Diablo III. That this post should be about that game, should be of no surprise to anyone. Frankly, I have already postponed it for way too long, but I figured that now – a few months after the game’s release – would be a good time to sit down and plot (pun intended) in some theories. Obviously, I do have “quite a few” (read: a lot), some more obvious than others, and some that I am still a bit doubtful about. That is the fun thing about theorizing though – you come to conclusions of your ideas as your write them, or at the very least to a point that makes enough sense. In either case – contrary to what most people might think – there’s still plenty of material that can be shaped into a proper conclusion to the franchise. So, let us have a look at where we stand after the initial story-line of the game ended…
I doubt a spoiler warning should be necessary at this point, but in either case, consider this sentence just that. I figured that since there’s such a huge amount of different subjects to go into, that I split into a total of three parts, as they each have their different focus, turning points and individual ways of wrapping them up: Demons, Angels and the In-Between, respectfully.
Demons: The Current State of Things
First of all, this is a good time to quickly look back to the previous time I touched upon the subject of Diablo, back in January, which summed up on an important point about our favorite prime evil. Leah did indeed turn out to be this chapter’s host for Diablo, as predicted. True enough, that part might have been easy enough to guess at first, but never the less, it was right.
We were also later met by the familiar appearance of Adria, Leah’s mother, and the witch that sensed a soul in search for answers. She plays a rather vital role, which is slightly more convenient that one would expect. When we meet her, we save her from the evil Coven. For some reason, she knows about the Black Soulstone, what it could be used for and everything – and wonders why Cain did not tell Leah why she left. This is more or less the first real warning sign, as Cain – according to the Book of Cain, and previous in-game conversations – did not even know that she was alive. When thinking of her betrayal, it is quite obvious that the likelihood or her lying is much greater than Cain simply not telling (except the obvious part of plot-spoiling by leaving that part told before the game came out). Never the less, it is quite obvious that in order to pursuit Diablo’s ultimate goal, he would need Leah as his host as the Prime Evil, and in order to even make it that far, all of the Great Evils would have to be contained in the Black Soulstone in the first place – a feat that needed resources that Diablo simply did not directly have at his disposal: us, the Nephalem. He needed to be the one in control of all the evils, as was also mentioned by Azmodan when we fought him. With that part of the plan working out perfectly, Adria sets off and disappears to some unknown destination.
Some long time fans from the first game might speculate that Adria is in fact Lilith. There certainly are quite a few oddities about Adria, but most of them can be disregarded with the “she’s a witch!”-argument. Her resurfacing, along with the fact that she had somehow marked the souls of the Great Evils to be drawn to the Black Soulstone and general uncanny amount of knowledge of everything, did seem to be rather good arguments arguing for it. I do, however, think that the theory is a bit too far-fetched, for several reasons.
- There’s nothing to really prove that Lilith would be able to escape the Void that she was trapped in. The idea that she could spawned from the Pandemonium bonus event from Diablo II, where she (Lilith, that is) actually appeared in the game. As that is not considered canon, we can still assume that she’s still trapped in the void – with no way of returning.
- Adria would never actually need to go to the Void, because Diablo taught her everything about the plan – before he was sent there himself. However, he came upon every single Greater Evil after having spoken to her, except (naturally) Belial and Azmodan. Adria would have to fuse those spirits with the Black Soulstone by herself. She knew how, yes – but notice that the combining process was done by Leah, not Adria. Adria wasn’t strong enough! After all, Adria’s explanation of her marking the soul could easily be another lie to cover the truth: That all of it would be Diablo’s work.
- Lilith’s plot has always been to let the Nephalem rule – guided by her, naturally – which seems oddly conflicting with empowering Diablo to be the Prime Evil. Though, to be fair, had Diablo managed to triumph in the High Heavens, and us heroes managing to kill him just afterwards, it would potentially fit her plans.
- Diablo (and with him, Mephisto) would most certainly have recognized her at some point. Seeing as her original plot is working against them, something would surely be off. She might be a mistress of deception, but cheating all of the Great Evils just under their noses? Hardly.
- If Lilith had ever changed her primary plot to wanting to reign supreme, why not simply empower herself with the Black Soulstone instead of Leah? However, one could counter-argue that with saying she wouldn’t be strong enough to be in control.
- Lilith (daughter of Mephisto) would have given birth to her uncle’s (Diablo’s) child, which seems… odd, to say the least, and also not produce an offspring even remotely human. Lilith is a demon, Aidan was heavily possessed by Diablo. You do the math.
All in all, I highly doubt that Adria is Lilith. It is a much more plausible explanation that all of her knowledge was taught to her by Diablo, who in turn had gotten all his knowledge about the workings of the Soulstones from Izual, back in the days long before Diablo and his brothers were captured in them.
Order of Importance
While faced with the pressing matter of Diablo raiding the High Heavens, Adria (to the player just a rogue witch) seemed slightly less important. And, as the game itself would have it, we naturally set things straight, beat the big bad and stand victorious. Things are currently looking good; we have defeated every single evil thing – or so it appears. The only thing we really know for a fact, is that we saved the High Heavens from Diablo’s attack – which was about as close as it could get to permanently corrupting the Crystal Arch and make evil’s triumph complete. We see the High Heavens getting restored to its full glory again, with all evil brushed away like nothing had ever happened. However, we do not really know if the Black Soulstone was destroyed, as the cinematic really did not make it obvious. We only saw the body of Diablo burn away and the Black Soulstone fall… and it kept falling untill the camera cut to a new scene, just at the point where it was not entirely obvious if it had crumbled into nothing or not.
All of the above leaves us with the following three main questions to ponder, and to figure out a way to tie together so that they can all be concluded in a nice fashion.
- Did The Prime Evil(s) truly die, or only the host?
- Does The Black Soulstone still exist?
- Where in the World is Adria?
If we assume that everything we know about the Black Soulstone is correct, that it is not destroyed and the Great Evils were (still) intact within it, then there is a quick and effective way to seal the Demon-side of things. Imagine that Diablo foresaw the possibility of not completing the attack fully, and hence sent Adria to a spot to recover the Black Soulstone. As it stands, nothing really stops Adria from being able to be the new host of the Prime Evil, and continue the conquest. If anything, it would probably be harder to figure out reasons as to why it should not happen. Diablo would, undoubtedly, be weaker than before, as Leah was a more optimal host, with more obvious power and potential than Adria. Still, we know that Diablo can be quite the foe, even with a lesser host. Now, what we as heroes would do, is to hunt Adria down, defeat her and properly destroy the Black Soulstone. That way, we would be free of the Prime Evil – for good.
This could be further fueled by more story-telling regarding the original soulstones. After all, we were under the illusion that destroying a soulstone containing a Greater Evil at the Hellforge would forever kill the Greater Evil in question. It is obvious now that this was not the case, and the stones only real purpose was to contain them, so that they could not roam free. Add to that the ignorance of the Angels, by believing that in the first place, and to rub in the treachery of Izual even further.
However, while this could be shaped into a pretty well-fitting plot by itself, it could turn out to be too much of a classic “Heaven was just a setback!” scenario, which would most likely also be too cheesy. On top of that, there’s still loads of unresolved things, which I haven’t even started to look at yet. Stay tuned for part two: “Angels: Is the New Dawn Looking Bright?”.
EDIT: Part two is hereby posted!