The Guardians in Destiny 2 are mankind's last hope and the champions who fight the various forces of evil and Darkness itself. These warriors are incredibly powerful and are essentially one-person armies that bring death and destruction in their wake.
While much of what the Guardians are is revealed over the course of the Destiny series, there are some elements of the lore many casual fans might not be aware of or ever discover on their own. As fans continue digging into the bits of lore hidden in item descriptions, backstories, dialogue, hidden files, and outside material there are somethings many fans may not know.
10 They’re Undead
While this might be apparent for the player’s Guardian given the opening cinematic, what many players don’t realize is that every single Guardian ever is also undead. Guardians are the reanimated corpses of warriors that have died under various circumstances.
While they’re not your traditionally undead character, like a zombie or vampire, they are sort of like revenants who are indiscernible from the living. After the hundredth resurrection the idea of being undead is no longer a big deal, but it’s strange to think that each Guardian was once a rotting corpse before their Ghost found them.
9 Chosen Based On Past Deeds
A Guardian is chosen based on two criteria, they can wield the Light and they performed certain deeds in their former life that make them suited to be Guardians. It’s unknown whether this second criteria is based on combat prowess or choices made by the individual that align with the Traveler’s goals, but it is a requirement for being chosen.
Some fans have even theorized that Guardians are chosen because of great sacrifices or heroic decisions they’ve made in their previous life that would make them suited for a lifetime of fighting for mankind. If this is the case it’s odd that their memories would be erased and seeking out that knowledge is forbidden.
8 Some Guardians Never Wake
Because each Guardian is pre-selected each Ghost is created for a specific individual and cannot reanimate anyone else. Unfortunately not every Ghost will find their chosen individual as some of the bodies are irretrievable due to destruction or transportation to a location the Ghost cannot travel to.
This means that there are some Guardians who will never become Guardians because their Ghosts cannot find them. It also begs the question of how The Traveler knows of their existence in the first place if the body isn’t necessarily find-able.
7 Finite Number Of Guardians
A terrifying reality is that there are theoretically a finite number of Guardians. The Ghosts were created by the Traveler shortly before it went dormant and each Ghost had a specific Guardian to awaken. New Ghosts can’t be created and they cannot choose another to resurrect.
Admittedly it’s possible that because the Traveler is awake it can create new Ghosts or reassign Ghosts to new Guardians. But it’s entirely speculation at this point and for all purposes, there are a limited number of Guardians in the universe.
At some point it was discovered that certain Guardians witness visions after the moment of death and shortly before they’re resurrected. This gave birth to an entire faction of Guardians who willfully commit suicide to receive these visions to benefit mankind.
These individuals are Warlocks known as Thanatonauts. These visions are glimpses at the Guardians former life which can yield beneficial insights into Golden Age technology. In fact the prototype weapon Hard Light was created using one of these visions. It stands to reason that new technologies will begin appearing in the games as more and more Thanatonauts choose to enter the realm between death and life to gain more glimpses of their former selves.
5 Can Be Killed
Many players are unaware of the fact that Guardians can be killed and the knowledge of how to accomplish this isn’t exactly a secret. The most straightforward way is to destroy the Ghost and then kill the Guardian.
Servants of the Darkness are capable of stripping away the Light that enables resurrection which effectively kills a Guardian. Although a Guardian can still be revived if given more Light, but the body must be found and be relatively intact. Supposedly the Red Legion once knew a method of killing Guardians without destroying the Ghost first or needing to drain their light, but this technique has fortunately been forgotten.
4 Originally Bodyguards and Law Enforcers
When Guardians were first created they were meant to protect the Last City and defend the remnants of Mankind. Given the Darkness was banished and no new enemies were posing a threat, mankind fractured into different factions that disagreed with each other ideologically.
Guardians aligned themselves with varying factions and served as bodyguards and law enforcers to ensure mankind’s survival and keep the peace.
Unfortunately a side effect of this ideological splintering was that some Guardians would justify horrific acts of evil and violence believing it necessary for the greater good of safety for mankind. Outside the Last City these types of Guardians were rampant, setting themselves up as feudal Warlords who ruled over their lands with incredible might and power.
As more and more Warlords came to power they would clash with each other over land, resources, and subjects. These power-hungry Guardians often caused more harm than good in their mission to ensure mankind’s safety through tyrannical rule.
2 Iron Lords
In response to the Warlords four Guardians banded together to fight back. Known as the Iron Lords these Guardians methodically destroyed each Warlord’s Ghost before killing the Warlords themselves. Some Warlords joined forces with the Iron Lords either to ally themselves with their mission or for self-preservation.
These Iron Lords would be responsible for the tenants and general culture most modern Guardians follow. Unfortunately in their efforts to rebuild the civilization, the Warlords had destroyed they unleashed a terrible foe.
1 Responsible For Warmind Rasputin
This terrible foe was the Warmind Rasputin and was awakened after the Iron Lords tried to harness the self-replicating nanotechnology known as SIVA. Warmind Rasputin used this technology to bring terrible destruction to mankind leading to a war that left every Iron Lord dead except two.
Saladin remained to ensure the Iron Lord legacy went on and Efrideet fled her post, losing her status as a Guardian. This war is part of why Guardians are so rare when the player’s Guardian is reanimated as many of the previous Guardians have either fled or been destroyed.