Who are the Tarnished in ‘Elden Ring?’

Elden Ring

The story behind FromSoftware’s latest release, Elden Ring, is rich and complex, offering up an epic tale in an utterly massive world.

Details about some of the story’s more convoluted plot points are slowly emerging online as dedicated gamers work their way through the game’s main storyline. This is sparking questions about certain details behind the game’s plot, like its playable characters, the Tarnished.

Who are the Tarnished in Elden Ring?

When gamers launch an Elden Ring game, they’ll enter the action as one of the Tarnished, a group of individuals who — deprived of the grace of the Erdtree — long ago became exiles from the Lands Between.

The Tarnished take a lot of cues from former FromSoftware protagonists, tasked with a singular purpose and plagued by the curse of immortality. They are outsiders from the Lands Between, returned to claim the power of the Elden Ring and seize the title of Elden Lord.

The first Elden Lord of the Lands Between, Godfrey, joins players among the Tarnished. Ages back, he lost his grace — despite his high position — and became one of the Tarnished, dismissed and hated by the inhabitants of the lands he once ruled. He is described as the “embodiment of [the Tarnished’s] long history and struggle,” by Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki, according to the Gamer.

About the author

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila carefully obsesses over all things geekdom and gaming, bringing her embarrassingly expansive expertise to the team at We Got This Covered. She is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor with a focus on comics, video games, and most importantly 'Lord of the Rings,' putting her Bachelors from the University of Texas at Austin to good use. Her work has been featured alongside the greats at NPR, the Daily Dot, and Nautilus Magazine.