The Nine

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The Nine
Insignia of the Nine as it appears in Destiny 2: three circles divided into nine pieces.


Unknown Space
Solar System Planetary Bodies
Milky Way

Other name(s):



Wolf Rebellion (catalyst)


Sun (implied)
Pluto (implied)

Notable information:

Released Skolas, Kell of Kells
Hosted the Trials of the Nine


A Maelstrom.
a cauldron.
Of what?
— The Nine

The Nine (often represented as the IX), also known as the ennead, are a group of enigmatic entities affiliated with the planets of the Sol System. They control Unknown Space, a mysterious realm whose nature is poorly understood.[2]


"You want our source, our primal cause?
— The Nine[3]

The Nine are sentient beings composed of dark matter, which developed cognition after being pulled into loops by the gravity of Sol and its planets. Their existence is predicated on the existence of those planets, particularly the life that developed on them, as the motions of lifeforms cause gravitational perturbations that drive the Nine's ability to think. The Nine's primary concern is sustaining their own existence, whether by protecting the life on which they depend or by finding a way to end their reliance on it.

Despite their virtual omnipresence within the Sol System and the universe with their influence of Dark Matter, the scope of their power over the world of "normal" matter is limited, and so they primarily act through a handful of agents, emissaries, and associates. They appear to be capable of freely manipulating the dark matter that composes themselves.[4] They are also able to manipulate and even synthesize regular matter under certain circumstances, such as through the portals of Cocytus.

At present, the Nine are divided into two factions. One faction, consisting of five members, seeks to study the Light and use it for their own purposes, and is responsible for sending Xûr, Agent of the Nine and The Emissary to interact with the Guardians. The other four seek to free themselves from their dependence on matter-based life and the Light, and to that end have experimented with creating their own realms through spacetime engineering and the creation of dark matter-based black holes, which would serve as gravitational foci independent from those provided by the realm of normal matter.

The Nine appear to have some ability to predict or see the future; the Prophecy Dungeon includes symbolic representations of future events such as the rise of Eramis, the disappearance of Io, Mars, Mercury and Titan following the arrival of the Black Fleet and later arrival of Empress Caiatl in the Sol System.



As revealed by the Nine to Lavinia Garcia Umr Tawil, the Nine originated from streams of dark matter particles passing through the galaxy and the solar system. As dark matter only interacts with normal matter through gravity, these streams were drawn to the cores of the Sun and its orbiting planets. The infalling dark matter was then flung back into space, before being pulled in again to form endless loops. These loops formed the basis of emergent consciousnesses that would become the Nine.

The Nine did not truly "awaken" until life evolved within the solar system. The movements of lifeforms resulted in perturbations to the loops of dark matter particles cycling through each celestial body, creating waves that formed the basis of complex thoughts. According to Lavinia, the dark matter of the Nine passes through every living thing and every iota of matter in the solar system.[5]

The Nine were cognizant of their dependence on all life and the worlds of the Sol System: if that life ended, so too would the Nine as thinking entities. They began searching for a way to end that dependence and sustain their existence independent of it. Two factions emerged after the arrival of the Traveler to Sol: one faction sought to harness the paracausal properties of Light to construct living bodies for themselves out of regular matter, the other seeking to create a pocket universe with physical laws that could accommodate them.[4]

City Age[edit]

"He says the Nine are vulnerable every moment they touch our world."
— Brother Vance[6]

For most of the City Age, little of the Nine was known outside of the cryptic sayings of Xûr, Agent of the Nine.[7] Osiris is said to have met with the Nine on Europa,[6] and before his exile had an obsessive interest in them to the exclusion of his duties as the Warlock Vanguard.[8] Nonetheless the Nine had a vested interest in helping the City, tasking Xûr to sell powerful weapons to Guardians.[7] Following the Red War, the Nine have taken an active interest in Guardians, and hosted the Trials of the Nine through their proxy, The Emissary.[9] Emperor Calus is dismissive of their efforts.[10]

The Nine have an alliance of sorts with the Reef, but their loyalty is in doubt following the release of Skolas, Kell of Kells at their command.[11][12] The Cabal know of them as the Ennead.[note 1][1]

Reef Wars[edit]

During the Reef Wars, the Queen's Wrath Sjur Eido was killed by an unknown party, and her bow stolen. A strange coin was left on her body as "weregild", suggesting that the Nine were in some way involved with her death.[13]

Arrival of the Taken King[edit]

Shortly after the battle of Saturn, when Oryx invaded the Dreaming City, the Nine debated about what to do regarding Oryx's incursion, for he threatened all life. Some members seemed to blame Mara Sov for worsening the situation, claiming that her actions had "ruined everything." Oryx soon took Riven, after which the Nine were driven into a frenzy. During this time they would debate whether or not to destroy the Ahamkara, and if they did "Done cannot be undone! Everything is lost!" Although their wording is ambiguous, the Reextinction lore entry suggests communications between the Nine during this time indicate that they knew of surviving Ahamkara other than Riven and that they killed them in order to prevent them from falling into Oryx's grasp.[14]

The Red War[edit]

Sometime during or before the Red War[15] an Awoken named Orin (and potentially an agent of Mara Sov[16]) sought out nine Ghosts who had gone beyond the Solar System and inquired after their findings. Receiving only a set of coordinates she left them.[17] She also found several "deep-orbit minds" in the midst of her search.[18] Orin soon encountered some of the Nine herself.[19] After warning her of the possibility of going mad from the conversation[20][21][22] and of a potential price as consequence,[23] they tasked her with finding three "worthy keys".[24] They then commended her for seeking them out, for her resourcefulness in acquiring a ship and her decision to avoid "a golden snake who poses as a god".[25]

One of the Nine was responsible for blinding the Guardians to the arrival of the Red Legion, allowing Ghaul to successfully attack and occupy the City. This member of the Nine did so with the goal of learning how to take the Light, but that particular member of the Nine was severely punished, as Ghaul's success led to the deployment of the Almighty, which would have destroyed the Sol system along with the Nine had it not been disabled.[26][27]

Whether before or after Orin/the Awoken agent visits them, the Nine speak of two significant events. The first event is with expectation and appears to be Mara Sov's plan with her Techeuns. They are confident that her fall is inevitable for the odds she plays with have been weighted by them.[28] The second event is tinged with overtones of regret and sadness; the Nine lament their slaughter of the remaining Ahamkara after Riven was taken by Oryx.[note 2] Regardless of the specifics, one member urges the rest to "rid [themselves] of regret".[29]


During the Guardian's third visit to Mara Sov's throne, the Queen was seen talking to The Emissary, saying that she agreed with the Nine's terms regarding an "asset" to be stationed "beyond the grave of the First Fleet". She then told the Emissary to remind the Nine that she had shown enough patience regarding the matter. The Emissary leaves and Sov warns the Guardian not to get involved in the Nine's schemes, claiming that they never end.[30]

At an unknown time after the curse was unleashed upon the Dreaming City, the Nine argued with The Emissary regarding her status as a pawn of the Nine, Mara Sov's plan, and an oncoming storm. During the conversation, the Emissary pointed out the fact that seemingly only five of the Nine were present, which the Nine admitted was true. [31]

Season of the Drifter[edit]

During her surveillance of the Drifter, the Praxic Warlock Aunor Mahal recorded at least one conversation between the Nine and the Drifter. The Drifter appeared to be speaking aloud to empty air and remarked upon the Nine showing him visions of a future universe consumed by Darkness, as well as another vision of a universe suffused with Light. The Drifter rebuked the Nine for trying to sway him to their cause, upon which they apparently attempted to kill him by overheating his brain. The Drifter responded by using his Light to counter their attack.

In addition, one can hear different members of the Nine speak directly to the Emissary during several invitations of the Nine.

The Arrival[edit]

During Season of Arrivals, the Prophecy Dungeon was released. Here, Guardians accomplish various tasks given by the Nine in hopes of receiving an audience with them. In this audience, Guardians seek to understand the nature of the Darkness, to the best of the Nine's ability in describing it. The answer to this question is given by the Emissary on behalf of the Nine.

The answer was interpreted by the Drifter as the Nine stating that the difference between the Light and Dark was ultimately meaningless. Along with their answer to the player's question, they also foretold of the use and balance of Darkness in Stasis, the disappearance of Mars, Mercury, Io, and Titan, the Guardian's inevitable clash with Eramis, Kell of Darkness, and at the time unknown Cabal threat.


"I cannot explain what the Nine are. They are... very large. I cannot explain. The fault is mine, not yours."
— Xûr, Agent of the Nine

For a very long time, little about the Nine or the Jovian peoples was known due to their enigmatic and secretive nature. In Destiny, a Grimoire Card, Ghost Fragment: Legends 2, presents nine legends that offered contradictory clues and hints as to their nature.[32] While these legends do not accurately describe the Nine, many of them accurately describe existing concepts or entities connected to the Nine, though the nature of the connection varies. The Emissary claims that both deliberately seeking the Nine out and doing nothing may lead one to encounter them, as they are "everywhere and nowhere". The Cabal call them the Ennead, and characterize them as "trapped and reaching out".[1]

  • Former human colonies who made a compact with an alien force to survive became the Nine and/or the Jovians.
  • Deep-orbiting Warminds (or potentially subminds) who survived the Collapse. Questioned by Orin on her search, who asked her in turn about the location of the "lying robot" who "no longer lies with others."[18]
  • Ancient leviathan intelligences originating either from Europa or Titan. The Emissary names "the hydrocarbon pits of distant moons" as one possible place the Nine may be found by worthy Guardians.
  • The Nine originated from the Corona-Borealis supercluster.[note 3] The Emissary advises worthy Guardians to listen for the Nine in its direction.
  • The first Awoken, now transcended into mental energy moving along the Jupiter-Io flux tube.[note 4] When the Awoken first self-created in the Distributary, nine of the 900 crew of Yang Liwei were not accounted for.
  • Nine Ghosts who exited the Solar System and studied the heliopause. Apparently made contact with the Nine when they did so,[25] and so were sought out by Orin, but were unforthcoming with details.[17][note 5]
  • Remnants of the Darkness, broken by the Traveler's sacrifice, still seeking to destroy human civilization. [note 6]
  • Possibly stars, as in the final room of the Prophecy dungeon, there appears to be nine glowing stars above the player and The Emissary.
  • A viral language of pure meaning. A concept familiar to Xûr, who defines "[doing] what you say" as speaking it.[33]
  • Imprints of a transcendent entity left behind after its complete destruction.[note 7]

In Destiny 2 there are seventeen Lore entries from which can be gleaned five particular members of the Nine based on the writing style, with a potential sixth and seventh. It should be noted that VI could be I speaking more, and VII a possible typo, and thus not conclusive or definite.

These members are as follows:

proper punctuation. lower case BIG CASE BIG PUNCTUATION. B I G C A S E A L L S P A C E Proper Punctuation II
most well-spoken and neutral in personality. Almost whisperlike and cautious. Pragmatic and straight to the point; emphatic. Well-spoken but straight to the point; emotive and forceful. Contrariwise and sarcastic; emphatic and forceful. Also well-spoken with a neutral personality. Potentially the same personality and speech patterns as V but uses punctuation.

The Nine also seem to have a connection to the Awoken or Ahamkara, as they were greatly angered by Oryx's incursion into the Dreaming City, and were driven into a frenzy when Riven was taken. In addition, the Techeun Shuro Chi believes that the Ahamkara either originated from or were sent by the Nine.[34]


Agents of the Nine[edit]



  • The Nine is a homage to Bungie's Myth series, where a similar group also known as the Nine lead the forces of Light against the forces of Darkness. Five members are named: Alric, Rabican, Maeldun, Murgen and Cu Roi.
  • The identity of at least five Nine was put together in a Reddit post by u/jeckal_died, and serves as the basis for some of this article, minus the speculation.[35]
  • The Nine are technically a completely natural phenomenon and came to gain consciousness in a causal manner. The implications of this in regard to the nature of the Destiny universe, dark matter, and planets as a whole are unknown, but it now establishes that universal forces themselves are capable of achieving sentience.
  • If the Sun is not one of the Nine, it is possible that Pluto is. Considering eight of the Nine are planetary bodies, it would be internally consistent for them all to be; Pluto does not meet the official definition of a "planet" according to the modern astronomy community, but it nonetheless is an object of considerable mass.


  1. ^ An "ennead" is a group or set of nine, from the Greek enneas.
  2. ^ The Great Ahamkara Hunt: "Remember the slaughter? it was no slaughter T E N T H O U S A N D D Y I N G W I S H E S" — The Collapse: "the dreamer survived O N L Y T O F A L L" — The Harbingers: "OUR CHILDREN. stolen constructs not ours"
  3. ^ The Corona Borealis is a constellation and known as the "Northern Crown". Additionally, it is made up of seven stars, one of Bungie's many references to the number seven.
  4. ^ The Jupiter-Io flux tube is a cylindrical section of Jupiter's magnetic field line which passes between Jupiter and Io. If it were able to be seen by the naked eye, it would resemble a tube of electromagnetic force between the two. Electrical current passes along this flux tube forming a circuit between the planet and moon, which ionizes the cloud of volcanic sulfur, oxygen, sodium and chlorine into a ring of plasma which surrounds the planet, boosting its already powerful magnetic field even further. The flux tube itself boosts radio emissions from Jupiter, making them increase considerably when Io's orbit brings it closer to Earth.
  5. ^ Heliopause (also known as heliosphere) is the boundary between solar wind and external cosmic rays, effectively the outer boundary of the Solar System. Therefore, the "Deep Black" is outside of the reach of the Sun's influence.
  6. ^ This would conflict with their indirect assistance to the Last City and the Guardians, such as Xûr providing rare weapons to them.
  7. ^ This is likely a reference to Plato's Allegory of the Cave.
    In this allegory, Plato explains that the inhabitants of the cave are prisoners, trapped inside with no knowledge of, nor have any desire to escape to, the outside world. Behind them a fire burns; objects passed through its light cast a shadow on the cave wall. A prisoner one day escapes their shackles and leaves the cave to find the sun, which shines more brightly than a campfire and overwhelms him; armed with this knowledge of the new reality he returns to try and convince his fellow men to escape but they steadfastly refuse.
    The objects which pass between the flames and the wall are what Plato calls the "Theory of Forms", or "Ideas". These objects are the true, metaphysical essence of what the prisoners perceive on the wall. Because the prisoners are shackled they lack knowledge of the "reality" of these shapes and presume the "shadows" are what's real when in fact they are not. The true reality, or higher reality, is what Plato called the "Good", and those which have discovered the "Good" must not remain there alone, but return to release their brethren and perceive the Good.
    Destiny inverts this by having the Nine be the remnants of the Forms, the shadows "burned into the weft of what is" are the only remains of the Forms. Something, like the Darkness or even the Light, destroyed the transcendent Forms and recreated them into a new metaphysical archetype. To put it more bluntly, the Nine are the ghosts of dead gods, whose bodies were slain and now endure as wisps of what they once were.

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Bungie (2018/8/5), Destiny 2: Warmind, Equitis Shade Rig
  2. ^ YouTube - Destiny 2: The Third Spire Social Space
  3. ^ Bungie (2019/3/5), Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter, Lore: The Declaration
  4. ^ a b Bungie (2019/3/5), Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter, Lore: The Witch
  5. ^ Bungie (2019/03/4), Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter, Lore: The Nine
  6. ^ a b Bungie (2015/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves, Quotes: Brother Vance
  7. ^ a b Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Xûr, Agent of the Nine: Quotes
  8. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, Grimoire: Osiris
  9. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2
  10. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Item Description, I Am Alive
  11. ^ Bungie (2015/5/19), Destiny: House of Wolves, Grimoire: Mystery: The Fate of Skolas
  12. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, House of Wolves, Grimoire: Prison of Elders
  13. ^ Bungie (2019/3/5), Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter, Lore: Debt
  14. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Lore: Reextinction
  15. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: The End
  16. ^ Bungie (2018/8/5), Destiny 2: Warmind, Motion to Suppress
  17. ^ a b Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: The Long Walk
  18. ^ a b Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: A Sudden Death
  19. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Judgment
  20. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Bond Relentless
  21. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: A Swift Verdict
  22. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Mark Relentless
  23. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Cloak Judgment
  24. ^ a b Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Relentless
  25. ^ a b Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Adjudicator
  26. ^ Bungie (03/06/2019), Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter, Lore:Dust: The Witch
  27. ^ Bungie (03/06/2019), Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter, Lore:Stolen Intelligence: Ringer
  28. ^ Bungie (2018/8/5), Destiny 2: Warmind, Motion to Compel
  29. ^ Bungie (2018/8/5), Destiny 2: Warmind, Motion to Vacate
  30. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Audience with the Queen
  31. ^ Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Emissary
  32. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Legends 2
  33. ^ Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Xûr, Agent of the Nine: Quotes
  34. ^ Pilgrimage: Harbinger's Seclude, Shiny Geode
  35. ^ reddit - Trials Lore Tabs and the personalities of the Nine.