The Monsters of Elden Ring, Part 4

Over the past few weeks, I’ve covered a variety of enemies from Elden Ring, ranging from seemingly ordinary to otherworldly and disgusting. For this final exploration, I’ll be discussing the Demigods—major characters and bosses riddled throughout the game who have shaped the world above and below. Some of them hold pieces of the Elden Ring, known as Great Runes, and you’ll need a few of these to beat the game. I’ll once again be using observations, dialogue, and item descriptions directly from Elden RIng, as well as my own thoughts and theories.

Safe to say there will be MASSIVE spoilers here—you have been warned!

Let’s get this out of the way: The names. The Demigods really like to use themes for their children, and this has led to confusion when discussing the game—so much so that people began creating family trees to keep things straight. As there are some disparities between these, I’m going to link to one I personally believe to be the most accurate: here. You can generally tell who’s who based on letters. Ranni is Rennala’s daughter, for example.

A brief history lesson. A long, long time ago a force called the Greater Will came to the Lands Between. It rose Marika to Godhood, becoming the vessel of the Elden Ring itself. She ruled through a system of governance known as the Golden Order and took the mighty warrior Godfrey as her husband, and together they had Morgott, Mohg, and Godwyn.

In another part of the kingdom, a powerful sorceress named Rennala ruled Caria. She met a red-haired Champion named Radagon on the battlefield, and they fell in love and had Ranni, Rykard, and Radahn (who I’ve discussed in previous articles). Eventually, Marika exiled Godfrey from the Lands and took Radagan as her consort and second husband. This both crushed Rennala, leaving her with a broken heart, and raised her children to the status of Demigods. With Radagon, Marika had two more children: twins named Miquella and Malenia. The conflict between these step-siblings grew and led to The Shattering of the Elden Ring, setting the events of the game into motion. We pick up a few hundred years after this, with the majority of the world in ruins and full of monsters. Okay, got it? Now we’ll get into this weirdo family.

Miquella and Malenia

A large, robed figure carries a small child under an arm, a trident in the other
Mohg carrying Miquella in the game’s intro

Twins from Marika and Radagon, with Malenia playing both a prominent role in the cinematic and as an optional boss. Both were born with afflictions that directed their goals in life. While The Erdtree is the enormous, ever-constant presence in Elden Ring—there is another, smaller tree, hidden behind a village secret—the Haligtree. From the sounds of it, the duo intended to use the tree to heal their bodies and forge a new path for their followers. Miquella. eternally a child, became a savior to those considered without grace, and many harpy-folk can be seen praying to statues portraying both siblings within the tree’s many ornate chambers. Knights of the Haligtree, and Malenia’s own Rot Knights, guard a city at the base of the tree.

A red haired, naked woman with wings floats in front of a large tree root system that resembles a youthful person
Malenia and Miquella’s empty cocoon

Miquella is never met, but his sister guards his lifeless image, the remnants of his attempt to heal his flesh by embedding his body within the tree (more on that later) at the roots. Malenia’s curse is called the Scarlet Rot, a painful decay of the flesh. Its stain is felt in nearly every corner of the world: The entire region of Caelid, the site of a war between her and Radahn, is a festering swamp riddled with disease and death after she unleashed a bloom of Rot as a last resort in their battle. Her right arm, left leg, and part of her right foot has completely rotted away and Malenia wears several prosthetics including an arm with a sword attached.

In her second boss phase, she imbraces her affliction. Becoming the Goddess of Rot, she gains wings that rain butterflies upon the ground. Regarded as the hardest boss in the game, she’s beautiful and deadly! Her proclamation of having never lost a battle is no boast as she glides and performs a deadly combo called the Waterfowl Dance. Her devotion to her brother is all the more tragic when you realize he was stolen away.

Morgott and Mohg

A man covered in horn like growths wearing a tattered cloak

Born with the Fell Omen curse (or blessing, depending on who you’re asking), Morgott and Mohg are twin sons of Marika and the first Elden Lord, Godfrey. Covered in horned growths known as Omens, it’s stated that while people born with horns are either killed or forced into slavery, Omens of royal lineage are kept underground and secret. It appears that the horns grow over time, with both brothers displaying varied growths on their faces.

Morgott is one of the first bosses encountered and directly tells you to give up: “Put these foolish ambitions to rest.” In his mind, no one is worthy of taking the title Elden Lord. As such, he guards the throne the second time you encounter him. I get the sense that while he is deeply bitter towards the other Demigods, his respect for the Golden Order is paramount. If you remember from Part 1, after Godrick dies his body is small and withered; Morgott is the same.

His brother Mohg, on the other hand, decided to start his own dynasty using…unconventional methods. Using info gained from blood spells, we learn that Mohg apparently communed with an Outer God called the Formless Mother, who granted him the powers of fire and blood magic. He gained followers who carried out blood rituals in secret and decorated themselves in horns. It’s some nice classic Satanic stuff. He resides deep underground in a palace surrounded by rotting corpses to boot!

A large horned man stands atop a set of stairs, arms outstretched. He holds a large trident in his right hand.

To accomplish his goal, he kidnapped Miquella, cutting his cocoon from the Haligtree and stealing it away while Malenia was at war. The item you receive upon defeating Mohg states: Wishing to raise Miquella to full godhood, Mohg wished to become his consort, taking the role of monarch. But no matter how much of his bloody bedchamber he tried to share, he received no response from the young Empyrean.

an outstretched arm emerges from a cocoon laid upon an altar

Miquella was likewise cursed from birth, however, with his affliction being eternal childhood—the implications here with Mohg are not great. Many players believe this was purely a formality, and the brothers did not have an intimate relationship; I’m leaning towards that as well. I believe this was purely a means to an end, with Mohg using his step-brother’s power to begin a new rule. Nonetheless, when you approach Mohg he’s tenderly holding an outstretched hand from the cocoon containing Miquella, who appears deceased, or in a sleep-like state. I believe his transformation was interrupted and he perished in the process, but Mohg still worships his brother as a God. It’s very creepy seeing this elongated arm protruding from a cracked shell. I’m hoping this will be explored more in DLC if we get any!

Godwyn the Golden

a man with long blonde hair lays face down, having been stabbed in the back

Poor Godwyn is the catalyst for the events of Elden Ring. His murder by the hands of Ranni and her Black Knife Assassins caused shockwaves throughout the Lands Between and propelled his mother Marika to shatter the Elden Ring itself, leading to all sorts of chaos and war. Two images of Godwyn are shown as he’s killed, in both, he is facing away from the camera, muscled back and golden hair visible—and then you see his corpse. And it is the worst thing imaginable.

A warrior climbs a ladder in the foreground while a large root system resembling a man's face sits behind them
The “fake” Godwyn face

When Godwyn died, his soul perished, but his body remained. Early in the game, you can find this horrible face at the bottom of Stormveil Castle, completely missable if you’re not looking. Originally I thought it was a squid, with the “beard” resembling tendrils. With more info I believe this is a trace of Godwyn, spreading through the roots of trees and infecting areas. Interacting with it is actually how you start a long and complicated quest that eventually leads to his real body, and it’s even worse!

A large, twisted body appearing to be both man and tree with a fish-like tail
Godwyn’s corpse

His corpse continued to grow after death, twisting into an impossible shape and size, with glassy lifeless eyes and a strange fish-like tail. The body itself is surrounded by a massive cloud of flies so I’m assuming it smells as bad as it looks. This is honestly the creepiest thing in the game to me. There’s something about it that is equal parts fascinating and upsetting. It’s also interesting to note how in life, we never see his face, but in death, it’s the first thing you see. “Death Blight” is a status affliction that will cause instant death if not dealt with. A large, black spike will impale your character, and I believe the originator of this is Godwyn himself. There are many items referring to the Prince of Death, an unfortunate moniker granted to a man we’ll never meet.


an armored warrior speaks to a blue-skinned woman with four arms and a large witches hat

Daughter of Rennala and Radagon, Ranni is a witch who sought to defy her fate. She appears early in the game and grants you a bell, allowing your character to summon Spirit Ashes; ghosts that aid in battle. While Ranni is one of the main causes of the world’s suffering, I never got the feeling she was purely evil, just using violent methods to achieve her goals. Adding another layer to this complicated spiderweb, the Greater Will uses envoys known as the Two Fingers to commune with the Demigods. Each one has their own set of Fingers, and this is somehow tied to their destiny.

A crone sits on the far left, while a warrior bows towards a giant set of Two Fingers

There are several sets of these fingers, including one located in the Roundtable Hold—a sort of “home base” for your character and the other would-be champions. They’re literal giant fingers, looming over you and sprouting hairs from the knuckles. An old crone called the Finger Reader “interprets their movements” and tells you cryptic information.

A warrior bends over a twisted mass known as the Two Fingers
Ranni’s Two Fingers

Defying her destiny, Ranni had her step-brother, Godwyn, murdered and cast aside her body. (As Godwynn’s soul died, his body lived on, the opposite is true for Ranni. Her body died and her soul continued.) She now inhabits a pale blue doll with four arms. (You can actually find her corpse later, and she has red hair like her father!)

A warrior holds the hand of a blue-skinned woman with four arms, who is covered in blood
My character and Ranni. You can see the open joints of her doll body.

After doing a long questline involving many NPCs and special locations, you meet Ranni’s Two Fingers, now dead and her future open. The final step? Placing a beautiful, Full Moon Ring on her finger and agreeing to become her consort. Ranni is one of the most beloved characters in the game, both mysterious and admirable, even when she had to do some pretty terrible things to get there. Her ending is the one I chose for my playthrough.

Marika and Radagon

A golden haired woman, her faced obsurced, stands with arms outstretched

Marika is such a core element to the story of Elden Ring, even if you never meet her personally. Her likeness is seen throughout the Lands, in statues and churches, talismans, and other items. Your character is said to be blessed by Grace, a guiding golden light originating from Marika herself.

But who is Radagon, her second husband and Lord consort? We know he was a champion, once married to Rennala, and that he has red hair. That’s about it. Until we hear a rumor from Miriel, (also known as Turtle Pope to the fans) steward to the Church of Vows, where Radagon and Rennala got married. When questioned, he tells you: “…it’s said that Lord Radagon harbored a secret…A famed sculptor of the Erdtree Capital was once summoned to render Lord Radagon’s likeness in giant stature. When he glimpsed the skeleton in Radagon’s closet. And as such, it’s said the great statue harbors his secret too.” Later, upon finding this statue, you can perform a spell to reveal it’s actually…A statue of Marika. Plus, a message: RADAGON IS MARIKA.

two paintings. In one, a long haired woman strikes an anvil. In the other, the same pose, but it is now a man.
Marika and Radagon

So what’s going on here? There’s not a lot of info, but I believe Marika eventually became disillusioned with the Greater Will and her role as Queen Eternal, and this caused her body to “split,” creating Radagon, her other half. Another clue we get is that Marika’s Hammer states that while Queen Marika shattered the Elden Ring, Radagon tried to repair it. We can actually see this during the very first shot of the game. Marika bent over an anvil with her hammer. Then it flashes to Radagon. It’s so quick you probably wouldn’t notice the first time, but shows these two halves were in conflict.

A red haired man with his back to the camera raises a hammer. His chest os cracked open like stone and a large glowing rune is embedded within his chest cavity

It’s also speculated that this is why Miquella and Malenia were cursed upon birth, as they technically come from one God. Regardless, Marika was imprisoned with the remnants of the Elden Ring, and you’re greeted with her lifeless body when you finally enter the Erdtree. Through her chest is a giant red spike, although I’m not sure who or what caused this. Suddenly, the runes holding her crack and splinter, dropping her body to the ground. Next, we see a hand grasp the hammer, and as the person rises, their hair turns from blonde to red. It is now Radagon.

Half of his torso is completely missing, with the Elden Ring rune embedded within the chest cavity. He never speaks. I’m assuming the two halves have now fused again into the same body. He’s a very aggressive boss, using both heavy hammer blows and fast spells. A fitting final boss to the game. Except…

The Elden Beast

a large, dragon like creature with see through skin, revealing a network of stars and light making up a circulatory system inside

Finally defeated, the light fades from Radagon’s body. From the ground itself emerges a giant hand, a sea of stars surrounded by a see-through layer of skin. The music becomes soft, with simple strings and a woman’s voice. A great beast rises, cut from the sky itself. This is your final challenge, the vassal of the Greater Will: The Elden Beast. Something about this fight, paired with the music, made me almost teary-eyed. Not only is it the end of your journey, but the destruction of a God, a beautiful creature from beyond the realm. “It is said that long ago, the Greater Will sent a golden star bearing a beast into the Lands Between, which would later become the Elden Ring.” 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these deep dives into the creatures and peoples of Elden Ring as much as I have. My final playtime for the game was almost 200 hours when I reached the credits. The entire experience has been incredible, and I highly recommend you check out the game for yourself. The level of detail within the world cannot be explained through words, it’s something to be experienced.

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Written by Lor Gislason

Lor is a body horror enthusiast from Vancouver Island, Canada who can be found chilling with their two cats and playing farming simulators. Find them on Twitter: @lorelli_

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