Who is Miquella in Elden Ring anyway?

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree will send players on a new journey this summer to the Land of Shadow, where they will learn more about one of the game’s most mysterious demigods, Miquella of the Haligtree.

Game director Hidetaka Miyazaki says that players will track Miquella on their journey through the Land of Shadow, “tracing his path and following in his footsteps, trying to see what he’s going to do there,” similar to how players followed the light of grace in the base game. Players will also discover what compelled Queen Marika, who shattered the Elden Ring in the game’s story, to visit the Land of Shadow.

Elden Ring players who haven’t pored over the bits of lore scattered throughout the game’s dialogue and item descriptions may not know much about Miquella, and about his role in the game’s story. We’re here to tell you what you need to know so you don’t have to watch an hourlong lore video that unpacks it all.

Who is Miquella in Elden Ring?

A statue depicting Malenia and Miquella
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Miquella of the Haligtree is a demigod in the world of Elden Ring and a being known as an Empyrean. That means he is a candidate to succeed Queen Marika as the vessel for the Elden Ring.

We don’t really see Miquella in the game, but he’s the older twin brother of Malenia, the fearsome, rot-afflicted boss who resides at the base of the Haligtree. An offspring of the game’s penultimate boss, Radagon, and Marika (who are, uh, the same person), Miquella only appears in withered cocoon form in the main game’s story. As teased in Shadow of the Erdtree’s reveal trailer, Miquella’s cocoon will be the doorway to the Land of Shadow when the DLC launches.

Malenia and Miquella were both born with terrible afflictions: Malenia with rot that would consume her limbs and sight, and Miquella with eternal childhood. Statues of the brother-sister duo are scattered throughout the Haligtree, showing full-grown Malenia embracing her twin, who is stuck in the body of a young boy. Other statues show the twins at a younger age being embraced by their older sibling, Godwyn the Golden.

Malenia calls Miqeulla “the most fearsome Empyrean of all,” with the wisdom and the allure of a god. Miquella is also said to be beloved by many, and can compel the affections of others.

What’s Miquella’s relationship to Malenia? And Mohg?

Malenia touches the roots of the Haligtree near Miquella’s former gestation chamber in a screenshot from Elden Ring Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Malenia and Miquella were close. The former fought to protect her brother, earning her the name Malenia, Blade of Miquella. Miquella was similarly protective, and worked unsuccessfully to develop a remedy for Malenia’s rot affliction. One of Miquella’s inventions was an unalloyed golden needle, which players can use to undo the Flame of Frenzy. (Miquella strived to “ward away the meddling of Outer Gods,” according to the description of Miquella’s Needle; an Outer God appears to be responsible for the spread of rot, too.)

As part of his work to cure his sister and after leaving the faith known as the Golden Order, Miquella sought to create a new Erdtree, nurturing a sapling with his own blood. This endeavor would fail and produce the Haligtree, which would become a haven for the meek and afflicted. Miquella ultimately embedded himself within the Haligtree to grow it, residing in the cocoon, but he was kidnapped by Mohg, the Lord of Blood, who sought to become Miquella’s consort.

That’s why Mohg has Miquella’s cocoon in his chambers. Mohg essentially stole Miquella from his Haligtree womb, in which the Empyrean now appears to have grown older compared to his previous boylike form.

If Miquella’s stuck in that cocoon, how is he also in the Land of Shadow?

Miquella’s cocoon in Mohgwyn Dynasty Mausoleum after being activated by Mohg, a screenshot from Elden Ring
Miquella’s arm juts from his cracked cocoon in Mohg’s palace
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Miquella is said to have “divest[ed] himself of his flesh, his strength, and his lineage,” according to Shadow of the Erdtree’s official description. Miquella may not be a purely physical being in the DLC, and the Land of Shadow may not be a purely physical space; FromSoftware has a history of sending players to alternate time periods and dreamlike spaces in its expansions for games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne.

Furthermore, there’s well-supported speculation that Miquella is connected to a character named St. Trina, who is also unseen in Elden Ring. Trina is said to be a mysterious character of ambiguous gender who has close associations with sleep and dreams, according to a few in-game item descriptions. Followers of St. Trina are said to look for her while they sleep, and we know that Miquella has been slumbering for some time.

Both Trina and Miquella are also associated with nearly identical in-game items — Trina’s Lily and Miquella’s Lilly — that may connect them in still-unclear ways. However, in content that was discovered to have been cut from Elden Ring, it’s hinted that Miquella and St. Trina are actually the same person. That connection could be explained or confirmed in Shadow of the Erdtree, insofar as things ever get “explained” in FromSoftware games.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree will be released on June 20. Until then, there are plenty of deeper dives into Miquella lore to enjoy from creators like VaatiVidya, Smoughtown, and Arlun Grim if you want to be fully prepared for Elden Ring’s DLC.

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