Who is the Witness in Destiny 2? The Darkness-wielding villain explained

Rishov Mukherjee
A screenshot of The Witness in Destiny 2

Over the past two expansions in Destiny 2, the Witness has established itself as the main antagonist of Bungie’s looter shooter. Here is what you need to know about the Darkness-wielding mastermind.

Destiny 2 is a massive game that has a core plot featuring the struggle between the forces of Light and Darkness. There are several subplots as well, but regardless of the story, all roads lead to the Witness.

This entity wields the Darkness exclusively and considers the Traveler as its enemy. Ever since it was born, it has made innumerable efforts to take down the Traveler and complete a mystery referred to as The Final Shape.

The question is how this Darkness overlord was born and what is this Final Shape. Additionally, why is the Witness so bent on achieving The Final Shape? If you are interested in learning about this mysterious entity, here’s an in-depth breakdown of the Witness and his role in Destiny 2’s story

The Witness was originally born from the Light in Destiny 2

A screenshot of the Traveler in Destiny 2
The Witness’ original race was born from The Light

The Witness during the Witch Queen DLC revealed itself as an entity of the Darkness. At first, there were questions on if this entity is Darkness itself. However, as the seasons progressed, it became clear that Darkness is not the enemy, but it simply wields this power to fight against the Light.

This led to the question of where did this being come from. The answer was not revealed during the Witch Queen DLC and it took more than a year- all the way to Season 21 where we finally got the answer. The Witness even though it uses the Darkness, was originally a follower of the Light similar to the Guardians.

This story dates back to ancient times, to a place that nobody even remembers. There was a race that was blessed by the Traveler and its Light. This race named The Traveler as The Gardener and they prospered under its Light into a Golden Age.

The power of Light allowed this race to travel into space and during their research they came across an object called the Veil. They brought the Veil to their planet and wanted to use it to find the secrets of the Traveler and the Light.

However, this race came to a realization that the Light is not a beacon of hope, but a harbinger of chaos. Therefore, they soon began to doubt The Traveler and eventually while studying the Veil came to know about The Darkness.

A screenshot of The Winnower in Destiny 2
The ancient race discovered The Winnower while studying The Veil.

This race termed The Darkness as The Winnower, a force that dealt with the mind, dreams, and consciousness in contrast to the physical aspects of the Light. Through the Darkness, the race eventually found the means to attain The Final Shape.

Thus, this ancient race tried to merge the Veil with the Traveler to deepen their connection and obtain the power to shape reality. The Traveler refused and fled this world.

The race, however, did not give up and used the Darkness’s power to merge their consciousness into one. They created an entity, a being that was birthed in Light but re-forged in the Darkness- The Witness.

What has the Witness achieved until now?

Since the Witness was born, this entity has pursued the Traveler all across the universe. It created disciples like Rhulk and Nezarc to carry out its will. Rhulk made the Worm Gods strike a deal with the Krill and create the Hive.

Through the Worm Gods, Oryx also earned the power to Take and became the Taken King. As such, the Taken race was born with Oryx as their leader.

On the other side of the cosmos, in a mysterious place called the Black Garden, a group of Vex called the Sol Divisive started following the Witness. They even created something called the Pale Heart, which was supposed to be a replica of the Veil.

During the collapse of the Golden Age, Nezarec was the one who led the Darkness to Sol in the fight against humanity. This led to the first collapse and led to the birth of the Guardians. You can say Guardians would not have been born if this Collapse had not happened, making it an extremely important historical event.

This being has also confronted the Guardians quite a few times. It gave Emperor Calus the power of Darkness. With that power, Calus stormed to Neomuna to capture the Veil. While the Guardians defeated Calus, the Witness took over our Ghost and created a link.

This link allowed The Witness to enter the Traveler. Additionally, when the Witness confronted the Traveler in Lightfall, it resulted in the resurrection of Nezarec. However, the Guardians managed to defeat Nezarec and Rhulk, which were crushing blows to The Witness’ plans

What is the Witness’ final goal?

A screenshot of The Witness in Destiny 2
The Witness wants to attain The Final Shape by any possible means.

The goal of The Witness in Destiny 2 is to achieve the Final Shape. It wants to reach Finality, a state where nothing exists and there is absolute order. There are several explanations as to what the Final Shape is in the game.

However, the Witness’ definition is the end of suffering. This entity believes that the reason suffering exists is because of the Traveler. The problem is Light believes in equality and Darkness believes in survival of the fittest.

This was the primary theme of the Unveiling lore book in Destiny 2. This being thinks that the concept of equality is nonsense and that only the strong must survive. Additionally, this entity wants to create a state where everything is frozen in stasis in the Universe.

Change leads to chaos, but if that does not exist then there will be peace. However, it intends to do this by destroying every last living being that has been graced by the Traveler. If the need arises, the Witness will destroy its chosen disciples as well, as long as its Final Shape is achieved.

This cannot be achieved by Darkness alone as it needs the power of the Light to do so. This led to the Witness entering the Traveler and creating a monolith. Inside the Traveler, it intends to poison the great machine, while also using its power to create the perfect moment and freeze it in time.

What will happen once Witness is defeated?

A screenshot from the game Destiny 2
The Witness has built a monolith inside the Traveler.

The key goal of The Guardians in Final Shape is to defeat the Witness. For a moment let us assume that this entity is defeated, even though we do not know what happens. However, its defeat will create a massive power vacuum.

The Taken, Scorn, Sol Divisive, Shadow Legion, and the Dread will be without a leader. This will create chaos for a while as the forces will struggle to find a common goal. This will be beneficial for the Guardians who can pick them apart one after another.

Eventually, there will be a leader who will unite these forces. It could be Xivu Arath, who would be itching to take revenge against Eris Morn. It could also be Fikrul, the Fnatic, who is currently the leader of the Scorn. However, whatever happens, the concept of Final Shape will be long gone.

For more on Destiny 2, you can check out our guide for Unforeseen Consequences ship and All Exotics in Final Shape. If you want more, you can check our guides for the Final Shape raid race, Shiny weapons from Brave Arsenal, and all content getting vaulted before The Final Shape.