Elden Ring’s immersive world is built on intricate and multi-layered lore. While the ongoing overarching storyline alone is enough to keep you hooked, diving into the lore of Elden Ring is a wonderful treat.
The history of The Lands Between is masterfully concealed in item descriptions, subtle dialogue cues, and NPC questlines. The most important event in Elden Ring’s lore is the shattering of the Elden Ring by the hands of Queen Marika the Eternal. That raises the question: why did Marika shatter the Elden Ring?
The Elden Ring was shattered by Queen Marika the Eternal. The event itself is referred to as The Shattering. The Shattering was a direct consequence of the Night of Black Knives when a group of Black Knife Assassins killed Godwyn, Marika’s first-born son. Marika was devastated and flew off her rocker at the loss of her son, which led to her shattering the Elden Ring and wreaking havoc. All hell broke loose and chaos ensued. The Shattering is the cause of the dilapidated state of The Lands Between in present game time.
But… how could a god die? What happened? We bet you are curious to learn more about the single most important event in the history of Elden Ring’s world. Keep reading to find out more as we answer all of your questions and tell you an epic tale you did not realize you needed to hear.
Without further ado, let us answer the question on your mind: why did Marika shatter the Elden Ring?
Reason For the Elden Ring’s Shattering
Here we will be discussing everything you need to know to catch up on Elden Ring’s lore regarding the Shattering. It was a truly brutal and downright barbaric series of events, and the aftermath was just as bloody. Let us look at why it happened.
The Elden Ring
Despite the name, the Elden Ring is not a physical ring. In actuality, it is a culmination of various powers that control and govern life in the Lands Between. These powers are stored in the form of Great Runes spread throughout the world. Whoever has control over the Great Runes is said to be in possession of the Elden Ring.
The Elden Ring itself was given to the Lands Between by an outer god, known as the Greater Will. The Greater Will is bound by the confines of space and time and cannot come to the Lands itself, so it entrusted the Elden Ring to Queen Marika the Eternal.
The Elden Ring is the balance, peace, and harmony of the Lands Between itself. One can imagine the dire consequences of disturbing that peace.
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.
She is very important to Elden Ring’s storyline and lore. The Greater Will entrusted the Elden Ring in her possession so she could continue to rule the Lands Between by attaining godhood.
One might hear Enia the Finger Reader speak of Destined Death. This is simply another name for the Death Rune. It is one of the great runes and governs mortality and life in Elden Ring.
Queen Marika had an idealized vision of her world, so she decided to remove death from the equation. She removed the Death Rune from the world and gave it to her Shadow and half-brother, Maliketh of the Black Blade.
Maliketh was given the responsibility of guarding the Death Rune so Queen Marika could enjoy a rule of immorality in a world that existed without the concept of death.
This was clearly not the right choice, given how our main job in the game according to Melina is to bring Death back to the Lands Between so people can escape the insanity and die when the time comes. Everything was fine, until the Night of Black Knives.
The Night of Black Knives
This is one of the most important elements of Elden Ring’s rudimentary lore, second only to The Shattering itself. The Night of Black Knives was a violent murder taking place on a foggy winter night. The event lives in infamy in the world of Elden Ring and for good reason. The Night of Black Knives is the first incident of a god being slain.
A group of assassins known only as the Black Knife assassins was 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. Otherwise, death would have been impossible.
Cause and Motive
We, later on, learn that it was Ranni the Witch who planned the whole assassination. She explicitly speaks of her involvement in The Night of Black Knives during her quest in the game.
She stole a part of the Death Rune which had been entrusted to Maliketh and forged daggers out of them which were now potentially able to inflict Destined Death upon someone. This was how Godwyn’s soul was killed by the Black Knife assassins.
We come to know that Ranni performed a ritual where Godwyn’s soul died and simultaneously, her body died. She transferred her soul to a doll, which is how we interact with her in the game.
Her reasons for doing this are open for interpretation, but it could be that she saw the wrong in Marika’s judgment and wanted to overthrow the rule to usher into an age of stars, as indicated by the ending of the same name.
Marika Shatters the Elden Ring
It was Marika’s state of grief and shock that led to the Elden Ring being shattered. She was heartbroken after losing her first-born son, Godwyn. She flew off her rocker and lost it. Moreover, anxiety seeped in of the people knowing that the seemingly almighty gods could be slain.
All of this led to Marika shattering the Elden Ring. She was furious and miserable due to Godwyn’s death and that seemed to hinder her rational thinking. This was the final straw… the Lands Between would never be the same.
Also Read: Best AoE Spells in Elden Ring
While the Shattering is the event of the shattering of the Elden Ring, there is a war that followed more commonly referred to as The Shattering. It was the aftermath of Marika letting her emotions get in the way of her judgment. All hell broke loose and all order crumbled in the Lands Between.
Marika and Radagon (her male half) were punished for their betrayal and war broke out among Marika’s demigod children, who fought one another to acquire the Great Runes now divided among them.
Moreover, Destined Death was unleashed upon the world and this led to a massacre that continued for ages and left the world broken, never to be the same again. This is the reason for the Lands Between being in the state that it is at the start of the game.
Death and destruction fueled by betrayal and greed is the ultimate fool’s tale.
This has been our article answering the question: why did Marika shatter the Elden Ring? We did our best to keep it succinct and informative and we hope that you learned something new!
Leave a comment below and let us know if this guide helped you understand the lore of Elden Ring better. Have fun venturing into the Lands Between with a fresh perspective after learning about the world’s history. Good luck, Tarnished!