Spoilers follow for Dishonored and Dishonored 2.
Delilah Copperspoon—servant, painter, playmate to a immature Empress, afterwards witch, usurper and Empress herself—is initial introduced in Dishonored’s two-part DLC, The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches. In Dishonored 2, Delilah earnings to Dunwall Tower with one mission: take behind what’s yours.
While Dishonored opens with Jessamine’s assassination, and Death of a Outsider ends with a dismissal of a Outsider from a Void, Dishonored 2 shows that a instigating act of a series’ comment arc is one child blaming another. In Delilah’s account, a singular act of childish cruelty cascades into a lifetime of wretchedness for herself and her mother, as Jessamine’s absolved position as a daughter of an Emperor doesn’t extend to her half-sister. As a child, Delilah did not know given she was released from a honour, status and venerate showered on Jessamine. As an adult, Delilah invariably attempts to seize these things that Jessamine possessed. Her enterprise becomes an act of imitation.
It’s transparent that, in The Brigmore Witches and in Dishonored 2, Delilah wants a throne. As a villain, she pursues energy with ruthlessness and cunning. But a inlet of this enterprise and a origins are interrogated in both games. The bench and all a energy seems to be a healthy thing to enterprise for someone as desirous as Delilah. Indeed, her initial try in The Brigmore Witches creates her seem to wish it for a consequence of it; energy and status are insincere to be their possess reward. But opposite a games, a bench is shown to be a pitch of amicable relations as most as power. It’s patrimonial as most as authorised – meshing a machinations of a state with a entanglements of family life. This usually becomes transparent when confronted by Daud in a final mission; Delilah pleads with him before her magically infused portrayal of Emily, claiming that a immature lady stole her life away.
This line, once ambiguous, becomes pithy when it’s suggested in Dishonored 2 that Delilah is believed to be a deceptive half-sister of Jessamine Kaldwin. As daughters innate out of nuptials to a ruler of a Empire, Delilah and Emily share an origin. But some-more than this, Delilah shows that she doesn’t simply enterprise Emily’s bench for a consequence of it, though Emily’s whole life and history. In The Brigmore Witches, Delilah attempts to possess Emily’s physique in sequence to take power. In Delilah’s enterprise for a throne, her fabrication of Emily is so pithy that it leads her to try to spin her. This enchanting possession becomes a literalised embellishment for a events that come in Dishonored 2.
Mirrors of desire
In this understanding, Delilah’s attempts during punish opposite Jessamine are thinly potential attempts to embrace her. And when Jessamine is assassinated and that energy is handed to Emily, Delilah pursues Emily only as single-mindedly. But in doing so, she recreates a dispossession and wretchedness that led her, prolonged ago, to pursue a bench out of personal revenge. Motivated wholly by envy, Delilah desires a bench not given she desires to order a land or oversee a Empire. Instead, she desires a bench quite given it was denied to her, and she believes that a women who have hold it given have stolen her birthright. While Delilah is focused on a misapplication finished to her, and a stratification of a Empire’s adults into a haves and have-nots, she is unmotivated with rectifying any of it over personal vengeance. Her tragedy is as most her refusal to mangle a cycle of assault and enterprise that led to her damage as it is a petty, vicious and childish whims that have spoiled her. Even Delilah acknowledges this when recounting a events of her life that lead to her deposing Emily. “It’s your spin now,” Delilah spitefully declares, unknowingly that her actions have merely combined someone accurately like her, who will pursue a bench only as she has done.
The other antagonists of Dishonored 2 work along these same themes, as any of a 4 coconspirators of Delilah’s manoeuvre can be dismantled by a doubles they use to strive control. Grim Alex, a Jekyll-and-Hyde origination of Hypatia’s possess research, is outcast by that same method. Jindosh’s machines spin on him and destroy a genius that combined them. Breanna Ashworth has her enchanting ability ripped divided by a same effigies she crafted to supernaturally change others. Duke Abele is transposed by a verbatim physique double he uses to equivocate a consequences of his greedy and careless lifestyle. Even Paolo and Byrne, fighting over a patch of dry domain in a once-grand Batista District, now glance any other down by a cloud of dirt that obscures a mirrored inlet of their relationship. In any case, these doubles, all combined by a cruel office of energy and used possibly directly or indirectly to mistreat others, are simply incited opposite them all. Delilah, in turn, is dismantled by a double she creates in Emily.
Dishonored 2 opens adult a inlet of this enterprise for a bench even serve by detailing Delilah’s disempowerment and facing it with Emily’s own. As an Empress, Emily is during best changeable and during misfortune unconcerned. Her care is diseased and her domestic recognition undermined by rooftop jaunts after dim where she dreams of being giveaway of responsibilities. After a manoeuvre that rescinds her legacy and encases her father in stone, Emily’s motivations come down to this same tagline: take behind what’s yours. Finally giveaway of a weight of her throne, only as she dreamed, her desires are misleading during a game’s opening. But personification as Emily Kaldwin unfolds a comment endangered with these mechanisms by that a desires are formed. Suddenly bearing into a distraction of Delilah’s story—one of death, deprivation, and disempowerment during a hands of a family member—Emily is forced to confront her reasons for wanting a throne. Before a coup, she was a bad ruler, though a non-lethal, low-Chaos playthrough shows a immature lady entrance to know a inlet of her requirement to a people she has hitherto ignored. In contrariety with a Duke and with Delilah, Emily vows to be a improved Empress not given she wants power, though given she cultivates compassion. But in a violent, high-Chaos playthrough, it becomes increasingly transparent that a enterprise for punish opposite Delilah eclipses Emily’s office of what she lost. Through this, Emily imitates Delilah to a indicate of apropos uncelebrated from her ruthless aunt.
Regardless of playstyle, when Emily approaches Dunwall Tower in a final goal she is confronted with a realization that her position is a same as Delilah’s before a coup: a deposed empress holding behind what she believes is justly hers. Dunwall is a hurt when Emily returns, with a infrastructure exploding and a streets dirty with a dead. Delilah, unmotivated with a responsibilities that possessing a bench implies, manners over an sovereignty of corpses. Her attempts to spin all that Jessamine was eventually fail, only as her try to spin Emily in The Brigmore Witches had been a failure. The land that precious her half-sister does not venerate her—therefore she tries to emanate another by magic. But Emily, set on a trail to adopt Delilah, might good simply spin her instead. In a high-Chaos playthrough, Emily ends a diversion by statute over a land in disarray, filled with a corpses of her possess subjects, who she doesn’t demur to kill in her mortal desires.
Dishonored 2 depicts a aroused ends of pseudo desire. Delilah’s enviousness of her half-sister for all she possessed—not only their father’s throne, though also his love—informs her enterprise some-more than any idea of statute a Empire. And while her story is one in that she seeks compensation for a childhood wrong that caused her so most wretchedness and pain, she is incompetent to see a pseudo inlet of her enterprise and, in turn, visits a same wretchedness and pain on Emily. The intent of desire—the bench and all a power—is fast vaporous when a relations that form around it are formed on envy, annoy and imitation. And while a high-Chaos playthrough of Dishonored 2 simply replaces one oppressor for another, a responsible playthrough sees a immature Emily Kaldwin facing a easy titillate of pseudo enterprise and instead flourishing as a ruler and a woman. Delilah, meanwhile, becomes trapped within her possess desires of an imperishable order within her embellished world, unknowingly and unmotivated that she lives out a elementary imitation.