I’ve said it many times to a sceptical office: the Destiny universe, actually, has really cool lore. One question that has been nagging at the community ever since the famous peddler Xur appeared, with his epithet 'Agent of The Nine', is naturally: who are The Nine? It seems we may now have an answer.
Warning: don't read this article if you'd rather figure out who the Nine are for yourself.
What does their agent sell? Check out our Destiny 2 Exotic weapons guide.
There’s a Grimoire Card in the original Destiny that presents a number of competing theories on the identity of the Nine (much like this one about The Darkness, in fact). Here are those theories, some of which are surely red herrings:
- The Nine are survivors of the cis-Jovian colonies who made a compact with an alien force to ensure their own survival.
- The Nine are deep-orbit warminds who weathered the Collapse in hardened stealth platforms.
- The Nine are ancient leviathan intelligences from the seas of Europa or the hydrocarbon pits of Titan.
- The Nine arrived in a mysterious transmission from the direction of the Corona-Borealis supercluster.
- The Nine are the firstborn Awoken and their minds now race down the field lines of the Jupiter-Io flux tube.
- The Nine are Ghosts who pierced the Deep Black without a ship and meditated on the hissing silence of the heliopause.
- The Nine are the aspects of the Darkness, broken by the Traveler's rebuke, working to destroy us from within.
- The Nine is a viral language of pure meaning.
- The Nine are the shadows left by the annihilation of a transcendent shape, burned into the weft of what is.
These theories provide crucial context to the lore of the gear that drops from Destiny 2's new Trials of the Nine game mode. Fans have been poring over the details on the Destiny subreddit, and the OP of this thread is pretty sure they've worked out - conclusively - what The Nine are.
The Sudden Death shotgun says "you spoke with the deep-orbit minds," which suggests they are not those same minds, ruling out one of the theories in the Grimoire Card. The flavour text on the Adjudicator SMG reads:
"You sought us out in the deep black.
meditation wasn't enough for you
GO AND TOUCH THE HISSING SILENCE..."
But the biggest hints come from the Long Walk sniper rifle, which is a transcribed conversation between a character named Orin - likely a Guardian - and nine characters designated with the letter 'G'. Orin says "they said you all went to the deep without a ship." G-7 replies: "our charges are gone, but we're still creatures of Light. No different from the one you carry in your pocket."
Putting it all together, it seems that The Nine are Ghosts without Guardians, who traveled into deep space without ships. Orin says she needs "to know what you found out there," to which G-9, the most reclusive and taciturn in the conversation thus far, replies "nothing."
That's probably a lie, as anyone who's completed Destiny 2's campaign would know. But that's a different article. Check out echof0xtrot's post and the ensuing thread for more on this theory.