- "You should have forgotten my name the day you heard it."
- —Delilah to Daud
Delilah Copperspoon, known formally as Delilah Kaldwin I during her reign as Empress, is a major character in the Dishonored franchise, appearing in the DLCs The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches. In the latter, she is the main antagonist. The same Delilah whom the Outsider tasks Daud with investigating, she is revealed to be the leader of a powerful coven called the Brigmore Witches and is defeated by Daud while attempting to possess the body of Emily Kaldwin. Fifteen years after her defeat in The Brigmore Witches, she resurges in Dishonored 2 as the main antagonist and successfully usurps Empress Emily.
Delilah was born to the Kaldwin lineage as the illegitimate daughter of Emperor Euhorn Kaldwin. Fawning for her father's attention, she would ask Emperor Kaldwin if she could participate in court, in hopes of finally assuming the role of a proper princess, but her pleas were only met with deflection and postponement. According to Delilah, one day, while playing together, Jessamine Kaldwin accidentally broke an item of immense value and framed Delilah for its destruction when questioned. Consequently, Delilah was whipped repeatedly and thrown out of Dunwall Tower alongside her mother.
Left to struggle for survival in the unforgiving streets of Dunwall, Delilah and her mother would find themselves in debtor's prison, where her mother would meet her slow demise at the hands of a prison guard. With her mother's death, Delilah was forced to work odd jobs while painting on the side, until eventually coming under the tutelage of Anton Sokolov. Sokolov appreciated her ways of imagining the world as a better place through her art; however, her interest in the occult and her obsession with the Kaldwins took her out of his circles. She was eventually gifted with the Outsider's Mark in 1831.
In 1834, she began a relationship with barrister Arnold Timsh, who favored her arts and herself so heavily that it caused rifts within his own family. The ship which prompts Daud to begin his investigations at the Rothwild Slaughterhouse was once owned by Timsh, and named in honor of Delilah herself. She was eventually able to seduce him into signing his fortune over to her and subsequently disappeared. Timsh then sold the ship bearing her name, but kept her as the beneficiary of his mother's will. According to Arnold Timsh's niece, Thalia Timsh, her uncle both loved and feared Delilah.
A year later and as the Rat Plague started, Delilah founded her coven of witches with Breanna Ashworth, an aristocrat she saved from an arranged life. She shared her powers with her admirers, and they lived carefree, roaming graveyards and the countryside. Another year later, she moved her coven to the dilapidated and secluded Brigmore Manor, from which she started her plans to take over the Empire.
The Knife of Dunwall
Delilah is the subject of Daud's investigation in The Knife of Dunwall, which leads him to uncover her influence on Timsh and associated happenings. The assassin is briefly able to speak with Delilah through a statue in the Timsh Estate – during the conversation, Delilah expresses animosity toward Daud and claims she should kill him, but chooses not to "for the sake of [her] sisters". Instead, she threatens him with unknown peril should he continue his investigations, and warns, "There are great changes coming, and I'll expect you not to interfere", but doesn't care about what Daud does to Timsh.
While much of her motivation remains secret, it is revealed that she cooperated with Billie Lurk in a mutually beneficial plot to assassinate Daud, and directed the Overseers to the Whalers' hideout in the Flooded District. When the plot fails, she appears to Daud in person for the first time. In low chaos, after Lurk has given herself up to Daud's mercy, Delilah threatens both of them with brutal death should she ever see them again. In high chaos, Delilah taunts Daud, informing him that her unknown plans are falling into place.
The Brigmore Witches
- "The girl Emily Kaldwin will have the mind of Delilah the First, who did not inherit everything she got, but came to power through the force of her own genius."
- —Delilah, revealing her plot
Delilah acts as the main antagonist of Dishonored's final DLC, The Brigmore Witches. Directing her coven to observe the gang warfare taking place in Drapers Ward and assure that Daud's advance to Brigmore Manor is hampered, she cloisters herself in the mansion in order to complete a painting of Emily. Upon Daud's arrival at the manor, he discovers that Delilah has traveled with the painting to the Void, where it will act as a critical part of a powerful ritual: Delilah intends to extract Emily's mind and possess her body, ruling the Empire in the girl's place.
Daud interrupts the ritual and battles Delilah, with two possible options for elimination: He can either kill Delilah outright or force the ritual to go awry by replacing the painting of Emily with a painting of the Void, trapping her there.
- "Hear me, all of you. Your rightful Empress has returned!"
- —Delilah, to the Dunwall elite
Delilah makes a resurgence in Dishonored 2 as the main antagonist. At the conclusion of The Brigmore Witches, she was left to drift endlessly throughout the Void, until eventually happening upon the site of the Outsider's transfiguration. Figuring out a way to harness the power of the ritual grounds, Delilah becomes a part of the Outsider and grows stronger tenfold. She then manages to make contact with her loyal lieutenant Breanna Ashworth and the Serkonan Duke Luca Abele, motivating them to partake in a ritual to resurrect her in physical form. When she returns to the world, Delilah hides her spirit within a statue, thus ensuring herself immortality.
She and Duke Luca Abele later stage a coup at Dunwall Tower, in the middle of a ceremony honoring Jessamine's assassination. She reveals to the Dunwall elite that she is in fact a Kaldwin herself – the long-lost older sister of Jessamine. Almost immediately following this revelation, the guards attack Emily and her father Corvo Attano, with Delilah turning one of them into stone.
Delilah's endgame is not to simply rule over Dunwall, but to use her newfound powers to reshape reality to her liking. She plans to compose a painting capable of doing so, and is either trapped for eternity within her own reality or killed outright by Emily or Corvo. If eliminated non-lethally, her painting ends up hung above the throne.
- "Delilah wants the whole world, [...] the seas around it and the stars above it."
- —A witch, regarding Delilah's ambition
As a child, Delilah was sweet and loving, having spent most of her days in Dunwall Tower playing with Jessamine and hoping that one day, her father would show her the same attention he showed her legitimate younger sister. Even after being cast out of the Tower and denied her royal position as princess, she was at least able to find solace in her mother's presence. Following her mother's death, however, Delilah was deprived of any form of comfort and came to see the world as "marred and distorted", bringing about the power hungry visionary she becomes in adulthood.
Having seen and survived the worst the world could deal out, Delilah becomes jaded by and dissatisfied with reality, with her primary goal becoming the induction of change. In order to climb from a point of neglect and filth, Delilah does whatever necessary to survive and ascend to the top. Using her uncanny allure and cunning to attract and manipulate those around her, she is able to rise to heights unimaginable by most. In both of her major power plays, she seeks ultimately the alteration of reality in her image, motivated by her dismal upbringing and vindication against the world. She feels entitled to this right of warping reality, thinking it to be her brand of "justice" and form of correcting the world's many flaws. It is left ambiguous whether her remembrances of the past reflect reality or whether the truth has been warped by her lies and/or insanity.
Skills and Abilities
Delilah possesses a wide-ranging variety of talents, ranging from powerful supernatural abilities to a cunning unrivaled throughout the Empire. Her charm and charisma fill people with admiration and devotion, making loyal followers of those around her. Propelling her further through the ranks of society are her ambition and persistence, granting her considerable influence throughout the world. Even the Outsider on several occasions feels inclined to commend Delilah's wit and perseverance.
Her extensive supernatural abilities allow her to dominate most who oppose her. She is primarily able to exert her will unto objects, allowing her to control statues, turn adversaries to stone, and utilize paintings to steal the spirits of others. With her Arcane Bond, she empowers her coven of witches to fight for her, rarely having to enter combat for herself. When forced to, however, Delilah is capable of standing her ground against efficient killers such as Corvo and Daud. After merging with the Outsider, Delilah's already formidable magic becomes even more powerful. Unique to her is the newfound ability to steal the supernatural abilities of others, as she does with Corvo.
She possesses artistic prowess arguably on par with that of her former mentor Anton Sokolov. In the events of Dishonored 2, her paintings have garnered similar respect to Sokolov's paintings, now found throughout the world as collectible art pieces.
Relatively unknown is her adeptness in swordsmanship. In The Brigmore Witches and Dishonored 2, Delilah wields a witch's blade with surprising efficiency, given that she has no known formal training in swordsmanship.
- Delilah is voiced by Erin Cottrell.
- Though Delilah bears the Outsider's Mark it is not visible on her hand.
- Thalia Timsh claims that, during a seance, she and her uncle witnessed a specter of Delilah in the Brigmore Manor, painting Daud's name on a canvas.
- Delilah's plan to possess Emily is hinted in The Knife of Dunwall through A Poem by Delilah, found at the Timsh Estate.
- It is stated by one of her witches in the manor that Delilah can see glimpses of the future while in the Void, and that she saw Emily being crowned empress.
- A witch at the Brigmore Manor notes that Delilah possessed Timsh in this manner.
- Delilah does not appear to possess the Painted Flesh ability.
- If Daud kills Delilah with his sword, a special animation plays: Daud stabs Delilah in the ribs and she grabs the blade, driving it in deeper and swiping at his face until he pulls the sword free. Delilah then lunges at Daud, screaming, before he stabs her through the mouth. In Dishonored 2 she has another death animation if the protagonist decides to kill her with their sword, in which they punch her in the face and slam their blade down into her shoulder which Delilah then pushes out. Corvo or Emily then will grab her by the throat and stab her in the ribs.
- The titles of Delilah's paintings follow a specific trend, similarly to the titles of Sokolov's paintings being mathematical references: Delilah often alludes to herself or the impact she has on her subject (Daud's "house", Emily's face, Billie Lurk's "heart", the Outsider's Mark, etc).
- Delilah's paintings, including her sketches of Emily Kaldwin featured in the DLC of Dishonored, were drawn by freelance French artist Veronique Meignaud.
- Arkane Studios' office in Lyon has life-size printed copies of those paintings.
- Her paintings featured in Dishonored 2 were made by Arkane Studios' artist Sergey Kolesov.
- In Dishonored 2, Delilah appears almost as she did in The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches, having only aged three years from the first game to the second. This is because, while 12 years passed in the world, the Void has no concept of time.
- In Death to the Empress, Delilah's clones have gray eyes whereas Delilah has blue eyes.
- Delilah seems to be immune to certain supernatural abilities:
- Delilah's canon fate regarding the comics series Dishonored: The Peeress and the Price is being trapped by Emily in her own painting, "The World as it Should Be".
- Delilah's escape from the Void caused the creation of hollows all over Karnaca. Breanna Ashworth also muses that it caused the opening to the Void in Shindaerey North Quarry, although years prior to the ritual at Stilton's.
- When confronted openly in Dishonored 2's No Powers mode, Delilah will comment on the protagonist's choice to reject the Outsider's Mark, proving that despite never being told about it, she knows about the Outsider's visit and his offer to the protagonist.
- Developer Commentary – Dishonored ages masterpost
- "Wait, something is wrong. She should be older, by twelve years."
- Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives
- The Art of Dishonored 2
- "All of time is meaningless here. Neither seconds nor centuries."
- Dishonored: The Peeress and the Price issue 1, p.2
- Notes on the Archive
Characters in The Knife of Dunwall
Characters in The Brigmore Witches
Annabelle • Arnold Timsh • Corporal Hamrick • Corvo Attano • Evie • Lucas Penroe • Maggot Montaine • Melina • Naria • Overseer Pradclif • Private Morris • Skinflint • The Dressmaker • Tilda • Watch Officer Thorpe
Characters in Dishonored 2
|Minor Characters (Male)||
Amadeo Monte • Armando • Corporal Dial • Cyrille • Bartholomeus Vasco • Hadros • Ichabod Boyle • Joe Hamilton • Karl • Lento • Luciano • Stanislaw Shepherd • Ramos • Rapollo • Overseer Abello • Overseer Fitz • Overseer Ogburn • Yul Khulan
|Minor Characters (Female)|