The Thief – Dark Souls Lore: Pinwheel

The Thief – Dark Souls Lore: Pinwheel


Hey guys, and welcome back to my Dark Souls
Lore series. Today, we’re gonna talk about Pinwheel. Pinwheel is an interesting character
because there’s not a lot to go off of on Pinwheel, yet there’s a lot of different speculations
I think are worth addressing. So, let’s begin. There are few things we do know for certain
about Pinwheel. We know that Pinwheel actually consists of three different bodies all acting
in unison as one. The Japanese name for the boss is Sannin Haori, also meaning 3 person
weave. This is based off of Ninin Haori, or a 2 person weave, which is a common and well
known Japanese joke within the culture. Pinwheel itself consists of a father, a mother,
and a child, all woven together acting as one. When defeating Pinwheel, the player will
receive one of the three masks of Pinwheel, each representing the different family members
who have been sown together. Further proof of this comes from this concept art, with
an excellent clarification outline drawn by Reddit user Drascoll on the left side. This
depicts just how Pinwheel gets its shape. As you can see, the father carries both the
mother and child, and this further explains why each mask of Pinwheel has its description. The Mask of the Father [belongs to the valiant
father and slightly raises equipment load] — depicting how the father both physically
and metaphorically supported his family. The Mask of the Mother [belongs to the kindly
mother and slightly raises HP] — depicting how the mother would care for her family,
thus raising their health. And finally, the Mask of the Child [belongs to the naïve child,
slightly raises stamina recovery speed], depicting the endless energy of youth. The final thing we know for certain about
Pinwheel, is that all of the masks are described as “One of the three masks of the Pinwheel,
the necromancer who stole the power of the Gravelord, and reigns over the Catacombs.”
— And what is the power of the Gravelord? Well, the primary thing Pinwheel drops upon
killing it is the “Rite of Kindling”, described as: “The secret rite [that] allows bonfires
to be bolstered further with Kindling, so that even more Estus can be collected. Kindling
was a sacred rite passed down among clerics, but all Undead can imitate the process in
the same manner that they restore their Hollowing with humanity. How peculiar that humans had
found little use for humanity until they turned Undead.” So, what else can we discover about the enigma
that is Pinwheel? Well, if you listen closely to the music playing in its Boss chamber,
it sounds as though someone is constantly whispering “I’m so sorry”.
(Play music). This lead to the interpretation that perhaps
Pinwheel was formed by a man whose family died, and stole the power of kindling in order
to experiment and bring them back. If you’d like to hear this theory further, I highly
recommend watching VaatiVidya’s Pinwheel Lore video, as he does an excellent job depicting
this theory. Another theory, brought forth thanks to Reddit
user MSPainting, is one I actually find to be more likely. The various masks of Pinwheel are depicted
throughout the catacombs. Statues have been built, depicting the father, as well as statues
built to represent the mother bearing a child. As we’ve seen with statues in Dark Souls,
it would seem that these were built to honor the necromancers, such as Pinwheel. We also see a series of Pinwheels guarding
Nito’s chamber, where there is also a small pond of water that creates humanity bearing
baby skeletons. The room is filled with skeletons stuck in a prostrated position, seeming to
bow to both Nito and the Pinwheels existing in the room. I believe these Necromancers were actually
responsible for burying the dead, and extracting the humanity for Nito. They are honored in
this holy burial ground, and site of Nito. I don’t believe a blasphemous thief of Nito
would have various statues honoring him. Something else to consider: Pinwheel has stolen
the power of the Gravelord. Where else do we see mention of this? While searching the
Tomb of Giants, players can find the Effigy shield, described as a “Frightful occult shield.
In an ill-fated plot to destroy the very gods, the followers of the occult once attempted
to steal the power of Gravelord Nito, the first of the dead.” Wait a second. The followers of the occult
attempted to steal the power of Gravelord Nito… and Pinwheel succeeded in doing just
that. He stole the power of the gravelord. A common point of wonder has been, why is
there an empty coffin next to Nito? Who’s could it have possibly been? What if — in order to get close to Nito,
Pinwheel became the highest ranking Necromancer, and this was actually Pinwheel’s coffin? Pinwheel
then betrayed Nito, and stole the Rite of Kindling. There are further ties to Pinwheel and the
Occult as well. In front of Pinwheel’s boss chamber, there are various bonewheels guarding
him. They also look like a spinning pinwheel while in motion, again, possibly tying the
two together. There’s only one other location we find the Bonewheels in the game… and
that’s in the Painted World of Ariamis, along with the Dark Ember — associated with the
occult — as well as the other things the Gods feared. So, why did Nito steal the Rite of Kindling,
and what is Pinwheel doing with it? If Pinwheel is an Occult member, it’s likely Pinwheel
stole the Rite of Kindling in order to prevent Gwyn and Nito from having it. As I explained
in my Nito Lore video, I believe Gwyn and Nito continued to work in unison, and the
Rite of Kindling, created by Nito, is also used by the Way of White in order to Kindle
bonfires and further extend the Age of Fire. By stealing the Rite of Kindling, Pinwheel
is preventing the kindling of bonfires, and thus hurting both Nito and Gwyn, just as the
Occult would have wanted. And what is Pinwheel tinkering away at? Well,
this I’m honestly not sure about. We see various skeletons hung about, as well as books scattered
throughout the chamber. If bonfires are made with the bones of the Undead, it’s possible
Pinwheel is experimenting with the Skeletons in order to either destroy the Rite of Kindling,
or learn how to harness its power. Is he trying to develop a way to create or destroy bonfires?
What do you guys think? Alright, that wraps up this Dark Souls Lore
video. I know a lot of this is going against the now common belief presented by VaatVidya,
and I’d love to hear what you guys believe Pinwheel’s true purpose is. Vaati created
a great video depicting the theory of a father, desperately trying to fix his mistake, and
I still highly recommend giving it a watch. Thanks again for joining me guys, and I’ll
see ya next time! Peace!

33 thoughts on “The Thief – Dark Souls Lore: Pinwheel

  1. I think pinwheel was trying to separate the three souls from each other so they can be separate again I really have nothing much to back my story up other than the "I'm sorry" could mean either the dad/mom saying sorry to there child since they couldn't separate themselves or it could be there saying sorry to. Nito? For betraying him and the skeletons could be subjects for the body the mother, child, and father would use once they were separate and the rite of kindling could be used to separate them. THIS IS MY THEORY ok.

  2. Cult and Occult are not interchangeable words. The way you're interpreting this is based largely on the confluence of those two words.
    Occult means mystical, or arcane.
    Cult is a group of followers of an extreme leader or sect.

  3. I think that pinwheel might have taken the rite of kindling to break his family from being linked to the fire but instead accidentally linked his families souls together.

  4. Wow over 3 years old, so this most likely won't get noticed but, Has anyone ever noticed how in the introduction that Nito is referred to as first of the dead? Like he wasn't the first to live but to die yet he still is animated anyway? Is death even a real concept because otherwise wouldn't Nito have been first of the undead?

    Back to pinwheel, I think that Pinwheel isn't a devotee of Nito but, rather a slave of his. A man who has lost his wife shapes statues with her visage and a child that never was. He is all alone when suddenly clerics show up to seek this rite of kindling, anxious at the stories of being able to raise the dead he follows the clerics only to succeed at taking the Rite of Kindling. It's all well until The Father realizes that the heretics with their occult devices are thwarted and Nito realizes the man is in his chamber. Nito becomes emotional, or maybe curious? The father before him has none of the blasphemous arms the others has and says he'll grant a request. The father excited wishes for his family to be resurrected, so they can be a family once more. Nito grants the request…at a cost. The family does become one again expect this time literally. In order to torture the fool he leaves a pool of dead children outside his tomb, allowing the Pinwheel to split themselves into copies but never apart. An unknown amount of time passes when finally pinwheel has escaped the shared tomb of Nito. Frantically they start to learn all about the necromatic process, if they can only understand how they are merged together they can learn to separate… Studying alone in an open tomb they research in peace until YOU appear.

  5. I believe Nito dislikes Pinwheel for his treachery. Paladin Leeroy is a summonable phantom when fighting pinwheel, but invades you when you get to close to Nito. This shows that maybe he's a member of the gravelord covenant.

  6. Lots of dead babies and spikes coming out of the mother's stomach? I am thinking the child did not live for long… until it was brought back.

  7. Interesting proposal, but it doesn't account for all the other Pinwheel's in the pre-Nito area or the boss' unique cloning ability the way Vaati's theory does. Then again, maybe you're both right. The two theories aren't mutually exclusive.

  8. I prefer the idea of the "pinwheels" we see before the nito bossfight being his failed attempts to split himself back into 3.
    Doe he may have had some connection to velka

  9. Okey, you just gave me something to think about! I’ve never considered Pinwheel being a part of the Occult but now that I think of it…it’s not far fetched at all!

    I’m more or less obsessed with the lore on the Occult, mostly because I can empathize with wanting to destroy false gods but also they’re obscure and it’s more of a challenge to put stuff together!

    Added – I have a hypothesis to why Pinwheel is conjoined as they are. I think Pinwheel tried to use his own soul to sustain his fallen family, I think he tried to fracture his soul similar to how the sun god dis but his soul wasn’t powerful enough to fracture and instead…fused to all the bodies and because of this, Pinwheel cannot be separated from his family or else they will all die because the soul cannot break. The must walk together as a single body attached to a single soul.

    I wonder if he believed the rite of kindling has something to do with humanity, the dregs of the human body and a shard of the dark soul. Humanity can easily be split, as seen with “Twin Humanity” so maybe he figured if he can understand the Dark soul more, he can find a way to split his own soul and be allowed to separate himself from his family.

    Clearly, he was close to his goal for he was able to split himself but more like an amoeba rather then a separation. So, I think he’s using the rite of kindling to understand humanity (The Dark Soul) and separate himself as originally intended.

  10. The bonewheels could be a reference to an ancient method of torture commonly administered to blasphemers, and others worthy of an extreme punishment. The racking, or driving wheel, would commonly see individuals threaded through the spokes of a large wagon wheel, the wheel being mounted upon a post and rotated, shattering bones, and tearing flesh. The individuals would then be left in public view, often living for many days, or potentially let go, permanently crippled and disfigured. This method of torture was commonly preserved for traitors, and blasphemers.

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