- The lore surrounding certain bosses in Elden Ring adds depth and character to their design, making them memorable.
- Some bosses have intriguing backstories, such as Astel Naturalborn of the Void, a cosmic horror who destroyed an Eternal City and is speculated to be the source of gravity power in the game.
- The bosses in Elden Ring, like Godrick the Grafted and Dragonlord Placidusax, have unique and twisted lore that is intertwined with the fate of the Lands Between and other characters, adding to the overall immersive experience of the game.
Making up lore for a mind-blowing 238 bosses in Elden Ring is no easy feat. At times, the game’s creators did falter a bit, especially with the repeat bosses or twin bosses; but several of the bosses managed to add more than just context to their design and existence. Some of the lore surrounding certain bosses made them way too memorable.
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Certain explanations as to why that boss was dying or why some giant was riding a skinny, normal-sized horse definitely added character to these bosses. The more players know about them, the more they become legendary and worthy enough to cosplay. That’s something to keep in mind when dying to these Elden Ring bosses over and over again.
Updated February 9, 2024 by Joe Grantham: Game of the Year winner Elden Ring is widely considered to be an overall masterpiece and this is no less thanks to its incredible boss design and eerily beautiful lore, both of which have been woven together with an artistic vision.
While some players simply see bosses as challenges and learning experiences that push their mechanics to the brim, exploring the lore of Elden Ring’s Demigods and otherworldly beings is just as rewarding. The Elden Ring bosses with the best lore have deep, twisted backstories fraught with both pain and love that somehow are intertwined with the fate of the Lands Between or other characters.
13 Astel Naturalborn Of The Void
A Malformed Star Who Once Destroyed An Eternal City
Although not too much is known about the optional boss, Astel Naturalborn of the Void, it has to be one of the most unique characters in the Elden Ring lore, due to the fact it is a malformed star. After spawning spontaneously in deep space, Astel fell upon an unknown Eternal City, and not only destroyed it but took away their sky, perhaps by pulling them underground.
On top of its daunting lore, this cosmic horror is beautifully designed; eerie, thought-provoking, and yet terrifying. Based on item descriptions and other fragments of lore, some players have even speculated that Astel is the source of all gravity power in the game, an interesting thought to consider when facing wielders of gravity.
12 Godrick The Grafted
Pain & Inferiority Led Godrick To Take Unspeakable Actions
Sometimes when a being, or in this case a Demigod, has gone beyond the bounds of evil, it is easier to pity the pain they are so clearly in. This is the case with Godrick the Grafted, one of the first main bosses in Elden Ring, whose desperation for power pushed him to commit unthinkable acts.
What makes his lore so interesting is the fact that he is a descendant of Queen Marika and her first consort Godfrey, but unlike others who inherited greater powers, his strength pales in comparison with those who came before. The sense of inferiority this left him with seemingly pushed Godrick to make up for his shortcomings with the deplorable Grafting for which he is known.
11 Dragonlord Placidusax
A Fallen Elden Lord From Before The Time Of The Erdtree
Dragonlord Placidusax is a boss that many players might not know about seeing as he is an optional boss found later in the game in Crumbling Farum Azula. Interestingly though, despite having two heads in-game, the Dragonlord once had more, and he was the Elden Lord before the time of the Erdtree.
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The fact that Placidusax is far past his prime and yet is still so powerful, speaks a thousand words about the bygone era, and leaves players wondering what could have caused his downfall. In fact, players who have struggled against this optional boss would be shocked to find out that this foe is a mere shadow of his former self.
10 Gideon Ofnir
A Traitor Without Hope
Well, anyone who dies to Gideon Ofnir deserves to stay “maidenless,” because he’s the easiest boss in the game. And he wasn’t even a boss initially. Gideon was a spymaster who kept tabs on the power players in the Lands Between. And when the one who rose to the top wasn’t the person he expected, Gideon simply had to break his cover.
His low regard for the Tarnished and his rather creepy behavior toward Albinaurics made him a shady ally (which, it turns out, he wasn’t). Keen-eyed players will likely have noticed early on that Gideon wasn’t to be trusted. This made the unprecedented confrontation with him all the more satisfying.
9 Rennala, Queen Of The Full Moon
A Grieving Mother Betrayed By Her Husband
Rennala’s boss fight left so many more questions than answers compared to something more straightforward like Godrick, the Grafted. As it turns out, she has a rich history with ties to Marika. If players diver deeper into her lore, they’ll discover how much of a powerhouse Liurnia was in the Lands Between.
Rennala’s lore then branches out to Ranni’s, which is her daughter; players eventually find out that Rennala is a grieving and depressed single mother who had lost most of her children and was betrayed by her husband. One simply cannot help but retroactively feel guilt after the boss fight with her, even if the rewards are more than worth it.
8 Elder Dragon Greyoll
A Dragon Who Has Suffered For Eons
Speaking of single parents in the Land Between, an even more tragic tale than Rennala was Elder Dragon Greyoll. She’s the large, stationary dragon in the Dragonbarrow region of Caelid who has no way of fighting back other than summoning her children to protect her.
Her current state alone was worthy enough of an investigation. Sure enough, her predicament is rooted in Malenia and Radahn’s war in Caelid, which permanently scarred the region and gave Greyoll the Scarlet Rot. Before that, Greyoll and her kin also suffered a genocidal cleansing from Marika and her ilk. There’s no end to the dragon’s suffering, it seems.
7 Lichdragon Fortissax
A Fallen Hero Corrupted By Death
The creators of Elden Ring are no strangers to painting fallen heroes who were transformed into reluctant villains. In Dark Souls, there was Artorias, who fell to the abyss, and in Elden Ring, Lichdragon Fortissax is his equivalent. Fortissax was once a proud ally of Godwyn the Golden.
But after Godwyn was murdered and, in turn, was corrupted by Death, Fortissax did everything in his power to preserve his friend’s dignity. Sadly, Fortissax was also corrupted by Death, hence the boss’s name. That’s also why he appears near Godwyn’s rotting corpse as a boss encounter.
6 Godfrey/Hoarah Loux
An Old Deity With A Lion Spirit & Barbarian Past
From the intro alone, the game was already setting up Godfrey to be a significant and imposing figure in the Lands Between’s power struggles. There is a rich and extensive lore behind him, dating back to before Marika even became a god’s vessel and tamed Godfrey.
Godfrey later revealed that his original name was that of the barbarian, Hoarah Loux, who was only held back by his lion spirit, Serosh. Such a beautiful integration of his lore into the boss fight and gameplay is arguably the peak of Elden Ring‘s boss design, although of course individuals all have their preferences.
5 Rykard, Lord Of Blasphemy
A Demigod Who Lost Himself & Succumbed To A Powerful Serpent
Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy, was one of the most interesting demigod figures in Elden Ring. Because, like Ranni, he didn’t care much about the Erdtree and its oppressive and sanctimonious nature. Rykard sought his own way of obtaining power, which meant turning to an Outer God like the Dog-Devouring Serpent.
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Sadly, this cost him his sanity and his integrity. In his determination to defy the Erdtree and the Greater Will, he lost himself in the process and succumbed to the Serpent. This made him no less interesting, of course. He’s one of the creepiest bosses in the game, preferring to consume his enemies under the pretense of welcoming them to his “famileee.”
4 Radagon/Elden Beast
An Odd But Beautiful Union
Those who didn’t see the plot twist coming were likely perplexed at Radagon being the final boss or amazed at the notion once they got it. Radagon is Marika, and vice versa. The game just kept dropping some subtle hints about their rather odd union and personality.
And once Radagon dies, out comes the very manifestation of the Greater Will, the Elden Beast. The whole final boss fight was a huge lore dump and rewarded the players well enough, considering the game’s length and how clueless the players will be even at that stage. However, the beauty of this boss fight is that even if players don’t understand all the lore, the visuals speak for themselves, and all who attempt it know they are against a force of nature beyond comprehension.
3 Malenia, Blade Of Miquella
The Goddess Of Rot Whose Trace Is All Over Caelid
Before the game even became available to the public, Malenia was already making waves in the Elden Ring community as one of the characters in the trailer. It wasn’t until late in the game that players would encounter her, and yet the payoff was well worth it.
Malenia was not only one of themost beautiful boss fights in a Souls game, but she had also left her mark in the Lands Between long before the players met her. Her trace and essence are all over Caelid, and all the hints of her existence leading up to the toughest boss fight in Elden Ring make the encounter even more legendary.
A Noble Soul Doomed For Eternity
A lot of players will likely see Margit/Morgott as a grumpy geriatric who wants Tarnished punks off his mother’s lawn. But he’s a lot more than his abrasive and condescending behavior. This is because, out of all the living demigods in the game, Morgott was the only one who had neither an ulterior motive nor a selfish ambition for the Erdtree.
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He merely acted as its protector without expecting anything in return, apart from the Erdtree’s favor. At the same time, the Erdtree still shunned him for being a cursed Omen. So at his core, Morgott was a genuinely noble soul marred by his outward physical appearance. Also, he defeated General Radahn; even Malenia couldn’t do that. The fact that Morgott loved his kingdom despite the way they treated him, makes him one of the most tragic characters in the whole game.
1 Starscourge Radahn
A Cursed Giant Dedicated To His Childhood Horse
Speaking of the myth himself, General Radahn was also unveiled at the same time as Malenia. The two had a colorful and divisive lore between them regarding who won in Caelid. Radahn’s transformation into a mindless rot zombie was also a tragic affair, but his soldiers kept on honoring him and holding him in high regard, even continuing their duty to stave off the Scarlet Rot.
But the real interesting piece of lore about Radahn was his tiny horse. Radahn had his horse, Leonard, at a young age. Since he had the giant’s curse, Radahn kept growing, eventually becoming too big for Leonard. But Radahn loved his horse so much that he was compelled to learn Gravity Magic so that he could still ride his favorite horse. That kind of wholesome feat from a bloodthirsty and war-mongering general is unexpected, to say the least. It also adds an interesting dynamic to the boss fight for players in the know, as they must take down Leonard, as well as Radahn.
- February 25, 2022