Destiny 2 has a rich history, story, and lore that spans the universe dating back billions of years, even to the beginning of time. Though Destiny 2 and its continuing expansions do a great job enhancing the narrative framework, meanwhile the collection of lore that players can read throughout the world enriches it. The flower game is one such example.
Though not featured in any cutscenes, information about the flower game can be acquired by talking to Eris Morn after finishing the “Beyond” quest in Shadowkeep. The lore is part of the book Unveiling, which tells a more extended narrative throughout its entries. This lore creates an exciting origin story for many of the themes and conflicts seen in the Destiny universe, but its narrator is unreliable given it follows the Darkness talking to Guardians.
Destiny 2: The Garden, the Gardener, and the Winnower
To understand the flower game within Destiny 2, it’s helpful to understand another entry in Unveiling that details the Gardener and the Winnower. The Darkness claims that it and the Gardener (the Light) lived together in a garden before time existed. The Darkness claims it and the Light existed as ontological dynamics of advanced mathematical structures with no antecedents or constituents.
In this garden, the Light planted seeds in the morning, while in the evening the Darkness harvested and shaped what would live and what would die, culling the failed crops. During the daytime, the Gardener and the Winnower play a game, ultimately called the flower game. This garden as a focus appears to be a metaphor for existence and reality – before and after space-time and the laws of physics that make up causality. In this metaphor, the garden represents the space from which all universes could arise.
The Flower Game in Destiny 2
Just as the garden represents a reality in which all possible universes may exist and die, the flower game represents these universes’ natural creation, expansion, and end. Within the primordial garden, possibly the Black Garden, simulated realities created in the flower game took on shapes and patterns across a two-dimensional grid of flowers.
- Rule One: A living flower with less than two living neighbors is cut off. It dies.
- Rule Two: A living flower with two or three living neighbors is connected. It lives.
- Rule Three: A living flower with more than three living neighbors is starved and overcrowded. It dies.
- Rule Four: A dead flower with exactly three living neighbors is reborn. It springs back to life.
- The only play permitted in the game is the arrangement of the initial flowers.
In this allegory, as the flower game unfolds, the same pattern always dominates and leads to the final shape. The Darkness found this pleasing, whereas the Light did not. The Light desired complex and diverse patterns to simulate, existing in a harmonious universe together. According to the Darkness, the Light decided to achieve this by transforming itself into a new rule that promised the diversity it craved.
To keep the game balanced, the Darkness did the same. Still, its rule followed the idea of simplicity – existence is a struggle, and only the shape that can exist and dominate above all others deserves to live. This ideology is reminiscent of the Sword Logic that’s followed by Hive Gods. The Destiny universe was created when these new rules (Light and Dark subclasses) entered the flower game. The old rules, set aside, became the Vex.
Destiny 2 is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.