Is Eris Evil?
Welcome back everyone. Today we will explore a very common question that I am asked, Is Eris Morn Evil?! This lore episode ended up being a lot more complicated than expected, mainly because as a main quest giver there is a lot of content that relates to Eris, some of it, completely irrelevant, some of it very relevant, yet easily overlooked. So, if you think I have missed something please make sure to drop a comment. I have also placed references to the grimoire cards, items and mission dialogue in the description.
Before starting it is very helpful to have some background knowledge of the Book of Sorrows, I would highly recommend watching Episode 5 of my Book of Sorrows series, where I summarise everything that has happened so far. The link is on screen and in the description.
Where did this speculation start? Well, as the Exo stranger says, “all ends have a beginning” and the beginning of this rumour started at the end of the Taken King Campaign, where Eris appears on the Dreadnaught and acquires a shard, also known as the dark heart , from Oryx’s sword, Willbreaker.
When Eris collects this shard, she says this.
“My Queen you were right, the Guardian was the key. For the first time, the whispers are silent, it is done. I have accepted my fate. I will not fail.”
As this video progresses, I will discuss the cutscene dialogue, and towards the later half of this video, the significance of the Sword shard and also the significance of Touch of Malice. However, before doing so, I would like to remind you of the very first cut scene, which is narrated by the Queen of the Awoken, Mara Sov.
“I remember everything about the day I was born. I still bear the scars. The awoken are my family now. And I am their Queen. We fought to keep our beautiful creation safe. And now this beast has come claiming to be King. Mara Sov bows to no one. You and I know how this ends, We’ve known since you escaped from that… pit. The Awoken have played their part. This… was all part of the plan. Guide them my Hidden friend. It is all up to you now.”
It definitely appears that Mara Sov is referring to Eris Morn as her “hidden friend”, she escaped the pit and she is also part of a secretive group called the Hidden, who infiltrate enemy strongholds and gather intel for the Warlocks . On a side note, even though the Hidden is led by the Warlock Vanguard, Ikora Rey, and is typically for Warlocks, Eris Morn is the exception, she is a Hunter, as confirmed by the Eyes of Crota grimoire card  and in addition the interview between Luke Smith and Game Informer, where Luke Smith outright confirms her as a Hunter. When speaking about Cayde and Eris, Luke says
“they are both Hunters, which I didn’t realise at first because Eris doesn’t really look too much like a Hunter she just seems like a weird Warlock”
. Eris also acknowledges her unlikely acceptance into the Hidden in the Ghost Fragment: Hive 3 card, saying
“My role among the Hidden is an honor”
So why do we think Eris is evil, she was the one to assemble a fireteam with Eriana-3 to try and destroy Crota. Obviously this failed and she paid the ultimate price, she was stripped of her ghost whilst being trapped in the Hellmouth for a “countless cycle”, only to emerged changed. Later, she would be shunned by the Speaker and Commander Zavala, referring to her compulsions as a sickness , however she was still allowed to return to the Tower and even accepted into the ranks of the Hidden.
Furthermore, she was thought to have been joined by Osiris in a meeting with the Queen, seen in Ghost Fragment: The Queen 2 . In this card, two unnamed figures approach the Queen of the Awoken, Mara Sov. It has long be assumed that one of the figures is Eris Morn, as she described as having no ghost. The two figures warned the Awoken of Oryx and his army and argued that they needed to combine forces if humanity were to survive.
So far, Eris definitely sounds like she is on the side of the light.
The speculation about Eris Morn being evil comes from the use of the word “Queen” in that final cutscene and also “I have accepted my fate. I will not fail”, which just sounds extremely suspicious. If you believe the Queen of the Awoken is dead, then she must be speaking about another Queen, and two characters come to mind, one is Taox and one is Savathun.
If you are familiar with the Book of Sorrows, Taox is the sterile mother whose actions indirectly resulted in the creation of the Hive. She betrayed the Osmium Throne, displaced from their homes and desperate to survive, the three heirs to the Throne, focused on revenge, form a symbiosis with the worms to create what we now know as the Hive. In the Book of Sorrows, Taox sided with a species known as the Ecumene, who was allied with the Traveler. So the speculation is, is that Taox is still alive and guiding Eris to overthrow Oryx.
Is there any evidence for this, in short, none that I know of. Taox’s species (which is actually the same as Oryx, pre-worm symbiosis) could only live for just over 10 years, however she did have multiple appearances in the Book of Sorrows which spanned thousands of years because she was frozen in stasis for some time. After being unfrozen by the Ecumene in Verse 3:5 Dictata ir Dakaua , Verse 3:9- Curved in Ruin of the Book of Sorrows states that she was never found . It was never documented that Taox formed a symbiotic relationship with the worms, so I assume her lifespan remained relatively short. Consequently, it would be very unlikely, that the Queen that Eris speaks of is Taox.
However, there is a hint that Taox may still be alive in the very final verse of the Book of Sorrows, Verse 5:9 I’ll Make Sure, where Oryx says
“If I am defeated I know it will be because my understanding of the universe was incomplete. I failed to anticipate some strategy, some nemesis. (Perhaps Taox, if she still lives.)” .
So for this speculation to be true, i.e. Eris Morn working for Taox, Taox would have had to been frozen in stasis and unfrozen during our time period or somehow extended her lifespan, whether she was able to side with worms at some point or whether the Traveler was able to extend her life. None of this is unreasonable; however there is not anything to support this in the grimoire cards. Furthermore, even if this was true, it would not necessarily make Eris evil, Taox has been aligned with the light and the Traveler previously, hence they are still on the same side.
The next prime “Queen” suspect is Savathun, Oryx’s deceitful sister. The Hive do not distinguish between love and war and if you have seen my series on the Book of Sorrows, you will understand that Oryx and Savathun have killed each other a number of times, however, in their death they increase in power. Hence they see waging war against each other as a form of love, making each other stronger. In the Book of Sorrows, despite Savathun’s cunningness and trickery, Oryx was always one step ahead and maintained his position as King.
So the speculation goes, has Savathun orchestrated this whole war and this time truly deceived Oryx, controlling Eris and consequently leading the Guardians to destroy Oryx once and for all.
I will admit, this speculation has more weight to it in comparison to Taox being the Queen. Here is why; Savathun has consumed a worm and shares the same lifespan as Oryx, so firstly she is more likely to be alive during out time period. In addition, Savathun’s whereabouts is unknown, in Verse: 5:4 the Gift Mast , Savathun actually leaves Oryx and her other sister, Xivu Arath and this is the last we see of her. Savathun says
“Siblings, listen, we must part ways a while, so that we may grow different” .
Oryx would even later go on to speculate that his sisters have grown powerful in their separation and potentially could overthrow him. In Verse 5:6 of the Book of Sorrows, Oryx says this
“I wonder if my sisters have secrets of their own. If my power exceeds theirs I may kill them permanently and subsume their thrones. But I think they have strength that they hide from me, developed in time of separation.” 
Adding further weight to the theory, Savathun is also referred to as a Queen, which is rare within the grimoire cards, as most references to the Queen refer to Mara Sov. In Verse 5:2 Strict Proof Eternal, it says, “Savathun, Witch-Queen” .
It is very plausible that Savathun is the Queen that Eris Morn refers to and as Toland says in the Oryx Defeated grimoire card, a vacancy has opened amongst the Hive Gods , a vacancy that savathun seeks to fill. Whilst, the lore matches relatively well to this theory, Ithink you will agree it is still highly speculative, so let’s move onto what I think is the most plausible answer.
This is what I believe, the plan to destroy Oryx, involves Toland, The Shattered, Osiris, Eris Morn, The Queen, Mara Sov and of course Guardians. Eris Morn is extremely vengeful after the loss of her team in the failed raid attempt and subsequent loss of her light and ghost after being trapped in the Hellmouth.
She remains in contact with Toland despite his supposed death, reinforced by the Lost to Light Story mission description which says
“The fabric of our world puckers and tears around the Dreadnaught. The seams of this fabric are the ruptures, cracks that allow Oryx to walk as he wills. Toland can be our guide. Even in death.” —Eris Morn .
Toland is also in contact with Osiris and so both Eris Morn and Osiris adhere to Toland’s warning and approach the Queen of Reef, Mara Sov, to warn her of Oryx’s invasion.
They realise that for their best chance of survival, the Awoken will need to delay the Dreadnaught at Saturn’s rings, sacrificing themselves, to enable Guardians to board the dreadnaught and challenge Oryx in the way of the Hive.
When Eris says, “Guardians were the key”, it just simply means that we were integral to the plan. If you remember my Rasputin video, Guardians are truly unique because the Traveler has always fled previously, whilst in our solar system the Traveler was forced to create and continually support Guardians with the light. When Eris says “I have accepted my fate. I will not fail”, it is a reflection on her sacrifice and loss of her ghost and light, Eris is extremely vengeful and she is finally coming to terms with what the Hive have done to her. “I will not fail” refers to having to guide the Guardians through the King’s Fall Raid. Personally, I do think the Queen is still alive, not only because she narrates her own death but also reinforced by The Aftermarth grimoire card, where her brother feels her presence .
This is basic interpretation of the storyline, with no exciting plot twist, is confirmed in the both the opening mission, The Coming War and the raid mission, The Road To King’s Fall. In the grimoire card for The Coming War, it says “The Awoken died for us. They gave their lives to save the system, to stop Oryx’s fleet at the outer planets. We must honor their sacrifice. We must face the Taken King without fear. Queen Mara has given us a gift. We must not waste it.” – Eris Morn .
After finishing the campaign and beginning our journey into the King’s Fall raid, it says,
“We have confirmed it among our number within the Hidden. I have asked Ikora’s Warlocks to reach out, and they sense nothing. The Orb is quiet. On the Moon, his shrine is dark and cold. It is true: the Taken King is dead. The Hive’s dark god, and his foul son, have been purged from the universe. She was right, scholar. Queen Mara was right. It is all down to the Guardians now. Let us hope they are up to the tasks ahead of them.” – Eris Morn, undisclosed report to Osiris 
After defeating Oryx in our universe, Eris helps to prepare us to challenge Oryx in the raid by helping with the creation of a sword, although Lord Shaxx assists with the majority of the crafting. Eris is well aware of how to use the power of the Hive against them, this tactic has been taught to her many times by Toland. The Ascendant Sword grimoire card describes a conversation between Eris and Toland, where Toland presents a gift to Eris, which is the knowledge of Sword Logic and the power of the sword. Toland says
“Whenever in our passage we find ourselves in need of power—remember that the greatest authority here is a blade made keen by eons of use. This is the world the Hive craves: a universe creased by the edge of the sharpest sword.” 
Knowing this, it makes perfect sense to arm Guardians with a sword as they journey into the King’s Fall Raid.
You may agree, the creation of sword was not act of treachery, but what about Touch of Malice, why did Eris help us create the Touch of Malice, as you are likely aware Touch of Malice basically allows Oryx to live forever.
Let me remind you about what it says, in Verse 5:9 I’ll make sure, in the Book of Sorrows, Oryx says,
“I will prepare a book, which is a map to a weapon. And my vanquisher will read that book, seeking the weapon, and they will come to understand me, where I have been and where I was going. And then they will take up my weapon, and they will use it, they will use that weapon, which is all that I am. And armed thus with my past, and my future, and my present (which is a weapon, a weapon that takes whatever is available, a weapon bound to malice), they will mantle me, Oryx, the Taken King. They will become me and I will become them, each of us defeating the other, correcting the other, alloying ourselves into one omnipotent philosophy. Thus I will live forever.” 
Pretty clear cut right, Eris is Evil, she helped create the Touch of Malice and let Oryx live on. Well, maybe not, let me explain.
The short answer is Eris Morn is extremely vengeful and she wants to see the continued suffering of the Hive well past Oryx’s death. This is very well supported with item description of Touch of Malice,
“Let them feel every lash, every curse, every touch of malice that they first dealt to me.” 
Eris created the touch of Malice to reflect back all the pain onto the Hive, not to side with the Hive.
If you are still not convinced of Eris’s lust for vengeance, see some of these quotes from various mission dialogues,
“My dreams will be filled with the sound of their wails as they died and fell at your feet.” –Eris 
“A single day on the moon was an eternity of torment. Let them know my pain.” –Eris 
“I will never forget those I left behind. But now, with the whispers finally silent, perhaps I can have a moment just to close my eyes.” – Eris Morn .
Yes, it appears that Eris made the Touch of Malice out of pure revenge however would that not be counterproductive to her overall goal, she would just make Oryx immortal, the one who inflicted pain upon her. Well, there is a reason for this, as you progress in the exotic quest line for Touch of Malice and provide more calcified fragments, Eris begins to understand the Hive and says this,
“Guardian, long have I thought that no creature has suffered as I have. But now these fragments and relics have shown me my match…in my own enemy.” —Eris Morn .
You may argue, that this moment of understanding, provided the information that Eris needed to create the Touch of Malice. By understanding the pain of the Hive, by understanding the story of the Hive she can harness their power. This is reinforced by the Taken grimoire card narrated by Ikora Rey which says
“Eris thinks there’s a poetry to how the Taken change. She thinks we can chart the difference, and understand the will behind it” .
However, oppositely, maybe this is evidence for Eris being evil, this is exactly what Oryx says, you will read my book and understand me and then we will become one.
Regardless, I do believe Eris has another motivation for making the weapon, she has sensed another Hive god, maybe Savathun or Xivu Arath or something to do with the Vex. The grimoire card for the Touch of Malice says this,
“Here am I, with the power to craft from my enemy’s darkest secrets a weapon that could wound them at their core! The voices are as loud as ever. My nightmares just as bitter. My coal-black hatred burns as hot. But I feel something else now. Could it be… No! I refuse it. I will build this weapon.” 
You will notice that Eris’s whispers previously subsided with the defeat of Oryx, however now they have returned, as loud as ever and Eris says “I feel something else now”. This something else, I believe is either another Hive God or the Vex or both. Remember, that Savathun was given a captured Vex mind Quria Blade Transform and we actually don’t know what happened to Savathun or the captured Vex mind. So Eris agrees to make Touch of Malice to prepare guardians, deciding that they must harness the power of Oryx to even have a chance at competing with this new threat.
Finally, if you have a really good look at the Touch of Malice quest line, Eris does not create the weapon on her own accord, she in fact specifically says it is a decision for Guardians to make. The mission dialogue says this,
“But to build such a weapon would not be without consequence. Dare we undertake it? Guardian, I leave that to you to decide. If you wish such a weapon, I will need more materials.” – Eris
“A weapon that draws upon the Hive’s ravenous Darkness itself- a weapon that could turn back upon the Hive all the suffering they have inflicted upon us- it is done. I name it Touch of Malice, for it is naught but the Hive’s own doing. Take it, Guardian, and remember that they had a choice… and now so do we.”- Eris.
Eris understands the Book of Sorrows, Eris understands the Hive are how they were trapped in a never ending cycle of gaining more and more power. Eris knows that the Hive’s symbiosis with the worms was a blessing and a curse and that we now face the same choice, Eris sense’s a new threat on the horizon, one that places us at the bottom of the food chain, do we take this power, the will of Oryx in the shape of Touch of Malice and follow the path of the Hive and fill the vacancy in the Hive netherworld or do we wait for this new threat and face our extinction.
There is still plenty to talk about, I have hardly even mentioned the messages from Toland, however there was just too much content for one video and my brain is close to mush after reading through all those cards.
Regardless, I do hope that this video has brought you closer to understanding that final cutscene in Destiny The Taken King. If you would like to support the channel but can’t think of a comment, you can leave the word “vacancy” in the comments, in acknowledgment of the decision Guardians must now make.
Once again, it has been a pleasure, this is Myelin Games. Peace.