Dark Souls 3 Lore: Mysterious Statues at the Grand Archives

While looking through discussion threads discussing Dark Souls III often you can find topics regarding a connection between the events and characters of Dark Souls I/II and Dark Souls III. Sometimes, though, it’s not clear whether a certain subject is a simple Easter egg, put into the game just to create nostalgia or mystery, or if there’s some actual lore connection behind it.

In this article I’d like to discuss one of those such things, which seemed pretty obvious to notice however, as it turned out, some players paid little attention to, list some of the common theories regarding it, and invite the readers to join the discussion.

When fighting your way into and through the Grand Archives, you can spot these peculiar statues around the location:

They have heads with long necks which resemble ones of the Primordial Serpents of the Dark Souls I, human, or rather, undead hollow bodies with small wings instead of their hands.

So, the first thing one thinks of when looking at their heads are most likely the primordial serpents of Dark Souls I: Kingseeker Frampt or Darkstalker Kaathe.

There are certain points that may be interpreted to indirectly support this version, though rather vaguely. The first is a lightning urn description that tells us that Lothric knights used to hunt dragons in the past and thus worshiped the sun – most likely, the Great Lord Gwyn, and Kingseeker Frampt, who claimed to be a friend of Lord Gwyn, might have had some weight in that religion. It is also stated in the Soul Stream sorcery description that first of the Scholars of the Grand Archives doubted linking the flame, and Darkstalker Kaathe sought the Age of Dark to come, and thus wanted the flame to fade.

However, there seem to be no hints in Dark Souls I that primordial serpents are in fact giant humanoids, on the contrary, it’s pretty much implied that they have serpent bodies as well, as we can only see their heads (which don’t look too snake-ish, though) and their long necks/bodies.

Another theory comes from another weird-looking part of the statues – their wings. According to this theory, the statues are, in fact, the statues of the “angels” of the Angelic Faith of Lothric, shared by the Winged Knights. As mentioned in items related to these knights the Angelic Faith of Lotrhic is based on a miracle tale revealed to the “Heavenly Daughter Gertrude” by a divine messenger, an angel, who, according to this theory was one of the primordial serpents.

dark souls 3 statues 5

However, this theory somewhat contradicts the fact that, as the armor of the winged knights suggests, the faith in “divine messengers” was considered heresy and wasn’t recognized by any of the three pillars of Lothric King’s rule (which include Scholars of the Grand Archives, Lothric Knights and the High Priestess). So, it is rather weird for the Scholars to place statues of the heretical “angels” all over the Grand Archives.

The next theory focuses on the heads, bodies and the clothes of the statues. As already mentioned above, the statues seem to have the bodies of the undead (except their hands) and they wear peculiar robes, with overcoats that only cover their chests, leaving the rest of the torso uncovered. It reminds of a certain NPC and its set from Dark Souls I:

The Xanthous King Jeremiah, who invades player in the Painted World of Ariamis (where forbidden things and creatures that don’t fit into the Dark Souls I world are banished) as a red phantom, using unique pyromancies.

He wears bright yellow robes with a weird “crown”, which look more like some sort of bandages over some weird head. The Xanthous Set is also present in Dark Souls III, however, it is a different set, shared by a group of researches of lost miracles. It also has a weird-looking headwear, but a different one, and its color is different, it is only slightly yellowish, as opposite to the original Xanthous Set of King Jeremiah, that was always bright yellow, no matter how old and ragged, according to its description.

Jeremiah’s head was always a topic for different speculations, as for what is it like for real, there even was this fanart illustrating one of the theories:

dark souls 3 statues 8

So according to this theory the statues in the Grand Archives are statues of the Xanthous King Jeremiah or similar creatures and Jeremiah, in fact, had a primordial serpent head. However the robes shown on the statues aren’t exactly the same as robes in DS-I/II Xanthous sets, and Jeremiah had ordinary hands, not wings, even though he had a weird headwear or head.

The other theory regarding the nature of the statues comes from the Soul Stream sorcery description mentioned above. It is found at the Grand Archives and its description states:

Sorcery imparted by the first of the Scholars, when Lothric and the Grand Archives were but young.

Fires a torrential volley of souls.

The first of the Scholars doubted the linking of the fire, and was alleged to be a private mentor to the Royal Prince.

And it is also similar to a certain sorcery from the Dark Souls II. It is a matter of speculation, naturally, but it may be interpreted as a hint of involvement of Aldia, Scholar of the First Sin, in role of the first mentor to the Royal Prince. According to this theory, the weird looking statues are statues of one of Aldia’s infamous experiments.

However, it is also rather weird to place statues of the experiments all over the Grand Archives among the statues of kings, high priestesses and others, is it not?

It pretty much sums up the most common version so far.

If you have your own theory regarding this matter or have noticed something about the listed versions that was missed, please join the discussion on the forum. You can also check the link to read the theories which were mentioned above in more detail.

What do you think? Are the statues in the Grand Archives mere Easter Eggs or they have some lore significance after all, and if they do, what do they exactly mean?

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I enjoy playing Dark Souls and researching its lore, especially from the etymological approach, and thus I developed a hobby of making videos discussing various interesting things related to it (also, once I even came up with some fan-fic lore story, lol). Being a Souls fan it's no wonder that I also love mangas by Kentaro Miura and works of JRR Tolkien. Generally I enjoy history, architecture and historical linguistics.

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9 comments on “Dark Souls 3 Lore: Mysterious Statues at the Grand Archives”

  1. Avatar dn1nd says:

    Nice article don’t forget the statues could also be an evolved version of the man serpents.

  2. Avatar FiveScissors475 says:

    Evolved? I’d go for a broader term like "Changed’ or "New" :P

  3. Onyx says:

    To me it is clear that the primordial serpents did not stop fucking around at the time of DS1.
    If you decide to kill Yuria, she will implore Kaathe, clearly indicating that this little bastard is still recruting Darkwraiths and he is still trying to usher the Age of Dark, but this time, he does it through Yuria.

    So it could be possible that on the other side, Frampt also tried to make undeads link the fire, so he may have a connection with the Lothric household.

  4. Anonymous says:

    More likely than not, the primordial serpents are messengers from the Ringed City.
    We see a lot of different references to the Primordial serpents, the most blatant being Yuria’s reference to Kaathe specifically, but as we know from the Dark Lord ending of DS1, there are quite a few actually.
    Given what we’ve seen from The Ringed City, its easy to piece together that the Angelic Faith of Lothric is most likely part of a multi-pronged attack from the Ringed City and/or Londor.
    Knowing that the Scholars have a huge emphasis placed on resisting the illusions of the Way of White and the gods themselves, they likely combined the two important aspects of what the Primordial serpents said to them, both as a means to remember the truth and to confuse any devout members of the other two pillars of Lothric.
    My guess, though its actually impossible to tell definitively, is that Frampt came and went as he pleased throughout the kingdom of Lothric, since for millennia he was known to support the birthing of the fire, but spoke truths from the Ringed City to the scholars who, lead by Sulyvahn, would be far more open to other beliefs and ideas.
    This would also explain why Sulyvahn was able to change the beliefs of Prince Lothric, he had the backing of one of the biggest supporters of the first flame.
    The obvious question this poses is, why would Frampt have been pushing people to link the flame in DS1.
    Well, maybe he had a change of heart?
    Or…more likely, he was always driven by the Ringed City.
    Though it seems obvious, no flame lasts forever, even if you keep relighting it, and eventually the flame will die out, and when that happens, there needed to be someone capable of leading.
    Perhaps the drive was to build the flame up and either at its peak of power, or as we see in DS3, have someone usurp it and usher in the Age of Dark with a suitably powerful ruler.
    Either way, in DS1, Kaathe helps undead with a will strong enough to pursue their own course, bloodthirsty enough to pursue the abyss even if it meant slaying someone in cold blood, strong enough to strike down the abyss’s strongest warriors at the time, the Four Kings, and Frampt guided people down a path of power, making them strong enough to make the choice on their own.
    There are plenty of clues along the way in DS1 to see that the Gods are, at the very least, lacking in love for humanity.
    The fact that you can choose either ending in DS1 regardless of your gameplay choices only leads me to believe that more.
    Lastly, we see a serpentine being on the path to the Dreg Heap, one that has been slaughtered and burned beyond recognition, right near two Lothric knights and impaled by Lothric Weaponry.
    Seems to me like the Knights of Lothric would have fair reason to kill at least one Primordial Serpent, if not all of them, particularly if it came out that the serpents were messengers from the Ringed City.
    The Stone Humped hag drops the Priestess ring, seemingly the same one that the wet nurse for Lothric would have worn, showing that at least 2 of the 3 pillars of lothric had become traitors.
    Frankly I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the murkmen you fight after interacting with her are the Scholars of grand archives.
    That would mean that we interact with the remnants of all three pillars of Lothric before we even fight the demon prince and gain entrance into the Ringed City proper.
    Lastly, slightly less to do with all of this, we find a miracle of gertrude, but never gertrude herself…or maybe we do.
    We know that the angels come from Londor Growers, hollows infected with something from Londor.
    Perhaps the angelic knights outside her prison are waiting for her to ascend, but she never did.
    Maybe we find her, dead from waiting to change in the archives.
    I don’t find it out of the realm of possibility that the angels were attacking and even possibly waiting for new reinforcements.
    On the high wall of lothric we find a great many hollows dead in a similar position that we find the Londor Growers alive later on in the Dreg Heap, where they are quite possibly fighting off the Lothric Knights who are trying to invade the Ringed City.

  5. Avatar Nahztek-Shadowpath says:

    Where exactly is this Primordial Serpent corpse that people talk about?
    How did I miss this?

  6. Avatar Dragonscholar says:

    If we are talking about the same thing, it’s around the fountain with a knight statue, just past the first angel and the two knights (the one with a banner) near the beginning of the DLC.

    To me, it looks like Pus of Man, not primordial serpent.

  7. Avatar Nahztek-Shadowpath says:

    Thanks, I’ll try to remember to give it a look next time I’m playing.

  8. Avatar Dragonscholar says:

    And while we’re talking about corpses lying around TRC, do you have any theories about the wyvern you see after the initial drop and the first Murkmen? Could it explain the charred Pus of Men?

  9. Avatar dn1nd says:

    I see it more as being the Dead Pus of Man since the area was over run by it and then there were the 2 Pus of Man Dragons in Lothric.

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