Elden Ring Lore: Malenia, Blade of Miquella

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Beyond having complex and extensive lore about its universe, Elden Ring also has its own magnificent stories for all of its inhabitants. Today we will explore some more of the story behind one of the bosses who are most beloved by fans: Malenia.

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translated by Meline Hoch

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The Goddess of Rot

Malenia is one of the most beautiful, deadly and fascinating entities present in Elden Ring. Her Scarlet Rot curse makes it so her body rots as time passes, in contrast with her brother who never gets old and, even though extremely powerful, will always remain in a child’s body.

Being one of the hardest challenges found in the game, Malenia brandishes her blade with grace, dexterity and beauty, such as the smooth flow of a river take its courses. Always ready to protect her brother, she becomes the deadliest swordsman the Lands Between have ever seen.


Before we get into her story, let’s first get to know her curse.

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The Scarlet Rot

To get to know the Scarlet Rot, we must go back to the Rotten Lake, where we can find an item called “Mushroom Crown”, where it’s said that great lords have served the Scarlet Rot in the past.

That being so, we can deduce that there was a hierarchy of mushroom lords who served and worshiped this condition. Even though it might sound bizarre to worship something that many see as a disease, the Scarlet Rot is a lot more than that because it can affect even the crystalline beings, inorganic creatures.

Contrary to the conventional notion of sickness, it’s found that the Scarlet Rot is, in fact, the “divine essence of an outer god”, sealed in the underworld. This entity seeks to impose a decadence cycle, aiming for a glorious rebirth. Examples of this cycle are observed in places such as Miquella's Haligtree and Caelid, where the local flora is influenced by the Rot.

The Rot was sealed by a legendary figure: The Blind Swordsman, he who received favors from a fairy called “Blue Dancer”. The curved sword brandished by him symbolizes the flowing water, antagonizing the Rot. Looking into the “Blue Dancer”’s relationship to water, a possible connection to the underground rivers of Siofra and Ainsel is suggested.

Even though the Scarlet Rot has been sealed, its threat resurfaces by corrupting Malenia at the moment of her birth, perpetuating the mystery and danger in the Lands Between.

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Malenia, Blade of Miquella

Malenia is an Empyrean born with the Scarlet Rot curse, in Elden Ring’s Lands Between. Just like her brother Miquella, Malenia was a valid candidate to substitute Queen Marika as a Goddess, becoming the target of the intervention of an Outer God. The God of Rot managed to afflict Malenia as soon as she was born, compromising the sacred potential of her Great Rune.

Miquella, dedicated to the search of a cure for the Scarlet Rot, abandoned his faith on the Golden Order and adopted the Pure Gold way. He created a pure gold needle, giving Malenia some relief and interrupting the disease’s progression. The brother has also forged her prosthetic members made of pure gold, elevating Malenia’s perspectives as a warrior.

Looking to strengthen herself, Malenia found a mentor, the Blue Dancer, the same one who sealed the Rot years before. This mentor taught her techniques he used himself to contain the curse. The Blind Sworsman’s wisdom was noticeable in the fact that, even though he recognized the presence of the old enemy in Malenia, he opted for guiding her and sharing his knowledge.

Malenia’s skill, called "Waterfowl Dance", reflects her incessant moving towards neutralizing the effects of the Rot. This is the way she has trailed to reach unprecedented strength and to keep her dignity. However, the same dignity is put to the test in her fight against Radahn, indicating continuous challenges for her.


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Starscourge Radahn

General Radahn, the most powerful demigod in Elden Ring’s Lands Between, stood out by being a fierce warrior in the search for control of the Great Runes. Born of the union between Radagon, a champion of the Lands Between, and Queen Rennala, sovereign of the Raya Lucaria Academy, Radahn grew up in the midst of a family marked by rivalry and heroic aspirations.

Ever since his youth, Radahn idolized the Pristine Lord Godfrey, adopting in his armor the symbol of the lions, representing Godfrey’s Beast Regent. His development as leader of the Redmane Knights reflects the fusion of the characteristics which came from Radagon, his father, and those from Godfrey, his idol.

Marika, stepmother to Radahn and his brothers, was the one who raised them as demigods. Radahn, growing up in size, towered over even his dear steed, Leonard. Instead of abandoning his beloved horse, though, Radahn opted for exploring the gravitational magic in Sellia to keep himself alongside Leonard in battles. He seeked out to learn from a master who belonged to the Alabaster lords’ lineage.

By dominating this form of magic, Radahn got the ability to manipulate the gravitational forces, challenging even the celestial influences. He faced monumental challenges, including the event known as “Starscourge”, where his abilities were fundamental to seal off the star movements, protecting Sellia. His loyalty to the Golden Order was questioned, suggesting some personal motivation beyond the interests of the Order.

The story intensifies as the confrontation between Radahn and Malenia ensues…

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Rot Faces the Flames

Seeking control over the Great Runes after the breaking of the Elden Ring, Radahn got into a fight against Malenia. Their battle ended in a standstill until Malenia released her Scarlet Rot upon Radahn and all the Caelid. This caused Radahn to transform into an irrational beast, consuming friends and foes alike and howling to the sky.

Within this dystopian scenario in Caelid, the overwhelming Scarlet Rot transforms what was before an untouched realm into a living nightmare. The dragons, unable to resist the spread of the corruption, are forced to abandon their homes, seeking refuge in the isolated Dragonbarrow. Despite their efforts to escape unharmed, some dragons such as Ekzykes and the colossal Greyoll fall victim to the Scarlet Rot, altering the balance in this once majestic land.

The Redmane Knights, loyal to General Radahn, face a difficult situation when succumbing to Malenia’s Scarlet Rot. Pushed forward by an unbreakable determination, they symbolically burn the crest into their armor, indicating the compromise in resisting the plague.

This challenging defense, known as “Flame of the Redmanes”, becomes an integral part of their identity, shaping their fight against the Rot. The Armorer’s Cookbook reveals that several of these techniques were legacies from Gran General Radahn’s Armorer, giving out knowledge on how to deal with the Rot through the use of fire.


And, just like this, this “Flame of the Redmanes” became a significant part of their identities going forward. Piles of insane wild animal’s corpses are burned, blazing walls are built up to stop the spread of the Rot into neighboring lands and castles, and even flaming carriages are driven to help in the battle, using torches, fire pots, arrows, and more.

Jerren’s beloved sword, a Flamberge, became the symbol of the castle itself, thanks to its flaming curling which lends the weapon its name. Jerren stayed in the Redmane Castle, regularly organizing a celebration of war, calling out champions from all the corners of the world to deliver death to his friend, now infected by the Rot and gone insane, wishing only for an honorable demise.

Meanwhile, among Malenia’s butterflies, pale plagues emerge from the Aeonia Swamp, expanding itself as the rot spreads, attracted by any land affected by the Scarlet Rot. Despite looking like mere insects, these creatures are intelligent, capable of forging peculiar weapons using sharp shells, casting enchantments and even taming wild beasts. However, despite their brains, Gowry describes them as “reckless”, which contrasts with the description of them being intelligent.

The plagues are also called the “forgotten sons of the goddess” and “servants of the Goddess of Rot”, and were “abandoned”. And it’s not difficult to understand why, since Malenia was taken away at the exact moment of her flourishing, and she resents and resists the Scarlet Rot, unless pushed to the extreme.

However, the plagues persist. They even have a quoted dialogue line in the Kindred of Rot's Exultation, which reads “Rot for the scarlet goddess. O scarlet blossoms, flourish in distant lands, and return to us, the unwanted children.”

This takes us to the theory behind the expression “Scarlet Blossoms”. It’s possible it not only refers to the literal flower blossoms of the Scarlet Rot, but also to the possibility of the scarlet blossoms being real people. They could be the five sisters: Polyanna, Maureen, Amy, Mary and Millicent - who would be the flower blossoms.

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Malenia and her Divine Awakening

In the mysterious realm of Elden Ring, Malenia’s presence, the bearer of the Scarlet Rot, remains shrouded in mystery and adoration. Since its last appearance when being taken to the Haligtree, the location of this sacred place remains unknown to many. After that, there are those who continue to worship her, including human beings such as Maleigh Marais, the castellan of the Shaded Castle.

Maleigh’s relationship to the Scarlet Rot is revealed through the description of the Marais Robe, which mentions that the sons of House Marais are born sick. Maleigh, seduced by the Goddess born from the Rot, finds comfort in his Valkyrie's Prosthesis, alleging to feel the presence of his personal goddess.

The history of the Shaded Castle culminates in its ruin, now inhabited by the Cleanrot Knights. While Malenia rests at the Haligtree, the true nature of her existence is revealed when her second transformation occurs, unleashing events which lead to the possibility of her ascension as a true goddess of rot.


However, a terrible secret is then revealed: the Scarlet Aeonia prophesies that, alongside the third flourishing of the scarlet flower, Malenia will become a true goddess. This raises questions concerning the battle against Malenia, and whether she has already achieved her second or third flourishing during the confrontation.

The speculation is intensified by evidence found outside of Malenia’s room, including the possibility of a second flourishing having already occurred. However, the uncertainties persist surrounding the true nature of her flowers. Gowry, Millicent’s manipulator, suggests that a treason would intensify the vividness of the flourishing, provoking somber reflections about possible future developments.

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In Conclusion

Elden Ring reveals a complex lore, full of mysteries, providing players with a glimpse into the intriguing past and an uncertain future for Malenia and her corrupted realm.

The next chapter in this fascinating story can unveil itself in the depths of DLC, leaving players anxious for more revelations and challenges inside this vast world.

And in case you’re interested in knowing more about Elden Ring, check out our introduction about The Lore Behind This Universe!link outside website