What are Sirens and why are they important?
Gearbox director of narrative, Randy Varnell, told me that Sirens will play a big role in Borderlands 3. Sirens have always been special, however, it has never been explained why and in Borderlands 3 we are going to find out a lot more about them.
What are sirens?
Sirens are exclusively woman, they have mystical powers that exceed those of someone that’s from a normal humanoid race. In an audio log of handsome Jack, we find out that there can only be six sirens at once in the universe. They are recognizable through the tattoos they have on their body. The Siren tattoos only appear on one half of the body and glow up when using their powers.
Eridium is a new element that can be found in Borderlands 2. Throughout the game, this ore served as a rare currency. It was released onto Pandora after the events of the first Borderlands. In that game, the Vault Hunters opened an Eridian Vault. Eridium also greatly enhanced Siren powers when they consumed this mineral. Because of this correlation, Patricia Tannis suggests that there could be a connection between Sirens, the Vaults, and the Eridians. However, a noteworthy thing to mention is that this connection between the element and Sirens does not apply to individual Siren. In one of the ECHO logs, you can hear Angel mention that Maya has no previous connection to Eridium.
Count the Sirens
One of the secret codes that were hidden in the Borderlands 3 trailers was, count the Sirens. This is a clear indication of their importance. Who are the Sirens in the Borderlands universe?
Lilith is one of the playable characters in the original Borderlands and she is also the first siren we got introduced to. In the first game, Lilith is able to Phasewalk, she can leave this dimension for a short time. Upon entering our dimension again she can create a nova blast, which we see her do in Borderlands 2 and 3.
Commandant Steele (dead)
Steele was the main antagonist in the original Borderlands, however, her storyline got a bit lost during development as gearbox needed to cut the 3rd act of the game. While Steele had the siren tattoos we never saw them in action as she simply died while opening the vault. She was taken out by one of the tentacles of the destroyer who was imprisoned by the vault.
Maya is the second playable siren, she is one of the six vault hunters in Borderlands 2. Maya has the ability to Phaselock her enemies.
Angel, who was handsome Jack’s daughter, also turned out to be a siren. Her power was called Phaseshift, with this, she was able to interact with computer terminals at a distance. When you meet up with Angel you find out that she is imprisoned by her father and commits suicide for the greater good.
Amara is the new playable Siren in Borderlands 3. She is a confident, capable brawler with the ability to summon ethereal fists, Amara uses her Siren powers to smash her enemies. From an echolog in the Commander Lilith DLC, we learned that she has been actively fighting as a Siren during the events of Borderlands 2.
Tyreen is one of the Calypso Twins, who are the main antagonists in Borderlands 3. It’s confirmed that she is also a siren and she wants to open up all the Vaults and claim all their powers. Her motivation is unclear at the moment. We do have the hidden message that mentions; Honor the Father.
Troy is the weird one of the bunch. He clearly has Siren tattoos. However, as previously stated, Siren powers have always been exclusive to women. How is it possible that Troy gained these runes? We know that Tyreen can take powers and claim them for her own. Is she also able to give these powers to others? I have been scratching my head about this for a long time. I considered them being twins and therefore shared some of the same cells. But this would be more likely when you have identical twins and that’s clearly not the case. Is the blood that runs through the babies and the mother the connection. Maybe. But then in a recent interview with Borderlands 3’s Creative Director, Paul Sage, we learned that Troy and Tyreen are conjoined twins. This also explains why Troy has 1 mechanical arm. They were actually linked to each other.
Then there is Ava, the little girl that hangs around Maya all the time. I noticed that a lot of people think that she is also a Siren or someone that is learning to be a Siren. My findings currently suggest that Ava isn’t a Siren. However, Gearbox is very mysterious about her. I like to see a plot twist here and be surprised.
Are Sirens Born?
This ties into the whole Ava story arc. Are Sirens born? If you ask this question to a Gearbox Developer, they will say that’s a really good question. However, they won’t give you a definitive answer and refer back to, Sirens are very important in Borderlands 3. That said in an interview with Borderlands 3 writer, Danny Homan, ScreenRant asked ‘if existing people can become Sirens’.
Um, that’s an interesting question. I mean, there’s a lot of ways that someone can become a Siren. It’s not a de facto X-Men kind of thing. There’s some different conditions that kind of arise. Yeah, Sirens are unique and I feel like we like to keep it a little amorphous. What we like the most is when fans kind of create their own myths and stories about how this kind of stuff happens. As a writer we try not to definitively say one thing because there’s a lot possible. Danny Homan
Again while we don’t get a definitive answer here. This also reminds me of Star Wars The Phantom Menace released. Back then George Lucas tried to explain the origins of the ‘Force’ and not everyone was happy with the whole midi-chlorian count thing. Leaving it in the middle and not defining it is probably a good thing. This keeps things mysterious and a lot of escape routes for future titles.
Looking at all the currently known Sirens and their (estimated) ages, I’m running into an issue. Because if Sirens are born as babies then Gearbox might already be cheating. In this case, Troy would be the 7th Siren and there can only be 6 in the universe. Because Ava was alive before the events of the original Borderlands and wasn’t born after the death of Commandant Steele, she cannot be the replacement Siren of Steele in that sense.
We know that Tyreen can someone else’s claim powers for her own. And if Sirens are not born, do these powers manifest in a person. Are the powers a gift or maybe a parasite that need a new host from time to time. We know that Lilith had her Siren powers as a kid as she was teased at school for having them. Maya was identified as a Siren when she was an infant. However, when we look at Angel there is a photo of her in Jack’s office that shows her without tattoos. Did Angel obtain her powers later in life or is this just an ‘oopsie’ by Gearbox? It’s currently not known how the others got their powers.