Elden Ring DLC has been announced in the form of the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion, with a release and further info down the road. After the free Colosseum update, which allowed PVP combat and a kind of matchmaking system, Shadow of the Erdtree is going to be the first major DLC expansion, and looks to be centered around the Erdtree itself in a burnt and diminished state (or maybe a warped version of the Haligtree, depending on which Elden Ring fan you ask).
Though details about the Elden Ring DLC are thin on the ground, we've gone carefully through everything to draw as much info from it as we can, so you're ready for the next expansion to the Lands Between.
What we know about Elden Ring DLC so far
The first major DLC update for Elden Ring was the free Colosseum update, released on December 7th 2022, which allows players to battle each other within the grand arenas spread across the Lands Between.
Beyond that, the next big DLC expansion for Elden Ring is the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, announced but with details thin on the ground. You can scroll down to see everything that's been revealed about that so far!
Shadow of the Erdtree DLC
The Shadow of the Erdtree was the first major DLC expansion, announced for Elden Ring on February 28 2023, but at time of writing there's little information about it, only the name and a new piece of concept art (shown above), displaying a blonde figure on Torrent (or a horse like them), riding towards an ashy, unhealthy version of the Erdtree seen in the main game. The whole thing looks bleak - even by FromSoftware standards - with dark skies and numerous ghostly figures among the ruins.
Shadow of the Erdtree DLC release date
Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC has no officially announced release date yet, as the first press announcement simply described it as "in development". The best we can do at this point is to look at past FromSoftware games and compare their release dates with their first DLC's release dates, to see how long it took them to come out.
- Dark Souls: 11 months to Artorias of the Abyss DLC (released as part of the Prepare to Die edition, it took another 2 months on top of that to become purchasable individually)
- Dark Souls 2: 3 months to Crown of the Sunken King DLC
- Bloodborne: 8 months to The Old Hunters DLC
- Dark Souls 3: 7 months to Ashes of Ariandel DLC
- Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: 1 year, 7 months to Free Update content
If these examples set a precedent, it suggests that if there is going to be Elden Ring DLC in the future, we'd probably at least hear about it within a year - though that's pretty speculative. Not to mention that the Colosseum update arguably fulfills the criteria of being the first DLC - so now we're in uncharted territory.
Who is the blonde figure on Torrent in Shadow of the Erdtree?
The Shadow of the Erdtree DLC promotional image shows a blonde-haired figure on top of Torrent, approaching the burnt Erdtree. This figure is hard to identify, but definitely seems important considering the prominence with which they're shown. With that in mind, here are some possible identities for the figure on Torrent, and what they mean for the DLC itself.
- MIQUELLA - The godly brother of the legendarily deadly swordswoman and goddess of rot Malenia, Miquella gets mentioned a lot in Elden Ring, but is never properly seen - and right now is our best bet at the mysterious figure's identity. Cursed with eternal youth and unable to reach adulthood, Miquella tried to cure both his own curse and his sister's rot by creating the Haligtree and entering a coma inside a cocoon. However, Mohg stole Miquella away, and has been waiting for him to wake up since, hoping to become his consort and gain power accordingly. Miquella's blonde hair, seen briefly in-game, matches that of the figure in the promotional shot, and the Empyrean has been both a conspicuous absence and something of a ticking time bomb in Elden Ring lore.
- FIA, DEATHBED COMPANION - The friendly hug lady who hangs around the Roundtable Hold has her own quest focused around death, decay, and the return of undead gods. While her quest can be fulfilled in the core game, it's entirely possible she's coming back. Like in the picture, Fia is blonde under her hood, and with the whole shot looking especially bleak, it's possible she's on her way to take advantage of the general necromantic, entropic vibes of the area.
- MALENIA - Yes, the super-boss Malenia isn't blonde when we see her - she's a redhead like her father Radagon - but it's entirely possible that wasn't always the case. A demigod cursed with the Scarlet Rot by a greater deity, it's possible we're seeing a past or future version of Malenia without the rot. It's entirely possible that Malenia was a blonde like her mother and brother, only gaining the red hair when the curse kicked in. Oh, and speaking of her mother...
- QUEEN MARIKA THE ETERNAL - The true queen of the Lands Between, Queen Marika is a blonde figure whose hair seen in the intro cinematic matches that of the new figure pretty closely. Marika's fate changed depending on what ending you chose in Elden Ring, but again, we wouldn't put it past FromSoftware to have this DLC set far in the past or the future. She's also heavily associated with the Erdtree, so it makes sense for her to be involved in some way.
- MELINA - While the blonde figure doesn't really look like Melina, the Finger Maiden who helps you level up, there are a couple of facts to give pause. Firstly, Melina is the character who gives you control of Torrent, and is the only character really associated with the horned horse. And secondly, it's a largely prevalent theory that Melina is a secret daughter of Queen Marika - so if she embraced her heritage a little more, that might be reflected visually by switching her hair to something more like her mother's.
What will the Elden Ring DLC be about?
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Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is a little difficult to pin down exactly, in terms of content and story. The enigmatic promotional shot shows a diminished, ashy form of the Erdtree, and along with the title, suggests that it will be the key focus of the new expansion.
This would make sense, considering that - Spoiler alert - the story of Elden Ring ends with the player setting the Erdtree on fire, no matter which ending they're pursuing, so as to get through the roots blocking the way to the Elden Ring itself within. Considering that the Erdtree looks burned and emaciated, this heavily suggests that the DLC will take place after Elden Ring's main story - though that's admittedly just supposition on our behalf.
The other interpretation is that the "Shadow of the Erdtree" is actually a colourful name for the Haligtree found in the Consecrated Snowfields, created by the god Miquella. The Haligtree has wilted and decayed since Miquella's slumber, and what we see in the promo shot might be the Haligtree in especially diminished condition.
Of course, it's also entirely possible that there'll be other Elden Ring DLC in the future. Whatever's coming, here are some likely veins of lore and potential for Elden Ring's expansions to milk.
- The mysterious cloud between the Divine Towers
- Miquella's Egg
- The Shattering/Night of the Black Knives
- The Greater Will and rise of Queen Marika
The mysterious cloud between the Divine Towers
This is one that many people have noticed - if you discover all Elden Ring Divine Tower locations, you'll notice that they converge perfectly around a central point - not the Erdtree, as you might expect, but a section of inaccessible ocean in the very middle of the map, one covered and obscured by cloud. Seems suspicious - perhaps we'll see them link up in a DLC and blast that cloud away to reveal a new island?
Despite never seeing him properly, Miquella is a meaningful character in Elden Ring lore, Malenia's demigod brother - supposedly the most "fearsome Empyrean of all" - who was cursed to eternal childhood and tried to cure himself before being abducted by Mohg, Lord of Blood. Miquella is now in a permanent slumber, and you can actually find him in Mohg's boss fight arena, inside an egg-like cocoon with one arm draped out of it. Ofnir suggests at one point that it's better for Miquella to stay asleep - but what'll happen if he wakes up…?
The Shattering and the Night of the Black Knives
Two different events, but very much linked - the Night of the Black Knives was the night when a bunch of assassins snuck through the Lands Between and killed a bunch of demigods, including Marika's son Godwyn. This in turn started a domino effect that led to the Shattering, a grand war between all the surviving demigods over the right to rule, the most famous example of which being the legendary battles between Malenia and General Radahn (a conflict so epic it turned Caelid into a blighted hellscape). These events were actually the focal points of the Elden Ring story trailer, so they're clearly worth exploring at least a little - not to mention that many FromSoftware games involve some sort of time travel, especially their DLC content!
The Greater Will and Rise of Marika
Alternatively, they might go even further back, to the formation of the Lands Between, where Marika appears from the realm of Numen, gets chosen by the deity known as the Greater Will, and forms the Lands Between along with her consort Godfrey, warring with giants, dragons and sorcerers alike to expand the Greater Will's territory. It'd be a chance to explore a younger, wilder version of the Lands Between, and to engage with essential characters like Marika, Godfrey, Radagon and Godwyn, major characters in the lore who only show up briefly in the core game.
Of course, all this is speculative, looking at obvious potential holes to fill in Elden Ring, and making educated guesses based on FromSoftware's history and the comments made by its creators. We'll be sure to update this page the moment we know more, as we're also very excited to see what's to come for the Lands Between!
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