Elden Ring: Who Is Malenia?

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  • Who Is Malenia?
  • Malenia And The Blooming Of The Flower
  • Malenia's History

The Demigods are featured heavily in the story of Elden Ring. Two of the most notable Demigods are Radahn and Malenia who are responsible for the hellscape that is Caelid. Both are featured prominently in the opening cutscenes of the game and in the cutscene before the Radahn boss fight. However, you may have lost track of Malenia after this moment.

This is because Malenia is not a required boss to beat the game. She is hidden away in a very remote corner of Miquella's Haligtree, and many players will pass her by without even knowing. Players who do manage to find her though will be in for the fight of their lives. Malenia is widely regarded as being the hardest boss in Soulsborne history. She is truly deserving of the quote, "I have never known defeat."

Who Is Malenia?

The most important thing to know before we dive into the deep lore of Malenia, is exactly who she is. Malenia is the daughter of Radagon and Marika. She is also the twin brother of Miquella. As such, they formed an inseparable bond, and their two stories intertwine closely. Since Miquella always remains in the body of a child, Malenia swore to be his undefeated bodyguard, in order to keep her brother safe.

It seems that early in her life Malenia was afflicted with the Scarlet Rot. Her condition is not typical of other victims of the disease, however. It seems that either shortly after she was born, or perhaps before she was born, the Outer God of Scarlet Rot was sealed within her physical body. We do not know whether Radagon did this or if the Outer God itself was responsible. What we do know is that for all her power, Malenia's body could not withstand the Rot, and slowly decayed over time.

Malenia And The Blooming Of The Flower

Malenia's Scarlet Flower blooms in times of extreme stress. This blooming of the flower grants her unimaginable power, but also significantly increases the levels of Rot within her body. At the close of our battle with Malenia, we can get the Scarlet Aeonia Incantation from her remembrance. It reads: "Each time the scarlet flower blooms, Malenia's rot advances. It has bloomed twice already. With the third bloom, she will become a true goddess". There is some debate as to how many times she has bloomed when we fight her, so let's look into it.

There is evidence to suggest that Malenia bloomed for the third time during our fight and ascended to godhood right there in the boss room. First, and most obvious is that her name changes in phase two to Malenia, Goddess of Rot. Her remembrance is also from "The Rot Goddess" not "Malenia". The problem with this theory is we don't have much evidence for the first bloom. We know she bloomed in our fight and during her fight against Radahn. That's two accounted for, but what of the third?

Many players will point to the giant Scarlet Flower found outside the elevator to Malenia's boss fight. Many think that the armor set here was hers before she was given the prosthetics by Miquella. The logic for this theory is that Miquella tried to use an imperfect Gold Needle, and it forced her to bloom for the first time in that room, hence why it is unaccounted for since only Miquella and Malenia were there.

However, there is equal evidence that our fight with Malenia was only her second bloom, and she may not be truly dead. Since we have no record of Malenia's first bloom, some players reject this idea. People who subscribe to this theory will attribute the bloom outside of Malenia's room to one of Millicent's sisters. The theory does have some credibility, because, upon defeating Malenia, we receive no after-battle message. No "Enemy Slain," or "Great Enemy Slain," and most importantly, no "God Slain" as we see with the Elden Beast. It is very unlike From Software to miss a detail like this, causing some to speculate that Malenia still has to bloom once more.

Malenia's History

We don't know much about Malenia's early life, but the parts we do know are fraught with tragedy. She was born afflicted with Scarlet Rot, and so she was always a danger to herself and others. Not wanting this to define her, however, she dedicated her life to the noble duty of defending her twin. She had always held a proficiency with a blade, and so she was taken on as an apprentice by a great swordsman, robed in blue who moved like water.

Malenia honed her skills with a blade so much that she was an unstoppable force, even without a shield. After perfecting her skills with the blade, she ran off with her beloved brother who promised that he could cure her Scarlet Rot. In order to do that though, Miquella would need to create something that could dispel the influence of an Outer God. If their father, Radagon ever found out about this heresy, they would surely be stopped. As a result, Miquella created his Haligtree, and the two lived there in secrecy for a long time.

As stated before, we don't know exactly when, where, or under what circumstances Malenia first bloomed if it was before her fight with Radahn. At some point though, Malenia began to lose her limbs to the Scarlet Rot. This caused Miquella to create golden prosthetics that would halt the spread of the Scarlet Rot, but not cure it. What happened next is truly tragic.

Radahn invaded the land of Caelid, and whatever he had planned there evidently threatened the Lands Between all the way to Miquella's Haligtree. Being the only Demigod who could stand to face Radahn, Malenia raced off to face him in Caelid. In the meantime, two things happened at the Haligtree: Miquella perfected his Golden Needle and sent it off with Captain O'Neil to reach Malenia before her Scarlet Flower bloomed. In the meantime, Miquella cocooned himself in his Haligtree where he would hatch into a god if left alone.

The needle obviously never made it to Melania and her Scarlet Flower bloomed, destroying the region of Caelid. Radahn was not defeated, but he lost his mind to the Scarlet Rot, so he could not continue his rampage. After their fight, Malenia fell into a coma, and it was only thanks to the legendary Cleanrot Knight Finlay, that she was able to return to the Haligtree. Finlay dragged her unconscious body back and propped her right up on the chair that we meet her in for her boss fight.

Since Malenia was in a coma until we met her in battle, she never noticed that Miquella was nowhere to be seen. Using her absence to his advantage, Mohg, Lord of Blood infiltrated the Haligtree and ran off with Miquella who was totally helpless in his cocoon. In the end, Malenia lost her brother, her cure, and more than likely her very identity to the influence of the Scarlet Rot. Hers is a tragic tale, and it is most likely a mercy that we put her down before she finds out the truth of her brother's whereabouts.

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