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The beginning raises so many questions.

So who exactly was the doctor you met who gave you the transfusion? Was that him the werewolf was chowing down on in the clinic later? Who threw the Molotov at the bloody werewolf to save you? So many questions with no good answers...

  • That was not a doctor, that was Gehrman. And given events that happened toward one of the endings, he may have been the only other person in the city at the time, given the nature of the Hunter's Dream and his job as Watcher of the Dream is to sucker other people into it through an blood transfusion. Gehrman may also have been the one to throw the Molotov at the bloody Wolf Beast. The ending only happens once you have killed two of the Great Ones, who are in some way maintaining the Hunter's Dream (Rom and Mergo's Wet Nurse), which allows Gehrman to release you as you are more trouble than you are worth.
    • This is at best highly unlikely, if not definitely untrue. The character is credited as "Blood Minister", not as Gehrman. He has a different voice actor. He is also vastly different in appearance, including a different style of clothing with a different hat to Gehrman, and having a beard, which Gehrman does not. An NPC matching the appearance of the Blood Minister can also be found in the Hunter's Nightmare, already dead.
    • Adding onto that, Gehrman was trapped in the Hunter's Dream. There's no way he could've met you prior to your arrival there.
  • The doctor has no name, and was only there to transfuse your tainted blood with purer, Yharnam blood. At some point in the past, the player character contracted what we know as the beast virus. Hearing of the wonders of the Healing Church and their powerful Blood Ministration, they ventured to Yharnam to have that procedure performed. This procedure is what you see. The doctor has you sign a contract which binds you as a Hunter to help locate and destroy the source of the Plague. This is how you become a Hunter. He tells you as he is about to perform the operation that "Whatever happens, you may think it all a bad dream." which is exactly what happens. You then dream a werewolf dripping with blood as a manifestation of your illness reaching out to you before the Plague is burnt away by the healing properties of Yharnam's blood. The messengers then crawl upon you to claim you fully as a Hunter, before you awaken again at night, the Hunt having begun. This doctor would have scurried off inside before the Hunt began.
  • Even if Gehrman was not the only person in Yharnam at the time, it is far more preferable for him to treat you given what Iosefka does to her patients...
    • The person who gives you a blood transfusion at the beginning was not Gehrman. He looks nothing like Gehrman, and the credits have someone listed called the "Fake Doctor" or something like that. Likely, he was from outside the Nightmare.
    • That raises some rather Fridge Horror that the Great Ones have servants in the real world to draw more Hunters into the Hunter's Dream.
    • Other sources say Imposter Doctor is the Choir woman who replaced Iosefka and turned all the people sent there into the Celestial Mobs. Has anyone done a side by side comparison of the doctor at the beginning and Gehrman?
    • You're right about the Choir woman being the Imposter Doctor, as for you question, the Blood Minister (which is his correct descriptor) has a different voice actor than Gehrman and has a black beard when the latter is clean-shaven and greying, for starters.

What was the paleblood? Did it show up in the game?

The note at the beginning tells you to seek paleblood to transcend the Hunt. Then later, you find a note in Yahar'gul that says the sky is paleblood... What is paleblood? Is it mentioned besides those two times? Does it show up?

  • Paleblood may refer to the Thirds of the Umbilical Cord. Especially the one from the Abandoned Work Shop which directly references the Pale Moon that conceived the Hunter's Dream. The note may be the only clue in game as to how to obtain the third ending as You can escape the dream, or become the new watcher but to truly transcend the dream you need to consume the cords. The Paleblood may be referring the fluids left inside the cords though that is just speculation.
  • It may also refer to the Moon Presence. Remember that in the Unseen Village you can find a note on the ground saying: "Behold! A paleblood sky!" And Lecture Hall has another note declaring: "The nameless moon presence beckoned by Laurence and his associates. Paleblood."
    • It's very likely that this is Paleblood. Paleblood refers to the colour of the moon as the nameless moon presence descends upon you.
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  • It's worth mentioning the item Great One Coldblood. Its in-game art is pretty reminiscent of "pale blood."
  • If we think about it literally, Humans and Beasts have red blood, where as Great Ones and Kins of the Cosmos bleed grey. There is only one being in the game that bleeds pure white (pale) blood: The Plain Doll. Likewise, she is also the only being capable of infusing the player with Blood Echoes, thus strengthening them and it is impossible to truly kill her (if she is killed, she simply comes back when one re-enters the Hunter's Dream). The note says to "Seek Paleblood to transcend the Hunt" and no matter how (which ending) you choose to 'transcend' it, what is the most important thing to reaching that goal? Leveling up. And the only way to do this is through her. You may well have already found Paleblood from the beginning... it was just so obvious that neither the player nor their Hunter realized it.

How has Yharnam survived the Plague for so long?

When I first started playing the game, I assumed that the Plague was only a recent phenomenon, and that the player was arriving just when things were getting bad. Yet there are many indications that the Plague and the Hunts have been going on for quite a long time, perhaps even for generations. If so, how has Yharnam been able to function for so long? With so much death occurring every single night, the place should have been utterly depopulated less than a few months after the Plague hit. Furthermore, with the beasts and psychos preventing any sort of trade or aid taking place, what have the people been eating all this time? A city that large would need a massive amount of food (among other things) to function for even a day. Even the beasts should have been dead by starvation by the time you arrive.

  • That depends on how you perceive the Plague to begin with, in context of the multiple interpretations of the game's story. If you take the events of the city as a straightforward fact, then we can assume that nights of the Hunt aren't common, that they only happen once or twice per generation and afterwards the city has a reasonably long time to rebuild and recover, and the Blood Ministration is seen as too important to abandon Yharnam completely despite the potential risks. However, if you choose to believe that the game actually takes place entirely in some half-real dream realm as many plot elements suggest, then the problem can be completely ignored. The city could exist in a semi-Stable Time Loop, or it could just be a collective nightmare of the inhabitants in the Waking World, among many other possible scenarios.
    • Actually, the Hunt HAS been going on definitively for quite some time, and the city is actually less disorderly than you think. The Church members you fight and the rabble in the streets of Yharnam are actually, for the most part, sane. Several NPCs say they can smell you, with Imposter Iosefka specifically saying that she smells the moon on you. In other words, everyone can sense that you're a servant of the Moon Presence, the one that started the Eternal Night of the Hunt in compliance with Willem's wishes to give the Hunters the strength to kill the other Great Ones. That's why everyone says this is all your fault and attacks you on sight: not because they're insane, but because you are effectively sponsored by the Great One that has kept the Hunt going forever. In practice, most of the enemies you fight are at least somewhat organized: the mobs don't turn on one another and are found gathering around the corpse of a burned wolf beast that they presumably worked together to kill — the Church members keep their posts, etc. Sure, some people go insane — Hunters like Father Gascoigne lose themselves and eventually start killing even those that have not turned yet. But for the most part, the still-human enemies you fight are all saner than you think.

Laurence, who is he and what happened to him?
Various sources in the game make reference to Laurence, but who he exactly is seems a bit unclear. The primary source is the skull you learn the password to the Forbidden Woods. The cutscene displays a memory, of Provost Willem and Laurence talking. However only Willem is seen, and later shown to be still alive at Byrgenwerth. This would make it seem like the beastly skull on the Grand Cathedral alter was Laurence's, but if so why did cutscene show Willem from various angles almost at random and finally from above? From this and the other mentioned sources, fans have come to the conclusion that Laurence founded the Healing Church with something Brygenwerth found in the labyrinths under Yharnem, specifically against Provost Willem's warning to "fear the old blood". If so, and the skull is his, he became a beast and was killed, by what looks like a devastating blow to his left eye. My problem is NONE of the NPCs and sources affiliated with the Church mention, "oh, btw Our Founder turned into a beast thing and had to be put down."Another source of contention to Laurence being dead is that Gehrman is still waiting for him and Willem to free him from the Hunter's Dream. Gehrman has displayed some awareness of what goes on outside the dream and appears to guide you to the next area. Should he have figured out by now that Laurence is dead, especially given the likelihood of a Hunter being the one who did him in and all Hunters pass through the Hunter's Dream? it could be understandable he didn't know about Willem give the fact the door to the forbidden woods was shut tight until you receive the password, that and Rom seems to have some MASSIVE effect over the whole area.Maybe what happen to Laurence will come out in some future DLC, maybe some cool timey-wimey stuff like for Artorias of the Abyss...
  • Sorry no, that beast skull really was Laurence's. Word of God via a Miyazaki interview confirms that he became a Bloodletting Beast variant while leading an excavation in the Chalice Dungeons, the reason one talks about it is the same as to why Willem is just left alone on a dock while in a semi-vegetative state: it happened ages ago, shit like that has, is, or will happen to everybody else soon enough, and everyone knows it's not worth being distressed over, and the institution he founded has grown beyond being built entirely around it's first teaching authority. Laurence isn't seen because he's The Voice, and Gehrman was sleep-talking during a nightmare.
  • The above is further confirmed in the Old Hunters DLC. Laurence was the founder and first Vicar of the Healing Church, and he's now in the Hunter's Nightmare as a Cleric Beast variant. I think the Bloodletting Beast in the Chalice Dungeons was originally supposed to be Laurence, but I get the impression the Chalice Dungeons are where the developers put the bosses they decided not to use in the main game.

How are women chosen?
We know that the Great Ones choose human women to act as surrogate mothers to their children, but we don't know how or why they are selected. Is it something to do with power or insight, is it only those that try to contact them, is it related to their social standing, or is it chosen totally at random? Or what if every woman was impregnated (maybe even including the player character if they're a girl) and only a few could carry it to term?
  • I think we can reasonably say female Hunters of the Hunters' Dream wouldn't have a problem. The Moon Presence has them there for a reason, and it's not to get impregnated by star-born horrors. It's to kill star-born horrors. This is reinforced by Annalise calling you a "Moon-scented Hunter" when you're speaking with her.

So what happens when you eat three Thirds and choose to awaken from the dream?
Seriously, does nothing happen? You don't explode as a pathetic slug monster in the middle of the waking world, deprived of amniotic dreams to sustain you? Does this mean the children of Great Ones (as opposed to just kin of the cosmos) (and by extension humans ascending to become Great Ones) require a dream-setting to do it in?
  • Possibly, but it may also be a matter of not having the essence of the Moon Presence inside of you. If you've chosen to awaken then you're executed/mercy killed before the thing rears its head.

How should the plague have been handled?
It has been all but explicitly spelled out that the Hunt undertaken by the townsfolk and Hunters of the Church only accelerated their transformation into beasts, and made their final transformations far more dangerous and horrific as well. While an interesting and poetic theme, the game fails to provide an alternative for the people to have tried instead. Savage beasts were roaming the streets, slaughtering people at their leisure; would it have been preferable to just let them rampage? Condemning the effectivity of the Hunt loses a lot of its credibility if the Yharnamites had literally no other choice.
  • Where is it "spelled out" that the idea of a Hunt is what caused people to turn into beasts, rather than — say — the abhorrent blood practices and rituals they had been undertaking?
    • By the time the Hunt started to take place, the Beast Plague had already gotten a foothold in the city. Stopping the blood rituals and other occult activities would have stopped the spread, but it wouldn't have reversed the conditions of those already afflicted. The beasts needed to be hunted down, regardless of whether or not the source had been dealt with, yet the game treats this choice as an unwise and futile effort rather than a necessity.
      • You've dodged the question. How does the game present the idea of a hunt as "unwise", "futile", let alone make sure this is "explicitly spelled out"?
      • First and foremost, the Sword Hunter's badge clearly states that Ludwig became "the most hideous beast", though your personal experiences with corrupt Hunters such as Gascoigne, Henryk, and the Bloody Crow of Cainhurst should have made it clear by then. Monster-turned Hunters are such a problem that it necessitates a specialized Hunter with the sole responsibility of taking them down. In fact, the only enemy Hunter you have a chance of reasoning with (Djura) is coincidentally the one who most wholeheartedly rejected the Hunt. As for the common folk who volunteered to aid in the Hunt, each and every one is murderously insane without exception, and are already beginning to mutate, although they must have been sane enough to pass muster when the Hunt first began earlier that night. The only sane Yharnamites you encounter either took no part in the Hunt or were busy perusing their own agenda elsewhere. Really, the whole notion of He Who Fights Monsters is a dominant and recurring theme throughout the game. My issue is that the game time and time again hits you over the head with how the Hunt is a bad influence, but never provides a feasible alternative for the Yharnamites to have attempted, short of simply laying down and allowing the beasts to eat them.
      • Except all of those things you mentioned were linked to the blood that the Church received from dealing with extra-planetary creatures and getting high as tits off its blood. The "Hunt" is not shown as a bad influence. Drenching yourself in alien blood and getting diseased is the bad influence — heck, you even list someone from Cainhurst who are outright spoken of as decadent blood addicts! There's nothing as explicit as you claim linking Hunts to insanity and transformation; any recurring elements originate from Yharnam and its Blood Ministration.
      • The Hunt itself is not a bad idea. People need to be protected from the beasts. But it ended up being useless, perhaps worse than useless, due to the Healing Church continuing to use the Blood of the Gods long after they became aware of the danger. A few people using the Blood as a pick me up or an alternative to drugs and sex would be gross but probably easily taken care of. The Church encouraged the use of the Blood for everything and refused to disclose any information about it to try and hold on to their power base. If they had stopped, the Scourge of the Beast would not have hit nearly as hard. Further compounding the problem was that the Healing Church whipped the populace into a frenzy to get them to join the Hunt and started killing indiscriminately, which exposed many more people to infection, hastened the transformation of those already infected, and resulted in the deaths of god knows how many people. There are three notable characters that question the Hunt but none of them are really sane. Djura believes those infected to still be sentient and thinks of the Hunt as mad slaughter, but he's willing to kill anyone who enters Old Yharnam. The Afflicted Beggar says he never asked to get caught up in all this and thinks the Hunters are worse than the beasts, but he himself is a murderous Darkbeast. Eileen apparently HATES Hunters despite being one herself and says they all must die, but she only says this if she goes mad when the Blood Moon rises. Their statements mustn't be taken at face value.
      • Another possibility is that the Hunt is causing the problems, but not because of the act itself. Rather the issue that exacerbates the Plague of beasts is from the emotions it teases out of those involved. Hatred, fear, revulsion, bloodlust, hopelessness and despair, rage and anger. Those may be what exacerbates the beast blood. Thus why clerics and church hunters are the most monstrous beasts. Because their hatred, their bloodlust, their loathing of the beasts is so intense that it worsens the mutation.
    • The Hunt is somewhat of a vicious cycle; hunters are both using extra Old Blood to give themselves a leg up, and they're giving in to a beast-like mindset of hunting prey. Because of this, when they'd inevitably be turned into beasts they'd become even worse beasts who would require more effort (and blood) to defeat, and so on. The root of the problem is still the Healing Church's refusal to lay off the Old Blood and thus de-escalate the cycle.

The fate of Yharnam
  • Was the city utterly depopulated by the end of the game? Was the effects of the Blood Moon on the populace temporary? Did you disrupt the Healing Church's activities to the point where they are incapable of further exploiting the Old Blood? Was the Beastly Scourge contained, or are monsters spilling out into the surrounding countryside? Although I approve of FromSoftware's method of storytelling, with a Jigsaw Puzzle Plot of this magnitude it's way too easy for crucial details to slip past your notice, which makes the absence of a proper epilogue all the more frustrating.
    • No straight answer has been given. Personally, I assumed you'd just "awoken" at an incredibly early hour so the city wasn't exactly busy, but there's not enough evidence to really confirm anything.

Yharnam's reputation.
  • Yharnam is known as a place of healing, to the point where strangers travel across the world to partake in the Blood Ministrations. Yet from what we see in the game, the Yharnamites are not just unfriendly to foreigners, but outright hostile, and are even implied to murder innocent travelers and drink their blood. If the locals weren't enough of a deterrent, a rampant plague has been spreading like wildfire throughout the city for generations; such affairs have a tendency to cast serious doubts upon the quality of a city's medicine. With widespread sickness throughout the city famed for curing sickness, not to mention the Yharnamite's propensity for cannibalizing foreigners, how the hell did Yharnam acquire it's "healing" reputation in the first place?
    • Yharnum's seclusion and isolation would presumably go some way towards keeping knowledge of the Scourge from getting out, as well as the potential that anyone who tries to leave to spread word gets either strung up by a mob or killed by beasts. The Yharnamites being so bigoted against foreigners would also explain why they didn't go to other cities or countries for help with the beasts; they're too proud to stoop to the level of asking unworthy foreigners to come help them sort out their own mess. Also, initially the Hunts weren't the massive mobs we encounter in game, at first things were done discreetly by Gehrman and the Healing Church, presumably with the intention of keeping the beasts a secret to avoid panic. The fact that Ludwig started designing weapons which deviated from Gehrman's standards specifically in anticipation of larger and more dangerous beasts suggests that originally the beasts weren't as large and terrible as they became. So, for a while, they probably kept things under wraps until the Old Yharnum incident, at which point things spiraled out of control and Ludwig started recruiting anyone who'd fight into the Hunts, creating the torches and pitchforks mobs.

why are you attacked after *REDACTED* goes sane?
Sure, Ludwig is one of the coolest boss fights in the game, but If he regains his mind enough to A) wield his blade, and b) talk to you after the battle, why does he still fight you at that point?
  • The game itself kind of suggests that Ludwig was never entirely sane to begin with. His dialogue after the fight if you don't wear Church garb and the description of the Guidance rune both imply that Ludwig either hallucinated the 'thread of light' or that the rune (remember, Caryll runes are the transcribed utterings of the Great Ones, it'd make sense that they could give Insight and drive people mad). And the description of the Holy Moonlight Sword mentions it offering 'guidance', a weird thing for a sword to be giving, and Ludwig himself calls it 'my guiding moonlight'. With all that in mind, you could easily interpret Ludwig of not being all there from the beginning, perhaps because of the influence of the Holy Moonlight Sword, which is clearly magical. And magic in Bloodborne tends to be associated with the Great Ones, suggesting Ludwig's been using a Great One-tainted artifact for a long time. Even without that, his only knowledge of you is that you walked in and tried to kill him, and he's in a nightmare where only blood-crazed Hunters are meant to go, he possibly assumes you're as blood-drunk as the others and continues to fight for that reason. Which'd be fitting with one of the game's themes about Hunters being little different from the beasts.
  • I mean, you're already there, and you've been fighting him for quite sometime. Warrior's code suggests that once a fight has begun, it must end in one's defeat.

Why are you immune?

  • The Plague has already spread throughout every nook and cranny of Yharnam, so exposure is virtually unavoidable. It's apparently able to convert people into beasts within a matter of hours. The Hunter him/her self is injected with and drenched in gallons of tainted blood every hour, and some of the items you can use intentionally aggravates the growing beasthood within them. It's not just the blood either; The insight system is potent enough to turn learned, strong willed men into jabbering lunatics, meaning that you are compromised both physically and mentally . Yet in spite of all this, the player character shrugs off all these influences like water off a duck's back. While The Hunter's Dream may protect you from death, it doesn't alter or preserve your fundamental nature, and Gehrman even accuses you of falling to the blood's influence should you choose to fight him. Heck, there's even an entire nightmare dedicated to holding (and packed to the brim with) blood-mad Hunters. Why are you so unique? The character creation allows for any number of backgrounds and strengths, so what's the common denominator that allows you alone to stave off the mutation and madness where all others failed?
    • What gave you the impression that you were staving anything off? You're devouring blood to become stronger, can very well end up eating umbilical chords just for a little extra edge and have been wading through literal gallons of blood because "that's what Hunters do". You're not unique, you're just earlier in the process that anyone else — for all we know the Hunter could end up in the Nightmare when they truly die.
    • It's worth noticing, that hostile citizens of Yharnam that you encounter often treat you as the "foul beast". It's not really clear who's watching Through the Eyes of Madness here — them, or yourself. Or both, for that matter.
    • The Scourge of Beasts being an actual disease is only hearsay. You learn in the Hunter's Nightmare that the people in the Fishing Hamlet, people with actual magical ability, laid a curse on the Hunters, their children, so-on an so-forth. Anyone who becomes a Hunter subjects themselves to becoming a Beast eventually, until you put an end to the Nightmare. So, in the end, the Foreign Hunter succeeded in curing their ailments.
    • The immunity likely comes from the Moon Presence. At the start of the game, the Player is given an injection of 'Yharnam Blood' as part of their contract and directly afterwards, they have a hallucination of a Beast rising out of a pool of blood. At this point, thanks to the injection, the Player has become infected by the Plague. However, in the vision, the Beast is driven off by the Messengers, representing the Moon Presence shielding the Player from the Plague's effects. This is why the Hunter's Dream and the Moon Presence are so vital to fighting the Plague. As far as we know, the Plague has no cure, and thanks to the widespread use of Blood Ministration, everyone in Yharnam is infected, meaning that any normal Hunter of Beasts is doomed to either die to the Beasts or succumb to the Plague and become a Beast themselves. The Hunters that contract with the Moon Presence are the only ones with actual immunity to the Plague, plus they can't be permanently killed, thus they are only ones with any real hope of fighting it.
    • If Gascoigne is anything to go by, Hunters aren't "immune" to beasthood. The purpose of the endings, whichever one you pick, is to conclude your adventure and effectively save yourself from beasthood.

The One Reborn is...

Seriously, does anybody know? I've read entire essays on the many twists and turns of Bloodborne's story, but even the people who've analysed the game to death and found meaning in every texture haven't a clue what the hell it is.

Who is The One? The fact it's 'Reborn' implies it's something that previously died. But who? And what is the connection with Mensis and/or the Bell Maidens (who are apparently Pthumerian, muddying the waters further?)

I know Souls games are the crowning example of Jigsaw Puzzle Plot, but come on FromSoftware, throw us a bone here!

  • Given that Yahar'Gul has a well-known habit of kidnapping people and that The One Reborn appears to be a whole lot of animated corpses mashed together, it's reasonable to assume it's "one, reborn from many."
  • As for the Pthumerians, I can only speculate. Given that the red-robed maidens and Yharnam (the Queen, not the city) only appear after Rom's death, and that the Chalice Dungeons, containing even more living Pthumerians, imply that the city of Yharnam was built over the ruins of Pthumeru, maybe the Pthumerians were attempting a comeback, or even a coup.
  • The Mensis connection is a bit more clear. Yahar'Gul was Micolash and company's HQ after splitting from Byrgenwerth, which they abandoned (along with their bodies) upon learning how to transfer themselves to the Nightmare (assuming they didn't create that part of it altogether; dreams don't have to make external sense, after all).
  • My personal theory is that The One Reborn was unfinished, being that it is heavily connected to the School of Mensis. I theorised that it was actually meant to be a host body for the Brain of Mensis, the void where you meet the brain was actually The One Reborn's holding area, and your actions forced the School to release it early, before they could lower the Brain on to it.
  • Its internal name is 'HalfBakedDevil, and its Fresh Liver (a Dummied Out item that's basically an early version of Coldblood) describes it as 'incomplete false god', so the One Reborn is probably a failed attempt to create a man-made Great One out of all those corpses Yahar'gul has laying around.

Where did the beast curse stem from?

The beast curse seems to be related to the use of blood provided by the Healing Church, but is this really the case? Old Yharnam is crawling with beasts, and it went downhill before the use of the Healing Church blood was widespread. Is it possible that the Moon Presence is responsible for the beast curse as well?

  • Given that Old Yharnam has its own churches, some of which make use of ritual blood, it seems likely that Blood Ministration was popular in Old Yharnam just as it was in the rest of the city. As for why Old Yharnam fell before the rest of the city, remember that Old Yharnam was suffering from the ashen blood disease (a form of blood poisoning that antidotes could only temporarily delay), so would have been desperate for any cure for the Plague, and would therefore have flocked to the Church once Blood Ministration became available.
    • The comics confirm that the Healing Church was active before Old Yharnam burned, and Blood Ministration was used to treat Ashen Blood.

The Dream and Reality of Yharnam
This is something that has confused me for a while, the entire game takes place inside a dream, an eternal nightmare to trap the residents in an endless hunt for beasts while becoming beasts, such is the curse that the residents of the Fishing Village inflicted on them, so apart from (possibly) the Doctor at the start, is the entire city just devoid of life in reality, or at least everyone kept in an eternal sleep?
  • Another possibility is that those on the Hunt are those who already died. That the dream is memories and thoughts are those of the dead, remnants and whispers of those who perished.
  • It's okay, that confuses everyone.
  • It's never made clear what's reality and what's fiction in the story, so it's a safe bet that much of what you're experiencing on the hunt exists in some vacuum.