Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC: Who Is Miquella?

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Recently, the official Elden Ring Twitter page announced what we’d all been hoping for: DLC for the 2022 Game of the Year. An Elden Ring expansion, titled Shadow of the Erdtree, is currently in development and will be released at an unspecified date. Fans have wasted no time concocting theories, though one of them certainly feels more substantial than the rest.

The only real Shadow of the Erdtree info we have to go on is the teaser image you see a snippet of above which prominently features what appears to be the Erdtree (albeit sickly, twisted, and also dripping what might be dust). Maybe the DLC’s title is surprisingly literal, and those are actual shadows are falling off the Erdtree.

However, it’s the figure with long, golden hair in the picture’s foreground that has everyone’s attention. This person is clearly riding a spirit steed that looks like Torrent, but that little tidbit is nowhere near as important as the rider’s rumored identity. At the moment, the prevailing theory is that this mysterious person is none other than Miquella. Depending on where you went in Elden Ring, who you fought, and what you looted, you might have anywhere between a little to no idea of who that is or why their rumored presence is so significant. So, it’s time for a quick refresher.

Miquella is a secondary character that is usually only mentioned in Elden Ring conversations and item descriptions. He is the twin brother of Malenia and is probably the most influential force in the game that players never get to actually meet or fight in the base campaign (aside from Godwyn, that is).

In Elden Ring, Miquella is one of the game’s few Empyreans (people with the potential to become gods). The only other Empyreans in Elden Ring (for now) are Queen Marika, Ranni, Malenia, and the yet-unnamed Gloam-Eyed Queen. For whatever reason, Miquella also had the power to make others love him, and he used that power to his own ends. Although, we don’t know if he used it for good or evil.

Despite Miquella’s status as an Empyrean, and his ability to mentally overwrite people’s opinions about him, he carried some pretty heavy burdens. First and foremost, he was cursed with eternal youth, which isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially since his sister Malenia is arguably the most powerful demigod in Elden Ring. Speaking of Malenia, she was Miquella’s other burden because, for all her strengths, her body was ravaged by Scarlet Rot. Not only did this supernatural disease eat away her body, forcing her to use a prosthetic arm and leg, but during her fight with Radahn in the game’s opening credits, Malenia turns her Scarlet Rot into a bomb that devastates Caelid. Miquella struggled to find solutions for both of those problems.

Anyone who beats Malenia (if you did, serious congrats are in order) will acquire, among other things, the Unalloyed Gold Needle. When given to Millicent, it turns into Miquella’s Needle. This item was part of Miquella’s first attempt to cure Malenia of the Scarlet Rot, although it didn’t work. On the bright side, though, the item’s description does confirm that Scarlet Rot is the product of an outer god. Miquella’s second attempt to solve his burdens involved the Haligtree, which he hoped would lift his curse of eternal youth. That attempt also failed, but possibly only because Mohg kidnapped Miquella before he was done growing the tree.

As of the time of this article, you can currently “find” Miquella in Mohgwyn Palace, underneath Caelid. He’s the big arm in the cocoon that Mohg talks to before attacking the player. Apparently, Mohg believed they could cure Miquella and turn him into a god by sharing blood with him. However, Mohg’s plan failed (which was probably for the best).

If the rumors are true, then we might finally get to meet Miquella when FromSoftware releases the new Elden Ring DLC. But will we get to interact with Miquella because he finally escaped from his cocoon, or because we will go back in time and meet Miquella before he is cocooned? While we’re on the subject, is that really Miquella in the first place, or are eagle-eyed fans being trolled by the game’s typically playful developers? We will just have to wait and see.

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