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DancesWithGhosts

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#1
Hello fellow lore-hunters, I recently ran across something that truly surprised me, but also has me stumped...

While perusing the DS2 Design Works, I ran across this illustration of the Throne Watcher Set:


I had never really taken a good look at the set, much less as presented in such a detailed illustration; and the first thing that struck me is that the set, in particular the helm, bears some striking similarities to the Judgment Set (known as the Black Set in DS1): https://darksouls2.wiki.fextralife.com/Judgment+Set

They both have a domed helm, divided into segments, and featuring a distinctive mask which covers the nose, like a beak. (Regarding the Judgment/Black set, it is presumed that this feature is meant to grant a crow-like appearance to the wearers, adherents of Goddess Velka, who is represented by crows.) Furthermore, the Throne Watcher Armor appears to include a kind of split cape which reaches almost to the wearer's feet, and this is also shared by the Judgment Set.

So, what on Earth could this mean? Is this indicative of some kind of link between the Throne Watcher and Velka's pardoners?

I am not well-acquainted with the lore pertaining to the Throne Watcher and Throne Defender, and that is partly because there seems to be a dearth of in-game information about them. If anyone does have a solid grip on who they are, where they come from, and what their motives are I would appreciate the information! And, of course, if you can shed light upon these similarites I'd be grateful!

Happy lore-hunting!
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dn1nd

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#2
The Only Info We Have On The Throne Watcher Is His Item And Soul Descriptions.

Soul of the Throne Watcher.
The throne of the King is sacred, and must be observed closely at all times.
Use the special soul of the watcher to acquire numerous souls, or to create something of great worth.


Seeing As The Judgement Set Mentions Someone Who Wears It Is Of Great Authority, Given The Similarity IN Design Of The Throne Watcher Set, It Is Possible That The Design Is Also Showing HIs Authority.

Other Than That I Could Only Give Speculation.

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skarekrow13

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#3
Dark Souls 2 unabashedly ran with the idea of reincarnation of major characters from the first game. That said, the fact that the Judgment set exists "as is" elsewhere in the game might suggest that the Velka callback in that case is more direct than allusion.

The Throne Watcher to me always had a Gwyndolin vibe to the character. I don't recall off the top of my head if Gwyndolin has more direct references in the game or not.

The coloration is the same (white as primary). The androgynous style with some flowing cloth elements are quite similar. The Watcher is the one in the pair that is associated with sorcery. The shield is made from an old chime for miracles, and one of Gwyndolin's signature items is the darkmoon catalyst. The nature of the character is to "watch" over the throne which was Gwyndolin's task. It's deliberately separate from the idea of "defending" the throne. In the first game Gwyndolin didn't defend it as he was in hiding.

There's not anywhere near as solid info on this one for me to be really sure, but that's my impressions.
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dn1nd

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#4
If We Are Discussing The Watcher And Defender's Roles, I Always Thought Of Them As Being DS2's Version Of Ornstein And Smough. They Are Even Guarding A Throne Room, SImilar To How O+S Guarded The Fake Princess.

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#5
I can see the resemblance, but the differences are too many for me to draw any genuine conclusions.

Either way, the color black is an important part of the Judgement Set, and the weaponry of the Watcher doesn't match that of the Pardoners.

Oswald used a Velka Rapier and Parrying Dagger, Cromwell used a Scythe, but the Watcher used a greatsword and a shield.

The lore of the Defender and Watcher is basically a big gap, so there's no telling what may actually be the case.
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skarekrow13

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#6
dn1nd wrote:If We Are Discussing The Watcher And Defender's Roles, I Always Thought Of Them As Being DS2's Version Of Ornstein And Smough. They Are Even Guarding A Throne Room, SImilar To How O+S Guarded The Fake Princess.


I think there's some of that vibe as well. The defender uses lightning too if I recall it right. There's a "sun and moon" thing going on which is mirrored Anor Londo for sure.

Speaking of what they're guarding though, it's interesting that O&S are actually not guarding a throne room if the tidbits of info we're given are to be trusted. Before I expand, I actually think you're probably right, but I have an agenda for citing the things I'm about too.

In Dark Souls 3, the armor sets refer to what they're guarding as a "cathedral" and this makes sense architecturally. In the first game though, the bonfire before Gwynevere is called the "Princess' Chambers" one. Chambers are usually a person's private room. So according to what we're told, O&S are actually defending the cathedral that leads to Gwynevere's private room.

We know Gwynevere is a fake and everything in the game suggests she wasn't anywhere near as tall as the illusion. This suggests that the size of the furniture she's on is not likely to have been necessary and is placed there to support the illusion. I point this out because it's a strong indication that the room has undergone a remodel.

If you take a look at surrounding architecture, the cathedral glorifies Gywn above all else. If it's a cathedral to Gwyn, it makes a Gwynevere based room behind it less likely. Ordinarily, the more restricted access room would be after the cathedral and be the more glorious location. Also of note, the Chamber of the "Princess" is decorated with statues of Gwyn's knights and carvings of what appear to be diplomats, political figures or philosophers. All very odd for the Princess' private room. Especially one associated with fertility. To counter this to some degree, there are fertility symbols carved all around Anor Londo.

None of this is exactly shocking as we know Gwyndolin created some illusions and tricks already. However, I've often put forward that there was a significant remodel to glorify O&S along with Gwynevere. The disconnect between what that room should be (throne room) vs. what it's called (Princess' Chamber) is further evidence that Gwyndolin altered the city to tell the story he wanted it to.
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#7
Anor Londo is indeed designed like a gothic cathedral.

A lot of things in Souls are designed like that: Yharnam, Eleum Loyce, Heide, Lothric,...

Their decision to design them like that must have to do with their preference for the gothic style, and themes surrounding deities and so forth.
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