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With Shadow of the Erdtree's release, Elden Ring lore hounds are bummed out about one mysterious figure's absence

Saying that, maybe certain lore content creators will find something and make us all look silly.

Godskin Duo in Elden Ring
Image credit: From Software

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is firmly out in the wild, and with its release the lore hounds have been running wild and scavenging for any and all breadcrumbs that could help expand and clarify the murky waters of Elden Ring's story. WHile the DLC does answer a bunch of open questions, there's one character who has remain a bit of a mystery.

There are light spoilers for Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree, and its bosses below.

This character in question is the mysterious Gloam-Eyed Queen! She's the figure that created the Black Flame incantations, and is responsible for the various Godskin bosses you can find all over The Lands Between. She's also likely got a link to the Windmill Village up in the Altus Plateau. But, in the base game, who this figure actually was and her ultimate fate remains vague.

We find her sword at the bottom of the Divine Tower of Caelid, which tells us that she was defeated by Marika's top dog Maliketh, and that it's this sword that allows the channeling of Black Flame. Defeated doesn't necessarily mean dead, and we know precious little about the Gloam-Eyed Queen apart from this. A portion of the playerbase believe her to be Melina, while others think she's a totally seperate character altogether. We just don't know!

Enter the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, and spoiler, but she's not here as far as we know. The area south of the map - which would border the Divine Tower's location prior to Marika veiling it - is lacking any additional clues as to her identity. It would seem, with no additional information, that she may be in fact super duper dead. A bit of background fluff to enrichen the overarching worldbuilding of Elden Ring.

This theory was already believed by a significant portion of the community. The reason stems from the Sacred Relic Sword - a special weapon you can craft with Marika's soul after defeating the final boss. This sword has a spiral blade pattern, and as the Gloam-Eyed Queen's sword has a similar blade pattern (with it's end spiraling outwards rather than curve in to a sharp point), perhaps her soul is in the sword. This would help explain why current Black Flame incantations are sourced from it.

However, while the Queen isn't present in the flesh, there may be background hints as to her identity. Big ol' Shadow of the Erdtree spoilers incoming. The new zones in the game are lathered in spiral archetecture, artwork, and indeed spells from specific enemies. Much of this can be found in and around Enir Ilim, a huge ancient structure that spirals upwards towards the heavens. It is here that Marika ascended to godhood, and afterwards sent Messmer to burn everyone not touched by grace who were native to the Land of Shadow. This includes the Hornsent, the primary denizens of the land and Enir Ilim.

You see, one of the more peculiar questions surrounding the Gloam-Eyed Queen is why she had a thing for killing and skinning nobles, and why she wanted to slay the Gods in the first place. Sure, a battle for God-like power is reason enough for duking it out, but the actions of her Godskin Apostles portrays a vivid hatred for those aligned with Marika. If we position the Gloam-Eyed Queen as a denizen of the Lands of Shadow, her motivations become a bit easier to understand.

We know from item descriptions in Shadow of the Erdtree that all death washes up there eventually - we see phantom gravestones all over the gaff. It's from death that Black Flame sources its power, which is why it's weaker at the time we Tarnished start rushing around, because Marika sealed the rune of death. It's not out of the question that someone from this land, with its giant coffin boats and flocks of Gravebirds, would be able to channel such a power. Also note that Ghostflame Bloom - flowers found solely in the southern Hidden Grave of Charo area of the DLC - "burns without so much as a sound".

And finally, take this with a grain of salt, but dataminers have discovered that a DLC boss called the Putrescent Knight, is called the Knight of the Gloam-Eyed Queen. Now, this has been changed in the full-game to align the boss more with St Trina, but nonetheless there's a real link here.

What's ultimately frustrating some lore-hungry folks is that we're this close to concrete connections. One item, one discovery, could snap the pieces together like a beautiful jigsaw puzzle. But, without this link it's all left to speculation. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - this space for imagination can often be a boon to a game's mystique - but the crowd wants answers.

Until some of the community's best and brightest pull all the facts together, we just don't know for sure. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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