The Pyramid Ships: What are they? And what purpose do they serve?

So I began thinking about those Pyramid ships at the end of the credits, and had a strange theory come to mind.

There have been many links to these ships and the “Darkness”. The most common theory being thrown around is that these ships we see are, in fact, the Darkness, and the Darkness itself isn’t some entity, but instead a species of itself. So I began to think, do the Darkness relate to the Deep?

We see the term “The Deep” being talked about a lot in the Books of Sorrow (will be referring to this as the BoS from now on, to make it easier), but there has been no real hint as to what it is, other than the entity from which Oryx took his power, and which ultimately made him the Taken King. However, we see another term as well: “The Sky”. We know that the Sky relates to the Traveller, or so we think.

I believe that the Traveller is not actually “the Sky”, but merely one of many vessels sent out to bestow the power of the Sky on species within the Cosmos. “The Sky” itself is a separate entity, one of ultimate power, much like The Deep.

So, what if these pyramid ships are to the Deep what the Travellers are to the Sky? They go to a planet, and bestow power to the native species. These species that have gained this power then become the Darkness, which serve the Deep.

There is, however, a fundamental difference between the Sky and the Deep. The Sky bestows power on a species, and grants them power. It gives it. However, we learn in the BoS that the Deep doesn’t work that way. They do not simply give out their power. Instead, if a species wants the power, they must take it. Only then will they have truly earned the right to use it.

So, to come back to my main point, these Pyramid ships are not just “ships”. They are instead Travellers for the Deep. And now that we have activated our Traveller again, they have awakened also, and they will begin to grow an army of servants to the Deep, ones which will be worse than any we have encountered before.


My issue with this theory is that there’s no hint of these ships in the Books of Sorrow. If they are the dark mirror of the Traveler, then why aren’t they even hinted at during the rise of the Hive?

If it weren’t for the old concept art, I’d say they were Savathun’s ships. It would make sense, since the Hive is hunting the Traveler and would start homing in after the events of the campaign. Her brood is a slight presence in Destiny 2. I think that the needle ship in the Books of Sorrow had a slight triangular shape to it, so I think there’s some aesthetic continuance there. I admit that I want this to be it, because I’d like old plot threads to be picked up again before we start adding on whole new ones.

They wouldn’t have been mentioned in the BoS as Oryx communed directly with the Deep itself. He had no need to go through these ships. It would be the equivalent of us as guardians to not gain our power from the Traveller, but instead to go directly to the source and take it from the Travellers creator. If you get what I mean

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The Traveler is not the entirety of the Sky. From XVI:

The source of these weapons is the Traveler, the Sky’s bait star. Their effect is subtle, but devastating.

And from XIV:

A Traveler. Divine presence of the Sky.

The Traveler is a piece of the Sky, one of its ‘agents.’ As for what the Sky itself is, or if it has the Light equivalent of the Worm Gods, we don’t know, but the Traveler is not itself the Sky.

As you’ve said, the Deep does not give power the way the Sky does. When the Deep does give, the results are fairly close to disastrous:

“But you gave us your larvae, the worm,” said Auryx, “and that is why the worm devours us now: because it was given, not taken. So I must take what I need from you, although you are my god.”

So either the “Dark Travelers” would have to give power against their nature, which would essentially lead to more Ascendant Hive, or the potential “Guardians” would have to take the Deep’s power. But how infinite is the Deep? Is there one worthy “Guardian” per pyramid? Do they follow the Sword Logic; i.e., can one “Guardian” kill the rest and become Oryx-levels of powerful? One goes against the philosophy of the Deep, and the other opens up several cans of worms.


What I theorised with regards to how native species gain the power from the “Dark Travellers” is survival. We do not know enough about these to accurately state how they work. However, we must remember that the Hive are not the only species that will be associated with the Deep. So it would not necessarily mean more Ascendant Hive, but rather a creature of immense power. If the species can defeat this creature, then they will take the power of the Deep.

But remember, this is purely just a theory.

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As in, the races are “given” the gift of survival, a la Calus and his Cabal? If so, then that goes against the Sword Logic- the weak are not to survive, and they would not be given the gift of living. If you mean that the aliens “took” the power from the Deep, then the worm can remains open. We don’t know much about the Deep, but we do know that it is a mirror image of the Sky, and so any “Dark Traveler” would operate much like Akka- these gifts must be taken.

Do you mean a boss battle-esque situation, in which the pyramids must be defeated similar to how Oryx killed Akka? If so, then there could only be as many “Dark Guardians” as there were ships, and those Guardians may simply fall to infighting in an attempt to become the strongest. It happened to the Osmium Sisters, to some extent, and they may have killed each other had they not separated.


With regards to how they gain their power, they will gain it through their own survival. As Oryx said when attacking planets, they are not worthy to exist if they lose. So if they species dies, then they are not worthy of the power. However, if they attack and defeat the general, so to speak, of the “Dark Traveller”, then they are worthy of the power, and by proxy, their existence.

Also, with the Osmium sisters, we must remember that Oryx had more power than both of the others, as he was the only one with the power of the Deep, and refused to share it with them.

I think that all of the Guardians of the “Dark Traveller” will each serve the Deep, but it could be that whenever a species defeats them, the one that defeated them takes the place of the defeated. And that is how it goes on.

I obviously need to touch up on some parts of this theory, and thank you for the input.

This is my first post here, so I understand that work still needs to be done.


Defeating another does mean that one is stronger and entitled to life, but that doesn’t solve the problem of there being a limited number of “Dark Travelers,” or of those same races killing each other in a battle to become the strongest. If one race defeats the others, and then, like Oryx, is defeated, than the Deep is essentially resigned to losing this battle.

Oryx had the power to Take, but that does not mean he was the most powerful. Savathun herself wonders that Oryx’s power may not be so great:

Savathûn asks if I am as much a slave of the Deep as my Taken. She asks what price I pay for my power.

And Xivu Arath is war, and is very powerful even without Akka’s power:

Between them stood XIVU ARATH saying, stop, or I will kill you, war is mine and I am strongest.

And regardless, Oryx is dead, which means he was weak. Savathun and Xivu Arath are stronger by proxy. Going by Sword Logic rules, at least.

Debate is the lifeblood of any good theory, lol. Welcome to the forum, by the way! :slight_smile:


This hinges upon whether or not the “pyramid ships” – or Dark Travelers – follow the Sword Logic. Yes, the Sword Logic is a valid philosophy and is backed with power, but consider: we’ve only seen it through the lens of the Hive, a species driven to eventual self-extinction because of their parasitical pact with the Worm gods.

After all, the Sword Logic demands you take to grow strong, and those who are weak are doomed to die. The Hive were duped into accepting the worm larvae, meaning they were in ignorance of the Sword Logic until it was too late, and they were already enslaved to those who followed it more perfectly than they.

Yes, Akka was killed by Oryx so he could learn how to Take wills, but the Worm gods – while approving of Oryx’s feat – don’t seem to war on one another regularly like the Hive do. They are just content to laze around and eat all of the Hive tribute.

This means that they have understood the Deep’s philosophy than did the Hive. Because if you immediately took the Deep’s power for yourself, you are above reproach unless a stronger than you takes it from you. But what if you were the only strong one because you were never duped into accepting a gift worm in the first place? The Hive, as said before, are doomed to self extinction by their own admission. The Worm gods do not care if they die, they’re just exploiting them as warriors and meat shields to carry on the Darkness’ crusade to forge life into the perfect sword. They just want to be the final form of that sword in the end.

What if these pyramid ships were already this perfect sword, because they alone dictate the rules of the game, blessed by the Darkness because they have proven to it they were worthy because they usurped its own power? (Kind of a bizarre way of looking at things but bear with me.)

As Oryx says from his discoveries about the Darkness:

The Deep doesn’t want everything to be the same: it wants life, strong life, life that lives free without the need for a habitat of games to insulate it from reality.

If everything were doomed to be like the Hive, that would be anathema to the Deep. The Worms themselves know it, because they are not like the Hive, but are more closer in understanding the Deep and its ways.

The Deep is looking to craft the perfect sword. The Hive are a means to this end, but they are ultimately destined to be cut apart unless they figure out how to usurp the Worm gods entirely and free themselves from the pact. The Worm gods are also a means to this end, and they may become that sword.

What if the pyramid ships are already the perfect sword, forever honing itself against all lesser things until nothing remains? What if they were, because they were not like the Hive? They possess the Deep’s power – they can “gift” it to other civilizations if they want, like the Worms did with their larvae to the proto-Hive, and then kill them in the end because even these “gifts” were a means to that one end.

The point is – if they have already “taken” the power, then what’s to stop them from using it however they life?


On a gas giant where you live in atmosphere too thick to see space, where land floats on gas, light and dark are harder to visualize since photons would dissipate and everything would be murky. Does an anglerfish understand light aside from the bioluminescent bulb on its rod? No, but it does understand up and down. Deep and Sky. So from the perspective of someone living on the hives homeworld, you don’t really have light and dark, you have deep, where scary-er things live, and the sky, where maybe less scary things live. The things at the bottom are more vicious than the things above, even bait stars can be cut off by a daring Knight after all. So our “light” and “dark” are their “deep” and “sky”. Not trying to be cryptic, just trying to express my ideas before my lunch break ends.

edit for spelling


I think the upshot there is, even with cultural differences in parlance, every vernacular recognizes that the Deep and the Sky are opposites.


me and a few of my friends came up with the theory that pyramid ships actually created the traveler and the traveler seeks out the most powerful beings in the universe and then the pyramid ships go kill them. Just a theory with nothing to really back it up

Right, so if deep is to dark as sky is to light, what is the Traveler’s opposite? A pyramid is a pretty good opposite to a sphere as far as visual metaphors go


From a design standpoint it also makes sense to have the colors associated with the Darkness and Light be opposite. The default Ghost shell is white, Ghost’s eye is blue, and the color of the sphere when it’s trying to resurrect us is blue. Additionally when the Traveler re-awakens the light that shines through has a blue-white hue.

So, what then, would the colors of the Darkness be? If Bungie has kept the same color schemes from a piece of concept art shown during GDC 2013 (bellow left), they would be black and yellow. If you invert the colors in that image you get white and blue (below right).

RaceCard 5RaceCard 5 inverted

Though I did add the spheres to help reinforce the idea.


So are you implying that they are opposites? As in enemies?

Not enemy’s the light and dark the sky and the deep two side’s of the same coin. Its the natural harmony of the universe. light can’t cant exist in a corporeal universe with out darkness. (Theory) So we guardians are just the weapons in a war in between two species of pure energy. One (the light) that believes in freely giving it self or its power to use in a effort to rise a powerful army. And one (the darkness) that he believes in only give its power to only those who are worthy and capable of taking it for them self’s in a attempt to raise its own army. And the traveler and the pyramidal ships are just theses beings of energy’s way of directly inter acting with our universe

One force may need the other to continue (which, while unconfirmed in-canon, is the Ulan-Tan position: “You see light. You see darkness. There could not be one without the other. They are two sides of the same coin.”) However, that does not mean that the relationship cannot be antagonistic, or that the Deep is not trying to wipe out the Sky. From The Darkness:

The Speaker tells of a cosmic force that swept over us and caused the Collapse. Legend calls it the Darkness, the Traveler’s ancient enemy, which hunted it across space.

Alongside this is the existence of the Sword Logic. We don’t know if this is the rule followed by all of the Deep, or just the Hive, or if the Pyramids follow the logic. However, if they do, then the Sword Logic rules say that the Light must be warred against and destroyed in order to secure the universe’s true end state:

Will you bend your will to the liberation of the universe, and join us in the war against the Sky?

This is the Gift Mast and we will devour it, we will eat the Sky out of it, we will snap it like a bone. […] THE TRAVELER. We chase it and we will devour it. The Deep will rule the cosmos.

Whether or not the Sky and the Deep are “two sides of the same coin,” one is still out to eradicate the other.


This sounds similar to Ulan-tan’s thesis. As one of the explanations that has been acknowledged in-universe, we should pay attention to it, but we also have to keep in mind the perspective of those responsible.

For example, Ulan-tan didn’t have the advantage of greater insight like the Books of Sorrow, which are our chiefest source of knowledge on the nature of the Deep and the Deep’s opinion of the Sky.


What if the pyramids are simply AI and the traveler is rogue. An accidental consciousness if you will.

I mean is it within the realm of possibility that these are simply machines with the ability to tap into the extraordinary just continuing to run their programming

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Interesting @HipNuts but I find myself doubting that there would be two robotic enemies. The devs have already used the idea of robots with the Exos and with the Vex (despite their differences) and I find that if it were so that the pyramid ships were as you suggest then that would be highly disappointing and a plot let-down. Wouldn’t it be far more interesting for a fourth race?
It is just that most games try to be as diverse as possible. If there were a fourth race then and if it were an embodiment of the Darkness then it is possible that it has simply been controlling the other three of our enemies as minions.

Another vague wondering is that I think it is even possible that there are others like the Traveler and the Darkness is a hunter of the light and devours all it can by whatever means.