Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What's Really Going On In Bloodborne - Rom

Rich Stanton of Kotaku wrote a very extensive interpretation of the narrative of Bloodborne that you can find here. The following is an excerpt from the article in which Rich presents his interpretation of Rom, the Vacuous Spider, and I highly recommend reading the original article in it's entirety. All content presented is the work of Rich Stanton and Kotaku, with only minor formatting changes made.


Rom is the great secret of Byrgenwerth. The Lunarium key tells us that “In the end, it is said, [Master Willem] left his secret with the lake.” Willem's wizened and mute form still bears life, of a kind, but can only point us towards the lake – and if you choose to jump in, you will find Rom.

It is worth noting that Willem as seen in the game has some sort of growths on his neck, similar to those seen on the Kin in the Orphanage, which suggest he either took his experiments too far or someone got to him. Given he is guarded by what looks like a Choir-affiliated hunter, perhaps the latter.

A note within the college tells us that “the spider hides all manner of rituals, certain to share nothing, for true enlightenment need not be shared.” Rom is known as the Vacuous Rom because, though the Great Ones granted him 'eyes,' the being he has become is essentially mindless. He transcended to become a Great One of a kind, but his purpose – which may have been Willem's last-gasp effort to avert catastrophe – seems to be to occlude the blood moon and hide the Great One's child Mergo. After killing Rom, who is not hostile before being attacked, night descends on Yharnam, the moon comes much closer, and Queen Yharnam appears.

There is a compelling case to be made that Rom was one of the good guys, and in his way the last barrier between the human world and the drive towards creating a surrogate for the Great Ones. It is also notable that later in the game when we find Ebrietas, she is mourning a spider's corpse that looks awfully like Rom. The scale is different, sure, but in Bloodborne's world of parallel dimensions, dreams and nightmares (as well as magic lakes) that doesn't seem like a deal-breaker.

The Caryll rune Stunning Deep Sea also implies that Rom's lake was a guardian of some kind, keeping either the Great Ones or their would-be servants numb to the truth. But we kill him before realising any of this. Oops!

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