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How does Borderlands 3 end and lead toward Borderlands 4?

Borderlands 3 Ending Explained
Borderlands 3 Ending Explained

Are you wondering how the story of Borderlands 3 unfolds and how this sets up the events leading up to Borderlands 4? In this article, I’m going to give you an overview of Borderlands 3’s main story, explain what happened at the end, and what this means leading up to the next game in the franchise.

Borderlands 3 Story Summary

You fight against the Calypso Twins throughout the story of Borderlands 3. This Siren Duo managed to create a massive following of Bandits. Their plan was to leech the powers of others in order to harness the powers of the ultimate Vault Monster, The Destroyer.

Your rivalry starts as Troy & Tyreen Calypso claim the Vault Key you obtained in Borderlands 2. This Eridian artifact pinpoints the locations of other Vaults throughout the galaxy. Lilith loses her powers while trying to protect the Vault Key, however, she falls short and gets her powers leeched by Tyreen.

Lilith lost powers - Borderlands 3

You and the rest of the Crimson Raiders are determined to stop the Calypso Twins and are trying to get to the other Vaults before they can. However, the Crimson Raiders didn’t know the end game of the evil duo and fall short during their encounter at the first Vault.

Maya tries to protect the others from the Calypso Twins while she holds Troy captive, however, they discover that Tyreen isn’t the only one that can leech powers and Maya dies as Troy leeches.

The Crimson Raiders are shaken by the events but continue their pursuit to outdo the Calypso Twins. As you manage to collect other Vault Fragments and defeat another Vault Monster, you discover that Tannis also gained Siren powers.

The twins are determined to open the Great Vault. It turns out, Pandora itself is the Great Vault that houses The Destroyer. In order to open the Great Vault they need to pull in the Moon, Elpis, as this is the key to unlocking the Great Vault.

Borderlands 3 - Boss - Troy Calypso

The Crimson Raiders manage to postpone the Calypso Twins and even defeat the power-hungry Troy. However, in order to stop the apocalypse the Crimson Raiders turn to the First Vault Hunter, Typhon Deleon, and travel to the hidden world of the Eridian, Nekrotafeyo.

On Nekrotafeyo, the Crimson Raiders learn that heroes aren’t always what you expect and that Typhon actually stumbled upon the first vault and is the father of the Calypso Twins. However, he steps up and helps the Crimson Raiders.

Typhon thinks you can stop The Destroyer with the help of The Machine. As you assemble all the parts and activate The Machine it turns out that your efforts are in vain and Pandora’s Vault is opening up.

Tyreen merged with (a part of) The Destroyer which results in one epic boss battle.

Borderlands 3 - Boss - Tyreen the Destroyer

When you are victorious, Lilith regains her Siren powers that she lost to Tyreen and Maya’s Powers manifest in Ava. However, Elpis was set in motion and the moon is still on a collision course with the planet.

At this point, Lilith steps up and uses her Siren powers to fly toward the moon. The impact leaves a giant Firehawk symbol on the moon’s surface.

…Fade to Credits…

Borderlands 3 Ending Explained

The Firehawk symbol engraved into the moon Eplis above Pandora

Ava becomes the leader of the Crimson Raiders after Lilith’s departure. It was either her or Tannis, the latter one isn’t the most stable of the two. Ava wasn’t the most beloved BL3 character but shows a lot of growth in DLC 6.

Lilith’s “sacrifice” stopped Elpis from colliding with Pandora and the Great Vault remains closed.

The big question is; “What happened to Lilith?” and this is the mystery going into Borderlands 4. There are two clues in the base game of Borderlands 3.

  1. There is an artwork in the credits that shows that Tannis is researching Lilith’s whereabouts.
  2. You can see a Firehawk icon on the galaxy map if you activate the Vault Key in Ava’s room aboard Sanctuary 3.

Gearbox Software added some more Siren lore in DLC 6, The Director’s Cut. You encounter a Guardian – The Seer – during Ava’s Murder Mystery Missions that tells you that he has been steering the events to prevent something, however, they cannot control Sirens as they have complete free will.

Upon defeating this Guardian, Ava reiterates that the Seer stated that she would find what she was seeking. To her, this means that Lilith is still out there and that they are going to find her.

Ava says she will find Lilith

Is Lilith dead after Borderlands 3?

Borderlands 3 ending initially gives the impression that Lilith sacrificed herself by flying into the moon, however, the credit scene, the vault key, and the DLC suggest that Lilith is “gone” and not dead. This sentiment gets further reinforced by Randy Varnell – Head of Gearbox Software’s Story Group – during an interview in Episode 2 of the Borderlands Show, where he says;

Lilith is Gone… It looks like we killed her off… well… that’s what it looks like for now. We saw her Phasewalk in BL1, Teleport Sactuary in BL2, Teleport her friends in the DLC, and now the moon…

Randy Varnell

What will Borderlands 4 be about?

The conclusion of Borderlands 3 has fans wondering what will happen in Borderlands 4. Gearbox Software has to pay off the mystery surrounding Lilith, with fan theories suggesting that it might be better if we don’t find her.

Fans are also waiting on the premise that Borderlands The Pre-Sequel ended on and is Ava going to lead us in this foretold war. But Gearbox has to address the growth of all the characters and how they are going deal with Ava being in charge and having her grow in that role.

Personally, I think Gearbox Software needs to start Borderlands 4 with this important detail.

Written by
I'm a Content Creator by day and a BattleBread Baker at night. I'll provide you with your recommended slice of entertainment! I'm a Gearbox Community Badass and a proud member of the official Borderlands & Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Creator Team (2K Games / NextMakers).

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