Destiny Theory: What are The Nine?

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There are a lot of great theories on who or what The Nine may be in Destiny. Most of the theories seemed really plausible, that was until I played through the House of Wolves (HoW) story missions and read the Petra Venj Grimoire card. This theory is a bit of a long one, but I promise that by the end of this article, you will look at the Story of Destiny (THATS RIGHT, STORY) in a completely different light.

If you are not a fan of sifting through the cards let me bring you up to speed.

During the play-through of the HoW story missions you receive a card in the Queen’s area of Allies for Petra Venj. On that card you read a letter from Petra to the Queen of the Awoken. The letter is a plea to the Queen to allow Petra to return to the Reef and take her old role amongst the Queen’s Guard.

Petra, according to the letter, is begging for forgiveness from the Queen for a mistake Petra made during a battle in a valley. In the letter Petra writes,

“My lady, I offer again the only explanation I can: I did not know the Guardians would act as they did. All I had known, all I had ever known, were the ways of the Awoken.

The Wolves were entrenched in that valley. The approaches were blocked, all sight lines covered. An assault on their position was madness. We would have spent precious Awoken lives. For nothing. I saw the Guardians, knew they were on the move, but I assumed they saw the situation as we did. That it was folly to call in the Crows.

Prince Uldren’s fighter wing did a masterful job. The blast was pinpoint precise. The blasts tore apart the Wolves, and the Guardians, and their Ghosts. Three strike teams of Guardians, gone in an instant, on my order. The City’s anger, the Speaker’s condemnation—all earned. All fair.”

Several interesting points are revealed in this honest and telling letter, first we will analyze the mention of a Valley.

We believe that valley mentioned in the letter is the same one with the abandoned cars where we first started our Destiny lives as Guardian in the mission A Guardian Rises and is also the same valley we revisit with Petra in the House of Wolves mission Silent Fang.  If you take a look at the map of Earth below, you can see what appears to be mountains illustrated in several areas, including Devils Lair,  Skywatch, King’s Watch and Gateway. I want to focus on the area of Gateway, in the bottom right hand corner of the map. In that area you can also clearly see is that the majority of the area of Gateway seems to be flat and surround by these mountain illustrations, which by definition I would call a valley. Let us then focus our attention to the area directly above Gateway called The Divide. These two areas seem to be separated by a straight line that shifts up and down, and compared to the illustrations of mountains and other natural elements, the line is clearly man made. In my opinion I would consider that to denote that of a Giant Wall. You can look at the main image of this article above and clearly see that wall to the right, this is a screen from the area known as Gateway.

Map of Earth

If we can all agree beyond a responsible doubt that the valley mentioned in Petra’s letter is the area of Gateway, we can then move to the next point I would like to discuss.

According to Grimore Cards and this reddit post;

The Battle of the Twilight Gap (often referred to as “the Gap”) saw the Fallen houses unite and siege the walls of the City, where they were fended off by all available Guardians. As we know this battle led to the creation of the Gjallahorn Rocket Launcher, the Crucible being established, and the appointment of Zavala to lead the Vanguard in efforts to reclaim our Golden Age. The battle is described as brutal and bloody, with heavy casualties on both sides. Walkers fought duels with gun batteries stationed on the Wall.[3] At some point during the carnage, Lord Shaxx rallied The City‘s defenses and led a counter-attack that pushed the Fallen back from The City’s walls.

I believe the Battle of Twilight Gap took place in the area of Gateway, and the wall that the Titans defended is the same Great Wall on the map of Earth. The same area which we were revived after dying, long ago.

Take a second to think about that, our character died in the Battle of Twilight Gap.

Let’s also remember that the letter mentions three strike teams of Guardians were wiped out, along with their ghosts by Prince Uldren’s fighter in the area we now come to know as Gateway. This isn’t just a simple note, Bungie is telling us through this piece of history that our character is one of the members from the three strike teams, and our new Ghost, Dinklebot, was sent out by the Speaker to locate us. When he does finally find us, he states with surprise and relief, “Is it possible? There you are!”

There YOU are!

Not, cool I found another dead body amongst all of the other piles of bones and dust scattered throughout the entire area of the Cosmodrome. But why look for us, what makes us so important?

Another thing I find intriguing about this portion of the letter is Petra’s exact number of Guardians that were listed.

Three strike teams of Guardians, gone in an instant.”

I have always wondered to myself, why three on a strike team? Why not six like a Raid team or four to buddy up? Nope a team of three. And I, like most, have for the longest written off the reasoning to the number of classes in Destiny. But this time something struck a cord as I read the Petra Letter several times. Three strike teams, which would consist of three Guardians each.

3×3 = The Nine.

What if The Nine is made up of the original three strikes teams of Guardians. The same Guardians killed in the Valley by the Awoken Prince at the Battle of Twilight Gap in the area of Gateway. And if that is true, that would make us (your character) one of The Nine.

Mic drop…minds blown, story of Destiny takes shape.

The story of a broken past and a group of Legendary Guardians snuffed out before their time. Now, from a distant and Dark future, those nine Guardians, know by Xur as The Nine, send their Agent to aid the Guardians of the past.

In the next Destiny Theory, we will elaborate even more on Xur, his role with the Nine and layout the second part of the HoW revelations; the true identity of the Exo Stranger.

Until then, let us know what you think in the comments below or tweet us your theories @moonW1zard.


Designer, Writer, Lover, Gamer, Erer


  1. Diamond

    June 5, 2015 at 9:07 am

    That makes a whole lot of sense

  2. its my toast

    June 6, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    If we are one of The Nine, then there would be, at best, 8 Guardians to make up The Nine.

    You mention:

    “Now, from a distant and Dark future, those Guardians, known by Xur as The Nine, send their Agent to aid the Guardians of the past.”

    If we play as one of The Nine, this would be contradictory, for many reasons. Here are a few:

    1) There would only be 8, as I mentioned before. Would Xur be the 9th member of The Nine?

    2) If we are one of The Nine, what’s your theory as to why Xur and Master Raul have it out for us? Shouldn’t they be a little more respectful and give us more, useful things from engrams and such?

    3) Being that we are one of The Nine, and are also a member of the Vanguard, why do you think Xur made it a point to set up shop down by the Vanguard heads when he sold Red Death?

    To be honest, I was about to ask why you say “GuardianS of the past,” when there is one member of The Nine, but then I realzed most Guardians are of the past. I’m curious to see your theories to the questions I asked. This is a good article and I look forward to finding time to read more of your articles.

    Cheers and may the Traveler’s light shine brightly on you.

    • modernbeatnik

      June 7, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      I understand your confusion and I too have struggled with this point. But lets not confuse game mechanics and storyline. Bungie has to give you reasons to come back each week and have settled on Xur for selling random weapons through RNG, same with the Cryptrach. If he would decode every engram to something amazing nothing would be, Master Raul is just a tool to reward or disappoint for all you efforts in Patrol. One I can see becoming less viable as the game is developed.

      Remember this is just a theory and Bungie can easily change the storyline to disagree but I am going on what we have. But given what I know so far let me try to answer your questions.

      1.) I am speaking of an alternate timeline and future, one where your character exists in some form. That would still make Nine.
      2.) Like I said I don’t think they have it out for us. It’s just a game mechanic. I don’t know how your luck has been with the new Crytarch in the Reef but that guy in my opinion is no better.
      3.) Not quite sure I understand your point here. Xur also sold items items in the Reef two weeks ago. Also you have the ability to be a member of all factions, not just The Vanguard.

      I am currently working on the second half of the theory which concentrates more on Xur, the Exo Stranger and time travel.

      Glad you liked it and thanks for the comments.

  3. its my toast

    June 6, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    I also just realized something…

    We are allowed to play with three characters. Does that mean we technically control one of the 3 Strike Teams that fell in Twilight Gap? If this is true, then there would be only 6 Guardians to make up The Nine. And where are they? Why are they galavanting around the galaxy, sending an agent to help us, instead of helping us directly? Ya know, since we were all in the same battle and such. They would have been resurrected in the same spot and everything. So where are they now and how did they get there, but we can’t?

  4. Antonio

    June 19, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    i think it is an interesting theory but right at the beginning it fell apart. You said that you thought the awoken and the house of wolves were at the gatehouse during the reef wars. How ever, in different quotes of the story tell that the wolves never reached earth during the battle at twilight gap, meaning there was no way for the character to have been in this specific situation. The wolves were stopped at ceres by the awoken. It is an interesting theory but all the history says that the wolves were never there. And to comment on the speakers line that you mentioned, I believe it was just a general relief to see a new guardian. Since guardians are a scarce and limited resource and task force, any addition is a welcome number

    • modernbeatnik

      June 25, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      I see your point but she does refer to a valley. There are no valleys in the Reef. There is also mention of half of the HoW were defeated and the rest scattered…with such small number of Guardians mentioned this still could be the “Unchained Wolves” Petra mentions in the card. There is also something called: Hildean Campaign which I can find no other mention of other than on that card. Great points though.