Elden Ring‘s Demigods Explained

FromSoftware certainly has a unique take on storytelling. It’s a tradition that stems from game director Hidetaka Miyazaki’s desire to engage the player in the worlds he creates, to give them only a fraction of the pieces of the puzzle and ask them to fill in the blanks themselves. And it’s a tradition that their latest open-world masterpiece, Elden Ring, is more than happy to continue. But also one that can leave many players scratching their heads by the time the credits roll.

While not as obscure as the enigmatic Outer Gods (the great formless deities pulling the strings from behind the scenes), unraveling who Elden Ring’s Demigods are – as well as their histories, goals, motivations, and relationships to one another – can be quite the conundrum. Not to mention the fact that many share remarkably similar names, making even those who feature most prevalently in the main story difficult to distinguish between.

This, of course, is partly thanks to legendary fantasy author George RR Martin, who co-authored the game with Miyazaki and helped flesh out the characters and history of the Lands Between. Best known for his Song of Ice and Fire series and the detailed histories and complex family trees detailed within, Martin was an inspired choice when it came to fleshing out Elden Ring’s world and populating it with characters whose backstories make them feel decidedly more human than any in FromSoft’s history. Despite the fact that many have drifted far from anything resembling humanity.

So, who are the Demigods and where do they come from?

Image: FromSoftware

Marika

Queen Marika the Eternal is not a Demigod herself, but the mother of Demigods.

Marika was a traveler from the distant land of Numen who came to the Lands Between long ago and ascended into godhood, becoming its ruling monarch. She was an Empyrean – a mysterious and unique being, chosen to become a vessel for an Outer God – and as such, she struck an accord with the Greater Will, using its power to take over the Lands Between and spread its influence by creating the Golden Order. Being an Empyrean, Marika was also granted a shadow (a wolf-like beast sworn to protect and serve her) named Maliketh.

The Golden Order, the very laws that govern the world, was made manifest within Marika at the start of her rule, taking the form of the Elden Ring. The Elden Ring was made up of many Great Runes, each one bestowing a different law onto the Lands Between.

As a God, Marika desired (or required) a consort. She took a mortal man named Godfrey and elevated him to the status of a Demigod, and granted him the title of first Elden Lord. With Godfrey, she had at three children: Godwyn, Morgott, and Mohg. These children, being born from a God and a Demigod, were Demigods too.

Desiring a world free from death as we know it, Marika removed the Rune of Death from the Elden Ring. She entrusted the Rune of Death to her shadow, Maliketh, to guard with his life.

As time went on and Marika’s hold over the Lands Between became more and more secure, her devotion to the Greater Will and its Golden Order began to wane. She banished Godfrey from the Lands Between and took a new consort, Radagon. But who exactly this red-headed warrior originally was is unfortunately cloudy in mystery. What is known is that he had three children – Radahn, Rykard, and Ranni – with Queen Rennala of the Carian Royal Family before Marika took him to be her consort, and that Marika deigned to raise these children to Demigod status, as if they were her own. What is also known, is that Radagon eventually became the male half of Marika, sharing the same body but possessing separate minds.

With Radagon, Marika had two more children: Malenia and Miquella.

After the Night of Black Knives (detailed below), Marika lost faith in the Greater Will entirely and shattered the Golden Order, fragmenting the Elden Ring and scattering its Great Runes across the Lands Between. The Greater Will imprisoned Marika within the Erdtree but could not restore the Elden Ring. Instead, the Great Runes were fought over by Marika’s children, the Demigods.

Godfrey
Image: FromSoftware

Godfrey

Demigod, First Elden Lord, and consort to Queen Marika, Godfrey is an important figure in the history of the Lands Between.

Long before he married his queen, he went by a different name, however, and was known for an entirely different reason. He started life as Hoarah Loux, a ferocious and barbaric warrior renowned for his bloodlust. But he gave that life up when he met Marika and vowed to stand by her side. Marika bestowed upon him the spectral beast Serosh, who dug his lion claws into Godfrey’s shoulders and suppressed his lust for battle. But even Serosh could not fully quench it.

Marika used Godfrey to wage war upon the Giants, a race far to the north who worshipped the One-Eyed Outer God, and whose flame threatened the existence of the Erdtree. Godfrey defeated them, killing their leader in single combat, but with that, his purpose was fulfilled. Marika banished him from the Lands Between, making him the first Tarnished (individuals who have lost the grace of the Erdtree and were thusly exiled). Godfrey fled to the Badlands, took up the mantle of ‘Hoarah Loux’ once more, and became a chieftain to warriors and bandits.

Long after the Shattering, when Marika destroyed the Golden Order, the Tarnished were drawn back to the Lands Between, Hoarah Loux among them. He once again took the name Godfrey, and waited before the burning Erdtree for a Tarnished bearing Great Runes. The very same Great Runes his children had fought over.

Godwyn
Image: FromSoftware

Godwyn

Firstborn son of Queen Marika and Godfrey, Godwyn the Golden was their clear favorite.

Early in life, he helped his mother with her war against the dragons, defeating the great dragon Fortissax in battle. A battle which ended not with the dragon’s death, but with his friendship and peace with the remaining dragons, fierce and hard-fought as it was. But despite this promising start, things do not end well for Godwyn.

Godwyn is the poor unfortunate seen in Elden Ring’s story trailer, slain by hooded figures. This was an event known as the Night of Black Knives, where assassins stole the Rune of Death from Maliketh and used it to kill Godwyn’s spirit. Godwyn was the first Demigod to die, and it was his death that drove Marika to spurn the word of the Greater Will and shatter the Elden Ring.

But while Godwyn’s spirit was killed, his body was not. His flesh was branded with a curse mark and he became the first of Those Who Live in Death, corrupting the Erdtree from the very roots. And corrupting the Erdtree corrupted life itself. Images of Godwyn’s cursed and deformed corpse can be spotted growing all across the Lands Between. His actual corpse can also be found, deep below the Erdtree, if the Tarnished can find the way.

Godrick
Image: FromSoftware

Godrick

Godrick the Grafted is the first big boss players will face in Elden Ring. He is the lord of Stormveil Castle (the first legacy dungeon) and distantly related to Godwyn and Marika herself through generations of the Golden Lineage. So many generations, in fact, that what little divine blood he possesses is highly diluted and he retains none of the power or respect his ancestors commanded.

This disgraced Demigod stole a Great Rune when the Elden Ring shattered and barricaded himself away in Stormveil Castle when the in-fighting began, hiding among the womenfolk and his treasures, far from any battles. There, he named himself ruler of Limgrave, in the south of the Lands Between, but many contested that right and rose against him.

Dreaming of one day returning to the Capital from which he fled, Godrick sought power. However, being so far removed from the divine powers of his ancestor Marika, he had to be a little more creative. Godrick took up the ancient, gruesome art of grafting. He captured wandering Tarnished, fearsome warriors, his own servants, and even a troll and dragon, and took their limbs and body parts, grafting them onto his own body until he was a giant, twitching with grasping hands.

Unfortunately for Godrick, not even this was enough, as he is bested by the lowly Tarnished early on in their journey.

Morgott
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Morgott

Son of Queen Marika and Godfrey, and twin to Mohg, Morgott the Omen King was born with cursed blood. Known as an Omen, he developed scaled skin, horns, and a tail, and thus was imprisoned deep below Leyndell, the Royal Capital, for most of his life.

When the Elden Ring was shattered, however, he took a Great Rune for himself and, in the chaos that ensued, rose up and took control of Leyndell. But without the other Great Runes, the Erdtree would not accept him as Elden Lord. So, Morgott instead became its guardian, protecting the Erdtree from any who sort it harm.

To quench any Tarnished burning with the flame of ambition, Morgott also assumed the name Margitt, the Fell Omen, and stood guard outside the main gates to Stormveil Castle, becoming a literal gatekeeper and test of skill to any who sought the throne.

The player actually fights Morgott twice during the course of the game. First, as the first true boss of the game (and first great stumbling block for many new players), as Margitt. And second, before the Elden throne itself, as Morgott.

Mohg
Image: FromSoftware

Mohg

Son of Queen Marika and Godfrey, and twin to Morgott, Mohg, Lord of Blood, was also an Omen, born with cursed blood and imprisoned below Leyndell for much of his life.

Mohg did not take as kindly to his imprisonment as his brother had. Where Morgott embraced the Greater Will and vowed to protect the Erdtree, Mohg turned away from them both and found solace in a different Outer God. He became a vessel for the Formless Mother, who set his cursed blood alight and granted him access to powerful bloos and flame magics.

When the Elden Ring was shattered and the Lands Between fell into confusion and chaos, Mohg claimed a Great Rune as his own and escaped his confines below the capital, setting up a temple of his own in the vast chasms beneath the Lands Between.

Perhaps spurred on by the Formless Mother, Mohg kidnapped his dormant half-brother Miquella and encased them both within a cocoon, with the intention of one day raising him up to godhood and ruling at his side. A plan which you, the Tarnished, can put an end to, if you have the skill to defeat him.

Radahn
Image: FromSoftware

Radahn

General Radahn, the Starscourge, is the son of Queen Rennala and Radagon, and is widely regarded to be the most powerful Demigod in Elden Ring lore.

He inherited his father’s flowing red locks, as well as his lofty intentions. When he was younger, long before Radagon became Marika’s consort, long before he was made a Demigod, Radahn idolized Godfrey, the First Elden Lord, and wished to be just like him. He even adorned his armor with symbols of lions resembling Godrey’s spectral beast, Serosh.

As Radahn grew older, became more powerful and grew larger and larger in size. Eventually, he became so massive that his beloved but scrawny horse could no longer support him. Instead of discarding him and finding another, Radahn learned gravity magic so that he could continue to ride his cherished steed without crushing him. Radahn become so adept at gravitational magic that he was able to conquer the stars themselves and hold them in place.

After the Night of Black Knives and the Shattering, Radahn claimed one a Great Rune and built up a mighty army in his stronghold, Redmane Castle, on the edge of Caelid. From there, he waged war against the other Demigods, seeking to claim their Great Runes for himself. It was during one of these battles that Radahn found himself facing his half-sister Malenia. They fought bitterly, scarring the very land they stood on, yet neither could best the other. But their fighting caused the first bloom – the Scarlet Rot erupted from within Malenia and flooded Caelid, creating the Swamp of Aeonia, and poisoning Radahn. The Rot consumed the great general from the inside out, destroying his mind and reducing him to a mad fiend that feasted on any foolish enough to cross his path.

This is how the Tarnished will find him in game, still clad in his armor, still riding his scrawny, withered steed, but mindless and lost. Don’t let that fool you, though, Radahn still packs a mighty punch.

Rykard
Image: FromSoftware

Rykard

Praetor Rykard is another son of Queen Rennala and Radagon, and who became a Demigod when Radagon became Marika’s consort.

In his youth, Rykard loved to travel. He spent time exploring the volcano Mt Gelmir, where he uncovered ancient sorceries, and he traveled to distant realms, far beyond the Lands Between. It was on one of these travels in a foreign land that he encountered a dancer by the name of Tanith, who he brought back to the Lands Between to wed.

Rykard was a charismatic man and so, when the Elden Ring was shattered and he took one of the Great Runes for himself, he also acquired many heroic followers, all keen to aid him in his war against the other Demigods. Volcano Manor became his stronghold, and from there he directed many bloody battles. But he also kept digging, hoping to uncover more secrets buried beneath the volcano.

This is what led him to discover an elder serpent dwelling amongst the magma. Rykard allowed himself to be devoured by this ancient beast, merging mind and body with it, to become the God-Devouring Serpent. In his new form, Rykard became greedy. He feasted upon his once loyal soldiers, growing in power, with the desire of one day devouring the Gods themselves.

Having lost their leader to this madness, the army at Volcano Manor disbanded. Only Lady Tanith and a scant few others remained loyal. If the Tarnished can find the way, they may wish to join Lady Tanith’s cause at Volcano Manor, or they may wish to delve deeper and face Rykard himself in a truly epic (if not too demanding) boss battle.

Ranni
Image: FromSoftware

Ranni

Lunar Princess Ranni is the daughter of Queen Rennala and Radagon and who, as before, became a Demigod when Radagon became Marika’s consort. She is also one of the few Demigods who doesn’t appear as a boss and doesn’t wish the player harm.

Before becoming a Demigod, Ranni sought to learn magic. She became the pupil of a master known only by the title ‘Snow Witch’, and from this master, she learned the magic of ice and snow. She also learned to fear the Outer God of the Dark Moon.

At some point in her youth, Ranni became an Empyrean (her shadow is none other than Blaidd, the magnificent half-man, half-wolf glimpsed in early screenshots) and was chosen to become a potential successor to Marika and a vessel for the Greater Will. But Ranni rejected this fate. She did not wish to be someone’s puppet, not even an Outer God’s. So, she set a plan in motion. She stole the Rune of Death from Maliketh and gave its power to a group of Numen assassins, imbuing their blades with the ability to kill a Demigod. Thus setting into motion the Night of Black Knives and killing Godwyn’s spirit.

At the same time, Ranni used the Rune of Death to kill her own Empyrean body, freeing herself from the influence of the Greater Will, and transferring her spirit into the blue-skinned, four-armed doll the Tarnished can speak to in the game. This doll, infused with Ranni’s spirit, grants the Tarnished Torrent’s summoning bell, and will also lead the player down the path towards ushering in a new Age of Stars, should they be so inclined.

Malenia
Image: FromSoftware

Malenia

Malenia, the Severed, the Blade of Miquella, is the daughter of Queen Marika and Radagon, and twin sister to Miquella.

She was born an Empyrean, granting her the potential to one day replace her mother Marika, but she was also born with a curse. As Marika and Radagon were now the same entity, any children they bore would be profane beings, rather than holy. Malenia’s curse was that of Scarlet Rot, inflicted by an Outer God, which corrupted her from within and led to the loss of her legs and right arm.

These lost limbs would be replaced by powerful prosthetics, allowing Malenia to fight. And she was a skilled fighter. She even met the blind swordsman who sealed the God of Scarlet Rot away and trained with him, learning many of her most deadly techniques.

Malenia and her brother were close, both striving to cure the other’s curse, but neither succeeding. Miquella created Unalloyed Gold to keep her Scarlet Rot from spreading, and Malenia swore to protect her brother as he encased himself within the Haligtree.

She claimed a Great Rune after the Elden Ring was shattered and went to war to with her Demigod brethren, defeating all who stood in her way. Until that was, she found herself facing Radahn. As stated previously, despite a bitter duel, neither could prevail against the other. Something broke inside Malenia and she allowed the Scarlet Rot to bloom, poisoning Caelid and sending Radahn mad.

This bloom caused Malenia to fall into a deep coma. She was carried back to the Haligtree where her brother slept, but neither woke. And as they slumbered, two things occurred. First, the newly bloomed Scarlet Rot continued to seep out of Malenia and poison the Haligtree and the world around it. Second, Mohg was able to kidnap the dormant Miquella unimpeded.

Malenia still waits beneath the Haligtree, and it is here the Tarnished can find her, if they are ready for the fight of their life.

Miquella
Image: FromSoftware

Miquella

Miquella, the Unalloyed, is the son of Queen Marika and Radagon, and twin brother to Malenia. He too was born an Empyrean, and he too was born cursed.

Miquella’s curse was to never grow up, to remain in the body of a child for all eternity. But he did not let it quell his ambitions. Seeing the damage the Scarlet Rot was inflicting on his sister, Miquella turned to the Greater Will to cure it. When it could (or would) not, he sought to devise a cure himself. This led to the creation of Unalloyed Gold – a substance that not only stemmed the spread of Scarlet Rot, but also kept the influences of Outer Gods at bay.

Long before the events of the game, Miquella sought to create his own Erdtree by watering a sapling with his own blood. This became the great Haligtree, and the defensive stronghold in which he stayed once the Demigods began to war against each other, after the Shattering and after he claimed a Great Rune for himself. It is also where he cocooned himself, sequestering himself within the Haligtree, in the hopes that it would allow him to develop into a full God.

Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately), this never happened as Mohg kidnapped him before his transformation could be completed. If the Tarnished finds and kills Mohg in the Mohgwyn Mausoleum, they can find this cocoon on the far end, and see Miquella’s withered arm hanging lifelessly out of a deep crack.

But is Miquella dead? Will we ever see him rise to godhood? Perhaps not. Or perhaps we will find the answers to these questions and more in Elden Ring‘s rumored upcoming DLC.



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