Feature Article

Iron Banter: This Week In Destiny 2 - Queen Witch

I've been lost in the throne world for almost two weeks, shooting Hive and detecting stuff, and I still have so many story questions.

Just about every week brings something new to Destiny 2, whether it's story beats, new activities, or interesting new combinations of elements that let players devastate each other in the Crucible. Iron Banter is our weekly look at what's going on in the world of Destiny and a rundown of what's drawing our attention across the solar system.

Between The Witch Queen and Elden Ring, there's been a lot of mysteries to solve in video games of late. I missed last week's Iron Banter because I was still scrambling around in Savathun's throne world, trying to find everything I could. This week, I'm taking a breather because we've uncovered a lot.

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Now Playing: Opinion: The Witch Queen Is Destiny 2's Best Campaign Yet

First, there's the story campaign of The Witch Queen, which throws wrench after wrench into key concepts that could have been considered foundational to Destiny 2. The twists and turns have been excellent, and though the complaints I have about The Witch Queen boil down to a few beefs with how some story moments land, it is altogether the best expansion, from a story standpoint, that Bungie has yet produced.

It's also the best expansion yet from a campaign standpoint. The Legendary campaign in particular is excellent--if challenge in games is your thing, I highly recommend checking it out. You can read more in-depth impressions in our Witch Queen review, which is now finalized with our team's completion of the new raid, Vow of the Disciple.

And if you want to dig into the story of The Witch Queen and what it all means, spoilers and all, you can do so with our Witch Queen story explained rundown. Fair warning, there's a lot going on. A few of GameSpot's Destiny crew also laid down our impressions on a special episode of the GameSpot After Dark podcast we recorded in two halves: spoiler-free first, and spoilers after. Give it a listen and be sure to dip out if you're not already through the campaign.

Other than that, we've also been turning out a ton of guides for different things to uncover in the throne world and beyond.

Speaking of spoilers, though: The things that have really been sticking with me are all the lingering threads and unanswered questions The Witch Queen has raised. The Destiny 2 story is going through some changes right now. We're in a fascinatingly morally gray area, as is being exemplified both in The Witch Queen and in the Season of the Risen story. If the past seasons looked at the capacity for our enemies to be more nuanced than we've given them credit for, it seems this season is focused on the suggestion that maybe our fellow Guardians aren't the squeaky clean good guys we've always assumed them to be. I think Destiny 2 wants us to see how easy it is to be the bad guys.

Apart from the thematic questions of good and evil, there's a whole lot of lore dirt that's been churned up. So, once again, spoilers--this next section is going to be full of them. Let's talk about everything I'm wondering about from The Witch Queen.

The Witch Queen's lingering questions

Is all this Oryx stuff hinting at the return of the King's Fall raid, or even the Taken King himself?
Is all this Oryx stuff hinting at the return of the King's Fall raid, or even the Taken King himself?

Some people started an Elden Ring journal last week--I started a Witch Queen lore question list. It is getting expansive, and if you're not diving deep into everything that's hidden in the throne world, from the Of Queens and Worms quest to the Mars Missives lore book, you absolutely should. We're in some weird territory here, with The Witch Queen finally putting a face to the Darkness, adding some recontextualization of the Hive's backstory, and suggesting that the nature of the Traveler might not be what we think it is. All of it is an excellent evolution of the story, but I really cannot wait for more answers. Like, it is bothering me. A lot.

Here's a smattering of things I've been thinking about. This list is definitely not comprehensive, and has also expanded with our venture into the Pyramid in the raid, but that's a whole other article.

What's the deal with Fynch?

Our foray into The Witch Queen's throne world sees us largely guided by Fynch, a Hive Ghost who is labeled as a "conscientious objector" to the war we're fighting with Savathun. He claims to regret siding with the Hive, but his presence is, let's just say, convenient. Now that we know that we were brought to the throne world to serve Savathun's purposes in helping her regain her memory, and were, in fact, lured by the Glaive, we should be back to wondering how trustworthy Fynch really is. Yes, he's been extremely helpful--but helping us seems to have been part of the plans of our (apparent) enemies. And by the way, who killed his Hive Guardian?

How did Immaru escape?

So Savathun somehow lured or otherwise brought the Traveler into the throne world and she was planning to use a Hive ritual to bind it there. Her exact motivations are still in question, but regardless, we said "no" to that plan and killed her. But before we could finish off Immaru, her Ghost, and put Savathun down permanently, he escaped--along with the Traveler. Does that mean that the Traveler helped Immaru escape, or specifically chose to remove him from the situation in which we could destroy him? And if that's the case, doesn't that mean that the Traveler is explicitly siding with Savathun, or at the very least, very purposely wants her to retain the ability to be resurrected? What's going on there?

Isn't Savathun now a different person?

Doesn't becoming a Guardian change everything we think we know about the person who we refer to as
Doesn't becoming a Guardian change everything we think we know about the person who we refer to as "Savathun"?

The going theory about Guardians is that, once they are resurrected, they're not the same people they were in their past lives. We see this in the example of Crow--though he is the resurrected Uldren Sov, and even now that Savathun has restored his Uldren memories, he's still not Uldren. So it follows that, upon resurrection, Savathun would be like a different person, unburdened by the eons of life she lived as a Hive god. And if that's the case, didn't our decision to fight her border on, well...murder? And if Savathun was truly someone else, what if she had strayed from or rejected the path as laid out for her by her dead self?

What's Immaru's agenda?

If Savathun didn't remember who she was before she was resurrected, that suggests a lot of things about the story of The Witch Queen that aren't immediately obvious, because her lack of memories would mean that, once she was brought back as a Guardian, she'd need guidance to enact over plan from before she died. Thus, it seems that Savathun must have interacted with Immaru before he found and resurrected her. That raises the question of whether Ghosts can choose who they bond with (seems like they can, even if it's a subconscious choice), but also raises a bigger question: What skin does Immaru have in this game? He is, essentially, the leader of the Lucent Brood that we see, both during Savathun's time as a Guardian and in her absence. So what is he now trying to do, and why? And if Savathun relied on Immaru to help her enact her plan, what if he manipulated her to his own ends once she was resurrected, since she would have no way of knowing he had?

Immaru also is still commanding the Lucent Brood in the throne world and he seems to have a goal in mind. What's more, it follows that he's probably commanding the Lucent Brood members who are attacking Earth--so what's he after there? Why would a Ghost want to lead the Hive anyway?

What does Savathun gain from continuing to guide us?

Savathun's still in contact with us, even after her death. But why?
Savathun's still in contact with us, even after her death. But why?

The Altar of Reflection quests show us Savathun's memories, where she directly communicates with us through messages she left before her death. The question is, why? What does she gain from helping (or hindering) our forays into her throne world? Why would she plan out these messages, not only before we killed her, but before she had the Light? And if Savathun left messages for us, doesn't that mean killing her was part of her plan?

I've got many more questions, so much that I'll probably compile them somewhere to go even deeper. But for the time being, those are a few of the biggest ones. Feel free to drop your own in the comments below.

In the meantime, I'm hoping to write more about The Witch Queen since it's all that's on my mind. Our adventure in the Pyramid has vastly altered the story of Destiny 2, so much so that I'm not even going to get into it here--it'd double the length of this column, easy. If you can play the raid, I suggest you do, because it's extremely cool. In the meantime, stay tuned for more discussion of what's found within, and what it means for the future of Destiny as we now start the road to its next chapter: Lightfall.

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philhornshaw

Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw has worked as a journalist for newspapers and websites for more than a decade and has covered video games, technology, and entertainment for nearly that long. A freelancer before he joined the GameSpot team as an editor out of Los Angeles, his work appeared at Playboy, IGN, Kotaku, Complex, Polygon, TheWrap, Digital Trends, The Escapist, GameFront, and The Huffington Post. Outside the realm of games, he's the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler's Guide to Time Travel and The Space Hero's Guide to Glory. If he's not writing about video games, he's probably doing a deep dive into game lore.

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