- "[T]he Outsider is something else, [...] a being that haunts creation from first to last."
- —Overseer Sturgess describing the Outsider
The Outsider is a mysterious supernatural being said to be part-devil, part-angel, and is morally ambiguous, neither good nor evil. He usually appears to people of interest as a plain-looking young man with short brown hair and black eyes, wearing a brown coat, blue pants and black boots.
Though many people worship him, such is considered heresy by the Abbey of the Everyman and punishable by extreme measures, up to and including death. Created to be the Void's representational figure, he appears to be the source of all magic in the world of the Dishonored franchise, and his shrines can be found across the Isles.
- "[The Outsider] is not classically a 'trickster god,' but he's done a few things that probably remind people of other trickster examples, like granting man some kind of forbidden boon. You could say he has 'Chthonic' or 'Underworld' god qualities which represent the unconscious, mystery, secret or repressed desires, creativity, etc. The 'Shadow Self' from Jungian archetypes. This aspect, in my opinion, is much stronger than the trickster qualities."
- —Ricardo Bare
Born a human outcast over 4,000 years before the events of Dishonored, with no known family, at 15 years old the "powerless and abused" orphan was unwillingly subjected to a ritual by an occult group in which "he was bathed and dressed, and his hands were adorned with rings". He was thought to show all signs in him to become one with the Void, notably his age and bits of prophecy (the celestial movements and events like the mass dying of fish). While roped to a ceremonial table, which he attempted to escape from in vain, a knife pierced his throat and he then "merged in part with the Void". Upon attaining godhood, he became a "being of insatiable curiosity about what people do when given power over others", spurring him to appear to those he finds "interesting". The Outsider can make contact with these individuals both through dreams and in the physical world at his shrines. Those known to have been in direct contact with the Outsider include Corvo Attano, Piero Joplin, Granny Rags, Daud, Delilah Copperspoon, the "Lonely Rat Boy", and (player-determined) Emily Kaldwin.
The Outsider is a unique being and will at some point be destroyed in a catastrophic event.
The Outsider first meets Corvo in the Void after the latter escaped Coldridge Prison. He gives him his Mark and the Heart, a tool to find runes and bone charms but also listen to people's secrets. Throughout the events of Dishonored, the Outsider observes Corvo and his actions, often appearing to comment his choices and their effect on the world. At the end of the story, he narrates the events to come based on Corvo's choices and the chaos he wrought.
The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches
Upon regaining interest in Daud, the Outsider reappears to the assassin, warning him of his inescapable conclusion, but revealing that the terms of his fate can be altered. He gives Daud the name "Delilah", which Daud discovers is a powerful witch planning to possess Emily and become Empress herself. At the end, the Outsider reminds Daud of all his actions, with the assassin thereafter facing Corvo.
The Corroded Man
Although the Outsider does not influence the events of Dishonored: The Corroded Man, the knife used to sacrifice him to the Void takes importance. Described as bronze, with twin straight blades and 12 inches long, this tool was imbued with powers from the Void during the ritual, and can grant its bearer with abilities akin to the people the Outsider marks. Zhukov discovers it in a forgotten altar under Utyrka in Tyvia around 1848-1849, and uses its abilities to hatch a plan and rewrite his own destiny. The knife is first fused with the black mirror Zhukov crafts to reach other timelines. It is brought back by Emily Kaldwin and used by her father Corvo Attano to kill Zhukov. The knife disappeared after these events.
In Dishonored 2, he appears to either Corvo or Emily as they are asleep aboard the Dreadful Wale to offer his mark. Whether the protagonist accepts it or not, he gives back the Heart although with another purpose in mind. Throughout the events of the Coup, he watches and discusses the current affairs of the world, intervening on occasion to assist the protagonist. He offers them the Timepiece to help them navigate Stilton Manor, twisted by the Void and Delilah's ritual. He also shows his own past to them and Delilah's influence on the Void. As in the first game, he will narrate the events that have unfolded in accordance with the level of chaos the protagonist has created.
- "I so enjoy watching history warp as words pass from the lips of one to the ears of another. Imperfectly formed, half understood, poorly remembered."
- —The Outsider
The Outsider is revealed to have "human emotion, but inhuman perception", making him "almost alien", or as Harvey Smith interprets him, possessing two parts – "human faculty and something primal and chthonic". Harvey Smith also notes that "some of [the Outsider's] lines are sarcastic", but his tone can go unnoticed.
Though widely sought and worshiped throughout the world, the Outsider states that he "[doesn't] play favorites", and is known to only appear to "interesting" individuals – his interest in people being the primary prerequisite for his audience. He deems devotees of himself and the Void to be "unhinged" and grants them no favors for their reverence. Those who manage to pique his interest are frequently given his attention, however; furthermore, those who he sees as particularly interesting and potential agents of change are bestowed his Mark, with social standing and effort having no bearing on their selection. Due to his standards, it is not uncommon for long periods of time to pass without the Outsider marking anyone.
His interest in those bearing his Mark is heavily dependent on their execution and vision. Unpredictable, low chaos actions generally garner his amusement and fascination, while high chaos ones are typically met with uninspired synopses of given situations. Should the actions of a Mark bearer become mundane in his eyes, the Outsider seemingly abandons them, until his interest is renewed.
He is ultimately a neutral being, unbiased regarding the happenings of the world and placing no conditions on those he gifts with supernatural abilities. No matter the actions of Mark bearers, his disposition typically remains the same – that of a dispassionate spectator merely seeking an entertaining show. He does, however, display subtle degrees of hostility, both in The Knife of Dunwall and Dishonored 2: in the former taunting Daud with the assassin's guilt in the murder of the Empress and approaching demise; while in the latter openly voicing his dislike of Delilah becoming a part of him.
- The Outsider is voiced by Billy Lush in Dishonored and Robin Lord Taylor in Dishonored 2.
- The Outsider is closely associated with whales.
- A book titled Spirit of the Deep equates the Outsider with "a leviathan".
- During the final confrontation with Granny Rags, she shouts, "Bones of the great leviathan! Protect me!"
- Both runes and bone charms, which channel the Outsider's magic, are made from whale bone.
- A whale can be observed in the Void.
- According to Harvey Smith, the Outsider cannot change form and "appears almost as he [did] in life".
- In his first appearance to Corvo, the Outsider claims that the Heart was molded by his hands. This is specious, however, as it is revealed by both the audiograph Piero's Speculation on the Spirit and Harvey Smith that it was in fact crafted by Piero, who the Outsider in a dream inspired to do so.
- Though he is not omniscient, the Outsider receives "horrible glimpses of all time and space".
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Developer Commentary – Dishonored Mythos, part 2
- ↑ Developer Commentary – The Outsider as a trickster god
- ↑ Developer Commentary – The Outsider, part 1
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Developer Commentary – The Outsider has no 'known' family
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Developer Commentary – The Outsider
- ↑ Developer Commentary – The Outsider was forced into the ritual unwillingly
- ↑ Developer Commentary – The Outsider's rings
- ↑ Developer Commentary – The Outsider chosen by an occult group
- ↑ Developer Commentary – The Outsider, part 2
- ↑ Developer Commentary – Religion, part 3
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 "...if he really wants to meet me, he could start by being a bit more interesting."
- ↑ Developer Commentary – Dishonored Mythos, part 1
- ↑ Dishonored: The Corroded Man, p.162
- ↑ The Outsider and the Void
- ↑ Game Informer – Dishonored 2 Taps Vocal Talent From Game Of Thrones, Daredevil, And The Wire
- ↑ Developer Commentary – Whales and the Outsider
- ↑ Developer Commentary – Piero and the Heart
- ↑ Developer Commentary – The Outsider's glimpses