Obviously this is just a theory, so share your thoughts below. Nature of the Witness: We know that the Witness is the oldest creature we have seen so far in the game, as it predates Rhulk which predates the Hive as a species which have been alive for like eons. We know that the Witness is not the same as the Winnower, because it and the Darkness are mentioned as seperate entities on numerous occasions. Considering the fact that egregore connects thoughts across space and time, and burning it interacts with the pyramid ships, and people claim to hear whispers coming from the plants, I believe that the Witness is some sort of culmination of egregore. Its a fungus, a hive mind, which is why the Witness has so many faces in the smoke over its head. This is also corroborated by the fact that all official in-game talk about the Witness uses the pronouns "they/them/" which, while it can mean gender neutral, it can also insinuate a plurality of identities in one. By becoming "one" with the egregore, Calus became "one" with the Witness, a disciple within it's fungal network. The Witness is likely the origin of the egregore, which it releases through its smoke to spread across the universe. Purpose of the Witness: Has anyone ever questioned why it is named "The Witness"? We've known since the beginning that the Light gives life (takes death), but also takes memory. The Dark takes life (gives death) and gives memory. Given that the Witness seeks to "drink the Light" and is a "Witness" to something, its easy to speculate that it witnessed something that it wants to forget. Is it really about the Final Shape? Does it really want to whittle the universe down untill nothing is left? Or is it simply trying to forget something from it's past? Perhaps being one with the egregore has made the Witness a witness of all the pain and suffering in the universe and it simply wants to forget all of it. Perhaps it is unable to kill itself because it has been spread so vastly throughout the universe? What did it see? I firmly believe it is trying to forget something, and that the "Final Shape" is just a ruse. That, or the Witness somehow witnessed the birth of the universe and wants the universe to end, and then forget it even existed? That could blend both the "witness" aspect with the "final shape" aspect. Let me know your thoughts!
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Edited by WillyT: 12/5/2022 1:37:17 PM[quote]This is also corroborated by the fact that all official in-game talk about the Witness uses the pronouns "they/them/" which, while it can mean gender neutral, it can also insinuate a plurality of identities in one[/quote] You're actually dead on with that point -- they/them isn't being used in a gender neutral sense at all here. The Witness is always referred to in the plural by those who know them, including The Witness themselves. For example, the first line spoken by The Witness in the cutscene at the end of Witch Queen's campaign (which also marks the first words we've ever heard directly from them in this sense) is "[b]We[/b] have seen enough." Additionally, the ending cutscene for Shadowkeep can now accurately be seen as our first interaction with The Witness, and it repeatedly refers to itself as "we/us" in those lines. These talks about The Witness, and its goals with The Final Shape, are always very difficult because and extremely small amount is actually known about them. Despite the character being the franchise's true "big bad", its whole identity is shrouded in mystery. I saw you mention the Winnower though, and while The Flower Game holds important details, its important to acknowledge the lack of understanding that comes with that specific lore. Basically, nobody truly knows how accurate the Flower Game is (outside of writers at Bungie). Its not even known if the Winnower or Gardener are actual beings at all. Anyone who says otherwise is doing so baselessly, because there's nothing in game that shows their existence outside of Unveiling's entries. Many people view that whole entry as a metaphor, where the Winnower and Gardener are representative of larger ideas, but aren't actually real forces at play. On the flip side of all this, we also can't say for certain that they don't exist. Again, there's no actual confirmation in game, so we have 0 definite answers leaning one way or another. Its some awesome lore but also brutal to wrap your mind around because of all the uncertainty xD
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