By software‘s games have never been about heroes. That demons souls and Dark Souls Games usually star lowlifes who rise up to overcome their fate – or in the case of Sekiro: Shadows die twicea stoic shinobi just trying to protect his master, all against a backdrop of decaying worlds where everyone is at each other’s throats.
elden ring changes that, but not in the way you might think. You’re still a nobody; a “tainted” quest for glory by claiming the title of “Elden Lord” and smashing his way through terrible men and monsters alike. Some, like Margit the Fell Omen, call out squarely on you to “end those foolish ambitions”, while others like Sir Gideon Ofnir stab you in the back to stop your grand schemes, and all see you as an unworthy hero.
So we need to look beyond the player character to find the “hero” of Elden Ring. The shoulders on which that title falls belong to none other than Ranni the Witch, the mysterious blue-skinned being with several cohorts residing in a tall, fancy tower near Caria Manor. Your and Ranni’s journeys actually begin by mirroring each other: you’re both recruits for the Two Fingers, but Ranni scorns being a pawn for The Fingers – where your journey with the Empyrean begins.
Prior to the events of Elden Ring, Ranni’s body was killed in the Night of the Black Knives, resulting in her soul being bonded to her puppet model, which the player accidentally encounters. Ranni fights the Fingers in direct opposition to the status quo: The Fingers want a pawn they can control to maintain order and rule The Lands Between, but Ranni basically decides this world needs a bit of a shake-up.
Ranni’s ideals work something like this: she wants to separate the planes of mortals and gods because she believes that no mortal should be able to see the limits of their life directly in front of them as physical barriers. The gods should not interfere in the lives of mortals, Ranni demands, and should be left entirely to their own devices in another realm. With the state The Lands Between is in, can you really blame her?
FromSoftware’s stories always move in gray areas, and Elden Ring’s is no exception. The Fingers and Ranni are in direct opposition, but neither is “good” or “evil”; The former seeks to maintain the status quo (much like keeping the flame burning at the end of Dark Souls), while the latter wants something brand new for those suffering from that status quo.
Ranni’s route in the Elden Ring is by no means easy. The player must overcome countless obstacles such as assassins sent by fingers in the guise of Blaidd the Halfwolf and even assassinate Blaidd when Ranni’s former comrade finally loses his mind. It’s all in Ranni’s service, and the only thing the former Fingers character ever wants is to see her goals through to the end – even if that means leaving allies like Blaidd to their ultimate demise.
Ranni’s story is one of self-indulgence, yes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Take Kuro in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, for example: the young lord is totally self-centered and believes he must banish his eternal, power-giving bloodline for the betterment of the land, damn the consequences. Kuro’s mission is entirely self-serving: he doesn’t care a bit about anyone who might suffer from the disappearance of his bloodline, knowing that the alternative – his blood being misused by powerful rulers – is far worse than anything that happens to the common people can should his bloodline rise and disappear.
Ranni’s mission is self-serving, just like Kuro’s, but it is for the good of all in The Lands Between. If the status quo has brought so much pain and suffering to the common people – as we see countless times in Elden Ring – why would she want to keep it? One might view Ranni’s abandonment of Blaidd as a cruel move, but it can also be read as a friend who puts the needs of all who will benefit from their success ahead of themselves. Blaidd could become a bloodthirsty beast, and that is the price of Ranni’s mission, not the sacrifice she is willing to make.
If Ranni’s quest is a personal sacrifice, it’s impossible not to read her role as that of the Elden Ring heroine. In fact, one could even read Ranni’s role as the protagonist of Elden Ring: she starts out manipulated and mutilated as she tries to free herself from her fingers, but never once loses her focus on building a better world for those around her . Like the turtles in the world of Elden Ring, she represents something good. Somehow.
Ranni grabs the world of the Elden Ring by the neck and pushes it towards something bigger and better, with us only being accomplices in her grand designs. FromSoftware’s games rarely host heroes, let alone those who succeed in their noble quests (RIP, Solaire), but in Ranni we may finally have a hero worthy of actually saving an entire world.
https://www.vg247.com/elden-ring-ranni-true-hero Ranni from Elden Ring is the true hero of the game