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Who is Messmer, the main focus of the Elden Ring DLC: Shadow of the Erdtree

The first Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree trailer has given us much to talk about, especially when it comes to its main figure: who really is Messmer, the Impaler?

Elden Ring

FromSoftware surprised millions of fans today with the sudden announcement and subsequent release of the trailer for the first (and perhaps only) piece of DLC for Elden Ring: “Shadow of the Erdtree”, a massive expansion that brings with it many new enemies, weapons, bosses and even an entirely new map. But among all of that, there is a new redheaded figure at the front of it all, what seems to be a powerful foe called Messmer, the Impaler.

Hayao Miyazaki, the director of Elden Ring, revealed more details about the new enemy that sits menacingly on a throne in the expansion’s official art. In an interview with IGN, he spoke about the setting of the DLC being a separate map from the Lands Between, in a region called the Land of Shadow because of how it is opposed to the Erdtree itself, with its shadow being casted over this region. He revealed that the new map is similar or larger to the entirety of Limgrave, and that we’ll be following the steps Miquella took when he visited the land before.

But most important of all is this redhaired man who faces the Tarnished with a blade of flames and a snake around his shoulders. “We believe he will be officially revealed to be Messmer by the time the trailer goes live,” said Miyazaki. “And yes, he’s a key figure in the DLC and he again has this important element of shadow to him, which is a key theme throughout the DLC as well.”

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“There was this piece of key art where it shows Messmer sat in this throne-like chair, and people who’ve played the game may recognize this throne to be one of those from the boss room where you battle Morgott. And this represents the thrones at the base of the Erdtree. And it’s supposed to symbolize that Messmer stands on equal footing to these other demigods and children of Marika who sat around in these thrones and held the rooms of the Erdtree.”

But is he another demigod? Is he of Marika and Radagon’s blood, or is there something about that messy family history we’re missing? According to Miyazaki, during the DLC we’ll “learn a little about why he wasn’t featured in the legends of the Erdtree, the lands between.” He mentions that this figure exists in the shadows, and from how he fights we might be able to understand just how opposed he is to everything the Erdtree and the Golden Order stand for.

Simply take a close look at his design, and you’ll start to find some worrisome things: His blade and his hands conjure dark flame. A Snake wraps around him, as if guarding him from danger. When he attacks you can see the Briars of Sin that marked and blinded traitors of the Golden Order. And most of all, his eyes glow yellow like those afflicted by the Frenzied Flame. These are all of the symbols that represented the other Outer Gods present in some way or form in the Lands Between, all of which are branded enemies of the Golden Order.

Elden Ring
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And now you start to notice the absence of hand imagery in the trailer and its land, how the Fingers seem to be out of reach in the region. It is as if Messmar was chosen as a perfect champion to fight against Marika and the other demigods.

We won’t have to wait for too long before we’re able to find out just how many times our butts will be handed to us in battle against Messmer, as Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree releases on June 21 for Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and Steam.