Why do characters in-game fear warlocks

Hey guys, I’m new to the whole lore (just started a few weeks ago). This may be a really long post…Sorry in advance.

I kinda noticed a trend on in-game character dialogues and grimoire cards, which is that most titans and hunters are scared of warlocks.
Now I know some of you might think, its because most of them are considered mad geniuses or because of the thanatonats, who just kill themselves almost every now and then to gain a better understanding, while other warlocks enter a deep trance-like state to transcend beyond other guardians,so people tend to avoid them and such.
However, the thing is, even though their supers allow them to access God-mode, it seems rather weird to find that most guardians, hunters especially tend to avoid warlocks at all costs, not only crucible, but being on the same fire-team as well. They say that “A Warlock’s mind is an arsenal of deadly secrets, balanced between godhood and madness. On the battlefield, those secrets can shatter reality itself.”( Grimoire card: Warlock) clearly this description alone gives an eerie warning to stay away from warlocks, but even in the Pahanin Errata, there are records of showing fear and complexity towards warlocks, for example: the Cloak of hidden agendas flavor text states: “Tell a Titan only a madman would go. Tell a Warlock it’s too complex.” - Pahanin Errata.

I also, on the note of bringing up the Errata noticed, that hunters, in some sort want to prove to warlocks that they are better than them, out there in the field, as the Dynamo cloak states: Your missions: protect the City. Look better than Warlocks. But don’t look like you’re trying." - Pahanin Errata. As well as the Monolith Bleed IV ( one of most clear descriptions showing my point): “I can’t shake hands with Warlocks. I just get so nervous they’re going to vaporize me.” - Pahanin Errata

Also, at the release of TTK, during the famous cut scene between Zavala,Cayde-6,Ikora and Eris, as soon as Ikora said " we need a warlock on that dreadnaught", Cayde said “Here we go…” which implies the competitve or complex relation hunters(or guardians) share with warlocks.
There’s also another Grimoire card, about the redjacks, Ghost Fragment: The Dungeons , depicts a conversation between a titan and a hunter and it goes:
u.1:01] Why don’t we just torch the place and let these nightmares burn?
[u.2:01] I asked that same question.
[u.1:02] And?
[u.2:02] And apparently, anything the Hive hate enough to lock away, the Warlocks want to study. Kind of a “the nightmare of my nightmare is my daydream” thing.
[u.1:03] Is it considered treasonous if I’m maybe more afraid of Warlocks than of the Hive?
[u.2:03] Treasonous, no. I think the word you’re looking for is “sane”.

My point here is, I see that warlocks are a vital asset to the tower or any fireteam, their abilities sure as hell can save their allies in clutch moments, as well as provide great insight on tower matters when it comes to their studies, so how or why are they so feared by nearly…everyone, I main a hunter and a warlock so I never really understood the weird feelings guardians have towards warlocks…
( Even in real-life crucible, I met players who hate facing a warlock in a 1v1)
Thanks a lot in advance for any replies and sorry again for the really long post :smiley:


Maybe because of Warlocks such as Toland and Osiris?

I get your point, but think of it this way, these two warlocks, created the greatest stage for knowledge and power, one of them understood everything about the hive and taught Eris a few " tricks" which enabled her to transport and save us from Crota’s netherworld, and alsoleft us his journal which helped greatly in destroying the taken king.
And another created the trials,( I should let you know that IM THE BIGGEST OSIRIS FANBOY OUT THERE) which forge the greatest guardians to be able to help him in the future and understand the nature of the darkness and the truth about the traveler(hopefully).
You could be right, since humans are always afraid of the unknown, and these two warlocks tried to master the unknown by gaining great knowledge…Or I could be saying that the speaker exiled both of them because he has weird plans to use guardians for his own good since the traveler is evil and all, but thats a post for another day…

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As a soldier, I can tell you there is nothing we hate more, than eggheads. Thats what the Warlocks likely are viewed as by Titans, who are the most militarized of the three groups it seems. Titan’s, or the Red-jacks in the case above, just want to get the job done and get home. Warlocks are the ones who want to set up a research facility on a location and spend days/weeks/months studying something, when the rest of us want to move on and get onto something else…

That’s just my perspective though.


That is a very interesting and insightful perspective actually, and I feel I’m kinda gravitating towards it as well, since it makes sense.

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And think of it from that perspective when Ikora is like, “We should put a Warlock on the Dreadnought,” Any military leader would nope out of that faster than amount of time it takes to jump from Earth to Mars.
1: The site isn’t secure
2: They just fired a giant death beam that destroyed the Awoken fleet.
3: “Here we go, Please tell us how you intend on getting a Warlock ON the Dreadnought” was likely what was going to be said before Eris so RUDELY interrupted.
4: Taken were appearing ALL OVER the system. Sorta gotta deal with making sure the assets you control are secured before you attempt to go take over a capital ship.


At first I thought this post was going to be a TitanMasterClass post lol :smiley: But yes true, I do actually agree with you on that point, Ikora did not think it through. I believe she just wanted to show the vanguard the capabilities of warlocks when it comes to exploring new areas without considering the consequences of such actions.(If only Bungie actually did something about that part…)

The Warlocks hold a very important purpose. I just believe that Ikora want’s them to be more, Warrior Monk and less Scholarly Monk. Both have uses, and it can be seen in various interactions with different Vanguard leaders, that they often try to overstep each others boundaries.

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Yes that is very true, since Ikora is the most hot-headed Warlock we ever encountered, it is very possible that the first thing that will come to her mind is to rush in guns blazin’ then analyze and study :smiley:
This is very evident because when Osiris was Vanguard commander ( a position currently held by Zavala) he urged guardians to study the darkness and the vex, rather than go on continuous strikes and missions.

I find it very absurd though that the tower cough Speaker cough would exile the greatest minds that came to the tower itself…I mean Knowledge is power, and to seek the truth behind things and question the darkness was never and will never be a bad thing or a blasphemous scheme like others would say. I feel like by exiling Osiris specifically, the tower and the vanguard lost the greatest asset they could ever have dreamed of having…

Knowledge is also very dangerous, and can potentially bring harm to the City.

Think of the City as a tribe – everyone there has a certain way of life, of thinking, and even of what they consider is morally right and morally wrong. What they think of as right and true for them is the thing that has kept them alive in the face of their enemies, thus it must be always followed in order to be safe and protected.

Or, more broadly, think of the Imperium of Man of Warhammer 40K. Any sane person would agree that ordering Exterminatus on planets that have a minor cult which deviates just a bit from orthodoxy would be both overkill and extremely excessive, not to mention a breach of human rights.

However in WH40K such cults, no matter how minor, usually turn into a Genestealer invasion that cuts off the entire planet from the Imperium and lays it bare before an advancing Tyranid Hive-fleet, or into a Chaos invasion that swallows the planet into the Warp and dooms billions to unimaginable pain and suffering at the hands of daemons – not to mention that whomever got offworld before that could still carry the taint and spread it like a disease to other planets. It’s why the Inquisition and the Space Marine chapters are both so xenophobic and fanatical about fighting heretics, mutants (psykers) and xenos.

Closer to home, think about the culture of another people and ask yourself, is this what I want for my own home? Would another religion, another way of thinking even, be culturally acceptable to folk from a place like the American Deep South?

New things are treated as dangerous, both in the extreme fictional example of WH40K and the more ordinary examples of the Deep South. It implies change, and such change is not always for the better. This is why the Speaker exiled Osiris. In fact, here’s his reasoning:

I admit, I found your questions divisive and disloyal, and I feared you might be capable of breaking our unity when the City’s position had grown so tenuous. Why divert attention away from the Traveler, our only hope?

And then it got worse, dabbling in thanatonautics, Ahamkara-lore, chasing after Xur and the tricks of the Nine. Launching expeditions into the Reef and beyond at a time when ships were irreplaceable. Your quest split Guardians along ideological lines. This was your greatest crime: Hunters chose to pursue your visions instead of protecting refugees, Titans assembled teams to chase the legendary Vault of Glass instead of striking the Fallen, and Warlocks turned away from the study of the Traveler in favor of your ultimate obsession… learning the exact nature of the Darkness.

When debate became argument, and argument became acrimony, I realized you had already become a cult of personality, attracting Guardians who wanted a clear idea of why they were fighting, what they faced, and how they would ultimately win.


I fear you have become as obsessed with the Vex as Toland was with the Hive.


Toland, as we all know, had become a little too enamoured with the Hive and their philosophies, and the Sword Logic is, from our perspective, completely immoral, illogical, and antithetical to the Light and cooperation. Humans naturally tend to congregate and cluster into tribes, cooperating with one another; later on we formed cities, then civilizations, based on a common law and justice system. The Hive don’t believe any of that. Might is right. The Queen of Armies is the only queen.

What the Speaker feared was the change of the City’s thinking. As you know, Osiris had diverted the Guardians from what was important – defending the City, protecting refugees, studying the Traveler – to what was unimportant – studying the nature of our enemies, to understand them as Ender Wiggin understood the Formics, and use that knowledge to destroy them. What was worse, they could have shifted away from what made them human and into something of a monster. I refer you to Toland.

Knowledge is power. But in a fight for struggle and survival, where everything is against you, knowledge is dangerous and heretical, especially from the wrong sources. And like in WH40K, knowledge from the wrong sources can destroy you and everything you have worked so hard to build and defend.

Perhaps what drives a Warlock to madness is truth.

(Witty quote, FTW.)


Re: Ikora wanting to put a Warlock on the Dreadnought, I think that she mostly wanted to establish a branch of the Hidden there. During the Taken King campaign, Ikora, Eris, and the Hidden are the primary source of information on the Taken, as well as the Skyburners’ next move. Her insistence seems to come from wanting the job to be done right, and Cayde’s reaction seems pretty on-brand with how he acts when Zavala or Eris are trying to get work done.


Ikora is a Praxic Warlock, so you’d be right.

Yeah, I can see that now! Even though I thought the tower would like some change since idk we just got struck by an alien invasion from 4 different species. But yes, all your points are valid, sometimes this " change" can be lethal.
I once read a quote saying ; Those who trample with the very fabric of death cannot be considered living no more".
I believe this quote shows how people generally view warlocks, everyone fears a mad thinker or a heretical approach…


People fear what they do not understand. People fear what they cannot control. Simple as that.


I fell in love with this statement, thank youu :smiley:

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There’s gaining knowledge, and there’s going too far down that path and being unable to turn back. Warlocks have a tendency to obsess - and thus go mad. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, after all - and that borderline insane thirst for knowledge tends to get in the way of their judgement. Just because you can learn something doesn’t mean you should.

Personally, its something far more basic. Its the name warlock. Etymologically, it means oathbreaker. And that’s…terrible.


I fully agree, people know that power corrupts and Warlocks are the ones that have contact with raw power. Just look at Toland, he was completely obsessed with Hive and their ideologies, I’m pretty sure even other Warlocks are scared of Toland and Osiris.

However, I think it’s a common misconception, I think most warlocks are only driven by curiosity, and not by the desire of actively wanting power.


As the saying goes, curiosity killed the cat.


Thus making thanatonauts the weirdest felines ever to exist…


I think Sir Wallen sums up Warlocks and others fears of them pretty well.