Xehanort has laid a claim to Sora as a Seeker of Darkness. Sora himself claims to fight for the Light. But will he really? Or is it possible that the gung-ho, kind, optimistic wielder of the Keyblade will fall to Darkness? Perhaps it will only be a matter of time before he dons the black coat and becomes Xehanort’s thirteenth vessel.
First, consider this: Sora willingly became a Heartless. He used the Keyblade of Heart to unlock the Darkness in his heart, and though his intentions were good in that he wanted to save Kairi, it doesn’t change the outcome. Though he regained human form, he could have been technically considered a Heartless up until he rejoined with Roxas, his body and soul that he had lost. There is only one other known person who willingly became a Heartless: Xehanort. Both, for their own reasons, willingly unlocked the Darkness in their hearts. But Sora regained himself and became whole again, right?
“Fear leads to obsession with power, and obsession beckons the Darkness.”
In Kingdom Hearts II, Sora has the ability to unlock his greatest power with the use of Drive Forms. However, using this power too much has a penalty: Anti-Form, a form in which Sora is overtaken by Darkness and left in a near mindless, though incredibly strong, Heartless-like state. This Darkness comes from within him, and that form is just a brief glimpse at how strong said Darkness is within him.
“My friends are my power!”
“Well, you’ve lost your memories and found hurt in return. By deciding that
hurt was the key to remembering, you gave up all hope of ever being free from it. Don’t
you see? That hurt owns you now, Sora. It’s a wound that will never mend. A hole in
your heart will grow bigger and bigger, until Darkness finally claims it.”
Sora is the type of person who wants to fix everyone’s problems. He is willing to take on the pain of others if it means helping them. But how much pain can he take? He’ll do anything to protect his friends (see the Keyblade of Heart earlier), and desires, even unconsciously, to grow stronger in order to do so. The harder he fights and the more hurt he takes on, the closer he beckons the Darkness to his heart.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance has shown that Sora has little to no defense against the Darkness. He will fight his hardest to keep it away from his heart, but if he fails, his heart is all but helpless against it, and he can be tricked into allowing it to overtake him. It took a combined effort between Riku and Ventus’s heart within Sora’s to bring him back to the light, but without Ventus’s protection via his Keyblade Armor, he likely wouldn’t have been able to be saved.
“He has touched countless hearts. He has accepted them. And he has saved them. And some of those hearts have never left him. Whether they fell into darkness or were trapped there, whether they sleep in the darkness of Sora’s heart, or were welcomed into its warmth…”
–Ansem the Wise
There are many “hearts” within Sora’s, the most notable being Ventus, Roxas, and Xion. But Sora’s heart made a point of fostering Ventus’s light, and Roxas and Xion both (more or less) returned willingly to him. They were likely the ones “welcomed into its warmth.” But what heart could be trapped in Sora’s darkness?
“Hypocrite. You are the one who has made your heart a prison.”
–Young Xehanort to Sora
When Sora’s newborn heart reached out to Ventus’s four years before Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, it also inadvertently reached out to Vanitas, the darkness of Ventus’s heart, as well. Despite their separation by Xehanort, Ventus and Vanitas still shared the connection of being the same heart, and when Ventus’s heart connected with Sora’s, Vanitas’s did as well, resulting in him taking on Sora’s appearance to some extent, albeit a different hair and eye color and being paler. When Ventus and Vanitas joined back together in the climactic battle of Birth by Sleep, Ventus managed to defeat the darkness of his heart and Vanitas vanished as a result – but so did Ventus. Ventus’s heart left his body and shortly later found its way to Sora’s, where he has slept for over ten years.
However, could it be that the darkness of his heart, Vanitas, followed as well?
“Even if you are not the prisoner.”
–Vanitas to Sora, following Young Xehanort’s quote above
Vanitas makes one confirmed appearance in Dream Drop Distance when he appears briefly alongside Young Xehanort to taunt Sora. He appears to be a “phantom” of sorts, fading in and out of focus while Young Xehanort is clearly present. Could it be that he is the prisoner within Sora’s heart, being the only
“resident” who isn’t there willingly like Ventus, Roxas, and Xion? Vanitas is an entity of powerful darkness, and perhaps it is possible that after gaining strength over the decade between Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts, just as Ventus has, he is now able to influence Sora’s heart.
Between Sora’s own darkness that has grown over the years since he left Destiny Islands and the influence of others on him, whether it be Xehanort externally or Vanitas internally, the possibility that he may become a Seeker of Darkness is there. Sora himself will want to fight as a Guardian of Light, and in a way, he has ever since he took up the Keyblade. However, vessels can be made even from the most unwilling hosts, and even with the best intentions, those who fight for Light can fall to Darkness, just as Terra and Eraqus did in Birth by Sleep.
With the right push, Xehanort may truly be able to make Sora into his thirteenth vessel.
This article was written by Vanilla Vani, avid cosplayer and theorist admin at the Kingdom Hearts Hypetrian Facebook page.