There have been many theories crafted over whether the mysterious pale, white stranger in the Diablo 4 cinematic trailer is really Rathma. While Blizzard has naturally maintained radio silence, new evidence has unintentionally leaked through the company itself to confirm without a doubt that the character is indeed what the internet has been suggesting to be.
Recently, YouTuber Teko downloaded the Diablo 4 cinematic trailer directly from the Blizzard servers and dropped the file into a video editing software. Doing that led to the discovery of metadata that was left behind by Blizzard during the editing stage. In at least two instances, the markers mentioned Rathma by name: “Added 6055 for reflection of Rathma in cleric’s eyes” and such.
In the lore, Rathma is described as a tall person with pale white skin who covers his head with a hood. He’s able to raise and manipulate the dead, as well as read thoughts and feelings. In the Diablo 4 cinematic trailer, one of the adventurers, thought to have perished, came back to life. In addition, Rathma was able to read the inner yearnings of the final adventurer and have him sacrifice his life by reminding how he came in search for knowledge. Hence, both the appearance and powers point towards the character being Rathma.
Rathma is a first-generation nephalem, making him the first son of Lilith and Inarius. Inarius imprisoned Lilith and made it so that nephalems would continue to lose their powers. It’s why over the course of generations, nephalems have more or less become mortals. Rathma may have summoned Lilith in Diablo 4 in order to regain his full powers. It may be why he asked her to “save us” in the footage.
Diablo 4 was previously rumored to have a strong Diablo 2 influence, being darker and grittier. The cinematic trailer and all of its gory details pretty much hammered that rumor into place. Blizzard also released gameplay footage on the side for three classes announced so far — Barbarian, Druid, and Sorceress. The gameplay likewise showed bloodier and morbid action-packed instances.
Just how Rathma ties up in the Diablo 4 storyline is anyone’s guess at this point. Lilith may even help Rathma free Inarius from his eternal torture in hell. There’s likely to be another bout between the armies of heaven and hell. Lilith may not even be the prime antagonist, which Rathma — based on lore — is perfectly capable of taking the lead on in Diablo 4.
Expect the passionate community to dig up more evidence for Rathma in the near future. However, don’t expect Blizzard to start making reveals anytime soon. Diablo 4 remains without a release date but the highly anticipated sequel doesn’t seem to be releasing anytime soon. Speculation pins a release in late 2020 or somewhere in 2021, making it a long wait but also primed to grace next-generation consoles.