The Chosen Undead facing a stone blacksmith.

Why Do the Stone Blacksmiths Look Like Andre of Astora in Dark Souls?

Andre of stoned?

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Rhett Roxl is a professional writer who has been gaming for as long as he can remember. He merged both passions together to become a writer in the game industry in 2020.

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

Key Takeaway

It is possible that there are no lore reasons for the stone blacksmiths in the game. As stated by Miyazaki in a Famitsu interview, the statues in the game world that look like Andre aren’t related to him at all. They’re simply vessels which hold the embers.

Andre of Astora is the first blacksmith you’ll most likely encounter in-game. You find this friendly fellow at the Undead Parish. While seemingly a unique NPC, you’ll later find dead stone blacksmiths holding embers in Dark Souls that look like Andre. What could the reason for this be?

Table Of Contents

    About Andre of Astora

    The Chosen Undead talking to Andre of Astora.

    If you’ve played through the game while following the standard, intended route, Andre of Astora is the first blacksmith you’ll encounter. Located on the floor below the Undead Parish bonfire, Andre is a friendly and welcome sight. Especially compared to the monsters you’ve encountered that have done nothing but try to kill you thus far.

    Andre of Astora is the only blacksmith in the game that ascends your weapon from base level to Standard +15. If you don’t intend to ascend your weapons or change their damage types, you’ll return to Andre quite a few times to upgrade your standard weapon. He’s also the blacksmith to turn to if you want to ascend your weapons to the Raw, Divine, and Occult paths.

    On top of upgrading your weapons, Andre also sells a few items. Some of his wares include Titanite Shards, the Weapon Smithbox, the Armor Smithbox, the Repairbox, and a few weapons. He also sells the Crest of Artorias—the key needed to open the door to the forest in the Darkroot Garden.

    Andre of Astora also makes an appearance in Dark Souls 3 as the resident blacksmith in Firelink Shrine.

    Andre of Astora’s Original Purpose in Dark Souls

    Interestingly, Andre of Astora originally had a much bigger role in Dark Souls. According to an interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki conducted by Famitsu, Andre was supposed to be a descendant of Gwyn.

    He was originally tasked with protecting a door, which he’ll only open later in the game. This was all scrapped as the development of the game progressed and Andre was changed to be a blacksmith.

    What Are Stone Blacksmiths?

    Two stone blacksmiths from Dark Souls in different areas.

    Stone blacksmiths are petrified people that are found across the game. These stone blacksmiths seem to have Andre’s character model. There are three of them in total, each holding an ember.

    Other than holding these embers, the stone blacksmiths appear to serve no other purpose.

    Lore Reasons for Stone Blacksmiths

    No context in the game provides any explanation for the existence of the stone blacksmiths in Dark Souls. However, it may be that they were regular blacksmiths before they ultimately perished. Andre seems to be aware of the other blacksmiths in the game, including the ones that eventually became petrified.

    In a dialogue with Andre, he talks about hearing rumors of a divine blacksmith in the Darkroot Garden. This blacksmith that he speaks of is the stone blacksmith you find in the Darkroot Garden that holds the Divine Ember. However, he doesn’t mention the other stone blacksmiths.

    Theory #1: Astoran Blacksmiths Look Alike

    One possible theory for the stone blacksmiths and why they look like Andre is that they may simply be from the same land and of the same race.

    This isn’t to say that all who come from Astora have similar features to Andre. In fact, we know this to be untrue since other characters in the game also hail from Astora and look nothing like Andre. This includes Solaire and Oscar.

    The Chosen Undead speaking with Solaire.

    That said, it is possible that there may be a particular sect of people in Astora who are blacksmiths by trade.

    Theory #2: A Reference to Mythical Dwarven Blacksmiths

    Andre seems to be heavily inspired by the depiction of dwarves according to the old Norse myths. Andre’s beard, build, enthusiasm for smithing, and overall personality seem to mirror that of popular dwarves from Norse myths like Andvari, Brokr, and Sindri.

    Andre’s race may be inspired by Norse dwarves, which explains the existence of the stone blacksmiths in the game. They all look like Andre simply because their race has the same physical characteristics.

    Theory #3: Andre and All Stone Blacksmiths Reference Godot From Berserk

    It’s no secret that Miyazaki and the FromSoftware team are huge fans of the legendary dark fantasy manga Berserk. There are countless references to Guts, Apostles, and other figures from the series that proliferate many of FromSoftware’s games—especially the Dark Souls trilogy.

    Regarding Andre and the stone blacksmiths: they all look like Godot from Berserk. Furthermore, Andre speaks in a similar way to his manga counterpart.

    The inspiration for Andre of Astora and the stone blacksmiths in Dark Souls: Godot from Berserk.

    Game Design Reasons for the Stone Blacksmiths

    Andre of Astora asking for an ember from the Chosen Undead.

    The most realistic explanation for the stone blacksmiths is that they may have no lore implications at all. Their existence may simply be a product of game design and nothing more. In fact, an interview with Miyazaki—the same Famitsu interview where he talks about Andre’s supposed larger role in the game—cements this idea.

    When asked about the statues that look like Andre in the game world, Miyazaki responds,

    I don’t think they are related, they’re simply vessels which hold the embers.

    The design of the statues can be chalked up to asset reuse, but knowing that their true purpose is to hold the embers, the fact that they all look like Andre may also serve another game design purpose. The stone blacksmiths look like Andre as a hint that the embers they hold should be given to Andre. All the stone blacksmiths in the game hold embers only Andre can receive.

    It is understandable why Souls players clamor for lore reasons for almost every single aspect of the game. After all, FromSoftware’s difficult yet lovable games are known for their expansive and intricate world and lore where everything has a purpose in the story.

    However, like in all games, some aspects of Dark Souls don’t tie into any lore at all; the stone blacksmiths are just a product of game design. Until FromSoftware says otherwise, this is the conclusion that we will hold on to—for now.

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