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  • Daniel James

A New Taken King Rises in Destiny 2

Destiny 2 Playstation Exclusive Content Trailer | Bungie

Oryx is dead, the Taken King vanquished, and the Tablets of Ruin have been seized from Golgoroth’s Cellar. So why are the Taken appearing in Destiny 2? As a malignant, but passive force, perhaps? Unfortunately for Guardians, this is unlikely. Recent releases from Bungie make it apparent that The Taken and the Hive hierarchy that control them will play a significant role in the events of Destiny 2.

Our main sources: A batch of concept art and the PlayStation Exclusive Content trailer, both of which were released during E3.

Concept art:

Destiny 2 Concept Art | Bungie

The art distinctly shows a Red Legion Centurion having been taken. This is a terrifiying prospect for the Destiny universe for two reasons. This dates the image, as the Red Legion only arrive during the events of Destiny. This Centurion is no malignant remnant of Oryx’s army. He was recently taken, which brings us to the second reason for worry: There is a new Taken King.

Oryx’s title of The Taken King came from his power to take, derived from his communal with The Darkness through the Tablets of Ruin. Both of these are replicable—as noted by The Darkblade, Alak Hul’s attempt to usurp the title. After Oryx’s death, he remained trapped in his prison onboard The Dreadnaught before he was murdered in his cell by a fireteam sent by the Tower Vanguard.

The second example comes from Malok, Pride of Oryx. Malok began as a thrall who siphoned Oryx’s sacrifices of Light to empower Savathun, sister of Oryx. But the thrall was greedy and consumed the Light for himself, mutating and evolving from a thrall, to a prince to a knight. Oryx soon discovered his sister’s failed treachery, and in mockery of her scheme, took Malok. Malok then became the Pride of Oryx, personally sacrificing his Light to feed his power.

After Kingsfall, where Oryx fell from the Ascendant Realm, Malok remained as a vestige of the Taken Kings communion with The Darkness through the Tablets of Ruin. Malok quickly acquired the power to take, himself, even surpasses many of Oryx’s abilities. He was able to create Taken blights at will, and created a host of Taken in the Dreadnaught. The Tower Vanguard discovered his plan to invade the Last City of Earth, driving his forces from The Dreadnaught. He fled to recoup his power in the Shrine of Oryx, deep within the Hellmouth, where he was discovered and killed by humanity.

With Oryx’s underlings able to recreate his power, it’s plausible that any number of Hive actors have risen to fill the power gap left with Crota and Oryx dead. While we killed The Darkblade and The Pride of Oryx, it’s inevitable that The Hive will regroup around a new leader. And with the power of The Taken King at stake, this new leader has the power of direct communion with The Darkness. It is truly a dangerous prospect and a fight that we may never truly cease fighting.

So what form will this war take? Well, the PlayStation Exclusive strike, “Lake of Shadows,” gives us a hint.

Screenshots from the PS Exclusive Content Trailer:

Destiny 2 Playstation Exclusive Content Trailer | Bungie

Within this gameplay, we see both Taken and Taken Blights. With what we learned from the concept art, new Taken are being created. This new leader of The Taken—and perhaps the Hive as well—is able to commune with the alternate dimension where this power originates.

The Taken are trapped between two dimensions. The Taken King “takes” a victim by defeating them, isolating them in the alternate dimension, breaking their will, and then returning them to the original dimension—trapping them between the two. Utterly broken of will, and under Oryx’s sway, they return as his loyal subject.

A Taken Blight allows the “Taker” to summon Taken for combat, pulling them through the alternate realm. The power allows for teleportation and replication as the wielder manipulates reality itself. Hence, Malok’s power to create control the creation of blights made him feared and powerful. While its unknown if the new Taken King, or the one attempting to harness the title’s power, can actually do this—they have the full power of the Taken behind them.

We can only speculate the story, lore and boss of the Lake of Shadows strike. But there’s a solid chance that a new Taken King is in the process of rising. As we struggle to regain our power in the face of The Red Legion, the Hive and Vex remain dangerous threats that must be monitored. Both can bend reality to their will and their trickery eclipses the raw power of either the Cabal or humans.

#TakenKing #Destiny2 #ConceptArt