Right, let’s do this. In this first installment I will look at the evidence to support the claim that Heide’s Tower of Flaim is/isn’t Anor Londo. I’m not going to look at the entirety of Drangleic for evidence, I’m just gonna focus on Heide’s for this first part.
When I first arrived at Heide’s Tower of Flaim, I was instantly reminded of Anor Londo. The spiked roofs, the archways; the architecture is eerily similar to Anor Londo. The two pictures below are decent references, but it’s a lot clearer in-game (I wasn’t able to get any better screenshots).
Heide’s Tower of Flame (more specifically, the Cathedral of Blue)
Is it just me or do they look really similar – also take note of the circular window(?) above the door for both cathedrals. The spikded turrets and rafters had me convinced that Heide’s had some sort of connection to Anor Londo. However, the building are clearly different, plus the blue roof tiles are nowhere to be seen in Anor Londo. Maybe it’s a different part of the city? That’s a possibility but to me that doesn’t make sense because where is the cathedral where Gywnevere was and there is no sign of the Tower of Flame in Anor Londo. Also, if we’re going to talk about architecture, Drangleic Castle also has those spiked turrets, arched doorways and similar rafters as Heide’s and Anor Londo. Drangleic Castle is clearly different, but there is still a hint of similar-ism between the three. Dragon Shrine could also be included in that list. So they’re all rather similar in design, but that doesn’t necessarily point to Drangleic being Lordran.
The next – and rather vital point – is the knights in both Anor Londo and Heide’s are too, rather similar. Because we know that DS2 is set after the events of DS1 by some margin, it does make sense for the Heide “Old Knights” to be rusted versions of the Giant Sentinels of Anor Londo. However, it is never mentioned if the Old Knights are giants.
Anor Londo Giant Knight
Heide Old Knight
There is a clear difference in looks, in terms of armour (the helmet is the giveaway) and the weapons they wield are completely different (Giant knights used Greatshields and Halberds while the Old Knights use greatswords, hammers and a sword and circular shield). Just because they’re the same size does not necessarily prove that they are alike. There are also statues of the Old Knights in Drangleic Castle, which I would guess was not in existence at the time of DS1. If they’re are statues of the Old Knights in Vendrick’s own castle, then I presume they’re Vendrick’s knights, not Gwyn’s. At this rate it looks as if that Heide’s Tower of Flame is not Anor Londo. However, there’s still some light to shine.
Ornstein is a boss in the Cathedral of Blue. There are a ton of theories why he’s there. The Ornstein in DS1 was an illusion (a theory I believe) and the one in DS2 is the real Ornstein, Ornstein was corrupted by the Dark (that would explain the dark magic and the dark tint) or that Gwynevere traveled to Drangleic with Ornstein in tow after Gwyn linked the flame – which was revealed in an item description which I sadly cannot remember. Nonetheless it’s Ornstein from DS1. One theory I heard was that Ornstein traveled to Drangleic because Vendrick waged war on Gwyn (the war with the Giants, the Giants were Gwyn’s people). However, I don’t believe that one. Why is Ornstein in the same area as the Dragonrider (Vendrick’s elite guard) and the Old Knights which I have also presumed to be aligned with Vendrick. Did Ornstein defect to Vendrick or is he being captured there? It’s impossible to say. Also, in the room where you fight Ornstein are two statues which wield swords that resembles Gwyn’s sword, however I cannot explain the bird heads on them. I have only one theory for the reason why Ornstein is there, and it’s a crazy one: Dark Souls II is set in a parallel universe to Dark Souls I.
There are many parallels to the first game, yes, but that’s how FromSoftware do things. Ornstein though is different. Maybe the reason he has dark magic is because he is an “opposite” of himself. This theory does seem crazy but I feel I can “back it up”. In the opening intro the main character travels to a set of ruins. When the fires light up the reflection in the water of the ruin is well… not a ruin. The structure seems intact in the reflection. Then the main character dives into the whirlpool that leads to Things Betwixt which is described as being a “limbo”. It could be possible that Things Betwixt is a sort of conduit between two worlds. This could explain why none of the names of other kingdoms, characters, places and deities mentioned in DS1 ever come up. They don’t exist by the names they went by in DS1’s world. This is a long shot, I understand, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense.
Here’s a little task for you: in the mansion in Majula with the map; go down into the cave where the skeleton was. In one of the corners of the room is something… what does it remind you of? I’ll talk more about that next time, but for now I’m going to leave this for now.
Got anything to say? Any other theories or things you want to point out that I missed? Please do comment as I love discussing about this sorta stuff.