Elden Ring fans are set for time travel, alternate realities, and more in Shadow of the Erdtree DLC

Elden Ring
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Elden Ring DLC was only just announced, but the fan theories are already flying. 

Earlier today on February 28, FromSoftware very casually announced Shadow of the Erdtree, a forthcoming Elden Ring expansion. Now, just a few hours later, fans are already debating and theorizing over the sole information we have to go on surrounding the expansion, which is the enigmatic image seen just below.

Be warned: there are spoilers for Elden Ring from here on!

Elden Ring

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

One popular line of thought is that the figure on the right of the image is Miquella. Of course, Elden Ring veterans will know that Miquella is alive and well during the events of the game, but confined to his cocoon in Mohg's Mohgwyn Palace, where he was stolen away from the Haligtree.

Miquella never appears during Elden Ring, but Sir Gideon Ofnir confirms that the character is alive and well within the cocoon. Plenty of fans think that Shadow of the Erdtree could therefore take place after the events of Elden Ring, where Miquella finally breaks free of his cocoon.

Alternatively, some fans reckon this figure looks a lot more like Marika. The fan just below, for example, bets this is a younger Marika, before her hair became fully braided, which means Shadow of the Erdtree in this version would take place before the events of Elden Ring.

Hey, this wouldn't be the first time FromSoftware has pulled some time travel shenanigans in a DLC. The developer loves a little bit of time-travelling nonsense, as evidenced by Bloodborne's The Old Hunters and Dark Souls' Artorias of the Abyss expansions.

There's another intriguing theory though: Elden Ring's pulling a Dark Souls 3 and taking us into an alternate reality. As Alex Donaldson theorizes below, we could be going into "Miquella's dream" for the new DLC, whisked away to a new version of The Lands Between that saw Miquella's goal finally realized.

This is basically what Dark Souls 3 pulled with its Ashes of Ariandel expansion, pulling the player into another world via a painting. If we are thrust into another version of The Lands Between, it wouldn't exactly be a huge surprise given FromSoftware's past.

All these fan theories seem pretty wacky at first, but only get more grounded the more you consider them against FromSoftware's past. No matter what the DLC does bring when it eventually launches, it's safe to say Elden Ring fans are already chomping at the bit to find out more.

Check out our Elden Ring anniversary celebration with a compilation of 12 of our best features surrounding FromSoftware's game.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.