Destiny 2 Thorn Quest Guide: Independent Study Quest

"To rend one's enemies is to see them not as equals, but objects—hollow of spirit and meaning."

One of the most notorious weapons in gaming history is making its return during Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter. Even if you never played the original Destiny, you’ve most likely heard tales of the legendary (well, technically Exotic) Thorn. It’s an Exotic hand cannon that drains the light of Guardians.

In terms of gameplay, though, that just means the Thorn’s bullets deal damage over time. It’s a nasty, venomous weapon in the Crucible. Presumably, it will be just as frustrating to fight against in Gambit Prime and Trials of the Nine (if the latter mode ever comes back to Destiny 2). Your enemies can’t run and hide if Thorn burns away the last of their light and kills them out of sight. That’s the power that Thorn wields.

Thorn as it appeared in Destiny 1.

When Can I Get the Thorn in Destiny 2?

The return of the Thorn, and its accompanying Exotic quest, have been teased in Destiny 2 for quite a while now. Although we didn’t know the weapon was coming for sure until recently. The Season of the Drifter ViDoc promises that it is indeed coming with the new expansion, however, and that’s great news for fans of the old weapon.

Season of the Drifter lands in Destiny 2 on March 5, 2019. However, The Thorn Exotic quest won’t arrive with it right away. Instead, players will have to wait full week — until the expansion’s first weekly reset on March 12 — to start picking up the Thorn. On top of that, it’s not entirely clear if you’ll be able to complete the Thorn quest in Destiny 2 the same week it comes out.

Thorn Exotic Quest Steps

0. Sift Through the Ashes – Visit EDZ

We’re just going to leave a gif on where you can find the quest starter. Long story short, go to the EDZ and make a trek across the map.


1. A Melted Hunk of Metal – Visit Banshee-44

Visit Banshee-44 in the Tower to start the Thorn quest, proper.

Despite the burn damage, you recognize this weapon as a Thorn, a legendary weapon capable of severing Guardians from the Light. The Shadows of Yor, followers of an infamous Guardian-killer, are well-known for carrying Thorns. This one is broken, but you think it may be possible to fix it. A reputable (and discreet) gunsmith would know where to start. Bring the ruined Thorn to Banshee-44 in the Tower.

2. The Essence – Gather Hadronic Essence

Gather Hadronic Essence by completing Asher Mir bounties on Io, defeating Warlocks in the Crucible, or completing Nightfalls.

Banshee has recommended a number of rare components that you should be able to use to restore your ruined Thorn to working order. First on the list is Hadronic Essence, a dense lattice of exotic baryons and mesons, once commonly favored as an infusion in Warlock fieldweave. Gather Hadronic Essence by completing bounties for Asher Mir on Io, by defeating Warlocks in the Crucible, or by completing Nightfall strikes. Nightfall strikes grant the most efficient progress.

3. The Steel – Gather Plasteel Plating

Gather Plasteel Plating by doing bounties for Sloane on Titan, defeating Titans in the Crucible, or completing Blind Well runs.

Next on the list of required components is Plasteel Plating, a durable hybrid plastic favored by Titans for its balance of strength and workability. Plasteel is not commonly available for artisan use these days: the Red War wiped out the DIY supply chain within the City. Gather Plasteel Plating by completing bounties for Sloane on Titan, by defeating Titans in the Crucible, or by completing encounters at the Blind Well. Heroic Blind Well encounters grant the most efficient progress.

4. The Binding – Gather Sapphire Wire

Gather Sapphire Wire by doing bounties for Ana Bray on Mars, defeating Hunters in the Crucible, or finishing Escalation Protocol waves.

Last on the list of Guardian-grade components is Sapphire Wire, another hard-to-come-by item formerly favored by Hunters because of its versatility. Sapphire Wire, like Plasteel Plating, was another casualty of the Red War… but you feel confident that you can scrounge some up. Gather Sapphire Wire by completing bounties for Ana Bray on Mars, by defeating Hunters in the Crucible, or by completing an Escalation Protocol wave. Escalation Protocol waves grant the most efficient progress.

5. Weaponize the Unknown – Defeat Guardians in the Crucible

Defeat Guardians in the Crucible using Void weapons or Hand Cannons. Bonus progress for Void Hand Cannons. Progress is multiplied in Iron Banner or the Competitive playlist.

Your project is going well. The gun is now mechanically sound, but it is simply a gun: it has no intrinsic power of its own. You’ll need to reconnect it to the Light somehow, and the vast dark secrets of the Void seem like the most promising route. Defeat Guardians in the Crucible using Void energy or Hand Cannons. Precision streaks using Void Hand Cannons grant the most efficient progress. Note that progress is multiplied in the Iron Banner or in Competitive Crucible matches.

6. Something Yet Remains – Visit Tyra Karn

Back to the farm we go to talk to Tyra Karn. If you don’t remember, she’s the Cryptarch at the Farm social hub on Earth.

Your Thorn hums with the hungry indifference of the Void, but it lacks something essential. You know the original Thorn was intimately connected to the Hive, though you don’t know exactly how. Wandering around the Tower to ask your mentors about the provenance of a banned weapon strikes you as a bad idea, but— There are quieter places to ask questions. Places off the beaten path, where knowledgeable Cryptarchs have settled down to do their work in peace and quiet… Pay a visit to Tyra Karn at the Farm. The Farm is accessible via the EDZ Director.

7. The Chasm of Screams – Beat Savathûn’s Song Strike, Other Arbiters

Defeat Sardav and Telesh on Titan freeroam. Then complete Savathûn’s Song strike reprise. There’s likely to be no matchmaking for the strike so you’ll want a friend or two to help.

While you were speaking to Tyra, she mentioned something called the Hated Path, a sort of primer to transform an ordinary Hand Cannon into a Thorn. Bathe your Light in horrors. Feed your weapon with death. Bind it with sickness. Horrors, death, sickness… that all sounds like the Hive nests on Titan to you. Defeat the Arbiters, Sardav and Telesh, then defeat Savathûn’s Song in an epic reprise of strike “Savathûn’s Song” on Titan.

And that’s it! This should get you Thorn in Destiny 2!

Whenever the Thorn Exotic quest does go live in Destiny 2, though, you can check back here! Until then, maybe take a look at our general guide to everything in Season of the Drifter. You might just learn something! And until next time: happy hunting, Guardians!