What we know about Elden Ring’s story so far

Although we finally got a deeper look at Elden Ring, the story and lore are still very much a mystery. While it definitely shares similarities to Dark Souls, there’s a lot that’s new that we can see in the Summer Game Fest trailer. The big question is how much of a connection Elden Ring will have with FromSoftware’s earlier works, if any.

What is the story in Elden Ring?

From what we can gather so far, the story concerns the titular object being shattered. While the title brings to mind The Lord of the Rings, the Elden Ring isn’t an object that you can wear on a finger.

According to an interview with IGN, the Elden Ring is more of a force that serves to bind the world to its laws. At some point, this is shattered, which leads to the events shown in the game. The ring also seems to have served as a barrier against creatures referred to as “Tarnished.” With the loss of this barrier, the tarnished are returning guided “by a grace once lost.” The trailer heavily hints that the player character will be one of the tarnished. However, we have no clue right now whether they’re similar to the hollowed in Dark Souls or if they’re an entirely new type of creature.

We know that the game takes place in the ‘Lands Between,’ a fantasy world created by director Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin, the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series that HBO’s Game of Thrones was based on. In this world, players will “unravel the mysteries of the Elden Ring’s power,” though we’re not quite sure what that means just yet.

The story explanation on the game’s official site reads:

“Rise, Tarnished, and be guided by grace to brandish the power of the Elden Ring and become an Elden Lord in the Lands Between.

In the Lands Between ruled by Queen Marika the Eternal, the Elden Ring, the source of the Erdtree, has been shattered.

Marika’s offspring, demigods all, claimed the shards of the Elden Ring known as the Great Runes, and the mad taint of their newfound strength triggered a war: The Shattering. A war that meant abandonment by the Greater Will.

And now the guidance of grace will be brought to the Tarnished who were spurned by the grace of gold and exiled from the Lands Between. Ye dead who yet live, your grace long lost, follow the path to the Lands Between beyond the foggy sea to stand before the Elden Ring.”

However, the Elden Ring isn’t entirely ephemeral. Miyazaki stated that it would be a part of the gameplay as well. In the Summer Game Fest trailer, the voiceover beseeches the view to “brandish the Elden Ring … for all of us.” This leaves the utility of the ring up in the air as we’re not sure how the player will be able to employ it in-game.

We’ll learn more about the story and lore of Elden Ring as we get closer to the release date of January 21, 2022.