Some speculation on the Drifter and Joker's Wild (kinda long)

Now I know as you’re reading this you have probably seen plenty of other posts saying that the Drifter is Dredgen Yor from people who are then politely reminded by our mighty lore masters that Yor was killed by Shin Malphur and is clearly dead. But since reading the Dredgen Title Transcription , I came back to this idea. What if it really is Yor? And if it is, how could that be possible?

Now first off yes technically Bungie is capable of writing the code and making the game where the Drifter is Yor, but that’s not what I mean. How (in the lore) could it be shown that the Drifter is Yor? Now this is clearly all speculation, but hear me out. In the dialogue that follows our Guardian completing the Gambit Seal the Drifter says something that surprised me he says

The Drifter refers to his “crew” choosing a name and the adding it to the title “Dredgen” now for those of you who don’t know, this was the practice of the Shadows of Yor. Now the Drifter could be one of the Shadows (which to be honest is more likely), but I think I have some evidence for him being more than just a Shadow. First he refers to them as “my crew”. Second, in the lore book A Drifter’s Gambit the “Renegade” (who we know to be Shin Malphur) meets the Drifter and there is an odd start to there conversation.

Blockquote “By chance, he and I crossed paths in a… neutral setting. Didn’t give me his name, just called himself a drifter. Told him if that’s how it was, he could call me ‘Pal.’ He laughed at that, got comfortable. Got all kinds of open about where he’d been, what he was haulin’. Even dropped a tip on where an old friend of mine was hiding. I still wonder if he knows who I really am.”

So we have that the Drifter was uncomfortable when they met but was put at ease when the conversation continued, he didn’t give his name, and that he knew who Shin was. All of this points me to believe he is Yor. Of course he is nervous when they meet because this is the man that killed him. The same reason can be given for not giving his name. He becomes more relaxed as the conversation continues because he realizes Shin doesn’t know who he is. Another of my reasons for him being Yor is a little far fetched, but just hear me out on this one. The Drifter is known to be very untrustworthy as stated by Shin in A Drifter’s Gambit. And the Drifter claims to have been resurrected early on as a lightbearer and have fled the system ASAP. Now one thing about lies or atleast good lies is they usually have a small bit of truth in them. I believe that he was one of the first lightbearers to be brought to life. But back then he went by a different name. Rezyl Azzir, who is basically confirmed to be the Guardian who became Dredgen Yor.

Now I can already see you lore masters typing in a reply that Yor is dead so all my research is for nothing. But is it? Yes I know he was killed. But is physical death the end of Dredgen Yor? I don’t think so. We know that he was corrupted by the Hive and became what I believe to be closest a lightbearer can get to the Darkness. And if he is so obsessed with the Hive and the Darkness, why not the Sword logic, which would allow him to enter the Ascendant Plane and as with Oryx, Crota, and even Toland live on after death in our realm only to return as the Drifter.

If he truly is Yor then I believe that Shin Malphur will return in Joker’s Wild to face him again, possibly with our help.

If you see anything incorrect in here please let me know as I am always trying to improve my lore knowledge. Thank you.

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Hey Fruit -

Looks like it’s you and me here again, brother. (drifter voice)

Excellent post. I like how you went through all the connections. I especially like the idea about Yor perhaps using Hive magic to hide his death. Never really considered that before.

Here’s where I land on the subject. And, for the record, I’m nowhere near the status of Lore Master.

We do know (or at least we think we know) that the Drifter bugged out almost immediately after he was Risen. In this, he’s somewhat unique. As soon as he got a ship, he left earth and headed for the “outer” with no hesitation. By all accounts, he’s pretty old, even for a guardian. Dark Ages old - in line with the Iron Lords. This definitely puts him in the same origin time zone as Yor.

Here’s where I see a gap start to form:

  1. Rezyl Azir was something of a legend in crucible. Thorn was a particularly deadly reason for that. I think it’s kind of unlikely the Drifter was the same guy, if it’s indeed true that he went off world after he was Risen.
  2. The Drifter probably recognized Shin when they met, but that may not mean they’d met before. The Man with the Golden Gun was veritable legend even in the tower. It’s likely most of the Dredgen clan, in particular, would’ve deduced who he was on reputation alone.
  3. Coming back to the tower, even after all this time, would be a fool’s gambit (go ahead and have that pun, it’s free) for Yor. It’s good to keep your enemies close, but maybe not that close.
  4. Thorn was a weapon of sorrow. Maybe even THE weapon of sorrow considering what it was. I believe it drained him of his light completely. There are guardians whose ghost can’t revive them when this happens. I think that’s what happened to him when Shin brought the golden gun down on him.
  5. I also kind of believe that Yor sought death actively in his discussion with Shin prior to being killed. Maybe he was trying to adhere to the sword logic. I think the moment he left The Last Word for Shin, he sought out that end in some way. His conversation with Jaren’s ghost alludes to that point. Hive adherents do this as a matter of principle, so no assumptions here that he did so as a point of escapism. He’s probably just insane.
  6. The Drifter implying we’re part of “his” crew is indeed indicative of a perspective he has. Agreed there. I think it’s a different point of view, though. I think he’s got his own plan and, while inspired by Yor in some way, it’s more likely to me that he’s looking for a different end. Maybe not even one that’s too far off what we want to achieve: taking back our solar system. His methods, though, seem rooted in what he found on that frozen planet. Less light and more dark.

I don’t trust the Drifter as far as I can throw the entire Gambit game type. Best to keep a close eye on him and have your hand cannon handy (last pun, also free of charge).

Of note: he’s the only one from that failed adventure to that icy planet to come back. Could it be that he came back fundamentally changed and that’s why Primevals are his thing?


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Thank you for the insight. Looking back at it pretty much all of my evidence could also be him as a Shadow (or nothing at all tbh). I guess I just wanted to see Shin fight Yor in some way. I wish we could see what happened in their fight. Like some kinda cut scene. Like we have the lore card but no visuals :confused:. Anyway thank you so much!

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Hey update on my theory. So I went and read the Malfeasance Lore Tab caused ya know always gotta be learning, and holy crap there is no way The Drifter isn’t a Shadow of Yor. His need to be able to kill Shin plus his old desire to replace the Thorn with something. I mean come on… could Bungie have made it more obvious? I’m gonna look really stupid when he isn’t but I am claiming with 100% certainty that he is a Shadow.

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  1. I love the lore for dregen yor, wow that rhymed
  2. if you delve deep into the lore there are an extreme amount of clues towards the drifter working with the shadows, which splits it into two main theory’s, the drifter ether is part of the shadows, or just has done jobs with them
  3. ether way what you said is essentially correct, and in the end whether he is or isn’t their interests are similar
  4. every “evil” character (quotes on evil because its quite a linear term) wants to kill the man with the golden gun
  5. who the hell doesn’t want a weapon of sorrow, I fight for the light and I still want the power to deprive people from it
  6. disregard the last two, somewhat biased
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While I would like to see this be a part of the game, I don’t think that he is Yor himself for many of the same reasons already stated, but would agree with you that he was at one point, or still is, a Shadow of Yor. I believe one of the things that the Shadows did was to make a weapon like Thorn. Malfeasance is his imitation of Thorn. I read this a long time ago if I read it at all, so this might just be speculation, but that does make him seem like a Shadow.

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I don’t trust the Drifter at all. He’s got too many secrets for my liking and I bet Shin is watching him just as closely as he’s watching our guardians. It doesn’t make sense to me for the Drifter to call us a punk for obtaining TLW and then to complain about how Shin hunted his friends…when he told Shin where one of them was “hiding”. Seems to me like he sold out his “friend” just to save his own cheeks.

-And an Ascendant Plane to live on after death? Do you really think he’s that powerful? He’s smart and cunning (Savathun might be down for a date), but that little pocket he’s towing along behind him is only for his gambit baddies. Hmm…but it’s something to think about for sure.