Elden Ring: the Story of Malenia, Blade of Miquella

Malenia, Blade of Miquella is the cultural centerpiece of FromSoftware's Game of the Year: Elden Ring. Here, we will delve into the story behind Malenia's Scarlet Rot, her skills and triumph as a warrior, and her protective affection for her twin brother Miquella.

Elden Ring the Story of Malenia, Blade of MiquellaMalenia, Blade of Miquella or simply Malenia, is the cultural centrepiece of FromSoftware’s Game of the Year, Elden Ring. Malenia, at the peak of Elden Ring’s success was an almost omnipresent figure in gaming culture with numerous fan arts, stories and videos delving into every minute detail of this epic character. Here, we will look at this character and dive deep into her ambitions as a renowned warrior; her family and how she would do anything to protect her brother, and the quintessential factors that make her so deeply adored.

Malenia’s Origins

Malenia’s origins are that of power and glory. She was the prodigal child of Queen Marika the Eternal and Consort Radagon, along with her fraternal brother Miquella. Malenia, like her brother Miquella, was born cursed. She would exude an essence known as the Scarlet Rot that would destroy anything in its path including Malenia herself. Any player who has taken on Malenia in Elden Ring will be very aware of the power Scarlet Rot possesses. Malenia, however, was not simply extraordinary due to her curse. She was perhaps the most gifted fighter in all the Lands Between. One who had never known defeat.

Malenia holds a powerful pose wielding her blade as she readies for battle. Her red hair and cape flowing under the wind

The Warrior who has never known defeat

The Scarlet Rot

To fully understand Malenia we must delve deeper into the Scarlet Rot. On the surface it may seem like a straightforward affliction with no cure, but Malenia’s Scarlet Rot is the doing of an Outer God. Outer Gods can impose themselves upon the world of the Lands Between through Empyrean vessels. As Malenia is the daughter of Queen Marika, a god, she is an Empyrean – meaning she is one who could ascend into godhood.

Perhaps, the obvious question is: what good is the Scarlet Rot? Outer Gods are those of order, however, the Scarlet Rot only seems to cause pain and suffering. Much of the interpretation arrives somewhere in the juxtaposition destructive beauty. , for example, is an NPC we find in the Lands Between housed in a shack deep in the rotted lands of Caelid. He describes the Scarlet Rot as “resplendent” as it describes the cycle of death and rebirth. Much the same as we see during our fight with Malenia. We see her fall, the scarlet Aeonia bloom once again and watch her rebirth as the Goddess of Rot. 

the image portrays the death and decay that Caelid has become following Malenia's Scarlet Aeonia. The dying,  straw-like grass, blood red sky and scarlet buds decorate the land.

The Scarlet Aeonia has destroyed what was once Caelid, and now buds of Malenia’s Aeonia litter the land

Malenia is in constant turmoil with the Scarlet Rot as she does not see its beauty. She lives with an unalloyed gold needle pierced within her to keep the Rot at bay. She would rather be proudly victorious as a combatant that resort to what she imagines is a cheap trick. Now that we understand the Scarlet Rot and Malenia’s feelings about it, it’s time to progress through her story

The Shattering

Following the shattering of the Elden Ring by Queen Marika, the Demigod children would receive its shards and complete their own destiny. The demigods would fight and attempt to take control of the Lands Between. The two final contenders; the mightiest of them all were Malenia and General Radahn.

Malenia stares down a confident Radahn. The sun setting in the background creating an epic image of the two about to battle

The Battle of Aeonia

Malenia would lead her Cleanrot Knights to Caelid where she would face Radahn in an all-out war. The fight approaches a stalemate. We see a weakening Radahn remove Malenia’s right arm as she charges him. Malenia, in a final act of desperation, removes her unalloyed needle and unleashes the Scarlet Rot that she has so bravely contained inside herself. Radahn, afflicted by this poisonous rot becomes an animalistic shell of the being he once was, cannibalising nearby Cleanrot Knights and roaming the sands of the now destroyed Caelid mindlessly. Thus, ending what would be known as the Battle of Aeonia.

A GiF from the Elden Ring trailer showing Malenia's blooming Scarlet Aeonia as she strikes her final blow against a kneeling General Radahn on the Caelid battlefield

Malenia unleashes her Scarlet Aeonia against General Radahn

A Broken Warrior

Malenia is not proud of this victory. She abandoned everything that made her the fighter she was revered as. One of her warriors, Cleanrot Knight Finlay carried the incapacitated Malenia back to the Haligtree where she could regain her strength and ponder her battlefield actions. We have no cutscenes of this, but artist Mikko Pöyry gave us this fantastic imagery.

Millicent, one of Malenia’s five children who bloomed – they were not born directly from Malenia, but bloomed like buds from the destructive Aeonian flower Malenia left after her contest with Radahn – following the Battle of Aeonia, attempts to save Malenia from her internalised turmoil. She tells us: “There is something I must return to Malenia. The will that was once her own. The dignity, the sense of self, that allowed her to resist the call of the Scarlet Rot. The pride she abandoned, to meet Radahn’s measure”.

A dark and eerie image of Malenia's daughter Millicent and she stands head on with her piercing yellow eyes

Millicent, one of Malenia’s 5 children

Her Brothers Defender

Malenia sits aside her brothers resting place at the base of the Haligtree. She awaits her brothers return, unbeknownst to her and the other warriors of the Haligtree that Miquella had been abducted by his half-brother Mohg to be the Empyrean vessel for another Outer God.

A broken Malenia sits on a small wooden throne aside her brothers Haligtree, her left hand resting upon it

Malenia sits in protection of her Brothers Haligtree

Malenia awaits anyone who will challenge her and her brother. As the Tarnished enters the arena we are greeted by a slumbering Malenia. She rises attaching her right arm and locking her blade in place. Malenia may be a broken warrior, but she is an undefeated fighter who will die protecting her family if she must.

Her Final Fight

The fight erupts at a frightening pace as Malenia sets the tone early. This fight requires patience, poise and an unfaltering attention to detail. Malenia’s flowing style can be hard to master, but her waterfowl dance is where she earns the title of the greatest fighter who ever lived.

A fully armoured Malenia poises her sword to strike the tranished in her arena at the foot of the Haligtree

Malenia readies to strike

If you can somehow conquer this trial, you will meet the same fate as Radahn. Malenia has no more pride to lose. She will use the Scarlet Rot to her advantage, even more so to protect her brother. As Malenia falls into the shallow waters, our blade striking her down, we hear her say: “wait”. The tarnished turns around and is met with a blooming Aeonian flower. From the sea of butterflies, we see a winged and rotten Malenia. She has abandoned all that she was before and embraced the Rot for all it can give her. She ascends beautifully reborn, a Goddess of Rot.

Malenia rises into the air with her newly bloomed wings as she fully devotes herself to the Scarlet Rot. Her body etched with Rot and decaying flowers she portrays a formidable foe

Malenia rises a Goddess of Rot

It is now we face not only the greatest warrior in the Lands Between, but one empowered fully by an Outer God. Malenia is no doubt the hardest opponent we have faced, and now she becomes even harder, with a wide array of moves empowered by the destructiveness of the Scarlet Rot. If you wish to watch the fight, Youtube Channel Shirrako has the full fight available here.

A Prideful Death

After an arduous battle, Malenia will fall. Her gracious words being: “Your strength, extraordinary… The mark… of a true Lord…” Following this, we hear a final plea to her brother Miquella: “O, dear Miquella… O, dearest Miquella, my brother… I’m sorry. I finally met my match…” Malenia may not feel prideful again following her complete acceptance of the Scarlet Rot, but in the full defence of her brother and the positive changes he was trying to make to the Lands Between, she died like a prideful warrior; in defence of something bigger than herself.

If you enjoyed this deep dive into Elden Ring content and want to read more, check out some guides, weapon builds and Elden Ring news from our other writers: 

  1. Elden Ring: The Story of Mohg, Lord of Blood

  2. New Elden Ring Patch May Hint at Upcoming DLC

  3. Top 5 Boss Weapons in Elden Ring

  4. Elden Ring Is Coming to the Tabletop

  5. Elden Ring: Malenia Boss Guide

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