Game Theory

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Is Going Full Horse Girl

A Tarnished’s best friend.

Elden Ring Torrent jumping
Bandai Namco

All FromSoftware had to do to get the internet in a frenzy was post a single image along with the announcement that Elden Ring DLC is officially coming. The expansion, titled Shadow of the Erdtree, has no release window as of yet. The singular image in the announcement highlights two important figures that the DLC will likely follow, finally explaining some of the biggest mysteries in Elden Ring itself. One of which is none other than your trusty spectral steed — Torrent.

Upon a dreary field of wheat with ruins speckled across it and the dying Erdtree looming in the distance, the teaser image for Shadow of the Erdtree is populated by a lone figure riding a familiar steed.

Shadow of the Erdtree is for the horse girls.

The only constant companion the Tarnished has in the unfriendly Lands Between is the steed Torrent, bequeathed to you by Melina... or so it seems. As YouTuber VaatiVidya explains in a video diving into the possibilities of the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, Melina is not the master of Torrent. Torrent chooses the Tarnished of their own accord, sniffing the player before they awaken in the starting graveyard. Melina only helps bring Torrent to you.

Another character with knowledge of Torrent is Ranni the Witch, who is a member of Queen Marika’s family. She gifts you spirit ashes that belonged to Torrent’s previous master. All of Elden Ring’s events seem to be pushed along by the will of Torrent encouraging you on the path. The other players are just pawns in this plan. But who is Torrent’s original master? The most likely answer is that it is the Empyrean Miquella.

Throughout the base game in Elden Ring, the Tarnished is tasked with tracking down (and usually murdering) the extended family tree of Queen Marika, who hold the shards of the Elden Ring and are close to gods in their power. Marika had many children across multiple marriages, and the most important of these children were Empyreans who could possibly succeed Marika as the bearer of the Elden Ring. You meet several of them in your journey (such as Ranni) but the only one you do not encounter in full is Miquella.

Miquella is depicted throughout the game as a traditionally feminine-looking child with long golden hair. He is actually cursed to perpetual youth and sought to break away from the Golden Order and grow the Haligtree in an attempt to find a cure for himself and his twin Melania.

Miquella’s childlike form matches the figure in the DLC teaser image.

Bandai Namco

You can optionally encounter Miquella in a slumbering cocoon state, but beyond that, he is in ever-present figure throughout the lore of the world. In many ways, he is the last big mystery of Elden Ring, which sets him up as the perfect figure to focus on in Shadow of the Erdtree.

VaatiVidya theorizes that Miquella and Torrent’s previous master are one and the same. This is supported by Miquella’s connection with spirits. Figures throughout Elden Ring depict the childlike Miquella, especially in the Haligtree. A similar figure can be found surrounded by three wolf statues, just like the three wolves in the spirit ash Ranni gifts you that she claims belonged to Torrent’s previous owner. In addition, the hairstyle and garb of the figure in the DLC teaser image match that of Miquella in the statues throughout the Lands Between.

But in his slumbering state, how could Miquella direct Torrent and other characters to guide the Tarnished on their journey? Miquella famously had the power to compel anyone to adore him, and enact his will because of this love. Miquella’s dual identity as Saint Trina (a popular theory supported by cut content) displays his ability to affect the Lands Between, even in slumber. His power of compulsion could be the mysterious thing that set Melina on her mission to guide you, as she herself admits to not fully knowing her mission or past and is really following the guidance of Torrent.

While many questions still remain on how the connection between Miquella and Torrent will fully be expanded upon in the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, it is all but certain we will finally get some answers on the history of our loyal companion’s larger role in the Lands Between.

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