that the power of Stasis can be used for good, a tool the Guardians can use to protect their home. As such, she is adamant in her belief that the Guardians should go beyond the Light to grant them the strength they need, criticizing the Vanguards policies against such methods. However, she is ever cautious about the dangers of wielding Stasis, stating that the Guardians need to ignore the tempting words of the Darkness.

Though highly secretive, the Exo Stranger does come to trust the Guardian with the knowledge that she is Elisabeth Bray from another timeline where the Darkness won again and of her connection to Clovis Bray. Said connection to her grandfather is a bitter and personal one for her, as she despises the crimes and plans Clovis had but couldn't deny his brilliance, believing that his research could help humanity against the Darkness.

As she is Elisabeth Bray, the Exo Stranger cares deeply for her sister, Ana Bray, wanting to keep her safe, even if it meant that she had to hide herself and the truth from her. Though from encouragement from the Guardian, the Exo Stranger was able to meet her sister, reveal her origins from other timeline and of the mistakes she made in that timeline. The Exo Stranger admits that in her timeline she was rather selfish and overprotective of Ana when she became to interested in her past and of the Darkness's power, which ultimately led Ana to give herself to the Darkness. Realizing her mistakes, the Exo Stranger now knows she just needs to be there for Ana, something that her sister has come to understand and appreciate. Upon reconciling, the Exo Stranger becomes happy to have her sister again.


  • "I wasn't talking to you, little Light." (speaking to the player's Ghost)
  • "I believe where our paths cross, ground... could break."
  • "It doesn't matter who you were, only what you will become."
  • "Ah yes. The Awoken. Out there, wavering between the Light and the Dark. A side should always be taken, little Light... Even if it's the wrong side."
  • "I don't even have time to explain why I don't have time to explain."
  • "It's a day for pretty speeches and medals. But we know the real fight takes place out there. There's so much more, Guardian. I've seen terrible things born out in the Darkness. Every moment brings them closer. All ends and beginnings... Our fight is far from over."
  • "This....is what I brought you here to see"


  • The Exo Stranger was voiced by Lauren Cohan in vanilla Destiny. Beginning in Beyond Light she is voiced by Moira Quirk.
  • The Stranger appeared in the original storyline of Destiny. In this version, she was the assistant of Osiris.[27]
    • Interestingly, both have been known to refer to ghosts as "little light."
  • The Stranger's line "I don't even have time to explain why I don't have time to explain" has become a meme in the Destiny community as a symbol of the base game's lack of coherent story.
  • Information released in and around Warmind hint the stranger's original identity to be Elsie Bray, adoptive sister to Ana Bray. This was later confirmed with the release of Beyond Light.
  • She will play a large role in the campaign of Beyond Light.
    • Between her first appearance in the original Destiny game to her reappearance in Beyond Light, the Exo Stranger had been physically absent for six years.
  • The Exo Stranger is also accompanied by an unusual companion, similar to that of a Ghost, although not a ghost, as confirmed by Destiny’s game director Luke Smith.
  • The Stranger's body is notably taller and more curvaceous than the standard female Exo model. A dead Exo on Europa claims that these are based on her human form's measurements.


List of appearances


  1. ^ a b c d e Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, A Stranger's Call
  2. ^ a b c Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Exo Stranger
  3. ^ Bungie (2018/5/8), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, G-335 Anseris Overdrive
  4. ^ Bungie (2014/12/9), Destiny: The Dark Below, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description: Eon Trespass
  5. ^ Bungie (2018/5/8), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Shadow Trespass
  6. ^ Bungie (2018/5/8), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, BrayTech Sn0Boots
  7. ^ Bungie (2018/5/8), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Polaris Lance
  8. ^ Bungie (2018/5/8), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Lost Memory Fragment 1
  9. ^ Bungie (2018/5/8), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Lost Memory Fragment 2
  10. ^ Bungie (2018/5/8), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Lost Memory Fragment 3
  11. ^ a b Bungie (2018/5/8), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Lost Memory Fragment 5
  12. ^ Bungie (2018/5/8), Destiny 2: Warmind Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Lost Memory Fragment 4
  13. ^ Mysterious Logbook - MESSAGE TO BRAY, ELISABETH 2
  14. ^ a b c d Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: The Exo Stranger 2
  15. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Rasputin 4
  16. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: The Exo Stranger
  17. ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Talk to Lakshmi-2
  18. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, A Guardian Rises
  19. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, The Dark Beyond
  20. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, A Stranger's Call
  21. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Chamber of Night
  22. ^ a b Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, The Black Garden
  23. ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Talk to Lakshmi-2
  24. ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: No Time To Explain
  25. ^ Bungie (2020/11/10), Destiny 2: Beyond Light, Playstation 4, Lore:The Dark Future
  26. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, The Stranger's Rifle
  27. ^ Kotaku - The Messy, True Story Behind The Making Of Destiny