Elden Ring DLC: Will Shadow Of The Erdtree Be A Sequel or Prequel?

The Elden Ring DLC Shadow of the Erdtree is still a big mystery and so far, not many official details have been revealed yet. But the little bit of information we have has been enough to speculate about the setting of FromSoftware’s big add-on for Elden Ring.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree keyart
Elden Ring DLC: When will Shadow of the Erdtree be set? | © Bandai Namco

About one year after the release of Elden Ring, players finally got the announcement they have been clamoring for: Shadow of the Erdtree is coming, the first big Elden Ring DLC. That’s pretty much all we got though, as FromSoftware revealed no other details about the add-on, except for its name and a gorgeous bit of promo art.

That was more than enough for the community though, which quickly begun speculating about what Shadow of the Erdtree could offer players. One of the main questions concerns the DLC’s setting and whether it will be a sequel, or maybe even a prequel to Elden Ring.

Elden Ring DLC: Shadow Of The Erdtree's Timeline Mystery

On the breathtaking piece of poetic cinema that is the promo art, you see a figure riding on the spectral steed Torrent, or a creature that looks very similar to it. They're riding towards a darkened (and frankly disgusting looking) tree. Fans online have gone mad speculating over what any of this could mean. Who is this person? Is it the Erdtree we’re seeing here? Is it the Haligtree? What is going on here?

Hopefully Shadow of the Erdtree will have bosses as good as these legends:

The answer is: we don’t know. What seems most likely to be true, is that the figure is Miquella, the brother of the infamous Malenia. Miquella is said to feature braided blond hair, just like the person in the artwork. We also didn’t see Miquella in the main game, since he was… well, dead, sort of.

Miquella elden ring
Miquella has his best days behind him in Elden Ring. | © Bandai Namco

Mohg took Miquella and forced him into hibernation in this weird egg-thing. If Miquella plays a big role in Shadow of the Erdtree, it can be assumed that the story could be a prequel to the events in Elden Ring, where the powerful Demigod is still in good shape.

Like Bloodborne and Dark Souls: Will Elden Ring Play With Time And Space Again?

But: This is FromSoftware we’re talking about here, things are of course a bit more complicated. If you look at the massive tree featured in the artwork, it looks like the Erdtree, right? The thing is also in the title, so it will definitely play a big role again. But the tree is in a horrible state, it’s darkened and disfigured, oozing a golden liquid. Yuck. This will sure remind fans who finished Elden Ring of the Erdtree’s fate in the main game.

Towards the end of the game, you’re tasked with burning the thing down. The keyart seems to show the Erdtree in this burned state, thus suggesting that the DLC would be set after the events of Elden Ring. So… it’s going to be a prequel AND a sequel?

Potentially yes. FromSoftware are no strangers to f-ing around with time. You literally have time travel in Dark Souls 2 and Sekiro. And think back to Bloodborne’s twisted version of Yharnam, fallen out of time and space, or Dark Souls 3’s world, which features different versions of Lordran folded into each other. The Elden Ring DLC could try something similar and feature a parallel version of The Lands Between, where past and future collided or where events played out differently than in the main game.

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