- “[The Outsider] is not classically a 'trickster god,' but he's done a few things that probably remind people of other trickster examples, like granting man some kind of forbidden boon. You could say he has 'Chthonic' or 'Underworld' god qualities which represent the unconscious, mystery, secret or repressed desires, creativity, etc. The 'Shadow Self' from Jungian archetypes. This aspect, in my opinion, is much stronger than the trickster qualities.”
- ——Ricardo Bare
Born a human outcast over 4,000 years before the events of Dishonored, with no known family, at 15 years old the "powerless and abused" orphan was unwillingly subjected to a ritual by an occult group in which "he was bathed and dressed, and his hands were adorned with rings." He was thought to show all signs in him to become one with the Void, notably his age and bits of prophecy (the celestial movements and events like the mass dying of fish). He then "merged in part with the Void" to become a "being of insatiable curiosity about what people do when given power over others." As a "godlike entity" who represents the current time period, the Outsider appears to people he finds "interesting," and can make contact with them both through dreams, and in the physical world at his shrines. Those known to have been in direct contact with the Outsider include Corvo Attano, Piero Joplin, Granny Rags, Daud, Delilah Copperspoon, and the "Lonely Rat Boy". It is believed that the Outsider has also appeared to Emily Kaldwin, based on a description of a figure seen in her dreams.
The Outsider remains neutral in regard to events that transpire in the mortal world. He does not place conditions on those he gifts with supernatural abilities, and does not factor hierarchy or effort into their selection; Corvo, for instance, is granted the Mark without seeking it, while Anton Sokolov is never given an audience despite numerous summoning rituals and sacrifices.
Other individuals marked by the Outsider, such as Daud and Granny Rags, can be killed in Dishonored if Corvo so chooses. This does not change the Outsider's disposition toward him.
While the Outsider behaves in a largely neutral manner toward Corvo, he is more hostile toward Daud in The Knife of Dunwall, reminding Daud of his guilt in the murder of the Empress and noting the assassin's approaching demise. Harvey Smith also notes that "some of [The Outsider's] lines are sarcastic," but his tone can go unnoticed. The Outsider is also revealed to have "human emotion, but inhuman perception," making him "almost alien," or as Harvey Smith interprets him, possessing "two parts - human faculty and something primal and chthonic." Harvey Smith has also stated that, as a result of being powerless and abused as a boy, the Outsider is bitter about those with power acting abusively – proof of the human emotion he is said to possess.
The Outsider is a unique being and will at some point be destroyed in a catastrophic event.
- The Outsider is voiced by Billy Lush.
- The Outsider is closely associated with whales.
- A book titled Spirit of the Deep equates the Outsider with "a leviathan".
- Both runes and bone charms, which channel supernatural powers, are made from whale bone.
- During the final confrontation with Granny Rags, she shouts, "Bones of the great leviathan! Protect me!"
- A frozen whale is seen in the center of Void, standing out from the rest of the objects there.
- According to Harvey Smith, the Outsider cannot change form and "appears almost as he [did] in life."
- Despite never seeing the Outsider himself, Sokolov paints a portrait of the Outsider that greatly resembles how he appears to Corvo and Daud.
- During the events of The Knife of Dunwall, the Outsider reveals to Daud that there are only eight people in the entire world who possess his Mark.
- The Outsider's interest in Corvo and Daud seems to be heavily affected by chaos. Low chaos actions generally garner more amusement and fascination from him, while high chaos actions are typically met with generic synopses of given situations.
- This is reinforced by the fact that the Outsider himself notes that he had become disinterested in Daud prior to the assassination of Jessamine Kaldwin, more than likely due to the fact that the former had become predictable in nature as a notorious assassin - which in itself is reinforced by subtle cues given off in some of his speeches to Daud.
- The Outsider has demonstrated the ability to stop time around him within a small radius. This is showcased in The Brigmore Witches DLC, when, upon entering the painting of the Void in the mission Delilah's Masterwork, Daud is greeted by the Outsider before his final battle with Delilah.
- Though he is not omniscient, the Outsider receives "horrible glimpses of all time and space."
- Developer Commentary - Dishonored Mythos, part 2
- Developer Commentary - The Outsider as a trickster god
- Developer Commentary - The Outsider, part 1
- Developer Commentary - The Outsider has no 'known' family
- Developer Commentary - The Outsider
- Developer Commentary - The Outsider was forced into the ritual unwillingly
- Developer Commentary - The Outsider's rings
- Developer Commentary - The Outsider chosen by an occult group
- Developer Commentary - The Outsider, part 2
- Developer Commentary - Religion, part 3
- Developer Commentary - Dishonored Mythos, part 1
- "...if he really wants to meet me, he could start by being a bit more interesting."
- Developer Commentary - Harvey Smith on the Outsider's bitterness
- Developer Commentary - Whales and the Outsider
- "It's been a long while, but you've got my interest again."
- "I guess you know by now these things have a way of catching up with you."
- Developer Commentary - The Outsider's vision