First, [b][u]POTENTIAL SPOILERS[/u][/b] if you haven’t played through the story and seen the post-credits scene!!! [b]I think [u]the Darkness is the Light.[/u][/b] No, no, no, [b]WAIT[/b]! Don't click that back button or close the window, please let me explain myself. When I say "Darkness," I'm using it as [u]an ambiguous term that encompasses the antagonisms against the Traveler[/u]. I believe that [u]the Darkness now is no longer this cosmic force/entity in of itself[/u]. I think that [u]the Darkness is a perversion of the Light[/u]. From the Darkness Ghost Fragments, the Book of Sorrows, and Toland's attempt at explaining the Darkness, we can see that the Darkness represents what we see as immoral values/sins or the basic concept of the survival of the fittest. For the different races, we know that the Traveler visited multiple races in the past, but abandoned them due to the Darkness. For the [b][u]Fallen[/u][/b], I believe the [b]Whirlwind[/b] is a metaphor for their internal strife against each other due to the Traveler's absence. The Traveler may have left due to the risk of the Eliksni becoming greedy. They now want to [b]steal[/b] back the Traveler so they can ascend their scavenger status and become a noble race once more. For the [b][u]Hive[/u][/b], the Book of Sorrow outlines their history pretty thoroughly. For the Worm Gods/Ahamkara, I have a separate thread speculating their overall role with the Light/Darkness: [url]https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/230752109[/url]. Long story short, the proto-Hive were initially going to be wiped out by the Traveler so they couldn’t be recruited by the Worm Gods. They thought that was messed up, so they made a pact with the Worm Gods. For the [b][u]Vex[/u][/b], it's unknown what their connection is with the Light. However, it is mentioned an adventure on Nessus that the Vex fear it because they cannot simulate it. In the Book of Sorrows, Quria, Blade Transform, couldn't simulate Oryx because he was too powerful and complex to comprehend. This is also similar to theories as to why the Vex are worshipping the Black Heart: they can’t comprehend it, thus it is greater than themselves. Perhaps they fear the Light because it has nothing to offer them whereas the Darkness does. So, they might believe it logical to eliminate any threat to the Darkness because otherwise, the Vex would be inferior. For the [b][u]Cabal[/u][/b], they canonically have no affiliation with the Darkness. It is only speculated that they are seemingly running from it as hinted at through a couple Grimoire cards. In one of the Cabal Ghost Fragments, the Cabal were intrigued by the Ghost’s ability to resurrect Guardians, implying that this may be the first time that they have encountered its potential. The Cabal merely utilized Mars to extract its resources, not to eliminate the Light. Their fear of the Taken and its dark powers also imply that they haven’t encountered anything like it before. Thus, I believe that their fleeing is only speculation. The Cabal in general only seek to conquer, destroy life, and take anything for themselves; thus falling into the philosophy of the Darkness without incorporating the oh-so-magical dark powers such as the Hive. [b][u]But how does Destiny 2’s story depict the Darkness at all when it never even mentioned it? [/u][/b] Ghaul and the Consul are both representations of the faithful and devoted. Both are devoted to their people and ensuring that their society shall be ruled under a rightful leader other than Emperor Calus. However, both have different subtle motives: Ghaul desires the Light, but remains devoted in how to properly attain its power through approval rather than taking; whereas the Consul wants to ensure that Ghaul receives what he truly deserves at any cost, becoming the new Emperor. But [u]this dichotomy is not dissimilar from the Iron Lords’ history[/u]. Both Iron Lords and Warlords were leading humanity towards a new age as wielders of the Light, but the Iron Lords despised the Warlords’ brutality resulting in the death of numerous civilians. When the Warlords were defeated, humanity entered the City Age, a new age where it rose from the ashes. As the Speaker stated during his conversation with Ghaul, [u]Guardians are worthy of the Light due to [b]devotion[/b], [b]bravery[/b], [b]sacrifice[/b], and [b]death[/b][/u]. Throughout the story, there are plenty of scenes that demonstrate whether or not Ghaul (or even the Consul) meets these standards. Both have devoted their lives to becoming more powerful than the Emperor in order to overthrow his greedy and tyrannical rule, brave enough to rebel and break away from the Empire, and sacrificed their honor and status in order to start anew. Ghaul abandoned the traditional Cabal smash-and-grab by sparing the Speaker and the system from being destroyed immediately, thus he believes that because he’s showing mercy he knows that the Traveler will choose him. But after speaking more with the Speaker, he starts having doubts that seizing the Light is not the correct way to receive the Traveler’s approval. However, when the Consul insults the Traveler and the Speaker for their losses, Ghaul seemingly takes a personal offense due to the possibility of failure. When the Speaker revealed that the Traveler actually doesn’t speak to him, and when the Consul crushed the Speaker’s mask, Ghaul literally witnessed his faith being crushed all while appearing as a failure to his mentor. He ultimately didn’t stand up for his faith, nor was he willing to accept his failure as the right step towards becoming accepted by the Traveler. Thus, Ghaul fails to meet the standard of death or failure. Also, his constant “I AM GHAUL” lines clearly indicate his ultimate goal to ensure his own glory rather more than his people. To me, [u]the Consul represents the “[b]Darkness[/b]” within Ghaul[/u], the voice that tempts him to take what he “deserves” because all his life, he was ridiculed and cast aside from the Empire due to being “weak”. [u]The Consul vs. Ghaul’s faith is similar to the Worm Gods vs. the Leviathan[/u]: faith only distracts from the primary objective and forces you to become a slave to its will, whereas seizing what’s “rightfully” yours means you are the master of your own fate. Before the final battle, when Ghaul is gathering the Light, it looks tainted. This could just be an aesthetical addition for symbolic purposes, but it’s most likely that the Light is being corrupted by Ghaul’s rage. Even his resurrection at the end of battle supports this. The Light, although it grants him immortality, becomes corrupted and ultimately affected his appearance. It appears unrefined, chaotic, and not his original self. [b][u]This is why I think that technically anyone/anything can become the Darkness[/u][/b]. Eris, Toland, and Dredgen Yor are all examples of their Light becoming corrupted, thus seemingly becoming part of the Darkness. Even Skolas, Kell of Kells (remember him?) The Speaker also claims that the Light lives in all things (similar to the Force concept, how it lives in all things and everyone has access to it, but only a few can wield it as a Jedi/Sith), but only those who are worthy of fully wielding it become Guardians. Another clue is the Dark Forest where the Shard of the Traveler is located. Light has spilled throughout the Forest, but it's been corrupted, poisoning the environment around it. Thus, I believe that this is what brings forth the Darkness, the corruption of the Light. As for the Space Pyramids in the post-credits scene, I speculate that they could be entities that have perverted the Light into the Darkness, maybe even the Ahamkara themselves (highly unlikely though). I think that they (or the species) are the Darkness incarnate, as Guardians are the Light incarnate. Or maybe they’re just unique Vex constructs and I’m possibly overthinking it. Remember, this is only speculation! Comment and discuss what you think!
The Pyramids are either the manifestation of the Darkness, similar to how the Traveler is to the light... or the UBER DIRECT minions. It can't be Vex... it doesn't fit them. It can't be Hive... their architecture isn't the same. It can't be Fallen... to advanced. It can't be Cabal... to advanced. It can't be Ahamkara... they're dead... unless this "Worm God=Ahamkara" thing that only I seem to not believe in turns out to be true.