*i’m still chipping away at my bloodborne lore explainer, but i’m also trying to keep up with my webcomic (my job) and plan my wedding. it’ll be back! i swear! in the meanwhile here’s a LONG ask i answered that i’ll use as the base of a later update.

this is a really good question because, as a lore psycho, i think the understated lore implications of the woods are genuinely fascinating. i think there’s a lot to unpeel, even if we take into account that it was one of the places in the game that was chopped up at the 11th hour and scrambled before release.

as always for these lore posts, important nouns are bolded and speculation is in italics. we are going to discuss the woods in three parts: from the gatekeeper to the windmill is “the village“. from the windmill to byrgenwerth is “the woods“. the subterranean cave shortcut back to yharnam will just be called “shortcut.” i’ll expand on this shit GREATLY when we reach this part in “you hunted” (I HAVENT STOPPED WORKING ON IT I PROMISE IM JUST SWAMPED) so considered this a light overview. feel free to ask for more details on things and ill do my best to fill in the blanks.


-from the jump, the village gatekeeper is a fucking weird little blip in bloodborne’s narrative. i haven’t thought about him enough to figure out if he’s more than just a spooky, unexplained element but he has some cut dialog that sheds some mindboggling information about yharnam: he seems very confused about WHEN it is and will cite the last time he had a visitor as anything from a year to a century.

-the lamps in this area lighting the way to the village are little burning fetal beasts of some sort.

i’m starting to understand more and more about how fire operates in the world of bloodborne, since most of the time it appears in the game, it’s seemingly impossible. the thing that confused me the most was how old yharnam was still burning if it happened a long time ago. i think it’s time to start thinking of the old blood as impossibly combustible and a great source of light/fire. this isn’t the first in-universe example of creatures being used as fuel: the lamps in the fishing village are slugs (also infants? they strongly resemble the hunter’s appearance as a baby great one in the “childhood’s beginning” ending). this is a whole fucking like, thing. it’s its own post.

next, the huntsmen enemies here are dressed funny. you probably noticed it but couldn’t pin down how. they’re dressed in white church clothes! the first model here is used only in the forbidden woods. the two on the left are from central yharnam. note the gloves on the first two; these are church doctors!

the forbidden woods yharnamite doctor

the central yharnamite black church doctor

a central yharnamite, for comparison

the white church doctors are the ones that were doing “experimentally backed blood ministration”. the butcher’s garb further defines it as “forbidden research“. these white church doctors are the citizens of this “village”. in the clustered buildings where the majority of the huntsmen are, you can find blue elixir and beast blood pellets in abundance. both of these items can only be purchased from the store after obtaining the choir’s badge, drawing a firm connection between the white church doctor’s research and the goals of the choir.

although, this probably isn’t too much of a surprise; it’s almost certain that this is where fauxsekfa came from. she took the same shortcut we did, right? i’m not really sure i understand the shortcut too much. but let’s talk about it.


although not explicitly stated, i am strongly convinced that this cave is the entrance to the hintertomb. at the very least, it is absolutely an entrance to the labyrinth. the presence of tomb mold, blood gems, parasite larva, and pthumerian giants/corpses makes this very clear. the root chalice for the hintertomb describes it as “a cesspool of noxious snakes and insects”; i think it’s likely that the snakes came from the hintertomb given they can be found in the swamps there.

the giant graves here and further into the woods are referred to as “tombstone[s] of a great one”.


a pthumerian corpse, unskinned in the map program

the hunter’s mark i think would suggest these are pthumerian made. its possible that the hintertomb is spilling out into the world above but frankly all of the graves here are baffling. grave placement and appearance needs more research. the graves in the woods only are developing a strange sort of honeycomb rot pattern not unlike the head of an amygdala. this pattern shows up enough that it warrants more investigation.

the slow poison-inducing “water” here has similar properties to the slow poison pool in the research hall. they are different colors, but have similar origins: the poison pool in the research hall is from the decomposing bodies of the patients, who were exposed to bizarre blood ministration and parasitism. the pool here is likely from decomposing great ones. with this in mind, perhaps the silvery liquid is mercury.

the poison pool of the forbidden woods shortcut the research hall poison pool

the ladder leading out of this area is fucking insane and i have a hard time understanding what occurred there. like what in the hell is up with that grave you exit into in yharnam. who popped it open. why is it so cavernous. what happened to the contents.

anyway, let’s just go back to the woods.

THE VILLAGE (again):

there’s really only two more things to mention here before we move on: first, beast roar can be picked up here. it’s the undead, still twitching hand of a darkbeast. nothing touched by the old blood can truly die, and these severed limbs are no exception.

second are the butchers. these are the people who collect specimens, hack them apart, and present them to the church doctors for research. they show up in three different ways: the surviving madaras twin wears the butcher’s set (the hunter picks up the set from the other twin’s corpse), the “executioner” enemies (REMINDER: a better translation would have been “butchers” [or, literally, “dismantling men”], i have no idea why they went with “executioner” outside of their superficial appearance) wear the cape with the popped collar, and there are huntmen enemies skulking the streets below the grand cathedral hunting for victims dressed in the garb. they literally only appear there.

ah, one more thing. this is the place where you can find the suspicious beggar and interrupt him while he’s in the middle of chowing down on one of the biggest families i’ve ever seen in my life. at first i thought the devs hysterically fucked up the sizes of the corpses, but they’re dressed like the citizens of yahar’gul. while not outright stated, evidence strongly suggests that the beggar is irreverent izzy or one of his followers such as the close proximity of one of izzy’s inventions and the beggar’s clothing reflecting his past as both a veteran tomb prospector gone mad and former church agent. there’s a lot of meat on that bone, but for another time.



this is the part you probably remember the most bc it’s snake hell. the first thing we absolutely need to keep in mind is that the snake-infested guys you meet are a reference to doobie from jojo. the snakes are parasites to people, but the snakes themselves are also being parasitized? they are covered in ticks, those are the huge bloated blobs all over them. given that the augurs of the great ones are invertebrates…what does that imply about the inclusion of the ticks narratively?

there’s something absolutely fascinating happening to the flora and fauna in this section of the woods but it’s hard to know what it all means. some notes:

-when enemies in bloodborne die, the game handles their corpse in different ways. some of this is lore related, some of it is to reduce hardware strain. some corpses turn into ragdolls, some explode into blood, some explode into white particles (sometimes with blood but not always). snakes explode into white particles. i got way too into the fucking weeds with this, but (outside of the slime scholars….kind of) all of these enemies either appear or were intended to appear in the chalice dungeons, the nightmare frontier, or the nightmare of mensis (the lecture hall containing the scholars connects the waking world to the nightmare). all of these locations are, arguably, the nightmare.

-there are statues of amygdala and a presumed evolution of the celestial child sprouting out of the ground. i am almost certain these are original versions of the statues in the grand cathedral and yahar’gul, respectively.

the amygdala and celestial child statues in the forbidden woods

the amygdala statue outside of the grand cathedral

the celestial child statues in yahar’gul

-remember that strange pond with the fireflies? the only place in the game where there’s fireflies? what the hell is up with that lol. i kind of have an answer:

most concrete is this: back when the original boss of the woods was snakeball, you would have faced a rematch in this pond.

insane theory crafting moment: look, this is stupid complicated and a reach so if i have to get into really defending it it, ill do it in another post. but in bloodborne people can be teleported around via “communion”. communion is the means of entering the chalice dungeons and requires three things: ritual blood (or perhaps just liquid, if rom’s arena is anything to go by), something to hold the blood (typically a chalice, but sometimes the “chalice” is a skull), and light (this is almost always achieved with candles). this pond is probably full of blood, if the rotten bodies nearby are any indication, and the fireflies offer light. but, look, this shit was cut so don’t think too hard about it.

-its in the art book but also in the game (but hard to see): the wall separating byrgenwerth from the rest of the world is melted.

the melting wall outside byrgenwerth wall detail

wait wtf there’s dudes in it. lol. what da hell!

oh my. the name for this asset is “wall of divine tomb”. cool. every day i lean some new insane shit about this game, for real.

anyway the only other point of interest is whatever the fuck valtr and the league are doing. too deep of a topic for now. anyway, those were the points of interest in the forbidden woods. i hope this was….whatever counts for informative when it comes to video game trivia

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