With the upcoming release of the House of Wolves expansion, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at The Awoken and learn a bit more about their story. While there isn’t too much in the game about them, we can extrapolate quite a bit from information about other figures and events surrounding the story.
The Awoken are a race who primarily live in an area of space called The Reef. While you do meet The Awoken Queen and her brother in the reef in the storyline, they are not the first Awoken you meet in the game. Some of the earliest NPCs you meet are, in fact Awoken. These include Arach Jalaal (vendor for Dead Orbit), Master Rahool (the Cryptarch), Tess Everis (the special items merchant), Commander Zavala (the Titan Vanguard vendor in the tower), and the one-time seen Petra Venj (emissary to the Queen during the Queen’s Wrath event).
Their location in The Reef is connected to their origin story. As it’s told, The Awoken were created during The Collapse, an event which ended The Golden Age, and nearly destroyed all of humanity. During The Golden Age, humanity had spread out through the solar system with the aid of The Traveler, however, when the Darkness attacked, it came with (or as) a massive a causal shockwave that was so powerful, it somehow affected both time and space. The Warmind, Rasputin, detected the shockwave and used the array to send out a warning to all the human colonies on other planets, and set up defenses to protect an entity known as Isis, which could be referring to The Traveler. At this time, The Traveler’s last action was to send a counter attack, a shockwave similar to the Darkness approaching, but of light. The two waves collided and cancelled each other out, however, not all humans were able to flee to safety on time. Many were wiped out, but some survived the event, and were changed by it. They became known as The Awoken. Their home, The Reef, is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and contains the wreckage of many ships destroyed during The Collapse.
The attitude and mentality of The Awoken also gives clue to their origins. They tend to dwell in the grey area in the conflict between the light and dark. This may be because the event that created them was a violent clash of light and dark energies. They do help the guardians, but it comes at a price, the understanding that if the Queen requires aid in the future, that the call will be answered.
Upon meeting The Queen, she is flanked by a pair of Vandals from the House of Wolves, to which she became the leader after killing their Kell. The Fallen are run by a wolf pack mentality, and whoever kills the alpha wolf takes his place, this again alluding to the term Alpha Lupi, which appears several times in the game. While the Fallen of the House of Wolves serve as loyal guardians to The Queen, she still hunts for the Prime Servitor of the house known as Kaliks Prime.
**A point of interest to note is during the story mode, the player actually kills the Kell of House of Winter. If all Fallen adhere to the pack laws, it may foreshadow the future assistance of The Fallen of the House of Winter in the light’s cause.
The Queen’s brother is a contrasting figure to the queen herself, always at her side, but often conflicting or disagreeing with the Queen’s intentions and wishes. Despite this, he always honors her ruling and decisions. He does most of the talking for the Queen, being relayed information through hushed and whispered tones, save for a few instances when the Queen herself speaks. Aside from being the brother to the Queen, he doesn’t appear to have any other history or significance thus far.
After The Collapse, not all of The Awoken found their way to The Reef. Others sought refuge on Earth with the rest of humanity. And while they were welcomed on Earth, they are thought mostly as outcasts by The Awoken remaining in The Reef, and do not receive a warm welcome home should they ever return to The Reef.