The Queen’s intentions
So, I have a friend who, like me, is into Shadow of the Colossus. We talk about it a lot, and about the whole Ico/SOTC universe. He has, admittedly, more of an informed point of view, having played both games. He also has some interesting theories about how the events of SOTC lead into the events of Ico. We were having a conversation not too long ago about Mono and the Queen, and how the two of them could be connected – and possibly the same person – and upon reflection on some of the things my friend said in this conversation, I came up with my own theory about the Queen in Ico – namely, about the reasons behind her actions.
I would like to begin this post with making clear what my friend’s ideas were, to keep them separate from my own thoughts on them. First, the resurrected Mono is the resurrected female half of Dormin. It is not an original idea to say that Dormin has two halves – a male half, and a female half. This is evident when Dormin speaks, speaking with both a male and a female voice at the same time; Dormin also refers to themselves as ‘we’, suggesting a plurality. My friend said that, in the ending of SOTC, once Mono’s resurrection has already begun, Dormin speaks to Lord Emon and his men only using his male voice. His female voice – and his entire female half – is being resurrected in the body of Mono.
Second, that the castle in Ico is the Shrine of Worship. It’s very difficult to find playthroughs of Ico on YouTube, so I haven’t seen the castle, but my friend points out a resemblance between it and the Shrine of Worship, thus saying that the two actually take place in the same location, i.e. the Forbidden Lands.
Based on these two pieces of information, and some personal speculation, I would suggest that the Queen’s actions are based on the same reasons as Wander’s actions in SOTC – they are a romantic gesture, this time from Mono to Wander rather than the other way around.
If we accept that Mono is the resurrected female half of Dormin, and she survives and thrives in the Forbidden Lands, eventually becoming its queen, then we have to wonder at the existence of the horned children, and the Queen’s use of them. It has been suggested (though I can’t remember exactly where) that the Queen was sacrificing horned children so as to reassemble Dormin, as he was scattered throughout the horned children as he was scattered throughout the Colossi. In this scenario, the Queen is only seeking to reassemble the male half of Dormin, scattered throughout the horned children.
But where did the horned children come from? SOTC, as the prequel of Ico, shows the origin of the horned children – or, rather, the origin of the first horned child. However, it is unknown how the rest of the horned children came about. Besides, if we take the view that the horned child Mono carries out of the pool at the end of SOTC is, in fact, Wander (complete with horns given to him by the male half of Dormin within him), then it remains to be seen how, over the generations, more horned children come about.
Furthermore, if the castle in Ico is indeed the Shrine of Worship – and therefore the events of Ico take place in the Forbidden Lands – then the horned children have, at some point between the two games, escaped from the Forbidden Lands. Ico is not from the Forbidden Lands – he has to be taken to the castle. Since the bridge collapses at the end of Shadow of the Colossus, we can only assume that the child Wander somehow escaped from the Forbidden Lands, and the horned children grew in number outside of the Forbidden Lands, prompting Mono – now the Queen – to seek out her lost love by trying to reassemble him through the sacrifice of the horned children.
In this scenario, Mono is resurrected as the female half of Dormin, while Wander is resurrected as the male half. At some point, Wander escapes from the Forbidden Lands, leading to the emergence of more horned children, and Mono tries to get Wander back by sacrificing the horned children. Much in the same way that Wander seeks Mono’s resurrection through the slaughter of the Colossi, Mono seeks her reunion with Wander through the killing of the horned children. Both of them try to get the other back after they have been lost by attempting to reassemble the scattered pieces of Dormin.