As you would expect of such a gargantuan game, Elden Ring is home to a whole slew of characters, ranging from otherworldly bosses to seemingly regular NPCs, each with unique questlines that see them travelling across the Lands Between and achieving incredible feats.
Out of the vast array of characters, there are naturally a few that will pull on your heartstrings. But the real question is: Which ones are the best?
Iron Fist Alexander
Iron Fist Alexander is easily one of the most comical and memorable characters in Elden Ring. His jovial nature and funny appearance is a breath of fresh air in the dismal world of the Lands Between.
Iron Fist Alexander hails from the small settlement of Jarburg, which can be found just south of the Carian Study Hall. In this hidden village, a group of Living Jars spend their time together peacefully. Alexander, however, decides to leave behind the comfort of his friends and family in an attempt to grow as a warrior.
The Tarnished comes across Alexander on the way towards Stormhill Castle, where he’s stuck in the ground. After freeing him, the Warrior Jar tells their new friend where he plans on heading next. This quickly becomes a trend as you meet Alexander at various locations throughout the game. His comedic timing easily becomes one of the warrior’s most defining traits.
At the end of his questline, Iron Fist Alexander and the Tarnished Warrior cross blades for the final time at the windswept area of Crumbling Farum Azula. Funnily enough, Alexander fights just like any other Living Jar in Elden Ring but he is notably immune to fire damage after his intensive training at Mt Gelmir. Upon defeat, Iron Fist Alexander thanks the Tarnished for helping him before passing on to the next life.
Alexander is like a breath of fresh air but his overall attitude and desire to become stronger is infectious as you find yourself rooting for him, even during his final battle.
Blaidd the Half-Wolf
At first glance, Blaidd the Half-Wolf is an imposing figure to behold. Yet he is a rather sympathetic soul who only seeks to support his lady, Ranni. Unfortunately, his tale is intertwined with hers.
As the name implies, Blaidd is a half-man, half-wolf hybrid. He can be initially found at the Mistwood Ruins in Limgrave. After meeting the Tarnished and defeating Darriwil together, Blaidd appears again as a companion at various key points in the game, especially at the Siofra River or Festival of General Radahn.
After some time, Blaidd is revealed to be created by Ranni. Naturally, he has unwavering loyalty to her, which ends up being his downfall. As the game progresses, Blaidd begins to slowly slip into madness, clinging to his role as his mistress’s shadow. Before long, the witch begins to actively deny her destiny and Blaidd loses his mind completely. As such, he is slain begrudgingly by the Tarnished.
Blaidd’s story is particularly sad as his fate was already sealed before he was even aware of it. He had no way to alter his destiny and was doomed to betray the most important person in his life. This character is forever a bleak reminder of how distorted and twisted the world of Elden Ring truly is.
Hidden away in Waypoint Ruins, Sorceress Sellen buries herself in magical tomes and scrolls.
Deemed an outcast from the Raya Lucaria Academy, Sorceress Sellen is a gifted witch who has devoted herself to the development of Glintstone Sorceries. She initially takes the Tarnished on as an apprentice in magic after they stumble into her abode and defeat her Pumpkin Head familiar. Her story doesn’t properly begin until the Tarnished comes across the petrified body of the legendary mage, Azur on Mt Gelmir. From here, Sellen’s story takes a rather dark turn as she uncovers the secrets of the old sorcery masters, and has a deadly run-in with a witch hunter and a doll-obsessed wizard.
After a certain point, the Tarnished must make a crucial decision regarding Sellen, to either side with her enemies and hunt the witch or protect her from harm. However, no matter what they decide to do, Sellen will meet an untimely end. Either slaughtered by the Witch-hunter Jerren, turned into a lifeless puppet by Selvius or transfigured into a hideous School of Graven Mages.
Much like Blaidd, Sellen’s tale is a bleak one. Destined for either death or a life of utter misery. As one of the very few genuine and heartfelt characters in Elden Ring, I find it difficult to even begin her questline, knowing what cruel fate awaits her.
Patches is a peculiar character. He has worn many different faces throughout the Soulsborne series yet his core fundamentals are always the same. Luring the player into a trap, begging for forgiveness and then acting as a merchant for the rest of the game. As you would expect, Patches is up to his usual shenanigans in Elden Ring.
The Tarnished encounters Patches for the first time in Murkwater Cave. After being ambushed by the bald trickster who quickly begs for his life after being reduced to 50% HP. From here, Patches sells the Tarnished a variety of items, along with a few tricks, of course. He even follows you through the world of the Lands Between, appearing at many locations, like Mt Gelmir, Volcano Manor and even The Shaded Castle.
Patches also gives various tip-offs and information about hidden treasure or interesting locations, though this often involves being kicked off of a cliff or the like. He is rather fond of the Tarnished. All of his tricks and traps lead them to important locations or forewarn them about rapidly approaching danger.
Whilst Patches is the same as ever, I greatly appreciate this. His nonchalant attitude and devious tricks are mainstays in the Soulsborne series and I am personally glad to see them make a return in Elden Ring.
Like so many other characters on this list, Millicent’s whole existence is steeped in bloody tragedy. Suffering from an affliction known as Scarlet Rot, she spends most of her time rotting away in a dilapidated church.
Upon retrieving the Unalloyed Golden Needle, the Tarnished stumbles across Millicent in the aforementioned church. Upon using the item, she recovers from her aliment and vows to become as great a warrior as her mother. Millicent’s story begins as she travels the world in search of her Malenia.
At the end of her quest, Millicent must come to terms with her mortality. She must decide between either dying as herself or living as something that isn’t her. Either way, her tale does not have a happy ending.
As I mentioned at the beginning, there is a sizeable roster of characters in Elden Ring. Each with their own stories and personalities that align with certain in-game ideals or endings. Despite living in such an apocalyptic world, these characters add a surprising amount of life to the world of Elden Ring.
(Credit goes to Outside Xtra for the video and to Gamerpillar, Dom’s Rountable and It’sShatter for the images)