One of the most enjoyable aspects of Elden Ring is the character diversity and interconnected storyline. There is deep lore that is nothing short of a masterpiece and little secrets that keep players entertained throughout the 100+ hours of Elden Ring gameplay.
There are often mysteries surrounding characters that are hinted at but never quite made explicit. We will be tackling one such mystery today: Is Gurranq Maliketh?
Yes, Gurranq is indeed Maliketh. There is abundant evidence to back this up and Gurranq being Maliketh sums up the entire plot of wanting to consume death and cursing Marika. Maliketh is the past/future version of Gurranq, the Beast Clergyman. Our encounter against him takes place in Crumbling Farum Azula: an area which exists outside the confines of time and space, which would explain Gurranq and Maliketh’s parallel existence.
Meanwhile, Gurranq is the past/future version of Maliketh who is being punished by Marika for not protecting the death rune properly. This is why he craves Deathroot despite it having negative effects on him. He lives a life of regret for what happened with the death rune and seeks to make things right by suffering till the very end.
Confused? Don’t worry. Keep reading to find out more on how we were able to reach this conclusion. Even if the interpretation above sounds like gibberish, you will have ample knowledge to understand this interesting lore snipped by the end of this article. Without further ado, let us answer the question that is on every player’s mind: Is Gurranq Maliketh?
Are Gurranq and Maliketh The Same?
Before we can even dive into making tall claims and backing them up, we need to go all the way to the back and understand some fundamental lore concepts for all of this to make sense. Stay with us, now, this is interesting!
Gurranq, Beast Clergyman
Gurranq, the Beast Clergyman is an NPC in Elden Ring. He seems to possess several bestial qualities and is a large hunched fellow with an insatiable craving for Deathroot.
To find Gurranq, Beast Clergyman, players should go to Summonwater Village and defeat the Tibia Mariner boss there, then return to D at the Roundtable Hold to continue his quest. He will give you directions to go to the Bestial Sanctum in Caelid. You can teleport there without having to explore by using the waygate in East Limgrave.
Maliketh, the Black Blade
Maliketh, the Black Blade is a mandatory Legend boss in Elden Ring. Maliketh is located in Cumbling Farum Azula. The closest Site of Grace to him is Beside the Great Bridge.
In the first half of the fight, he is hooded and his name appears to be Beast Clergyman (wink wink) and once you whittle down enough of his HP, he reveals his true form, Maliketh, the Black Blade.
Maliketh is also in possession of Destined Death (more on this below).
Important Lore and Background
Here are some things about the lore you must know to understand the connection between Gurranq and Maliketh. This might seem off-topic but it is necessary if you intend to grasp the present time events in Elden Ring.
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Queen Marika the Eternal
Queen Marika the Eternal is the all-powerful ruler of The Lands Between. Queen Marika the Eternal is also the vessel for the Elden Ring. Her offspring possess demigod stature and are bearers of Great Runes.
Her male half is Radagon of the Golden Order and Maliketh is a Shadow gifted to her. She is very important to Elden Ring’s storyline and this connection between Gurranq and Maliketh as well.
Queen Marika the Eternal and Maliketh, the Black Blade
As we mentioned above, Queen Marika achieved godhood and became a vessel for the Elden Ring. As such, she was gifted a Shadow: Maliketh, the Black Blade. It is stated that Maliketh was Queen Marika’s half-brother in Elden Ring.
The nature of their relationship is somewhat of a mystery. Were they actually siblings or did the intricacies of their relationship earn them that title? Marika also bestowed the responsibility of guiding the death rune upon her Shadow, Maliketh.
Destined Death, according to Enia the Finger Reader, is another name for the Death Rune. Throughout Elden Ring, we hear Melina talk about restoring balance to the world. What that means is letting people die properly.
Now, that seems grim but it is a blessing. Marika the Eternal Queen did not want the cold hands of death to touch her kingdom, so she removed the Death Rune and gave it to Maliketh to protect. What this did was grant immortality to her and her kingdom. Everything was fine… until part of the Death Rune went missing.
The Night of Black Knives
The Night of Black Knives is an event that lives in infamy in the world of Elden Ring. It is perhaps the second-most important event in the history of the game. It is the predecessor of The Shattering: an event which put The Lands Between in the state that they are in during the game’s present time.
The Night of The Black Knives is the first incident of a god being killed.
A group of assassins known only as the Black Knife assassins were sent to kill Godwyn, Marika’s first-born son. The knives contained a part of the Death Rune which is why Godwyn’s soul could be killed.
Ranni, during her questline, explicitly admits to being the mastermind behind the Night of Black Knives. She stole part of the Death Rune and forged knives/daggers with them, which is what the Black Knife assassins used to kill Godwyn’s soul. At the same time, Ranni died but only in body.
For one to truly die, both the soul and body need to die. Godwyn was not truly dead, and Ranni shifted her soul into a doll as we see in the game. Her motives for this stunt could be to overthrow the current rule and usher into an age of stars (as indicated by the ending of the same name).
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The Shattering: Aftermath of The Night of Black Knives
The aftermath of Ranni’s hopeful stunt is the most important part of Elden Ring’s history. Marika, having suffered the death of her first-born son Godwyn, flew off her rocker and that led to The Shattering. Marika shattered the Elden Ring which brought forth a war and destruction to The Lands Between.
Due to Ranni’s involvement, Destined Death was introduced to the world that was supposed to be immortal. Upon the shattering of the Elden Ring, the Greater Will’s power was greatly diminished and it left The Lands Between, imprisoning Marika and her male half, Radagon, in the Erdtree to become one.
The Shattering brought forth much destruction as the demigods waged war and battled one another to acquire pieces of the Elden Ring for their own greedy purposes. Marika was still kept alive as a vessel for the Elden Ring since Ranni, the last empyrean flesh, had forsaken her body in the ritual and transferred her soul into a doll.
Gurranq and Maliketh
How does all of that history relate to Gurranq and Maliketh? Let’s take a closer look:
Marika punished and cursed her Shadow for being so careless with the Death Rune. It was entrusted to Maliketh to safeguard to ensure immortality prevailed in the lands, but instead everything turned into a nightmare when the people learned that gods could be slain.
Due to this, Maliketh, the Black Blade and Marika’s half-brother was cursed to live a life of misery to account for his mistakes. This is the first hint we have towards the shared identity of Gurranq and Maliketh.
Deathroot is a key item in Elden Ring that is given to the Beast Clergyman Gurranq, who seems to have an unquenchable thirst for it. This makes sense if we look at the officnial Deathroot description, which reads:
A source that gives rise to Those Who Live in Death.
The beast clergyman, found at Bestial Sanctum in the distant east, collects and devours these roots.
On the night of the dire plot the stolen Rune of Death enabled the first Death of a demigod. Later, the Rune of Death spread across the Lands Between through the underground roots of the Greattree, sprouting in the form of Deathroot.
The description insinuates that Deathroot is important for those who Live in Death. This could mean that not consuming Deathroot would make Gurranq meet a similar fate as Marika and become part of the Erdtree.
That is why he asks the Tarnished to bring him Deathroot, even becoming hostile after the fourth offering due to the power it has over him. This definitely links Gurranq, the Beast Clergyman to Maliketh, who was cursed for bringing Destined Death into the world.
It seems like too big a coincidence that Gurranq and Maliketh are the only two Beast Clergymen in the entire game. While Maliketh does reveal his true form later in the boss fight, we first face off against him as the Beast Clergyman.
Moreover, Gurranq in the Bestial Sanctum has something scarlet on his left hand, which is reminiscent of the Destined Death that we see Maliketh bring forth in the second half of the fight. This little tidbit hits towards the fact that Gurranq was in possession of the Death Rune.
Crumbling Farum Azula
This has to be one of the trippiest and most interesting areas in the entire game. Crumbling Farum Azula is a short area that seems to exist outside the confines of space and time that the rest of The Lands Between are shackled to.
Crumbling Farum Azula is a seemingly vast dungeon with floating rocks and dilapidated colosseums. This maze-like area has dragons and bestial enemies to face off against. Here is how to get there:
Once you commit to “the cardinal sin” by talking to Melina from the Site of Grace found at the Forge of the Giants, your character falls asleep during a cinematic and then wakes up in Crumbling Farum Azula. Alternatively, if you’ve interacted with the Three Fingers, Melina does not help you get there.
Instead, while resting at the Forge of the Giants Site of Grace, select the ‘Listen to the sound of the flames’ option and a different cutscene will play, but take to you to the same spot in Crumbling Farum Azula.
The space-time theory is further solidified with our encounter against a dragon boss: Dragonlord Placidusax. During the fight, Crumbling Farum Azula becomes… Farum Azula as we are taken back in time to when everything was intact. His description reads:
The Dragonlord whose seat lies at the heart of the storm beyond time is said to have been Elden Lord in the age before the Erdtree. Once his god was fled, the lord continued to await its return.
Moreover, the lore suggests that dragons were the old rulers of The Lands Between and enjoyed their thrones as Elden Lords.
Therefore, it would not be a stretch in this time-distorted area that Maliketh and Gurranq, Beast Clergyman can exist in parallel timelines/.dimensions as they older/younger versions of one another. It is more likely that Crumbling Farum Azula exists in the past but the facts are too cloudy to determine for sure.
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There are several instances during the boss battle with Maliketh and Gurranq’s questline where they both show traces of one another in their words and behavior. If you successfully give nine Deathroot to Gurranq, the Beast Clergyman before fighting Maliketh, he will disappear as scripted. However, once you face Maliketh, he will seemingly recognize you and question your intrusive and shocking action of coming to fight him. His exact words are:
“Tarnished… why wouldst thou… why…”
Moreover, upon killing Maliketh after having given all nine Deathroot to Gurranq, he says:
“Forgive me, Marika… the Golden Order… cannot be restorned.”
This hints towards Maliketh failing in his mission to protect the Death Rune that he swore to guard with his life. Another interesting thing to note is that if you kill Gurranq without offering him the Deathroot, he utters the following words:
“Marika… why wouldst thou… gull me? Why… shatter…”
Gurranq refers to Marika by name and claims that she had taken advantage of him and betrayed his trust by what we assume is a reference to The Shattering. Destruction and chaos ensued and these facts are impossible to know unless Maliketh and Gurranq, the Beast Clergyman were the same person.
As a fnal piece of evidence, there is a Gargoyle guarding the front of the Bestial Sanctum where Gurranq is located. Upon killing the largew Gargoyle, it drops the Gargoyle’s Blackblade weapon. The official description reads:
Bronze greatsword wielded by Valiant Gargoyle mended with blackened corpse wax. Deals holy damage.
Such is the mark of those who serve Maliketh, the Black Blade.
The description clearly states that the weapon wielded by the Gargoyle was one wileded by the protectors of Maliketh, the Black Blade.
It seems like too big a coincidence for the Gargoyle to be placed in front of the Bestial Sanctum of all places; unless of course it was guarding its master, Maliketh, who now resided in his worn-out body known as Gurranq, the Beast Clergyman.
After taking a close look at all of the given facts, it is easy to arrive to the conclusion that Maliketh, the Black Blade and Gurranq, Beast Clergyman are in fact, one and the same.
If we track Elden Ring’s history all the way to the start of these events, it makes sense how Maliketh could have ended up in such a bad state. The similarities between the two characters and the lore lore checks out.
Therefore, it is safe to say that Gurranq is Maliketh.
This has been our guide on whether Gurranq and Maliketh are the same character in Elden Ring. We tried to be as mindblowing and interesting as possible and we sincerely hope that our guide helped you in clearing any confusion and made the game a bit more mesmerizing for you.
If this guide helped, be sure to leave a comment below and let us know what lore articles we should do next. Have a great time immersing yourself in this phenomenal game. Good luck, Tarnished!