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Malenia Blade of Miquella's Origin Story | Elden Ring

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
Just in a short time, Malenia the Severed of "Elden Ring" has become one of FromSoftware's most famous boss encounters. Today, we'll be taking a deep dive into her origin story. For this essay, we'll explore the intriguing backstory of one of FromSoftware's hardest bosses.
Transcript
Just in a short time, Malenia the Severed of "Elden Ring" has become one of FromSoftware's most famous boss encounters. Today, we'll be taking a deep dive into her origin story. For this essay, we'll explore the intriguing backstory of one of FromSoftware's hardest bosses. How many times did it take for you to beat her? Share your pain in the comments below!

Origin Story: Malenia, Blade of Miquella


To understand Malenia and, by extension, her twin brother Miquella, you first need to know about Queen Marika herself. You’ll be familiar with Marika already because Stakes of Marika, along with Sites of Lost Grace, are used as points where you can respawn. They’re handily located outside many boss arenas, saving you from having to do the boss run again, but you can’t upgrade your character with them. Still, they show the far-reaching influence of Queen Marika on the world of “Elden Ring”. Marika, like many other characters in the Lands Between, is an Empyrean; powerful beings imbued with the power of the Outer Gods.

Long before the game begins, Marika split herself into two halves, the female half Marika and the male half Radagon. It’s not exactly clear how Marika split herself in two like this, but we know that Radagon left her side for a while to initially fight, and then marry, Queen Rennala at the Acadamy of Raya Lucaria. Eventually, Radagon returned to defend Marika and they produced two children. We’d rather not think about exactly HOW they produced those children, but a pair of twins, Malenia and Miquella, were born, both cursed in different ways likely because of the unsettling circumstances of their birth.

Miquella was eternally young, able to hypothetically live forever but trapped all the while in the body of a sickly young child. Nevertheless, he was praised, most notably by Malenia, for his power, and he had a supernatural level of charisma. This meant that people were inclined to like him and serve him. Malenia, on the other hand, was blighted with the Scarlet Rot, the strange biological plague you’ll see marks of throughout the Lands Between – most notably in Caelid, which we’ll get to, though there’s also the Lake of Rot. Both Malenia and Miquella were also Empyreans like their mother.

During her youth, Malenia likely trained under the Blind Swordsman, a figure item descriptions suggest previously defeated another Rot-based deity. There isn’t much in-game evidence or information for Malenia’s training, but it’s been guessed by some hardcore “Elden Ring” fans because her trademark Waterfowl Dance attack seems to come from the nomadic, Blind Swordsman. However she trained, she eventually rose to become the greatest combatant and swordfighter in the entirety of the Lands Between, a terrifying and nigh-undefeatable figure. This is despite the fact she has three missing limbs: her right arm, entire left leg, and right leg up to the knee, replaced by advanced prosthetics. These prosthetics are made of unalloyed gold, a majorly important material in the world, but particularly for Malenia.

The unalloyed gold was made by Miquella after it became clear that the Golden Order wasn’t actually able to do anything to cure Malenia’s progressing Scarlet Rot. There’s no concrete confirmation, but it’s highly likely that Malenia’s missing limbs were a result of the Scarlet Rot slowly consuming her from birth. The unalloyed gold was a way for Miquella to prevent the meddling of the Outer Gods, the same Outer Gods who use both of the twins as vessels for their power. This, in turn, prevented Malenia’s Scarlet Rot from killing her and is the reason her prosthetics are made of unalloyed gold.


Meanwhile, Miquella was also working on creating the Haligtree, an alternate tree to the Erdtree that wasn’t controlled by the Golden Order and the Elden Ring. He watered the Haligtree’s sapling with his own blood, forever making him one with the tree. Though he was away from the tree for a while and it began to wither, he eventually returned and sealed himself away in a cocoon at the base.

When the Elden Ring was shattered, both Malenia and Miquella gained a piece of it, but so did other descendants of Radagon and Marika – like Radahn. Radahn was the offspring of Radagon and Queen Rennala, making him Malenia and Miquella’s half-brother. He was also a formidable, monstrous warlord, who went to battle against Malenia following the Shattering of the Elden Ring. During the battle, Malenia came extremely close to being defeated and used her last resort: her Scarlet Aeonia, a magical ability she was able to use thanks to the Scarlet Rot within her.

The Scarlet Aeonia was a massive, blossoming flower that was so destructive it ruined Caelid, defeated Radahn’s army, and left him a beastly, mindless husk of his former self. Malenia and her Scarlet Aeonia are the reason Caelid is the way it is, and the strange creatures you’ll find there were made by the spread of the Scarlet Rot. These creatures view Malenia as a god, though in the lore, she won’t become a god until her Scarlet Aeonia has blossomed three times. They also believe she has abandoned them which, in a way, is true.

Because of Malenia’s power and combat prowess, she inspired many devotees during her lifetime, including the Cleanrot Knights who pledged themselves into her service. After defeating Radahn, Malenia was still gravely wounded, and a Cleanrot Knight arrived to carry her back to the Haligtree and her brother Miquella. Believing Miquella to still be cocooned at the base of the tree, Malenia decided to wait there until he awoke. Unfortunately, while she was battling Radahn, Miquella was actually cut from the Haligtree’s roots by Mohg, Lord of Blood. If you’re rushing through “Elden Ring” you could miss the boss fight against Mohg and also the discovery of Miquella’s cocoon. Mohg has been trying to wake Miquella from his hibernation to no avail, only to be defeated by the Tarnished. This is all unbeknownst to Malenia, who still believes Miquella is in the Haligtree by the time the Tarnished finally comes across her.

Finally, we reach the end of her life and the boss fight. On the way to the boss arena you’ll come across another of Malenia’s Scarlet Aeonias in a hallway, implying that she has blossomed once again to defend the Haligtree at some point. This means she’s only got to use it one more time to finally ascend to godhood, and wouldn’t you know it, she’s going to use it against YOU when you’re fighting her. She uses the Scarlet Aeonia to herald the second phase of the fight, finally becoming the Goddess of Rot. This also grants her even more fast, damaging attacks than she was using already. But if you’re good enough, you can do what Radahn never could: finally defeat Malenia. Interestingly, as Malenia is technically optional and so is Mohg, if you’re boss rushing the game you could miss some of the deepest, most interesting lore, as well as arguably FromSoftware’s greatest-ever boss battle.

And that was the complete origin story of Malenia the Severed, Blade of Miquella.
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