Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Trailer Analysis

The gameplay reveal trailer of Elden Ring’s much-awaited expansion, Shadow of the Erdtree, is out now. Along with some gameplay that showcases some of the new things added to the game, it also showed many enemies and bosses we’ve never seen before. In terms of lore, this trailer raises many questions. In this article, we will be analysing the trailer of Shadow of the Erdtree, speculate regarding its lore and point out some of the new features in the DLC.

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New features added to the gameplay

First off, let us talk about the new additions to the gameplay we saw in the trailer. Some of the most noticeable changes here are the new combat styles.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Trailer Analysis
A fast, fluid combat style using knives.
Analysing the Trailer of Shadow of the Erdtree
Throwing knives. This may be a class where you can build a character that mainly uses throwables.
Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Trailer Analysis
Hand-to-hand builds might also be viable. But this might just be an Ash of War. This style is reminiscent of the Senpou Monk combat style from Sekiro.
In the base game, it wasn’t possible to throw things of this size.
Rapid-firing crossbow.

New Weapons and Armour

According to the game’s director Hidetaka Miyazaki, Shadow of the Erdtree will feature many new weapons, armour, and magic. He says that it will feature eight new categories of weapons. That means we might get all-new combat styles, allowing for even deeper build variety.

Here’s a new armour set and what looks like a greatsword/ultra greatsword that reminds me of the Black Knight’s Greatsword from Dark Souls.


Shadow of the Erdtree will be set in the Land of Shadow from what we know from this trailer. It will most probably be accessed through Miquella’s Cocoon in the Mohgwyn Palace, where we fought Mohg, the Lord of Blood. As you might remember, Mohg took Miquella from the Haligtree and forced him to be his Consort.

According to an interview Hidetaka Miyazaki did with Eurogamer, it was revealed that Shadow of the Erdtree is the biggest FromSoftware DLC to date. The map is said to be about the size of Limgrave, the first area we get to explore in the base game.

Furthermore, he says that the mythos for Shadow of the Erdtree was a part of the original lore written by George R.R. Martin.

Analysing the Trailer of Shadow of the Erdtree
This could be Farum Azula before it was ruined. If it is, this has to be before the events of the base game.

The world looks dark, gloomy and haunted. There are silhouettes of gravestones or some similar-looking thing in one plain of the Realm. The most notable thing about the realm is probably the giant tree in one part of the map. This tree could be one of two things: Miquella’s Haligtree or the Great Tree.

Considering how this DLC revolves around Miquella, it would make sense if it was the Haligtree. Miquella created the Haligtree after fleeing from the Erdtree Capital. The Haligtree was supposed to be another haven for the demigod.

If this is the Great Tree, which we will only see in the underground regions of Elden Ring (Deeproot Depths), it’s possible that in the Realm of Shadow, this tree is more prominent than the Erdtree. Also, upon closer inspection, it looks somewhat like this withered, huge tree is intertwined with the Erdtree.


The most important character in the trailer, other than Miquella himself, is Messmer the Impaler. He’s a thin, tall figure that has red serpents coiled around his body. His hair is also completely red. He wields incantations that look like the Bloodflame Incantations. His spear looks somewhat similar to Mohg’s Trident. But its blade looks somewhat like it was made with the same substance as Siluria’s Tree, a polearm we can find in the Deeproot Depths, where the Great Tree is in the base game.

Messmer speaks in the trailer, apparently talking to his mother. His red hair and the fact that his appearance and powers are so extraordinary leads many to believe that he’s a child of Marika. His red hair suggests that he might’ve been the offspring of Marika and Radagon. He could also be a son of Marika and Godfrey, like Mohg and Morgott. But the latter two brothers are both Omens, and Messmer doesn’t have any features that point out he’s one of them. The serpents in Messmer’s body first reminded me of Lord Rykard and how he was eaten by a Great Serpent in the Volcano Manor. But I think it’s more probable for Messmer to be a child of Marika and Radagon or Marika and Godfrey.

His name, Messmer, starts with M, like Mohg or Morgott. But this is also the case when you consider the possibility of Messmer being a child of Marika and Radagon. Both Miquella’s and Malenia’s names start with M, as well. If he is indeed the child of Marika and Radagon, that supports the theory regarding the three different types of butterflies we can find in the game. The Aeonian Butterflies depict Malenia, the Nascent Butterflies depict Miquella, and the Smouldering Butterflies depict Messmer. He does use fire incantations, and that’s a reason why the term “Smouldering” would be related to him.

Or perhaps not all children of Marika and Godfrey turned out to be Omen. But Messmer, if he was indeed the son of Marika and Godfrey, was also shunned and exiled from the world. That would explain why we never even heard of him in the game. Maybe he’s a far worse and extremely dangerous being than the Omens themselves. He wields what looks like Bloodflame Incantations and they are works of heresy. The Bloodflame is granted by the Lord of Blood. This leads me to believe that there might be some connections between Messmer and Mohg. That’s all speculation, but it’s almost certain that Messmer is not someone who’s in with the Erdtree or the Golden Order.

Now let’s talk a bit about Miquella. You might know all you have to know about him from the base game if you’re into the lore. When the trailer begins, we hear a man uttering these words:

“Pure and radiant, he wields love to shrive clean the hearts of men. There is nothing more terrifying.”

Miquella, as shown in the trailer.

This is about Miquella. In the game, we can find items whose descriptions say how Miquella was beloved among the people. He had the ability to gain the love of many of his subjects. And Miquella was the most powerful demigod of them all. “Shrive” means “grant penance to” in Archaic English. This line tells us how Miquella’s radiant love was actually terrifying in some way. One of the main mysteries surrounding the DLC is figuring out what Miquella was doing in this realm, as the trailer itself says at one point.

Enemies and Bosses

Enemies of FromSoftware games are very important, and they’re quite impressive in terms of design. This trailer revealed many creatures and bosses that we will get to fight in the game.

This lion-monster is connected to the Omen. Note the horns on his body.
Analysing the Trailer of Shadow of the Erdtree
This beast uses Golden Order incantations. Might be related to the Erdtree Avatars.
This enemy uses what looks like Intelligence-based Gravity magic.

Berserk References

There are multiple Berserk references in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree like there were in the base game. The user @CloudyNot4Talk on X points this out.

Shadow of the Erdtree is set to release on June 21st, 2024.

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