Who is Safiyah in Destiny 2?

A tragically familiar phantom for the Commander of the Vanguard.

Image via Bungie

Season of the Haunted’s opening mission in Destiny 2 is filled to the brim with mystery and revelation. The Leviathan has returned but is twisted by the same corrupting Darkness that the Guardians first saw in the Presage Exotic mission last year. Calus is back and communing with the Pyramid on the Moon, allowing its haunted phantoms to roam the Leviathan’s halls. Yet most mysterious of all, one of the ghostly figures players were introduced to was seemingly an entirely new character.

Safiyah is the creepy tour guide in the Guardian’s first excursion aboard the now derelict Leviathan, but it is Zavala who is most affected by her presence. Safiyah isn’t a name that Destiny 2 players will be familiar with, even the most astute lorehounds, but she isn’t as new as it appears at first glance.

This is because Safiyah is the name of Zavala’s long-dead mortal wife, an old lover that was first revealed in Season of the Splicer.

We know this thanks to one of the new Exotic ships in Season of the Haunted: Tymbal Lucidae. A brief passage of lore text attached to the ship delves into a scene where Zavala dreams of his wife, Safiyah, and son, Hakim, after requesting that his Ghost play a certain ambient track before he drifts off in his office. It’s a pleasant dream, the small family enjoying a night together in a meadow beside a campfire. Whether it is a memory or imagination is unclear, but we know that this family life that Zavala once lived is long gone.

Zavala’s grief over his dead spouse was first explored on the Forbidden Memory Exotic ship in Season of the Splicer. While the name Safiyah was not revealed here, he recalls memories of waking up beside her. He fondly recounted her appearance in the morning light while stood at the foot of the memorial erected in honor of the Eliksni lost in the season’s epilogue.

How Safiyah died is unknown, but she was more than likely a tragic victim of the passage of time where Zavala, an immortal lightbearer, was not. It’s clear that the Awoken Titan feels guilt over her passing all the same, otherwise the Pyramid would not choose to summon her specter to haunt him.

Season of the Haunted is all about characters and how they handle their weaknesses and their vulnerabilities, so expect to see more of Safiyah and Zavala’s relationship later in the season.