Whether you’re a long-time Guardian or a New Light, you’ve no doubt heard of the Witness before, especially with their increasing presence since The Witch Queen and Lightfall expansions. Despite how pivotal the Witness is, it is shrouded in mystery and deceit. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about Destiny 2 the Witness explained, from the most basic details to the more complex lore tidbits, including their role in The Final Shape.
If you’re looking to dive into Destiny 2’s complex story but are finding yourself lost, then don’t fret. This guide will get you up to speed on the Witness ahead of the Destiny 2 The Final Shape release date, where we’ll get to experience the end of this 10-year saga.
Destiny 2 the Witness explained
The Witness is a powerful being and the leader of the Black Fleet pyramid ships, commanding the power of the Darkness to defeat the Traveler once and for all and bring about the ‘final shape’.
It is the main villain in the Light and Darkness saga that has been building since the launch of Destiny 1, though this story has only picked up momentum since Destiny 2 Shadowkeep in 2019. It is believed to be one of, if not the most powerful entity in the universe.
What species is the Witness in Destiny 2?
The Witness’ species is yet to be named, but it is the final one of its kind. It’s species used the Darkness to combine their consciousnesses into a single being – the Witness – after a ritualistic mass sacrifice to gain command over the Darkness and pursue the Traveler.
This was revealed in a vision granted by Ahsa, the ancient sea-creature hiding on Titan. This cutscene revealed the origins of the Witness, it’s interaction with the Veil and the Traveler, and the story leading up to Lightfall and The Final Shape. Check out our Destiny 2 the Veil guide to learn more about this aspect of the lore too.
Who is the Witness in Destiny 2?
The Witness, also known as The Entity and The Voice in the Darkness before they made their first physical appearance at the end of The Witch Queen expansion, is the leader of the Black Fleet and the Disciples.
The Black Fleet is the armada of iconic pyramid ships that have been pursuing the Traveler across the universe in the hopes of bringing about the ‘final shape’ of the universe, likely by eradicating the Traveler and the Light for good, or merging it with the Darkness.
The Disciples of the Witness serve as almost commanders or champions of the the Witness: select powerful beings that carry out the bidding of their master. While these Disciples are largely shrouded in mystery, much like the Witness, they are masters of the Darkness and often represent the final of their species. Rhulk is the first known Disciple of the Witness, while Emperor Calus was the most recent to be appointed as a Disciple during the Lightfall expansion.
The origins of the Witness in Destiny 2
Long before the Witness was created, it’s species were struggling for survival in the universe before they discovered the Traveler buried into their planet. Unearthing the Traveler – which they named the Gardener – the species experienced a golden age of prosperity. Although the species thrived, living in a utopia thanks to the Traveler, their new-found god never spoke to them. As Ahsa claims, “it lavished them with gifts, but not with guidance”. And so, the Witness’ species craved a greater purpose – meaning.
It’s here that the species discovered the Veil, another entity among the stars that shared a connection with the Traveler. Having discovered the Veil, the species would soon learn that the Traveler could also bring ruin.
The Traveler, which previously gave gifts of life, initiated cosmic events that could destroy civilizations to deter the species from investigating the Veil further. However, the Witness’ species then saw the Traveler as a being of chaos, not prosperity and, once they found the Darkness through the Veil, they had found a new god.
The Witness’ species then brought the Veil back to their homeworld to strengthen their connection to the cosmic forces of Light and Dark to reshape reality itself. However, the swiftly Traveler fled their world, leaving chaos in its wake.
Not to be deterred, the species sought to pursue the Traveler to bring about the ‘final shape’. To do this, they used the binding power of the Darkness to merge themselves into the Witness, ushering in its campaign to bring ‘meaning’ to the universe.
From here, eons before the events of the games, the Witness had been travelling to different planets and manipulating the inhabiting species to align them to the Darkness. For instance, the Witness, alongside Rhulk, manipulated the Hive, then known as the Krill on Fundament, by giving Savathûn, then known as Sathona, a vision of her civilisations’ downfall. The Krill would then become servants of the Darkness and the Witness, transforming into the war hungry Hive.
This leads us into The Final Shape expansion, which is set to conclude this decade-long narrative involving the Witness, the Traveler, and the Veil.
What does the Witness want in Destiny 2 The Final Shape?
In The Final Shape, the Witness is now seemingly inside the Traveler, after having succeeded in using the Veil in the Lightfall expansion. What exactly it needs to do inside the Traveler is unknown, but the Witness is determined to bring about the enigmatic ‘final shape’. Given the name of the expansion, we’re expecting things to get pretty dicey once we enter the portal into the Traveler for ourselves.
What did the Witness want in Destiny 2 Lightfall?
In Destiny 2 Lightfall, the Witness arrived in the Sol system with the Black Fleet to face the Traveler once again to bring about the ‘final shape’ of the universe. While the ‘final shape’ is still quite ambiguous, it likely involves defeating the Traveler and removing the influence of the Light from the universe. Seemingly lacking all empathy, the Witness believes they are bringing about salvation and saving the ‘children of Sol’.
To complete their goal, the Witness required the power of The Veil from Neomuna on Neptune to create a gateway into the Traveler. Now seemingly inside the Traveler itself, it’s our job to chase the Witness and stop it before it’s too late.
This marks the second attempt by the Witness to defeat the Traveler and bring about the ‘final shape’. The first attack by the Witness, despite failing to complete this ultimate goal thanks to Savathûn’s trickery, caused The Collapse. This is the catastrophic event long before the events of the games that brought an end to The Golden Age of Humanity ushered in by the Traveler’s arrival, leading to the near extinction of humanity.
What powers does the Witness have in Destiny 2?
Given the immense power of the Witness, we’re yet to see the full extent of their power. However, we do know they are capable of manipulating the universe, somehow removing planets from time, alongside shapeshifting and inducing visions.
The Witness is highly manipulative and determined to complete their goals, representing the biggest threat the universe has faced so far.
Who are the Witness’ allies and allegiances in Destiny 2?
The Witness’ sole allegiance is to the Darkness, a powerful natural force of the universe antithetical to the Light. While the Light champions free-thinking, complexity, and the natural will to do good, the Darkness centres around reducing complexity and upholds that any being incapable of stopping it is not worthy of existence in the first place.
In the Witness’ pursuit in furthering the philosophy of the Darkness, they have recruited several allies, often through manipulation. These allies include Xivu Arath, Eramis, Calus, and Rhulk. Each of these allies have brought with them the might of their species, such as Xivu Arath using her Hive army to further the Witness’ goals, while Eramis and Calus (now deceased) command an army of Fallen and Cabal respectively.
That’s all you need to know about the Witness in Destiny 2. We’ll update this guide as more information is revealed, particularly during The Final Shape expansion. To defeat such a powerful foe, you’ll surely need the best Destiny 2 Titan build, the best Destiny 2 Warlock build, or the best Destiny 2 Hunter build to take the fight to it. After all, we’ll be venturing into unknown territory inside the Traveler.