Dark Souls 3: Who Is Slave Knight Gael?

Quick Links

  • Slave Knight Gael's History
  • What Is A Painted World?
  • Why Was Gael At The Ringed City?
  • What Is The New Painted World?

Slave Knight Gael is a key figure in Dark Souls, to put it lightly. He's the final boss in the entire series, standing tall at the end of the Ringed City DLC, growing from a lowly man in rags to a hulking knight with a decrepit greatsword. But it's not just being the final boss of the series that makes him so special—Gael brings us into the Painted World of Ariandel and has devoured the Dark Soul in a quest that sacrifices his own sanity.

There's a lot to this knight, even if his history is shrouded in mystery, but a lot of it boils down to the future of the Souls world and his shared vision for its next chapter.

Slave Knight Gael's History

"Long ago, only the Undead served as slave knights, warriors used as fodder in the bleakest of battles," the Slave Knight set states.

Gael is one such Undead, having fought in countless wars and battles, though we don't know for whom or for how long. Some speculate that he's been fighting since the days of Gwyn, although his gear points to him being more a contemporary soldier.

They grew decrepit, their skin charred black and their bones twisted. Eventually they went outright mad, but were never relieved from duty.

We know very little about Gael's duties in the past, but we do know who he is bound to now. At some point, he found the Painted World of Ariandel and befriended the nameless painter. She now refers to him as uncle but this is likely nothing more than an affectionate term rather than an actual familial tie.

He is also wielding the Sunset Shield, a "shield of the Holy Knights of the Sunless Realms." This may give us a glimpse into who he might have fought for prior. The Sunless Realms is speculated to be Dark Souls 2's Mirrah given the shield shares the same design as the Mirrah Shield from Dark Souls 2. Although some also speculate that it could mean Irithyll or Anor Londo, two cities that are now sunless.

Regardless, by the time of Dark Souls 3, Gael finds himself in the service of the painter and has started a new quest.

He wants to help her paint a new world but she needs fire and the Dark Soul to do it. This is why he brings us into the painting – so that we can ignite the fire.

What Is A Painted World?

A Painted World in Dark Souls isn't just a portrait you hang on a wall to look at. It's a living, breathing thing. You can enter the painting like walking through a door into a new dimension.

We saw this in the original Dark Souls with the Painted World of Ariamis and again in 3 with the Painted World of Ariandel. We get a closer insight into how they're made in 3 as we help create one with Gael.

Why Was Gael At The Ringed City?

We ignite the fire in the Painted World of Ariandel, leaving only the Dark Soul as a requirement. Gael himself embarks on a mission to find it, venturing to the Ringed City. Here, he finds that the Dark Soul is contained in the Pygmy Lords' blood – but it has dried, so he consumes it to inject the Dark Soul into his own blood.

Because of this, Gael loses himself, but that's the point. The Dark Soul isn't something you can pop in your pocket and carry with you. And while others on similar journeys of good intentions go hollow and lose sight of their journey, turning on their friends, Gael uses that to his advantage and helps us achieve his goal. He leaves us to carry on in his stead. By killing him, we can take his blood and use it to paint a new world. And so we do.

Soul of Slave Knight Gael. The red-hooded, wandering Slave Knight Gael sought the blood of the Dark Soul as pigment for the Painted World. But Gael knew he was no champion, that the Dark Soul would likely ruin him and that he had little hope of a safe return.

What Is The New Painted World?

It's up to you, really. There's no definitive answer on what Gael and the painter's new world is, but many have speculated that it's Bloodborne or even Demon's Souls. Without a Dark Souls 4, there's no way of knowing, but that world could be anything.

The use of blood to make it has led some to think it's Bloodborne but it's also described as "cold, dark, and very gentle," descriptors that don't really fit Yharnam. But Drangleic and the Deep were also described as peaceful and gentle and we know how that turned out. But hell, maybe it's Armored Core. Until we know for sure, you decide.

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