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FextraBot

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Why does this info not have a massive RAMPANT SPECULATION tag? Regardless, the Dark Souls 2 endings reference is incorrect - the base game offered only one ending, Claiming the Throne. Aldia offer a second ending, there is no third.
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Rakuyo

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I think you misunderstood. I believe like many that after assuming the throne in DS2 there is still some choice between fire and dark. Aldia continues to emphasize the existence of a choice between fire and dark, in DS2. My choice of words was "third option", I make no mention of a third ending.
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Interesting read, thank you for putting this together.

I had some additional thoughts while I was reading, pertaining in particular to the importance of triangles. Specifically, the upright triangle such as the one associated with the Radiance rune is an old Pagan symbol signifying male — the upright triangle representing your basic phallic symbol. Conversely, the symbol for female is the inverted triangle, which is like a container — specifically, a womb. This is interesting when you consider the (intended) role of Annalise and of the Executioners.

While we're in the neighbourhood of Annalise and Cainhurst, another thing I might direct you to is the tvtropes page for Bloodborne, namely the Lost in Translation entry. Firstly it mentions that the Vilebloods are not referred to as such in the original Japanese — they are simply referred to as Cainhurst bretheren, but the idea that they have 'impure' blood is still there, which is presumably why the English translation went for such a pejorative term as 'vileblood'. Also there was an important, very central concept that was lost in translation, as it is a single-word concept in Japanese: kegare. This is a shinto concept that refers to spiritual impurity, filth or corruption that arises from natural things, such as bloodshed, menstruation and... wait for it... childbirth. Essentially, it seems that the 'Vilebloods' are a family whose blood is steeped in kegare. I think it says something as well about the nature and ideology of the Executioners (I hope I'm not the only one who looks at their signature ardeo and is reminded of both the Ku Klux Klan and, from the Silent Hill, the butcher Pyramid Head's attire). Also, given Arianna's apparent connection to Cainhurst and the flavour text for Arianna's blood (mentioning something old and forbidden) and that Arianna births a... thing if she survives to the Blood Moon phase, well...

Keep up the speculation. It's very interesting!
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Interesting. I've found the Upright triangle to be an alchemical symbol for fire. The reversed triangle is water. I've read through some translations myself and there are plenty of references to "defilement" and synonyms for "vile". I don't put a great weight of importance on either "Vilebloods" or "Cainhurst Brethren" their connection to corruption is quite well established. "corruption from menstruating, delivering children". That's an interesting tip, ty!
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trebol

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Tarot VIII the strenght is a references to Laurence. The tarot have two meaning: a positive and a negative. The positive meaning show the power of the mind over the brutal force, determination to reach the goal of the work i'm doing, ambition --> all of this is a references of Laurence after he becoming the fire cleric beast (fire is related to the tarot of the strenght). The negative meaning show the excess, the abuse of power, loosing control and use of brutal force and instinct --> related to the abuse of blood and transformation of Laurence in a beast, loosing control because an "Evolution without courage will be the ruin of our race." (From lore notes)

trebol

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Reversal card --> negative meaning
Right sense of the card --> positive meaning
What about Gherman being Justice? Given his similar throned appearance and role as the one who passes judgement on the player character in the end.

Othe thoughts:

What about "A Call Beyond" for The Star? (The projectile fired is referred to as a star.) Or perhaps even more so, the hunter in Bergynwerth who uses it. Bearing in mind that she is found right outside of a large sea and that the centipede creatures there use it too.

My best guess for The Strength is Father Gascoigne as he seems to be finishing off a beast in battle when his fight begins, but then loses his own fight with his inner beast during the course of battle and take on a lion like appearance while you as the player character fight him.

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Rakuyo

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I'm looking for possibilities that are better than anyone's guess.
I could claim the Emissary is Star, but does that fit better than Ebrietas/Moon Presence/Kos/One Reborn/...
No it doesn't.

My best guess for Strength is Annalise, but this is based on a theory that needs a lot of work to prove.
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Gherman is clearly a symbol of change. He is the first hunter, the "creator" of the hunt. He created the Hunter's Dream, a place where you awake after death that looks very much like a graveyard, and he also offers you a chance of leaving the endless nightmare through death, that is, a renewal; He changes from an old, broken man into a mighty guy wielding a scythe. Upon his defeat, the Moon Presence switches the "host of the dream" from him to the player's character. And there's also the stuff mentioned there, the scythe, the graves and everything. He is accompanied by the doll that is a symbol of the death card, so he is clearly a candidate to be connected to it.
The Other Characters Surrounding The Wheel of Fortune: They're also the 4 Apostles, Matthew (Winged man), Mark (Lion), Luke(Ox) and John (Eagle).
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Yes, people with different religious backgrounds interpreted these characters differently.
The divination part of Tarot is inherently pagan, so people in the middle ages came up with all kinds of excuses and stories regarding what the cards where really about, like The Wheel of Fortune representing the apostles etc.
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I think The Fool is supposed to be Ludwig. On the card, the man is shown as oblivious to the dog behind him, which could symbolize how Ludwig lost sight of hunting beasts and instead became obsessed with the Holy Moonlight Sword.

The Sun is meant to be Mergo. The Yharnam Sunrise takes place after everything with Mergo is resolved, and another possible link is that Mergo could be called "The Son" of Queen Yharnam.

Death is definitely Gehrman. He represents a lot of change; he's the one who changed all of Bloodborne as we know it by starting the Hunters, and he's also the focal point is deciding whether the hunt continues or not, whether the nightmare continues or not, etc.
Wait, so was this never updated since the release of the Old Hunters? Because I would definitely move some of this stuff around... If I had a say in this, I'd probably place them as such:

- 0 / Fool: Gascoigne. The penultimate Hunter, embarking upon yet another journey, unaware of his fate, be it misfortune or no. The dog could even represent Henryk, or perhaps his own beastly nature encroaching. The Fool is careless, lost in thought, similarly to how Gascoigne has forgotten even his own family and his duty.

- 1 / Magician: Messengers. Supporters of the hunters, providing innumerable services of various types on their journey, be they merchants, gatekeepers, or even miscreants. They assist in the fortification of each the body and soul.

- 2 / High Priestess: Amelia, as usual. Amelia is a protector of "divine law," and blindly defends the grand mysteries from the trespassers. Her own ignorance is reflected in her beastly transformation, and her obstructed eyes, and is deeply connected to lunar influence.

- 3 / Empress: Lady Maria. She is seated atop a garden of prodigious lumenwood flowers, being the caretaker of the tortured souls whose corpses fertilize their soil. Though she is esoteric, she provides life and hope for the lost.

- 4 / Emperor: Gehrman. Though also associated with Death, Gehrman represents the zenith of the hunters, as well as the immovable lid sealing wisdom, or perhaps painful truths. His wheelchair acts as his throne, from which he likely need never rise. Yet his victory is not a happy one, and leaves him impotent, and the land he observes is a barren wasteland.

- 5 / Hierophant: Micolash. The Hierophant is an elusive keeper of secrets, bridging the physical and the spiritual realms. His purpose is to protect divine knowledge from the unworthy, much like the High Priestess.

- 6 / The Lover: Moon Presence. The Moon Presence looms over humankind (literally over Gehrman and the Plain Doll, the lost will of Maria), fueling its every motive. As for what kind of "love" is represented, the Moon Presence can be perceived as each a parent, spouse, and child. (Note: the older versions of the card "The Lovers" was titled in the singular and depicted three individuals and a cherub, unlike in modern sets, which depicts only two humans.)

- 7 / The Chariot: Ludwig. Once a noble knight of the Healing Church, Ludwig is guided by his faith, his "celestial influences." One half of his being is tied to the physical or the carnal (beast), while the other looks to the stars in resplendent wonder (kin). Despite this, he stands his ground, trusting in the balance sustained by his inner turmoil. "I never wanted to know what it was... Really, I didn't..."

- 8 / Strength: Djura. Despite the horror of the hunt, Djura rises above fear to tame the unguided, and to protect the unwanted. He resists the lull of the nightmare and of the eldritch Truth, becoming an anchor for the disparaged victims of Old Yharnam's beastly plague. This card could also be applicable to Eileen, another former hunter that resisted the curse.

- 9 / Hermit: Master Willem. Not a surprise, but Willem perfectly encapsulates the card of the Hermit. I don't imagine I have to go into detail.

- 10 / Wheel of Fortune: Astral Clocktower. Like the Wheel of Fortune, the Astral Clocktower is decorated with numerous symbols in lieu of all aspects of life, merits and demerits. It represents constant change, and yet the simultaneous lack thereof.

- 11 / Justice: Martyr Logarious. Typically saved for the Emperor, Logarius applies more fitfully to the ambitious, yet ignorant nature of Justice. "Good decisions are not always wise, and evil decisions are not always foolish, but nonetheless, we will strive to do good."

- 12 / Hanged Man: The Hunter. Duh.

- 13 / Death: Mergo's Wet Nurse. Though definitely applicable to Gehrman, one could easily match the Wet Nurse to Death. Being a Wet Nurse, she already denotes a change in nature, having taken Mergo from their true mother. The Wet Nurse knells for transformation, even transcendence, but whether this change is beneficial is unknown.

- 14 / Temperence: Plain Doll. By some bizarre nature, the Doll is capable of transforming the echoes of blood into strength, taking the incorporeal and transferring it into something tangible. (She may even be nourishing the Moon Presence with these echoes.)

- 15 / Devil: Laurence. He is perched upon a cold slab, only half-knowledgeable to the grand wisdom of the cosmos. His body burns with a frustrated hatred of the beastly nature inherent to himself and others. Perhaps the chained imps represent Simon and Brador, the two tortured entities trapped within the Nightmare with him. Though he is close to enlightenment, his demand for tangible proof leaves him hopeless.

- 16 / Tower: Kos. This interpretation is based specifically on the Orphan of Kos boss fight. The arena in which we battle the Orphan is situated directly below a disheveled "lighthouse" (drawing a parallel to the golden crown topping the Tower). When the Orphan cries out, a terrific blast of lightning strikes the carcass of Kos, rippling across the coast in a ceaseless wave. The Tower represents spiritual reversal or overthrow, lining up perfectly with the discovery of Kos in the Fishing Hamlet. Though it was the truth they sought, it wasn't at all what the scholars expected, and eventually resulted in the state of Yharnam as we know it.

- 17 / Star: Ebrietas. Just below the elevator to the Altar of Despair is a statue of a headless, angelic woman pouring an unknown liquid from a vase. A similar image is shown in the card itself. Ebrietas, of course, is also heavily tied to the cosmos and to starlight. She can be interpreted as nourishment for the dream, fueling the current research of the Choir toward rediscovery of greatness. Her very existence prompts the Healing Church's obsessive experimentation.

- 18 / Moon: Queen Yharnam. Appearing somewhat morose, her seductive blood attracts the beastly instinct of mankind, as well as the mind that wishes to validate these obsessions--Oedon. It is not her own fault that her blood incited the scourge, but she is nevertheless the mother of a nightmare. The crustacean form emerging from the depths of the subconscious could even be alluding to Rom.

- 19 / Sun: Orphan of Kos. The child rides naked atop the white horse, a red banner in his right hand, a golden sun and field of sunflowers behind him... In almost an exact parallel, the Orphan is born from the white carcass of Kos, and in his right hand, he carries the ruddy remains of what one can only imagine is the organ that attached him to his dead mother. Behind him, a golden moon casts its ghostly luminescence on a world now won. Both the card and the Orphan represent the final achievement of grand knowledge.

- 20 / Judgement: The One Reborn. Like the trumpet of Metatron, the dead are returned by the call of the chime maidens' sinister bells. This also ties in with the unification of the soul, the communion of the devout into an exclusive paradise. By grace of the gods, the damned are granted a chance for salvation.

- 21 / The World: Mergo. Byrgenwerth, the Healing Church, the Hunters, and the Great Ones... All eyes are fixed on the formless Mergo, drawn to his wailing cry. Whether driven by love, malice, or plain curiosity, Mergo acts as the eye of the churning storm over Yharnam. Like his mother, this choice is not his own. He is the ultimate truth of existence, the final seal protecting the eldritch Truth.

...Whoops, didn't mean to go that full-on. I don't want to say my interpretation is definitive or anything, it's just fun to compare and contrast, and it kind of helps to formulate an understanding of what each character represents. I feel bad that some characters are missing, but then again, there are only 21 Major Arcana, so there's no way we could fit them all in a deck. I do like your interpretations of Strength, though. There are some other good ideas in previous comments--none that are necessarily bad, in fact.
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Opinions differ.

For what it's worth, all information was assembled and interpreted after I acquired The Old Hunters DLC.
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nightmareofcrentist

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If this tarot theory holds, does that mean Bloodborne is one big JoJo reference?