Dedicated to digging into the game's lore. Bring your thinking caps.
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Ultrablood

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#1
(This Discussion is based of my theories of dragons that I have put together from item descriptions, locations, and dialog through NPCs. Before you leave any criticism, please read the whole post as some content ahead reinforces my theories previously stated in the post.)

Ultrablood’s view on Dragons.

The Ancient/Everlasting Dragons
Lets start with the Everlasting Dragons. They were the first beings in the Age of Ancients besides the Primal Beings on which lead to humans and giants. These giant stone dragons appear to look all the same in the opening cinematic besides Seath, but I believe that’s because From Software didn’t have time to actually specifically design each and every dragon to look different. Nevertheless, the Everlasting Dragons present a very important fact, which are there scales, which grant them immortality and cannot die unless there scales are peeled away and are killed. In the end though, they went to war with Gwyn and were eventually wiped out by the trio of Lord Souls. And then there are the Ancient Dragons being Kalameet, the Stone Dragon, and the Gaping Dragon. These dragons are dragons that are descendants of the Everlasting Dragons, and are affected by the aspect of life (such as hunger), and therefore can die, and that’s were we start making conclusions.

Black Dragon Kalameet
“A ring enchanted by the orange eye of Kalameet, the bringer of Calamity.” Description of the Calamity Ring. Now that description alone says a lot, considering Calamity means sudden destruction, and a dragon that’s aspect is destruction must mean he’s powerful, so powerful in fact that not even Anor Londo, the city of the Gods, dared not provoked his ire, meaning that not even the mighty Dragonslayer Ornstein didn’t challenge the great beast. I believe that Kalameet was one of the most powerful Ancient Dragons around, and his power was unmatched by most which is how he survived the war. But how did he escape the slaughtering of his dragon kin in Ash Lake and end up in Oolacile? Well what I think is when the war was raging and the dragons were losing and at the brink of extinction, Kalameet realized that his kind would not win this conflict, and made an effort to save his species and bred with one of the ancient dragons, and hid his eggs within Ash Lake. Then, I believe he demonstrated his power of “Calamity” by breaking through the unformed earth, creating a giant valley or crack in the process, which I later think became the Valley of the Drakes considering that there is no other way in or out of Ash Lake besides through the Giant Archtree. I then think that Kalameet fled to Oolacile in search of a new home considering that Oolacile does have large trees like the giant archtrees in the Age of Ancients and would make a good home for such a dragon, but this is just speculation. Then the Chosen Undead comes into play as he time-travels to Oolacile, and ether slays Kalameet or doesn’t. And even if the Chosen Undead did not slay Kalameet, there are no signs (that I know of) of Kalameet within Darkroot, or within the rest of the game, which I am considering he would have died through other means, maybe by Hawkeye Gough, or simply fled to some unknown land. Thus the end of the Legendary Kalameet.

The Stone Dragon
“This sword, one of the rare dragon weapons, came from the tail of the Stone Dragon of Ash Lake, descendant of the Ancient Dragons.” Description of the Dragon Greatsword. This description presents evidence on my theory one of Kalameet’s children was the Stone Dragon because Kalameet is an Ancient Dragon, but it is possible that any Ancient Dragon could have birthed the Stone Dragon. But then again, what makes an Ancient Dragon? When the Chosen Undead speaks to Hawkeye Gough, he refers that Kalameet is the last surviving Ancient Dragon even though Gough knows that Seath is still alive at that point. I’m guessing that Seath doesn’t count as an Ancient Dragon, but also not an Everlasting Dragon, considering that he does not have Immortal Scales, and therefore is considered to not be an “official” Ancient or Everlasting Dragon. But Gough also does not refer to the Stone Dragon residing in Ash Lake, meaning he most likely does not know about it further supporting my theory that the Ancient Dragon is Kalameet’s (or another Ancient Dragons) offspring sense if the Ancient Dragon was around during the war, it would be dead or Gough would know about it. And considering it’s still alive, it didn’t die from the war sense it probably wasn’t around during that time and was still an egg. But then again, if the Chosen Undead speaks to Domhall of Zena, he says that he has heard of a surviving Ancient Dragon within Ash Lake, and when he uses the term “surviving”, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it survived the war and somehow lived, but merely means that it’s an alive dragon.

The Gaping Dragon
“This axe, one of the rare dragon weapons, is formed by the tail of the Gaping Dragon, a distant descendant of the everlasting dragons.” Description of the Dragon King Greataxe. Now with that, I think that the Gaping Dragon was also offspring of Kalameet (or another Ancient Dragon), but was much like his stone brother/sister and was able to grant the ability of transending life and to become a dragon (which is my theory for the my Drake theory). Then at some point, the Gaping Dragon came tired with his life, and fled Ash Lake and was afflicted by hunger. The Gaping Dragon, sense being afflicted by the aspect of life, grew an "insatiable need" which was hunger, and was mutated by his sense of starvation. His hunger literally consumed him to the point where things like his head and other physical features degenerated severely. Now, rather than eating with his mouth, he uses his whole body to directly consume anything he perceives as food. This was all confirmed from Miyazaki, and basically the Gaping Dragon was so obsessed with his hunger that his body and form adapted to it, and residing in the Sewers he ate rotting carcasses and infested rats also inflicted his grotesque form. And thus is why he is like what he is the abomination today.

The Undead Dragons
“Dragon Scale for reinforcing dragon weapons. Peeled from an Ancient Dragon. A dragon is inseparable from its scales, and the transcendent apostles, who seek the perpetuity of the Ancient Dragons, have crossed the very end of the earth to seek this invaluable treasure.” Description of the Dragon Scale. Now in the game, there are two Undead Dragons, one in the Valley of the Drakes, and one in the Painted World of Ariamas. I believe that the Undead Dragons are actually Ancient Dragons that are long dead, and that there scales are separable because of their decomposing body. I think that the one in the Painted World was placed there to display that the gods did fear the dragons, for they were very formidable foes as described by Hawkeye Gough, and the one in the Valley of the Drakes is one that was trying to escape Ash Lake through the crack with Kalameet, but was most likely shot down by Gwyn’s lightning. Perhaps that specific Undead Dragon was the mother/father of the Stone and Gaping Dragons? Who knows!

Drakes
“Drakes are seen as undeveloped imitators of the dragons, but they are likely their distant kin.” Description of the Drake Sword. Now if we look at the Drakes in the Valley of the Drakes, they seem to have some resemblance to the Gaping Dragon, since they are blue and there chest is somewhat starting to resemble or take shape of the Gaping Dragons, but I am not applying that these are the Gaping Dragons offspring. The Drake Sword says that Drakes are seen as “imitators” of dragons, and I think than rather their actual dragons, they are actually Dragon Apostles that have reached full Dragonhood. You see I think that before the Gaping Dragon mutated, it also granted the ability to train undead to become dragons, hence the resemblance to the Gaping Dragon the Drakes have, and that when they fully became drakes they flew upward out of Ash Lake and into the Valley. I also think Drakes are Dragon Apostles because they drop Dragon Scales, which dragons are inseparable from which applies to the Gaping Dragon, which when killed does not drop Dragon Scales, nor does Kalameet, and we cannot kill the Stone dragon which proves that the Stone Dragon, Kalameet, and the Gaping Dragons are all true dragons. And that also disproves that the Drakes are the Gaping Dragons offspring because if they were, they would not drop Dragon Scales, further strengthening my theory. As for the Hellkite Drake, its bright red color and large size do not resemble any of the dragons we have encountered, which ether means there is some sort of red Ancient Dragon out there in Lordran, or it became a full Drake long ago, and grew with age after a long period of time and most likely outlived its teacher.

Hydras
Now with Hydras, its important to note that both the regular and the Black Hydra both drop Dragon Scales, meaning that they are not real dragons, but certainly drop Dragon Scales meaning that there some type of dragon. There are two Hydras in the game, one being the regular Hydra in Darkroot, and the second being the Black Hydra in Ash Lake. I think the Black Hydra is an old dragon that survived the war by hiding deep underwater, and then submerging in the aftermath, therefore surviving the onslaught. And as for the Hydra in Darkroot, I think it is one of Seath the Scaleless’ failed experiments, considering that Darkroot does have evidence of it being a dumping ground for his experiments, such as the Moonlight Butterfly which was created by Seath, and the Crystal Golems which are also created by Seath and are found in the Dukes Archives. I think that Seath tried to create his own Hydra and knew about Hydras sense he was a dragon as well and likely knew of their existence, but ultimately failed in his duplication and dumped it in Darkroot like the rest of his experiments.

That’s it guys, tell me what you think! Thanks for reading! -Ultrablood
Last edited by Ultrablood on Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Madara

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#2
I was quiet a bit skeptical about this when i first began reading and i feel parts of your argument are grossly inaccurate. But there were parts of this theory that interested me greatly. The first point i want to make is a grammar point because when i'm reading it, it broke the flow of the reading. The word you should be using is "since" instead of "sense" :P Sorry if that seems nitpicky but i just wanted to point it out.

Now to your theories on the Dragon Lore within Lordran. I really think you center way too much around Kalameet and make leaps and bounds to connect the dots even though to me i don't see it adding up.
First i would like to draw your attention to a fundemental difference. Everlasting Dragons and Ancient Dragons are different. Everlasting Dragons are immortal beings that are similar to a force of nature, made of stone and are indifferent to its surroundings. except in one major case. Ancient Dragons are a race of dragons that followed which i think were corrupted by life similar to the Gaping dragon. With the birth of life, some of the dragons transformed or their offspring may have transformed to become beings similar to the ones brought forward by the First Flame. The reason i say this is because you can Kill Kalameet, it is a mortal beast which exhibits traits of life. Thats the primary difference between Kalameet and the Everlasting Dragon of Ash Lake. The ED was in its own habitat, unconcerned by the outside world, around it, nothing had changed and it remained in its state. The only relationship they have is simply based upon their species.

Then you have the gaping dragon, an example of a generation 1 Everlasting Dragon who was corrupted by the life around him. The reason i say this is because it was said in a developers diary that, that is what happened to him. He saw the need for nourishment around him and was corrupted into desiring nourishment.

I like your theory about the Dragon Apostles and i think you have something with that. Considering the proximity to Ash Lake i think you are onto something. Geographically, i think the valley of the drakes is somewhere just above where ash lake is located deep underground but that is just speculation you would have to test that out yourself. Geography could help to prove your case. Its very possible that the red kite dragon is one of the old generation of dragon apostles, keep looking into it! :P

Shkar

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#3
Gaping Dragon isn't actually a first generation everlasting dragon, Madara. He's a descendent. We don't see any first generation everlasting dragons. This is why speculation about the dragons is...difficult, to say the least.
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TSMP

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#4
Your theories rely too much on conjecture. In fact, they seem to rely entirely on conjecture and some very, very cherrypicked data.

Ask yourself this: Are you examining the available evidence and coming to a conclusion based on it, or are you saying "this is something that probably could have happened", and stopping there? Or even hunting for specific evidence based on a conclusion you already decided must be the right one well before actually looking at the evidence, thereby contorting all the data around one idea that it might not necessarily support?

Your idea that Kalameet fathered/mothered the stone dragon in Ash Lake is, of course, a possibility. It's also a possibility that literally any other dragon could have set the stone dragon there. Just because Kalameet is the only proper everlasting dragon we know about doesn't mean he has to be the one who does everything. That's also the main issue with the strangely popular idea that Seath is Priscilla's father and Gwynevere being her mother. People are like "well, he's the only dragon and she's the only person who's even remotely that big!" Except that there were other dragons, and there were other giants/gods/humans/whatever the heck Prissy is. Basically, it is just as possible, if not more so, that the stone dragon was in Ash Lake for reasons entirely unrelated to anything Kalameet may or may not have done. In fact, the stone dragon might have been there since the beginning of the age of fire. They're supposed to be immortal after all, there's no telling how long it would take an everlasting dragon to reach maturity or how slowly they age.

As for the Valley of Drakes... There is a far, far simpler explanation as to where the Valley of Drakes came from, not that we really need an explanation on why a freaking canyon exists: it could very well have been eroded out by a river over countless years. Just because it has "drake" in its name doesn't mean it has to relate to the origins of drakes, and doesn't have to mean that it was made by a dragon or drake. It could just be called that because drakes like hanging out there. Also, the Valley of Drakes does not lead directly to Ash Lake, and in fact leads more directly to three other, completely unrelated areas: Firelink Shrine, Darkroot Garden, and New Londo. It is simply one possible stop on the route to the Great Hollow, and that wouldn't make it any more related to Ash Lake than the Depths or Blighttown are.

As for Kalameet himself... well, my own preference is to exercise a certain amount of caution when thinking about the possible motivations of characters who don't have speaking roles, or whom other characters don't describe beyond "he's big and scary, kill him quickly." Quelaag at least has Eingyi and the daughter of chaos give you a rough idea of what her goals in life were. Kalameet's goals, for all we know, could begin and end at your death. He might not even see the war as being lost, what with him still being alive and terrorizing Anor Londo and all. Whether he was searching for a home, trying to keep his race from being wiped or, or really any idea beyond "killing pedestrians" is unsubstantiated.

The Stone Dragon... Again, just because Kalameet is the only dragon we know about does not necessarily mean that the stone dragon is his offspring. Just because we don't know of any other possibilities doesn't mean that there aren't any other possibilities. There must first be evidence in favor of one option before it can be considered a possibility, and quite frankly "the stone dragon is descended from ancient dragons and Kalameet is an ancient dragon" doesn't exactly lead to "therefore, the stone dragon is descended from Kalameet." You missed a few steps in between those two.

Also, just because Gough doesn't know about the stone dragon does not imply that it didn't exist during the war. It could very well have been sitting in that tree since the dawn of fire, and was lucky enough to avoid being found. As I said before, the stone dragon is supposedly immortal and we do not know how old it currently is.

And even then, there's really no guarantee that Gwyn and co. would necessarily have found every single dragon during their extermination war. I also imagine that an unhatched dragon egg would be much, much easier to kill than a hatched dragon, and if one is to assume that a hatched dragon is guaranteed to be found during the dragon war regardless of how well it is hidden, then an unhatched egg is just as likely to be found regardless of how well it is hidden. They would both be in the same nest, after all. You cannot say that there is no way the stone dragon was alive during the war and then immediately follow that with "oh, he was probably an egg during the war and that's how he wasn't found." That's a tad ridiculous.

The Gaping Dragon... again, it is very risky to assume anything about a character's goals or motivations if that character does not have any spoken lines, or does not have other characters to describe his or her personality in their stead. To wit: what reason do you have to believe that the gaping dragon is also able to teach undeads how to turn into dragons? Do you have evidence to confirm or deny that these rites of the apostles are in fact limited to the stone dragon and the gaping dragon, or is it possible that other dragons would have known about them? Or maybe only the stone dragon knew that trick? And even then, from what information have you determined that the gaping dragon was under any kind of orders to turn undead humans into dragons?

On a slightly unrelated note, why the gaping dragon looks like a giant mouth is explained in the designworks artbook interview:

MIYAZAKI: [...excerpt...] The ancient dragons of the "Dark Souls" world are a bit different from your conventional dragons. They are almost like the very minerals the land in that they are transcendent creatures that existed before life itself graced the world. However, their time has passed and any remaining dragons are merely survivors. I was asked what is happening to the dragons now, and I explained that it is like they have been eaten away by the toxins of life. By this I meant things like the emotions and acts that came along with the lesser creatures. The I mentioned the words "insatiable need" and he replied, "Got it." [...]
[...]
OTSUKA: Was the idea that he is just constantly suffering from a sense of starvation?
NAKAMURA: Pretty much, yes. That's all he thinks about and the obsession literally consumed him to the point where things like his head and other physical features degenerated severely. Now, rather than eating with his mouth, he uses his whole body to directly consume anything he perceives as food. Adopting this form was the only way he could survive. With all of his other abilities similarly dissolved, the Gaping Dragon turned into a specialized creature that only lives to devour. I think his location also contributed to this change, as he lives in a very remote place that is rarely visited by other creatures like humans. As a result, he was forced to survive by eating things like nasty rotten carcasses.

There's more, but I just cut to the stuff that explains the Gaping Dragon's... gaping-ness. Not that that necessarily precludes him from any dragon-making shenanigans, I just added this since you were curious.

Dragon scales... I can't really say I agree with you by any stretch of the imagination on this one. The intro itself says that Gwyn used his lightning to rip off the dragon's scales, and one can imagine that would leave them vulnerable to more conventional weaponry. It is also implied that removing a dragon's scales also strips them of their immortality, since Seath the Scaleless is said to not be immortal because he does not have any scales. So, naturally, it must be possible to remove scales from a living dragon or Gwyn could not have managed it. ... Though that does raise the question of why the Gaping Dragon and Kalameet can die even though the player character doesn't do anything about their hides.

And again, the Valley of Drakes does not connect to Ash Lake, and I can't help but wonder why you keep saying it does.

Drakes... and dragon ribs. Yum yum, delicious. You know that chest thing you're talking about on those drakes? You know who else has them? Seath, the stone dragon, the gaping dragon, and yes, player dragon apostles. But all of Seath, the gaping dragon, and the stone dragon are natural-born dragons, so clearly just because a dragon-like creature does have that visible ribcage does not necessarily mean it was once a dragon apostle. It is more likely just a trait of dragons or draconic creatures themselves, which would be why dragon apostles are sporting one. And the hellkite (giant red) drake is, as described by the undead merchant, an overgrown drake that happens to be red instead of blue. Really, the only dragons/dragon-like-things that don't have a visible ribcage are the undead dragons and Kalameet, so it's more likely that they are the oddballs out than anything else.

Hydras and scales... I'm not entirely sure if a hydra could be considered related to dragons just because they drop dragon scales. I mean, yes, I wouldn't argue at all that hydras are probably some type of dragon, but there are other creatures who drop things that are very much unrelated to what they are. Case in point: basilisks dropping eyes of death. Basilisks could not have anything less to do with Nito, and yet here they are running around and dropping his coveted eyes. Those aren't even their real eyes for crying out loud! And the function of an eye of death has nothing at all to do with a basilisk's abilities! And yet the basilisk does not seem to care, and goes right on dropping eyes of death.

Getting back on track here, it's also entirely possible that Gwyn and friends didn't consider hydras and drakes to be dragon enough to worry about. I mean, come on. That darkroot hydra isn't even trying to hide, and the Valley of Drakes is just crawling with its namesake. It's not like there are any wandering merchants going around saying "oh, I heard there was a surviving hydra somewhere."

... It's rather odd that you say the hydra in darkroot might be one of Seath's experiments. It doesn't remotely resemble any of Seath's other designs. Namely, there is not a hint of crystallization anywhere on it. But then again, the pisacas also do not have crystals. Meh... as with everything else you posted, it's a possibility but there just isn't any (or enough) evidence supporting it.

I do apologize for the ultra-long post. I hope it helps you refine your own theories.

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#5
Shkar wrote:Gaping Dragon isn't actually a first generation everlasting dragon, Madara. He's a descendent. We don't see any first generation everlasting dragons. This is why speculation about the dragons is...difficult, to say the least.
Well i guess the gaping dragon must've been an ancient dragon then? Dragons in dark souls are confusing....i guess thats the reason they are getting more focus in the next game.

Ultrablood

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#6
Thank you Marada for clarifying to me that Ancient Dragons and Everlasting Dragons are actually two different things considering that it never occurred to me that there would be an actual difference between the two. And as for TSMP, you must take into consideration that all of this is speculation, and i merely made guesses based off the little information i could, and if i made it sound as if i'm stating this information as facts I apologize. And you are in term correct that most of this is guesses and conjecture but then again most theories on Dark Souls are sense there usually isn't solid evidence on the topic. Now as for the Gaping Dragon, i did not know that Miyazaki had explained the Gaping Dragon, and i always assumed that it was merely mutated considering it has been found in the Sewer, and sense the Gaping Dragon and Kalameet are affected by life, it would make them Ancient Dragons and not Everlasting Dragons. Thank you both for clarifying the difference!

And I took on my theory of the Gaping Dragon being able to grant the ability to to grant undead the ability to become Dragon Apostles because if the Drakes are indeed Dragon Apostles who have been able to completely turn into dragons, then they would have similarities to the Stone Dragon which is found in the Ash Lake as we have seen from the Chosen Undead using the Dragon Torso Stone. The Drakes which are found in the Valley are blue and do show resemblance to the Gaping Dragon (and yes, mostly all dragons have the rib-like chest on them), but it could be a case with the Hellkite Drake were they were trained by another dragon which was blue, but sense i'm not sure if any dragon could do it i concluded that IF the Gaping Dragon was a relative to the Stone Dragon, than MABEY it could have a the same powers as its kin. Again this is just speculation.

And I do agree that ANY other dragon could have birthed the two dragons, and its possible that the Valley could just be a sweet hangout spot were the drakes could get there freak on, its just i'm trying to explain how and why the Drakes are there, and what the drakes are. But I still stand by my theory that the Drakes might be Dragon Apostles, and that the Valley is connected to Ash Lake and thats how they got there (unless there is evidence otherwise against it, then please share it and thank you :) ).

And the Dragon Scales do say that yes, they are inseparable from the Ancient Dragons and yes, Gwyn was able to peel away there scales but only through his tremendous power which does contradict itself. But in the case of the drakes it doesn't require Gwyn's incredible power to peel there scales but merely a sword/spell/hammer ect... And even if you were to use the Sunlight Spear miracle on Kalameet or the Gaping Dragon, it probably would not drop any scales considering it took the faith power of the Lord of Sunlight to peel them, and the Chosen Undead is nowhere near the power of Gwyn in his prime, so it would make sense why we cant get them to drop scales without great effort, but the rule still stands as them being ALMOST impossible to peel. So i stand by the evidence of the Dragon Scales supporting my Drake/Dragon Apostle theory sense the Drakes drop Dragon Scales with little effort, while it would take tremendous power to peel them from the Gaping/Kalameet, which we cannot do.

Kalameet's goals are again, speculation, and i am merely making a guess as to why he would leave, and its possible that any amount of other things could have caused him to go to Oolacile, from him fleeing the war, or liking the scenery. And as for the Stone Dragon, I just think its more likely it had been born after the end of The Age of Ancients, but considering we don't know the growth or age of the dragons, it is rather hard to say. Its possible that the Stone Dragon could have hid away during the war and survived, and i do know that sense Hawkeye Gough doesn't know about the Stone Dragon doesn't mean it was born after, but its just more likely that it just wasn't around during that time.

I think thats everything, please remind me if I missed something. Thank you TSMP and Marada for helping me understand more on Dragons! I will immediately revise this post to fix the difference between Ancient and Everlasting Dragons and some of the grammer.

Ultrablood

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#8
I have edited the text and fixed some confusion. Thank you for reading my friends. -Ultrablood

Shkar

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#9
TSMP wrote:I've never heard of this "Ancient Dragons and Everlasting Dragons are two different things" bit. I've certainly not seen it referenced in the game. :-/


Some theories just seem to crop up out of nowhere and become common consensus. I have heard many people claim that the Gods fled to Carim when they left Anor Londo, but have no clue what, if any, evidence supports that. I think this may be one of those things.

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#10
Shkar wrote:
TSMP wrote:I've never heard of this "Ancient Dragons and Everlasting Dragons are two different things" bit. I've certainly not seen it referenced in the game. :-/


Some theories just seem to crop up out of nowhere and become common consensus. I have heard many people claim that the Gods fled to Carim when they left Anor Londo, but have no clue what, if any, evidence supports that. I think this may be one of those things.
Its exactly like that to be honest. People consider them separate simply because you can't kill the ED but you can kill Kalameet. The ED's didn't have life so to speak while Kalameet does. So when the term Ancient dragon popped up in the game, it was assumed to be different from the ED's.
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