Content of the article: "Believing Variks to be bad because he caused the death of Cayde is a disservice to Variks’ character."
Variks is an extremely intricate character, and I believe him to be Destiny's most intricate character. His lore is often focused on himself and his thoughts- one of my favourite lore pieces is this one. This Variks-focused lore allows us to see his thoughts. And those thoughts show us that he's a good guy.
Variks is not evil. He never has been. Variks is a very delicately written grey character. Destiny is a game where the majority of the world revolves around your character, and funnily enough often the most interesting parts are where the world isn't revolving your character. The Osmium Trio, Mara Sov, and Variks are the most interesting things to me. I feel like this is because they break the mold (as well as their superb writing). But this post is about Variks.
Variks, his entire life, has been a believer that the Fallen are Fallen from grace (as per their name). He has always wanted to unite them, to bring them back to strength. This isn't because he wants to destroy humanity and whatnot, but because he is an individual of a broken race. He believes that, given time and effort, Eliksni will stop their pirate and cutthroat nature and go back to their once-honourable lives. However, Variks understands the threat this could have against humanity. As such, he assists us in tracking down the most dangerous of Eliksni individuals so they cannot rise to power. Skolas. Taniks. Aksor. Variks helped us constantly.
However, Variks wanted his people to grow stronger. He knew they were shattered, and one day decided that he shall become Kell of Kells to unite them once again. This was not an act against humanity, and he is vehemently against the Eliksni fighting both among themselves and against humanity.
”Not like us," Variks says, oh so mild. The wound on his hand will heal. His work in the Prison of Elders, setting up trial by combat, building an audience and a relationship with the Reef's scavengers and armories, will bring him a little closer towards rebuilding the House of Judgment. Skolas' fury has guttered out. The Fallen may yet accept peaceful, lawful rule. They may yet survive. They'll hang on. "We're very patient, yes?"
Variks did what he did out of loyalty. The Awoken monarchy has done him so many favours- they've housed him, protected him, given him ownership of the Prison of Elders (the Queen's trophy room no less). Variks is an extremely honourable individual, and it would've been so, so against his character to let so many good deeds go unrewarded. That's why he let Uldren out. It was a final act of goodwill
Variks didn't know that Cayde was going to be an imbecile and explode himself, us, and a large amount of the Prison of Elders in order to have a cool moment in front of Petra. Oryx and Cayde both share the same trait in that they rushed into things foolishly, and it caused both of their deaths. The release of every single inmate in the Prison of Elders was a required cover for Variks' disappearance, as well as Uldren and the Barons escaping too.
Variks knows how much of a threat he is to the Guardians, because he is something that is not only under the protection of the Awoken monarchy, but also because he is an Eliksni ally. Eliksni aren't meant to be trusted, and even the Praxic Order wants him to be detained- however, we trust him even though it'd be easy for him to harm us incredibly so. He deliberately made himself seem less threatening by lying about his English skills- he's
, in comparison to
. He doesn't want to harm us. He's not a villain.
Variks is an incredibly written character. He is not evil, yet he is not specifically good. He is, for a lack of better term, selfish- he does everything to bring the Fallen back to power. He doesn't care what we do, as long as it helps him. This can be building trust with him, or giving him assets, or taking out key assets. He's a legitimate friend and believes us to be one too. All he's doing is keeping himself and his species as safe as possible, and he knows how dangerous Guardians can be, so why would he attack us? It'd go against our established relationship with him, as well as his entire character- he doesn't want Fallen to be warmongers! It makes no sense to believe him to be evil because he caused Cayde's death, or because he's bringing the Fallen back to power, or because he's with Eramis (he's a hostage, mind you). He's a friend. Be nice to him.
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