A Few Thoughts on Who Killed Markiplier
It is safe to say the WKM project has taken the fanbase by storm, and can be written in the books as a grand success. The hard work, and dedication, of the Teamiplier crew shines brilliantly from start to finish. Indeed, I found myself bouncing theories off of closest friends (who had not even heard of Markiplier until this point), and even dreamed up possible solutions to the amazingly written whodunit. Never in my wildest dreams, however, could I have come up with a conclusion so heart wrenching and astounding as the one gifted to us in Chapter Four.
Yet I have witnessed an amazing transformation within the community. A love has been born that transcends the normal infatuation of a celebrity, and it is beautiful. What is it about this project that seems to have tipped the Markiplier community onto its emotional side?
Two two-dimensional characters that began as a joke, as an interesting concept, as meaningless characters, suddenly became very three-dimensional. They became very real, very relatable, more plausible… and terrifyingly enough, more human. The community has been forced to reexamine the world around them.
Wilford Warstache, a sociopathic killer with no regard for consequences, or for human life. He takes an almost flippant response to death, and feels no remorse for the people he kills. He claims it is not his fault when people die, that he was only doing what people ask him to do. Yet through WKM, we see a new perspective.
Though not entirely sane, we see a man who loves life and adventure. He is compassionate, though it is hard to tell at times. He’s made many mistakes, including an affair, but only begins to hate Mark after he felt he’d been betrayed. Even then, Damien describes his disregard for Mark’s death as a form of “shock”, indication he is familiar with the Colonel shutting down like this in response to tragedy. Speaking of which, if he is a Colonel, we can assume he is military. Chances are he has also been to war. This would explain his tendency to shut down in the face of death, as there is no telling how many brothers and sisters in arms he’s seen lay dying. War is hell, after all. He is a soldier, so he understands loyalty and trust better than anyone. His moves are calculated and filled with cunning. It would also explain his tendency to slip in and out of a room without anyone noticing. Military training. It’s also one of the reasons he is such a successful hunter. Clearly, however, he loves Damien, and he loves Celine, and he’s very loyal to them. Upon their death, and realizing that he’s also killed us, he loses the military stance. He loses his tightly wound composure, and we are left with…
…A man who is so lost, so confused, so scared that he clutches tightly to the cane of his friend. Until we return, he is completely alone. Everyone else has abandoned him, or has died. His guilt is crippling him, his sanity is cracking right before our eyes as he slowly descends into madness. This is a man who has been surrounded by tragedy his entire life. When we wake up, he is relieved. Somehow we managed to come back from death, which means the others must have as well. This is all a joke, a prank, because the idea of his friends playing such a cruel joke on him is easier to comprehend than their death. His mind, after repeated trauma, is reduced to that of a broken child who is screaming and crying for answers he’ll never get. His sanity is shattered, and he’s driven mad. No doubt he is reliving all the terrible deaths he’s witnessed, and trapped in this hell, Wilford Warfstache is born. He is the broken soldier.
And then there’s this man:
This character was, initially, a joke within the community. When he first manifested, the community wrote him off as being an evil, power hungry, and manipulative man who only wanted to take control. He was jealous of mark’s fame, and wanted to use the love of his fans against him. Yet…
We learn in WKM that Damien is actually the most kind hearted person in the entire group. He feels Mark’s death deeply, but even in the face of his own sorrow, he delivers the news of Mark’s death to William himself. When William does not respond in a way Damien believes he should, he becomes angry. This is not anger borne of hatred, but borne of disappointment in his friend, and his own sadness and pain. He cares. He cares almost too much, as the events seem to constantly be tearing him apart. He carries the cane with him, and is seen constantly wringing it in his hands when he gets nervous, uncomfortable, or emotional. Not wanting to appear weak, he isolates himself, yet returns when something new occurs to make sure everyone is safe. As angry as he is at William, he checks up on him and keeps tabs on him to make sure he’s okay. He tries to protect Celine, even at the cost of his own life.
And what a loss of life that was. Betrayed by a man he’s known since childhood, cast aside into a broken shell and forgotten…
No…. This is not a man fueled by jealousy. This is not a man keen on stealing the attention away from Mark for his own selfish needs. This is a man who loved too much, cared too deeply, and now sports a shattered heart. We see him shift from kind, compassionate Damien to the man we now know as Darkiplier, and we see the raw emotions in his eyes.
He. Still. Cares.
He is still the protector. He is still the leader. He still loves, and cares, but he does not trust.
Perhaps this is why he acts the way he does, to keep people away from Mark to make sure no one meets a similar fate as those who loved Mark in the past.
The very last scene we are left staring into a broken mirror. It is shattered, the image distorted, the world still discolored. Even with Damien, now Dark, gone, the world has not shifted back to normal. We are left to reflect on our fate. Our world.
Our new hell.
Our own humanity.
We relate to these characters so much because we understand them. We have experienced loss. We’ve experienced betrayal. We understand their pain. We feel for them so deeply because we understand their loss, and their feelings of being lost. Perhaps we even understand the feeling of sanity slipping through our fingertips, or the dark and enticing pull of revenge.
We watched them descend into madness, and realized how possible it is for us all to do the same. Anyone can. It forces us to question…. Those people that society has labeled “evil”, what did they experience to get them to that point? Did they love too much, and had their hearts broken? Were they cast aside, their shell’s broken, and forgotten? Those that society has marked insane who go on to commit terrible crimes, what traumas pushed them to that point? Were they sane before, and simply snapped?
We see the world differently now, our perspectives forever altered. Truthfully, I found the entire experience exciting, and humbling. I believe this is why the Who Killed Markiplier project struck a chord so deeply in all of us.
@markiplier thank you for bringing this into our lives.