Elder Ring

The Deep Christian Themes of Elden Ring

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#eldenring #darksouls #gaming

Elden Ring draws heavily from the imagery of the Bible and Christian tradition. Several key themes and events provide the inspiration for Elden Ring’s lore. These secrets and easter eggs are some of the coolest things I’ve seen and I had a blast researching these findings. Elden Ring is an action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game was directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki and made in collaboration with fantasy novelist George R. R. Martin, who provided material for the game’s setting.

0:00 Lore Inspirations
1:05 Christian Imagery
2:17 Mohg, the Devil, and Serpents
4:14 The Tarnished and the Exodus
6:34 Grace
7:04 Marika, Radagon, and the Greater Will
8:22 Gideon Ofnir and Solomon

10:21 Outro

Music:
Metroid Prime OST

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27 Comments

  1. One of your coolest videos yet. The engagement is disappointingly low. Maybe you should have called it “8 AMAZING Deep Christian Themes in Elden Ring” 😂 that damn YouTube algorithm man.

    On a different note there’s a YouTuber named InspiringPhilosophy who covers the Bible and makes it so interesting almost like it’s a “lore breakdown”. His playlists on Genesis and Job really made me understand the stories in new ways.

  2. Great video! I would however disagree with the Solomon/Gideon comparison, as Solomon was chosen to build the temple of God because he had no blood on his hands, as opposed to Gideon, who has a lot from the albinaurics. Also, the reason Solomon worshipped other gods was because he had hundreds of wives who convinced him to do so, but Gideon only loved one person, and she was taken from him be Selivus.

    I would also add my own personal theory that each shardbearer demigod boss represents one of the seven deadly sins, as such

    Godrick is envy, as he is weak and wants what others have, specifically their limbs.

    Rennala is sloth, as she just sits and cradles her egg and rebirth people.

    Radahn is gluttony, as he does nothing but wander, gorging on the corpses of friends and foes alike.

    Rykard is greed, as the only thing he seeks is more power, and several depictions of him describe him as the “taker.”

    Morgott is pride, as basically everything he says, and especially his tone, points to him feeling like everyone else is an inferior traitor and disgrace, even though he himself is an omen. He says the thrones were stained by his curse, but immediately turns the blame to us, saying our part would not be forgiven.

    Mohg is wrath, as he is filled with bloodlust and wishes to destroy everything in the way of his dynasty.

    Malenia is lust, as she is described as a beautiful swordswoman, and taking your life lets her maintain her own with her lifesteal, basically making her a succubus.

    This is, of course, the demigods in their present state, as Radahn and Rennala were very different in the past

  3. Adam and Eve were also banished to toil outside the garden of Eden when God found them out. Which doesn’t make sense cause he’s omniscient and whatever I’m not getting into this right now…

  4. Those interested in Gnostic symbolism in fantasy literature should definitely look into The Book of the New Sun, by Gene Wolfe.

  5. As a non-Christian, I think there is a pretty palpable theme of people putting their faith in a supposedly perfect order that is actually being anything but. Christian fascism is something I worry about constantly irl, and I can't help but see the viciously puritanical and xenophobic Golden Order as a reference to this. That said I think there is a lot of value in Christianity, and the game also reflects this through showing us that the Golden Order had a lot going for it despite its fatal flaws.

    Also I hate to be an asshole but contra to what you say in the video, the holy trinity is not described in the Bible, it's a Catholic tradition.

  6. I have a theory that the Demi gods are trying to ascend to the same godhood as their parents through different kinds of merging. I noticed many of the demigods followed a trend of not being ‘only themselves’ so to speak. Goderick was grafting people to increase his might (he obviously didn’t understand the concept, or perhaps didn’t want to share his body with another will). Rykard fed himself to the serpent and became one with it. Ranni obviously takes us to be her own Radagon. Mohg is literally trying to force miquela into the fusion. Idk if this has been covered before, but this is the only place I can think of for feedback

  7. I'm not a religious guy in any way, but I will fully admit the Bible has some insane Lore to use as reference for a fantasy world

  8. One thing I found when looking into Radagon, is the name appears that it could be a combination of the Hebrew words Radah and Gan. Radah meaning (to rule, have dominion, dominate, tread down) and Gan pronounced gon, meaning (1. garden, enclosure, 2. fig of bride, 3 Garden of Eden). If it is the case that Radagon is some combination of the two, it kind of implies that the greater will created him to have dominion of marika, the enclosure of the elden ring.

  9. Considering the christian undertone and iconographic reference were brought up, it would be interesting to see a future video exposing the parallels between Elden Ring's lore and characters and Kabbalah (be it hermetic or rabinic).

    Doing so would basically conflate the Christian and Alchemical themes all in one cohesive line: The Shattering of the Elden Ring and the genesis of Lurianic Kabbalah, The Tree of Life (both as the literal Erdtree and the Elden Ring itself as a sigil form of it), the duality of Marika/Radagon as the pillars of Boaz e Jachim, the parallels between distinct runebearers and the ten sephirots of the Tree of Life, the progress of the main character as a mystic in his way to ascention by collecting the inprint of each runebearer/sephirot.

    it would be nice to see someone exposing these possible parallels between Elden Ring and the teurgic practice of Kabbalah

  10. There's also a dialogue with a ghost before we meet Godfrey, it says something as "the lord was" returned, it gives a apocalypse vibe

  11. I don't know if you've covered this game or not, but with you being a cool open minded Christian dude, I would love to hear your thoughts on Blasphemous (2019). It goes heavy on Christian themes and imagery(particularly of a brutal Spanish/Iberian variety), almost like a heavy darksouly Christian fanfic. thanks for the vid <3

  12. I'd say that Marika/Godfrey/the Erdtree conquering and killing all the other gods and/or absorbing their worship into their own religion is a metaphor for religious imperialism, but it's not even a metaphor, that's literally just an example of religious imperialism in the game.

    Also, the Omens could be seen as an allegory for the treatment of queer people by conservative religious institutions; they're either subject to deadly attempts to remove the part of them that's different (cutting off horns/"conversion therapy"), or disowned and hidden away. Tragically, the Omen, like queer people, are entirely natural and have existed since before the order that calls them cursed. Their status is only a "fell curse" because their society deems it as such.

  13. I was always interested, how do other Christians feel about quests like the one you do for the dude who calls you maidenless? It makes you do very questionable stuff.

  14. I thought that the tarnished got banished cuz there was no more ppl to kill 🤔 their sin was being to badass lol

  15. The Christian themes in Elden Ring are almost flipped on their heads though. Marika didn’t sacrifice herself for everyone’s sins, she sinned herself and God (the greater Will) punished her for it. So the crucifix’s take on a more pre-Catholic Roman symbolism of warning: “you will be punished.”
    “Blessed are the Strong” is the Mantra in The lands Between. Everyone seeks strength and you must be strong to become Elden lord. You are rewarded for being stronger. There is hardly ever a moment when being meek gives you dividends. Even in the story.
    The Symbols of the devil, and of the serpent though depicted as enemies to The Erd Tree, are also morally grey and at times sympathetic. The Erd tree itself is something of a parasite to the great tree-which symbolizes animism and the old pagan ways of nature. If anything this is a negative criticism of Christianity usurping the old pagan cultures. This is also something that Miyazaki constantly criticizes; dominant theocracies like Catholicism or Buddhism taking over and becoming corrupted.

  16. Japanese writers seem to have an obsession with Christianity. It’s a theme I’ve notice in many manga, games and anime over the decades. I enjoy their sometimes twisted views they portray.

    On a different note, I know you’ve mentioned that we don’t know what happened when the tarnished were went away. But after watching the start video many times and play through the game I’ve concluded that Godfrey and we tarnished as well as other NPCs we’re dead. The land of fog is death or purgatory. Notice the graves, The all-knowing in his coffin. Gia laying with a corps, the Dung Eater hung by a gallows. We are called back to the lands between from death to bring death back to the lands. We are meant to correct the fatal mistake of locking away destined death.

  17. From games have been mired in religious symbolism forever. Sekiro straight up has Bhuddas everywhere and Bloodborne is literally just about being catholic. I'm an atheist but religious lore is so deep and ancient that it's just such a beautiful storytelling mechanism. Especially when warped into high fantasy.

  18. Looking at the image of Marika at 7:30, perhaps the spear embedded in her side is a reference to the Spear of Longinus, the name of the spear that pierced Jesus when he was held on the cross.

  19. One theme which isn’t necessarily directly tied to the teachings of Christianity itself but to the expansion of Christendom through political power (which through the life of Christ there are many examples which indicate Jesus was not on earth to create that). We can see in the gold mask questline that there was a perversion within the golden order which we can see represented by the pose of the T with one arm retracted to the chest

  20. I usually think of the Roundtable Hold like the Justice League. The smartest Batman, and his two stooges. The Hewg the Martian. Rogier the blue lantern. The huggable Wonderwoman. The man of defilement and sick of everyone's shit, Superman. Dialos the foolish Flash. D can be Shazam. Power Girl the spirit tuner learning her purpose. Corwyn can be Question.

  21. A little tidbit here, Mohg uses a trident, in Greek tradition that’s the weapons of Poseidon (God of seas). Hades (God of the Dead) uses the Bident and wasn’t viewed as an evil. I think Mohg, his sanguine nobles and bloody fingers take most of their cues, colors and themes from Dracula, Vampires and Incubus. I love how this game pulls from so many different religions, cultures and beliefs. It’s truly the greatest game in the past few years.

  22. Miyazaki seems to like the theme of an "evil" god controlling everything behind the scenes, seen also in Demon's Souls with the true god who put the Northern Regalia and the Old One into the world for malicious purposes

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