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I remember in the introduction to this boss, some parts were supposedly intended to be part of him, such as a tail. Why would he not have a tail like his mother? Was the stuff that ripped off of him as he crawled out of his mother actually a part of him? Also, is it just as possible the that what he is holding isn't a placenta but rather a yolk sack? If he bites into it, wouldn't it make a bit more sense for it to be that, too?
The "parts" fallling off of him are actually just numerous sea creatures, if you look closely. It doesn't look like these were ever supposed to be part of the Orphan, but more like they could have been ingested by Kos, or maybe it's hinting that Kos is the creator of all primordial life.
This is the weakest, most inaccurate theory I've ever read.



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Now that we know Miyazaki is preparing a soul-game about aztec mythology, I would rather believe that this theory is a very interesting one.
Then please enlighten us with your knowledge, oh all-knowing great one.
I got a strong sense that the Orphan was actually Mergo incarnate. Mergo is never seen, and is inferred to be a "formless" Great One, existing only in voice, similarly to Oedon (potentially Mergo's father). The Orphan's likeness to the Pthumerians (pale skin, blackened eyes) suggests a possible relation to Yharnam. Better yet, after defeating the Orphan, the wraith-like figure appears, and similarly to the fight against Mergo's Wet Nurse (a "bloodless" Great One), the "Nightmare Slain" banner appears only after the "Prey Slaughtered" that appears post-combat. I'm guessing that the Wraith is Mergo's true "form," as a "formless" Great One.

My guess is that the Byrgenwerth scholars (probably led by a pre-detractor Laurence, hence the comment, "blood-crazed fiends"), found a way to incorporate Mergo into Kos as a surrogate mother, which incidentally resulted in her death. Perhaps this is symbolic of Kos's need for obscurity to survive--a living mystery, whose existence relies on the absence of understanding in her followers--a theme perpetuated in numerous religions (the wonder of God's design). Upon returning to the sea, an impregnable "bulwark," the Shaman narrates that the child has returned to "a bottomless curse, accepting of all that there is and can be." I assume this means that the sea represents the unknown, a place that is potentially without limits, a place where Mother Kos once thrived. (By removing a fish from its alien habitat, it is effectively destroyed upon capture.)

The elements surrounding this encounter also provide some insight into the lore of the Orphan. Throughout the hamlet, phantasms are used as candle wax (and probably bombs), the golden color of the flame appearing similar to the light cast off by dropped items. While this doesn't seem incredibly important at first, its important to notice that dropped items are fueled by a person's rate of Discovery. What's more, the phantasms throughout the hamlet all appear to be dead or in stasis, as if their knowledge--their potential--is burning away. (Brain Fluid #3 description states that our latent potential and its subsequent loss is the "very nature of insight.")

Electricity also bears symbolic weight here, besides even the lightning cast by the Orphan and its Mother. Numerous players have noticed that Bolt ATK does very little throughout the Hamlet, despite the creature's similarity to the Kin throughout Yharnam. In fact, if a snail woman is struck by a weapon with 100% Bolt ATK (0 Phys ATK, 0 Thrust, 0 Blunt, etc.), they will take absolutely no damage. Following whatever the hell I'm going on about, lightning might represent ignorance/obscurity, in contrast to fire representing discovery/knowledge. Even outside the Hamlet, this rings true: Darkbeasts generate electricity, and are the polar opposite of the Kin, preferring to revel in their ignorance and fear than attempt to climb the ladder into Heaven (easier to fall to Hell).

Long story short, the Orphan is the result of research into the unknown, and the calamity that befell the world after attempting to become God.


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Isn't the formless Great One Oedon??
@ HuntingUnkindled, yes, Oedon is referred to as the formless Great One, though looking back, one can find evidence of other formless/incorporeal Great Ones like him--Mergo's Wet Nurse, Mergo, the wraith-thing attached to Kos... It implies some sort of relationship between each of them.
i also find it intersting to reflect on what could link the orphan and Ebrietas, both of them are somewhat left behind, also as ebrietas is at the center of the beliefs of the church and we know that it was byrgenwerth , and possibly gehrman and his pupils sin to kill Kos and take the orphan from her and that it mus have happened near the time where Laurence, Caryll and Gehrman departed from byrgenwerth i can't help but feel like there is a deeper link here
(OP) My understanding now is that Ebrietas is actually the result of an experiment hybridizing a human host (who I assume to be Saint Adeline, the only "favorable" subject from the Research Hall) and a Kos Parasite, which produced the visage of a Great One. I used to think she was one of the only "true" Great Ones in the game, but then it came to my attention that "Kin" enemies are typified as such because they actually used to be human, or that they are human, just vastly enlightened beyond cognitive capability. Ebrietas, though a Great One, is specifically a Kin enemy, unlike Moon Presence, the Orphan of Kos, or Amygdala, but similarly to Rom, another creature that we can likely confirm to have once been human. Ebrietas is the Healing Church's attempt to reconvene with Kos after Lady Maria absconded the secrets and tried to destroy their research, and after Laurence's fall from grace. This could be why Ebrietas seems to be mourning at the Altar of Despair, and why she is described as the "abandoned Great One." All things considered, a parasite within a host is not much different from a fetus gestating within its mother, so Kos likely was something of a mother for the Parasite and Ebrietas.
I thought... well, maybe this makes me seem *****ed in the head, but I thought the Orphan looked like an old man because it was hiding in its mother's carcass for a really, really long time, like way longer than an infant should be in the womb...
You could be right about that. The muttering fishkin fellow at the beginning of the Fishing Hamlet says, “mercy for the poor, wizened child.” Wizened means “wrinkled.”
I always thought the sun looked like the damaged eye of a blood-drunk hunter. Hence having to use one to get there, as well as it being a sort of purgatory for them.
It looks as though the weapon Orphan of kos is using is a fishing hook embedded in placenta, with the line spiraling around its arm. It would make sense considering the ability Orphan of Kos has to lash it around as if a ball and chain. Considering Kos has presumabaly been killed by whalers, or at the very least fishermen to be sure, it'd be logical to assume that at some point they hooked Kos, either to bring her back ashore, or it may be that it's precisely the way they found her. Given the grim reality of bloodborne's world and lore, I can easily see how the developpers would adopt the idea of Orphan using one of the tools that killed its mother; tragedy incarnate, as if the whole history behind the village wasn't grim enough. Pushing things further, one could even surmise that the hook somehow lodged itself near, or directly in Kos's womb, as it's clogged with a placenta like structure and tangled around Orphan's arm.
Just wanted to share this opinion, because interestingly enough, I didn't see any lore guide make the possible connection that it really looked like a fishing hook.
I kind of thought it looked like a sea shell, maybe like an ear shell, especially with those pearl-shaped blobs all over it. Look up pictures of "mussel pearls," and you'll see what I mean. There's actually a lot of shell imagery in Bloodborne, especially around Cainhurst, and the trim of Queen Yharnam's dress fans out to look just like a clam shell.
Gherman impregnated Kos, who then gave birth to the Hunters Nightmare/Orphan. But the nightmare is taking place in Gerhmans head, which is why when you slay the black spirit that comes out of Kos (Ghermans soul??) the ritual is broken and the big eye in the sky goes away - to symbolize it's no longer in his head. Maybe??

And then Gherman (in the real world) hunted down another old one - the Moon Presence - because he blew it with Kos. I guess him and MP got along better?
The orphan is a she if she has a placenta
Thats not true. The placenta is something every child has in a womb without it it could not during pregnancy.
how can a male preserve his placenta? if you look at the orphan you can see her umbilical cord directly attached to the placenta comes from inside! is a she...
my bad i misunderstood, it could be male or female sorry
the placenta is formed inside a woman's womb and it provides nutrition to the developing baby. it isnt often seen, but sometimes during childbirth, the placenta may be pushed out w/ the child. whether or not The Orphan has the placenta as a weapon doesnt determine its gender at all since both genders r attached to the placenta during their development in the womb
sweet child of Kosm returned to The ocean. A bottmless curse a bottmless sea. of all that there's and can be