This article is about the Guardian of Guthix. For other uses, see Death (disambiguation).
"Reaper" redirects here. For the Distraction and Diversion, see Soul Reaper. For the title, see the Reaper.
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Death chathead

Harold Death Esquire,[2] better known as simply Death or the Grim Reaper, is a legendary Guardian of Guthix who is responsible for the reaping of souls in Gielinor. He and his pet skeleton hellhound Muncher can be found in his office north of the Draynor Village lodestone. He runs the Soul Reaper distraction and diversion, features in The World Wakes, Missing, Presumed Death and Nomad's Elegy quests, and has been the main figure of many Hallowe'en events. He also plays a minor role in Some Like It Cold and Dishonour among Thieves.

He also acts as a "Death Tutor" when players die for the first time, and explains death, item losses, and gravestones.

Powers and abilities

Death draws his scythe

Death draws his extremely powerful scythe.

Death is very powerful, and in his role as the regulator of life he is responsible for freeing souls from bodies with his scythe and escorting them to the Grim Underworld, the underworld of Gielinor, where Icthlarin, the Menaphite god of the Underworld, then guides these souls through it safely. The two have a good relationship as both require one another for their respective roles[3].

Contrary to popular belief, Death cannot kill or revive people on a whim, as he is only capable of killing people whose time has come in order to ensure balance.[4]

In combat, he is a fearsome adversary. His massive scythe is able to slice several foes at once and he has an arsenal of magical spells at his disposal. He has been seen using a blue spell that sucks life out of a victim, as well as creating lethal spirit balls which inflict fatal damage when touched. He usually defends himself instead of actively trying to kill others, due to his vow to maintain balance and inability to kill anything not fated to die.

Death is capable of existing in multiple places at once, as seen during the 2014 Hallowe'en event.

He is even powerful enough to turn back time itself, as seen in Some Like It Cold if the adventurer was unfortunate enough to die during the submarine sequence.

Players doing Treasure Trails clues are sometimes directed to him with the anagram 'Hated'.



Harold as a human

A stained glass window in Death's office depicting Harold prior to his death.

Harold was the first being to die on Gielinor, presumably meeting his end during the First Age. Although it is unknown exactly how he met his end, as he was the first to die, he was likely among the first humans that Guthix brought to populate Gielinor from Teragard or one of its colonies. Harold seemingly died of old age, and as the first being to meet his end on Gielinor, he was given the task of both regulating the balance of life and death and acting as Gielinor's psychopomp, making sure that souls are able to leave their former bodies when they pass on.[5] To help with his duties, Guthix himself outfitted Harold with his signature robes and his scythe, the only known weapon capable of "reaping" souls and sending them to the underworld. He also bestowed a weakness upon him, ensuring that he cannot kill those whose time has not yet come, and likewise cannot save those whose time has.[4]

Guthix outfits death

Guthix tasks Harold with regulating the balance of life and death and acting as Gielinor's psychopomp.

At the end of the First Age, Guthix withdrew underground to sleep in the hope that the mortal races would forget him, and other gods soon arrived. These included Tumeken and Elidinis, who soon had two children, Icthlarin and Amascut. Icthlarin became God of the Dead, while Amascut became Goddess of Rebirth. They tasked themselves with roles that made Death's role easier: they would meet the souls that Death escorted to the gates of the underworld, and then Amascut would allow those worthy a choice to be reincarnated or to continue to the afterlife, while Icthlarin would escort them to the afterlife. After an incident on Freneskae, Amascut's mind became warped, and began to devour souls, and the underworld became filled with her soul-devouring beasts, making Icthlarin's role much more important than it had been before.[6]

Becoming a Guardian of Guthix

At the end of the Third Age, Guthix awoke from his slumber, sensing the devastation that the gods had caused to Gielinor. Guthix proceeded to bless various beings greatly, including Death, and tasked them with protecting him while he cast the gods out of Gielinor[7]. After Guthix finished casting the gods out, creating the Edicts of Guthix in the process, he tasked some of the guardians with various duties, although as Death was already busy with his current duties, Guthix did not bestow any more on him. Guthix then departed back into the ground to resume his slumber, and Death resumed his role as guide of souls to the underworld.[4]

Recent activity

Although Death continued to perform his duties throughout the Fourth and Fifth Ages, he also garnered a bit of a social life, even founding his own clan known as The Horsemen alongside the three other horsemen of the apocalypse and a man named Frank, although the latter was only let in because 5 people are needed to start a clan and Frank happened to be wandering past at the time. At some point he also adopted a skeletal hellhound known as Muncher, who he likes to keep alongside him in his mansion.

Protecting Guthix

Harold fights Zamorakians

Death fights the forces of K'ril Tsutsaroth during the Attempt to assassinate Guthix.

The following takes place during The World Wakes.

In 169 of the Fifth Age, Death accompanied his fellow Guardians (minus Ocellus and Cres) and other Guthixians to Guthix's Cave after an adventurer triggered the alarm system. Like the other Guthixians, he chose to keep Guthix asleep and to preserve the edicts. The party arrived shortly after Zilyana and K'ril Tsutsaroth left, unable to open a giant door. Death explained their purpose and formed an alliance with the adventurer, not knowing that they were secretly working for the Zarosians on Sliske's "request". The adventurer managed to solve a locking mechanism for the door and unlock it, allowing passage for the Guthixian group.

At the other end of the door, they met with Cres, another Guardian of Guthix who had been placed to guard Guthix's cave with his automatons. After the adventurer was uplifted to become the newest Guardian by Guthix, Cres concluded that the other factions were about to storm the central room and kill Guthix, so the adventurer was placed as the leader of the group. The attacks indeed begun shortly after, with Bandosians and Zamorakians attempting to penetrate the storage wings. The adventurer aided Death in deterring the fearsome demon K'ril and his forces before dealing with Enakhra and her posse. After she had been dealt with, Zilyana invaded the room with her army of Saradominists, who swarmed the Guthixians. Death managed to easily hold his own in the ensuing battle.

Harold fights Saradominists

Being forced to defend himself from Zilyana's troops.

Zilyana proceeded to send forth troops in an attempt to kill Juna, who had barricaded the passage to Guthix, while duelling Cres herself. Her troops were vanquished by the adventurer, but Zilyana, thinking the automaton to be Guthix, stabbed Cres in his torso, killing him. At that point, a small party of Zarosians arrived, having avoided all combat by trailing Zilyana's legion. The three parties pleaded for the adventurer to either aid them in protecting Guthix (Guthixians), killing him (Saradominists) or bargaining with him (Zarosians). Death was convinced the adventurer would pick their side, but was devastated and betrayed if they didn't. At that point, Sliske, concealed in the Shadow Realm, broke the seal to Guthix and made his way to the god.

The adventurer attempted to pursue him, but was held back by attacks from Death and the Valluta (in case they didn't side with the Guthixians), who had lost trust in them, or Char and Nex. They survived, however, and witnessed Sliske breaking his promise and killing Guthix using the staff of Armadyl. Guthix then took the adventurer in confidence and took them to a projection of his memories, explaining his history and why he wants the gods banished, before dying. By that time, all factions had arrived to see Guthix's body and, his death having abolished the Edicts, witnessed the arrival of Saradomin to the world. To avoid more battle, he teleported the Mahjarrat, Char and Nex away before leaving with Zilyana to make plans. If the adventurer betrayed them, the Guthixians forgave them, for they had been chosen by Guthix, but Death concluded that the events of the day were "just a taste of what is to come".


The following takes place during Missing, Presumed Death.
Missing, Presumed Death

Death, imprisoned within the Empryean Citadel.

Shortly after the dawn of the Sixth Age, Death was kidnapped by Sliske, the Mahjarrat that had slain Guthix, and imprisoned within a shadowy cage within the Empyrean Citadel, a citadel that formerly belonged to Armadyl that Sliske had captured. During his absence, Frank and some of Death's helpers took over his duty of reaping souls by using fragments of his scythe; however they could only do this to monsters.

Sliske planned to bring all of the major gods to the citadel, intending to use Death to lure Icthlarin there, as, without Death to reap souls, Icthlarin would have no souls to escort through the underworld. Sliske used similar measures to lure the other gods, which included framing Saradominists for the murder of elves and Serenists for the murder of Saradominist monks, and claiming that he was having a "Grand Ascendancy", where he would ascend to godhood.

Shortly after his disappearance, the World Guardian was recruited by Brother Samwell to investigate the murder of his fellow monks. After their investigation ran fruitless, Icthlarin appeared and told the World Guardian of Death's disappearance. A band of wights sent by Sliske then attacked the duo, and one of them dropped a box, which contained an invitation for Sliske's "ascendancy" at the Empyrean Citadel, and also revealed that Sliske had kidnapped Death. While Icthlarin suspected that the "Grand Ascendancy" was one of Sliske's tricks, he nevertheless travelled to the citadel, taking the World Guardian with him, in order to try and rescue Death.

When the duo reached the main chamber of the citadel, they found Bandos, Saradomin, Zamorak, Armadyl and Brassica Prime, who had also been lured to the citadel. Sliske then presented Death inside his cage, and also revealed that he had captured the dragonkin Strisath. He revealed that the "ascendancy" was a ruse, and revealed that he obtained the Stone of Jas, and that he would be holding a contest, with the stone supposedly being awarded to the one to kill the most gods. Icthlarin and the other deities were outraged, and refused to trust Sliske, forcing him to "get things started himself". Sliske then attacked Icthlarin and tossed the World Guardian the key to Death's cage, before proceeding to release Strisath and teleport away, which caused the other gods to flee in fright.

Death escapes

Death teleports Icthlarin and the World Guardian away, moments before being fried by Strisath's breath.

Although Icthlarin questioned why Sliske had given the World Guardian the key, he protected them from Strisath's dragonkin-breath with a magical shield while they released Death, which they were able to do relatively quickly. After Death was freed, Icthlarin's shield broke, but Death was able to teleport himself, Icthlarin and the World Guardian away before Strisath was able to kill Icthlarin.

After the trio arrived safely back in the Silvarea mountain pass, Death warned the adventurer that gods would die in the coming days, and that as a World Guardian, they would be able to influence their fate. He also reassured Brother Samwell that the souls of his fellow monks would be safely escorted to the afterlife. Death then returned to his duty of reaping souls, while Icthlarin returned to the underworld.

Imbalance between life and death

The following takes place during Soul Reaper.
Death&#039;s office interior

Death inside his office, ready to task adventurers with Soul Reaper assignments.

Some time after his kidnapping, Death noticed an imbalance in the harmony of life and death, with life outweighing death significantly. In order to address this imbalance, Death invited the World Guardian to his office, and tasked them with correcting the imbalance by claiming the souls of various powerful monsters every day. In exchange for the World Guardian's help, Death is happy to reward them with a variety of useful items and effects.

Fight against Nomad

The following takes place during Nomad's Elegy.

Death is first seen when an adventurer ends up in his office after an explosion "killed" them. Death explains that Nomad is getting stronger and taking souls from Gielinor for his own purposes. He thinks up a plan with the adventurer after they have grabbed allies Death had found useful when they were with the adventurer. After creating a battering ram and breaking through heavy Ascension resistance, he senses the presence of a "god" and is shocked by the abomination he sees later on.

He assists in taking down Gielinor by removing souls from the construct to weaken it. After Nomad is defeated by the adventurer, they can decide who can kill Gielinor. If Death killed Gielinor, he is given an invitation by Sliske for killing a "god". Before Death can exact his vengeance on Nomad however, Sliske takes him away, much to his disappointment, although he is reassured of the victory by Xenia and the others. After the fight, he returns to his duties.

Leisure time

Grim Reaper&#039;s house

Death's mansion.

When not reaping souls, Death lives in his mansion, where he has employed butlers and helpers to help him with its upkeep. His touch of death, however, has resulted in hundreds of accidental deaths over the years, despite supposedly only being able to kill people whose time has come. When his 999th servant Alfonse was killed when Death patted him on his back in gratitude, he contacted the Servants' Guild for a new worker and got 10% off due to them being number 1000.[8] While waiting for the servant's arrival, his house became an utter mess due to an incident involving Muncher eating the postman. His helpers also serve a vital role, as he has tasked them with sending souls to the underworld in his place with fragments of his scythe if he were ever unable to perform his duties.

Muncher sleeping

Muncher, Death's faithful companion.

He is often accompanied by his skeletal pet hellhound, Muncher, for whom he cares deeply, although he is not happy when he disobeys his orders. Death has often had trouble with pets in the past due to their short lifespans, and his touch of death, which resulted in his pet bunny exploding when he tried feeding it a carrot. As such, Muncher, being undead, is the perfect pet for him. Aside from Muncher, he has experimented with undead fish to keep him company (he attempted to achieve this by undoing their deaths with a magical resurrection hourglass he had obtained).[9]

Audio options icon
A player encounters Death in his office.

He also enjoys music, and is a big fan of bands such as Adamantite Damsel and Ping & Pong. When the latter two died before their time came, he reversed time so they could make more music for him, although he was saddened by this, as he would much rather have them with him. In addition, Death enjoys crochet and embroidery, stating that it keeps his skeletal fingers flexible.[2]

Grim reaper

Death cleaning his mansion.

Death is also one of the five founders, and the leader, of a clan known as The Horsemen. The clan has organised two events in their citadel in the sky known as "Deathcons", with the most recent event, Deathcon II, occurring in 169. He also has an acquaintance known as the Soggy Teabag On The Bench Gremlin, who places soggy teabags on benches[2], and is on good terms with the other Guardians of Guthix (bar Ocellus), although he does not see them often due to his duties. He also has a good relationship with Icthlarin, as Icthlarin ensures that the souls Death reaps reach the underworld properly. Death also once had a mentor, whose eyeball he keeps in his living room.

Like all beings, he was bound by the Edicts of Guthix, which supposedly dictated that he must always have black robes, (despite them being blue) a scythe and spiderwebs in his house. He was forced to maintain the quality of these items as well, often needing to sharpen his scythe or to clean or even replace his robes should they get stained with blood (causing havoc in Varrock when he would go to Thessalia's Fine Clothes to purchase new robes). Despite Guthix's death, he still respects the Edicts and continues wearing his apparel.

Holiday events

Death was involved in many Hallowe'en events, where he often tasked adventurers with solving problems for him in his mansion, such as removing a spider in his bathtub, or preparing a party for him. During most of these events, including those that he was not otherwise involved in, Death appeared when a player died to escort them to their respawn point. When he appeared, he proclaimed a random phrase, a list of which can be seen below;

  • Let me escort you away, (player name)...
  • (Player name) is mine!
  • Now is the time you die, (player name).
  • Muahahahahaha!
  • There is no escape, (player name)...
  • Beware Mortals. (Player name) travels with me now.
  • I claim (player name) as my own.
  • Your time here is over, (player name).
  • I have come for you, (player name)!

After Missing, Presumed Death, players are able to enable a permanent version of this effect, although without the phrases.

2007 Hallowe'en Event

The following takes place during 2007 Hallowe'en event.

During the 2007 Hallowe'en event, Death owned a house accessed through the Dark House Portal south of Falador. He ordered the player to do his house chores because his servant had recently passed away from his touch of death. One of the first tasks the player was tasked with was to find the skull of the servant in his Garden. The next task was to reorganise his items in the correct spot in the western room. By using his diary, the player could effectively put his items in order. Afterwards, he told the player to try out his obstacle course on the second floor, used to keep his servants on their toes. The player had to do this twice, and after that, he had to talk to the Grim Reaper to receive the Grim reaper hood and a new Zombie Hand emote.

Web of Shadows

The following takes place during Web of Shadows.
Eek pet

Eek the spider.

In 2009, Death's house was revisited again. He would tell the player he had a spider in his bathtub, and wanted it removed, being unable to do so himself in case he accidentally killed it with his touch of death (and not because of a fear of spiders or anything like that). If players refused, he would kill them and they would appear outside the portal with all of their items.

After travelling into the Spider Realm (Death appears to own a portal leading to this realm) and speaking to the Spider Queen, the player was ordered to place cobwebs into Death's house, as Death had violated the Edicts of Guthix by cleaning them. After putting cobwebs into his house with the assistance of Eek the spider, the Spider Queen would reward you with a Web cloak and Eek.

Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow

The following takes place during Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow.
Hallowe&#039;en Event 2010 - PARTY!

Death's party.

During the 2010 event, Death was in need of help preparing a party he was hosting. During this event, it became clear that Death is a big fan of Zabeth Corvid, and he begged the player to fetch an autograph. After completing little tasks around his house for the party being held, players were rewarded with a Bone brooch (which when used would morph you into a pile of bones) and the Puppet master emote.

Deathcon II

The following takes place during Deathcon II.
R.I.P. Tent

Death inside his tent in his citadel.

In 2011, Death was revealed to be the owner of his very own clan, with its very own citadel. The player was asked by Frank to help prepare the Citadel for a "DeathCon" event. The player had to perform tasks for Beauty, Frank and Infinity. After this was done, the player had full access to the citadel (with a Deathcon lanyard) and got a Deathcon t-shirt as a souvenir. The player also unlocked the Living on Borrowed Time emote.

Death's Door

The following takes place during Death's Door.
Death&#039;s mansion entrance

Death inside his mansion.

In 2014, Death's mansion was attacked by a number of ghosts sent by the insane necromancer Melzar the Mad. Melzar sought to capture Death's realm in order to gain enough power over Death to restore his fallen friends and family of Crandor to life, even though their souls had long since passed on. As Death is unable to deal with already-deceased souls, and Icthlarin was unable to deal with souls that had never visited the underworld, Death sent Muncher to recruit adventurers into his mansion to try and deal with the ghosts, giving them tools made by a friend of his. He awarded adventurers who defeated ghosts with a unique set of armour.

Gauntlet of Souls

Main article: Gauntlet of Souls

In 2015, Death played a role in Gauntlet of Souls, which featured a battle between Icthlarin and Amascut. Death guarded the Soul Rift portal near the Burthorpe lodestone through which adventurers could enter the Underworld. The adventurer helped to gather and escort souls for Death and Icthlarin, protecting the rescued souls from Amascut's Soul Devourers. With Icthlarin's help, the adventurer fought against the Avatar of Amascut, as well as Amascut herself.



Harold Death concept art

Concept art of Death and his scythe

  • Upon examining Death's note on the desk in front of him, the text says "Not a notebook." This is a reference to the Death Note series, in which the main character kills by writing names in a notebook. There is also an apple on the desk, which one of the characters is fond of.
  • Upon closer inspection of Death's note you can see the text is Lorem Ipsum, a common filler text.
  • Death can blink even though he has no eyelids.
  • One of Death's examine texts is 'Don't fear the Reaper', a reference to the song of the same name by Blue Öyster Cult.
  • A Postbag from the Hedge revealed that Death has the catch phrase, "Gotta reap 'em all." This is a pun on the catch phrase "Gotta catch 'em all" from Pokémon. In the same Postbag from the Hedge it was said his customary black robes act as the legendary Reaper skillcape, although this was likely a joke.
  • The Temple Knights appear to have written a dossier concerning the reaper, which was published in Postbag from the Hedge #35.
    • According to the dossier, the Grim Reaper was the Champion of a Belltolling contest, but nobody survived. The only witness was a passing zombie about to terrorise a nearby village.[10]
    • The dossier reveals that he has many aliases, including Grim Reaper, Nigel and Destroyer of Life.[10]
    • Death has a mother, who looks exactly like him, as shown by the drawing in his dossier.[10]
  • He is voiced by the same voice actor as TokHaar-Hok.[11]
  • One of Death's examine texts is "He decides who to free, and who to blame", a reference to the Johnny Cash song "The Man Comes Around".
  • Another of Death's examine texts is 'Founder and leader of The Horsemen', a reference to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.


  1. ^ Jagex. Postbag 35 - "Transcript:But how do you pruh-nounce Rell-doh?", Temple Knights' Dossier: Grim Reaper, by Temple Knights. RuneScape Postbags from the Hedge.
  2. ^ a b Jagex. Postbag 24 - "Transcript:Spooky goings on!", Letter 4, by Death. RuneScape Postbags from the Hedge.
  3. ^ Jagex. Above the Lore - episode 4: The Secrets of Sliske Mods Osborne and Ollie Above the Lore podcast, 20 June 2013.
  4. ^ a b Death, "The World Wakes", RuneScape. "When Guthix appointed me as a guardian, I was given the task of retaining the balance of life and death - as well as the power to do so. With all great power, there must be balance, so Guthix also bestowed a weakness upon me. I can only strike a killing blow on those who are due to die. I cannot take the lives of those whose time is not over, and equally I cannot save a life that is due to end... As much as I may sometimes wish to."
  5. ^ Jagex. Above the Lore Episode 10 - Missing Presumed Death Mod Osborne Above the Lore podcast, 23 September 2013.
  6. ^ Thaerisk Cemphier, "Book of the underworld", RuneScape. "Thousands of years ago - before she became The Devourer - Amascut would stand opposite Icthlarin beside the gates of the Underworld, both atop separate pulpits... As her mind has become warped she is no longer the God of Rebirth, instead hell bent on devouring any souls she can before they reach the afterlife."
  7. ^ Mod Jack. "Order of Ascension - FAQ." 5 June 2013. Recent Game Updates Forums.
  8. ^ Death, "The Grim Reaper's diary", RuneScape. "A tragic day. Alfonse and I were in the garden looking at the state of a spiders nest. I patted my trusty servant on the back in thanks for all his hard work. Sadly, my touch of death killed him instantly. Feel quite guilty. (...) Ordered a new servant from the agency today and got a 10% discount for getting past the 1000th servant mark. Woo hoo!"
  9. ^ Death, "The Grim Reaper's diary", RuneScape. "My plan to make the undead fish is going quite well. I managed to obtain a resurrection hourglass today, so have added that to the fishtank to finish the process. It's so difficult to have pets when everything you touch dies horrifically. I remember having a rabbit once that exploded when I fed it a carrot!"
  10. ^ a b Jagex. Postbag 35 - "Transcript:But how do you pruh-nounce Rell-doh?", Temple Knights' Dossier: Grim Reaper, by Wise Old Man. RuneScape Postbags from the Hedge.
  11. ^ Jagex. Mod Stu's Twitter account. 18 September 2013. Mod Stu: "I'm pretty sure Death is currently voiced (the first time you die and go to his monochromatic study) by TokHaar-Hok's actor."
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