Bloodborne’s Most Important God Is Completely Overlooked

Bloodborne’s lore is filled with mysterious gods. Of all of them, Oedon is the most overlooked, and yet easily the most important deity.

FromSoftware’s game worlds are famous for the sheer abundance of lore-relevant secrets hidden within them. In this regard, Bloodborne is no exception, as it spins a tale of Lovecraftian gods with dark knowledge seemingly incomprehensible to the sane mind. In fact, one of the game’s most important Lovecraftian deities doesn’t even make an appearance, though his influence can be felt everywhere.

Until the player defeats the first required boss, Father Gascoigne, Bloodborne’s story is less of a Lovecraftian nightmare and more of a Dracula-esque ordeal. Instead of otherworldly gods from the stars and beyond, the player is fighting werewolves, giant pigs, and blood-drunk citizens of Yharnam. Gascoigne’s boss arena, “The Tomb of Oedon,” is the first mention of any of Bloodborne’s Lovecraftian elements. The player will encounter many eldritch entities during their journey, but Oedon is one of the least-mentioned gods (called Great Ones) in the game. Surprisingly, with a careful eye (and a touch of speculation), the player might find that this enigmatic entity is actually one of the most important and interesting of all Great Ones.

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One of the primary sources on Oedon’s lore are the two Caryll Runes dedicated to him. The runes describe Oedon and his “inadvertent” followers as “surreptitious,” meaning secretive. Surreptitious is the right word, as practically everything the Great One does is shrouded in mystery, with very few direct lines of contact between him and humans. One reason for this might be that Oedon is “formless.” Great Ones are able to survive death in the dream world, but they still have physical forms until then. One might think the Tomb of Oedon is a grave for the god, but the Caryll Runes also state that Oedon only exists in voice, something which is certainly untrue of Great Ones both living and dead. It is more likely that the Tomb of Oedon is simply a human graveyard neighboring Oedon Chapel. It is a tomb for his flock, not Oedon himself.

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The chapel itself hints at Oedon’s subtle, yet vital stature in Bloodborne lore. Oedon Chapel is easily the most humble chapel dedicated to any Great One. It is small, and attracts few worshippers. However, it is also the starting point for all of Cathedral Ward, and is one of the few safe havens from the beasts. It also has another Great One, the lesser Amygdala, clinging to its side. Furthermore, it is one of four locations that the player can obtain the One Third of an Umbilical Cord item, which unlocks Bloodborne‘s true ending.

The formless Great One does actually take action within Bloodborne’s story, just not in any way one can observe. A major theme in Bloodborne is that all Great Ones seek to have a child of some kind, usually in the form of a surrogate. Oedon, however, directly conceives his children. Mergo, the infant Great One creating the Nightmare of Mensis, is implied to be the offspring of Oedon and the chalice dungeon boss, Queen Yharnam. Like Oedon, Mergo is formless, and kept alive by a ghostly Wet Nurse. Oedon also has another child with the NPC Arianna, and possibly conceives one with the imposter Iosefka after the player defeats Rom the Vacuous. Oedon is the only Great One shown to have conceived multiple children with humans, each of which drop the One Third of an Umbilical Cord item when killed.

Finally, it’s heavily implied that Oedon’s power permeates the core of Bloodborne’s world. The Caryll Runes state that Oedon’s essence is actually blood, a major focal point for the game’s story and characters. Even more intriguing, is the speculative idea surrounding Oedon’s etymology, and the character’s relation to Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Oedon’s name is derived from the Norse god, Odin, who acts as father to the rest of the gods. Meanwhile, the closest thing to an all-father in the Cthulhu Mythos is the god Azathoth, a formless, sleeping god who dreams reality into existence. The connections between these three gods implies a similar relationship between Oedon and the Bloodborne world. Oedon may be formless because he exists throughout and outside the universe, a dreaming god with the insight to observe a world of his own creation.

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Updated: November 5, 2020 — 3:10 pm

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