Amygdala is a boss that appears in Bloodborne.
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.
2. Significance of the name "Amygdala"
3. Amygdalas Around The World
5. Amygdala And The Mi-Go
6. Amygdala The Fruiting Body
7. Amygdala and Chaos
8. The Connection Between Amygdala and Gerðr The Jötunn
10. Observations & Trivia
Amygdala is a giant, ten-limbed monster that resides in the Nightmare Frontier.
Referred to as "Lord Amygdala" by Patches the Spider, Amygdala may be behind his transformation into a spider.
An NPC with the voice of Patches will bestow upon you the Tonsil Stone if spoken to after the death of Rom.
This rock, which looks like Amygdala's head, may be used to gain access to the Nightmare Frontier.
Within the Nightmare, Amygdala rests invisibly atop a tower until the player gets close. She drops the Ailing Loran Chalice.
In the following quotations, Patches talks about Amygdala or mentions nameless divines.
"Heh heh heh heh...Oh Amygdala, oh Amygdala...
Have mercy on the poor bastard...Hah hah hah!"
"What a joy it is, to behold the divine.
It must be such a pleasure. You're in my debt, you know.
You're in nigh on a beast of the field, but here you are, treading a measure with the gods."
"Hah hah hah! Don't dally, you lucky scamp! The gift of the godhead
cometh! Heh heh heh... yes... Ha hah!"
"Ah, well met. My apologies, but I feel a profound thought occurring...
On the good grace of a certain god, and the way he meted out his love. *laughs*"
Significance of the name "Amygdala"
1. Amygdalae are a pair of neural nodes inside the brain. Amygdalae are part of the limbic system, a very old part of the brain, and are involved in processing emotional reactions. Amygdalae link memories to emotions. Amygdalae assure that you store frightening experiences and that you respond adequately to a situation that you remember as frightening. They're also needed to recall the emotional nature of memories. This could mean that Amygdala's behavior is related to a very emotional memory.
2. Amygdala is the medical name for "tonsil". The tonsils are a pair of glands at the back of the throat, they serve to protect the body against infection. Standing on the frontline of the body's immune system, they're infamous for getting infected. Like the appendix, they are often removed upon infection. Upon the item Tonsil Stone you can read: "A latticed, deformed rock, or perhaps a meteorite. Appears useless, but possesses some odd gravitational force that prevents its riddance." It states that the stone is malformed, useless but difficult to get rid of. This malformed, useless rock could refer to the nature of the "not so important" tonsils. This might illustrate the nature of Amygdala. It's possible that she's unwanted and malformed but difficult to get rid of. A tonsil stone is a real thing, they're sometimes formed in the crevices of the tonsils. They're harmless but spread a purtrid smell.
3. Amygdalē is Greek, meaning "almond". Amygdaloid is a word used to refer to anything shaped like an almond, specifically this refers to a spectrum of shapes in between a triangle and an ellipse. The almond tree blooms in winter. The nuts produced by the wild variant contain deadly poison.
4. A hernia of the cerebellar amygdalae - "cerebellar tonsils" - entails a Chiari malformation. This can cause headaches, difficulty focusing, concentrating, and thinking, reduced coping skills, fatigue, muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing, gagging, choking, vomiting, dizziness, nausea, tinnitus, impaired coordination, neck pain, unsteady gait and balance problems, poor hand coordination, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, as well as speech problems. Less often, people with Chiari malformation may experience tinnitus, slow or fast heart rhythm, curvature of the spine (scoliosis), abnormal breathing, central sleep apnea, and, in severe cases, paralysis.
Amygdalas around the world
The being generally referred to as "Amygdala" is the boss found inside the Nightmare Frontier, which drops the Loran Chalice.
But there are many other important "amygdalans", like the "Lesser Amygdalas ", found in Cathedral Ward and Yahar'gul.
Most Lesser Amygdalas are found in Yahar'gul, to see the creatures you must have defeated Rom, or have acquired 40 insight.
Amygdalan art appears in Byrgenwerth , The Nightmare Frontier , Cathedral Ward and The Hunter's Nightmare .
Art also appears The Forbidden Woods and Yahar'gul , while corpses are found in The Hunter's Nightmare .
The white marks on their dried out exoskeletons indicate that these Nightmare amygdalans were of the boss variety.
Unlike the boss variant, Lesser Amygdalas cannot be damaged, have darker pigmentation, and no white marks .
Lesser Amygdalas have tentacles extending from their heads , but Amygdala does not herself have any tentacles .
Amygdala also has a glowing chest opening , but Lesser Amygdalas only have a non-glowing chest opening .
One Lesser Amygdala in Cathedral Ward is responsible for warping the player to The Hunter's Nightmare DLC .
This can only happen after the player has acquired The Eye of a Blood-drunk Hunter, otherwise the grab deals damage.
Finally, Amygdala boss fights can be found in Great Isz and Lower Loran Root Chalices and The Pthumeru Defiled Chalice.
There's evidence to suggest a connection between Amygdala , Byrgenwerth and The Garden of Eyes / Mi-Go Zombie.
Byrgenwerth's garden is alligned with statues of mutating humans , some which much resemble Amygdala .
The Garden of Eyes exclusive to Byrgenwerth, has amygdalan traits as well, like having the same number of limbs (10).
They both have segmented tails , and both have large skulls aligned with numerous eyes .
On top of that, they carry black orbs , which depict a 10 legged spider, and which are aligned with numerous eyes.
There are important differences as well, like the Gardens having wings and being Kin, which Amygdala is not.
The Gardens also have 5 fingers and toes, whereas Amygdala has 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes on each foot .
Amygdala and the Mi-Go
The Mi-Go are aliens imagined by Lovecraft, described as having a "convoluted ellipsoid" for a head, covered in antennae .
The standard number of limbs for a Mi-Go is 10, which is identical to the number of limbs on Amygdala and the Garden of Eyes.
Mi-Go may remove and attach new limbs, like tools. That same behavior is shown by Amygdala during the boss battle .
The Mi-Go are described as fungoid. Amygdala's head imitates latticed fungi like Colus , Ileodictyon and Clathrus .
Mi-Go are also described as crustacean like. While Amygdala doesn't exactly remind of a lobster, she's certainly arthropod like.
Mi-Go have an insect like society divided into castes: worker, soldier and scientist. Gardens of Eyes may be this scientist cast.
They worship The Outer Gods and are of malicious intent. Their name is derived from the Tibetan "Migou" which means "Yeti".
The Mi-Go are made from otherworldly matter, and cannot be caught on film, making their detection seem like an hallucination.
Amygdalans are similarly undetectable , becoming visible only after the player either defeats Rom or amasses 40 Insight.
Amygdala, The Fruiting Body
"Mould that grows from rotten flesh and blood inside the old labyrinth. Matures to bear giant spores." - Tomb Mold
"Tomb Mold" is the blood-drinking fungus that infests The Labyrinth , and is likely to have some connection to Kin.
While fungus can be found in every type of Pthumerian Labyrinth, its "giant spores" may only be found within Isz .
Above ground, giant spores appear on the spider of the Altar of Despair and in the cave beneath Iosfka's Clinic
They also appear in The Hunter's Nightmare, in the ash generated by the black lava , and in the river of blood .
Master Willem appears infested by fungus . Mi-Go are fungoid, and fungi seem to have some connection to Kin.
Gardens of Eyes are Kin, as are the mushroom like Celestials , and the mushroom eyed Celestial Larvae .
Amygdala's unusual head resembles the fruit of phallaceae , a family of fungi with diverse fruits .
The Labyrinth ceilings are covered in mycelium, the white threaded, subterranean body of a fungus .
It may be mistaken for cobwebs, but the size and structure are off, and spiders don't hang webs parallel to a surface.
Fungi are subterranean predators, who grow hyphae in search of food, which once found is infested and consumed .
Mushrooms are what mycelium produces when the fungus seeks to reproduce, they are merely its reproductive organs.
Mushrooms in turn release clouds of spores, which should they land on food, will then sprout hungry mycelium threads.
That Amygdala's head resembles a fruiting body, could indicate Amygdala as being the transient phase of an organism.
But Amygdala's "phallaceae head" could also be a living, breathing insult, connecting her amygdaloid head to genitalia.
Amygdala and Chaos
Apart from its similarities to latticed fungi, Amygdala's head also takes after the swellings of the DS1 "Egg Carrier ".
In DS3, the latticed pattern appeared as fungus on a staff , which the Corvian used to cast fire and poison spells.
It's a recurring pattern associated with poison . The staff relates Amygdala to both fungi and pyromancy.
The witches and their pyromancy are entwined with poison, and are at times capable of "insight related invisibility ".
Quelana refers to her mother and siblings as "deformed" , which is also the word chosen to refer to amygdalans .
"A latticed, deformed rock, or perhaps a meteorite.
Appears useless, but possesses some odd gravitational force that prevents its riddance. A dubious soul once said:
Step lightly round to the right of the great cathedral... The gift of the godhead will grant you strength..." - Tonsil Stone
Amygdala's spider like traits were also exhibited by Quelaag , The Daughter of Chaos and The Bed of Chaos
The insect like Centipede Demon and Ceaseless Discharge , both had a large orange gash on their chests .
Amygdala has the same trait . For Centipede Demon this served as a mouth , the same may apply to Amygdala.
The Bed of Chaos had tentacular hair , a feature that seems related to the tentacles of the Lesser Amygdalas .
Earlier designs of Amygdala were more plant like , and she's linked to a poisonous swamp, just like the witches.
This swamp is filled with illustrations of a great tree and roots , which may be references to Lost Izalith .
The scythe shaped form of the Amygdalan Arm may also be explained as a recycling of The Bed of Chaos' arm .
The Demon Ruins and Lost Izalith, were overgrown by great roots , like those seen below Amygdala's arena .
Their areas were lava themed . The Nightmare Frontier also shows signs of volcanic activity .
The Caryll Runes found in The Nightmare Frontier are about reducing poison and fire damage, as well as increasing health.
Pthumerians live in a labyrinth overgrown by bizarre roots and they are proficient pyromancers .
Their Keeper of the Old Lords , with its Bone Ash Set, is a pyromancer who echoes witches of other titles .
Enemies of the cut content greatly resemble the Chaos Demons of Dark Souls (credit Sanadsk & co)
The Fiery Chaos carries ties to pregnancy , and pregnancy plays a large role in Bloodborne as well .
The Egg Carrier eggs, which resemble Amygdala may have been designed after the eggs from the Alien series .
The Vile Maggot within grabs the player by the face and lays eggs, which resembles the function of the Facehugger .
If that was the inspiration, then connections between aliens and chaos already existed in DS1, thus producing Amygdala.
Such maggots made it into Bloodborne as Hateful Maggots , which infest the Silverbeasts near Amygdala .
The connection between Amygdala and Gerðr the jötunn
Gerðr was a legendary giantess, or jötunn, who caught the eye of the Norse god Freyr.
He looked upon her ravishing looks and became heartsick with love.
Freyr confided in his servant Skírnir that he had seen a beautiful girl with shining arms .
"From Gymir's house I behold forth
A maiden dear to me;
Her arms glittered, and from their gleam
Shone all the sea and sky."
"To me more dear than in days of old
Was ever maiden to man;
But no one of gods or elves will grant
That we be together should be."
Skírnir then rides to Jötunheimr to deliver his lord's marriage proposal to the beautiful lady.
Upon arrival, Skírnir offers 11 golden apples of eternal life and a golden ring that multiplies on its own, if only she will marry Freyr.
Yet Gerðr refuses his offer, for the jotuns are on hostile terms with the Aesir gods and Gymir, Gerðr's father, has no lack of gold.
It is then that Skírnir pulls out his sword, swearing to cut of the girl's head, but Gerðr refuses for she will not be coerced.
Skírnir then threatens to kill her father and he pulls out his magic wand, with which he may curse Gerðr.
He says that she will be forever lost to the sons of men. From early morning, Gerðr will sit on an eagle's mound, facing Hel.
Food shall be hateful to her. Her appearance will be a spectacle. They will glare at her. Everything will stare at her.
Gerðr will experience "madness and howling, tearing affliction and unbearable desire" and in grief, tears will flow from her.
Harassed by fiends in Hel, At the roots of the world , the finest thing Gerðr will be given to drink is the urine of goats .
He carves the runic character *thurisaz on Gerðr, as well as three runes symbolizing lewdness, frenzy, and unbearable desire.
In the Norse story, Gerðr gives in and marries Freyr, but Amygdala may have had a worse ending, with her becoming cursed.
Gerðr is described as a jotun with shining arms. Amygdala has shining arms , and "Lesser Amygdalas" do not.
Above I mention the possibility that Amygdala is a Mi-Go. "Mi-Go" is derived from a Tibettan word for "Yeti" - a snow giant.
Skírnir stated that Gerðr would be lost to the sight of men, explaining why Amygdala resides in such an isolated dimension.
He also promised that Gerðr would live in Hel "at the roots of the world", and massive roots are seen berneath her arena .
She would also be spectacularly ugly, and drink nothing but piss, which may have become the poison of the Nightmare .
Skírnir also said that Gerðr would sit on a mound, facing Hel. Amygdala sits atop a tower , facing the Nightmare Frontier.
He declares that she is to be with a three-headed "thurs" and he marks her flesh with the rune "thurisaz", and also three others.
Thurisaz can mean jötunn but can also means "torment" or "thorn", translating to a three headed: "torment", "jötunn", or "thorn".
In that context: Amygdala has a tail which ends in three points and also has three, trident shaped, spines on her back .
"Gerðr" is a variant of Gertrude, which means "spear of strength". Statues of amygdalans often hold spears or staves .
The NMF contains these sludge covered staves , and the slime on the spears suggests this concerns the same object.
Supporting the Gerðr theory is the theory that Amygdala is related to the Chaos Witches of Dark Souls 1.
The witches lived beneath an infected swamp , which happened to absorb the excrement of The Depths .
There are potent parallels regarding the looks, themes and enemies of The Nightmare Frontier and Blighttown.
Blighttown was full of Giant Leeches who could only spit and thrash, much like the NMF Crawlers .
Blighttown had giant, boulder throwing "barbarians ". The NMF is the home of boulder throwing Yetis .
The NMF is full of depictions of a great tree and roots , which may be references to Lost Izalith .
Finally, The Depths contained a mysterious substance , as well as a large amount of freakish slimes .
That substance is likely the precursor of "Paleblood Water ", an important substance used in research.
Enlarged Head Patients echo slimes , and they're seen near Paleblood Water, suggesting a connection.
Paleblood Water can form into plaques , which may explain the stains on Amygdala's arms and brain .
The Gaping Dragon, who appeared near the DS1 plaque, had six fingered hands , just like Amygdala .
The DS1 plaque may be linked to dragon blood , the Bloodborne incarnation of which is Blood Stone .
Supposing Amygdala is Gerðr, then is there a Bloodborne Skírnir as well?
Of Skírnir it is known that he claimed to be neither Aesir, Vanir or alf, which means he's withouts a clear origin or affiliation.
As Messenger of the Gods, he's analogous with Hermes/Mercury, bearer of the caduceus , a symbol seen ingame .
The caduceus is a recurring element of Souls titles , and is likely connected to The Primordial Serpents.
The symbol was likely not derived from Mercury, but from Berserk's Symbol Of God - the symbol of pure evil .
Skírnir is Old Norse for "shining one", which is analogous with "Lucifer", who in turn may be equated with "Baphomet ".
"Nyarlathotep " is Lovecraft's "Messenger of The Outer Gods", who is the ruler of the Great Old Ones, akin to Oedon.
Nyarlathotep served as inspiration for The Moon Presence , who's probably one and the same as Formless Oedon .
This Nyarlathotep/Moon Presence could pass for Skírnir, a shady and mercurial herald, the devil in the shape of a servant.
"Outside the ordered universe is that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity—the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes."
"Azathoth" is another one of Lovecraft's better known deities. This primordial being is the sole creator of the universe and father of all evil gods. Though repugnant, Azathoth is described as "an idiot god". His creation of the universe, the evil gods and all life, was an accident. He's described as being void of consciousness and creates from the fundamental chaos within his nature. He did it all with the facility of taking a breath.
In Ebrietas (Lore) I discuss the possibility of Ebrietas being among the monotonous pipers which sing to Azathoth.
Besides the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes, Azathoth is attended by the "muffled, maddening beating of vile drums".
Amygdala might be sounding those vile drums, as the counterpart of Ebrietas, and the other half of Azathoth's infernal orchestra.
Banging the earth with her palms, Amygdala performs long combos , often too inaccurate and prolonged to be effective.
Many of these combos involve hitting the area just beneath her, performing these even when the player is far removed from her.
When she she rips of her arms, she significantly extends her range, but this doesn't stop her from oddly bashing the ground .
The arms themselves end up looking a great deal like drum sticks , blunt instruments potentially used to worship Azathoth.
There are reasons to believe that Amygdala is crazed. The reference to the brain's amygdalae could indicate a profound trauma.
The fight against Amygdala may not be against a reasoned higher being, whose intent is rational and whose actions are organized.
It may rather be a fight against a delirious individual, psychotically performing a ritual, the purpose of which since long forgotten.
Observations & Trivia
First off, Amygdala has 10 limbs with 6 "digits" on every hand and foot . Each digit has a nail that is long and thin.
There are many stiff hairs on the head , back, knees and arms . Each arm has two elbows but the knees are normal.
A large cage protects her brain, inside of which numerous eyes are hidden . They come out when she screams or uses lasers.
Every eye has another three pupils, triangularly placed around the main pupil. Every hand contains a large orange "eye ",
There also appear to be smaller, auxiliary openings, which may all be functioning eyes, complementing the eyes in her head.
There's a large opening in her chest In Lesser Amygdalas, this opening is less bright and it "blinks" or breathes.
A strange "whiteness" covers some of her arms . White, veiny lines can be seen on her brain as well.
This substance seems fused to the flesh, and its brightness varies, with some parts dull and other parts close to luminous.
One of her arms on the right side seems to be especially bright. She holds it in such a way that the eye is always facing you .
On her back there are three spines that form a trident . Her heavily plated, segmented tail also ends in three points .
Amygdala "eye sockets" on her feet as well , and she can to rip of her own arms, causing volumes of blood to spew forth.
The blood loss does not in any way impair her performance. The ripped off arms themselves actually remain very much alive.
Amygdala can secrete an acidic juice from her "brain" . It's not clear if this is meant to be an attack or a necessity.
It could be the antibodies secreted by the tonsils, it could be stomach juice, it could be the tears Gerðr is supposed to shed.
In any case, the substance inflicts Fire damage, which rather supports the idea that it serves some kind of digestive function.
The original concept art of Amygdala put forward a darker creature, with more plant like traits, and a scythe shaped thumb.