Elden Ring, much like its predecessors, is jam-packed with meaningful lore, fantastical characters, and a fleshed-out world that encourages exploration. There are many instances where what's presented in the world left us awestruck by its gorgeous environments, and the same can be said about the game's overarching story.
While Elden Ring doesn't go out of its way to throw the story in your face, the way FromSoftware presents it is much more straightforward than their previous titles. However, even with most of the game's story beats being more streamlined, they still found fascinating ways to stun us with incredible twists and turns that had us on the edge of our seats.
7 Three Fingers
In the early goings of Elden Ring, you are introduced to the Enia and the Two Fingers and learn about how the Two Fingers look to keep order in the Lands Between. However, if you poke around the world, you can find a much more sinister entity, Three Fingers, which wants to burn everything to the ground, usher you in as the Lord of Chaos in an attempt to unite everyone and everything.
However, the most surprising piece of information that comes from following this path is how the Frenzied Flame came to be in the first place. According to several item descriptions, the Merchants were once part of a thriving clan known as the Great Caravan but were cast underground and buried alive due to what was viewed as heretical beliefs. As a result, the Merchants summoned the Flame of Frenzy by chanting the Curse of Despair, freeing their group from the control of the Golden Order.
6 The Great Tree
One of the biggest revelations in Elden Ring is whenever you learn that the Erdtree isn't the first tree that towered over the Lands Between but, instead, a symbiote that usurped power away from The Great Tree.
Upon reading the description of several Crucible items, you will also learn that The Great Tree and the Crucible represents an era of demihumans and the age before the Erdtree. However, what's still up for debate is if The Great Tree once initially held the Elden Ring before the Greater Will sent the Elden Beast into the Lands Between to steal power, becoming the embodiment of the Elden Ring.
5 Ranni's Great Rune
When going to the Roundtable Hold, you will be able to ask Gideon Ofnir questions about several of the game's NPCs, with "Unlocated Demigods" being one of the topics. When posed with this question, Gideon responds with an interesting line about how it's believed that Ranni the Witch cast her Great Rune aside, making the Hold focus on the three other Shardbearers they know about in the Lands Between.
Interestingly enough, even when completing Ranni's questline, you don't get any more information about Ranni's Great Rune or its whereabouts. Though, if you look up at the giant, looming moon that hangs over the Lands Between, you can see what appears to be a Great Rune etched into the face of it. Whether that's her Great Rune or not -or if it's even a Great Rune at all- is still up for debate, but all signs are pointing to that being the place Ranni cast her Great Rune to, which makes her ending make a bit more sense.
4 Volcano Manor
The Volcano Manor is one of the most unique areas in Elden Ring and is home to several of our favorite moments in the game. The first moment is optional as there are many ways to reach the Manor, but getting teleported by an Abductor Virgin at Raya Lucaria Academy is genuinely one of the most shocking moments.
An even more shocking moment is whenever you're invited to speak with the Lord of the Manor, Rykard. Up to this point, you've heard quite a bit about Rykard, but nothing prepares you for the abomination that is an enormous Elder Serpent with a man's face protruding from it. Rykard's design is grotesque, making it hard to believe he's Ranni's brother, which is another surprising tidbit you learn about this vile man that morphed with the Elder Serpent of Mt. Gelmir.
3 Dark Moon Greatsword
Before Elden Ring's launch, Ranni the Witch was revealed in a trailer, causing fans to start simping for her immediately, hoping that FromSoftware doesn't make her the villain of the story or some side character that doesn't serve a prominent role in the story. However, in a rare instance, FromSoft gave the fans precisely what they wanted with Ranni.
Not only is Ranni one of the most crucial characters in Elden Ring's story, but if you carry out her questline, you will become her consort and will help her usher in the Age of Stars. Furthermore, after placing the Dark Moon Ring on Ranni's finger, you will receive the Dark Moon Greatsword, a weapon of enormous significance in Miyazaki's Soulsborne titles. Also, the item's description reads: "A Moon Greatsword, bestowed by a Carian queen upon her spouse to honor long-standing tradition." You can't get more official than that.
2 Maliketh, The Black Blade
Throughout your journey, you will hear whispers about Maliketh, the feared shadow of Queen Marika that was locked away and ordered to protect "Destined Death." Almost everyone in the Lands Between greatly fears Maliketh due to his raw strength and ability to kill the demigods permanently.
What makes your encounter with Maliketh surprising is the first half of the battle is against the Beast Clergyman, Gurranq, which you more than likely met pretty early in your adventure. However, after dwindling his health down to roughly 50 percent, he reveals his true identity as Maliketh and becomes severely more challenging.
1 Burning Of The Erdtree
From the moment you venture out into the open, vast lands of the Lands Between, you will see the enormous, illuminated Erdtree towering over you wherever you go, giving off a sense of warmth and safety. Unfortunately, to finish the game, you will have to set fire to the Erdtree upon defeating Maliketh, the Black Blade.
Setting fire to this monumental glowing tree is a sight to behold and genuinely one of the best moments in the game. Furthermore, seeing it burn throughout the rest of your playthrough is oddly beautiful and showcases expertly just how much you have achieved throughout your journey. Whether the Erdtree burning is something to be cheered or mourned is up to you, as it's still unclear what it actually is at this point, but that doesn't make this moment any less shocking or epic.
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