Destiny Defined – The Fourth Horseman

Destiny Armory Defined archive entry

"It's not a holdout weapon. It's a pathfinder."

The Fourth Horseman

Basic Information

Link to Item (Destiny 1)

Link to Lore Entry (Destiny 2)


Released: Destiny 1: The Dark Below

Rarity: Exotic

Category: Weapon

Weapon SubCategory: Energy / Secondary

Weapon Archetype: Shotgun

Weapon Perks: Thunderer

Affiliations: Vanguard; Gunsmith; Banshee-44; Cabal

Misc: Death Comes Calling

Additional / Expanded Information

Originally introduced in The Dark Below as a Playstation exclusive, the Fourth Horseman later was made available in The Taken King as well as being reintroduced in the Rise of Iron. In Destiny 2, the weapon was returned through the quest “In Rides A Pale Horse”, offered to the Guardian by Banshee-44.

Definition Summary

Keywords: Pestilence; War; Famine; Death; Hive; Vex; Fallen; Cabal

The 4th Horseman has been at the epicenter of many religious interpretations, yet its origin has inspired wars as well as perceived end time prophecy. That being said I will remove myself and the audience from the biblical implication and only point out its relationship to Destiny.

The main takeaway from that time was the Roman Empire was viewed by many as the “Evil Empire” helping bring about the apocalypse. The weapon in Grimoire is described as a weapon designed to specifically destroy the Cabal, who are influenced by the Roman empire. It says its not a Hold Out weapon but a Pathfinder. This means it was constructed to clear a path and become the answer in the face of “Death”.

Bungie has given us four enemies in game that could very well be the four horseman of the apocalypse:

  • Hive :: Pestilence
  • Vex :: War
  • Fallen :: Famine
  • Cabal :: Death

The story of each enemy in game has a similar story to each horseman:

  • The hive want to have the symbiotic relationship with the worms, and spawn/breed in every territory the can infect.
  • Vex have a simple directive, which is win the never ending war.
  • Fallen are starving, held hostage by Ether.
  • Cabal seemingly have only the interest in destruction and annihilation.

Some various interpretations of the 4 horseman:


Historicist interpretation

The first four seals of Rev. represent four horses & horsemen fixed to events or changes, within the Roman Earth.


Preterist interpretation

The idea Conquest = white horse rider (a.k.a. Parthian forces who rode white horses) clashed with the Roman Empire & won.

Tex Mechanica has a very western aesthetic, as well as ornate designed weapons with filigree seemingly inspired by the long lost trophies of the Wild West. The trick here is the glory of the past being commemorated in a deadly package. The 4th Horseman harkens back to the old movies where lone cowboys and villains rode into town fighting “for” or “with” local towns forced to fight while epic final battles ensued. These moments traditionally occurred in the middle of town and inside a “hold out” as enemies met there demise at the hands of a hero destined to save many.

Many notable western films follow this plot here are some with a glaringly obvious title.

  • The Four of the Apocalypse
  • The Gunman of the Apocalypse
  • Pale Rider
  • Death Rides a Horse
  • 4th Horseman
  • The White Horseman

So will you blaze a path forward or ride off in the sunset? Happy trails to you Guardians!

Read More Definitions at Destiny Armor Defined

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: