Uncanny Accounts – Destiny’s Paracausal Nightmare

Hello all and welcome back to another Uncanny Account! Last week I dipped into Hollow Knight’s lore and we explored the inevitable horror of the Infection. Try as they might, there was nothing the bugs of Hallownest could do to escape their fate. It’s a pretty scary thing to think about, but what if the opposite was true? What if you couldn’t die no matter what? What if you had no idea what exactly you are or even whether or not you could truly call yourself alive or dead? What if you were technically both at the same time? Sounds crazy, right? Well that just happens to be the life of a Guardian in Destiny.

In the Destiny universe, Guardians are immortal warriors empowered by The Traveler using the power of “Light”. This isn’t light as we understand it. Its the electro-magnetic energy that surrounds us in the the real world, nor is it the abstract idea of “good.” Light in the Destiny universe is a “paracausal” force, which is just a fancy way of saying that it’s something that isn’t bound by the normal laws of reality. You could actually go even further and say that both Light and Darkness in the Destiny universe are things that straight up ignore the laws of reality. The specifically defy causality (i.e.: I touch something hot, therefore I get burned), but let’s not dive too deep into that particular pool. Suffice it to say, the Light is what allows guardians to get back up after being “killed.”

In Destiny, most guardians are resurrected warriors from ages past. What exactly that means is still debated within the fandom. One interpretation says that guardians are basically zombies. They’re corpses raised up by and dependent upon the Traveler’s light. They are not alive, merely restored and reanimated. Another interpretation says that Guardians are indeed fully alive and are empowered by the Light rather than wholly sustained by it. Both are valid, and both could technically be correct given the Light’s paracausal nature.

However, it’s more likely that the latter theory is more true (not fully, just more). The Guardian could technically still be dead while they’re out living the guardian life, because their Ghost (their connection to the Light) could have simply turned back the clock for the guardian, prevented their death and then transplanted a version of said guardian into the present timeline. The guardian may still be dead, but a version of them is now living in the future (technically making them undead as well). What exactly are they? They don’t know and most guardians don’t bother trying to figure it out. I would imagine that this the kind of thing that could drive a person crazy if they thought about it too much.

So they don’t know what they are and they could technically be both alive and dead for all they know. Now add to that all the normal problems that come with immortality and then throw-in unending combat for good measure. Guardians don’t age, and they don’t truly die (or maybe return to death) unless their ghost is destroyed first. There is evidence suggesting that at least some guardians have had children, but most don’t since the children don’t inherit the Light from their parents. It would also explain why guardians typically don’t form with the humans they protect. They’ll all inevitably die while the guardian keeps on living with no end in sight. It doesn’t exactly sound great, does it?

Finally, guardians are warriors tasked with defending humanity and the Traveler against all the horrors of the universe. They have to venture into the dark places, snuff out the horrors lurking therein, “die” several times over and then do it all again the next day. Heck, they could even get stuck in a paracausal loop forcing them to keep fighting and dying to the same horrible creature until they finally succeed in destroying it. Guardians definitely wield incredible power, but I think the nightmare of their existence just doesn’t wind up being worth it in the end.

What do you think of Destiny and the Guardians? Are they cursed or are they fortunate despite the downsides?

image edited by Hatmonster