Follow TV Tropes


WMG / The Locked Tomb

Go To

Unmarked spoilers for Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth ahead

    open/close all folders 

    Predictions for Alecto the Ninth 

Alecto is the missing Resurrection Beast
  • Building off that, she's specifically the RB of Earth—John's second name is Gaius (the male form of Gaia, which is what the Greek/Roman primordial goddess of earth is called), and he used to call her One/the First, which could be because Earth is the First House.

Alecto contains the dead soul of Dominicus

Alecto contains the dead 10 billion of the First

Colum will return as a spirit in some liminal space outside the River

Alecto in Harrow's body is the girl shown in the epilogue of Harrow the Ninth, now a part of Gideon and Harrow's Mind Hive

Resurrection Beasts only seem to hunt down Lyctors, and are actually solely gunning for the Emperor.
  • Why would an angry planet ghost care if some tiny human ate another human's soul? Something's up with the creation of the Beasts during the Resurrection, the missing one, and the River behaving like the Emperor is one of them. They're nightmare monsters that kill everything in their way, but the Emperor was lying when he said they pursue Lyctors — they're only after him, and seem to go after Lyctors only because he keeps putting them between him and the Beasts. (Although various Lyctors have managed to lure Beasts into dangerous places, like Cyrus getting one to chase him into a black hole, this could easily be explained by the Lyctors engaging first, after which the Beasts would naturally want to finish the fight.)

Aiglamene (and/or Crux) is connected to Anastasia the First
  • Nothing states that Anastasia ever left the Ninth, and a few of Aiglamene's comments that are somewhat cryptic might make sense if she is connected to Anastasia. Anastasia's partial Lyctorhood could've conferred stranger properties to her immortality, or required her to Body Surf to continue her duty.

Gideon's corpse will be a MacGuffin at some point
  • Whether it's used to resurrect Gideon for real or simply for more blood to open the Tomb.

Hell magic and Heaven magic are going to be forms of necromancy explored during the story
  • For Hell magic, Ianthe is one of the only necromancers shown to not have any kind of necromantic specialty, despite discussing her interest in liminal magic ("I'm interested in the place between death and life ... the place between release and disappearance. The place over the river.") and has a noted fixation on Hell (Ianthe always wanted everything brought back to liminal spaces and Hell [...]). Augustine alludes to siphoning drawing power from Hell, but even God (supposedly) doesn't really know what Hell is like. With Ianthe as the last full Lyctor in the service of the Emperor, it would make sense that she might cultivate a unique specialty.
  • For Heaven magic, Abigail expresses the belief that there are vast untapped domains of spirit magic based on the belief that there is a place beyond the River ("[...] There is a whole school of necromancy we cannot begin to touch until we acknowledge its existence"), and that the current state of the River is due to it being messed up (presumably by necromancy). It's even less clear what Heaven magic would entail, but could be the ultimate source of John's ability to resurrect people.

The Emperor can only be killed if Alecto dies
  • Not only are Lyctors (which John is, in addition to his other abilities) an example of Our Liches Are Different, John himself briefly mentions something interesting about Anastasia and Samael, the only other example of the supposed perfect Lyctorhood that he possesses: "She hadn't got his soul inside her all the way— if she had, Samael dying would have killed her too." As far as the method goes, it's already known that even immortals can't survive a black hole, which Domincus will turn into if the Emperor dies for too long, or possibly sinking below the stoma layer into Hell.

The series will end with Necromancy being undone, but Camilla and Harrow have to say goodbye to their partners, and Palamedes and Gideon resolve to wait for them in the afterlife
  • This could ultimately lead to a pay off for "An afterlife subscription to Palamedes Sextus' Top Nerd Facts" and actually has some support with the "astonishingly shitty book" Palamedes is stuck with in his River bubble: the protagonist Abella is noted as being too skinny, Palamedes says he's fond of a spoiled swordswoman that the narrative is unkind to, and Abella ultimately ends up with "an insanely tedious widower" who's husband "ate a grenade in the war".

The Anti-Necromancer weapons fashioned from Herald corpses will feature

Naberius will return in some capacity

     Identity of the mystery girl 

Mystery girl is Alecto, in Harrow's body.
The last thing Gideon sees is Alecto attempting to resuscitate Harrow's body, and Alecto's powers are so unclear that she might have stepped into Harrow's body to preserve them from drowning in the River, and effectively teleported them to Camilla. This would explain Camilla's confusion, as Alecto's eyes in Harrow's body would presumably be gold, and she doesn't seem to have a particular calling to either bones or the sword, and lacks Gideon's distinctive personality

Mystery girl is Alecto, in Gideon's body.
Same as above, but with the added theory that Gideon's death rendered her body a Soulless Shell as a result of her Ambiguously Human nature; her body might have been able to physically survive a mortal wound, but without her soul it remained empty in Blood of Eden's care.

At least one of the Lyctors believed dead is involved with the La Résistance
  • Following Harrow the Ninth: unclear. Multiple living Lyctors were involved with Blood of Eden, but Anastasia's fate is unclear enough that she might be tied into their inception 5,000 years ago.

Anastasia the First's status as never having been a saint is tied into the missing Resurrection Beast
  • Unclear; her status is tied to her (supposedly) failed ascension, but Anastasia remains very shrouded in mystery and the missing Beast is not addressed

Gideon's Ambiguously Human nature is the result of a Hybrid Power between the Emperor and Wake
John implies indirectly that the child of a Lyctor would likely have some unusual abilities when he believes Wake had Gideon the First's child, and Wake also mentions that his genetic material was still active 12 weeks after it was collected, so it stands to reason that Gideon probably inherited something from her father other than her eyes. Wake also seems to have Anti-Magic not solely limited to Harrow's Dream Land, which could account for why Gideon didn't end up a necromancer. At a minimum, it might explain her Aura Vision and Made of Iron status, but it ultimately might tie into the story of Alecto the Ninth.

Gideon's corpse was possessed by the same spirits/monsters that possessed Colum
  • Unclear after Harrow the Ninth. Mercy makes mention of examining Gideon's corpse, which might mean it was never actually missing, but Harrow doesn't notice any extra corpse aboard the Erebos, and Mercy is a traitor to the Emperor working with Blood of Eden, leaving the location of her body still unclear.

The Ninth isn't based on Pluto or some icy moon, but is the instead on Earth's Moon, relocated to the outskirts of the Nine Houses
  • Not only is the Moon missing from all descriptions of the First, but John's preferred term for Alecto is "Annabel Lee", and the line of the poem that references the Moon is his favorite. Besides that, she was his cavalier, and the orbit of the Moon around the Earth could be said to mimic the bond of a necromancer and cavalier.
    • Muir also has a way of writing around harder sci-fi concepts, and this would also avoid the complications of underground oceans and ground that melts into air even in the perpetual chill of the Ninth, and could ultimately also tie into the missing Resurrection Beast.

Gideon has half-siblings on her mother's side who are members of Blood of Eden.

The Noodle Incident between Alfred and Cristabel led to the development of Lyctors as they're shown in the series
There's a few scattered references that seem to allude to this being the case:
  • A note from someone at Canaan House (likely Cyrus), included at the end of the Sermon on Necromancers and Cavaliers mentions they created the phrase "One flesh, one end".
  • Augustine refers to Cris as a "fanatic" and that it was her "influence" over Alfred that led to him changing in some way.
  • Augustine also mentions that he has spent a myriad telling himself he could have "talked [Alfred] out of it", and it's peripherally mentioned that his Lyctorhood, despite being the first Saint to ascend, was very rushed and hurried, which might happen if Alfred mortally wounded himself to force Augustine to use his soul or have it be wasted (much like Gideon).

What leaves this as a theory instead of one of Muir's more buried hints is that there is some rather hefty contradictory evidence as well:
  • All components of the Eightfold Word were worked on presumably before the first ascension, meaning it was unlikely to be a surprise to those involved.
  • Teacher also says that the acolytes deliberately searched for a form of immortality that would allow them to range apart from the Emperor, further supporting the above.

It's possible that there's some reconcillation between these two contradictory lines of evidence, such as the original plan for cavaliers to be consumed being random House recruits and not necessarily loved ones, but there's no evidence to suggest such a thing was ever discussed. And, with the Lyctors in question dead, it's unclear if there will ever be an answer given to clarify what exactly happened between Alfred and Cristabel.

The "Gideon" referred to within the Lyctoral studies was the Lyctor from the Second, but who has since gone missing
  • Confirmed, minus the bit about being missing, though he's noted to be the most reclusive of the Lyctors.

Alecto is the name of the girl in the Locked Tomb
  • Confirmed

Alecto is the name of the Emperor's guardian, "A.L."
  • Confirmed

The girl in the Locked Tomb is the Emperor's cavalier
  • Confirmed

Gideon the First isn't Gideon Nav's father. The Emperor is
Assuming the note about the eggs is from Gideon's mother, whatever process she's talking about with seems to revolve around using someone's genetic material to create a child, and the way the note is written is interesting. She addresses "you self-serving zombie" and "he took pity on me" as separate individuals, with the one who took pity on her being implied to be Gideon the First. Given what little is known about the Emperor and Gideon the First, it's seems possible that Gideon the First might've taken pity solely because Gideon's mother was carrying the Emperor's child. As far as Gideon Nav's Strong Family Resemblance to Gideon the First, it's a bait and switch. One of the few mentioned details of Gideon's mother is that she had red hair, and the Emperor is briefly mentioned to have dark skin.
  • Confirmed

Gideon's mother was the leader of the La Résistance
Harrow's Supernatural Gold Eyes prompt Mercymorn to panic, seemingly only relaxing when she thinks Harrow's too young to be the mysterious leader or their child, and would cast Cytherea's examination of Gideon's eyes (something she claims to do often but never does to any other character) in a totally different light.
  • Confirmed, though the eyes are an indicator of her relationship to Alecto, not Commander Wake

Gideon's mother is the author of the letter Harrow hallucinates
Assuming the above is true, the unknown author seemingly had some sort of plan involving modified eggs from some unknown source, addresses two people (likely the Emperor and Gideon the First) and makes mention of implanting an egg herself. The pity that "he" took on her might account for why Gideon Nav so strongly resembles Gideon the First, and it seems likely that the dreary Ninth with little contact with the outside world is literally the only place she could've hidden a child that wouldn't be immediately suspected of being related to her. Also, the amount of rage she has would certainly explain why her dying words might've been screaming about Gideon.
  • Gained some support from the added content for the paperback edition, where even the Cohort's intelligence services have no idea what's going on in the Ninth. It seems likely that if someone were to want to hide a child within the Nine Houses, the Ninth is possibly the only place that would be feasible.
  • Confirmed, though Gideon wasn't taken to the Ninth to be hidden, but as a weapon to open the tomb

Gideon's sword contains the soul of her mother
  • Confirmed

Palamedes will return as a spirit
  • Confirmed

Gideon will return as the secondary protagonist after the first main plot twist reveals that she survived.
Not only is her narration style one of the strengths of the first book, but it will also allow for the story to roam more wildly as she gets involved with plots outside of the First.
  • Mostly confirmed. The majority of Act 5 is from her perspective, but she remains with the First and this comes very deep into the book.

The Sixth has some unknown plans that form a significant component of the book
Palamedes' dying words for Camilla to Gideon are that "she knows what to do," to which Camilla agrees that she does, but doesn't explain what that means. Given the Sixth and Eighth are the only Houses that openly refuse Lyctorhood after it's revealed that it involves consuming a cavalier's soul, this may escalate to be a full on La Résistance.
  • Slightly off base, but mostly confirmed. The Sixth do not make up a huge portion of the book, but Camilla is a member of Blood of Eden, and Palamedes did have some plans set up prior to his death.

The First House was Earth All Along
The First is noted as once having been home to billions and has vast oceans. There are tangential references that imply that the series takes place in a version of the real world (such as Gideon's hallucination/ghost quoting the Bible to Harrow, or Ortus making an offhand reference to Algol, a nearby star system). By extension this would make Dominicus the Sun, and some details of the other houses mentioned seem to line up with the solar system, such as nine planets, and the Sixth being described as a planet similar to Mercury.
  • Confirmed: The Emperor quotes extensively from Earth culture up to the modern day, and Commander Wake refers to Domincus as "my long-lost natal star".

Camilla, Coronabeth, and Judith (with or without Gideon) hiding from the First and attempting to escape the First house is part of the early portions of the book
Jossed. While this may yet be some component of the book, the early set up is entirely detached from the other survivors of Canaan House.

Gideon has Resurrective Immortality instead of being merely The Ageless like Lyctors
There are a lot of hints within the story that Gideon's not merely Made of Iron, but has genuinely died and just got back up several times. The first one is in the Avulsion trial where her narration states that she died, before backing up and saying she only "passed out, but felt like dying", and then Harrow's reveal that as an infant she survived 10 minutes of nerve gas being pumped into her nursery. Potentially this extends to the circumstances that led to her being taken in as a foundling on the Ninth, though it isn't detailed. The fact that her body also disappeared is itself fairly suspicious, given Camilla and Judith were very likely too injured to move her body and Coronabeth was in a full blown mental breakdown.

Beyond that, there are several distinctions made between the Lyctorhood process and true immortality, which seems to be solely reserved for the Emperor and possibly the girl within the Locked Tomb. Teacher makes a distinction in Chapter 8 between the two when referring to the origin of the Lyctors. Additionally, scrap of paper Gideon finds with her name on it implies that the Lyctorhood process was viewed as "incomplete" by the original eight, but that "Gideon" perfected it. Cytherea also makes a few mysterious remarks about Gideon after she reveals that she is a Lyctor, the most intriguing of which is "...You're not going to die here Gideon. And if you ask me to let you live you might not have to die at all."

  • Jossed. While there's not an answer yet as to how she survived the nerve gas meant to kill her, she truly did die, and Mercymorn makes mention of her corpse.

Gideon is one of the original Lyctors reincarnated
Another interpretation of the hints at Gideon's Mysterious Past is that she is one of the original Lyctors who was reborn in some fashion, whether that's a natural process for souls in the setting or some artificial necromantic process. Her affinity for fighting isn't remarked on as strange given how much she loves her two-hander, but might be due to some remembered memories, and her Made of Iron status might be a result of her soul still being tangled with the original Lyctor process.
  • Jossed

Gideon is a clone or some sort of experiment based on researching the girl within the Locked Tomb
While very little is known about her, the fact that she's kept sealed despite being dead implies that she cannot die forever, and she was sealed with a sword as well. It's also worth noting Harrow fell in Love at First Sight with the girl in the Locked Tomb, and also is heavily implied to not just view Gideon as her Only Friend, but has romantic feelings for her as well. There's also a brief passage following the death of the Fourth that might imply the connections Gideon has to Canaan House might stem from being another experiment from 10,000 years ago, like Teacher:
"Poor child," [Teacher] said, "we're all sorry. We never intended this to happen, none of us. The poor child."
Gideon might have been the child in question; she might've not. She strongly did not care either way.
  • Jossed, but not entirely off base; Gideon is the daughter of Alecto's necromancer.

Alecto is the name of one of the protagonists following a Meaningful Rename
  • Jossed, she's a separate character.

[WMG: Corona will become the new Reverend Mother of the Ninth following her breakdown]]

  • Jossed, she joins up with Blood of Eden

The Sixth's plans involve Gideon, due to Palamedes using his Psychometry on the Lyctoral note
  • Jossed, his plans involve Harrow, though Gideon's spirit briefly appears during his meeting with Harrow.

The First House was not Earth All Along
Aside from the common subversion, the First is never noted as having a moon, and moonlight is never described despite the noctural habits of necromancers and their cavaliers, and the notes that seem to connect the universe to the real world have only explicitly come from Harrow's perspective, when she is an Unreliable Narrator who's hallucinated for years.

The missing Resurrection Beast is the Beast of the First, was composed partly of 10 billion human souls, is now sealed inside Alecto, and is the source of the Emperor’s power
  • Jossed, Number One is mentioned to be one of the dead beasts by Mercy briefly in Chapter 36 of Harrow the Ninth. The missing beast is either Number Three, Number Five, or Number Nine.

Alternative Title(s): Gideon The Ninth, Harrow The Ninth


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: