Ahoy, crew.
I write articles for DotaCinema every week about lore, and this week was Kunkka and Tidehunter, their relationship and some brief speculation on whether or not Kunkka is a ghost.
After all, we all know that his fleet was sunk, and he with it. However, writing the article got me thinking...
Is Kunkka a ghost?

Now, I know the obvious inclination to say Of course he's a sodding ghost! but let's look at the facts:

Kunkka is known to have sunk, but it's left ambiguous if he was killed; even Tidehunter's not entirely sure.
Kunkka does not resemble any of the ghostly characters present in Dota 2; Wraith King and Death Prophet are the prime candidates here.
  • Ghosts seem to primarily be opaque to semi-transparent, with clearly pale features, ghostly-coloured skin (that would be ranging from greenish-blue to light green). Kunkka is normal-coloured.
  • Ghosts are in some way forced into eternal life, which Kunkka doesn't at any point bring up.
  • Ghosts specific to the sea are, according to legend, invisible. Kunkka is visible. Shadow Blade doesn't count.

Kunkka at no point mentions having died; that said, he doesn't mention his ships sinking either, so maybe he's embarrassed.
Tidehunter does say "I thought I left you at the bottom of the sea".
Kunkka has command over a ghost ship.
Kunkka has a possessed sword.
Kunkka seems (cursed?) to remain in some way related to the sea. This could well mean that he's forced in a ghostly manner to stay mentally with what killed him, or what he was one with in life.

With these things (and a few others, I guess) in mind, either conclusion could be reached. I came to the conclusion in my article that he's a ghost, but I'd love to see what others think.

So what say you, community?