Felwinter was an Exo

Did any one notice that Felwinter is actually an exo? Read the Lord Timur card.

But him an exo?!?!?!

Yes, he is so far the only Iron Lord we know of that was an Exo, and one of the few without a number (so recorded) appended to his name.

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So either Felwinter was the first iteration of his personality, or he omitted the number/didn’t use his factory name.

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I think it would be the latter, that he refused to acknowledge it. I dunno, something about Felwinter gives me that vibe.

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I think in the Felwinter grimoire card, it tells the story of Felwinter meeting his Ghost for the first time. The Ghost tells him to say that his name is Felwinter. The Exo says “That’s not my name. I always remember my name,” or something to that effect. This implies he HAD a factory name before his Ghost found him, but for whatever reason, his Ghost is keeping that information from him. The reason why is his Ghost hiding his real identity has yet to be revealed.

That’s from the lore entry for Winter’s Guile:

“Listen to me very carefully. They’re coming for you. They’ll ask you for a name. Your name is Felwinter.’”
“I don’t think that’s my name.”
“I know. Say it anyway.”

It’s not that his Ghost withheld the information, but that Felwinter couldn’t remember his name after he was resurrected:

“Why can’t I remember my name? I always remember my name. Something’s wrong. Was I damaged in Crypt processing?”

There’s precedent for this; in Cayde’s Treasure Island Book, Cayde-6 says as much:

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.

The fact that Felwinter’s ‘chosen’ name doesn’t have a number attached appears to be related to the Dark Age and the Exo Guardians within it, at least the Warlords (which Felwinter was one of) & the Iron Lords. Tinasha-3, an Iron Lord, had a similar name change:

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

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I think Tinasha-3’s situation was a little different to Felwinter’s in that Felwinter was a Warlord before he joined the Iron Banner. He was basically forced into the life of a Warlord and took shelter on a mountaintop which he appropriately named Felwinter Peak. He didn’t exactly have a choice in what his name was. He tries to remeber his orignial name, but can’t. Tinasha-3, on the other hand, has her factory name (probably when she’s first revived by her Ghost) and also chose to go by Ashraven when she later joined the Iron Banner. We don’t know the exact circumstances of Felwinter’s resurrection so we can’t say for certain if he had a factory name at all. When he says “Why can’t I remember my name?”, he could be referring to his name BEFORE he became an Exo. Like Cayde mentions, the reboots Exo’s go through don’t wipe away every bit of information stored in their “brains”.

We don’t know anything about Ashraven’s revival, either- she could have very well been a Warlord, or affiliated with them, before she took up the Banner. There’s nothing that calls Felwinter the first nor the only Warlord that joined the Wolves, so she may have been one, too.

We also don’t know the naming conventions of the time, including who ‘chose’ different names, why they did so, or any number of questions. All the Iron Lords named themselves, according to Skorri’s complaining; if we’re judging by Felwinter, so did the Warlords.

Given the fact that Felwinter asks if he was “damaged in Crypt processing,” he seems fairly well-adjusted to the fact that he’s an Exo, which means it’s more likely that he’s asking what his ‘exo’ name is as opposed to his human one. The fact that he can’t remember his name seems fairly in-line with other recounts of scrambled memories post-resurrection; our Guardian, regardless of race, can’t remember anything, Cayde doesn’t know if Ace is a real person, etc.

Additionally, since Felwinter does have a number, he at least has half of a ‘given name.’

Felwinter was given his name by his Ghost. We don’t know if this was the case for all of the other Iron Lords and Warlods. We don’t even know if that’s the case with OUR Guardians. [Meta warning] Even though it’s a game and Bungie let us use our PlayStation gamertags, surely the in-game characters don’t refer to us by our gamertags (i.e. crazyeyed420_1; corvetteicuz; AF_Drummer_15; etc.). To keep it simple, they just say “Guardian”. So we have to wonder if it’s the Ghosts choosing the names for Guardians or if they make the conscious decision by the Guardians themselves. If the Ghost pick the names, I wonder what process they go through to choose the appropriate name.
This idea that Ghosts choose the names can factor into existing characters like Osiris and Saint-14. Saint-14 was an Exo Titan that accomplished many feats most Guardians would consider heroic. But before then, when Saint-14 was first resurrected, did the Ghost choose his name knowing that Saint-14 would live to become a legend? Does the Traveler give Ghosts a vague future-seeing ability to base names off of? Bungie hasn’t given us any clear indication as to how they make names and titles so it leaves us to speculate on things like this.