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Dragonslayer Ornstein is a supporting antagonist in the 2011 roleplaying videogame Dark Souls. He is a mighty dragon knight who guards Princess Gwynevere in Anor Londo. He serves as the boss of the area alongside Executioner Smough.
Ornstein was one of Lord Gwyn's most trusted knights, and the first knight chosen to serve as his Four Knights of Gwyn, the others being Artorias, Gough, and Ciaran. Believed to be the captain of the Four Knights of Gwyn, he was granted a special soul and Leo Ring by the Lord of Sunlight to enhance his abilities.
His golden armor was made to resemble a lion and imbued with the power of lightning. His spear had the power to launch an opponent in the air and enough force to slice a boulder in two. After the gods fled Anor Londo, Ornstein guarded Gwynevere in the cathedral alongside Executioner Smough, but the two were defeated by the Chosen Undead.
Despite his presumed death at the hands of the Chosen Undead, Ornstein eventually left the cathedral to Smough in search of the Nameless King. It is unclear how Ornstein survived the battle, leaving speculations that the one defeated by the Chosen Undead was only an illusion or puppet created by Dark Sun Gwyndolin.
Dark Souls II
A character known as the Old Dragonslayer appears as an optional boss in the Cathedral of Blue. He highly resembles Ornstein and has a near-identical moveset, but embodies the Darkness instead of lightning. The Collector's Edition guide confirms that this is Ornstein, or at best, something else that mimics the dragon slayer. If this is Ornstein, he must have become consumed by the Darkness whilst searching for the Nameless King,
Dark Souls III
Ornstein's abandoned armor set can be found at the Archdragon Peak, located in a courtyard accessible after defeating the Nameless King. Despite this, Ornstein himself is never seen, leaving his search result and fate uncertain.
In contrast to the cruel and sadistic Smough, Ornstein fights with nobility and honor for his namesake and loyalty to Lord Gwyn. He dislikes Smough's cannibalistic natures, but seems to get well along with him in battle. In the boss battle, should Smough go down first, Ornstein softly places his hand on Smough's corpse in a sorrowful state as if thanking him for his duty before absorbing his powers, growing him to an immense size. This heavily contrasts with Smough's reaction should Ornstein fall first, crushing him in an expressionless way with his hammer to obtain his lightning powers. However, in the second phase, Ornstein makes Smough's sinister chuckle when he performs a lightning banzai slam.
- Ornstein's name and his Leo Ring may be homages to the late Russian-American pianist Leo Ornstein, an experimental composer from the early 20th century.
- If Ornstein was defeated at last, his armor will be sold by Domhnall of Zena.