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Other name(s):


Focal world(s):

Sol System



Average lifespan:


Notable groups:

Iron Lords
Lucent Brood

Notable individuals:

Dominus Ghaul (forcefully)
Dredgen Yor
The Guardian
Savathûn, the Witch Queen
Commander Zavala
Ikora Rey
Saladin Forge


Lightbearers or Risen are individuals capable of wielding the Light. Most known Lightbearers come from the remnants of Humanity, and were resurrected from the ancient dead by Ghosts created by the Traveler during the Collapse. Initially known as the Risen, these Lightbearers were scattered into various warring factions, but eventually most came to be united as Guardians serving under the Vanguard in defense of the Last City.


Lightbearers of the present begin as dead humans, chosen by the Ghosts of the Traveler, deemed worthy of resurrection by their past lives and compatibility with their Ghosts.[1] Upon their first resurrection, Lightbearers typically will have no memories of their past life,[2] but can be made to retain some, for example, risen Exo remember their names.

Lightbearers are capable of wielding the Light, including Arc, Solar, and Void energies. With their ability to be resurrected by their Ghosts and healed of any wounds, they are effectively immortal. However, if their Ghost is destroyed or refuses to resurrect them, then a Lightbearer will die a final death. Apparently, given their paracausal nature, only Human Lightbearers are also allowed to channel powers from the Darkness, such as Stasis and Strand.


The Dark Age[edit]

Lightbearers of the Dark Age were viewed with wonder, awe, and fear by the Ghostless remnants of Humanity. While some banded together to protect humanity, others became Warlords and ruled over their Ghostless subjects, posing as protectors who exploited them as laborers and soldiers. Some Warlords did seek to protect their subjects and were not cruel, such as Warlord Shaxx. Eventually many Lightbearers could no longer stand the rule of the Warlords and formed the Iron Lords under the leadership of Lord Radegast. The Dark Age ended with the majority of the Warlords either dead or submitting to the Iron Lords. The Iron Lords themselves were eventually destroyed when they attempted to harness the power of SIVA in the Cosmodrome, which instead overwhelmed them with its defenses and malevolent nature, with only Lord Saladin Forge and Lady Efrideet surviving the destruction of the order.

With the rule of the Warlords at an end and the disbanding of the Iron Lords, Lightbearers and Ghostless alike flocked to the protection of the Traveler and began construction of the Last City. Eventually the Lightbearers who settled in the Last City established the Vanguard, a military organization dedicated to protecting the City and all of humanity. Members of the Vanguard came to be known as Guardians.

The City Age[edit]

Despite the rise of the City Age, not all Lightbearers submitted to the authority of the Vanguard. A handful of Warlords continued to operate in remote regions of Earth. Other Lightbearers like the Drifter operated as mercenaries and explorers of the Solar System and beyond.[3] Some Guardians eventually abandoned the Vanguard to become rogue Lightbearers. Two of the most infamous rogue Lightbearers of the City Age were the murderer Dredgen Yor and Cyrell, the Ghost Hunter.[4]

During the Red War, Dominus Ghaul of the Red Legion sought to become a Lightbearer by using a cage to imprison the Traveler and siphon its energies into himself. He succeeded and wielded the powers of the Light against The Young Wolf in a battle for the Last City. He was slain and resurrected as a massive being of Light, but was subsequently annihilated when the Traveler awoke and destroyed him for his crimes against it.[5]

The Witch Queen[edit]

After Savathûn escaped her crystal prison via Mara Sov's ritual, she died of her injuries near the borders of the Last City, overlooking the Traveler. A Ghost was then directed towards her, and proceeded to rise her, making her the first Hive lightbearer. The Witch Queen had planned for this though, and set up ways to regain her memory. The two then attracted several wandering Ghosts and told them they could raise the Hive, starting with the Witch Queen's followers, who became known as the Lucent Brood, but with some even raising Hive of other Broods, such as Alak-Hul. The Lightbearing Hive came into conflict with the Vanguard, marking the first time since the Dark Age where Lightbearer fought Lightbearer in open war.


  • Lightbearers are suggested to not require sleep to function. It is unknown if this applies to all Lightbearers or only Warlocks.[6]
  • Exo Lightbearers tend to remember their names when first resurrected, unlike Lightbearers of other races.[7]
    • The sole known exception to this is Lord Felwinter, who was named by his Ghost Felspring when he couldn't remember his name.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Destiny the Game - How to read your Grimoire cards
  2. ^ Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha, Grimoire: Guardians
  3. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Ancient Apocalypse Hood
  4. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Lore: Ghost Hunter
  5. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2, Chosen
  6. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2, Item Description: Ego Talon Bond
  7. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, The Sixth Coyote