Elden Ring’s DLC Story Trailer Reveals the Birth of the Erdtree

In Short
  • The Elden Ring DLC story trailer revealed the backstory of the creation of Erdtree.
  • The trailer also showed Messmer waging war on cities, impaling those with omen horns.
  • In the DLC, players will have to enter the Realm of Shadows alongside Miquella's other followers to end Messmer's tyranny.

Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, is the talk of the town with the release date inching closer each day. A month before the release, FromSoftware has released a story trailer with just a two-hour notification for everyone to assemble, and we did assemble. The Elden Ring DLC’s story trailer was as cryptic and awesome as every other FromSoftware trailer in recent times. So, here, we have tried to dissect and make sense of every second of the trailer to piece together the backstory of the Elden Ring DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree.

1. Birth of the Erdtree and Messmer

Radagon Creating the Erdtree
Image Courtesy: Elden Ring DLC Trailer

The start of the trailer shows a person with long golden hair, wearing golden bangles, pulling something golden out of a body, and holding it up in front of two massive piles of dead bodies.

Miquella the Kind spoke of the Beginning. The Seduction and the Betrayal. An affair from which Gold arose. And so too was Shadow born.

The person with the golden hair appears to be Queen Marika, who features the exact look and wears the same bangles. However, the figure of the person appears to be masculine, which makes me believe it was Radagon and not Marika before his hair turned red.

Radagon or Marika Pulling Something Golden from a dead womb
Image Courtesy: Elden Ring DLC Trailer

If the person was indeed Radagon, the monologue “The seduction and betrayal, an affair from which the Gold arose” may point towards Radagon having an affair with the person (dead body at the beginning). After betraying her, he probably killed both her and their child, he used the golden grace from her womb (or the child) to create the Erdtree.

Next, we see the two massive piles of dead bodies, with either side showing a dark cloudy sky, while the space in between shows a golden sky, almost as if it was a portal to another world.

Creation of the ErdtreeEntry to Erdtree in Elden Ring
Similarities between the pile of bodies and base of the Erdtree

Furthermore, it looks very similar to the base of the Erdtree, which players have to enter to fight Radagon and the Elden Beast.

This spurs a theory that the Erdtree was created by those piled dead bodies as a base, a form of sacrifice. Finally, during the creation of the Erdtree, signified as Gold, Shadow was born too. Here, “Shadow” likely signifies the birth of Messmer or the Realm of Shadows; or both. If it does signify Messmer, it will make him the first demigod and child of Marika (or Radagon).

2. The Purging War to Grow the Erdtree

Mesmer Burning the Lion Enemy
Image Courtesy: Elden Ring DLC Trailer

The next part of the trailer shows a massive war between Messmer’s army in an unfamiliar city. Messmer and his army burned the entire city to the ground, impaling the citizens. A half-grown tree loomed above the city and appeared to be slowly absorbing the destruction.

What followed was a war unseen. One that could never be put to song. A purge without Grace or honor. The tyranny of Messmer’s flame.

Here the enemies Messmer is fighting have the Omen horns, including the Lion enemy we saw during the first DLC trailer. The omen horns are aspects of the Crucible, which was considered divine before the birth of the Erdtree.

Mesmer Impaling the Omens
Image Courtesy: Elden Ring DLC Trailer

However, during Marika’s Golden age, the Golden Order dubbed it as signs of devolution and those that harbor them as abominations. The war led by Messmer appears to establish Marika’s control over the Lands Between and be a feeding source for the Erdtree’s growth.

3. Miquella Sacrifice to Aid the Realm of the Shadows

Miquella Sacrificing his body
Image Courtesy: Elden Ring DLC Trailer

The final part of the trailer shows a golden sign appearing at different parts of the Lands Between and mentions Miquella’s sacrifice. Next, the trailer shows a group of warriors kneeling before one of the signs and asking us, the tarnished, whether we will walk with them or not.

And so Kindly Miquella would abandon everything. His Golden flesh, his blinding Strength, even his Fate. But we are not deterred. We choose to follow. Will you walk with us?

Here, the golden signs appear to be a sign from Miquella to guide her champions against Messmer’s tyranny. From the monologue, it appears that Miquella sacrificed himself to open a gate to the Realm of Shadows.

These signs can also be a portal connected to Miquella’s body in the Mohg’s palace, to enter and exit the Realm of Shadows.

Miquella's Followers
Image Courtesy: Elden Ring DLC Trailer

But why would Miquella sacrifice himself to defeat Messmer? It can be due to his love for Mohg and Morgott, who both were born as Omens and left shackled beneath the earth by Marika and the Golden Order. It is also possible that the Realm of Shadows, where Messmer clearly resides, is responsible for the survival of the Erdtree, and the war we saw in the trailer was fought there.

Trying to Make Sense of Everything

If we put together all the aspects, we come to a theory that the creation of Erdtree stemmed from a massive sacrifice of dead bodies as the base. Moreover, it is possible that the Realm of the Shadows, ruled by Messmer, is either feeding the Erdtree with the blood of Omens or simply keeping the people subjugated there. We can also deduce that Miquella sacrificed himself to open the path to the Realm of the Shadows.

So, in a nutshell, the Tarnished will heed the call of Miquella, alongside her other followers, to enter the Realm of Shadows and overthrow the tyranny of Mesmer. A big part of this article is based on guesses and my understanding of the lore, with the help of lore dive videos from VaatiVidya, so it is possible that I might be wrong in some of the drawn conclusions.

So, I request all of you to use the comment section to share your ideas and theories about the Elden Ring DLC story trailer, and don’t shy away pointing out any mistake I make here.

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