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All Six of the Elden Ring Endings Explained

What did it all mean?



Elden Ring: The Endings Explained

From the Age of Fracture to the Blessing of Despair, Every Elden Ring Ending Explained

Elden Ring’s story may be a little more forthcoming than FromSoftware’s previous Soulsborne games, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be obtuse, especially when it comes to the endings.

While NPC dialogue and item descriptions lend insight into the worldbuilding and history of the Lands Between, the endings are only really explained by single, short cutscenes. And each is left vague enough to encourage different interpretations. Of course, if players are paying attention, they will be able to piece together a little more information through the choices and events that lead to their given ending, but seeing as it is possible to follow multiple questlines leading to different endings at the same time (with the player only having to lock in a decision towards the end of each quest) they can be easy to confuse. Especially if it’s your first playthrough and you are still getting to grips with this strange new world.

There are six possible endings to see in Elden Ring, each as ambiguous and morally questionable as the last. There are no truly good or bad endings to this tale, though some leave the Lands Between in a decidedly worse state than others. Three are considered to be the main endings, each granting the player a trophy/achievement for unlocking them, and three can be considered secret endings, each being a variation on the first Elden Lord ending.

Interestingly, every one of these six endings requires the player to side with an Outer God (the enigmatic cosmic forces pulling the string behind the scenes). It is currently impossible to reject them all and completely rid their influence from the Lands Between.

So, what do these endings entail? What do they mean? And how can they be unlocked?

Image: FromSoftware - Will you sit the Elden Throne and become the Elden Lord?
Image: FromSoftware – Will you sit upon the Elden Throne and become the Elden Lord?

Age of Fracture

This is the main ending for Elden Ring – the path that each Tarnished is set by default upon awakening in the Lands Between. This is an ending for those seeking to embrace order and maintain the status quo.

Melina, the Finger Readers, and the Two Fingers themselves all insist that the only way to save the Lands Between is to repair the Golden Order (the rules that make up the fabric of reality in Elden Ring’s world) and return things to the way they were before. They fervently urge the player towards this goal over the course of the game.

In this ending, the Tarnished follows their advice and becomes the Elden Lord by siding with the Greater Will and repairing the Golden Order. They then sit the Elden Throne and spread the Outer God’s influence across the lands.

This is the simplest ending to achieve, as all the player needs to do is play through the game normally.

In practice, that means they will have to defeat at least two Demigods and claim their Great Runes. Then travel to Leyndell and defeat Morgott before the Erdtree, only to be turned away. After which, they will have to travel to the Mountaintops of Giants and defeat the Fire Giant. Melina will then appear and use herself as kindling to set the Erdtree aflame.

From there, the player will be transported to Crumbling Faram Azula where they will need to defeat Maliketh, the Black Blade, in order to finally be granted access into the Erdtree. This requires a trip back to Leyndell and a duel with the Erdtree’s final guardian, Godfrey, the First Elden Lord. Following his defeat, the player can enter the Erdtree and face off against Radagon and the Elden Beast in a back-to-back fight. Winning this climactic battle will grant them the ability to “Mend the Elden Ring”, and allow this ending to play out.

Image: FromSoftware - Will you become the Lord of Frenzied Flame and let the world burn?
Image: FromSoftware – Will you become the Lord of Frenzied Flame and let the world burn?

Lord of Frenzied Flame

The second of the main endings is a little more difficult to obtain, but given the nature of Elden Ring, that is hardly surprising. This is an ending for those who seek chaos and destruction, those who want to see the world burn.

In this ending, the Tarnished rejects the Greater Will and its acolytes to embrace The Frenzied Flame and spread chaos. They take up the mantle of the Lord of Frenzied Flame, the Lord of Chaos, and begin to destroy everything that the Greater Will helped create, burning the world to ash and returning everything to the “One Great” (a pre-existence amalgamation of all matter).

To achieve this, players must be branded by the Three Fingers–an event which will then lock them out of any other ending. And one that will cause Melina to abandon the player, as they will have turned against her wishes.

In order to find the Three Fingers, players must learn about the Frenzied Flame through the NPCs Shabriri or Hyetta, then seek the Cathedral of the Forsaken deep below the Subterranean Shunning Grounds beneath Leyndell. Here, they must defeat Mohg, the Omen, (a decidedly tricky optional boss) and pass through the illusory wall behind him. This will lead the player even deeper below the ground to a place filled with the corpses of long-dead Nomadic merchants, and where they will find a door of molten rock that seemingly will not budge. To seek an audience with the Three Fingers and receive their blessing, players must simply remove all of their armor, and the door will open to them.

From here, the Tarnished must continue through the game as normal. Only when the time comes to set the Erdtree aflame, they will burn in place of Melina. And once the final boss has been defeated, there will be no option to repair the Elden Ring, this ending will play out automatically instead. 

If you have accidentally locked yourself into this ending or have since changed your mind, fret not! It is possible to reverse the Frenzied Flame’s touch. But to do this, you must embark on Millicent’s questline, a quest which starts in the swamps and ruins of Caelid and ends with the defeat of Malenia, the hardest boss in the game. Doing this will grant the player Miquella’s Needle, a piece of Unalloyed Gold that has the power to keep the influences of Outer Gods at bay. If used in Dragonlord Placidusax’s area, the Frenzied Flame will release its grasp and the other endings will once more be open, but the Lord of Frenzied Flame ending will be forever locked.

Image: FromSoftware - Or will you side with Ranni and usher in the Age of Stars?
Image: FromSoftware – Or will you side with Ranni and usher in the Age of Stars?

Age of Stars

This is the last of the main endings and is perhaps the most obscure, requiring the completion of a very specific quest to unlock. This is an ending for those who wish for change and seek wisdom from the stars.

In this ending, the Tarnished aids Ranni the Witch in her scheme to replace Queen Marika and rid the Lands Between of the Golden Order’s influence. In doing so, Ranni becomes a goddess and takes the Tarnished as her Elden Lord and consort. She then uses her power to extinguish the Golden Order forever and bring forth the Dark Moon to create a new Order. Ranni then leaves the Lands Between and takes the Tarnished on a thousand-year voyage across the cosmos, leaving the Lands Between without a Lord or a God to watch over it.

 To achieve this ending, players must complete Ranni’s long and intricate questline. This involves finding the enigmatic witch atop the tower of Ranni’s Rise, just beyond Caria Manor in Liurnia, and being sent to find the secret treasure of Nokron. This subterranean city can only be accessed by defeating Starscourge Radahn and allowing the stars to fall. Exploring the city will eventually lead to a chest containing the Fingerslayer Blade, the treasure Ranni seeks.

From there, Ranni will guide players to find her body atop of the Divine Tower of Liurnia and obtain the curse mark. The next part of the quest involves killing the Baleful Shadow, found in Nokstella City, and using the Discarded Palace Key he drops to open the chest beside Rennala in Raya Lucaria and obtain the Dark Moon Ring.

Players must then locate and kill Astel, Naturalborn of the Void (another tricky optional boss), a feat which allows them to access a new area of the map and the Cathedral of Manus Celes. In the caves below the cathedral, players will find Ranni waiting. If they give her the ring, she will awaken, and then, when the final boss is defeated, the Age of Stars will play out and Ranni the Witch will become Ranni the Goddess.

Image: FromSoftware Elden Ring Ending Explained - Perhaps you seek to become Duskborn and end the curse of immortality.
Image: FromSoftware – Perhaps you seek to become Duskborn and end the curse of immortality.

Age of the Duskborn

This is the first of the variations on the Elden Lord ending. This is an ending for those who understand the price of immortality and wish to bend the Golden Order to their own will.

In this ending, the Tarnished sides with Fia, the Deathbed Companion. Godwyn, the first of the Demigods to fall, is granted a second life as a God of Death and Fia lays with him to produce the Mending Rune of the Death Prince. This rune repairs the Golden Order fully, reinstating the Rune of Death Queen Marika removed and restarting the natural cycle of life and death. The Tarnished sits the Elden Throne and an endless grey fog sweeps the Lands Between, removing the curse of immortality for all who dwell there.

To achieve this dark ending, players must complete Fia’s questline. It intersects heavily with Ranni’s and therefore can be easy to miss. It requires talking to Fia multiple times in Roundtable Hold and allowing her to hold the player and grant her blessing. Eventually, she will give them the Weathered Dagger. Offering this dagger to D, Hunter of the Dead, will cause Fia to murder him and relocate to the Deeproot Depths.

The player will find her again at the Alter of the Death Prince by climbing up the roots to the highest part of the Deeproot Depths. From here, players must play through Ranni’s quest until they obtain the curse mark from her body. Taking the curse mark to Fia will cause her to fall asleep beside Godwyn’s corpse, and interacting with her will allow the player to enter her dream and defeat Lichdragon Fortissax. Completing all of this will grant the Mending Rune of the Death Prince as a reward.

With this Mending Rune in their possession, a new option will be presented to the player after they defeat the final boss. Choosing this will see in the Age of the Duskborn and a new Age of Death.

Image: FromSoftware Elden Ring Ending Explained - Perhaps you seek perfect order above all else.
Image: FromSoftware – Perhaps you seek perfect order above all else.

Age of Order

This ending is the second of the Elden Lord variants and is for those who seek stability and an end of strife.

In this ending, the Tarnished sides with the ever-brilliant Goldmask and creates the Mending Rune of Perfect Order. This, it seems, is the Greater Will’s true goal; a world free of ambition and the conflict it can cause. A world where everyone knows their place and no laws can be bent or broken. The Tarnished enforces this rigid new reality upon the Lands Between and sits the Elden Throne to bask in the golden light of peace.

In order to obtain this ending, players must complete Goldmask’s questline. This is far easier to follow than Ranni’s or Fia’s, as Goldmask will follow along with the major beats and locations of the main quest.

Upon entering Altus Plateau, they will meet Goldmask for the first time on the edge of a broken bridge and find Brother Corhyn lurking nearby. From there, players will find Brother Corhyn and Goldmask standing on the cliffs by the West Capital Ramparts, trying to solve a riddle. Leave them and cast the Law of Regression incantation in front of the giant Marika statue inside the capital itself to reveal that Marika and Radagon are one and the same. Telling Goldmask will solve the riddle and continue his quest.

The player must then find and talk with both Corhyn and Goldmask on the bridge south of the Stargazers’ Ruins in the Mountaintops of the Giants. This done, players can continue through the main quest until Leyndell becomes submerged in ash, where they can then find Goldmask’s corpse by the colosseum. Taking the Mending Rune of Perfect Order from his body unlocks a new choice after defeating the final boss. Choose this option, and a new perfect order will bind the Lands Between.

Image: FromSoftware - Or perhaps you just want to watch the world suffer.
Image: FromSoftware – Or perhaps you just want to watch the world suffer.

Blessing of Despair

This is the final ending and the last variant of the Elden Lord. An ending for those who despise the denizens of the Lands Between and seek to curse and defile all who live there.

In this ending, the Tarnished sides with the foul and loathsome Dung Eater, who plans to curse the world simply because he enjoys seeing people suffer. This time, when they sit on the Elden Throne and become Elden Lord, the Tarnished ushers in the curse of defilement, plaguing the denizens of the Lands Between and all their future generations and preventing them from ever returning to Erdtree to be reborn.

To achieve this bleak and miserable ending, players must find the Dung Eater in the Subterranean Shunning-Grounds and release him from his prison. To do this, players must first speak to his spirit in the Roundtable Hold and show him a Seedbed Curse item. This will prompt the Dung Eater to give the player the Sewer-Gaol Key. Once released, he can be found in Leyndell’s Outer Moat, where he will challenge the player to a duel. Defeat him, and he will return to his gaol cell, where he asks the player to find him more seedbed curses. If they hand over five of these seedbed curses, the Dung Eater will reward them with the Mending Rune of the Fell Curse.

As before, this Mending Rune grants the player a new choice after defeating the final boss. Choose it, and watch the world succumb to disease and despair.

Max Longhurst is a keen gamer, avid writer and reader, and former teacher. He first got into gaming when, at the age of 8, his parents bought him a PS2 and Kingdom Hearts for Christmas, and he’s never looked back. Primarily a PlayStation fan, he loves games with a rich single-player experience and stories with unexpected twists and turns.