Theory: Nezarec Could Be Oryx's Son, Nokris
A while back, I published an article regarding a figure introduced in Destiny 2's lore: Nezarec, the Hateful.
The article focused on what we did know, and what we could conclude. He was neither of The Light, nor The Dark. Nezarec seemed to invite The Darkness's heralding of 'The End,' with the intent of reintroducing The Light.
This sets his power far beyond that of even The Taken King, Oryx, who was still subservient to, and suffering under, The Darkness. Unfortunately, I was unable to say who this character was. The article was not intended to include theory, only direct lore and the conclusions that I drew from it.
From the response, I see that quite a few people were curious in who this could be. The day after, MyNameisByf made a video on it, and he delved into an entire dimension of the subject that I didn't touch, The Void, and included his own speculation.
While I wasn't prepared to speculate then, I am now.
There is a reasonable chance that Nezarec is Oryx's long-lost son, Nokris.
I'm going to start by describing what we know of Nokris, move on to what we know of Nezarec, and then describe how Nezarec's "mechanical" value to Destiny's lore overlaps significantly with what may be true of Nokris. As with all theories, the goal is not to prove, it is to establish plausibility.
Nokris is mentioned once in Destiny 1, and a second time in Destiny 2. Near the Altar of Oryx, located on The Dreadnaught, a statue of a Hive being sits between statues of Oryx and Crota. With Oryx and Crota being father-son, and the twin sisters Ir Halak and Ir Halal excluded, it is assumed that this figure is a male descendant of Nokris. Conversely, it is also possible that Nokris is Crota's mother, which would sidestep the issue of the daughters' exclusion.
Upon scanning the statue, Ghost remarks, "the marking suggest this is a Hive god, but I don't recognize the symbol. Nothing in The World's Grave file either. Name says 'Nokris."
He is never referenced again, outside of a communication between Asher Mir and Eris Morn, detailed in the Titan Mark, "Gensym Knight."
"Eris, I have scoured my library but found nothing on this “Nokris” of which you speak. I am sorry both for the delay and that I could not be of more help."
The message itself is undated. We know Morn and Mir to have been in contact during the events of Destiny 1. Eris eventually leaves the Tower before the events of Destiny 2, with the goal of studying The Hive. When visiting Mir in the hospital, during Destiny 1's Age of Triumph, she says to him,
"I must find a new path through the night. The Hive are vast, and ancient. A power from far beyond our realm. If we are ever truly to face them, ever truly to put an end to their hate, I must step beyond the safety of the City.”
This is the final mention of her in Destiny 1: Seeking a future threat from The Hive.
And her next query? Nokris.
So, beyond theory, we can conclude that Nokris is a relevant figure to follow. If Eris Morn, our foremost expert on The Hive and all things spooky, looked for the Hive's next big threat, and she found Nokris, it's safe to conclude Nokris is an imminent threat.
Now that we've established who Nokris is, and that he's a relevant character in Destiny's present story, let's talk about Nezarec.
I’m not going to recap the entire Nezarec article right here, so it's linked at the top of the article.
In the past, I avoided posting links to past articles and lore links because it disrupted the flow of my writing. This was probably a bad call. I write these between doing homework, so citing sources is like doing Disneyland's taxes.
It's not like my articles are such prosaic masterpieces of precise diction that throwing in an embedded link throws the flow out of wack. Links are going to be distributed like tax rebates to Disneyland.
Also, and I'm picking on one person who picked a fight with me over the Nezarec article: You do not need multiple sources to prove that something is the case in Destiny lore. That is an absurd standard, which 90% of the game's lore fails. I'm pointing this out, because it terrifies me that other people in the community could possibly believe this, and also because there's no way to respond to it without sounding mean; that's something I'd like to avoid doing twice.
Nezarec is said to have committed a "Sin" that will allow him to survive past "The End," or The Darkness' end-state. Wording could also imply that whatever it is that allows him to survive this, is the "Sin" itself.
“He is that which is end. That which covets sin. The final god of pain—the purest light, the darkest hour. And He shall rise again. When the guiding shine fades and all seems lost He will call to you. Fear not. All He offers is not as dark as it may seem. For Nezarec is no demon, but a fiend, arch and vile in ways unknown. He is a path and a way, one of many. And his sin—so wicked, so divine—is that he will never cower when dusk does fall, but stand vigilant as old stars die and new Light blinks its first upon this fêted eternity.”
—Passage from Of Hated Nezarec
I'd like to highlight that down, but here are the pertinent details:
He's a bad dude (Final god of pain)
He's okay with The Darkness swallowing the universe
He's also okay with The Light being reestablished
He operates within the extremes of The Light and The Darkness (The purest Light, the Darkest Hour)
Finally, and most importantly, "he is that which is The End."
The End is an event that is frequently referred to within Destiny 2. I've come to the conclusion that it's central to Destiny's ongoing story and mythology as an Apocalypse of sorts. Now, I don't know that Nezarec is necessarily The End itself; the phrasing "he is that which is" could be personification via metaphor. Since we don't know what The End is, I'm loathe to bind the two together, as that would narrow future conversations on the topic, unnecessarily. If you'd like to read more on the subject, I've written two articles on it, which you can find on the front-page of Dstreet.com, because Wix's text processing is not playing nice with their links.
Article One: Destiny's Dying World
Article Two: The Nature of the End, For it is Nigh
If you'd like to look into this event yourself, you can check the following items, and their respective Ishtar Collective entries.
So Nezarec is a god, who committed a sin, and that sin allows him to survive The Darkness.
So, to be Nezarec, Nokris must satisfy all three of these. In presenting this theory, I'm here to prove, not that Nokris is Nezarec, but that the former is capable of being the latter. Nokris could be a god, who comitted a sin that allows him to survive The Darkness.
Nokris, the God
Nokris is most likely either the son of Oryx, or the mother of Crota. Regardless, Nokris is almost certainly of Oryx's kin. We discovered Nokris in The Altar of Oryx, where statues are dedicated to Oryx's power, and his lineage. Nokris' placement beside Crota, and below Oryx is a near certain indication of kinship.
Follow the logic here: Crota is a god. Oryx is a god. Nokris is one of three statues, alongside Crota and Oryx. This is all we know of Nokris. It would be exceptional if Nokris is not a god. Since we don't know the criteria that earn someone a statue of that magnitude, we can extrapolate that most things that Crota and Oryx have in common, Nokris has, as well. Nokris is a Hive god, by default, until proven otherwise. This is justified by plausibility. To shift Nokris's identity away from being a god would require more proof than assuming he is one.
This one is far easier to support than it sounds. There is another "Sin" referenced in Destiny lore. It was committed by Oryx himself. As a Hive god, he possessed a throne-world, or an alternate dimension of existence where he can practice the Sword Logic, hone is strength, and maintain his immortality.
The thing is, these throne-worlds are alternate worlds. They do not exist within our world. They are separate.
Oryx commits a grave sin, by rejecting this.
"When Oryx had built his Dreadnaught, he pushed his throne world inside out, so that it bled into the material space of the Dreadnaught. They were coterminous and allied, his ship and his sin. The Dreadnaught was within the throne of Oryx, but the throne of Oryx was the Dreadnaught. Aiat!
"This required a verse from the Tablets of Ruin. The whole Court worked together to push Oryx’s throne inside out. This was a day of joyous violence, and all of Oryx’s broods mark this holiday as Eversion Day, which is celebrated by turning things inside out."
Books of Sorrow, verse 4:11 -Dreadnaught
The actual sin itself is a defiance of the rules of nature. It's unnatural for Oryx to have a throneworld that is "coterminous" with a real object. Yet Oryx does so anyways.
This isn't the first time The Books of Sorrow reference an unnatural occurance as "sinful."
In my article showing the potential location of The Third Spire, I refer to The Books of Sorrow, which use similar wording.
Oryx wages war with The Harmony, a species whose planet orbits a Black Hole, blessed by The Traveler. A beam of Light (capital L), emits from the Black Hole, placed there by The Traveler, to empower The Harmony.
In the Books of Sorrow, this 'Mast of Light,' is referred to as a lie. Oryx says, "When the Traveler passed across Harmony, it lied to the orbits of ten worlds. Now they orbit the black hole. The Traveler lied to the accretion disc, so that it would give warm light to these worlds."
I referenced this as a demonstration that the bright light from The Third Spire's Black Hole is unnatural, given that accretion discs require large quantities of matter to generate warmth and light; hence, my theory that this location in Destiny 2 is the same as the one Oryx waged war against The Harmony.
This works backwards, here. Oryx uses the terminology "lie," to indicate a "cheating" of nature. Incidentally, Oryx actually commits his "sin," while waging war against The Harmony. Oryx sins, by turning his throne-world "inside-out," making it coterminous with reality.
So, what is Nezarec's sin? Surviving past The End.
Nokris, Beyond the Dark
When all goes black, and the world is consumed by Darkness, Nezarec will survive to see The Light reborn. It's unnatural.
This specific terminology is, so far as we know, unique to The Hive. Even if it isn't, it's terminology that The Hive use, and no other species we've encountered does. So, in serving the theory, it bolsters plausibility that, like Nokris, Nezarec is of Hive origin.
All things considered, Oryx "sinned," by finding a way to become immortal. Nezarec, too, sinned by finding a way to become immortal.
Oryx used The Darkness as the means to elevate himself, by stealing powers from the worm gods. Oryx, while inspired and empowered by The Deep/The Darkness, viewed it as nothing more than a tool. Despite freeing the worm gods and accepting their power, he betrayed them, killed the worm god Akka, and stole the Tablets of Ruin, giving him the power to Take, and commune directly with The Deep.
Nezarec seems to share this view. He embraces the coming of The Darkness, but isn't actively invested in its future.
Now that I've established that Nokris can fill the role of Nezarec, let's head into speculation. What would need to be true of Nokris or Nezarec for them to be the same? The reason the theory phase is necessary is so the speculation phase can be reduced to what is necessary, rather than what is interesting.
Here's my personal speculation:
Nokris is the son of Oryx. He is unnamed in the World's Grave because he rejected the power of The Worms, possibly even removing his own worm from his body. Thus, he was rejected from Oryx's lineage--cut off from the regal line.
Since then, he's discovered new power, renamed himself Nezarec. All Hive take new names after being empowered by worms (Aurash to Oryx; Sathona to Savathun; Xi Ro to Xivu Arath) so it would follow that upon losing his, Nokris would take a new one.
Despite this betrayal, he still maintains the same goals as Oryx. His dying father was trapped in a cycle of feeding his worm, and despite his near limitless power, was losing. Nokris found a better solution.
Nokris found a way, not only to break free of The Darkness' grip on his body, but to break free of its grip on the universe. The physical universe is gripped between the forces of The Sky and The Deep and Nezarec has found some profound understanding of both.
By allowing the powers of The Deep to sate their hunger and wipe our universe clean, he can allow The Sky to rebuild a new, better world, of pure Light.
Like the helmet named his honor says, "He is that which is the end. That which covets sin. The final god of pain -the purest light, the darkest hour."
"And his sin—so wicked, so divine—is that he will never cower when dusk does fall, but stand vigilant as old stars die and new Light blinks its first upon this fêted eternity."
Odds of Nokris being Nezarec? 15% max. And that's an extremely liberal estimate. This assumes that all the cards are on the table. That's probably not the case. So checking the cards that are there? Worthwhile, for sure, but not conclusive.
A couple post-notes:
Earlier, I noted that Nokris could be Crota's mother. This is supported by the roots from his name being the Hebrew for "adulteress," which would explain why she would be stricken from Hive records. Despite Nezarec being a "he," Oryx used to be a "she," so I don't consider this challenging to the theory. The theory chugs along just fine if Nokris is Crota's mother.
The day after my article went live, MyNameisByf speculated that Nezarec is from The Void. I personally find this to be extremely likely, and tied to his ability to transcend The Dark/Light. I doubt my speculation is as in-depth as his, so I opted to leave it out of my speculation portion of the article, just because I'm sure he'll cover it later.
It's a worthwhile exercise, and if Nezarec is truly Nokris this whole time, I won't be surprised. But as to the ultimate point, "Nezarec may be Oryx's Son, Nokris?" I feel I've supported that claim more than adequately. It works logically and thematically. And I hope you, reader, are better off for having read it.
If you enjoyed the article, consider following Dstreet Mag on Facebook. I've got plenty of articles on the stove currently, and with the future of Destiny still warming up, I've got plenty of opinions on the lore and story.
You know Hawthorn's bird, Louis? Well, it's a symbol that's key to our understanding of The Light and reveal how Guardians are reborn through it. There's a monster of an article sitting in a OneNote document, waiting to be finished. I can't wait to show it to you. Be sure to read it first, only at Dstreet.