Giving Light into Shadow of the Erdtree Story Trailer

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Fans of the much acclaimed RPG open world game Elden ring finally got something to satiate them for the long wait till June 20th for the release of the DLC as a story trailer was released on the 22nd of May giving us more insight into Miquella, Marika, Messmer and the characters we had seen from the gameplay trailer  months ago.

Marika becoming more and more suspect

At the very first we see, a woman who is Marika pulls something out of a body which looks to be threads similar to the threads of the Elden Ring that hung from the hammer of Marika in the very first few trailers of the game and in cutscenes. The scene depicted here is supposedly showing Marika taking runes from the body much like players do from bodies in the game.

The Narrator, who is the same from the gameplay trailer who supposedly brings us into the DLC is speaking here telling us Miquella knows of the beginning of Marika’s order, through “Seduction and Betrayal from which Gold arose” hinting at the underhanded ways used by Marika to get what she wanted.

The Narrator then says, “and so too was Shadow born and followed was a war unseen”, saying that the ways Marika used led to the creation of “Shadow” and a war which is supposedly led by Messmer, with no records of this war existing hence why we don’t see anything at all hinting at Messmer or this war in the base game.

The Speculations

Now from the beginning we Marika take runes out of a body, one of the theories is that the body in question could be the godskins as theorized by VaatiVidya. Due to the color and what is seen as stitching. If this proves to be true it means that we could be going back to the time the Gloam eyed queen was defeated by Maliketh but at the same time there is no guarantee we are going back in time.

Building on the theory that we are going back in time just like with FromSoftware’s other DLCs, we could also be witnessing the ErdTree in its primordial form when it was the “crucible” as stated in various item descriptions in the base game, before or at the point of the Golden Order’s birth (i.e Marika age).

A thing of note is the constant mentioning of Miquella as “Kindly Miquella”, this alludes to a sort of devotion to Miquella by the followers, surely this blind devotion would not have a gruesome ending in a FromSoft game right?

Why is This War Unrecorded?

Now the question is why did Marika want this particular war to be unknown since we know of  the other wars fought such as with the giants and the war with the Carians. We also know Marika had Godfrey to fight her wars and it seems like in the land of shadow she had Messmer fight this one.

Marika choosing to hide this war from history lends more credence to the seditious means Marika uses for her benefit. Thus the next question to be asked is what did Marika gain from this war? What power or knowledge did she want to hide from the world to the point that a war ensued and Messmer is now just locked in the Land of Shadow supposedly as the new ruler.

What We Know About Messmer

We know that Messmer is considered to be on equal footing to the other demigods in the base game and we know he is a child of Marika as he refers to her as “Mother” in the gameplay trailer, this raises questions as to how he was conceived, Should he be the first born of Marika? Is he considered to be a big brother to Miquella and Malenia who were conceived by Marika/Radagon?

The theorized answer to the last question is the 3 types of butterflies we see in the base game, a rotten butterfly symbolizing Malenia, a nascent butterfly symbolizing St. Trina (confirmed to make an appearance in the DLC) who is the alter ego of Miquella and a smoldering butterfly who now could symbolize Messmer due to his affinity with fire, along with Messmer’s red hair similar to Radagon.

We also know of Messmer’s affinity with snakes which as per the lore of the base game is considered “blasphemous” just like with Rykard. Which would make Marika a hypocrite to make it so that snakes are considered blasphemous in regards to Rykard.

What Part We Play in the DLC

The Narrator is highly likely to be one of the followers inviting us due to what she said in the gameplay trailer, “come now touch the withered arm and travel to the land of shadow, I will not be far behind”.

Now taking into account what we hear in the story trailer we are meant to work with the followers of Miquella, the characters we see from the gameplay trailer are shown standing in front of what looks to be a beacon in the shape of Miquella’s rune placed at points across the map.

Miquella as mentioned in the story trailer abandoned everything in the face of the truth, that being Marika’s tactics, war and Messmer, it seems that it’s now up to us along with the followers to find the truth ourselves with the help of the beacons by Miquella.

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