Do Ghosts have people's souls in them?

So I’m new to this and I hope this gets some attention, even if the topic has been done (if it has I’m sorry if this isn’t new)

So I was surprised when the narrator in the opening cutscene in Destiny 2 had this distinct sound of going from original voice mechanically changing to the ghost voice and the question came to mind. Are ghost people with their souls trapped inside the shell?

Here’s the evidence (Or more so lack of). Ghost do have actual names, it’s shown in the Grimoire Card for the ghost (currently can’t remember the card) but how do they know this when the card says there searching for guardians? My mind jumped to a thought about the collape, when the darkness destroyed most of humanity making the traveler chain itself to earth and birth the ghost. Now people know that that Guardians are a army of the undead who can use light but what about the people who didn’t? I believe when the traveler created the ghost he used the souls of the dead people without the light from the collapse to make the ghost and find guardians with the light in them. In summary our ghost knew us in our past life and it has the soul of someone we knew.


The narration in the opening cutscene is this:

I never knew you in life. Your first life, anyway. You died on a battlefield long before my time.

Regarding the fact that narration turns into North’s ‘Ghost voice’ while he’s saying “…and brought Light to the Ghosts,” it’s probably for dramatic effect more than anything.

That’s probably from Ghost Fragment: Ghosts 2, which contains two named Ghosts, Obsidian and Cassiopeia. However, Ghosts do not have the amnesia associated with Guardians. They were created by the Traveler, and remember this:

Built from machinery and the Traveler’s Light, Ghosts guide their Guardian companions in the quest to reclaim our solar system.

Every Ghost is born knowing that we have to find our Guardian. We don’t know what they look like. Not on the outside, anyway. On the inside, I’d always known who you were.”

Not to mention the opening cinematic of Destiny 2, when our own Ghost describes his creation and search.

Additionally, Ghost refers to himself as an “artificial lifeform:”

Ghost: Ok, just to be clear: I don’t like creepy tech that spreads like a virus. It gives people the wrong idea about artificial lifeforms.

And again:

You know, I’ve always resented the the term ‘artificial intelligence.’ Who do you think came up with that phrase? A bio-human, no doubt. Intelligence is intelligence. How could anything with intelligence not be real?

Much like Rasputin & Failsafe, Ghosts appear to be highly-functioning artificial intelligences that have manifested personality.


Ahh yeah… I forgot about the “born from machinery” thing and the intro I probably forgot that part as well but hey it’s my first time so it was worth a shot to try something :stuck_out_tongue: thanks for the feedback though!


That describes their creation, yes, but what of the actual “soul”, or consciousness or spirit, of the Ghost? That’s the question I think being asked here.

Given the Traveler’s facillitation of several highly-functioning AIs (Failsafe, Rasputin & presumably the other Warminds, etc.), it seems like the most direct route would still be that Ghosts aren’t technically ‘real,’ and are just complex enough to have personalities & what appears to be sentience. Our Ghost seems to think that he’s certainly an ‘artificial’ intelligence, despite disliking the term.

‘Souls’ themselves are fairly nebulous, although given the Awoken/Exo/etc. and the vaguery of their creations, it’s not exactly impossible to rule out their existence within the universe. For the moment, though, Ghosts still seem to have manifested their own personalities as opposed to being ‘given’ a human’s soul.


Ok so a few things now that I’m done with busy life from last week -_-
1.if he didn’t know us how does he know we died on a battlefield?
2. Sure he talks about AI but he’s talking about AI in general, he even said he resented the term so he doesn’t like it. If he was an AI then why would he reject it?
3. why would they just throw in random “dramatic effect” like that? All of this lore is inspired by dark souls, leaning mystery and clues in item description and the environment but what if bungie is taking a step further and adding in cinematic?
4. Ok the built from machinery and light, I’ll say again I forgot but what if it’s just a shell around their soul?
5. The Exos were a manufacturing idea by Clovis Bray and he kept it a good secret, even to means of brainwashing them (i.e. The numbers beside each exos head) and the process does concist of transferring the human conscious into a robotic body. Their names are probably different from their original, the most known example being Felwinter who, as stated in the grimoire card for Lord Timur he says to felwinter “Do you even ponder the before? Or that number etched into your “skin”?” Has been wiped. More supports this from the D2 exotic Winters Guile where his ghost revives him and gives him the name Felwinter but Felwinter keeps asking why he can’t remember his name. (Other examples are banshee and Sant-14 because who has those names as regular, human ones?)

To summarize, what if ghost function the same way as Exos? Their soul/conscious is housed inside a robotic shell, giving the, a personality they had before they became a ghost but their given different names by something or someone else.

Also another question for others, do you think Ghost Fragment Ghost 1 is talking about the creation of the traveler?

Our Ghost finds us at the beginning of Destiny one in the outskirts of the Cosmodrome. Given that he found our body there, he knew where it was- that it was on a “battlefield,” which is a bit incongruous, since we died on an old highway just outside the Wall. Given the fact that the Fallen had reclaimed the territory by the time we were resurrected, though, it’s not the most inaccurate description.

For the same reason Exos don’t like being thought of as simply machines, most likely:

If I am a machine then so are you. If you are not a machine then neither am I. Exo minds are human. It is incontrovertible.

As both Ghost and the Exo in GF: Exo say, intelligence isn’t synonymous with having a flesh-and-blood brain. Referring to all non-human, quasi-robotic intelligences as “artificial” is, as the Exo says, fairly anthropocentric. Additionally, Ghost commenting on the term yet having no stake in it would be fairly odd- not exactly conclusive, but strange nonetheless.

It would introduce new players gradually into the game without throwing them in headfirst- North gives the backstory and then introduces himself as our Ghost, as opposed to simply having his robot affectation from the beginning. It’s also a payoff for new players, reintroducing North’s Ghost in a more “dramatic” way. Again, that’s not for sure their intention, but given that it’s the opening cutscene, that’s my best guess.

As for “all this lore [being] inspired by Dark Souls,” I couldn’t find anything that said the totality of Destiny’s lore is inspired by the Souls series, just a few scattered items, as well as the similarities between their methods of storytelling. Given that there aren’t any similarly placed possible breadcrumbs in any of D2’s other cinematics, this being a (very) subtle hint towards our Ghost’s ‘true origins’ seems unlikely.

It’s possible, yes, but given how little information there is on Ghosts’ mechanics, it’s just about impossible to go any farther than a ‘maybe.’ The Dead Ghosts card implies that Ghosts are simply machines completely powered by Light:

Battered and drained of their Light, these Ghosts are nevertheless valuable for the information they preserve.

Given that the emphasis is on “drained Light,” with the shell remaining.

Several things:

A) We don’t know the purpose of the reboots, which correspond to how many numbers an Exo has after their name.

B) We don’t know how Exos were created, exactly- GF: Exo & Cayde’s Treasure Island Book imply the transfer of human consciousness into a robotic frame, but we don’t know how much of a personality remains after the transfer / the effects reboots have on the core personality / etc.

C) The Iron Lords were active before the founding of the City, also known as the Dark Age. During this time, given that the Tower was nonexistent, a lot of information that would become available later wasn’t there. For example, the Iron Lords didn’t know the dangers Rasputin presented, which led to their deaths:

Felwinter tried to communicate with the Warmind. Called it Rasputin. ~consume enhance replicate~ Said he could make it understand. Tell it we meant no harm.

Rasputin didn’t answer with words.

That is to say, information from this time period can be pretty controvertible. There’s also the fact that Timur may have been “mad.”

D) Given the fact that Cayde says this in his Treasure Island Book:

See, the reboots, they don’t wipe it all away. Not everything. And the new life-plus the Light-it does something real funny to what’s left. Amplifies it, scrambles it, reshuffles the fragments like a dealer riffling a deck of cards, putting the hands we’ve already won and lost back into play.

It’s fairly possible that Felwinter didn’t remember his name upon being resurrected because of the effect Light has on Exo’s minds. We don’t know how many times Felwinter has been rebooted, because Timur doesn’t specify & his name, like Ashraven’s, doesn’t have a number attached.

There’s also the fact that Tinasha-3 seems to have remembered her name, and chosen a new one:

A Minerva-class refit commemorating the legendary Warlock Tinasha-3, known to her peers in the Iron Banner as Ashraven.

Again, it’s not impossible, but there would have to be a decent amount of evidence in the future for this to take precedence over the idea that Ghosts are artificial intelligences.


So should we just leave this theory as a maybe?

I agree with almost everything that you said, but I think this is a bit unfair to Ghosts. :slight_smile:

It seems to me that Ghosts are definitely capable of feeling, perceiving and experiencing the world subjectively. So to me, Ghosts are definitely sentient.


This is an interesting idea, but after reading through the discussion there’s no evidence to support it.

If we were to put it on @Cpt_Kex’s scale of certainty, where would it sit? :slight_smile:

I think it would have to sit at “speculation” at the moment.


Possible. I’ve delved into thinking about things with little to no evidence and let my imagination think of the rest. Maybe a bad idea, I dunno maybe I’m just being too much of an optimist :confused:

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There’s nothing wrong with optimism! :slight_smile: There are plenty of theories that I hope are true, too.

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So small update… have you looked at the Grimoire card Cabal 4? It talks about the Guardians salvaging for stuff and all that (even poking at usual mars stuff like dancing and sparrow tricks) but it says that they come back from death by what they call a small autonomous drone dubbed"Dead Person"…evidence…?

Most likely that’s the closest approximation the Cabal language has for the word “ghost”. Note the brackets reading “translation unclear”.

This capability is provided by a small autonomous drone unit called a Dead Person [trans. unclear].

The mission report also refers to the Ghost as a drone unit, so it’s clear the Cabal see it as a machine. However, whether or not the Traveler is just a machine is the subject of an entire scene between Ghaul and Consul, and complicit in the disagreement that leads to Ghaul killing his teacher, so, it appears both positions are being explored through the lore.


…well frick I was conident in this XD

There’s nothing wrong with being excited. :wink:

Well now with Forsaken, I found an entry that seems to confirm that Ghosts have people’s souls in them:

And I knew what I needed to do. Somewhere in this wide, amazing galaxy there was a person. They were quiet and dead, like We had been, but I could bring them back. I could share what was inside of me, this glorious warmth and life and breath and being.

This is from The We Before Us:

What do y’all think?

The Ghost is the resurrection of every guy in the chair.

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I think this you finally found the best evidence yet. We know that “We” are the ghost and the fact that they give warmth from inside them most definitely hints to the soul, which makes the traveler all the more suspicious, of which mine lie in the fact that he got them from the collapse