Bungie Writer Makes Destiny 2's Queer Romance Official

Illustration for article titled Bungie Writer Makes Destiny 2's Queer Romance Official
Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku

One of Destiny 2’s writers took to Twitter over the weekend to dispel some players’ confusion and confirm that two of the game’s biggest characters are, in fact, gay and in love.

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The romantic relationship between Osiris, the exiled Warlock, and Saint-14, the boisterous Exo Titan, has been subtext in Destiny 2 for some time. But in discussions on Reddit, the game’s forums, and elsewhere, there are players who misinterpret their relationship as a heterosexual bromance.

On Saturday, developer Robert Brookes wrote a Twitter thread clearing things up. “Back when I joined Bungie I always felt Saint-14 and Osiris were romantically involved because, as a queer man, their romance made sense to me,” he wrote. “I learned my interpretation was in fact correct when I became a narrative designer for the company and I was overjoyed.”

He continued:

I’ve been writing Saint and Osiris as gay since I started working at Bungie, because that’s who they were before. They are private and nuanced characters. There was never a space in which to unequivocally state their identities. But nuance is lost in an age of queerbaiting.

When I saw how much the community was unclear on something as obvious as “is Zavala an Awoken” I realized I should probably just say something. Because it’s not a secret, it’s not a point of speculation, and it’s not some puzzle designed to be solved by the community. It’s them.

So yes, Saint and Osiris are gay. Always have been.

Some players’ confusion about the characters’ relationship apparently persisted even after a giant lore drop earlier this month titled “Immolant Pt. 1,” which set the stage for the current season in which Osiris goes off to confront a new Hive threat. The scene ends with Saint-14 calling Osiris his “fiery bird,” and Osiris promising to send him letters while he’s away on his latest mission. “Osiris fails to contain a chuckle. Saint embraces him,” Bungie wrote. “His mind is starside, but Osiris still feels himself relax. Someday, this will be enough.”

In explaining his desire to make the two characters’ romance official, Brookes discussed the importance of representation in media and society. “It helps you identify with yourself, understand yourself, and feel seen,” he wrote on Twitter. “This is especially powerful for groups of people who still face marginalization and persecution for the way they’re born.”

Queerbaiting, where gay relationships are hinted at in stories but never fully realized, also played a role in his decision. “Queerbaiting exists, it’s not kind, and it has no place in a queer-friendly community or within spaces that promote LGBT rights,” Brookes wrote. “There’s a place and time for nuance and that isn’t it, because to do so is actively damaging to a marginalized community.”

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Following the Twitter thread, there have been renewed calls by the community for Osiris and Saint-14 to finally reunite in the Tower. While Saint-14, the Trials of Osiris vendor, is currently tending shop over in the hangar, Osiris, who only recently returned at the start of Season of the Hunt, is busy doing a whole lot of nothing over in the Bazaar. 

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com

DISCUSSION

stanley-kirk
Stanley Kirk Burrell

People ship destiny characters? I mean, of course they do, but man, I can think of few games with characters as consistently asexual as this one. I kind of just assumed space zombies don’t fuck.