In depth analysis of the Whisper of the Worm lore tab. And much much more


#1

https://imgur.com/a/lEoJ68Z

Hi Guardians, this is an in depth analysis of the lore tab of the new weapon the Whisper of the worm. I know i´ve been away from this forum for quite some time, and most of you probably don’t know who I am, but I spent a great deal of time studying the original D1 lore, and with the new lore, I couldn’t stay away any longer from posting a long winded analysis.

I, like most people, have probably seen Byf and Myelins theories on this, and both present strong cases for their theories and i would highly recommend watching them if you haven´t.

TLDR; Xol is trying to control the line between life and death by creating a new sword logic, and has in the process given back some form of will to the Taken.

LONG READ AHEAD. BE WARNED

First paragraph, “Parasites that may benefit the host, teeth sharper than your own”.

To me, this is a play on the Ahamkara, who are parasitic creatures who morph into bone like armor for us to wield. It would to me assert the link between the Worm God and the Ahamkara further. Ahamkara are known for feeding upon will and destruction, but also, for escaping their own death (And also for using the term teeth). They are also known for whispering into the mind of their wielders, which goes well with the Whisper of the worm. The implication is harder to understand to me, but the reference could quite possibly be towards the Ahamkara.

The mission seems to mostly start with killing Urzok, the Hated, that is now Urzok the Aspect of Hate. There is also Tau’arc(Aspect of War) and Drevis(Aspect of Darkness). Now, the Hated in D1 was a singular position within the Hive. It was an executioner of Wizards deemed “Forsaken”, remember that until the end. This will play into my theory, because what Urzok is, is the line between life and death. Tau’arc was a powerful Cabal leader who commanded the forces on Mars, so let’s get to taking out their command one by…. Eh, sorry. He is now the aspect of War, a fitting term for one who seems to have been a big part of the war on Mars. Finally Drevis commanded the feared Silent Fangs. Drevis is called the Aspect of Darkness, and this one is hard to pin down for me. Drevis and the fangs are known for cruel acts, perhaps this is what is referenced? All these are powerful creatures that are responsible for countless deaths, but also became orchestrators of life and death by controlling their forces. And these will reappear in the end, which feels to go along with the whole resurrection theme, more on this in a second.

Now it describes that Xol in death followed a road and that death was a metamorphosis for it. Simply, death is just a passage for Xol. It also connected Xol with the Guardians who slayed it. And that this might, the Guardians might, is also divine nurture for Xol. To understand this, I think we need to look at the Verity’s brow. In it, Nokris says that they will die and be reborn his Xol´s name. This is a reoccurring theme for Xol, death and rebirth. Let me explain.

I believe this is an assertion of Xol in the universe. Xol is a creature of the Deep but has started to defy the logic of which it exists, a logic defined by Yul, the most powerful worm god. By dying, it detaches itself from this logic, but is also according to a different sword logic, is proven as a powerful entity. Sword Logic says that in the killing, the killer is bound to its victim. The issue here would be that the Sword Logic defined by Yul says that in dying to a more powerful creature, you are proven lesser. But Xol has already started to define his own logic when he makes his pact with Nokris. It feeds upon the might of the Guardian who killed it, because in being killed by such a might, it proved that only such a force can destroy it. This could be because Xol, like Nokris, is not the strongest of his kind. Instead, he asserts his power with knowledge and wisdom. Xol defines a new sword logic, one in which knowledge feeds its power. And in Xol´s sword logic, dying and coming back to life is not a weakness, it’s a source of power and a path towards perfection. Remember that in the Books of Sorrow, Oryx daughters all died over and over to learn it’s secrets. Even Guardians practice the art of dying to pierce the veil and look beyond. This is also close to how Guardians seem to have learnt to be such fierce warriors, think here of the cinematic with Zavala dying and dying to become better. Each time you return from being killed, you gain knowledge in that death, be it how to survive or in the case of Thanatonauts, glimpses of beyond.

This theme is reoccurring, the possibility to make your own law, your own sword logic. Sword Logic is then but one method of achieving power, and not the defining ruleset. Xol adheres to it, but can with enough power shape those rules. This would explain what believed was errors in the Books of Sorrow in which Xivu Arath gives her death to Auryx. It would no longer be defying the rules, simply showing us that Sword Logic isn’t a logic set in stone. Instead it would seem that the Logic is defined by the God, that each worm could possibly create its own Sword Logic for its followers. Oryx preached the sword logic of Yul, but Nokris is freed from the Worm Pact when he is severed from the Hive kingdom, and it would seem that Xol frees himself from whatever power Yul has over him by being killed by us, or by becoming worshipped by Nokris and his followers. He is instead asserted as a God of his own Will and knowledge, and wants to become the rule of death and life itself.

Xol is called the Will of Thousands, and I think this is a reference to the Taken. Perhaps is Xol even the keeper of wills that have been Taken? The Taken grimoire from when Oryx was killed explain how these all looked for a will when Oryx will was missing, and to me it would seem they have found b a new purpose in Xol, more about that in a second.

Xol came upon the Taken on Io, who are calling out for Savathün in scans, or for a new Will to guide them. They feed Xol (assuming since it is the Will of Thousands) and tried to make it a commanding will. But Xol was bound to the logic that sustained his death. He doesn’t simply want to become the mere power and new will of the Taken, it wants to become a ruleset between life and death, this is where it gets very spinfoily

Xol wants to become the rule which divides the mighty living from the mighty dead. It wants to become the defining factor of life versus death, instead of becoming the only will in existence defined by killing. The Worm gods have proven before that they can resurrect beings, doing so with Auryx, and I think this is the source of Xols true power. The power to control life and death as a logic. By manipulating these rules, Xol takes control of the moving between these spaces, and the power of that motion. So really, Xol defined that being killed isn’t as definitive as in Yul´s version of Sword Logic. Killing someone, according to Xol’s ruleset, isn’t a simple “I prove my existence and deny yours”, it’s simply a road towards improvement.

Xol whispered the Anthem Anatheme, and this part is important to me, “the temptation to dominate the objective universe with the subjective will”. To shape the universe according to your will is a very solipsistic and sword logic way of thinking. This is the real Anthem anathema. But, Xol does not simply assert its will upon the Taken. Instead, it makes itself an engine for the Taken to let their desires become hegemon, or leaders, over their conditions. To me, this means that Xol gave back free will to the Taken, and in doing so, he asserted himself as the force that feeds this desire. Xol gives the Taken power of will that they can test their foes with. And in testing their foes, they worship Xol. Basically, he gives them back desire and will to become more true followers of Xol.

This sounds like Xol made another Worm pact but this time with the Taken. They are given the power to let their desires control their condition (Being taken) and in so, given back their free will, or some part of it. And by acting this out, Xol is worshipped as the power behind it.

Now Aiat is interesting here, because by my understanding, Aiat is a Hive word, not a worm God word. I think this is a hint towards who is the author of the text. It’s not Xol describing himself; it’s someone from the Hive, perhaps Xavathün?

Xol gave Nokris the power to become a necromancer, and I think this is a connection between Xol and the coming expansion, Forsaken. The art for the expansion is a weapon that has black smoke, almost the Taken effect. I think this Forsaken hints at a corruption of sorts. We know that the Scorn(Fallen) now also possess the power to resurrect life, and I think this, The Whisper of the Worm, is a bridge between the two DLC:s.

So what is the weapon, really? I would agree with youtubers like Byf and Myelin in that the weapon is much like the Touch of Malice a weapon created with hive magic, and that also connects back to its predecessor, the Black Spindle and the Black Hammer. This would then be the new shape of these weapons. The Black hammer was its original shape, and then Oryx daughters changed it to fit their view of the world. But Xol “Gave” its power back to the weapon, that powerful first perk. I know it’s a stretch, but its an interesting one. And in giving it to us/letting us take it, making sure it’s AS powerful as it should be; we could be feeding Xol, since we are bound to him by killing him. The Black hammer said “I cannot permit you to exist” and this is close to what Xol is trying to rule, the power to control life and death. But in the end I think this isn’t like touch of malice, this weapon feels like “just” a weapon changed with Hive/Taken magic.

Now there is one topic that needs to be discussed as well, and that is Savathün. We have seen Vex being taken. According to Asher, this is a death sentence because the Taken could never survive meshing with the Vex Mind fluid. But we must not forget that Savathün was given Quria, a Taken Hydra with some will left in it. I think this all ties into each other because the heroic version of this mission in which we gain the catalyst, plus the names of the ornaments Between Breaths and Bound Hammer. Lets get even more spinfoily.

Io is a Vex planet, and the presence of Oracles makes for an interesting connection. Oracles exist in the Vault of Glass to assert the calculations of the Templar. They define existence within the controlled space. Let’s put all this together, the Taken going for Vex, Savathün having Quria that could be the Key to the Vex network for the Taken, and the setting and theme of the Whisper of the Worm. Savathun is cunning, she herself isn’t strong like Oryx was, or like Xivu Arath (who incidentally used a hammer). Perhaps someone is combining the powers of the Vex and the power of the ascendant realms? I´ve seen articles describing the upcoming end content area, the dreaming city, as a mix of the Dreadnaught and the Vault of Glass. A fitting throne world for someone who controls both Vex and Taken perhaps?

This makes for a very interesting possibility, that Savathün is aligned with Xol, or perhaps, manipulating even Xol to serve her needs. Very cunning if so. Could this Hive-Vex-Taken group be linked to those mysterious black pyramids even? hmmm

So there you have it, my analysis of this very interesting entry into the lore of Destiny. I´d love to hear your thoughts on my thoughts.


#2

I read hypotheses from AnonPig or a few others on the Ishtar Collective Discord that the Guardians have basically been following their own Sword Logic (kill, loot, kill, loot, grow stronger and more powerful).


#3

Kex! It’s good to have you and your analysis around again, especially on something as interesting as this.

A few scattered thoughts:

I think the reference to teeth could also be drawing a connection to the Hive & Sword Logic as it stands. The line reminds me of Toland in GF: The Hellmouth:

This is the shape and the point of the tooth: nothing has ever lived that will not die.

As well as something Oryx says in the Books:

And these houses are a trap — for they lead young life away from the blade and the tooth, which are the tools of survival and the means of ascension.

Alongside swords/queens/etc., “the tooth” also seems to serve as a metaphor for the Sword Logic, or at least killing and gaining power through the action. To me, that ties in pretty nicely with the original line from WOTW- where the parasite’s “teeth” are sharper, and therefore are an aid when it comes to the killing just about every Guardian does.

I also like your connection to the Ahamkara- they’re pretty heavily connected to the Worm Gods/Hive through the BoS (and all the arguing that came with that discussion!), as well as being another example of a relationship between a ‘host’ Guardian and another entity.

I’d agree- from what I’ve seen, that’s been everyone’s best guess. I’d assume that her actions at the Raze of Amethyst (namely killing almost everyone on the station) would be what earned her the title “Aspect of Darkness,” though that’s pretty speculative.

It’s interesting that the Taken on Io aren’t under the command of Savathûn already. There’s been evidence of the Taken already being controlled, maybe by one of Oryx’s siblings:

Ghost: Zavala, the Taken leader is down for the count. Surprise of the day: he was Red Legion.
Zavala: Impossible… Oryx is long dead. There’s no one left to take.
Ghost: Ikora was telling me about a Hive tome called the Book of Sorrows. That Oryx has sisters.

Even Ikora says she thinks Savathûn has “claimed Oryx’s crown,” and by extension become their new commander/will. So there’s someone Taking new enemies, and the Taken on Io are calling to Savathun, while also trying to make Xol a “commanding will” of its own. As you say, this could very well lead to some kind of dynamic between Savathûn, Xol, and the Taken.

Shamelessly plundering Dpedia’s BoS footnotes:

“Aiat” (or āiat) is the “third-person singular present active subjunctive” of āiō, which is Latin for “to say”. This phrase is used by Oryx when speaking law or defining a new reality.

So, if we bring this meaning into the WOTW text, then, by saying “Aiat” at the end, Xol is speaking its previous lines into existence much in the way Oryx did. Given Xol’s desire to “dominate the objective universe with subjective will,” I’d say the definition fits.

Not quite related to what you were saying but there’s something to be said of the parallels between the WOTW and Paradox, namely the idea of the Taken attempting to Take the Vex once again, now under Quria. I’m not sure if that train of thought leads anywhere, though. Anyway- glad to have you back!


#4

This sidetracks things a bit, but drawing on my biblical knowledge here, the expression “Aiat” is reflective of the BoS and Nokris/Xol’s Apocrypha being quasi-religious texts.

As Dpedia points out, it’s used when Oryx, for example, wants to define law. It’s then similar to “verily”, “truly I tell you”, or even “amen I say to you”, all used to draw attention to definitive or important sayings by religious figures.

So it’s more than plausible Xol is ascribing itself a didactic role and declaring such statements into law.


#5

Aiat is not a Hive word. It is a Latin verb of Aio, or “I say, I assert, I say yes, I say no, I affirm, I assent”. Essentially, it’s the word one would speak when defining reality in the Darkness way.

All in all, an excellent theory. I wouldn’t mind Savathun worshipping Xol, since toward the end of the Books of Sorrow (XLVI: The Gift Mast) she said they should grow apart; Xivu was more forceful “King Oryx, you take up too much space, your power constrains too many choices. I must go away from you.”

If Xol is beginning to embody this new form of the Sword Logic – groan, my beautiful Destinypedia article! – then it would make sense Savathun would be attracted to it. After all, she did ask Oryx in “strict proof eternal” if what the Hive was doing was correct. I think she was actually asking Oryx if what they were doing according to Yul’s vision was correct. Oryx, like the natural fanatical believer, misses the point.

Who knows what the other Worm gods are thinking. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them.


#6

thats certainly possible, but i would argue that Sword Logic isnt a universal rule, its a rule given and dictated by the Worm gods as part of the pact. But in the spirit of what sword logic is, then yes :slight_smile:


#7

great thoughts as always, ive missed your keen insights Erin :slight_smile:

going top to bottom

The reference to teeth could very well be that yes. I´ve restudied that part and perhaps it is as you say, a reference to a bargain with the worms and sword logic. its called a parasite, and the weapon isnt really that, but if we think of it as the worm bargain, it makes sense. Perhaps its Xols way of saying “you could be stronger with our larvae”

I agree on the Drevis part, the actions of Drevis and the silent fangs are … well evil to use that term. Killing civilians isnt exactly noble, but it fits with the survival of the fittest Darkness theme.

I agree that it is strange that the Taken does not obey Savathün already, even though they call out for her. Perhaps Savathün avoids being their Will, much as Xol does, for a purpose? Ive also heard that there is a Xivu named enemy in the first mission of Forsaken, perhaps we will see both sisters in the future.

Regarding Aiat, i hesitate to think that this is the words of Xol, based on the usage of Aiat. Instead, going back to Savathüns involvement with the Taken and the Vex, i speculate that its a Hive being describing what Xol did. If it where Xol, wouldnt it follow the principles of their langauge that made us think the Ahamkara and them are related. To me this feels more like a testament about what Xol did, by someone with detailed knowledge of it.

Yeah, Paradox seems to come around often. Since the Vex are so hard to grasp, since we dont know much about their true origins, and the fact that their timeline seems to be flipped, i think there is a connection. There is too much of a connection between them, with Savathün knowing where to guide Crota to slice to unleash the Vex in the first place.

Again, glad to be back :slight_smile:


#8

i see your logic here, but i still think this isnt Xol who is speaking, but a Hive speaking. Savathün is a good theory for me, possibly even Nokris if he still lives (that death felt waaaay to easy). Nokris “gave” his heart to Xol, perhaps in that, his death is hidden within Xol…

Anyway, i speculate a lot in my post, and your logic is sound.


#9

what i mean by “Hive” word is that we havent seen anyone outside the BoS use the term (besides us fans). So i associate the word with the Hive.

You raise an excellent point on the BoS Gift mast entry, it feels like a natural thing for Savathün to both seek another form of worship and to separate herself from being weaker then Oryx. Cunning and trickery both seem to fit well with Xol´s new “knowledge”-based Sword Logic. But the worm pact is problematic in that sense, how to break it.

I think with the introduction of their “titles” we will see more infighting between them. Perhaps they are the Queens that Toland spoke of, raising their own armies.

thanks man.


#10

Yeah, that’s basically what I meant.