Shadow of the Erdtree Expansion Announced for Elden Ring

Players have been speculating that Elden Ring will be getting some sort of expansion down the line, and that time has come. FromSoftware has announced Shadow of the Erdtree as the upcoming DLC for Elden Ring. The news came via tweets from FromSoftware and Elden Ring’s accounts. Each tweet featured new key artwork for Shadow of the Erdtree, which you can see here.

The developers stated that the DLC is currently in development, so they won’t be able to share that many details. No release date has also been announced for now. Nevertheless, we could speculate on theories based on the few tidbits within the key artworks.

Not Surprising, But Nonetheless A Welcome Addition

The announcement of Shadow of the Erdtree didn’t necessarily surprise many, considering there’s a precedent for DLCs and expansions in the Souls games. Moreover, Elden Ring has sold over 20 million copies since its release. This news just came days after Elden Ring’s first anniversary. Since then, the game has received multiple game of the year awards, including at The Game Awards, DICE, and New York Game Awards.

The Unnamed Blonde Figure

You might have noticed the blonde figure riding the Torrent if you saw the new artwork. The land is foggy and desolate, and you can see ghostly graves littered on the ground. In the background, you can see a shriveled tree that’s been corrupted. What does this all mean?

If you’re well-versed in Elden Ring’s lore, you’ve probably got a good guess about who the blonde figure is. Ahead of the expansion’s announcement, it’s theorized that any extra content would put Miquella in the spotlight. And based on the artwork we saw, that appears to be the case.

Miquella is the twin brother of Malenia—the boss that most players love to hate. They’re both the demigod offspring of Radagon and Queen Marika; both were also born with a curse. Malenia, as you know, is afflicted with Scarlet Rot. Meanwhile, Miquella is doomed to be forever young and never grow to adulthood. In the Elden Ring’s many artworks, you can see Miquella depicted as a child with long blonde hair.

Despite never seeing Miquella in person, he’s all over the world. Miquella dedicated his life in attempted to cure Malenia’s Scarlet Rot, and he wanted to do with the Haligtree; you might have seen this location during your late-game escapades. The Haligtree is touted as a haven for anyone rejected by society. But before Miquella discovered the Haligtree, he made Unalloyed Gold, a new form of magic that we discover in the game known as the Unalloyed Gold Needle. The item allowed you to ward curses from the gods.

When Unalloyed Gold didn’t work, he grew the Haligtree. Miquella grew the tree specifically to combat the Golden Duke religion. That’s because, despite the Golden Duke’s vast influence throughout the land, the religion’s devotees couldn’t find the cure.

Why We Never Meet Miquella In the Game

Miquella used the Haligtree to become an adult and grow older, parallel to the tree. He even tried bounding himself to it by watering the tree with his blood. He intended for the Haligtree to grow into an Erdtree, but before he could complete his task, Malenia’s twin brother fell into a deep slumber.

Miquella lay in a cocoon within the Haligtree, so you’d expect to find him once you visit the place in your playthrough. Ah, but don’t forget—he was stolen away by Mohg, another demigod. Morg, the Lord of Blood, wished to become a god himself and stole the cocoon. He then morphed into blood and entered the cocoon to commune with Miquella through his dreams. If you paid attention to this part of the lore, you’d realize that Miquella isn’t dead. He’s merely sleeping in a weird lump of flesh.

 How Big is the Expansion?

So far, Elden Ring has had one other piece of DLC added to the game since launch. This came as the Colosseum multiplayer update, where players can duke it out in one giant arena. It’s not confirmed how much content Shadow of the Erdtree will include, but it’ll be the first single-player expansion available.

Besides the mysteries behind Miquella and the blonde figure, there’s also the looming tree in the distance. If we consider the expansion’s title, Shadow of the Erdtree, this would suggest that this is the Erdtree seen throughout the Lands Between. In that case, why is it corrupt? What happened to it? Hopefully, we’ll be able to find out more once FromSoftware shares a release date for the DLC.

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