There is a magnificent game theory out there that states in Dark Souls 3 our character is a member of, The Black Hand- with compelling evidence for this. This got me thinking if we have some important connection that our character has to the world in Dark souls 1.
Havel is a character that I often use as an example of how great DS’s storytelling is.
Without any analysis, Havel is just a character in the bottom of a watch tower. Yet the more we break down his character and his story, Havel The Bishop, Havel The Rock is one of the most important characters in the Dark Souls series.
Light investigation into Havel we find that Havel was an important figure in the world and that as he started to hollow (forgetting who he was and potentially becoming violent towards all around him) a dear friend locked him in the watchtower for his own good.
Keep going down this rabbit trail and we find out that we never even meet Havel in game and that he not only had a desire to kill Seath- for reasons I’ll highlight later, but also has a plan to kill Lord Gwen.
Thinking about this more and more I have come to the conclusion that we, the player character, we are Havel.
First I think it is important to establish the plot. I won’t be going into too much detail but this isn’t a hard theory to find and I do recommend looking at the Youtuber, Hawkshaw as he a great video about this, Rediscover Dark Souls Lore: Ash Lake, Havel and the plot against the Gods. This goes into great detail about Havel’s plot and his reasons behind it.
In essence, Havel always had a deep hatred for dragons’ and was never accepting that Lord Gwen rewarded Seath with such a high honor of Dukedom and even awarded the archives. Further more, the fact that Gwen ignored Seath’s abductions of maidens and the experiments that he carried out on them and that is very likely that Seath did this to someone Havel cared a great deal about, Havel did not just want to kill Seath, but always Gwen. This is why Havel’s weapon- a literal dragon’s tooth, has the occult enchantment, something that is needed to kill gods.
Havel was human. It’s an odd thing to point out but there are so many legendary bosses in Dark Souls that are bigger than the player character. However the Havel Knight that we come across is our hight, cementing for me that Havel is just a man- unlike some of the other notable characters that we come across in game.
This is very weak, but there is a purpose for me brining it up.
There are many parallels between the mythological Norse King of the Gods, Odin and Lord Gwen. Here the most relevant similarity is that neither of them have any hang ups in lying, cheating or sacrificing others’ so that they get what they want. In Dark Souls 3 we discover that Gwen gave up his very own daughter to the ring city- not in a noble gesture, but to manipulate and postpone the inevitable.
In addition to this, appearance means a lot.
I don’t mean in wearing the right clothing, but the image of the gods is vital to their power and control over the land. After all, a mer undead is capable of bringing everything down around them- if they believe they have the power to do so- Solaire came very very close to this.
The plot of Havel may not have been well known but it was known enough. This was something that could undermine the power that Gwen and his family had over the land.
I do not doubt that Havel was lured to the watchtower. However I believe his dear friend - the Silver Knight Ledo, had not locked him away as we are told.
After all, Havel ‘The Rock’ uses a dragon’s tooth as a weapon and his armor is made from stone- the notion that a locked wooden door could stop him has never really made a lot of sense to me.
I believe instead, the watch tower was simply the path that Havel used to escape from the impending danger that he was in. Not being ready to carry out his plan, his choices was to run and wait, or die.
So who is the Havel knight?
I believe it is an assassin sent by Lord Gwen himself.
This ‘Havel knight’ does not act like a Hollow. He stands by the bottom door, watching the flame of the lit candle and dawned in an armor that mimics what you would expect Havel to wear, this assassin will not leave the watchtower and instead is there for two reasons.
First, to give the impression to all that Havel - the traitor, is still locked away. This would not only send a clear message to any who think of taking up arms against the gods- as even Havel failed. Havel who had been a prominent figure in the world of men.
Second, Gwen couldn’t know just how many people were in on this plot, however if the message was sent out that Havel was locked in a tower, anyone who comes to rescue Havel must be a conspirator to the plot - and this assassin in Havel’s place would be there to kill them.
So why did Havel run?
If you were looking to kill someone who wears stone armor, who would you send after them?
There are many (myself included) who believe that we never actually meet, Dragon Slayer Ornstein in-game.
Instead we fight an illusion- again the importance of perception isn’t something that can be understated.
There are a couple of possible reasons why we don’t meet the dragon slayer.
In Dark Souls 3 it is accepted that Ornstein left in search of his old friend, The Nameless King and while he may have left for this reason in DS 1, I think the dragon slayer- who’s spear was designed to plunge into stone dragons, was sent out to find and kill the traitor to the gods.
For this reason, Havel shed his armor (which would have been of little use against a weapon that stripped the ancient dragons’ of their stone scales) and signature weapon. While Ornstein may have know Havel without his armor, most people in the world would not- and this would make him much harder to track.
Though the armor and weapon wasn’t going to help him as Havel was going into hiding, Havel could still use this later on.
It is my belief that after, Ledo had arranged Havel’s escape, Ledo being a silver knight adn able to freely travel without restrictions, took the armor and weapon back to the city of the gods.
Keeping it hidden behind and illusionary wall (something of a signature for those involved in this pact), Havel would be able to return to city- unrecognized and undetected.
Re dawning his signature arms and armor while in the heart of the city of the gods, he would be well placed to carry out his plan.
When the time was right, he would be able to kill not only the gods left in the city, but be able to move to the archives just a short distance away and kill the pale dragon.
So now the biggest question, why are we in the undead asylum?
Havel had a plan. One that was far too detailed to just abandon. It would also go against the very nature of, Havel The Rock to turn tail and run.
However, Ornstein was a credible threat. Havel knew that the dragon slayer had a strong desire to leave and be reunited with his mentor, The Nameless King - something that we see in Dark Souls 3.
It was just a matter of time before Ornstein did so. But even if this wasn’t the case, Ornstein would not stay in a single land. It is safe to say that if Ornstein was tasked with hunting Havel, he would travel to Havel’s homeland of, Thorolund.
The Asylum itself is positioned in such a way that access to it is incredibly difficult to reach, and geographically close to the Undead Burg, Anor Londo and the Kiln of the first flame. In-game we can only get there while being carried by the Crow.
For this reason and the fact that it is infested with Hollows and a guarding demon, I do not believe that Ornstein would have even considered searching there for Havel.
The Crow that grabs us at the end of the area is at the very least, an agent of Velka. So it is safe to say that we are being watched. Because of this, I think Havel put himself in the cell and waited for the signal that it was time to act.
All you can do is wait. Your trust and faith in Velka and everyone else in on the plot is what keeps you going.
Oscar of Astora, an agent of Velka, is sent to help you escape. While he does not make it out (and may not even know who you are), you do.
He drops the corps with the key as he was instructed- this sets in motion the deaths of the gods.
The Crow (or Velka herself) meets you after you defeat the demon and brings you to Firelink shrine.
The shrine that is watched by the same Crow, that is almost perfectly centered for you to travel to all the areas you need to get to.
Free to move under the moniker of, ‘chosen undead’, you can kill each god, each part of Gwen’s soul and even the scaleless dragon Seath.
Your plan and revenge is fulfilled.
This final secret, this last hidden gem is hidden behind a cruel twist of fate.
No-one, no man nor god is beyond the reach of the hollowing curse.
I think it stands as a testament to the strength of Havel The Rock, even though he is undead and lost so much of his own memory, Havel still carries out his plan.
Seath the scaleless is put to death. Lord Gwen is defeated.