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Destiny 2: Forsaken and the story behind Cayde-6’s death

Who is our enemy? Our ally? Who will replace Cayde when he’s gone? And, of course, is he truly dead?

Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

No matter where you look in the Destiny 2 community, someone is goofing about Cayde-6’s death — even if only to stop from crying.

When Bungie unveiled the Forsaken expansion earlier this month, the developer announced that the add-on’s story would get revealed at E3. Thanks to Destiny 2: Forsaken’s E3 2018 trailer, we know what that story is now: Cayde-6 will die and Prince Uldren will kill him.

For some discerning Destiny lore readers, this reveal makes quite a bit of sense — especially to those that have dealt with Prince Uldren’s attitude problem in the past. But no matter who you are, the trailer will inevitably leave you with far more questions than answers. So we’re here to help.

We’re going to explore the trailer and everything else we know about Destiny 2: Forsaken to figure out what the hell is going to happen this September and who is going to be involved.

Who is Prince Uldren?

Prince Uldren is a character players will recognize from the original Destiny. He first appears when players visit the Queen of the Reef, Mara Sov. Uldren is Mara’s brother, and kind of a sniveling jerk.

He demands proof of our accomplishments and sends us on a hunt to kill a Vex Gatelord. The last time we really saw him, he was crashing in his ship after being take down by Oryx’s Dreadnaught.

Who are all the Fallen behind Uldren in the E3 trailer?

These are the Barons of the Scorn. Essentially, these guys look to be the ultimate monsters in Forsaken’s new faction, leading the charge for all of the Scorn’s evil deeds. Uldren has allied himself with them and seemingly helped them bust out of the Prison of Elders.

Zavala has been whispering for months that Cayde has been hiding bad guys in the Prison. Assuming the Barons were corralled by Cayde, they all have a good reason to want him dead.

Why would Uldren kill Cayde-6?

This is the big “I don’t know” question going into Forsaken, although there are some potential answers. The first is the one mentioned above: Uldren has new allies that all hate Cayde for putting them in prison. What better way to make friends than offer them the head of their greatest enemy?

Uldren also doesn’t really have a great love for Guardians and is kind of a jerk. If he’s working for his sister, who knows the motivations. But if he’s working on his own, he could be trying to claim Awoken power against his sister’s will. A dead Cayde-6 is one less roadblock.

Is Cayde really dead?

Yes, if Bungie is to be believed.

No matter where you go, be it YouTube Live, PC Gamer or the PlayStation Blog, Scott Taylor and Christopher Barrett of Bungie are talking up Cayde’s very official demise. He will not be coming back and the entirety of Forsaken’s story will be about getting revenge for our favorite Exo.

In the trailer, Uldren shoots Cayde’s ghost before he kills Cayde, meaning that he will not be revived by the light.

Will Cayde come back?


Or at the very least, it’s possible. There are a couple of ways that this could happen.

First, we don’t really know a lot about what happens when Guardians die. Since they’re imbued with the light and the Traveler has re-awakened, it’s possible that the light of the Guardians could return to the Traveler and hold some kind of sentience.

So while Cayde’s body might be gone, the Traveler could turn him into a Ghost or something. We know very little about the Traveler, so anything is possible here.

Second, Cayde-6 is an Exo, which means he can be rebooted. If you listen around the new tower, you can hear some NPC talking about the Gunsmith, Banshee-44. The 44 here is how many times Banshee has been rebooted, which is why he’s a little ... out there.

Cayde-6 has been rebooted six times already. A reboot isn’t always a death, but it could be in this case. So it’s possible that Cayde-6 could “return” at some point as Cayde-7. Considering that seven has always been Bungie’s magic number, this option seems likely.

It’s sci-fi, so there are tons of other ways that Cayde-6 could return in Destiny 2. The question then isn’t if he’ll come back, it’s should he come back. The community is going to have a lot of opinions on that one from now until he inevitably makes his triumphant return.

And if Cayde-6 doesn’t come back, rest assured that players will see him in every corner of Destiny from now until the end of time, just waiting for him to pop out.

Destiny 2 - Cayde-6 giving fingerguns in a cutscene Image: Bungie/Activision

Who will replace him in the Vanguard?

This is actually the most interesting question that people are asking. The Vanguard will need a new Hunter and we’ll need a new flashpoint vendor. So who is it going to be?

Let’s take a look at some likely candidates:

Petra Venj: This is probably the least likely option for a lot of reasons. First, we don’t know if Petra is even a Guardian. Second, we don’t know if Petra would be a Hunter if she is in fact a Guardian. Both of those likely make this a very clear no, but who knows with the Traveler back in action. We do know that Petra will be in Forsaken as a prominent NPC, so she will at least be Vanguard adjacent.

Eris Morn: Believe it or not, Eris is actually a Hunter, not a Warlock. This is the best bet we have for a new Hunter Vanguard. The Hunter that replaces Cayde-6 needs to be memorable, and Eris certainly is that. We also know that she isn’t dead and will likely be making some kind of return soon. The loss of Cayde-6 would be a good reason for Eris to return.

Ana Bray: Ana is a new character in Destiny 2, but we’ve known about her for a long time. She has her own comic and was a legendary Gunslinger back in the day. The problem is that Zavala really doesn’t care for her much, as we all got to see in Warmind. Zavala is in charge of the Vanguard, and for all of his eye-rolling with Cayde, they trust each other. Zavala — and Ikora by extension — clearly don’t trust Ana much at the moment. Something big would have to change before she got a Fireteam invite.

Hawthorne: Look, we know Hawthorne isn’t a Guardian, but that doesn’t mean she won’t get picked up. Her whole purpose in Destiny 2 is to function as a normal person who is just as badass as you are. Do they do a great job with her character in D2? Absolutely not, but that doesn’t mean that the Vanguard hasn’t noticed her actions. While she doesn’t have a class, she’s closest to being a Hunter. And like we’ve said a dozen times, who knows what’s possible now that the Traveler is awake.

The Exo Stranger: Aha, bet you didn’t expect this one, did you? Well, aside from Eris, it is actually the best possible choice to replace Cayde-6. The Exo Stranger from Destiny became somewhat of a meme for her “no time to explain” bit. But reference of her has recently resurfaced in Warmind. She is currently believed — and by believed we mean “people are basically positive” — to be Elsie Bray, the sister of Ana. That gives her a connection and a good in to return in Forsaken.

The Exo Stranger is a Hunter, which fits the first and most important criteria. But she does also have something the other candidates don’t: She’s an Exo. In case you haven’t noticed, the Destiny Vanguard is made up of each of the three playable races in Destiny.

Zavala is a Awoken Titan, Ikora is human Warlock, and Cayde-6 is a Exo Hunter. When we lose Cayde-6, we also lose any Exo representation on the Vanguard fireteam. The Exo Stranger is the only real Guardian who can replace Cayde as both a Hunter and a representative of one of the three races.

Destiny: The Taken King - Eris cutscene 1920 Bungie/Activision

Who are our allies?

Well, taking a look at the above list is a good place to start. However, just because we currently think Petra is on our side doesn’t mean she is. But that brings us to our first question about allies. We aren’t going to talk about any of the tower NPCs here, including Lord Saladin and the faction rep folks, because they’re obviously on our side.

Mara Sov, Petra Venj, and the Awoken: OK, so Uldren killed Cayde-6, but what does that mean about his sister and his people? After the war with Oryx, a lot of the Reef’s forces were extinguished and the Queen went missing (she’s definitely still alive, by the way). Petra took over running the Reef in her absence as Mara’s brother Uldren was also missing.

We can assume that Mara will show back up here and we know Petra is coming back. Uldren is obviously not a good guy in this expansion, but we don’t know about his sister and her right-hand mercenary. Petra was always a good friend in Destiny, and there wasn’t anything particularly malicious about the Queen — aside from being a little strange, which certainly isn’t a crime in Destiny.

Currently, we think that the Queen and Petra will be with us and that Uldren is acting as a rogue agent here. But we could always be surprised.

Variks: Variks is a bit hard to place. We haven’t seen or heard from him since Destiny, and he was always a bit odd — even for a Fallen-turned-Guardian-ally. It wouldn’t be surprising either way if Variks decided to betray us or help us. We did see some House of Judgment (Variks’ house) banners in the EDZ early on in Destiny 2, but who knows what that means.

In an interview with Heavy, Bungie confirmed that we would hear what Variks is up to. However, the developer kept things mysterious, saying that it will come in a form we don’t expect. That could mean almost anything, so we’ll need to wait until September.

Ana Bray and Rasputin: This is another particularly tricky one to figure out. It’s safe to say that Ana will be with us, but who knows about Rasputin. Here’s the thing with Warminds: They’re unpredictable because they have a mind of their own.

While very powerful, Zavala didn’t want to use Rasputin out of fear of what he could be capable of. With Rasputin’s help, we killed a god like it was nothing. Rasputin could choose to help us again or he could do nothing. Or he could make matters worse.

Osiris and Sagira: We went to Mercury and saved Osiris’ ass from the Vex. Now that he’s free to move about the world again and has a good idea of what’s going on, it’s very possible that Ikora could enlist his help. However, Osiris has a ... poor relationship with the Vanguard. If he chooses to help us, it will likely be in a very limited capacity.

Fallen: In the trailer for Forsaken, we see a Fallen Kell speaking English to someone. We can probably assume that this Fallen is speaking to the player character. It seems possible that the Fallen could be lining up to help us, especially considering that the Scorn are essentially zombified Fallen.

Calus: This one is pretty interesting. We have spent the past year helping Calus run errands on his ship. He already talks about how much he likes us, but now he owes us. Despite being a deposed emperor, Calus has a lot of power at his fingertips. Not only does he have an armada of robotic versions of himself to sick on the Scorn, he also has a Cabal army and a ship that eats planets.

We’ve made a powerful friend in Calus, the question is whether or not he’ll actually help us.

Destiny 2: Forsaken will release on Sept. 4 for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.

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