Dormin is a mysterious shadowed entity who is the apparent main antagonist of Shadow of the Colossus. The player appears as him briefly at the end, but do not fight him (which for this game is extremely ironic, as it is structured entirely around large boss fights). Instead, the player must try and delay Lord Emon and his soldiers from escaping and trapping Dormin again, though it is inevitable that Dormin will be trapped by Lord Emon.
A long time ago, Dormin ruled the Forbidden Lands until a new religion took shape in the lands. The religion was biased against horns, dark spirits, and resurrection. A shaman named Lord Emon decided to seal Dormin for he was now considered evil and left the Forbidden Lands via the gigantic bridge after Dormin's imprisonment. Dormin's essence was sealed in every one of the sixteen Colossi, which were colossal beasts who roamed freely throughout the Forbidden Lands. Years later, a young man named Wander, who wielded a powerful sword capable of killing the Colossi, traveled to the Forbidden Lands on his horse Argo to find Dormin in hopes of enlisting his aid in resurrecting his deceased lover, a girl named Mono, who was sacrificed for having a supposedly cursed destiny.
When Wander arrived at the Shrine of Worship in the heart of the Forbidden Lands, the imprisoned Dormin reached out to him and revealed his astonishment with Wander's possession of the sword and Wander asked him to help resurrect Mono. Dormin agreed to do so, but due to his imprisonment, he told Wander to use his sword to kill the sixteen colossi, but warned Wander that he would pay a big cost if he was successful and sent him out on his mission. However, unknown to Wander, Dormin was also using him to slay the Colossi in order to free him from imprisonment, as each Colossus contained a piece of Dormin's essence. As Wander killed each Colossus, Dormin's essence began to settle within Wander's body, which altered his appearance. After Wander killed the final Colossus, he returned to Dormin's shrine with a demonic appearance. Upon arrival, he was attacked by Lord Emon and his men, who had followed Wander to the Forbidden Lands to prevent him from unintentionally releasing Dormin. Wander tried to reach Mono, but was killed by Emon's men.
However, Wander's death also triggered Dormin's release. Dormin took his long-awaited revenge on Emon and attacked Emon and his men, forcing them to retreat. Dormin then attempted to flee the shrine, but Emon used Wander's sword to create a whirlpool in a pool in the shrine which pulled Dormin inside. Dormin then revived Wander but still possessed his body in an attempt to escape the whirlpool's pull, but failed and was sucked into the pool and seemingly ripped apart and destroyed, but not before using his last powers to resurrect Mono, thus, keeping true to his word. When Mono woke up, she and Wander happily reunited and left with Argo from the Forbidden Lands forever.
Dormin holds the knowledge of a great power, and for this reason, was sealed away as a menacing being in the ancient past. It is for this reason that the ancient land is a forbidden place, and the reason for making it so was seen as necessary for the people. Dropping the entirety of the bridge to seal off the land — as is done late in the game — wasn't performed, though, as it's the very thing used to walk out. It could be said that the black bands that pierce Wander's body when each colossus falls are a symbol of Dormin's power entering his body. The silhouettes that surround Wander in the temple are each one portion of Dormin.
After his body becomes Dormin, it's still half-Wander and his consciousness remains able to function.
Voices and gender
Voiced by Kazuhiro Nakata and Kyōko Hikami, Dormin speaks with both a male and female voice in loose synchronization. Because of this, fans have often debated over the correct pronoun to use. The plural pronouns they and them are often used because of Dormin's dual voices. Lord Emon notably refers to Dormin using the masculine pronoun he in the final scenes (though Dormin continues to use the plural pronoun we).
When the player is Dormin, the player has to fight Emon and his group of soldiers, which is quite difficult because the player is fairly slow compared to them due to Wander's injured left leg. The player can either attack by hitting them with your hand, or the player can shoot blue fire.
Dormin's actions have caused a certain amount of controversy between players. It has been concluded by some that he is the antagonist, but by others, it is said that no character is the antagonist, and this certainly shows in Dormin.
The issue with labeling Dormin as an antagonist is the fact that he does not lie to Wander, if his details be little. He warns Wander before he goes out to slay the colossi: "But heed this, the price you pay may be heavy indeed.". Wander ignores this and states that it does not matter to him.
Regardless of what excuse is presented by the small minority that believes Dormin is the antagonist, the majority of people agree that Wander put his fate upon himself when he chose to disregard Dormin's warning.
Another major point is that Wander requests the resurrection of Mono, and true to Dormin's word, Mono is brought back from the dead at the end of the game.
- Dormin's name may be a misconjugation of "dormit" (it sleeps) or play on the Latin word "dormiō" (sleep).
- Dormin is "Nimrod" backwards. This may be a reference to Nimrod, a king from the Bible who built the Tower of Babel to lead people to the territory of God. When the king died, his body was split into multiple pieces, similar to how the fragments of Dormin were split to form the colossi.