Only three of the seven elemental regions in Genshin Impact have been introduced at this point, which means that there is quite a bit of the main storyline left to discover, and while Genshin Impact’s conclusion may be a long way off, there are already hints in the game that suggest that the notorious Tsaritsa and her Fatui are not actually the villains of the story. Given the game\’s years-long potential development roadmap, some story twists are all but expected.
The Fatui were introduced early in Genshin Impact’s story during the Prologue in Mondstadt. Straight away the player is told that they are not to be trusted, and it is clear that the people of Mondstadt do not want them around. The reasoning remains a mystery until the Prologue’s conclusion when the first Harbinger is introduced, La Signora. During her introduction, Signora is clearly painted as a major antagonist as she violently steals Venti’s Gnosis. The player doesn’t understand the significance of this at the time, but it is clear from that moment on that the Fatui are going to be a major problem.
Liyue’s Archon Quest only drives this point further home. The Fatui are involved with the plot from the beginning with Tartaglia’s introduction, though his motives are kept a secret. During this Archon Quest’s final chapter, Signora reappears once again to retrieve another Gnosis, this time voluntarily given up by Zhongli. It is revealed that Tartaglia wants to revive Osial, the ancient God of the Sea, to generally wreak havoc. The Traveler has to prevent this revival by fighting the Fatui and Tartaglia. By the end of Liyue’s storyline, the Fatui have earned their place as Genshin Impact’s top villains, so it’s no surprise that they are also involved in Inazuma’s conflict. But since the very beginning, there have been signs that all is not what it seems. While the Tsaritsa and the Fatui certainly aren’t golden heroes, there may very well be something else going on here.
Theory: Genshin Impact’s Archons May Not Be So Good
The first component of Genshin Impact’s story that seems a little off are the Archons themselves. The Archons are, essentially, each nation’s god. They are worshipped and loved and feared all at the same time. These beings are incredibly powerful, with the ability to slice islands in half and spear gods to the earth. Despite being so well loved by their respective peoples, these Archons aren’t actually all that \”good.\” Venti, aka Barbados, pretty much abandoned his people in the name of freedom, which could, frankly, simply be negligence and a lack of interest. But then there\’s Zhongli, aka Morax, who is notorious for his prowess in the Archon Wars, where he killed many gods who were still beloved by their people, all in the name of consolidating power. And then in Liyue’s Archon Quest things remain dark, as he puts his people in terrible danger in order to “test” them, and once they pass that test, he leaves them too. Ei, aka the Raiden Shogun, has her share of questionable choices with the Vision Hunt Decree and her conflict with the people of Watatsumi. With the story gearing up to head to Sumeru, there are already rumors of something bad happening with its Archon. It\’s starting to look like the Archons might not be as great as they seem.
Five hundred years before the Traveler wakes up on the beach in Mondstadt, the gods destroyed Khaenri’ah, which the Traveler happened to be a witness to. Khaenri’ah was a powerful nation, which could have drawn the wrath of the Archons on its own, but to make matters worse, this nation did not have a god. Not because their Archon died or abandoned them, but because they chose not to have one. Considering the power and prestige the Archons get from their positions, this is an obvious threat. If the people of the seven elemental nations see Khaenri’ah’s success without an Archon, perhaps they don’t need one either. So when Khaenri’ah allegedly invaded Mondstadt, the Archons joined with Celestia to bring the nation down. And they didn’t simply defeat them, they destroyed them and turned them into the monsters of Genshin Impact\’s Spiral Abyss. Not all the details of the conflict are known at this point in the storyline, but there is clearly a lot more to discover, especially considering it was during this very conflict that the Traveler’s twin was taken by the mysterious god.
Somehow, the twin ends up siding with the Abyss, and this is significant. The twin tells the Traveler that they will understand what is truly happening in Teyvat once they finish their journey. Where is Genshin Impact’s journey supposed to end? In Snezhnaya with the Tsaritsa. The Fatui and the members of the Abyss haven’t been openly working together at this point, but they also haven’t been declared as enemies. More significantly, they have a common enemy: the divine. The Abyss Order would obviously hate the ones responsible for their downfall, and the members of the Fatui have a particular distaste for the group as well.
Celestia Could Be Genshin Impact\’s True Villain
Signora’s lore is the perfect example. Signora was from Mondstadt and only became a Harbinger after her lover was killed during the fall of Khaenri’ah, which inspired her hatred for the Archons. But why would Signora pledge herself to another Archon if she hates them so much? During Genshin Impact\’s Inazuma storyline, Signora says, “the Tsaritsa’s dream is the noblest and purest thing in all the world,” and that the people who are harmed in the process are only “necessary sacrifices.” Signora is clearly devoted to the Tsaritsa, but doesn’t elaborate on what the Tsaritsa’s dream is. During the entirety of Genshin Impact’s story thus far, the Fatui have been at odds with the Archons or trying to undermine their power and separate them from Celestia by taking the Gnosis. It can only be inferred that the Tsaritsa plans to either challenge the other Archons or Celestia itself, both of whom have proven how ruthless they can be, especially with human lives. The Tsaritsa’s motives can only be guessed at for now, but given the twin’s cryptic remarks, the Archon’s questionable actions, and Signora’s declaration, it is starting to look like the Tsaritsa is getting ready to battle the true villain of Genshin Impact: Celestia.
Next to nothing is truly known about Celestia at this point. It is allegedly the home of the gods, where only the most powerful and special can reside. It is unlikely, however, that only good things are happing in that mysterious palace in the sky. Other than Khaenri’ah, two other areas have been destroyed by cataclysms caused by Celestia’s hand: Dragonspine and Genshin Impact\’s Tsurumi Island. Both locations were home to a separate civilization that had its own animal god/protector that was killed when something fell from Celestia. It has not been proven, or even suggested, that these cataclysms were intentional, but the pattern is already forming. Three distinct ancient civilizations that either had no god or worshipped an animal god were completely destroyed by Celestia. It is understandable, therefore, why the Tsaritsa and the Fatui would want to fight back, and to do so, they must undermine the other Archons, who might come to Celestia’s aide.
Finally, there is the issue of the mysterious god that the Traveler is hunting for. There has been no glimpse of them since they were initially introduced. Considering this search is the basis for Genshin Impact’s storyline, it is highly unlikely that she is an Archon, especially considering the powers she demonstrated were not elemental. Also during this search, the Archon have been surprisingly unhelpful, which is rather odd since they clearly fought alongside her during the assault against Khaenri’ah. It seems like Venti, Zhongli, and Ei are deliberately withholding information from the Traveler, perhaps to protect an ally, and since this god almost certainly isn’t an Archon, she must either live in Celestia – or perhaps be Celestia herself. This doesn\’t touch on the theory that this god is actually hiding out as Paimon and deliberately misleading the Traveler and watching their every move, but either way, the Traveler’s journey will surely lead them into the divine palace in the sky for Genshin Impact’s final fight, perhaps alongside their long lost twin – and maybe even with the assistance of the Tsaritsa and her Fatui.