Bloodborne's Tragic Tale of Father Gascoigne and His Family Explained (2023)

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Amidst all the blood and gore, one of Bloodborne’s most heart wrenching tales is that of Father Gascoigne and his family. Similar to the player, Father Gascoigne is a foreigner in Yharnam, as we know from the description of his garb which reads, “”Father” is a title used for clerics in a foreign land, and there is no such rank in the Healing Church.”

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It is not entirely clear why Father Gascoigne came to Yharnam, however, many speculate that he came in search for a cure to ashen blood, the disease which preceded the beastly scourge. Whether the cure was solely for himself or also for the rest of his family is also unclear. However if this is the case, Gascoigne would have sought healing in blood ministration and taken on the duties of a hunter to provide for and protect both himself and his family.

The first member of Gacoigne’s family encountered by the player is his young daughter. She’s located in Central Yharnam past a gate that can be unlocked through climbing up a few ladders from the sewers. When greeted, the little girl says, “”Who… are you? I don’t know your voice, but I know that smell… Are you a hunter? Then, please, will you look for my mum? Daddy never came back from the hunt, and she went to find him, but now she’s gone, too… I’m all alone… and scared…”

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If the player chooses to help the little girl find her mother, she says, “ “Really? Oh, thank you! My m-mum wears a red jeweled brooch. It’s so big and… and beautiful. You won’t miss it. Oh, I mustn’t forget. If you find my mum, give her this music box. It plays one of daddy’s favorite songs. And when daddy forgets us we play it for him so he remembers. Mum’s so silly, running off without it!”

The description of the tiny music box reads, “”A small music box received from a young Yharnam girl. Plays a song shared by her mother and father. Inside the lid is a small scrap of paper, perhaps an old message. Two names can be made out, however faintly, Viola and Gascoigne.”

Feeling pity for this poor little girl, the Hunter continues on, hoping it’s still possible to find her mother. Instead, the Hunter finds her dad, who also just happens to be Bloodborne’s first mandatory boss fight, Father Gascoigne. When greeted, he says, “Beasts all over the shop. You’ll be one of them, sooner or later. Oh!… what’s that smell? … the sweet blood, oh it sings to me. It’s enough to make a man sick.”

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During the fight, when Gascoigne is down to about a quarter bar of health, he completes his beastly transformation and becomes a full fledged werewolf with no hope of returning to human form. If it wasn’t clear from all the clues along the way, it is now obvious that Gascoigne has lost himself to the beastly scourge and become a monster who fiends for blood. After slaying Gascoigne, the Hunter finds one last clue that reveals the extent of Gascoigne’s madness and disease.

Remember the little girl who asked you to look for her mom? The Hunter finds the mother’s red jeweled broach atop her bloodied body on a rooftop just behind where the Gascoigne fight took place. Its description reads, “A woman’s bright-red brooch, engraved with the name Viola. Perhaps the jewel is a gift from a hunter.” Now it is clear what the little girl meant when she said, “It plays one of daddy’s favorite songs. And when daddy forgets us we play it for him so he remembers. Mum’s so silly, running off without it!”

What the little girl describes as Gascoigne ”forgetting” his family is more accurately the beginning of Gascoigne’s descent into the madness and bloodlust that accompanies the affliction of the beastly scourge. He is not only forgetting his family, but also losing his humanity entirely. It is only the familiar tune of the music box, entrenched in his mind after a lifetime of repeated listens, that can drag him back to the shreds of humanity that remain within his blood.

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Viola was more than “silly” to go out without the music box, as we can see from her bloodied corpse which lies upon the rooftop beneath the red jeweled brooch. Without the hypnotic tune of the music box to keep the blood thirst at bay, Gascoigne gored into his wife Viola with a beastly rage, ending her life and leaving their two precious little girls orphaned.

If the player has the emotional grit to be the bearer of bad news, the little girl’s story can be continued by returning to her with the red jeweled brooch. Upon receiving the brooch she begins to cry as she says, “Mister hunter… Was it really her? Mummy… mummy… Don’t leave me alone.” After this, the girl will no longer continue to respond. If the player leaves the area and comes back to the window, she will be gone entirely. But where could she have gone?

If the player continues past the little girl’s window, down the ladders, and into the sewers, he/she will encounter a giant pig. This is the same giant pig that guards the area where the Saw Hunter Badge can be found. However, this time there is something different about the pig. Upon the pig’s death after giving Gascoigne’s daughter the red jeweled brooch, it will drop an item called red messenger ribbon.

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It’s as bad as it sounds; the description reads, “”Red ribbon that messengers are oddly fond of. The thick, pungent red was drawn from the organs of some unfortunate Victim. A strange choice indeed. but perhaps for the messengers wearing this accessory constitutes a form of mourning.” Filled with despair upon the receiving the news of her deceased mother, the little girl ran away from home, searching for safety and companionship, yet instead was met only with death at the hooves of a beastly hog.

But that’s not all folks. If the player holds on to the red messenger ribbon and returns to the little girl’s window after killing Rom The Vacuous Spider, there will be another interactive NPC waiting there, who just so happens to be the little girl’s older sister. She says, “Oh, you haven’t by chance… seen my little sister, have you? I told her to look after the house, but she’s run off somewhere. She’s still quite small, and wears a big white ribbon. Have you seen her out there anywhere?”

Unfortunately, we have seen her ribbon, but it isn’t white anymore. Upon handing the older sister the red messenger ribbon she says, “Oh, how did this happen… Why would she ever go outside? At least… I’ll have something to remember her by.” After the Hunter walks away, the sister mutters, “”What a perfect ribbon, and now it’s mine. I can’t wait to try it on.” From her tone, it’s obvious that she was mentally shattered the second she saw that blood soaked ribbon. Her feigned optimism can only be a dark foreshadowing of more bad news to come.

If the Hunter leaves the area and then returns, the sister will no longer be in the window. But where did she go? The Hunter climbs down the ladder next to the now abandoned window and the answer is sprawled out across the floor at the bottom. Can you guess who?

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It’s the older sister, too filled with grief over the loss of her family to continue on living. It appears that she jumped from the ladder and committed suicide. While it’s possible that she fell accidentally or was killed by a beast, it would seem that given the preceding events, she must have known leaving the house meant death. Upon her corpse lies a white messenger ribbon. It appears that she washed the blood off the red ribbon the Hunter gave her earlier. The white ribbon is described as, “White ribbon that messengers are oddly fond of. A ribbon made of fine lace that shines remarkably, more suited to pretty young girls than silly old messengers.”

Update: There has been another theory going around that the second girl claiming to be the older sister is lying and is not part of Gascoigne’s family at all. The evidence for this is that the younger girl mentions loving her mother, father, and granddad, but does not say anything about also having a sister. In this scenario, the older girl would be a neighbor who lived at the bottom of the ladder who had always coveted the little girl’s white ribbon. She would have waited for the little girl to leave, searched for the ribbon, encountered the Hunter, acquired the ribbon, and died being attacked or by falling down the ladder on her way to back to her house. This is also supported by the older girl’s mutterings about how she can’t wait to try on the ribbon. Both are good theories and it is difficult to tell which one is correct, if that is even determinable.

While this brings the story of all Gascoigne’s immediate family members to a bloody end, there is still one more loose end in the Father Gascoigne tragedy: Henryk. Henryk is a hunter that can only be encountered along the Eileen the Crow NPC Quest Line.

When slain, Henryk’s armor can be purchased from the Insight Bath Messenger, providing more detail into his character. The description of his garb reads, “Hunter’s attire worn by Henryk, the old hunter. The taciturn old hunter Henryk was once partners with Father Gascoigne, and though they were a fierce and gallant duo, their partnership led to Henryk’s tragically long life. Henryk’s unique yellow garb is resistant to bolt and will be of great help to any hunter who has inherited the onus of the hunt.”

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So Gascoigne and Henryk were partners, but is it possible that they were more than that? There’s one clue that suggest Henryk was either a family friend considered to be family or was actually Viola’s father and therefore the Grandfather of Gascoigne’s children. If the Hunter sends the little sister to Oedon Chapel instead of giving her the brooch she says, “Yes okay, thank you very much mister hunter! I love you almost as much as mum and dad, and grandad!”

From this line, many fans have speculated that the person she sees as her granddad is indeed Henryk, whether he is actually Viola’s father or just Gascoigne’s partner. So at this point, not only will you have been the one responsible for killing her father, but also her grandfather.

No happy endings here. Just gore followed by more gore. Classic Bloodborne. If you’re interested in finding out more about Bloodborne’s lore, check out our article, Bloodborne’s Hidden Back Story Finally Explained and feel free to share your own interpretations of the lore in the comments.

About the author

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Ian was a freelance writer for Twinfinite that loved nothing more than helping his fellow Guardians in Destiny 2 fight back against the Darkness. Be it patch notes, funny anecdotal stories from the community or in-depth guides to help you get that exotic, Ian was your guy!

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