Shadow of the Erdtree is the long-awaited first expansion for Elden Ring
Arise again, Tarnished, there's a new adventure coming to the Lands BetweenBy Alfonso Maruccia
The big picture: After selling more than 20 million copies, Elden Ring is finally getting its first proper expansion. FromSoftware announced the new adventure in the Lands Between by providing just a single piece of artwork, but fans and lore experts have already run wild with speculation and theories.
Elden Ring, the award-winning poster child of the Soulsborne formula set in a vast and freely explorable open world, will soon grow bigger. Japanese developer FromSoftware has announced an upcoming expansion for the game, Shadow of the Erdtree, by posting a new piece of artwork on Elden Ring's official Twitter account.
No other information is provided about the expansion or a possible release date, but fans will gladly spend the upcoming weeks (or likely months) conceiving even more crazy theories about the out-of-this-world Elden Ring lore.
FromSoftware's announcement came just three days after Elden Ring's first anniversary, when the developer celebrated the huge success of their new "Souls" IP with a content-free event streamed live from Stockholm. Now, FromSoftware says, the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion is "in development" and will provide players with "new adventures" in the Lands Between.
Shadow of the Erdtree has likely been in development for months, as director Hidetaka Miyazaki said the studio had many more stories to tell in the Elden Ring world when he collected the "Game of the Year" award at The Game Awards 2022. Therefore, hopeful Tarnished are hoping the expansion could be released sooner than expected.
FromSoftware's teaser depicts a typical Elden Ring environment with abandoned ruins, ancient graves, spirits and mist everywhere. The unknown blonde figure in the foreground is riding what seems to be Torrent, the player's mount, and clearly resembles the childlike corporeal aspect of demigod Miquella. In the background, there's a burnt Erdtree bleeding pure gold as well.
Together with his twin sister Malenia, Miquella is the offspring of Queen Marika the Eternal and Radagon – which is yet another (male) aspect of Marika herself. In Elden Ring's main story, players have the chance to face Malenia as one the hardest – if not the hardest – bosses late in the game, while Miquella is playing an ancillary role in the background. Both Malenia and Miquella were born with a curse, the game's lore says, which is either a rotting infection from an outer god (Malenia) or an eternal childlike appearance despite being considered the most fearsome demigod around (Miquella).
To put it simply, Miquella is a constant topic of discussion among Elden Ring's lore connoisseurs, and the Shadow of Erdtree will seemingly provide some answers to the many questions players have raised thus far.