Elden Ring: Which Ending Is Canon?

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The world of Elden Ring is vast, filled with mysteries and intricacies for you to uncover. Much of that mystery forms your base understanding of the world, giving you a firmer reason to carry out your mission, and perhaps even your own place in The Lands Between.


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This understanding is essential for understanding the endings, or even understanding what the choices mean in the first place. Yet with so many different endings, it can beg the question of which feels most appropriate for the world, and which would FromSoftware itself class as canon.


A Brief Summary Of Elden Ring’s Endings

screenshot of Elden Ring Fia armor set and duskborn ending

Like other SoulsBorne games, Elden Ring has multiple endings, most of them unlocked through further exploration of the world. In Elden Ring, this manifests in six distinctly different endings, with some smaller variations in some of them. Let’s briefly discuss them, and their effects on the world.

The Age Of Fracture

The Age of Fracture could be seen as the default ending to Elden Ring. It occurs from simply mending the Elden Ring to the state it was in prior to its shattering, returning the world to its previous nature. It is the only option available to you if you perform no optional actions in the game, though is still an available option even if other endings are possible. It is the status quo, a return to a life of Undeath and injustice.

The Age Of The Duskborn

The Age of the Duskborn is a return to order, one less corrupted by Marika’s zeal. With the Rune of Death removed, no one could truly die in The Lands Between, seeping into the Erdtree to empower the Greater Will. But by completing Fia’s story, you can restore the Rune of Death, and allow those who die to continue living in death. In many ways, it is how the world should continue, in an ideal world ruled by the Greater Will.

The Blessing Of Despair

A character reviled throughout The Lands Between, the Dung Eater can also give you a mending rune for the Elden Ring that puts his own twist on the world. It can seem intensely cruel, cursing everyone with his own affliction, to make them akin to the Fell Omen. An interesting angle to consider is that the Fell Omen were once natural denizens of The Lands Between, shunned by the Golden Order. The Blessing of Despair, in a rather backwards fashion, removes this prejudice from the world by potentially turning everyone into a Fell Omen.

​​​​The Age Of Order

A core aspect of Elden Ring’s experience is learning how the Golden Order is itself a perversion of itself. They established a hierarchy within the world, yet constantly abuse it. Through completing Goldmask’s story, he learns of this imperfection and forms a Mending Rune to remove Demigods and their corruptions from the Elden Ring entirely. In many ways, it is an idealistic ending. The Greater Will retains their control, but the hierarchy that divided the people has been removed; everyone equal under the shimmering rays of the Erdtree.

The Age Of The Stars

The Age of the Stars, the most commonly chosen and preferred ending amongst players, has the moon usurp the Greater Will as the ruler of The Lands Between, though things are not quite so simple. Achievable after completing Ranni’s story, the Age of the Stars does away with the Elden Ring entirely, casting the world in a veneer of darkness, illuminated only by the glimmering stars. The Lands Between is finally left free, having to fend for itself, but free to do what it wants.

​​​​​​The Lord Of The Frenzied Flame

The most cataclysmic of all the endings, and the hardest to acquire, the Lord of the Frenzied Flame, in many ways, sees Rykard’s ambitions achieved. Rather than repairing the Elden Ring, or even replacing it, the Frenzied Flame instead burns it all to ash, leaving The Lands Between enwreathed in flames. The world is left in a state of chaos, a madness that many would class as insanity, yet also gives them the power to defy the gods that have defined their lives for so long.

In four of these six endings, we see that the Outer God presiding over The Lands Between is retained. The Greater Will remains in their seat of power, the Elden Ring and Marika still their vessel to enact their rule. It would be reasonable then to assume that these could be considered canon seeing as over time, it still leaves the Greater Will and the world, overall, unchanged fundamentally.

However, the Age of the Stars is the most beloved and chosen ending by players, a rather major fact to ignore, especially when Ranni’s ending bestows free will upon The Lands Between, a choice that resonates across the game itself. In many ways, in a much more destructive fashion, the Frenzied Flame achieves the same.

Related: Elden Ring: What Is The Erdtree?

Endings Of Previous SoulsBorne Games

The Kiln of the First Flame in Dark Souls 3

To get a better idea of exactly how Elden Ring would determine what ending would be considered canon, it helps to look at the Dark Souls games. Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne both have no media continuing their story beyond the endings, leaving their endings and their validity truly up to each player. For Dark Souls, this is not the case.

Each game follows on from one another, though in a disconnected fashion. The original Dark Souls has two endings – rekindle the flame, and allow it to flicker for some fleeting aeons further, or simply allow it to extinguish.

In Dark Souls 2, the world still lingers on, bare flickers keeping it alight. Here, we see the linking of the flame once again, though presented differently. Once again, we are presented with two endings – proceed to the throne, and continue the world’s dwindling light, or shun the throne, seeking another salvation for the world.

Finally, in Dark Souls 3, we see a world being consumed by the abyss, the smouldering embers all that can keep them at bay. Here, we see three distinct endings – To once again link the flame, as ages of warriors have done so beforehand, watch it finally fade away, or even choose to usurp the flame, becoming the new lord of this world of dark.

This is the distinct element to note in all this, across the entire trilogy – no matter what, the flame fades. Your choices, whether or not you let the flame die or chose to link it at every occasion. Warriors will attempt this same journey, split in their decision. Yet in the end, the flame still fades. All ages must come to an end.

This is a valuable lesson for Elden Ring. While there are a great many endings, more than any previous game, we can ultimately see that our choices may end up futile. The real question is what direction will the world take, regardless of our choices?

Related: Elden Ring: What Was The Shattering?

How All Of Elden Ring’s Endings May Be Canon

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree promo art showing a giant tangled tree reaching into the clouds

With the prior information in mind, it is reasonable to assume that every ending, in its own way, is canon. Four of the endings keep the Greater Will in power, essentially retaining the status quo of The Lands Between. In the grand scheme of things, in a world that had become numb to the sensation of death, many of these distinctions are minute. They still live under the Erdtree and the teachings of an order devoted to it.

FromSoftware’s games have always had a theme of cyclical worlds, and Elden Ring is no different. With so much opposition in the world, and the fickle nature of people the true means of upsetting this power, then one can naturally presume the Elden Ring will again lead to war, and another change in its fundamental nature. In this sense, we can then assume that, in time, it will be fully usurped, as Ranni and the Frenzied Flame seek to achieve.

Though Outer Gods use empyreans as the vessels for their power, the Lands Between is where their power is made manifest, and the Erdtree is the symbol of that. In fact, the Erdtree, now seen as a symbol of the Greater Will, is much older than their presence, instead an ancient symbol of The Lands Between as a whole. This is the true defining feature to note in the endings, and it is the Ertree itself that is most changed with the removal of the Greater Will.

Though it may ultimately be left up to players unless Elden Ring gets a sequel, it is still possible to hypothesise as to how every ending may become canon in how the passage of time ultimately gives way to variations, none cancelling the other until the Greater Will itself is removed, in a similar fashion to the flame finally losing its strength in Dark Souls. In many ways, the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion may show us a version of the world where the Erdtree is fundamentally changed.

NEXT: Elden Ring: What Is The Erdtree?

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