Honkai: Star Rail Theory Unpacks Dan Heng's Sinfully Scandalous Past
The two edgiest boys hate each other. Perfect.
Everyone in Honkai: Star Rail has their own story. The Trailblazer is an amnesiac with the interstellar equivalent of a nuke inside of them. March 7th was found frozen in an iceberg without any memories of her past. But, out of all of them, Dan Heng is clearly The One With the Mysterious Past.
It won’t stay mysterious for long, though. The current Honkai: Star Rail story quest is in the midst of exploring Dan Heng’s origins. One redditor, Money_Foundation417, even laid out a thorough theory that’s easy to miss: Dan Heng’s past is actually connected to that of another mysterious character, Blade. Here’s how the two might be linked — and what it means for our favorite train guard.
Spoilers ahead for Honkai: Star Rail story following the Belobog arc.
We only know a few things about Dan Heng’s past:
- He’s on the Astral Express because he’s running from his past.
- He’s not allowed on the Xianzhou Luofu for an unknown reason.
- He has a hostile relationship with the Stellaron Hunter, Blade.
Dan Heng’s home planet is the Xianzhou Luofu, the gigantic ship that the Astral Express visits after clearing the Stellaron on the icy planet of Belobog. He makes this much clear when he decides to stay on the Express while the Trailblazer, March 7th, and Welt ventured onto the ship. However, after speaking with Himeko and realizing that Blade is on the loose, he decides to venture out on his own. He has a horrified reaction to the news that Blade escaped.
It’s obvious from that moment alone that he’s familiar with Blade. His nightmare before the crew arrived at the Xianzhou Luofu also implies they have a complicated relationship. In the nightmare, a sneering Blade says, “Of five people, three must pay a price.”
It’s as if he’s looking straight at Dan Heng when he says, “You are one of them.”
The lore behind Nowhere to Hide, a four-star Destruction Light Cone, also supports the fact that their relationship is deeper than it originally seems. Light Cones are soldified memories in the form of cards, so they contain much of Honkai: Star Rail’s unspoken lore. These memories range from happy moments to horrific ones.
Nowhere to Run depicts Dan Heng and Blade clashing weapons, with the following description attached:
This isn't the first time he's seen this man. This man had become his own inseparable shadow. No matter how many times he runs this man through with his spear, the man always comes back. He can neither lose to this man, nor truly win. Though he wants to run away, there is nowhere to run.
Blade is cursed with some kind of terrible immortality. His Light Cone, The Unreachable Side, implies that he wants someone to finally defeat him when he visits the graves of swordsmen with their weapons. He wonders “with sorrow” when it will be someone else’s turn to bring his sword. Redditor Money_Foundation417 theorizes that those who must “pay a price” might be linked to that immortality he hates so much, which may or may not be linked to Dan Heng.
One of the biggest clues about Dan Heng’s past is his Imbibitor Lunae form (aka Dan Heng IL), who has appeared in multiple leaks and in one of Honkai: Star Rail’s launch trailers. Dan Heng IL looks very similar to Dan Heng, except he has antlers, like the long-lived Vidyadhara species.
Money_Foundation417 takes the speculation a step further, suggesting that Dan Heng might be the king of Viddyaharas. Viddyaharas, like Bailu, embody the Abundance path of healing and immortality. If Dan Heng is indeed the king of Viddyaharas, he could have cursed someone like Blade with immortality.
Blade has a self-healing ability. That’s why he can always come back, even if Dan Heng defeats him again and again. The Nowhere to Run description also mentions that Dan Heng can neither lose nor win. If Dan Heng were a mere mortal, then the fight between him and Blade should have a clear victor. However, if he were actually an immortal dragon or a similarly fearsome species, then he wouldn’t be able to fall so easily.
Here’s what it boils down to: Dan Heng might’ve cursed Blade with immortality, causing him to seek revenge. All that’s left to do now is wait for the official explanation about who Dan Heng really is — and see if Blade ever explains his motivations.