The hero sought to save the world. "If I keep trying, I'll be able to win," the hero thought. But the harder the hero fought, the further the world seemed to tumble away.
The Pact Commander is the player's character. Initially given different titles depending on story progress, the player character eventually becomes widely known as the Commander, the second-in-command of the Pact under Marshal Trahearne. Along with this role of leadership in the Pact, the player is a member of the reformed Destiny's Edge and Dragon's Watch guilds, as well as a high ranking member of their chosen Order, a member of the Shining Blade's inner circle, and Aurene's champion.
The Commander is still referred to by their equivalent racial or Order rank on occasion.
- Personal story
- Primary article: Personal story
The hero who would come to be known as the Pact Commander initially rose to fame early on in 1325 AE among members of their own race, accomplishing a heroic feat which gave them their first title or rank: Hero of Shaemoor for humans, Legionnaire for charr, Slayer of Issormir for norn, Snaff Savant for asura, or Valiant for sylvari. Following this early triumph, the hero continued fighting against threats to their race and worked alongside their race's authority figure who was also a member of the famous adventurer's guild Destiny's Edge: Logan Thackeray for humans, Rytlock Brimstone for charr, Eir Stegalkin for norn, Zojja for asura, or Caithe for sylvari.
As the hero's fame spread, they were eventually persuaded to join one of the three Orders of Tyria called the Durmand Priory, the Order of Whispers and the Vigil where they rapidly rose through the ranks while going on missions alongside their chosen Order's mentor: the sylvari Magister Sieran for the Priory, the charr Lightbringer Tybalt Leftpaw for the Order of Whispers, or the norn Warmaster Forgal Kernsson for the Vigil. The hero and the mentor assisted other races—grawl, hylek, ogres, quaggan and skritt—against minions of the Elder Dragons while gaining valuable allies in the process.
The missions for the Orders eventually led the hero and their mentor to learn of the threat that Zhaitan, the Elder Dragon of Shadow and Death, and its Risen minions posed to the hub city of Lion's Arch. The Risen's attempted invasion led to the Battle of Claw Island during which the mentor perished. The hero, their allies from the Order and the defenders of Lion's Arch eventually reclaimed Claw Island from Zhaitan's champion, Blightghast the Plaguebringer, and pushed the Risen back.
With the Risen becoming a bigger threat to all of Tyria, the hero began working with the sylvari scholar Trahearne, who had specialized in Zhaitan and the dragon's domain in the Ruins of Orr, and became close friends with him. Trahearne and the hero managed to convince all three bickering Orders to form an alliance known as the Pact so they could take the fight to Zhaitan and end its threat before its army would become unstoppable. After proving his worth with the hero's help, Trahearne became the Marshal of the Pact while the hero became his second-in-command, the Pact Commander. A vision provided by the Pale Tree, the mother of the sylvari who was opposed to the Elder Dragons, further proved how important it was for Trahearne to lead the Pact and reclaim Orr from Zhaitan but that all of Destiny's Edge would need to stand united as well for the campaign to succeed.
While Trahearne prepared the Pact for an all-out invasion of Orr, the Commander took the time to help out members of Destiny's Edge in their respective missions in various dungeons with hopes of reuniting all the five bickering heroes so they could lend their assistance in the war against Zhaitan. After many tries, the Commander succeeded in persuading them to work together while also foiling the schemes of many villainous factions of various races such as bandits, Flame Legion, Inquest, Nightmare Court and Sons of Svanir along the way.
The Commander also had to confront their greatest fear which led to their darkest hour that tested their character and integrity. Despite losing friends and facing many dangers along the way, the Commander overcame their fears and became more motivated than ever to stop Zhaitan.
With the might of the Pact behind them, Trahearne and the Commander pushed deep into Orr, using the respective strengths of the three Orders to devise ways to weaken Zhaitan's army and the dragon itself. The Commander assisted in turning the tide in the war by helping Trahearne purify Zhaitan's main source of magic sustenance, the Source of Orr, right before the final assault on the Elder Dragon itself.
The Commander, assisted by the reunited Destiny's Edge, faced Zhaitan in aerial combat above the skies of Arah, the fallen capital of Orr, aboard the Pact's flagship named The Glory of Tyria. After a fierce battle, the Pact defeated Zhaitan, marking the first known victory over an Elder Dragon throughout Tyria's history, which acted as proof that the rest of the Elder Dragons could be stopped one day as well. A victory celebration was held afterwards, and Tyria faced a brighter future.
- Living World Season 1
- Primary article: Living World Season 1
- Living World Season 2
- Primary article: Living World Season 2
- Heart of Thorns
- Primary article: Heart of Thorns story
- Living World Season 3
- Primary article: Living World Season 3
- Path of Fire
- Primary article: Path of Fire story
- Living World Season 4
- Primary article: Living World Season 4
- The Icebrood Saga
- Primary article: The Icebrood Saga
Ranks, nicknames, and titles
- Snaff Savant — starting in chapter 2 of the personal story.
- Durmand Priory
- Order of Whispers
- Champion of Orr — given by King Reza during The Source of Orr.
- Destroyer of Zhaitan, Slayer of Zhaitan, and Dragonslayer — following Victory or Death.
- Hero of Lion's Arch — if completed Scarlet's End.
- Boss — used by members of Dragon's Watch.
- Egg Bearer — used by the Exalted in the Heart of Maguuma after completing City of Hope.
- Knight of the Thorn — given by the Avatar of the Tree after completing The Sword Regrown.
- Hero of Amnoon — used by the people of the Crystal Desert and Elona in Living World Season 4.
- Champion — used by Aurene, Glint, Jormag, and Vlast.
- Concept art
- Starting with Living World Season 2, the story always refers the events of the personal story as if completed and thus calls the player character Commander and slayer of Zhaitan even if the character has not completed the personal story.
- The Commander has multiple stand-ins used by ArenaNet in trailers and recap cinematics:
- In the cinematic recap of Living World Season 1 for Remembering Scarlet's War, the Commander is represented by a female norn.
- In the trailers for Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire and Living World Season 4 the Commander is represented by an Elonian male human holosmith named Duncan. An NPC bearing the same name and same looks was added in game fighting holograms in Hoelbrak during Dragon Bash 2019.
- In the trailers for The Icebrood Saga the Commander is represented by a female norn named Anja who first appeared fighting alongside Duncan during Dragon Bash 2019.
- Lady Camilla Einshorn is the Commander's herald who has been documenting their rise since 1325 AE.
- Zojja has once jokingly suggested that the Commander amounts to 74.3 percent of the firepower of Destiny's Edge.
- Several copies of the Commander have appeared on Tyria:
- Mysterious Stranger, also known as the Grand High Sovereign, who is an evil fractal anomaly of the asura Commander in Split Second.
- A doppelganger based on the Commander's profession who appears from the Old Mirror in Arcana Obscura.
- Remnant of a Hero in Caladbolg's Dream in The Sword Regrown.
- Legendary Doppelganger and its mini, veteran and elite variants in the Elon Riverlands.
- Haunts summoned during Sons of Svanir rituals in Ravenfrost Caverns.
- Rimewhisper Doppelganger summoned by the Whisper of Jormag in Voice in the Deep.
- In modern times, the Commander is one of two known individuals to have successfully resurrected without returning as undead.
- Wording by Dunkoro, Kimmes the Historian and Turai Ossa suggests that the Commander may be spiritually bonded with the Hero of Nightfall. Whether this suggests that the Commander may be the reincarnation of the Hero or otherwise connected remains unknown, however.
- Storywise there appear to be multiple Commander variants depending on whether specific game content has been played since Living World Season 1:
- Dialogue with Seraph Belinda Delaqua changes in Disturbance in Brisban Wildlands depending on how far the Commander has progressed in the personal story.
- Different interaction with Pact Medic Ceera depending on what the Commander chose during the personal story.
- The mentor opponent is replaced by Trahearne in Hearts and Minds if the Commander has not reached the point of joining any of the Orders of Tyria in the personal story.
- Dialogue with Squad Leader Bennett changes in Bloodstone Fen depending on whether the Commander has saved Bennett in Salvation Pass raid or not.
- The Commander comments on causing a hole in the wall in Confessor's End if a path from the explorable mode of Caudecus's Manor dungeon has been completed.
- Dialogue in Crystalline Memories changes depending on whether the Commander has visited Glint's lair before in Hidden Arcana or not.
- The Commander makes an appearance in the Requiem: Rytlock and Requiem: Zafirah short stories. The novel Commander of Your Heart depicts a fictionalized Commander in a romantic setting.
- Associated items
- Dragon Slayer weapons
- Banner of the Commander
- Banner of the Dauntless Commander
- Commander of Your Heart
- ^ Shining Blade Secrets
- <Character name>: I'll take the oath, if that's required. But, I can't entrust the aspect to you until I know it won't be misused.
- Countess Anise: You told him/her about the oath?
- Exemplar Kerida: Talking about the oath won't kill me. Just telling the secrets. Besides, he/she wouldn't shut up about it.
- Exemplar Kerida: You're not Shining Blade. We'd never allow you to take the oath.
- Countess Anise: Actually, I think it's a wonderful idea. I can imagine no more trustworthy—and useful—a person to have on our side.
- Exemplar Kerida: What?
- Countess Anise: Follow me, Commander. Allow me to introduce you to the Shining Blade's inner circle.
- ^ Comment by Jason Byfield, Reddit.com
- ^ Return to Camp Resolve Zojja: What? You're 74.3 percent of our firepower all by yourself!
- ^ I attended the GW2 China Beta Festival! Here's some pics I took of the event, as well as some lore/update info I asked from the Devs!, Reddit.com (Archived)
- ^ Dragon Response Mission: Brisban Wildlands
- Ryland Steelcatcher: Such as: we are the only three people in the world who know what it's like to be close to an Elder Dragon.
- Caithe: Changes you. It's like finding your purpose, and fulfilling it. [...]
- <Character name>: Jormag implied you two have some sort of mind-meld. A dragon's voice can be...seductive.
- Ryland Steelcatcher: Were you coerced? Was Caithe? I have agency, thank you; I can make my own choices. No persuasion needed.
- Caithe: The commander's right to be wary. When it comes to Elder Dragons, Aurene is often the exception, not the rule.
- Ryland Steelcatcher: You've been "the" dragon champion for a while, Commander. Sharing the spotlight...that's gotta chafe. [...]
- Ryland Steelcatcher: The powers Aurene gave you worked today. But you'll face worse before it's over.
- ^ Precocious Aurene
- Luminate: Ah, Commander. Excellent timing—I was just about to send word. Aurene has been calling for you.
- <Character name>: Yes, I know. She's been appearing to me. Much like she is right now.
- Luminate: Aurene? What are you talking about?
- <Character name>: And she's gone. Didn't you see her?
- Luminate: Interesting... I saw nothing. You must've made quite an impression on her. It's as if she's chosen you to light her path.
- ^ Durmand Priory Emissary