Four major lore revelations in the Elden Ring expansion – Shadow of the Erdtree

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Four major lore revelations in the Elden Ring expansion – Shadow of the Erdtree

The recent Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree story trailer revealed a lot of significant lore elements that will be revealed in the new DLC.

During the preview session, PC Gamer’s Tyler Kolp spent three hours exploring Shadow of the Erdtree and found plenty of hints about what’s going on in the hidden shadow area. The DLC focuses on the early days of Erdtre’s reign, original sin, and the wound it left behind.

Here are four key lore insights he highlighted.

Attention! Spoilers!


The Shadowlands were hidden in plain sight

Four major lore revelations in the Elden Ring expansion - Shadow of the Erdtree
Four major lore revelations in the Elden Ring expansion – Shadow of the Erdtree

Shadow of the Erdtree takes place in the Land of Shadows, described as a place “hidden by the Tree of Erdtree”. Elden Ring lore expert Quelaag recently noted that the dial displaying loading times has a dark circle in the center that doesn’t rotate, hinting that we’ve been looking at an image of the Shadowlands this whole time.

A message on a gravestone in the DLC confirms that the Shadowlands were originally located in the center of the map. In the DLC, this location exists separately from its original physical location, as can be seen on the map and surrounding plateaus. The region is shrouded in a dark mist, which may indicate it will return to its original location at some point in the story.

Elden Ring’s most mysterious character may appear

Four major lore revelations in the Elden Ring expansion - Shadow of the Erdtree
Four major lore revelations in the Elden Ring expansion – Shadow of the Erdtree

Theories about the Black Eyed Queen (GEQ) have long been discussed by Elden Ring fans. GEQ was an empyrean capable of becoming a god, like Mikella, Malenia, Ranni and Marika. She used the power of death and her followers known as the Divine Skin to kill gods until Marika ordered Maliket to kill her.

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Some fans believe that it is GEQ’s corpse that Marika uses at the beginning of the story trailer to create the golden threads. Shadow of the Erdtree features images and creatures associated with death in the world of Elden Ring. The opening scene is covered in “grave spirits” and new enemies called grave birds are found throughout. All of this indicates that the power of death used by GEQ may come from the Shadowlands, and in the DLC we learn more about the time before the emergence of the Erd Tree, when death was a natural part of the world.

Omens and Horned Deities

Four major lore revelations in the Elden Ring expansion - Shadow of the Erdtree
Four major lore revelations in the Elden Ring expansion – Shadow of the Erdtree

One of the first surprises in Shadow of the Erdtree were the statues of seated people, reminiscent of the Omens from the main game. Item descriptions state that Omens are born with a curse that causes them to grow horns all over their body. Margit and Mogg are the children of Omen Marika who were forced to live under the capital due to being considered unclean.

In the DLC, NPCs and enemies with the same horns appear, which are called “horned” (hornsent). The item descriptions also refer to these statues as “horned deities”, which may indicate that the curse was common and even revered in the Shadowlands. The Lion Dancer shown in the trailers also has horns and fights Mesmer, who we know as Marika’s child. This indicates that the Omens were originally called horned, and the Golden Order erased this name from history.

Mikella can save the Land of Shadows, but she will lose everything

Four major lore revelations in the Elden Ring expansion - Shadow of the Erdtree
Four major lore revelations in the Elden Ring expansion – Shadow of the Erdtree

The Crucible is mentioned in Elden Ring as the source of Erdtre and the chaotic beginning of all life. Item descriptions make it clear that the creation of the Golden Order marked the end of the Crucible. Omens, Horned Ones, Bastards, and Crucible Knights have traits associated with the Crucible, such as horns, scales, and tails. The Holy Tree of Mikella was intended to create a refuge for all associated with the Crucible.

Michella tried to use his blood to grow a copy of the Erd Tree without any connection to the Golden Order. He may have tried to do something similar in the Shadowlands with the twisted tree known as the Scud Tree. One of the characters you meet believes in Mikella’s promise to improve the situation in the Shadowlands, despite his hatred of Marika. Lady Leda, the golden knight, calls on you to follow in Mikella’s footsteps and find out what happened to him. Symbolized by golden runes, Mikella’s actions may indicate that he sacrificed himself for the people of the Shadowlands, and there may be nothing left of him by the end of the DLC.


Shadow of the Erdtree releases June 21st. Get ready for another immersion into the wonderful world of Elden Ring.

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