As the Guardian Games are currently in full swing in Destiny 2, everyone’s favorite grandma Eva Levante has returned to the Tower for the festivities. Newer players might know Eva only as the vendor associated with the game’s four seasonal events. But the character has a long history that stretches back to the original Destiny, where she performed different tasks for Guardians. Additionally, she has a pretty sad backstory that doesn’t get touched on much these days.
You might have noticed that Eva has a voice line where she says that you’re in the wrong place if you’re looking for shaders. That’s a reference to her role in Destiny, where she was the Tower vendor for emblems and shaders. Back then, she also ran the Festival of the Lost and the Dawning — the Guardian Games and Solstice didn’t exist yet.
Eva’s reason for holding the Festival of the Lost in the first place is pretty dark. The event is supposed to remind Guardians of who they’re fighting for an provide an occasion to memorialize the dead, and Eva is all too familiar with death. A Grimoire Card (the Destiny equivalent of lore books) associated with the first Festival of the Lost in 2015 explains that Eva’s daughter Maria and husband Carlos, as well as a number of children in her care, were killed by Fallen on their way to the Last City.
When the Red War began and Ghaul attacked the Last City in the events of vanilla Destiny 2, Eva disappeared. Even after the war, Eva didn’t reopen her old shop. In her place, Amanda Holliday ran the first Festival of the Lost in Destiny 2 instead. Eva returned to Destiny 2 for the first Dawning in 2019, and she’s been the seasonal event vendor ever since.
But what happened to Eva during the Red War? Well, years ago we got a lore book called Eva’s Journey that filled us in. When Ghaul attacked, Eva helped Shaxx evacuate civilians from the City. She insisted on protecting a group of wounded, Lightless Guardians when others wanted to abandon them, then led an escape to Twilight Gap, all the while knitting warm coverings to ensure that her charges wouldn’t freeze overnight.
With the Guardians she’d helped rescue, Eva then began organizing a resistance force against the Red Legion occupation. She coordinated foraging, scouting, and fortification for the survivors, thinking she would eventually leave Earth for safety but staying throughout the months-long conflict. During the last days of the war, Eva took out two Psions who broke into her quarters to attack her, then survived an encounter with three war beasts.
She was then evacuated to the Farm, where she stayed until Tess Everis and Amanda convinced her to return to the City, and was reunited with Ramos, one of the Guardians she’d rescued at the onset of the war. And she’s been a fixture of the Tower ever since, at least during those few weeks a year when there’s an event that needs running. So, the next time you get some Guardian Games bounties from Eva and she mutters something about Carlos and Maria or the Traveler, show some respect — the lady has been through an awful lot.