Destiny 2 has been doing something odd with Zavala lately. Sure he’s always been the most stoic of the Vanguard, but in the Warmind DLC he opposed/ feared the use of Rasputin at all costs – even when facing a Worm God. And now we see in the “Forsaken” Launch Trailer him seemingly opposing any revenge mission take back the Reef/ bring Cayde’s killer to justice. Even Ikora calls his actions out as “cowardice”. How can he be so cold? So short sighted? Does Bungie want us to hate Zavala? Or will we get a decisive moment in the near future that proves Zavala’s point of view… right?
Theory (Short Version): Is everything that is about to transpire in the Forsaken DLC actually an elaborate distraction to weaken the city.
Disclaimer: I am no Lore Master like My Name Is Byf or Myelin Games, but I do follow both very closely and will support everything in this theory with in-game evidence as well as – where necessary – a small amount of leaked item descriptions. So potential Spoilers ahead!
The Long Version (Part 1): The Queen Lives? – Trailer Confirmation or an Elaborate Deception?
In the trailer, you probably noticed a shot of what appears to be Mara Sov’s hand sliding down Uldren’s arm in a very comforting manner. Many are taking this to confirm that Mara is indeed still alive; but there’s a problem with this. If we are to believe the supposed lore tabs of the leaked Raid Gear, she’s actually trapped in a Throne World as a corruption takes over the Dreaming City. (My Name Is Byf detailed all of this in a VERY Spoiler filled video). Additionally, if the Queen was still alive, that leads to more problems. Remember, Mara wasn’t a boss, she was THE boss! Would she really let her brother sit on her throne, call all the shots and then proceed to burn that throne down and take the Reef by force when it was already theirs? Further more, Petra is one of the Queen’s most loyal warriors and yet she’s siding with us.
This leads us down a different path of reasoning. Perhaps the Mara we see in this trailer scene isn’t really there; but rather just a figment of Uldren’s imagination – consoling him and telling him that he is on the right path. But this leads us to an even darker question because we still don’t know Uldren’s true goal. Does he know of his sister’s whereabouts and he’s doing all this to get to her? If so, he’s burning a lot of bridges. After all his sister did to help the city, I’m sure there’d be some earnest effort to help him in his quest. Or maybe he’s out for revenge against the guardians whose fight the Queen got involved in.
There are leaked details that seem to suggest Uldren is trying to open the gate to the Dreaming City; but again, why go about it in this way? Why does he need the Scorn sewing chaos to do that? Each of these options leaves something to be desired. And yet there’s still one other option that keeps whispering in my ear – and potentially Uldren’s too.
The Long Version (Part 2): Savathun’s Long Con:
Yes yes, I know “another Destiny fan trying to loop Savathun into the lore”. But just please, hear me out on this. What if the Mara we see in this trailer is indeed a hallucination; but one created by the Hive Goddess – and Oryx’s sister – Savathun? She is the embodiment of cunning and has been hinted at quite heavily thus far in Destiny 2. Her involvement could explain all the moments we’ve heard of Uldren ‘hearing his sister’s voice’ and ‘feeling her being proud of him’. What if all of this is the result of Savathun messing with a broken man’s fragile psyche?
She instructed him to cause war rather than return to his brethren. She told him to recruit the worst of the Fallen, rather than keep the existing pacts he had. But why? And this brings us back to my initial theory of the article. If this has all been set in motion by Savathun – a presence that might have already corrupted the Dreaming City – why does she want Uldren to get there? The answer is she doesn’t. She doesn’t care how successful he is or isn’t. All she wants is for him to make enough noise and draw the attention of the city, so it – and thus the Traveler – are vulnerable.
You heard Ikora in the trailer. She wants to send ALL the Titans, ALL the Warlocks and ALL the Hunters to take back the Reef. But if ALL go, who’s left to guard the city? The Traveler is awake and that has brought with it a lot of new threats. Zavala’s words might seem cowardly at such a time, but he might be the most objective of everyone at the moment. What Savathun has planned for the city and the traveler is a mystery; but it would be pretty nice to have this be the final reveal. Maybe she infiltrates the city and we (the audience) are left wondering what the next part of her plan is? Or maybe the DLC ends with the guardians learning it was all the doing of someone named “Savathun”, which would be a great way to set up a Savathun-focused DLC down the line.
Again, all of this is just food for thought and could explain story-wise how one single DLC seems to combine Fallen, Taken and Hive. But I’d like to hear your input on the matter as well! Is Zavala just being a coward? Is Savathun behind all of this? Is Mara’s hand in the trailer purely a hallucination? Please sound off in the comments below!