Genshin Impact's Paimon has been the subject of many speculations and theories. Many see Paimon as an unknown god in a cutscene, transformed into a villain. She's not the most subtle character, but is she really that suspicious?
There aren't a ton of details about Paimon in the game right now, though Mona has a voiceover explaining that she can't read Paimon's fate. Paimon himself claims to be the Traveler's guide and companion, but oddly enough, they appear in Teyvat around the same time the Traveler is separated from their twin brother.
What Exactly Is Paimon?
The short answer is emergency food. Just kidding, we really don't know. If we take what Paimon says at face value, she's just a guide - who also happens to know everything about Teyvat - and she's paying back the Traveler for saving her from drowning.
Paimon's true identity is not mentioned in the game. The official HoYoverse line is that Paimon is a companion to travelers, helping them as they traverse the world of Teyvat. Not only that, Paimon also became the mascot of the entire series, making her synonymous with the original god.
How The Traveler And Paimon Meet
Paimon was discovered by travelers two months before the game, when they accidentally fished her out of the water. She explains this in an intro cutscene where we see Traveler and Paimon hanging out on the beach.
The timeline of events is somewhat unclear.
The Traveler appears in Teyvat alone. They seem to have been there for two months before they meet Paimon while fishing in a lake in Mondstadt.
Now, either Paimon and the Traveler met immediately after getting to Teyvat, or Paimon and the Traveler just met and went to the beach to recount the story.
Somehow, Paimon is also Teyvat's living encyclopedia, and promises to be a guide to travelers in return for rescuing her from the water. Thus began their adventure.
As far as we can tell, there's no real reason to suspect that Paimon is just a helpful guide, despite the fact that she's the only person we meet in all of Teyvat who looks like her.
The overall narrative has also become clearer as more updates to Genshin have been released, and Traveler seems to be hiding some details from Paimon at times. Paimon also seems to get separated from the Traveler more and more frequently during the story beat.
Whatever reason behind this is unknown, but it could simply be to switch things up.
So, until the game explains more or drops a bomb on us, Paimon will remain a helpful, opinionated, frustrating, yet somehow lovable, emergency food supply.
However you look at it, there are several theories about Paimon's true identity.
Is Paimon The Unknown God?
The most popular theory about Paimon is that she is a diminutive form of the unknown god who somehow got caught up in her trap against the Travelers and seemingly banished herself to Teyvat.
If that's the case, Paimon is a smaller, more innocent version of the unknown god we saw in the beginning. The two characters may be completely unrelated, but if you delve deeper into the lore, there's plenty of reason to be skeptical.
One bit of information that the community points out to support this claim is the origin of Paimon's name. In English, the name Paimon is taken from an old book on demonology called The Lesser Key of Solomon.
In this book, the name Paimon is given to one of the Nine Demon Lords of Hell.
Following the same point, the descriptions of Paimon in the book explain how they are effectively all-knowing, which could be interpreted as how Paimon is the all-knowing Teyvat guide to our Traveler.
The Demon Lord Paimon is said to be far more terrifying and powerful than the Paimon we know from the games. The Unknown God as a terrifying, all-powerful, all-knowing entity does seem to fit the bill, however; Paimon as we know it doesn't.
She may be rude and disrespectful, but she looks so helpless that if the travelers don't take care of her, she will die. Another important point that the community likes to draw on when discussing Paimon is that every other god in the world of Teyvat has a different name, all from the same book Paimon's name comes from.
In Ars Goetia the names of Buer, Baal, Morax and Barbatos also appear. You may recognize these names as the Geotic demonic names of the Teyvat Archons.
- Buer is Nahida / Kusanali.
- Baal is The Raiden Shogun / Ei.
- Morax is Zhong Li / Rex Lappis.
- Barbatos is Venti.
- Focalor is rumoured to be the name of the Hyrdro Archon, who is also set to appear in Genshin.
- Paimon is, well, Paimon. Seemingly a lost nobody in the world of Teyvat.
All these Goetic names come from the Ars Goetia in the Lesser Key of Solomon.
When you view Paimon's name choice through the lens of these other hugely important characters in Genshin sharing a similar naming convention, seemingly reserved for Archons, it does seem suspicious that Paimon is included there.
Currently, there are only indirect references to the unknown god. As their names suggest, we know very little about them. The Unknown God may not be a large, evil entity. We don't know the true nature of the Travelers and their siblings, only that unknown gods - claiming to be "Keepers of the Divine Principles" - want to stop them and their wandering between worlds.
For all we know, the Voyagers and their twin are breaking the law in their entire world hopping, potentially disrupting the divine principles of the entire universe, and the Unknown Gods are just trying to prevent some destruction from befalling them.
This theory is the most popular, but it doesn't quite hold up. Paimon has become Genshin Impact's mascot, intrinsically connected to the gameplay, dialogue, and story.
So much so that if Paimon betrayed us or did something negative to the Travelers, the HoYoverse would have to alter Genshin significantly. Paimon's departure from Traveler, nefarious or otherwise, seems like too much of a change to the core experience.
Of course, there are many ways the HoYoverse could write itself out of any corner, but if Paimon turns out to be the unknown god—or if a part of her somehow separates and becomes the Paimon we know, then it doesn't make any sense in any capacity. People are satisfied.
Is Paimon Actually A Lost Seelie?
Another emerging theory about Paimon is that she is actually the only, or perhaps the last, living Seelie of Tevyat. According to legend, Seelies are remnants of ancient higher beings. These Seelies are said to be technologically advanced and have extensive knowledge of the world they use to guide humans.
As you know, you'll find Seelies all over Teyvat, and you'll have to bring them back to their respective courts. These lost Seelies are remnants of that race, and they certainly don't look like Paimon, but they're probably just more ethereal forms.
The main thing that gives this theory some appeal is that Paimon is so unlike anything in the entire world of Teyvat that she is unique in appearance.
The NPCs and other characters you meet express shock at Paimon's presence, and you know by playing that there are no other small, floating, white ones in your travels.
The Travelers don't seem to recognize Paimon from the various world-hopping extravaganzas they've had with their siblings before the game, and if she's Seelie from Teyvat, that does lend credence to this theory.
To top it all off, what is it that Paimon does best? She guides you. Seelies were said to have guided mankind through the world, imparting their vast knowledge to help them find their place in Teyvat.
Is Paimon From Celestia?
Celestia is an area in the world of Genshin that is floating above the land of Tevyat. It is said in the lore to be the homeplace of the Gods, and you can even catch a glimpse of it in-game.
While it currently isn't accessible, it is said that one who does great deeds will be allowed to ascend to Celestia and attain Godhood.
Since Celestia has only been teased, we know that Paimon doesn't look like she comes from any of the places we've visited. It's a stretch, but this could mean that Paimon was cast out from Celestia and is trying to make her way back there.
Why would Paimon want to do this? It's unknown. If she was cast out, she might be trying to use the Traveler as her pawn to help them grow stronger to eventually ascend to Celestia and use the Traveler against the Gods who threw Paimon out.
On the other hand, Paimon could be a spy from Celestia. This would tie into the Unknown God possibly being in Celestia, and she wants Paimon to keep an eye on the Traveler, keeping them in check.
However, as discussed already in this article, because of how much Paimon is integral to the overall game and their status as the mascot, we don't think Paimon will betray the Traveler.
With so much mystery surrounding Paimon, we can only wait until HoYoverse gives us more information through new updates.