What are the Magma Wyrms in Elden Ring?
What are the Magma Wyrms in Elden Ring? These draconic creatures are some of the more mysterious and curious ones in the game. In this article, let’s see how they originated and who they might be inspired by.
These creatures were once men or humanoids who consumed Dragon Hearts in order to gain the powers of Dragon Communion. Magma Wyrm’s Scalesword’s item description says:
“The sword’s shape resembles a dragon’s jaw and is covered in hard scales.
It’s said these land-bound dragons were once human heroes who partook in dragon communion, a grave transgression for which they were cursed to crawl the earth upon their bellies, shadows of their former selves.”
While the Tarnished is not affected by the transformation that makes men into Magma Wyrms, others who consumed Dragon Hearts and obtained the pure and overwhelming power of dragons eventually lose their humanity, little by little. They would slowly turn into these monstrous crawling dragons that spew magma. The source for this information is the item description of the “Magma Breath” Dragon Communion Incantation.
“Those who have performed the Dragon Communion will find
their humanity slowly slipping away. Once they fully succumb to
their fate, they are left no more than wyrms that crawl the earth.”
Observe the following piece of information found on certain Dragon Communion incantations such as the “Rotten Breath”:
“Those extraordinary individuals who perpetuate Dragon
Communion are called the dragon-hearted.”
“Dragon-hearted” hardly seems like a title of disrespect. On the contrary, in fact. The above description refers to them as “extraordinary individuals”. It could be that these humans perpetually consumed Dragon Hearts and gained Draconic powers in order to protect something or serve a lord. Maybe they were honourable individuals when they still had their humanity intact.
Great Wyrm Theodorix
Speaking of heroic individuals, Theodorix instantly comes to mind. He was a hero who partook in the War against the Giants.
“The name of the ancient troll warrior Theodorix lives on — as a hero of the War against the Giants.”
Theodorix the troll probably consumed Dragon Hearts in order to effectively battle the Giants with Dragon Communion incantations. Indeed, such folk are extraordinary in their effort to quell their foes.
Now it must be clear to you how Magma Wyrms were made.
Who were they based on?
Elden Ring lore takes inspiration from various mythologies of various places in the real world. It is not irrational to suspect that the Magma Wyrms were also inspired by some mythology or a folk tale of the real world.
This is where Magma Wyrm Makar comes in. “Makar” is a word with no definite meaning. But the closest word that sounds like “Makar” is “Makara”. It is a word used to describe a kind of mythological creature in Hindu mythology. The Sanskrit word “Makara” translates to “crocodile” or “sea creature” (source: Wikipedia). Indeed, the Magma Wyrms share similarities in appearance to crocodiles. Their scales, for example, are rock solid and resemble those of crocodiles. The same goes for the way they crawl on the ground. However, the part that doesn’t fit is how the “Makara” in Hindu mythology is associated with water and the sea, while Elden Ring’s Magma Wyrms are associated with fire and, well, magma.
“Makara” is a name that’s common in Sri Lankan mythology as well, and in Sinhalese, the word directly translates into “Dragon”. I think it’s quite possible that these Magma Wyrms were inspired by those of Hindu mythology, despite the Elden Ring’s ones’ possession of differences.
The God “Varuna” is the god of the sky, oceans and water. His “vahana”, which translates to “vehicle”, is a “Makara”. Observe the below image and note how similar it looks to a Magma Wyrm.
My opinion is that Elden Ring took inspiration from Hindu mythology to create its own distinct creature that intrigues the player and contributes to what makes its lore one of the most complex and beautiful in the history of fiction.