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My Speculations on James Bucket's New Lore Theory


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I don't know about you guys, but while I was watching James Bucket's latest video, I was quite skeptical at first (How Wanda Could Expose Maxwell's True Nature (Don't Starve Lore/Theory): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmXpwF_HOuc&t=301s). But he was so consistent between his own theories that, I decided to give it a shot and try if I could prove this theory myself. So I examined the murals and Maxwell's quotes, and after that I couldn't find anything significant that could debunk this theory. Then I made some assumptions along the way, and tried to fit it into the whole lore of the game. It is the whole lore, as otherwise I wouldn't be able to tie pieces together. Plus, I always wanted to post my own take on the lore of the game, so James posting his video helped me finalize some thoughts and encouraged me to share them with you guys. Feel free to point out incomplete or wrong assumptions, I always enjoy talking about the lore of Don't Starve. So here are my current speculations on the game's lore.

(Note from future me: I got tired as I reached the end of this post, so you might see some funny stuff by the end. I will correct this original post if you point out those stuff as well)

 

Assumption #1: James is right, and Maxwell and Charlie were the ancient rulers

Spoiler

There was no ruler of the constant before Maxwell and Charlie came, and they are the Staff and Torch Wielders. The Ancients moved into the caves, with Maxwell and Charlie guiding them to build a greater civilization under their rule. Then things went downhill.

 

How did things go downhilll? Well...

 

Assumption #2: Maxwell overused the nightmare fuel, not the Ancients.

Spoiler

 

"The overuse of fuel was their downfall". At this point, I'm convinced that Maxwell is actually trying to distract others from his own failures. It just fits into his egocentric character. The Ancients didn't have any knowledge on utilizing the nightmare fuel to greater extents, they were probably just a farmer-gatherer people trying not to starve. They might have dabbled with shadow magic before, we don't know that, but most probably after Maxwell taught them the fuel's potential, they built the Pseudoscience Stations to craft advanced gear. Now I'm going to reinterprete the murals from the Metheus puzzles, so get your Wiki pages ready (https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Metheus_Puzzles).

Mural 1: Maxwell and Charlie came across the Gateway and learned to manipulate it using the Staff and the Torch. Maxwell used the Staff to cast shadow magic, and Charlie used the Torch to redirect the lunar magic into the Gateway, keeping Them distracted. They convinced the Ancients to build a civilization in the caves, away from Their influence. The Ancients brought all their belongings with them, including gems and food, and worked for their new rulers. It is, however, not clear whether Maxwell and Charlie disguised themselves as the Ancients, whether they got turned into their kind or whether it was Maxwell who painted the murals and decided to depict himself and Charlie as one of them. I believe that the third one is the case, as he didn't want anyone to find out it was him who ruined an entire civilization and caused a loved one to suffer.

Mural 2: Maxwell got arrogant and started using the nightmare fuel quite generously, thinking he doesn't need the power of the Torch anymore. He felt as if he had the greatest power and thought that he was safe from Them no matter what. He used the Staff to create even more food, to manipulate gems for shadow magic, to create the clockworks using gears he found around, and to raise undead beings using nothing but fuel and fossil pieces. Charlie decided that she didn't have anything more worth contributing to Maxwell's plans, so over time, she stepped down completely. After that point on, the Gateway only received its power from the Staff.

Mural 3: Some powerful being appears in the Gateway and uses the nightmare fuel to corrupt the Ancients and Maxwell. I believe that this is the nightmare fuel used by Maxwell, reflected back onto the entire civilization as some sort of a punishment. Charlie, the only one to survive the corruption, arrives just in time to save Maxwell by using the Torch. She sacrifices herself to the nightmare fuel as she protects Maxwell with the Torch. While we don't know for sure if the powerful being is Them, we know that it is displeased by the actions of Maxwell. I am positive that it is Them, as the Shadow Watcher who brought Maxwell and Charlie to the Constant doesn't seem bothered by people using shadow magic in the Constant (discussed later), and the only other possibility I can think of is that the eye is the shadow counterpart of Them, which still leads to the Shadow Watcher and their kind, creating a conflicting situation.

Mural 4: The Gateway is broken and Maxwell survives the corruption. He is now bound to the Throne. He was able to survive either because there was no more nightmare fuel left in the Gateway or because the Gateway got broken before Maxwell got corrupted. Charlie, along with the entire civilization, is gone, and there is nothing left but the nightmare fuel in the fallen city.

As Orange pointed out (couldn't find his forum page, so here is his Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/OrangEDonTStarvE), there used to be commentaries in Maxwell and Winona's speech files, and although the ones in Maxwell's files can be referencing the Final Act, I think it is also possible that they are referencing these events that took place in the ancient times. "Pride... Arrogance... Conceit..." and  "This was your fault...", when examining a Maxwell player and the NPC Maxwell respectively, might be a bit ambigous on that matter, but the commentary under the examination of the Throne, together with the other two quotes, implies that Charlie is angry at Maxwell definitely because of his reign over the constant: "You haven't escaped its pull..."

Another obvious proof is that Maxwell recognizes not just the Ancient Guardian, but the Ancient Key as well. He refers to the Guardian as "old friend" as most of you know. Unlike the other things Charlie created or unlocked in the Constant, however, Maxwell doesn't seem to be amazed at all after seeing the Ancient Key ("It's strange to see it"). Compared to his amazement at the Bee Queen or his confusion over the Archives, I find this quote to be more about an encounter on an object he knows the purpose of. Lastly, I started to find his quotes for the murals in the Atrium extremely interesting after I watched the James Bucket video. The first three quotes are related to the assumption #2, but take my commentaries with a grain of salt.

"A picture of the city, before the fuel": So the Ancients did, in fact, not use the fuel while building the city. However, the Staff Wielder did use the fuel to gain the influence over the Ancients. How can Maxwell even know when the Ancients themselves started using the fuel?

"We all know what happens next": Do we, Maxwell? Are you going to tell us in your next sentence what happened, or are you simply going to blame the Ancients for overusing the nightmare fuel?

"They gained such an enviable power...": ...or are you just going to reminisce those times where you had that power? Especially the triple dots in the end make it quite dark in my opinion.

After reminiscing that power, you would expect Maxwell to either say nothing anymore, or to say something like "Using that much fuel is (in my humble opinion) dumb, short and stinky". What he says afterwards is actually more interesting than the previous ones.

 

 

Assumption #3: Charlie wants to sacrifice Maxwell (and others) in the name of Them (or deliver them as prisoners, idk)

Spoiler

 

While other survivors try to make something out of the murals by examining them for the fourth and fifth times, Maxwell directly talks to someone in a first name basis, which means definitely to Charlie ("I know why you led me back there", "But it won't work). It is even more curious that the fourth examination of the murals tells the story of how the Ancients got corrupted, most characters identifying this as the Ancients shedding their skins. Maxwell, on the other hand, knows what Charlie tries to do by bringing the Survivors into the Atrium. He is well aware that Charlie blames him for the corruption of herself and the entire civilization, as his fourth examination of the murals remind him of Charlie's plans. He also somehow knows that defeating the Ancient Fuelweaver won't help Charlie achieve those plans, which we still don't know to this day. This assumption is centered around my guesses on Charlie's plans on the Fuelweaver and the Survivors.

1) Someone doesn't want other people coming into the Constant (with some exceptions), and it's not just Charlie

Remember the Shadow Watcher? The one who brought Charlie and Maxwell into the Constant? Until the Wanda animated short, the William Carter Puzzles were the last pieces of lore material where we got to see the Shadow Watcher. Unless you are insane and sitting by your campfire of course, then the Shadow Watcher does nothing, just watches. What Wanda, Maxwell and Charlie have in common is that they all found a way to intereact with the shadow magic in the real world, and were brought into the Constant by the Shadow Watcher. In other words, these three are the only Survivors we know of that were meant to be in the Constant. Except for Winona, all the other Survivors from the real world are directly or indirectly brought into the Constant by Maxwell (assuming that Walter activated the trap Maxwell set up).

So Charlie doesn't want anyone else and the Shadow Watcher doesn't want anyone else. But why? We can assume that the Shadow Watcher is some kind of an inspector who makes sure that the shadow magic is the property of the Constant and kidnaps everyone who tries to deny this. Then he just watches the Survivors and we don't know what the Shadow Watcher really wants (I guess Klei meant the Shadow Watcher to be Them at the start, hence all the referencing to the Epilogue, but I will stop now). We know that Charlie follows that code as well, as Winona fixing the portal Wagstaff built was not tolerated at all. But what if They also didn't want anyone to use the shadow magic? Well, actually, They don't. Every time someone learns to utilize shadow magic, They get upset, and when They get upset, entire civilizations fall. I believe that Charlie has a debt to pay to Them, and that debt is bringing everyone who knows of shadow magic to Them.

2) Who is Metheus and who is Cyclum?

One thing that needs clarification is Charlie's name in the Constant. I've seen some people call her Metheus and I've seen others call her Cyclum. The hidden message under the season finale teaser of RoT reads as "Metheus is here", and we see Charlie holding up the Torch to Them. I always thought that she was just making Them know that she is here, so yeah, I thought Charlie was Metheus. But what if Charlie actually was telling Them that she has captured Metheus? Then Maxwell is Metheus, or at least was. We know that the Torch uses lunar energy by sucking the Gestalts into itself. Without the Torch, Charlie should be vulnerable to go outside during full moon. In the teaser, she almost seems to be concerned after using the Torch, but after realizing that the Torch still has the power, she can actually stare at the full moon. This all means that Charlie found a way to interact with Them once again, and my guess is that she is willing to negotiate with Them to pay her debts. And the biggest debt to pay is Metheus himself, the one who taught shadow magic to an entire civilization and the one who ignored the lunar magic, disrespecting the god over the Constant.

3) The Fuelweaver and the Survivors

Now that Charlie makes Them know that Metheus is there, she has to hand him over to Them. This is where the Fuelweaver comes into the play. The Fuelweaver is a reanimated skeleton coming into "life" with the magic that was invented by the Staff Wielder himself. Maxwell's quote for the Shadow Heart, on the other hand, implies that the Heart not only pulsates with malice, but with betrayal as well. Whether it is the betrayal of Maxwell to Charlie or the other way around, that is up to your interpretation. What is important here, is that the Heart is the consciousness of Maxwell during the ancient times. The betrayal part is only one half of the proof for that. To uncover the other half, we must get a little bit metaphorical. The Heart is only obtainable from defeating the Shadow Chesspieces, and in their fully built marble forms, Maxwell actually recognizes them. Since those statues "died" with Maxwell after he was freed from the Throne, or in other words, after he died for the first time since his arrival into the constant, his heart was buried into the statues of his creations. If you want a comparison from a gameplay perspective, you have to defeat three mobs that have a total health over 11.000 in order to obtain the consciousness of an ancient man, compared to a simple telltale heart which costs only 40 health points. You can only obtain this heart when They have no influence, during the new moon, and you can only revive this man if you are literally hugging the Gateway. Of course, Maxwell knows that sacrificing his former self in the form of a reanimated skeleton won't help Charlie pay her debts, either because he knows that They don't negotiate in such terms, or because he won't let it happen (as in "Hah! I know your plans and I won't make it work!).

4) Charlie's Plans

They might also have excepted a sacrifice if Charlie sent Metheus to another realm, where he was unable to feed another godly entity in the sky, and got turned into a merm as a punishment, and wait... So Charlie was trying to pay her debts by sacrificing the survivors in the Gorge as well. But why? It is because they all sat on the Throne, which means they all freed each other and, by that logic, freed Metheus from his punishment. This also might mean that They hate Wagstaff more than the others, as he can just yeet himself out of their punishment, but who knows. One way or another, Charlie will have to pay her debts to Them, and considering that it was the Shadow Watcher who pulled her into the Constant, she is not allowed to send them back to the real world as well, and she can't kill the Survivors who just keep resurrecting (or starting a new world, which makes all our games canon). So she tries to negotiate by delivering Metheus to Them, but Maxwell is certain that it won't work (or he won't let it work). Now she has opened up the archives, and maybe she wants to utilize the Sealed Portal in some way, or she just wanted to declare an official war between the lunar entities and her nightmare creatures. In the end, They were either just in a deep slumber and Charlie's shenanigans woke Them up, or They were always watching over the Constant and decided to show that They were interested in Charlie's plans by shedding a piece of Their shell, creating the Lunar Island. In the end, Charlie is trying to bring peace on her lands and the survivors are just pawns, ready to be sacrificed for that goal. We can only wait to see the final answer but from now on, I consider James Bucket's theory to be in line with the current state of the game' lore.

 

 

As James said in his video, this theory might be totally wrong, but you are welcome to roast me as well after we get our answers. Still, the unanswered questions I had in my mind are bugging me much and much less after giving this theory a shot, because funnily enough, assuming Maxwell and Charlie as the ancient rulers gives much more answers than assuming that the Staff Wielder, the Torch Wielder, Maxwell, Charlie and the original night monster are all different people (or insectoids, who cares at this point). Thank you @JamesBucket for wasting your time on arbitrary math problems such as calculating the ages of fictional characters, and thank you for being able to create wonderful content out of it. I hope you guys enjoyed reading the (entire) post and I hope you have some ideas you would like to share as well.

 

Unrelated Extra Assumption: The Shadow Watcher is the Mastermind

Spoiler

 

I just said that we can't know yet whether They were trapped in Their shell, which is the "Moon", or They were sleeping the entire time. I find the latter to be a little absurd, as They are some godly entity watching over the Constant. If we assume the former, does that mean Charlie trapped Them while trying to save Maxwell? Or did someone else did? If it was the Shadow Watcher, they must be having the time of their life by tricking people into their own prison, watching them struggle with godly entities, preserving the godly entities so They can wake up just as other people join in to the chaos and by watching these people go mentally nuts as they sit by their campfire.

Jokes aside, I really believe that the Shadow Watcher is the ultimate mastermind behind all the events and they are just doing it for the purpose of evil and nothing else. Or maybe they want to claim the Throne after They are gone, and even Charlie is a puppet. I thought that Klei did forget them and we would never get an answer on who they really are, but after seeing the Shadow Watcher on the tree in Wanda's short, I got my hopes up again. I hope we get to see more of them, as they most likely have a huge connection to the origins of Codex Umbra and how it ended up in the real world. They might even have given Charlie and Maxwell the Torch and the Staff when they arrived into the Constant, who knows?

 

 

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this is the type of thing that might work if we didn't know maxwell, but he's the guy that built statues of himself laughing maniacally around the graves of his victims, look at how much he invested into murdering people, serial killing and grudge fulfillment just doesn't seem like a believable plan b

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I think the idea of maxwell being an ancient being isnt clear enough, at least for me, in the checkmate chapter at adventure mode, he says that when he came here, it was all void and them (i dont remember the exact qoute) but the fact that he mentions them is what takes out the theory of him and charlie being the first rulers of the constant.

Anyways, this was interesting to read.

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The thing is, and this might just be me, but I don't really think we can rely on all of this old information necessarily. I find it likely that plans surrounding the lore have changed significantly since those 6-7 years. I mean, you can't tell me Klei was already planning on having these ancient bug things actually worship the goddamn moon which, guess what, is an eye. I would actually appreciate if they could somehow clear up, or tell us in some way what old information is in fact outdated. Cause I'm relatively certain that the sentence "between zero and zero" people sat on the throne before Maxwell has simply expired.

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honestly. im not sure about this entire theory

wanda's timeline doesn't seem to affect anyone but her. 40 seconds passing for everyone else is a year for her, i don't think it's fair to use her timeline to create the condtant's because it's so vastly different

but let's assume, for the sake of argument, that maxwell and charlie did spent 43k years in the constant. how long is that in the real world? i have the math: 

43,800 yrs multiplied by the 70 days it takes to make a year in the constant
is ~3,066,000 days
divide that by the 8 irl minutes it takes per day, you get ~383,250 minutes
now, the amount of minutes in one calendar year is 525600
which 383250 > 525600
less then a year in real world time

yet the word of god timeline james uses spans over 15 real life years, starting from the year maxwell and charlie get pulled in (1906) to wilson getting pulled in (1921).  

if they got dragged in 43k constant years ago, which is less then a year (~266 irl days btw. divide 383250 by 60 to get 6,388 hours, divide that by 24 to get 266 days.), then how do you fit in the 15 years of stuff that happened? 

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I'm at the same thought of that it's very unlikely that Charlie and Maxwell spent 43k years within the constant over the span of 15 Earth years, unless it's to date the Constant's 8 minute day cycles and assume that they've aged accordingly while everything in the Constant aged rapidly and died rapidly, then again, most other creatures around don't seem to be affected all that much by that rapid cycle change unless that's just not visually interpreted for us to see.

Other thing is I'm unsure if he was surprised or not that his shadow powers have mostly left him as it's depicted in Cyclum puzzles which I'm unsure if he willingly or not have lost his powers or that unwillingly it dropped on his creations perhaps either by Charlie's hand when putting some clockworks into marble or not I'm unsure.

Either Maxwell died multiple times that he finally joined Wilson in the Constant to find him or that he was brought together with him by Charlie's hand which really bothers me to know cause it just makes no sense! Most survivors been transported into their own versions of Constant and they both got put together? There must have been some sort of external source to get them both in together and he does fall out of similar portal to how Wilson did when he was killed by Charlie at the throne, right? There must have been something to do with it to just dump Maxwell in with him to try and figure it out on how to bring in more survivors into play.

Overall I don't think it's debt that Charlie's trying to repay or something to the shadows and the more that we just don't have any evidence or knowledge about her and her intentions over the fact that she just automatically goes for the kill when players stand in darkness for a little too long. 
I remember a thread about 'gateway saga' to back when Forge and Gorge were on is likely that whatever it's to do with the Archives is that we're gonna get some type of third event to do with sanity and shadows that Klei's preparing on making? - It's not as crazy as it sounds, maybe, but just maybe we're actually gonna get back Forge Gorge and something third coming on it's way? Klei did sold over to Tencent, it might happen that we'd be getting some sort of new gamemode content happening sooner or later, eh? 

Alright I'm done rambling.

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2 hours ago, DaZoul said:

I would actually appreciate if they could somehow clear up, or tell us in some way what old information is in fact outdated. 

This, in my opinion, is in fact the reason why lore theories on DS (including the one above) have been obsessed with small details lately. We have been left with so many unanswered questions and a noticable amount of conflicting situations that every wild theory is (or at least should be) considered valuable to figure out the missing parts of the story. Even then, Klei might change their ideas on the story at any time, which they already did. And I'm fine with that. They should even do it more often so we can follow the actual story and not get 1000 ideas from a single cliffhanger. At this point, we won't be able get a somewhat solid answer on anything that has happened on the Constant until we get some "proper" little details or an animated short without a cliffhanger. 

 

4 hours ago, Capybara007 said:

I think the idea of maxwell being an ancient being isnt clear enough, at least for me, in the checkmate chapter at adventure mode, he says that when he came here, it was all void and them (i dont remember the exact qoute) but the fact that he mentions them is what takes out the theory of him and charlie being the first rulers of the constant.

Anyways, this was interesting to read.

Glad you found it interesting! By rulers I meant the king and the queen, They are definitely more of a god than a ruler. Plus the theory assumes that the Ancients didn't have any kings or queens when Maxwell and Charlie arrived at the Constant, they decided to declare Maxwell and Charlie the rulers. I should have made that more clear.

 

5 hours ago, GenomeSquirrel said:

this is the type of thing that might work if we didn't know maxwell, but he's the guy that built statues of himself laughing maniacally around the graves of his victims, look at how much he invested into murdering people, serial killing and grudge fulfillment just doesn't seem like a believable plan b

You couldn't be more right. But I found this to be one of the few loose ends of this theory, so I decided to stick with it. Plus I just like to imagine that Maxwell still has a heart, although it is one made out of stone. I'm sure he has his own justifications for the past, but he can't stand being the one that is guilty. So he laughes at the graves of people he kidnapped and tries to hide the worse things he has done. This might just be me, though.

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3 hours ago, SkyistheGround said:

honestly. im not sure about this entire theory

wanda's timeline doesn't seem to affect anyone but her. 40 seconds passing for everyone else is a year for her, i don't think it's fair to use her timeline to create the condtant's because it's so vastly different

I doubt the math is correct in James's video, but I also doubt that time is linear in the Constant. It could even be that the IRL years Maxwell spent on the Throne wouldn't be equal to the corresponding time in the Constant if it was the same amount of IRL years in another time period in the Constant. As in, the first 15 IRL years can be equal to thousands of years in  the Constant, but the next IRL15 years could be a more or even a less amount of time, say 5 million years or just 5 days in the Constant.

Bottom line is, that Maxwell was in the Constant for a long enough time for him to show signs of getting old. Before Wanda's introduction, I thought that he was just getting worn down by the Throne. After Wanda's introduction, however, it could also mean that Maxwell's oldness wasn't a factor of getting worn down by the Throne, but literally a matter of aging. Then it makes sense that he met the ancients, since he was around for an extremely long amount of time. This is still a theory of course.

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18 hours ago, mr. brj said:

Assumption #1: James is right, and Maxwell and Charlie were the ancient rulers

I kinda doubt this honestly

Klei reply if his theory is right

But Charlie is wielding the Lunar Torchbearers torch in the Axiom Visus trailer, Imma quit this game if this theory is correct, I thought the rulers were more special than Charlie and Maxwell, this lore would be bland and not unique imo if these were the rulers of the ancient civilization 

don’t argue on this 

we have our own way on why we like this game

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6 minutes ago, mr. brj said:

I doubt the math is correct in James's video, but I also doubt that time is linear in the Constant. It could even be that the IRL years Maxwell spent on the Throne wouldn't be equal to the corresponding time in the Constant if it was the same amount of IRL years in another time period in the Constant. As in, the first 15 IRL years can be equal to thousands of years in  the Constant, but the next IRL15 years could be a more or even a less amount of time, say 5 million years or just 5 days in the Constant.

the entire theory kind of hinges on the math? if he can't justify maxwell and charlie being in the constant for a long enough time to see the start and end of an ancient civilization then everything else doesn't matter because there's no good reason for those two being there in the first place

in his theory, maxwell and charlie entered the constant 43800 (constant) years AGO, before the other survivors were dragged in. the use of "ago" implies that these events supossedly happened 43k before another year, or in this case, the year survivors started getting dragged into the constant but as i've shown, 43k constant years is equal to 266 real life days. 

using the timeline in his video, we see that theres a period of time in between maxwell and charlie's disappearance and before the first survivors got dragged into the constant (1906-1910ish [sic]). this is a 4 year gap, notably more then the 266 days i have found. 

but if you instead want to argue that the course of the civilization's downfall did happen in those 4 years (despite there being no evidence that it did. the point of a theory is to find evidence to prove it, not saying "well it COULD happen because nothing disproves it!"). james uses in game time because that's the only known scale of constant and irl time. saying "15 years irl could be 5 million years in the constant" means nothing if you can't prove it. 

there are still holes in james's logic, and stronger evidence that suggests different theories

first, let me tackle the whole transformation thing. it's a stretch at best. just because he's hunched over that means he can "transform" into an arthtopod looking creature? woodie, as a werebeaver, is hunched over and shares arguably more similarities with the ancient king then hunched over maxwell. does that mean woodie is the ancient king? no, it doesn't. because we haven't seen woodie being able to turn into a bug or crustacean looking person. so why think maxwell can? because it hasn't been disproven? that's not evidence. 

and are we not going to mention his quotes for exploring the ruins? how distant he is? of he recognizes this stuff beyond the artifcats of an ancient civilization, he would've said something about it. as ivo said, he's not an unreliable narrator, nothing has ever suggested that. he's forgetful, but he remembers his creations (quotes for broodling, tallbird are most notable). nothing suggests he used to rule the ancients. even the quotes presented in james's video don't actually suggest a direct connection to the ancients. 

i offer you a different theory: the ancient fuelweaver is the ancient king, or at least has his spirit. he has quite a few quotes while talking to the player during battle. most notibly, these two sets:

Screenshot_20211006-101027_Chrome.thumb.jpg.c343560e557649136c03154514e51544.jpg

Screenshot_20211006-101135_Chrome.thumb.jpg.a3d8e7874a0a5bce5549ee94a3a38507.jpg

he talks about his city, how he was wrong, how "we've" fallen, returning "them" to him, and a mention of Them, doing something to ire afw because he's cursing their name. the wiki page also has comments about using nightmare fuel for power. 

considering where he's found as well, it suggests that afw is talking about a ruined city by the ancient gateway that supposedly used nightmare fuel until its downfall, and the afw sees it as a mistake... 

sound familiar? 

and while its true afw is notably not a bug person, consider that the reanimated skeleton only comes to life with introduction of the shadow atrium. 

can you still question this theory? yes. are there gaps? absolutely. but there are notably a lot less glaring holes then james's theory. the only thing i can point out is afw mentions metheus, if thats supposed to be the king's name, why would the king say it? 

take it with a grain of salt, but i won't jump to conclusions to things i dont have evidence for. 

i'll discuss your point on maxwell aging another time, because this has gone on for long enough

tl;dr: i disagree with the logic used in this theory and i believe its evidence relies mainly on "it hasn't been proven false, so it must be true"

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7 hours ago, Capybara007 said:

I think the idea of maxwell being an ancient being isnt clear enough, at least for me

Same, Maxwell doesn’t seem Ancient to me at all

 

8 hours ago, GenomeSquirrel said:

this is the type of thing that might work if we didn't know maxwell, but he's the guy that built statues of himself laughing maniacally around the graves of his victims, look at how much he invested into murdering people, serial killing and grudge fulfillment just doesn't seem like a believable plan b

Yes, it would’ve been better if we had no idea who Maxwell was

 

and lastly, @SkyistheGround made a good theory on Fuelweaver’s quotes, he says it’s HIS city and HIS world, s-so it clearly isn’t Maxwells

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2 hours ago, mr. brj said:

You couldn't be more right. But I found this to be one of the few loose ends of this theory, so I decided to stick with it. Plus I just like to imagine that Maxwell still has a heart, although it is one made out of stone. I'm sure he has his own justifications for the past, but he can't stand being the one that is guilty. So he laughes at the graves of people he kidnapped and tries to hide the worse things he has done. This might just be me, though.

I can’t see him as anything other than a sociopathic serial killer with a god complex who is going through depression after losing everything.

I can understand why people might think otherwise, he looks sad now which resembles remorse, and protagonists centered morality trained us to be sympathetic, they don’t show him actively killing.

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I'll just copy over my Youtube comment with my own take on the theory.

 

Not a bad theory, but there is one big issue with it. We know that Wanda's timeline was bunged up even before she entered the constant. We see her age rapidly and rewind herself even before getting dragged there.

 

That being said, I think [James is] still sorta right, just not how [they] think [they] are. In The Cinematic "A New Reign", we see that Charlie is suffering from someone else sharing her body. And from here on out, I'll refer to them as H and N, respectively. H and N are constantly shown struggling for control, with N sapping the power of the throne from Wilson, and then the two arguing over how to decorate it before completely merging into a single being.

What if N is actually Cyclum herself? It's implied (Somewhere, The Atrium tablets me thinks?) that the ancients where turned into the Shadow Monsters. So if Cyclum was a powerful mage among these ancients, it would make sense for her to maintain sapience after her metamorphosis as The Ancient Fuelweaver does.

But then what of Metheus? Maxwell's certainly not sharing a body with anyone. Which is correct. Instead, I belive that Maxwell's been getting "Help" from Methus through none other than the Codex Umbra. We know that this book is incredibly powerful; Wortox states that Maxwell probably doesn't know how to use it properly. And it's what brought Maxwell and Charlie into the constant in the first place. What if Methus created the Codex Umbra as a way to store all his knowledge and experiences to preserve it long after he fell. Hell, they say that authors pour their heart and soul into their works. And for Metheus, that may have been more literal.

 

And to top it all off, we know that Maxwell didn't take up that stage name until after he found the Codex Umbra. Perhaps he chose it so people wouldn't question why he had a book with a massive red "M" On the front. What would he have said otherwise? that he put the cover on upside down?

 

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1 hour ago, GenomeSquirrel said:

I can’t see him as anything other than a sociopathic serial killer with a god complex who is going through depression after losing everything.

I can understand why people might think otherwise, he looks sad now which resembles remorse, and protagonists centered morality trained us to be sympathetic, they don’t show him actively killing.

Well who knows, for what we know Maxwell was basically a prisoner in his "own" world, we dont really know much of what happened right after he got captured and became the ruler, or how it affected him, an ingame quote even goes about that, how his time in the nightmare throne affected him in multiple ways we cant comprehend. 

I wouldnt really call Maxwell a sociopath, but rather more that he lost part of his humanity and became detached for being alone for so long and how Them used him has their pawn, even to this day he shows clear remorse for what happened to Charlie in several quotes, and even shows some embarrassment for some of the stuff he did, such has his statues which he would rather destroy now, i guess despite what he did, Wilson freeing him and even willing to work with him, including the other survivors too, managed to change him for the better.

Wicker even says he is a "sweet boy" when you peel away the ego. 

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13 hours ago, SkyistheGround said:

the entire theory kind of hinges on the math?

Non-linearity is math too, and it is James's video that hinges on math. I'm suggesting that Maxwell has been there for longer than we think, and it was James's theory that made me think this way.

13 hours ago, SkyistheGround said:

the point of a theory is to find evidence to prove it, not saying "well it COULD happen because nothing disproves it!"). james uses in game time because that's the only known scale of constant and irl time. saying "15 years irl could be 5 million years in the constant" means nothing if you can't prove it. 

But if we are to prove a non-linear time, we have multiple evidences in the game. Green gems have the ability to influence time, and if the survivors can use them to influence time on single objects, imagine their capabilities in stronger hands, including someone sitting on the Throne. The Gateway, on the other hand, resets the entire ancient city to another state of time after defeating the Fuelweaver. If it wasn't broken, the amount of time that was reset would clearly be able to extend to older periods in time. This is not even mentioning how it can disturb the flow of time in places other than the ruins.

Other than that, there can be multiples of the same character in a single world. I know that this is a game design related choice, but Klei has been creatively succesful with integrating the design into the lore. And two Wilsons being able to interact with each other suggests an irregular time flow in the Constant. Heck, it even suggests that time doesn't flow for the characters themselves, but only for their interactions with their surroundings. This would also explain a linear flow of time, in which the time passes equally but the characters are no more affected by it ever since they arrived into the DST lands through the Florid Postern.

14 hours ago, SkyistheGround said:

first, let me tackle the whole transformation thing. it's a stretch at best.

Completely agree with that, and I also adressed this in the original post.

14 hours ago, SkyistheGround said:

i offer you a different theory: the ancient fuelweaver is the ancient king, or at least has his spirit.

This is already the widely accepted theory, along with him not being the king but an important figure that is related to him (him mentioning Metheus can mean that he was in a first name basis with the king). In that theory, I stand by him being the king, and in the one we are discussing, I'm just trying to stretch the one you mentioned so we have an alternative take. The main question in this stretch is who the king really is, and the alternative answer here is Maxwell. I believe that either takes on the lore have the potential to be true, and I'm excited to see what Klei will give us in the end.

14 hours ago, SkyistheGround said:

i'll discuss your point on maxwell aging another time, because this has gone on for long enough

I'm looking forward to that mate, as Maxwell aging holds the whole theory together. Thanks for keeping the conversation going!

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14 hours ago, Theukon-dos said:

What if N is actually Cyclum herself? It's implied (Somewhere, The Atrium tablets me thinks?) that the ancients where turned into the Shadow Monsters. So if Cyclum was a powerful mage among these ancients, it would make sense for her to maintain sapience after her metamorphosis as The Ancient Fuelweaver does.

In the third mural, we see Cyclum protecting Metheus with the Torch, and in the fourth one, we see her skull at the bottom, while Metheus is sitting on the Throne. Her skull looks cracked, and according the characters' examination quotes, this means that she shedded her "skin" to become a nightmare creature while protecting Metheus. So she either is the night monster possessing Charlie, or, according to the theory in the original post, she was Charlie and got corrupted with nightmare fuel.

I think that she was opposed to overuse nightmare fuel from the start and she wanted to use the power of "The Moon" to balance the shadow magic (as can be seen in the second mural), but the corruption made her one with the fuel. In the end, she gained two "personalities", one that is her old self seeking the power of "The Moon", and one that is her corrupted self feeding off the power of the shadows. By taking over the Throne, she became the commander of the shadows, and in order to obtain the power of "The Moon", she either has to gain Their favor, or simply eliminate Their influence. This is my own take, of course.

14 hours ago, Theukon-dos said:

I belive that Maxwell's been getting "Help" from Methus through none other than the Codex Umbra.

If Maxwell isn't Metheus, then I believe that this is 100% the case. If, however, Maxwell is Metheus himself, then I can only assume that it was the Shadow Watcher who placed Codex Umbra in the real world. As I stated in the original post, I believe that the Shadow Watcher is the ultimate mastermind that wants to get rid of Them, so they can claim the Throne without Their influence. Or maybe the Throne is just an illusion for power that the Shadow Watcher placed, and they only need Them to be gone. (Edit: Forgot to add that the Shadow Watcher is able to travel between the real world and the Constant without needing the Codex Umbra, as can be seen in Wanda's animated short.)

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