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This page contains lore theories by Rakuyo. Please understand these are musings and interpretations by a player, and are not to be taken as official or representative of other's views. Warning this page contains depictions of extreme graphic violence.

 

From Berserk to Bloodborne

    


Launched in 1990, Berserk is a dark fantasy manga that may be considered one of the most profound sources of inspiration behind the Souls Series.

Berserk is centered around a cursed swordsman by the name of Gutts. Marked as a demonic sacrifice, Gutts is locked into an eternal war with the dark.

Among the many traits assimilated by Souls series are: "giant swords", "crazy armor", "crazy monsters", "undead", "the dark" and an extremely grim worldview.

A growing list of commonalities lies below, discussing among other things the origin of Yharnam, various Souls enemies, NPC's and otherwise enigmatic tidbits.

 

Crazy Attire

      

One of the most recognizable features of the Souls franchise is its lineup of surreal and impossible armor designs   , a lot of which was inspired by Berserk.

Like Souls, Berserk is a series that distinguished itself by its wide variety of demons  , warlords  and goon knights   in over-the-top outfits.

From Software merrily adopted the artstyle and created counterparts   , with some looking more alike than others   -   -  .

"The Berserker Armor " is the attire of Berserk's Gutts, an enchanted construct that numbs pain , spurs violent emotions , and refits bones .

The armor may be skull faced or wolf headed, and makes its wearer fight like an undying. It's speculated to have inspired the design of Knight Artorias  .

"The Kushans" are an imaginary race of Hindu/Ottomans, and their appearance in Berserk did much to generate and form the oriental armors of Dark Souls.

Their assassin like style of fighting, use of turbans and face masks  did much towards creating the Brigand Set  and DS' Dagger Combat  .

Kushan footmen on the other hand wore spiked helmets with garnished, padded armor , which in turn inspired the Eastern Set  and Sir Alonne .

Characters like King Gaiseric   and Zondark  likely contributed to From Software's fancy for gaudy, face embedded armor    

"The Skull Knight  " is popularly regarded as having inspired The Dark Set , while his crest may have inspired The Knight of Thorns, Kirk .

The Skull Knight's secret weapon is called "The Sword of Resonance ", which may be why in DS2, high level dark magic was named "resonant ".

"Grunbeld   " likely influenced From's crystal creature designs  . In DS3, The Dragonslayer Armour  may be a salutation to Grunbeld.

He may very well be the idea behind "Flame God Flann", owing to Grunbeld being a "fire dragon ", while "Flann" is Gaelic, referring to "red hair"  .

The maniacal cleric - and torturer - "Mozgus  " served as the archetype for DS3's "Cathedral Evangelist ", and similarly for DS3's Cleric Set .

DS3's Pale Shade Set , is based on Mozgus. A long line of From Software BDSM characters    was heavily inspired by his executioners .

 That art style lives on in Bloodborne , in several Pthumerian enemies  and The Executioners , whose name and wheels come from Berserk .

 

Undead in Wheels 

  

Skeleton Wheels  are among most characterizing enemies of the Dark Souls universe, but they're less original than you may think.

Early into the St. Albion arc, Gutts encounters very similar undead enemies, all of them wrenched into large wagon wheels  .

These bodies once belonged to victims of the Holy See Religious Order. They've since become possessed by angry spirits and attack outsiders.

The Holy See Religious Order is led by Father Mozgus. He's assisted in this holy task by a loyal band of executioners .

They handle most of Mozgus' dirty work. They practice various forms of torture and make a habit of breaking people's limbs with a giant wheel

Afterwards, the victims are affixed to large wagon wheels , those are then attached to poles and raised to the sky, producing large fields of corpses .

This scenery reappears in DS3, in the second part of the Undead Settlement . This is not far from Mozgus' lookalikes, The Cathedral Evangelists  .

 

Pinwheel

 

The enigmatic necromancer from DS1 - Pinwheel  has a Berserk precursor known as Rakshas .

Like Pinwheel, Rakshas is defined as a floating, black shroud wearing a mask. The difference being that Pinwheel has three masks and six arms .

 One particularly suspicious quote is Rakshas' prophesizing to cut of his commander's head and "making it his own" .

Seeing as that commander is Griffith, the design choices behind the silver Mask of The Child  could be pretty eerie.

Peculiarly, Rakshas acquires a new, more effeminate mask  in 2016, a possible wink at The Mask of The Mother.

In terms of talents, Rakshas is more of an assassin than a necromancer, though he demonstrates more macabre abilities in 2016.

 

Nosferatu Zodd

 

This vampire is plausibly one of the reasons Bloodborne was ever made, establishing a prototype of vampires being ferocious beasts 

A recurring antagonist, Zodd lives to fight. He's a challenge seeker, and desires only to face a worthy opponent.

It's this thrill seeking, suicidally high risk mentality that really articulates the main idea behind the Souls series.

Whichever form he assumes, Zodd fights like a beast and epitomizes bloodlust , and a stubborn mindset, bent on doing the impossible.

At his first appearence, Zodd wields a giant, bloodstained machete and fans of DS2 may recognize the form of Vengarl .

Vengarl's Helmet - "Helmet worn by the ferocious Vengarl of Forossa. As Vengarl's helmet suggests, he was not unlike a mad beast on the battlefield." 

    

 

Snakemen

Apostle  

Early into the series, Gutts faces off againts a tyrannical maneater  who wears snake themed armor .

The monsters turns out to be an apostle, which assumes the form of a giant man-cobra .

When the fight is over Gutts tortures the fiend for information, then lets him burn to death.

The imagery, particularly the apostle form, is likely to have inspired Dark Souls' enigmatic "Man-Serpents".

Man-Serpents appear in Sen's Fortress  (DS1), The Duke's Archives  (DS1) and Archdragon Peak  (DS3).

 

The Mad King

In the Souls universe, The Mad King is among its most tenacious themes.

It all started with Demon's Souls' King Allant. Who - overcome by melancholy - fed his own kingdom to the Demons.

"Surely you have seen for yourself… the pain and suffering that fills this world!
But fight poison with poison. God is merciful, and so, created the Old One.
The Old One will feed upon our souls, and put an end to our tragic realm of existence!" - Old King Allant
"I have had enough of this rotten world. No one wishes to go on…" - Old King Allant

In DS1, the protagonist embarks on a journey through the land of lords, Lordran. But the lords have lost their minds, and madness rules the kingdom.

The once great king of this realm - Gwyn - has been reduced to a mindless hollow. The whole world in fact, is doggedly going to hell.

In DS2, the great king Vendrick falls under the influence of Nashandra, a fragment of the Dark Soul, devising a war between Giants and humans.

As events unfold, he and his kingdom end up cursed. Vendrick finally retreats to the Undead Crypt, to forever wander as a mindless giant.

There are many other fallen kings: The Four Kings, The Sunken King, The Iron King, The Ivory King, The Nameless King, Oceiros, Lothric, ...

Logarius is a king, in theory. He is warden to Queen Annalise, usurper of her throne and wearer of the Crown of Illusions.

In Berserk, the King of Midland is an important antagonist.

Originally he was a patron of Griffith and his Band of the Hawk, but this changed after Griffith kills his wife and seduces his daughter.

The King lusted after his daughter himself, and tried to ravage her. This led his daughter, Charlotte, to run away with the Band of the Hawk.

In the years following, the king became mad and decrepit . He had Griffith endlessly tortured, and sent many an enemy after the Band of the Hawk .

Eventually, the King dies while suffering one of Griffith's illusions  . This leads to Charlotte becoming the queen of Midland.

Griffith, who's since become a demon king, later returns to Charlotte and marries her, substantially increasing Griffith's power.

      

 

The Collapsing Pupil

 

The Eye of a Blood-drunk Hunter is an important key item that provides access to The Hunter's Nightmare. Available after Amelia's death, it may actually be hers.

"The eye of a Blood-Drunk Hunter. Its pupil is collapsed and turned to mush, indicating the onset of the scourge of beasts.

A hunter who goes drunk with blood is said to be taken by the Nightmare, destined to wander forever, engaged in an endless hunt. It is a fate that no Hunter can escape"

This eye has a "collapsed pupil  ", a dramatic rendering of a real medical condition. A collapsed pupil means that an iris no longer adequately responds to light.

A collapsed pupil is symptomatic of the Scourge of Beasts, the mixed in themes of "collapse" and "pupil" may therefore infer something about the nature of Beasthood.

The pupil is the darkest, most shadowy segment of the human eye. Its enlargement may indicate a rise of darkness, a symbolism also observed in Dark Souls  .

Called "Hollowing" it symbolized the protagonist descending into a state of horrible madness, transforming into an undead monster that would eternally feed on Souls.

An alternative theory focusses on the iris, not the pupil. The iris is a muscle, designed to constrain the pupil. Its destruction may symbolize the destruction of "restraint".

In Berserk, the collapsing pupil belongs to a woman named Casca. It symbolizes her recollection of Berserk's eclipse, during which she was violently raped by demons.

The dark figures, swirling in her eyes, are actually the silhouettes of those demons towering over her. Which backs my theory that the swirling shadows depict The Dark.

The demon eclipse launched Griffith's ascension to the rank of demon king. Griffith, who she adored, participated in the rape. The whole of which destroyed her mind.

With her mind destroyed, Casca becomes a childlike fool and is left incapable of speech. She also responds with extreme terror to anything reminding her of the event.

Casca's descent into madness also provides backing for the alternative "no-restraint" theory, which posits that the relaxing pupil symbolizes the end of rational control.

Besides Casca's tragedy, the imagery of the collapsing eye may also be used to depict the eclipse itself   , which had initially formed in the shape of an eye.

One particularly twisted shape of the "eclipse/eye" appear in a striking monologue by the Demon Wolf, a manifestation of the darkness that surrounds protagonist Gutts.

    

The Demon Wolf is a monster in every sense of the word. It's comprised of an intense hatred and seeks to destroy Gutts' attachments, so it may fully manifest  

During the eclipse, the eclipse itself behaves like a morbid and changing eye. In the end, the Skull Knight shatters the eclipse, thus proving that the eclipse was illusory.

    

 

Giant Swords

In Berserk, Gutts upgrades his sword to what is frequently referred to as "more a massive slab of iron than a sword ".

Called Dragonslayer, it is forged by an especially talented blacksmith , not long after the Demon Eclipse.

At the same time, Gutts starts to wear the black armor that would make him notorious as "The Black Swordsman".

His left arm, which was lost during the Demon Eclipse, is replaced by a prosthetic. This iron arm can be outfitted with a crossbow  and a cannon .

The Dragonslayer's first reincarnation into the Souls series is named "The Dragon Bone Smasher " - A bladeless, thick mass of iron used for smashing.

In DS1, it became part of a unique class of weapons known as "Ultra Greatswords", the Greatsword  and Dragon Sword  being notable particulars.

The Greatsword would return another two times in DS2 and DS3, always paying reverence to the inhuman strength required to wield it.

Other slab-like weapons include the Fume Ultra Greatsword , the Crypt Blacksword  and the King's Ultra Greatsword .

Bloodborne has no lack of oversized weapons, and it's Church Weapons in particular that adhere to being blunt and oversized   .

Item descriptions found on Church Weapons reveal that the Church began creating gargantuan weapons for the purpose of facing gargantuan beasts.

"It exhibits several departures from the workshop's design, suggesting that the Church anticipated much larger inhuman beasts." - Ludwig's Holy Blade

This creates a parallel with Gutts, who upgrades his weapons knowing it's required for slaying Apostles , despite the overkill against ordinary men.

    

 

The Asylum Demon

Also know as the Stray Demon, or the Demon Firesage, The Asylum Demon is another one of Dark Souls' most recognizable enemies.

One of the big reasons he's so memorable, is that he has an absolutely humongous rump, which might as well have been cloned from Berserk .

The Apostle Demon in question is fairly low ranking, and arrives at Gutts' hideout after sniffing and licking the trail he left after the Demon Eclipse  .

The Berserk version of it actually has two faces, one human, one beastly. One can still recognize how the Asylum Demon's face is a composite of both faces  .

 

Smough - The Executioner

Smough, Protector of Anor Londo

 First appearing in DS1, Smough belongs to a long line of over-gluttonous, morbidly obese enemies created by From Software.

Smough is a repulsive maneater who attended Gwyn's divine family. Despite his strength, he was never raised to the rank of knight.

Not the first obese maneater created by From Software, Smough himself stems from DeS' Adjudicator , a yellow skinned demon brandishing a gigantic Meat Cleaver

Other creatures that would set the standard for From's fat atrocities, include The Fat Official  and The Vanguard Demon  - the precursor of the Asylum Demon .

A Berserk precedent for those abominations may be found in "The Count ", an obese tyrant and torturing maneater, who is actually a gigantic slug demon .

The Count is a brutally cruel and perverse. He's an embodiment of the sin of gluttony    and it pleasures him greatly, to devour his victims whole.

If you ever wondered why Smough has a large hanging phallus , and a suspicious head, well that phallus innuendo likely came from The Count  .

Many of Executioner Smough's other qualities were likely inspired by the angel faced wheel executioner , a member of Mozgus' band of torturers .

The wheel executioner is the architect of Berserk's Undead Wheels , which inspired DS' Skeleton Wheels , and Bloodborne's Logarius' Wheel .

In accordance with the mission of Father Mozgus, the wheel executioner works to torture and terminate endless heretics in the name of the faith .

   

In the end, he and his gang are turned into apostles. Mozgus became a fire breathing fiend , convinced he would purge the sinners with "God's Breath".

These apostles were modeled after angels. Despite their wickedness, Mozgus declared them proponents of God's fire, whose will is the only truth.

Beneath this facade, they were common demons, following the same evil god that all apostles follow, the evil being that dwells in The Abyss  .

It's possible that Kentaro Miura sought to crack people's presumptions by giving monsters angelic designs, thus accusing the value of appearances.

After all: that which looks like an angel, may just a demon with the animal traits of a bird , no different from a man with horns, goatlegs and a tail.

The face of the wheel executioner is that of a cherub . Cherubs are a very pure sort of angels, often represented as chubby toddlers in art.

In this context, the childlike features represent a mockery of innocence, implying that stupidity and deformity explain the executioner's evil deeds.

Smough is a product of the same line of thinking: his fair, plump face, and small head insinuating a childlike, angelic nature, in spite of his actions.

Cherubs reappear in DS3 in the form of the Winged Knights . Plump and endowed with golden armor, they take much after the DS1 maneater.

Winged Knights exist as fledged angels, and as men whose wings are merely ornamental . The angelic forms are adept at using "Miracles ".

It's plausible that Smough is in the same sense, "an unfledged angel". Smough too gains the power of lightning , but only after consuming Ornstein.

What do these angel traits portend? In Berserk, angelic men serve the god of evil, but they're also radically opposed to "sin" and dark spirits  .

 This implied but fraudulent opposition between "light" and "dark" traces back to Demon's Souls, to Saint Urbain  and The Talisman of Beasts.

"An old wooden amulet resembling the Old One.
It can utilize both miracles and spells.
The symbol of God was nothing more than the Image of the Old One." - Talisman of Beasts

"If you truly are a disciple, then you must have a talisman in God's image.
After the dark arts spread across the land, holy miracles were witnessed once again.

It is God's way of telling us we must stand up to the Demons." - Quotes from Saint Urbain

Saint Urbain is the NPC who turns Demon's Souls into Miracles, perhaps a hint as to the true commonality.

Urbain becomes confused near the end of the game, failing to recognize the call of The Old One as anything demonic, he rather hears a child's crying.

"From where does that howl come?!
That is no Demon. It sounds more like a poor hungry child.
Do you have any idea what it might be?
Something about it sets me at great unease." - Saint Urbain

The god Urbain worshipped was nothing but the deceptive Old One, in close analogy with Mozgus who worshipped the equally deceptive Idea of Evil.

His faith proved to be mistaken, and his Miracles came from The Old One just like any other magic. This logic may have been inherited by Dark Souls.

Mozgus' executioners brought about Executioner Smough, Smough then inspired the angelic Winged Knights, which are presumably villains as well.

Using angels in this way is not uncommon for Japanese designers, who often use angels as "daemons", "kamis" or spirits.

Some titles are well known for demonizing angels, like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta. The Final Fantasy series too has often depicted villains as angels.

     

It's a tradition that gave rise to characters like Sephiroth, FFXIII's Orphan and more abstract villains like FFX's "Sin".

One series stands out for creating worlds where angels and demons are pitted against each other, based on their opposing, but equally monstrous belief systems.

The Shin Megami Tensei series released its fourth installment in 2013, it's set in a post-apocalyptic world where Law (angels) are pitted against Chaos (demons).

As the plot unfolds, it is revealed that the creator - YHVH - is behind both sides, who created them to keep humanity in an endless cycle of despair.

To accomplish this, YHVH split God's Strongest Weapon "Satan " in two halves: The rebelious Lucifer  -  and the Throne of God, Merkabah .

Could this be true for Dark Souls as well? Are Frampt and Kaathe two sides of the same whole? It would explain a great deal.

Shin Megami Tensei is developed by Atlus, who were also involved in creating the original Demon's Souls. There are commonalities between Souls and SMT.

Both series are very difficult, both began with very humble graphics but great atmosphere, that atmosphere being one of pervasive emptiness and foreboding.

It's quite possible that people at From Software like SMT, and that they might also incorporate elements like Merkabah, the final boss of their most recent title.

SMT often incorporates a pessimistic view of Christian/Judean mythology, analogous to Berserk. and with YHVH  being an evil boss in two of their titles.

 

In Bloodborne "The Executioners" form an obscure band of church assassins. There're many things about them that are suspicious, like their peculiar hats.

It's awkward, triangular design was most likely inspired by the Spanish capirote  (credit to Mitch L), which historically began as a medieval clown's hat.

Over time, it lost its innocuousness and it turned into a hat of shame instead. Criminals were made to wear it, after which they were spat on and humiliated.

Later still, the hats began to be associated with flagellants  , who wore these hats as a means of atoning, through pain and humiliation  .

A version of the capirote became part of the mass executions performed by The Spanish Inquisition , who forced them on those sentenced to death.

At present, the capirote is most identified with the Klu Klux Klan , a congregation of right wing extremists with a history of terrorism and racial murder.

The meaning of "Ardeo" is "to burn" (again thank you Mitch L), which does suggest that the Executioners worship something similar to Dark Souls "Fire".

All over Yharnam stand crucifixes that suspend burning beasts  . They were hung up there by Huntsmen and the servants of the church  .

"Purification of race and society" was the main theme of the first KKK, something that's also symbolized by their cross burnings, a ritual linked with blood.

"In olden times when the Chieftain of our people summoned the clan on an errand of life and death, the Fiery Cross, extinguished in sacrificial blood, was
sent by swift courier from village to village. This call was never made in vain, nor will it be to-night in the new world. Here, on this spot made holy ground
by the blood of those we hold dearer than life, I raise the ancient symbol of an unconquered race of men" - Thomas Dixon Jr. (Ku Klux Klan Advocate)

There's another quirk to the Gold Ardeo, in that it is shaped like a "candle snuffer ". "To snuff someone" is slang for murder.

"Snuff" refers to a morbid internet phenomenon, involving the torture, rape, and murder of a person, for the purpose of circulating the recorded material.

Bloodborne doesn't state much about The Executioners, only Logarius' seemingly tenderhearted motto:

"Acts of goodness are not always wise, and acts of evil are not always foolish, but regardless, we shall always strive to be good." - Executioner Garb

Beside that, there is Alfred, maniacally laughing as he's covered in Queen Annalise's blood and guts. He then commits suicide, for reasons not well understood.

Ludwig was an Executioner, as is evidenced by his garb matching that attire . He also admits to having had opponents, who thought him a mere brute.

"Oh, my, Just as I feared. Then a beast-possessed degenerate was I, as my detractors made eminently clear.
Does the nightmare never end?!" - Ludwig, The Holy Blade

Then there's Logarius, whose occupation of Cainhurst Castle, and apparent refusal to kill Queen Annalise, sheds doubt on his supposed motives.

From Software has used the term "executioner" in the past, the first example being "Executioner Miralda " of Demon's Souls, who was distinctly evil.

In DS1, Smough was the bearer of the title "executioner". In DS2, The Executioners were hunters of the undead, but they would go hollow themselves.

They became The Skeleton Lords , a band of pyromancing undead. The Executioner's Chariot , one of their best, rules the Undead Purgatory.

The Executioner's Chariot Soul has a peculiar description:

"Soul of the Executioner's Chariot, that holds control over the Undead Purgatory.
The chariot was created only to torment Undead, and it took the form of a horrendous mad steed, a window into the soul of its master."

The Executioner's Chariot, created only to torment Undead, took the form of a horrendous mad steed, a reflection into the soul of the executioner.

Ludwig  is another such, horrendous, mad steed. An executioner, who torment a sea of undead without relent. Until the player stops him.

The Chariot Lance, which can be forged from The Executioner's Chariot Soul reads:

"Lance forged from the soul of the Executioner's Chariot. Its cross-shaped blade causes bleeding.
The perverse design of this spear mirrors the chariot from which it came, a merciless creation that endlessly tortured the Undead."

The Shield Crossbow which can be forged from the same soul reads:

The merciless chariot inflicted agony upon others with utter impunity,
and the crossbow created from its soul strives to protect from possible retribution.

Such descriptions don't bode well for the morality of "executioners". Perhaps the latest example of the same idea: "The Cathedral Evangelist" showed up in DS3.

That enemy erected bodies on wheels , in direct analogy with Mozgus . A fire worshipper, it preferred to set itself on fire and beat people with a bible .

Those bodies greatly resemble erected bodies found in Hemwick , while DS3 clerics exhibited snail symbolism , suggesting links to Bloodborne/Kos .

 

The Chariot

That final boss of SMTIV, "Merkabah, the Throne of God", which I mentioned previously, is a real mythological entity, and is also known as "the chariot of God".

   

Present in The Book of Ezekiel, Merkabah is a high celestial entity accompanied by so called "Ophanim", wheel-angels or "Thrones.

Ezekiel's strange meeting with god, accompanied by beings with four heads and a wheel in a wheel, has been theorized to describe an extraterrestrial encounter .

"God approaches Ezekiel as the divine warrior, riding in his battle chariot. The chariot is drawn by four living creatures, each having four faces (those of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle) and four wings. Beside each "living creature" is a "wheel within a wheel", with "tall and awesome" rims full of eyes all around." - en.wikipedia.org

The chariot of god or throne of god also appears in The Book of Revelation and The Book of Daniel, where God is referred to as The Ancient of Days .

In SMT, both The Ancient of Days and Merkabah are radically religious seraphs, who follow only God's will and are cruel and indifferent to humanity .

"You still will not fall? You are truly the embodiment of filth. Nonetheless... just as darkness is pierced by light, your defeat is part of the natural order of things.
Now learn of the humans' filth and its powerlessness before my light!" - Monologue by the seraph Merkabah as he/she's depicted in Shin Megami Tensei IV

While esoteric thinkers have seen in Merkabah a symbol of man's ascension. In Bloodborne, it may rather be what comes down from "heaven" to crush "filth".

"Now, there is one thing you must know.
By the oath of the League, those who bear its rune will see vermin.
Vermin writhe deep within all filth, and are the root of man's impurity.
…All vermin are to be crushed.
The League exists to expunge all vermin, 
ridding us of any trace of human corruption.
And so, until we are rid of all vermin, 
you must continue to hunt and kill.
This bloody fate is ours alone.
Do not expect the world to grasp our work…

Members of The League cleanse the streets,
of all the filth that's spread about during the hunt.
Like any half-decent hunter ought to, you know?
Haven't you seen enough of these wretched beasts,
freakish slugs, and mad doctors?

Sentence these fiends to death.
Just think.
Now you're all set to hunt and kill to your heart's content.
What do you say? Why not join the League?" - Valtr

An important and unexplained symbol of The Healing Church is the giant throne , first encountered in The Grand Cathedral.

Another version of this throne can be found near The Research Hall , and yet another is located in The Nightmare Grand Cathedral.

In The Nightmare Grand Cathedral, the throne is replaced by a shroud  , which functions as a rest for the slumbering Laurence .

Throne symbolism can also be found in Yahar'gul, where it adorns gates with imagery of an older man sitting on a throne  , ad infinitum.

"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow,
and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire."
 - Daniel 7:9

"And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal:
and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne,
were four beasts full of eyes before and behind." - Revelation 4:6

In the Book of Daniel, The Ancient of Days is a manifestation of God on a throne, who manifests to destroy monstrous giants coming from the sea  .

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed.
He wrote down the substance of his dream.
Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea.
Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea. - Daniel 7

“As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.
A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated, and the books were opened.
“Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking.
I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. - Daniel 7

It is quite possible that all these thrones, and possessed wheels , symbolize Merkabah, and that the shroud is yet another rendering of the same thing.

Merkabah is associated with man's ascension, and in the Bloodborne universe it may also be an idol of extreme intolerance to what is considered "filth".

Even more reason to connect the throne of god to Bloodborne, is that in the Book of Daniel, God on his throne manifests to smite monsters from the sea.

 

Yharnam as The Demon City "Windham"

"Windham" is the capitol of Midland and a central location in the Berserk storyline. It begins as the city of The Mad King, but is ultimately seized by The Kushan Emperor.

Due to The Mad King's excessive spending on military expeditions, Windham falls victim to famine and disease Windham - Plague and Famine A Windham - Plague and Famine B Windham - Plague and Famine C, which litter the streets with corpses.

By parallel Yharnam is afflicted a polymorphous defilement, often nameless  , at other times called "Ashen Blood Disease  " or Scourge of Beasts.

   

Windhams becomes even more grim after the Kushans invade, its citizens executed by the dozens and turned into displays  , warnings of Kushan brutality.

Hung corpses comprise a big part of Windham's scenery . They're common in Yharnam as well, appearing in Old Yharnam , The Labyrinth  and Hemwick .

The sea of dead attracts crows , while "man beasts   " prowl the city. In response to the tragedy, Midland's Arklow Knights infiltrate Windham .

In Yharnam, crocodiles and elephants are replaced by werewolves  and overgrown swines , and not Arklow Knights, but Hunters  rush to the rescue.

  

Windham was home to a horror that endowed women with demonic children . Meaningfully, the women all had blond hair , mirroring the Pthumerian bloodline.

The horror, called "The Apostle Womb " connects Windham to pregnancy and reproduction, a theme that would develop far greater importance in Bloodborne.

The Womb, an amalgam of demons, bears a semblance to The One Reborn   , a creature which is linked to "birth" and also to the infant "Mergo".

The temple that holds The Apostle Womb is adorned by a scene with centaurs . It could be the origin of what I've labelled "The Centaur Scene  ".

"The Centaur Scene" may therefore be indicative of a womb, or a demonic pregnancy. It appears in Yahar'gul, The Research Hall and The Cathedral District.

Another striking detail is that Windham's man beasts are associated with "fog"  and also with "nightmare", which is a recurring word in the story arc .

"Fog", eternalized in the form of Fog Gates , is a symbol of the series, but it hasn't really been in the spotlight much since Demon's Souls.

In Demon's Souls "colourless deep fog" was indicative of Demons, hence their connection to boss fights, as a boss used to imply a Demon with a Demon's Soul.

It returned in Bloodborne, though in very subtle ways. Fog was renamed Nightmare Fog, and the grey colourless mist became associated with Messengers   .

Another indicator to the importance of fog, is that it appears only marginally in waking world areas   , but everywhere in Nightmare areas   .

Fog is also connected to to some key elements, like The Hunter's Dream , Lamps  and the boss arena of Micolash, Host of the Nightmare (Video).

It may be this grey, colourless fog that constitutes a Nightmare. Such mist may stem directly from anything mirroring The Old One , or a Demon/Great One .

If true, Nightmare Fog may be like a paranormal reality seeping into the world in the form of mist, an idea analogous to that of Stephen King's "The Mist ".

This kind of mist could have been what Ancient Dragon was referring to in DS2, the one that gives you the Ashen Mist Heart - a manifestation of ashen mist.

"The murk shifts and stirs. Yet another stands before us…Then so be it. For the curse of life, is the curse of want. And so, you peer…Into the fog, in hope of answers."

In DS3, the realms that house the Lords of Cinder are described as "churning" by Emma, meaning like a gas or liquid, meaning these realms may well be akin to fog.

"Allow me to speak frankly. You will not find the Lords of Cinder here. They have left, gone. To their churning homes, converging at the base of this castle." - Emma

This fog may be identical to that of the abyssal vortex seen in the DS2  . This vortex is composed of wraiths , much like The Abyss of Berserk  .

This fog may in fact be one and the same as "The Dark" and "The Abyss". Like in Berserk this vortex may serve to take the character to another reality  .

In DS3, the cup of the abyssal High Lord Wolnir oozes a darkness , initially envisioned to be mist  , and which teleports players to The Abyss.

In returning to Bloodborne, Father Gascoigne has a dark transformation aura  , which is identical to the aura produced by Numbing Mist   .

The Moon Presence is a summoner of Numbing Mist , is associated with the Scourge of Beasts, and is seen manifesting from clouds in concept art  .




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