WARNING: The following contains mild spoilers for Destiny 2: Season of the Lost.
When Destiny 2's next expansion, The Witch Queen, launches early next year, Guardians will invade Savathûn's Throne World to destroy her. The Witch Queen has been clearly marketed as the long-awaited arrival of Savathûn herself in all of her power. But despite being the narrative's highlight, Savathûn is not the only one who can claim the title of The Witch Queen.
Mara Sov, Queen of the Awoken, set in motion a plan the day she and all those who would become Awoken were consumed by a black hole that formed at the convergence of Light and Dark. Whether by happenstance or design, she has watched, waited and ultimately guided the current (and possibly even future) events of Destiny -- all for the sake of her plan. Now, in Season of the Lost, Guardians are working directly with Mara Sov in so-called collaboration with Savathûn.
The Queen's Plan, or Destiny?
Mara Sov was a member of Project Amrita aboard the ship Yang Liwei during the late Golden Age. The ship's purpose was to spread humanity to new worlds not under the Traveler's influence. However, the mission failed after the conflict between Dark and Light encapsulated the entire solar system. At the moment of the Collapse, an event horizon formed that ripped apart the Yang Liwei. The Awoken were born from this meeting of Darkness and Light, and Mara Sov was the first. The one who was first determined the law upon which Awoken life exists.
Mara went on to convince many immortal Awoken to leave the Distributary that became their home after the Collapse. They became mortal and rejoined life in the solar system. Mara became Queen of the Reef after her paracausal powers of telepathy were discovered. She established the Corsairs as her information system, the Techeuns as her seekers of paracausal knowledge and the Queen's Wrath as those who protected and implemented her as-yet undisclosed plan.
Mara Sov rose to a position of authority among the Awoken. She has fashioned those who remained with her as an extension of her will. Since then, she has been busy forging alliances, so in large part to protect the survival of the Awoken.
Sword and Bomb
Destiny's narrative arc has been on a collision course with the true face of Darkness for some time now. At the end of The Taken King, Guardians defeated Oryx and ushered in a new era of struggle beneath the looming threat of middle-sister Savathûn. While it was the Guardians who destroyed Oryx (presumed dead, but possibly still living in some fashion), they did so under the guidance of Eris Morn, who was working with Mara Sov -- and Osiris.
Mara Sov's body died with her fleet above the Tangled Shore in combat with Oryx's Dreadnaught. While the solar system was preoccupied pushing back the Taken threat, she invaded his Throne World. This gambit cost the life of her brother. Her own Dreaming City came under attack while she was away, and she relied upon others to defend it.
One may question why Mara took these steps. She once had a dream of the Hive's Logic, and in this dream, she learned the rules governing the three Hive gods and the way in which she could overcome them. The first dream came under the analogy of the sword and the bomb. The sword pierced as a direct weapon while the bomb was a collection of parts hiding the true weapon within. Oryx was overcome by Mara allowing herself to be killed. But while her body died, she was able to infiltrate his Throne World and obtain what she sought.
The dream showed her the mind of Savathûn, someone ruled by the concepts of life and death. Savathûn was said to be incapable of keeping secrets within the game she established for herself. With this in mind, Mara Sov has struck what she calls a deal with the Hive god in Season of the Lost.
The Tech-Witch Queen of Secrets
The value of secrets cannot be understated for the Awoken; it is partly for that reason Mara is Queen among them. To the Awoken, secrets act as a preservation of information. All life can be reduced to information. Therefore, as keeper of secrets, Mara Sov acts as a defender of life -- questionable though she and her methods may be.
In Season of the Lost, Mara Sov enlisted the Guardians' aid in freeing her Techeuns trapped among the Ley Lines between worlds. She tells Guardians that doing so will allow her to both free Savathûn from her worm, leaving the Hive god vulnerable, and rescue Osiris. Whether or not that's the true extent of the arrangement is unclear. What is clear is that Mara Sov and Savathûn are both playing a game with each other.
Mara is amassing her forces -- with the Guardians' help -- while trying to preserve her dead brother Uldren from Savathûn's influence. She still hopes she can pull Uldren back to the surface of Crow's mind. Savathûn, meanwhile, is using that very possibility of Uldren's return and the threat of Crow's downfall as leverage to sway Mara from her ultimate plan. Savathûn welcomes this game and also invites Guardians to make a direct challenge against her once her worm is removed.
The story of Mara Sov has been curiously intertwined with the overall events of Destiny. The Witch Queen expansion may just be Mara Sov's ultimate bid for power that firmly secures her place as a major player in whatever this cosmic game is she's playing.
KEEP READING: Destiny 2's Story is Ending, but the Game Won't - What Does That Look Like?
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