as always, speculation is in italics.

we all know and love gravelord nito, right. he’s a big jumble of skellingtons covered by a robe of bad vibes. he’s not dead, he’s just “sleep[ing] deep within the Giant Catacombs, quietly overseeing all death”. nito, first of the dead, is weak to fire; nito discovered his flame and burned himself to death making him the first loser in recorded history.

and we know pinwheel, the poorly named boss whose japanese name (San’ninbaori) is a reference to a comedy act performed with two people. in this case, however, it’s THREE people (hence “san”). you can see in the concept art how they’re stacked on each other under the blankey. hence, the three masks he/they/it wears.

a particularly nauseating and saccharine theory proposes that pinwheel is a harmless family man trying to restore/revive/reincarnate/whatever his dead family. this theory is based LITERALLY entirely on the fact that his masks are named “the mask of the father/mother/son”. thats it lol. this ignores several things:

  • the masks are clearly based on greek theater masks and are representing archetypes and not literal people.
  • no one in dark souls or any reality wears a mask to inform people what their familial role is. are you stupid.
  • they’re undead, you dipshit! it’s a world of people where the problem is they don’t die!

the idea is also just toothless and stupid; it’s cliche and expected. it’s the kind of lazy theorizing that occurs when you fundamentally do not understand how to read text beyond just putting the literal words into your head and running with your first idea regardless of viability. look:

undead clerics go on pilgrimages to the catacombs of lordran to become fire-keepers by partaking in the rite of kindling, which will tie them to a bonfire making them fire keepers. the magical bonfires of “dark souls” are sustained with the bones and bodies of undead humans and kindled (made stronger) by sacrificing humanity.  presumably, any body can be used in this manner; i presume that nito’s death is what initially lead to the discovery of sustaining the long-burning fires and gwyn used this knowledge to re-kindle the first flame (the gods simply prefer to use humans because they are abundant and convenient, if not considerably weaker than a god’s soul). nito’s unique form of undeath he enacts on himself and the residents of his tombs is a consequence of burning himself on the lord soul. WAS unique, that is.

pinwheel is “the necromancer who stole the power of the Gravelord [a/n: that’s the rite of kindling] and reigns over the Catacombs”. when we interrupt pinwheel, hes in the middle of grafting a gravelord sword onto his next addition in order to mimic ol’ nito.

the fundamental difference between pinwheel and nito is size: pinwheel is a collection of (based on diminutive nature) undead human. nito and the other lord souls (except the furtive pygmy) were “gods”, a race of giants with super powers. if you see a really tall fucker in dark souls, they’re a different species and not a weird human. nito appears to be one big skeleton with little skeletons as armor.

with that in mind: it seems like pinwheel is trying to usurp nito in a weird parallel to our own adventure. in one of the two dark souls endings, the player character can choose to inherit the role of the gods by sacrificing their life to extend the age of fire, as the god gwyn did before you. pinwheel is following his own blueprints to become god laid down by his predecessor of choice; nito too was once three dudes smooshed together!

nito’s boss area has a weird detail: two open sarcophagi….or….IS THERE!!!!

christ it took me forever to find the source for this and i guess no one cares about it enough to talk or notice it outside of this one video. thank you illusory wall. here are some pictures of it using the map explorer:

three huge god-sized coffins!

speaking of illusory, you may be wondering how there’s more than one pinwheel after you beat him to a pulp: the pinwheels in front of nito’s boss room poof into illusion dust when you kill them. illusions in dark souls persist even after the death of the person who cast them. you can kill gwyndolin and the fake sun remains in anor londo. in the same way, pinwheel’s clones of himself linger after his demise.

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