Fortnite’s new Titan Hand event has spawned all sorts of theories

Fortnite’s new Titan Hand event has spawned all sorts of theories

Fans of Fortnite have been hitting the books in an effort to spin up theories rooted in Greek mythology to try to explain what’s going on in the world of the game. It all started when a giant stone hand appeared in game’s world. This hand, which players call the Titan Hand, came bearing a mysterious locked chest. Players worked together and eventually destroyed the chains locking the box, but doing so came with consequences. It unleashed a fiery pillar of energy onto the land. Now, internet sleuths are trying to solve the puzzle of what happened and its deeper meaning.

The mini event marks the end of the current season and the beginning of the Chapter 5 Season 2 patch coming out on Friday. To some, it’s just another flashy event to lure people back into playing the game. To others, it’s a sign of what’s to come and says something about the larger world of Fortnite. Fortnite lore — yes, that’s a real thing — is a bit difficult to parse, since it’s a competitive online game without a clear mainline quest. With each season and chapter, the developers have slowly threaded together a larger but vague story of the world and what’s going on. In Chapter 5 Season 1, a giant meteor hit the surface and the developers launched a new map. Now, the Titan Hand event has prompted plenty of speculation on platforms like YouTube and TikTok as people have been dissecting the happenings of the world.

People who want to follow the larger story of the game need to pay close attention to various details of the world. Unlike games where you play as a specific character and experience a specific story, you don’t really pursue a mainline story in Fortnite, and there is no clear narrative happening. It’s up to superfans to piece together details of a larger story by observing events and the larger world, and participating in optional seasonal quests. For example, the loading scenes from the last season showed a storyline where Peely, the banana mascot of the series, was kidnapped and then later broke free.

Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen eating ramen by a telescope in Fortnite.
Satoru Gojo checking out the camp next to the mysterious hand.
Image: Epic Games via Polygon

Let’s start with what we do know about Titan Hand. The upcoming season will have a Greek mythology theme, as confirmed by the new cinematic trailer, images teasing the new season, and leaks that show the new Greek mythology-themed characters. Although content creators spin up theories that dive deeper into the larger Fortnite lore and speculate on larger questions like timeliness and alternate universes, it’s easier to just look at theories about specific events and how it might affect future changes in the world. In this case, it’s fun to look at what the event means and why it has led many to spin up theories based on the stories told in Greek myths.

The chest is Pandora’s box

The most prominent theory circling around the event is that the chest that appeared in Fortnite is actually Pandora’s box. People think that Fortnite players opened the chest and released all the evils inside it onto the world, just like in the classic Greek myth. So far, players have not suffered the full consequences of releasing evils like death and illness into the world, but there has been some chaos. For example, players in Zero Build have been able to construct buildings after jumping into the box. The whole point of Zero Build mode is that it does not allow the classic Fortnite construction gameplay, so giving certain people that power sparked a lot of speculation from the larger community.

This theory seems like a pretty safe one to buy into. The decorations on the box appear to depict various ills of the world mentioned in the Greek myth. We can see all the evils that Pandora released unto the world, like death, depicted by a Grim Reaper on the chest. Also, Epic Games shared a post from a creator calling it Pandora’s box, which could indirectly confirm the concept and interpretation of it. Now, people are hypothesizing about what this will unleash upon the world in the season about to start. Some have joked this means all the loot drops will suck, but it’s possible it could indicate some other seasonal game mechanic.

The hand belongs to a titan

Fortnite Titan’s hand dangling Pandora’s box Image: Epic Games

Many believe that the hand belongs to a member of the group of godlike beings known as the Titans and call it the “Titan Hand.” In Greek mythology, the Titans were the precursors to the Olympian gods fathered by Zeus. As the stories go, Zeus and the Olympians fought against the Titans, won, and later assumed their rule as gods and demigods over the world on Mount Olympus. Given the general theme of the next season and the leaks so far, fans theorize that the next season will set up a scenario where we either fight the Olympians ourselves or fight alongside them. This could take the form of boss fights or in-game quests. While this hand could belong to a Fortnite-specific character, it seems like it could very well be a Titan given the group’s prominent role in Greek mythology and theme of the game.

The beam coming from the box has a mysterious tie to Hades

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When players opened the giant chest in Fortnite, the box emitted a giant pillar of light that appeared to contain swirling souls. When considering the leaked information, one creator theorized that its design could hint at a connection to the “river of souls” or the River Styx. In the Iliad, this mystical body of water formed the boundary of the world of the dead and underworld ruled by Hades. Now, some Fortnite players think the underworld or the river could be a new location that will appear in the next update. Overall, it’s looking very possible it will come to the game, given the latest trailer teased a brooding land with an ethereal body of water.

These are just a few of the big theories. Fans can dive way deeper into different interpretations if they want to think about the larger lore of the world, and the potential for different timelines or alternate universes in Fortnite. Either way, it’s fun to see the community specifically analyze the greater Greek myths and its possible influences in the next season. In this sense, running a Greek mythology-themed season of Fortnite seems like the perfect fit for the audience. A lot of young people play Fortnite and might even get to learn about the mythological heroes who will star in the upcoming season. All we need now is for teachers to hop on the Battle Bus and give a little in-game lesson once it comes out.