Orphan of Kos is a boss that appears in Bloodborne.
The views expressed on this page are those of Rakuyo. They do not necessarily reflect those of FROM Software or the Bloodborne community.
2. Fishing Hamlet, Born From Innsmouth And Junji Ito
3. The Orphan As The Aztec God: Tecciztecatl
4. The Story of Tecciztecatl and Nanahuatzin
5. Fishing Hamlet as the Aztec Heaven: "Tlalocan"
6. The Return to the Ocean
7. Observations & Trivia
The Orphan of Kos is the final boss of the Old Hunters DLC. He emerges from under the body of Kos , covered in viscera .
The Orphan is staged to be the ultimate secret of the DLC, the truth behind The Healing Church, as heralded by Simon .
The Hunter's Nightmare is sustained by The Fishing Hamlet, and The Orphan represents the atrocities which befell the settlement.
…This village is the true secret.
Testament to the old sins…
…It feeds this Hunter's Nightmare…
…Please, bring to an end to the horror… - Simon the Harrowed
"Oh, I know very well. How the secrets beckon so sweetly.
Only an honest death will cure you now.
Liberate you, from your wild curiosity.
...A corpse... should be left well alone." - Lady Maria
Lady Maria sits at the peak of the Astral Clocktower to protect the secret, declaring that "a corpse... should be left well alone".
She's ambivalently referring to both her own and that of Kos , which is worshipped by the residents of Fishing Hamlet .
"…Please, I need you to do something…
…This village is the true secret.
Testament to the old sins…
…It feeds this Hunter's Nightmare…
…Please, bring to an end to the horror…
…So our forefathers sinned?
…We hunters cannot bear their weight forever…
…It isn't fair, it just isn't fair…" - Simon the Harrowed
In the nightmare, Simon is reliving his uncovering of Healing Church secrets, and subsequent murder at the hands of Brador .
Byrgenwerth Hunters once scoured the Fishing Hamlet for special blood . These events began The Hunter's Nightmare .
Hunters who go "Blood-drunk", a state of insanity, get sucked into The Nightmare, where they'll forever grind souls into dust .
"Aimless, wandering hunters, slavering like beasts. This is what the poor fools have to look forward to." - Simon the Harrowed
Kill The Orphan's wraith to get the message: "Nightmare Slain". The Nightmare's Sun will become a peaceful white .
Upon talking to The Doll, you receive a piece of dialogue about Gehrman, revealing a bond between Gehrman and The Orphan.
"Oh, good hunter. I can hear Gehrman sleeping.
On any other night, he'd be restless.
But on this night, he sounds so very calm.
Perhaps something has eased his suffering." - The Doll
Fishing Hamlet, Born From Innsmouth And Junji Ito
Innsmouth, invented by Lovecraft, is a decaying, seaside town that harbors the Esoteric Order of Dagon.
Dagon is the giant king of the amphibian Deep Ones and the consort of Mother Hydra.
For his name, Lovecraft was likely inspired by the Canaanite/Babylonian fertility/fish god "Dagon".
Because of an ancient pact, Dagon lavishes the village with an abundant supply of fish, but only in exchange for human sacrifices.
All members of The Order must have intercourse with a Deep One. As a result, the inhabitants of the town are all part Deep One.
Deep Ones are humanoids with fish/frog-like characteristics . Hybrids are born human but gradually turn into Deep Ones.
Once fully transformed, they acquire everlasting life and a great yearning, to journey beneath the ocean, to the city of Y'ha-nthlei.
Junji Ito is a reputable Japanese Manga artist, the author of "Slug Girl", which included the story: "The Thing That Drifted Ashore".
The Thing is a massive lifeform that washes up on the coast. It's believed to be the decaying cadaver of a prehistoric lifeform.
People observe that the creature exhibits transparent patches of skin, and inside, the bystanders discern the forms of people .
A frightened spectator brings a blade and cuts open the creature. A surge of human bodies gushes out of its hideous carcass.
Among the bodies, the spectators start to recognize friends that have been missing for years, once lost in a freak accident.
Somehow undigested, the victims have survived for seven years inside the creature's insides, yet they are completely mad.
The being appears covered in luminous anglers and may have been fully transparent. Just what did the victims experience?
The Orphan As The Aztec God: Tecciztecatl
Under Kos, I discuss the likeness of Kos to the Aztec goddess Chalchiuitlicue. The son of Chalchiuitlicue is named Tecciztecatl
Tecciztecatl was called "He Who Comes from The Land of the Sea Slug Shell" and represented "The Old Man In The Moon".
When The Orphan is born, he's already - enigmatically - fully grown. This happens to be a recurring idea of Aztec mythology.
"Land of the Sea Slug Shell" is a description befitting The Fishing Hamlet , which is aligned with shells and slugs.
Mother Kos, the archetype for all of The Hamlet's Snail Women, is referred to as "Great Slug" in the song "Hail the Nightmare".
The Aztecs used the word "slug" to refer to The Moon. As such, "Land of the Sea Slug Shell" is also "The Land of The Moon".
Tecciztecatl is often seen wearing pale shells or slugs , which refer to his land of origin and his role as a god of the Moon.
The Orphan carries similar symbols, as his wings first mirror a slug , and his cranium , is calcified like a mollusk shell.
He also carries a giant, crescent moon shaped placenta , and he appears old, which is consistent with "Old Moon God".
The Story of Tecciztecatl and Nanahuatzin
According to Aztec mythology, the world has been created, five times along with the Sun and Moon, and destroyed four times.
Tezcatlipoca "god of night" created the first world, but a conflict between him and Quetzalcoatl "god of wind" ended the world.
Quetzalcoatl created the second world, but Tezcatlipoca seduced his people, and Quetzalcoatl destroyed the world with wind.
The third was created by Tlaloc "god of rain", but Tezcatlipoca seduced his wife, and Tlaloc destroyed the world with fiery rain.
For the duration of his reign, each god served as the Sun of that world, and its people had to supply the Sun with nourishment.
Chalchiuhtlicue "goddess of water", and the mother of Tecciztecatl , had been the fourth Sun, and a kind ruler as well.
But she ended up grief-stricken by the harsh judgement of Tezcatlipoca, who convinced her that she was only selfish and vain.
She cried bloody tears for fifty-two years and drowned the fourth world. But thanks to her magic, her people survived as fish.
There are two main myths as to what happened next. In one, Huitzilopochtli becomes the fifth Sun in the other "Nanahuatzin".
According to this myth, the gods convene under Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl and prepare to sacrifice themselves for the fifth world.
For the purpose of becoming the fifth Sun, the gods choose the wealthy and proud Tecciztecatl .
This will require no small sacrifice, in order to become the Sun, he is to throw himself into a great fire.
Four times Tecciztecatl tries, four times he is repelled by the searing heat.
After seeing this, the humble Nanahuatzin - "He Who is Full Of Sores" - throws himself into the fire and becomes the fifth Sun.
Tecciztecatl, having gained new courage, or wounded in his pride, goes after him and leaps into the fire.
Looking at the two Suns in the sky, the gods are offended.
They throw a rabbit at Tecciztecatl, this damages him to the point that he becomes The Moon instead.
The Aztecs used this story to explain why there's an impression of a rabbit on The Moon .
This could be The Orphan's backstory. The broken Tecciztecatl looks up at sky seeing Nanahuatzin shine as the new "Sun" .
The strange structure covering the Nightmare's Sun might then be the damaged Sun of Tecciztecatl.
Fishing Hamlet as the Aztec Heaven: "Tlalocan"
Aztec mythology includes 13 heavens, one of which is Tlalocan, ruled over by Chalchiuhtlicue and her spouse Tlaloc, god of rain.
Tlalocan harbors those dead that died by drowning , lightning strikes and those that died physically deformed .
Aside from being fish-men, the inhabitants of Fishing Hamlet are hunchbacks , and their priests have lightning attacks.
Tlalocan is also home to the so-called "Acihuat". This "lady of the waters" is believed to be the same as the Mexican Llorona.
La Llorona - the weeping woman - is a ghost who dwells near water. Her cries bring misfortune to all those who hear them.
La Llorona is bound to this world because of her terrible crime: the drowning of her own children in a surge of melancholy.
At night she wanders, looking for children that resemble her own, then drowns them, hoping they will restore her children.
In accordance with the Aztec story, Chalchiuhtlicue did, in fact, drown her own children, parallel to the Acihuat and Llorona.
The Hamlet is full of morose looking Snail Women and there's a distinct weeping in The Orphan's boss music .
Chalchiuhtlicue transformed her people into fish so that they would survive the flood, these could be The Hamlet Fishmen.
It's always raining in Fishing Hamlet, consistent with Tlaloc "god of rain", and the sky is green , like before a storm .
In Tlalocan there's supposed to be a "lord of the winds", takes with seeking out more souls on the surface of Earth .
He's assisted in his task by toads and "quautiomeh" or "lightning bolts ", and also by "popocameh" or "thunderclaps".
Consistent with its role as heaven, The Hamlet seems to arrange dead ceremonies , particularly for Pthumerians .
The devs may have been inspired by The Shrine of Storms , a place for worshipping tempests and Storm Beasts .
The Shrine was also home to The Phosphorescent Slug , a vampiric slug that produced Sticky White Stuff .
This substance works as a candle . The internal enemy ID name of a Storm Beast is "koei", Japanese for "orphan".
The Orphan itself comes from a dead mother and takes after a DS Hollow or "dead" , , , .
It's even so that Londor, the DS3 city of Hollows, seems to refer to the sea , and to The Hamlet Fishmen .
The spines that stick out The Orphan's arms , also developed elsewhere , particularly in the Labyrinth .
Pthumerians appear to be a death-worshipping people , obsessed with expanding their catacombs .
Apart from their corpses showing up in The Hamlet, large cetacean fossils are uniquely found in both these areas .
The Pthumerians, who store a lot of their dead in pools of blood , likely endeavored to send their own to Fishing Hamlet.
Pthumerian spirits , drenched in white, and pregnant, foreshadow the true meaning of this heaven to Pthumerian culture.
The Return to the Ocean
...Ahh, sweet child of Kos, returned to the ocean... A bottomless curse, a bottomless sea.
Accepting of all that there is and can be.
After defeating The Orphan, there appears a snakelike wraith on the carcass of Kos.
In order to properly conclude the DLC, the wraith must be attacked and destroyed. This triggers the final cutscene.
A narrator reads the above lines, leaving the player to reflect on their meaning.
Supposing Fishing Hamlet is like Tlalocan, the meaning of "the return to the ocean" may be found in Aztec culture.
The Aztecs commonly associated the womb with waters, tied to Chalchiuhtlicue, and at other times earth, tied to Coatlicue.
This connection is, however, double-sided. Water gives life, and water takes life away, the sea is full of bounty, but dangerous.
Chalchiuhtlicue was a goddess of childbirth, but was also known to drown people and even once having drowned the world.
In Aztec tradition, water was the active element of STDs, sores, leprosy, edema, and gout, traits linked to her husband, Tlaloc.
The following is from an Aztec religious rite, performed by midwives, in honor of Chalchiuhtlicue, illustrating the value of water.
My son, the gods Ometecutli and Omecioatl who realm in the ninth and tenth heavens,
have begotten you in this light and brought you into this world full of calamity and pain,
take then this water, which will protect you life, in the name of the goddess Chalchiutlicue."
Then with her right hand she would sprinkle water at the head of the child and say,
"Behold this element without whose assistance no mortal being can survive."
She also would sprinkle water on the breast of the baby saying, "
Receive this celestial water that washes impurity from your heart."
Then she would go again to the head and say, "Son receive this divine water,
which must be drank that all may live that it may wash you and wash away all your misfortunes,
part of the life since the beginning of the world: this water in truth has a unique power to oppose misfortune."
At the end, she would wash the entire body of the little baby, "In which part of you is unhappiness hidden?
Or in which part are you hiding? Leave this child, today,
he is born again in the healthful waters in which he has been bathed,
as mandated by the will of the god of the sea Chalchiutlicue."
Water is the fountain from which all life springs, yet it's also equated with the primordial darkness, to which all life must return.
The womb in this sense is a dark space which bears life, echoing the original creation of life inside the primordial waters.
The Ancient Greeks had a similar mythology. They equated "chaos" with formlessness (like water).
For Aristotle, the soul was form, and formlessness entailed death, suggesting also that "being formless", meant having no soul.
Bloodborne may have adopted a similar metaphysical system, one of life shifting in and out of some primordial matter.
"One of the basic ingredients used to satiate a Holy Chalice is this incoagulable blood.
When all is melted in blood, all is reborn." - Ritual Blood
These words may relate the story of Chalchiuhtlicue, drowning the world in her tears, at times described as tears of blood.
"When Aldrich ruminated on the fading of the fire, it inspired visions of a coming age of the deep sea.
He knew the path would be arduous, but he had no fear. He would devour the gods himself." - Soul of Aldrich, DS3
Aldrich may have dreamt of Chalchiuhtlicue, bringing forth a biblical flood. What better motivation to murder the gods?
Aldrich is the saint of The Cathedral of The Deep, which reuses "Sea " and "Formless Oedon " as candelabra.
The Cathedral of The Deep is also the location of unexplained crying women , and unexplained snail women .
The graveyard is teeming with depictions of shells , and Rosaria's concept art depicts her hair as waves of the sea .
Rosaria, leader of the Rosaria's Fingers covenant was likely inspired by the sea goddess "Sedna ", who once lost her fingers.
Sedna is interchangeable with deities like Echidna and Tiamat , mother goddesses that embody the primordial chaos.
Kos , whose snakelike Orphan wraith resembles the maggot of Rosaria , is most likely Rosaria's precursor.
The Cathedral of The Deep engages in Deep Sorceries and the accumulation of Dregs, which points to The Dreg Heap.
The Dreg Heap includes barnacle encrusted Murkmen , and Angels that remind of The Orphan .
The Heap leads to Filianore - possibly named after Hamlet's Ophelia, who died by drowning - clutching a dead egg .
Filianore's Spear Ornament has a peculiar design a shape mirroring the snake wrapped around The Orphic Egg .
The snake symbolizes the darkness which surrounds creation, and may thereby connect Filianore to the primordial chaos.
"Filianore" also means serpentine in French, helper in Greek, and may also contain filia (love), noir (dark) and nore (north).
My theory is that the lore of Kos carried over to DS3 and that Kos is part of a set of goddesses tied to primordial chaos.
Returning The Orphan to the ocean then means returning him to either the primordial darkness or to the building blocks of life.
The Orphan will return to the state he was in before he was created, and his soul - if he has one - will meet an uncertain fate.
It could be that the snakelike wraith is actually The Orphan trying to be reborn from his dead mother, thus averting his return.
While this could entail death, the problem is that "Oedon" has claim to formlessness, chaos, and the prima materia of "blood".
Which means that by returning to either formlessness/chaos or water/blood, he's actually just entering the hands of Oedon.
If that's not the case, there may be light in believing that The Orphan's death does save him from an endless cycle of rebirth.
Observations & Trivia
The Orphan has a very long, birdlike neck , and a hunched posture , which exacerbates after he goes into phase 2 .
Bony spines stick out of his forearms . Similar, less developed structures have been spotted on certain corpses .
His cranium is calcified, as are several other parts of his body. The parts that aren't calcified display a slimy, white skin.
He retains an umbilical cord, which is wrapped around his right arm, then enters an abdominal cavity from the left .
The placenta itself has a dark, bony-metallic edge on the outer rim . On the inside its raspberry red and "bubbling".
These "bubbles" very much resemble the fleshy growths found on cursed Blood Gems .
On each hand, The Orphan has five clawed fingers but on each foot, he has seven toes .
In his first form, the mucus on his back looks like a singular whole , but it transforms, becoming veiny, hole-filled wings .
Upon transforming, The Orphan gets bigger, acquires new tissue on his torso , and starts using the placenta as a crutch.
When he scream and summons a wave of lightning, this wave always emerges from the carcass of his dead mother .