As an open-world dark fantasy RPG with a story written by George RR Martin and gameplay imagined by Hidetaka Miyazaki, Ring of Elden is rich in symbolism and implication, a “show, don’t tell” narrative experience that players are encouraged to decipher as they explore, fight, die and resurrect. An interesting source of symbolism in Ring of Elden are the names the game’s creators gave to demigods, champions, and other major NPCs. Some of the characters have purely made-up fantasy names, while the names of others have roots in ancient languages like Anglo-Saxon and meanings suited to the characters who bear them.
Fantasy fiction writers and fantasy video game developers have a well-deserved reputation for giving their main characters exotic-sounding names in order to give their worlds a more old-fashioned feel. JRR Tolkien, philologist and author of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, went the extra mile and fashioned names for characters derived from the custom languages and writing systems he created for his elves and dwarves. On the other hand, RA Salvatore, author of several books set in the Forgotten Realms adjustment of Dungeons & Dragons, came up with the name of his iconic Dark Elf Ranger character, Drizzt Do’Urden, on the spot during a phone call with his editor, inadvertently sparking a trend in fantasy fiction where writers gave their characters names with too much syllables and apostrophes.
George RR Martin, author of the dark fantasy saga called A song of ice and fire, is a writer who tries to make his stories feel realistic, but doesn’t let historical facts stop him from telling a good story. Hidetaka Miyazaki, lead designer of games like dark souls and current president of Japanese studio FromSoftware, was inspired by the cultures and trappings of medieval Europe when designing the fantasy setting of Ring Elden, but also probably aesthetic appeal versus historical accuracy. Even so, many medieval-sounding names The iron Throne author Martin and Miyazaki from FromSoft gave the key Ring of Elden the characters have oddly appropriate meanings in the ancient languages from which they are derived.
Meaning of Elden Ring demigod names like Godrick, Godwyn and Godfrey
In the world of Ring of Elden, there are many demigod rulers and champions whose names have the prefix “God” – only appropriate given the divine connection they have with the sky-stretching Erdtree. The two most notable “godchildren” mentioned in Ring of Elden are Godwyn the Golden, whose death on the Night of the Black Knives heralded the cataclysmic wars of the Shattering, and Godrick of Stormveil, a runt of a Demigod who grafted himself into the flesh of monsters and heroes in order to achieve the strength of his loved one. These two demigods appear to be children (or at least direct descendants) of Queen Marika’s first husband, Godfrey the First Elden Lord, who established the Golden Age of the Erdtree, only to be stripped of her pardoned and exiled as one of the first Terni.
Each of these “god prefixes” Ring of Elden Demigod names have roots in ancient Germanic languages, including ancient Anglo-Saxon dialects central to modern English. The name “Godrick” is a combination of the Anglo-Saxon word for “God” (unchanged to this day) and “ric”, meaning “ruler” or “mighty”. The similar Anglo-Saxon name “Godwyn”, also spelled “Godwin” or “Godwine”, translates to “Friend Of God”, an apt moniker for a divine champion famous for defeating and befriending an ancient dragon lord . Godfrey, the first Elden Lord, has a name with Germanic roots which roughly means “Peace of God” in the posopography of Anglo-Saxon England – an ironic title for a fearsome warrior, but fitting for a champion who provoked a new era of prosperity.
What Elden Ring is called like Rennala, Radagon, Radahn, Rykard and Ranni Mean
If Godfrey, the first Elden Lord, sired a major line of divine champions, then an equally prestigious line of demigods arose from the union of two great rulers – Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon and Chief Sorcerer of the Glittering Stone in Raya Lucaria, and the Red-Haired Radagon, a demigod champion of the Golden Order who harbored a strange secret. According to Miriel, Pastor of Vows (a giant turtle NPC in Ring of Elden) Rennala and Radagon met on the battlefield, forged a peace between their respective nations, and became husband and wife, giving birth together to three Demigod children with tragic fates and “R”-prefixed names.
Unlike Lord Godfrey’s demigod children, Rennala, Radagon, and their children seem to have more fantastical names with no direct root in ancient languages. The name Radagon resembles the female name “Radgund” (Old Germanic for “Counsel of War”), while Ranni, the disembodied snow witch, has a name similar to the real “Rani” (which can mean “Queen” in Sanskrit or “Sing” in Hebrew). Rykard, the Lord of Blasphemy, has an archaic-sounding version of the name Richard, Old Germanic for “brave ruler”; both the serpentine Lord Rykard in Ring of Elden and Godrick the Transplant share the element “Ric” in their name – a perhaps unintended nod to how the two demigods turned into monstrous beings. General Radahn – both a fearless warlord and a sweet sentimentalist who mastered gravitational sorcery so his giant body wouldn’t encumber his favorite horse – has a name similar to Radovan, Rada, Radojka and other nicknames from the Slavic languages - the “Rad” element of these titles roughly translates to “happy/willing”.
Etymology of Elden Ring names like Marika, Malenia, Mohg and Morgott
Fantasy author George RR Martin, approached by FromSoftware to help build and create the world Ring of Eldenorigin myths, said he did not choose to give Ring of Elden the names of the characters correspond to his own initials. There is, however, a significant pronunciation pattern in the names given to certain bloodlines in FromSoftware’s open-world RPG. Marika and Godfrey’s Demigod offspring have names beginning with “God–”. Radagon and Rennala’s children have names beginning with “R”. Finally, many of the Omen characters in Ring of Elden – Morgott, King Omen and Mohg, Lord of Blood in particular – have names beginning with Mr. Morgott and his character “Margitt, the Fell Omen” were both jokingly referred to as “Margaret” by members of the Ring of Elden fan base; Margaret’s name, which means “Pearl” in ancient Greek, appears to have no connection to Mohg, Margitt/Morgott or the other Omens, a clan of humanoids with horns, tails and other mutated growths on their body.
Malenia the Severed, Blade of Miquella, a Valkyrie afflicted with contagious scarlet rot, became the mascot of Ring of Elden in all but name when its first trailer was released. After her release, Malenia’s reputation changed and she became known as one of the Ring of EldenThe toughest bosses in – less of a rot goddess, and more of a “Rage Quit” goddess. For all the weight and importance of Malenia in the game and the story, neither her name, nor the name of her patroness Miquella, seem to correspond to modern or historical names (the name of the goddess Malenia in Ring of Elden sounds like the ancient Greek word Melania, which means “black” or “dark”, but otherwise has no etymological connection).
The name of Queen Marika, the goddess of the Erdtree whose disappearance is the greatest mystery of Ring of Elden, has a much more interesting etymological root. In several real-world cultures, Marika is short for “Mary” or “Maria”, a name most famously associated with the revered Virgin Mary in both Christianity and Islam. In the New Testament of the Bible, Mary, by an immaculate conception, gave birth to the son of God, who was then crucified by the authorities of the Roman Empire. In Ring of EldenMarika, the ancestor of Demigods, is depicted with outstretched arms in many of the statues players can find while exploring the open world – a posture with parallels to crucifixion imagery.
Next: Elden Ring Caria Manor Secrets (As Told By A Humble Tarnished)
Sources: The Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England,
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