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Warframe Theories - Tenno


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Today I want to answer the question 'who are the Tenno?'. I'm looking to answer specifically two things. What makes them Tenno And how did they get their powers?



What makes a Tenno a Tenno?


Well back to our old friend Dark Sector. We have been told by DE that Hayden Tenno was the first Tenno. But what makes him the first Tenno? Surly the last name alone won't answer this whole question right? Well no. The last name is more of a hint. We all know that traditionally the male will pass on his last name the his children. So his last name may suggest that that the Tenno(The group with Warframes) may be the same as the Tenno(The family of Hayden Tenno).


So why would his decedents be considered the Tenno(the group), the only people who can use Warframes? Well as I've said on my last theory that Hayden Tenno had congenital analgesia. From my research I've found that it's a condition were the patient suffers little too no pain, it also comes in many different types. But from all my research I've done, none of the types transfer over to the victim's decedents. This is where I break away from facts and go to what is possible or suggested. Because there are several different forms of congenital analgesia it may be possible that a different form of it may appear that I will be passed on to the victim's decedents. This would make is possible for Hayden's decedents to have pain immunity. Now why would pain immunity be so important to what makes a Tenno a Tenno? Well in my last theory we established that Warframes are made from the technocyte virus and that normally the virus causes intense pain to whoever is infected. And that the pain will cause most people to go mad. Well pain immunity would be essential if you wanted too keep your sanity while using the Warframe. Well we've just said that it's possible for all of Hayden Tenno's decedents pain immunity making them one of the only people who could use the Warframes.


It all sort of ties in well if you consider that a new type of congenital analgesia may appear that is passed on to the decedents. Now the Tenno(the family) and the Tenno(the group) could be the same thing.



How did Tenno get there powers?


As said by captain Vor "Tenno do not control the Warframe's divine energy. the Tenno are that energy." At first when I heard that I did not understand. How can a person make that much energy? Well DE has basically thrown the answer at us from the start of user 2.0. Remember all that talk you hear about void traces, void signatures, etc.? even an event where the corpus used sensors to detect void energy? Yes void energy. So Tenno have lots of void energy? well where did they get it? Well according to the Excalibur's codex entry the Orokin "took the twisted few who returned from the void" and then they go on to talked about what seems like a Tenno. So the Tenno have spent some time in the void and have some sort of void energy. It would seem that the Tenno were somehow infused with energy from the void "twisting" them. The void might have also altered their physical appearance or capabilities, making more sense of the Orokin using the word twisted. This would also explain why you keep the Warframe on at all times, even while in your ship. Either that or DE got careless.



So the Tenno are decedents of Hayden Tenno who are immune to pain, allowing them to use Warframes. And have gone to the void where they were "twisted" and given the energy to use more powerful Warframes then before.


After all of this I don't think I'd want to be a Tenno. I can't feel pain causing me to frequently hurt myself, I've been deformed and forced to keep on a nasty virus at all times, I've been forced into a never ending war, and to top it all I've been brain washed so I don't know who I am or what I'm fighting for.


That's my theory for what a Tenno is. I hope you understood it and liked it.

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As a disclaimer you will not answer any questions, if there was enough evidence to answer said questions they would already by answered and thus be solid lore. 


As for Dark Sector and warframe there is solid evidence that states it is canon to warframe. They are "connected/linked" yes but "connected/linked" is far from canon. 

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It was my understanding that DE called warframe a spirtual succesor to Dark Sector, I don´t believe Hayden, or the technocyte virus in it´s current incarnation have anything to do with warframe but serve as concepts.  Let´s look at it this way, imagine it was Hayden Johnson not Tenno and change that in Excalibur codex.


"Gun and blade. A new warrior, a new code was born. These rejects, these Johnsons, became our saviors. Warrior-Gods cast in steel and fury striking our enemies ..."


This line gives me the feel that tenno is use as a pejorative or pejoratively, and is the name given to the survivors of the void, or a human caste that eventually formed the tenno and not an actual last name.


Can you refer me to the event, where corpus discover void energy? thank you.

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DE has moved to a stance that indicates Dark as for is more than a spiritual successor, but it in not clear that is a direct prequel or in need of Retconn. Having said that, the descendent theory is possible. Another theory is that The temporary worldwide broadcast by Mezner, the antagonist of Dark Sector, might have set up future outbreaks of the TechnoCyte virus. And/or members of, "the Agency" followed up on there work, agian setting the stage for more outbreaks. From the outbreaks it is possible that survivors like Hayden, maybe becuase of intervention by Hayden, begin to accumulate. These survivors then are trained by Hayden and those followers become known as the Tenno.

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Gonna watch a playthrough on Dark Sector.


If tenno can´t control their power without the suits and need them on all the time, is likely but fit more if they were made or energy.


Hayden, maybe the exception to the rule or it may not be that Tenno cannot control their powers sans the Warframes, though they likely help. If Hayden usherd in a first generation of Tenno, they may of had a different relationship with their frames. Hayden's proto-Excalibur armor, in Dark Sector, added limited power. Hayden had already acquired most of his powers by the to e he gets the armor.

If Hayden did usher in the Tenno, either by way of offspring or training others afflicted like him, then they where likely the originators of each type of Warframe and probably had a permanent one-to-one relation ship with them.

The evidence pointing to the polarity symbols representing the original clans might also play into this, but it's hard to say when they where established.

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The void energy I'm talking about was part of the tactical alert event. You get a message in your inbox from the lotus saying that the corpus have a new sensor that detects void energy.


However this could just be a game mechanic and have nothing to do with what is canon. It can be very hard to tell when something is meant to be part of a story rather then gameplay. I try to use only what is most likely part of the story and therefore canon.


I'd theorize that Warframes are only meant to shape and control the power of the Tenno as well as give them a usable body. The Tenno can't merely be energy. Energy can't think or make decisions as the Tenno do. plus in Excalibur's codex entry it says they took the broken few. Meaning that they were still people just a broken and "twisted" people. And as this is from a purely story part of the game it has to be canon.


It's hard to say how the Tenno came to be. There is just not enough canon material to go on. I think that the most likely possibility is that everyone on earth might have ended up dying or running to outer space from the virus and only the ones who could take the pain or who had pain immunity remained sane. These would be called Tenno because the majority of them would be the decedents Hayden. But like I've said there is not enough canon material to base this off of. This is only my opinion and for that reason I did not include it in this theory.

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