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Genshin Impact – Who or What is Paimon? (Theories)

The lore of Genshin Impact is incredibly rich and deep. Descriptions from weapons, artifacts, and even seemingly random books you come across in your journey can hold vital information to unlocking the biggest mysteries. No mystery is bigger perhaps, than the one surrounding our narrative companion Paimon. Just who (or what) exactly is Paimon in Genshin Impact?

No one knows for sure and we aren’t given much information about her. But there are various hints that the community has pieced together to form some cohesive theories about the true identity of Paimon.

Be warned that there are spoilers ahead, so if you’re not caught up with your World and Archon Quests, you may want to come back later. Now, dive in with us to explore the leading theories that explain who Paimon is, and more importantly, what she wants. 

Who is Paimon and What Does She Want?

What is Paimon? Lumine says she's just Paimon.
Image: Hoyoverse via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

Paimon serves as the mascot character of Genshin Impact. Rather than Aether or Lumine, Hoyoverse usually depicts Paimon as the representative of the game. She is included in most promotional materials and even serves as the official persona of Genshin Impact’s Twitter account from time to time. 

Not only that, Paimon has also served as the spokesperson for players during the beta version of the game. If beta players had questions or concerns about the game, she was the one who would answer them. 

While our floating supply of emergency food has been nothing but kind and helpful to us from the beginning of our journey, it seems highly likely she harbors some sort of ulterior motive. Even if she herself is unaware of it.

What We Know About Paimon So Far

Honestly, there isn’t a whole lot we actually know definitively about our floating companion. We haven’t seen her engage in combat, use any sort of powers (Elemental or otherwise), and we’ve barely even seen her leave the Traveler’s side. 

Physiology & Appearance

We do know that Paimon’s physiology differs from the average human’s in the game. She isn’t impervious to environmental effects but has at least a similar resistance to the Traveler’s if not somewhat better. Things like the Withering Zones within Sumeru for example, don’t seem to affect her.

We also know that Paimon’s appearance is something completely unknown to the common folk of Teyvat, as many comment on her with surprise and confusion. Though that being said, a lot of people are also completely nonplussed by her existence and oddly accepting, but that might be because she’s with the Traveler.

She has been referred to briefly as a fairy or an elf (depending on your localization), as well as a “mysterious flying pet”. The fake-Adeptus Wang Ping’an also once referred to Paimon as a mini-Seelie… unfortunately, none of these monikers seem to be all that accurate.

Scent & Fate

Interestingly, two comments from Kazuha and Mona suggest that Paimon is a greater being from beyond the confines of Teyvat.

Upon meeting the Traveler and Paimon for the first time, Kazuha notes that the two have the fragrance of the stars. As the game has shown that Kazuha’s senses are fine-tuned to a supernatural level and has yet to be wrong, we have no reason to doubt this. This suggests that Paimon is a being from beyond the physical world of Teyvat, just like the Traveler.

As for Mona, she is completely unable to scry any part of Paimon’s fate. Neither her past nor future is discernible. The only other being shown to be in a similar boat is Venti, who is a god. Strangely though, Venti had to interfere and forcibly prevent Mona from digging any deeper, suggesting that it may be possible to scry something about him with enough effort and time. But if Paimon’s fate is even more shrouded than a god’s, what does that suggest?

Beyond that, Paimon’s origins and backstory are shrouded in mystery. We don’t know anything about her from before she joined the Traveler. Not to mention very little time is spent focused on her. It’s almost as if she just appeared one day for the express purpose of being saved by the Traveler. 

What is Paimon Doing with the Traveler?

Paimon being fished out of the water and meeting the Traveler for the first time.
Image: Hoyoverse via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

As someone who can fly and is unaffected by dangerous environments, it’s odd that she would need help being rescued out of the water. But that’s how we met her. It sounds pretty fishy (ba-dum-tss) when you think about it. 

Guide for the Traveler

The premise for Paimon sticking to the Traveler’s side like glue is to serve as a guide to Teyvat, solely out of gratitude to their rescuer. While it’s a sweet gesture and speaks to their friendship, it becomes a bit odd when you realize that Paimon doesn’t actually seem to know that much about Teyvat.

She knows more than the Traveler (unsurprising given they’re not from this world) but isn’t an expert in any specific region of the game. The extent of her knowledge is mostly common facts, unless it comes to food – then she’s an expert.

Interestingly, she is the one who suggested seeking out the seven Archons and has mostly just tagged along for the ride. Yet strangely, not a single person has recognized Paimon throughout our entire journey – even the Archons themselves.

A Forgotten Purpose?

Which makes it strange that Paimon is accepted as our companion with so little thought. While a few characters have pointed out that she is an anomaly, the one or two questions about her origins are simply brushed off as unimportant.

Even the one moment where we could have gotten a clearer look into her past (during the Perilous Trail quest line) just raises more questions. While everyone in the group was able to examine the Door of Memories and recall important moments from their past, Paimon was the only who began to suffer a headache simply from approaching it.

It was severe enough that it even took our little Flying Lavender Melon out of commission, sapping her strength and leaving her ill for a bit. Whatever lays hidden in Paimon’s memories is bound to overwhelm her if she ever recalls it, and we fully expect this plot point to be a major narrative reveal down the road.

Meta Overseer

Finally, depending on how meta you want to get, Hoyoverse has given Paimon a heavy presence in the game’s system. This could be suggesting that Paimon has omnipotence as a higher being and is overlooking the Traveler’s journey in some way.

Developer messages and official announcements are sent by “P.A.I.M.O.N”, while the game’s pause menu is called the “Paimon Menu”. Even one of the system’s item shops is called “Paimon’s Bargains”. All of these services are meant to provide something to us as the player, which in turn helps the Traveler see their journey through to the end.

Main Theories About Paimon

Unsurprisingly, there are multiple popular theories about Paimon throughout the Genshin Impact community. The game often hides hints about future plot threads in its lore – either via obscure dialogue, in-game texts, or even parallel references to real life mythology – and folks have been trying to piece together what Paimon’s role will be down the road.

Here are the main theories regarding Paimon in Genshin Impact that have the most credence and plausibility.

Paimon Will Betray Us

Enjou suggests that Paimon will betray us in the future.
Image: Hoyoverse via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

Most of the theories surrounding Paimon aren’t good. With so much unknown about her and the limited ways we can gain more knowledge, it’s easier to assume the worst in her. 

Plus, we’ll be honest, she can get kind of annoying at times.

In Enkanomiya, the Traveler is even presented with the hypothetical situation that Paimon could betray us in the future. That could easily be Hoyoverse’ cheeky way of throwing in foreshadowing years before the final plot twist comes to fruition. Of course that line was also given by a member of the Abyss Order who was actively trying to trick us, so it could also just be a red herring. 

While Paimon does seem to genuinely care about the Traveler and wants to help them be reunited with their twin, it’s suspicious that we know so little about her. Almost as if a higher power is at play to divert interest in her origins. How easily attention is taken off of an anomaly like Paimon almost feels similar to how the people of Teyvat react when information is deleted / tampered with in Irminsul

We already know that neither Paimon nor the Archons are immune to Irminsul’s influence, and that there was about a 500-year gap where the Dendro Archon wasn’t exactly in a state to protect it. It wouldn’t be out of the question for an agent with nefarious purposes to infiltrate Sumeru to modify the world’s memories. 

It’s hard to say for sure that Paimon will betray us of course, but it does seem highly likely at this stage. Technically, the only things we know she wants are A) food and B) to help the Traveler. But if Irminsul has been tampered with, her priorities could very easily be changed, especially since the Perilous Trail quests implied Paimon’s true memories are sealed away.

Paimon is a Demon

Our friendly emergency food is panicking over us being knocked out.
Image: Hoyoverse via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

Just as a preface, we don’t mean she’s literally a demon. We know Hoyoverse loves to borrow elements from various mythos across many cultures. Demons in particular are a popular naming scheme for characters.

So far, all of the Archons take a name from a demon – Barbatos (Venti), Morax (Zhongli), Baal (Raiden Shogun – Ei), Buer (Nahida), and Focalors (Furina). Each name can be traced back to the grimoire Pseudomonarchia Daemonum (aka. the False Monarchy of Demons) or the more commonly known work, Ars Goetia (aka. The Lesser Key of Solomon).

Both works are largely interchangeable for this discussion.

The “False Monarchy of Demons” first appeared as an appendix to De praestigiis daemonum by Johhann Wyer and contains a list of 69 demons, along with the best time and ways to summon them. Within the grimoire, the name Paimon is listed as one of the 9 Kings of Hell, with the rest of the list containing various ranks from Count to President.

Now linking Paimon’s name to a list of demons alone doesn’t make her one of them, especially since none of the other Archons seem to be demonic. However, it does imply that she’s much more powerful than she’s let on though. What could make her so special that her naming convention is in line with some of the most powerful beings in Teyvat? Only time will tell.

Paimon is a Manifestation of the Heavenly Principles

Is Paimon the Sustainer of the Heavenly Principles?
Image: Hoyoverse via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

Our next theory is that Paimon is a weakened form of the Heavenly Principles. Paimon’s origins are obscured and strangely enough very little dialogue ever comments on that fact (beyond the Kazuha and Mona ones we mention above). The few throw away lines we do get are often brushed off. As if Paimon simply… Is. And that there’s no point in questioning her existence. 

Paimon’s character design has many similarities to the Sustainer of the Heavenly Principles (the being who kidnaps your sibling). We also learn that the Heavenly Principles hasn’t been active since the fall of Kaenri’ah, which occurred around the time the Traveler and their sibling arrived in Teyvat.

It seems entirely possible that the Sustainer spent those many hundred years recuperating after the disaster and only just gained some semblance of form in the shape of Paimon. Just in time for us, the Traveler, to awaken.

Nahida theorizes that the Heavenly Principles is the First Descender, or the first being from another world to come to Teyvat – which already makes it highly likely that they are in fact a singular being. That being was then powerful enough to govern the universal laws of the realm.

Even if Paimon is not the Heavenly Principles herself, it’s likely there is some sort of unknown connection between them. And thanks to that Paimon is at least related to the Sustainer of the Heavenly Principles in some way.

Especially when you take into consideration that the game’s files have the Sustainer’s true name listed as Asmoday – who is also one of the 9 Kings of Hell in the Ars Goetia alongside Paimon. This does suggest the two are separate entities, but as the case with Nahida and Rukkhadevata shows, it doesn’t completely invalidate the theory.

Ultimately, if Paimon really is related to the Heavenly Principles – or is in fact a manifestation of them – then it is highly likely she will also be the game’s final boss. 

Paimon is One of the Three Moon Sisters

Comparison between Paimon and the Blessing of the Welkin Moon
Image: Hoyoverse via HGG / Jeffrey Hsu

This theory requires a bit of knowledge of Teyvat’s ancient history (from even before the Archons) and understanding the concept of the Triple Goddess from real-life Wiccan mythology.

According to legends from Teyvat’s far past, it was said there were three sisters that governed the night, riding in a silver carriage above the heavens and ensuring ruin would not come to the world. The three would regularly alternate their sovereignty between one another, ensuring that the skies were always illuminated by the stars they loved so much.

However, when a massive calamity, one that overthrew the heavens and earth occurred, it led to in-fighting amongst the sisters. Ultimately, the fight resulted in only one sister surviving, with the current moon said to be the corpse of one of the sisters.

The existence of the Moon Sisters parallels the concept of a trifecta of goddesses that’s common in many mythologies. However, it’s the Triple Goddess from Wiccan mythology that’s of particular interest in this case.

The Triple Goddess is separated into three figures: the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. Each one is another aspect of the moon’s cycle (waxing, full, waning) and represents different parts of a woman’s life.

For this theory, we’ll be focusing specifically on the Maiden stage, which you might have guessed by now is represented by Paimon. The Maiden stage is centered around childhood and embodies innocence, growth, and new life – all of which are aspects that Paimon exudes.

As to why we believe that Paimon is one of the three Moon Sisters (or at least related to them) is because of the Blessing of the Welkin Moon. Yes, the daily game subscription may also be a giant lore hint.

The description for the Welkin Moon is as such: “A ritual prayer, recited on the rising of the first new moon, to ask for the moon’s blessing in the form of wealth and good fortune.” The first new moon would correspond to the Maiden phase, and there are few things Paimon loves more than treasure.

Even more importantly, is the resemblance between Paimon and the figure on the Blessing of the Welkin Moon. Both have the symbol of Primogems upon their outfit, have reminiscent white hair, and are depicted with the triquetra symbol (the one that appears on Mora).

For the Blessing of the Welkin Moon, the triquetra symbol is on the offering bowl. And who happens to have a triquetra emblazoned on the center of their chest? Paimon! It could very well be an offering to our flying emergency food!

While we don’t definitively know who the figure on the blessing is, suggestions have abounded anywhere from a follower of the Moon Sisters to being one of the sisters themselves. Regardless, there’s an eery amount of similarities between the figure on the Blessing and Paimon that we can’t disregard it as coincidence.

While the Three Sisters haven’t been explored in-depth yet, we fully expect one of the future quests to fixate on their importance and role in Teyvat’s history. That or it’ll be another background lore-bomb that Hoyoverse drops – like the entirety of Signora’s backstory in the descriptions of the Witch of Crimson Flames artifact set. Both are equally likely knowing Hoyoverse.

Join the High Ground!

In the end, only the writers at Hoyoverse know what Paimon truly is in Genshin Impact and what role she has to play. What are your theories? Let us know in the comments below!

For more Genshin Impact commentary make sure to check out our article on whether or not everyone’s favorite gacha game is pay to win!

Until next time, ad astra abyssosque and happy gaming!

 

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