- Elden Ring is full of mysterious characters, like Melina, whose backstory remains uncertain and is one of the game’s biggest mysteries.
- Melina and Ranni the Witch, are the only two NPCs in Elden Ring with visibly shut eyes, and they share ties to the spirit world.
- There are strong hints that suggest a connection between Melina and Queen Marika, implying that Melina may be part of Marika’s demigod family tree and an important figure in the Queen’s life.
Elden Ring is full of mysterious characters, though it’s up to players how much they want to dig into its cast. From the start of the Tarnished’s journey through the Lands Between, they meet shady figures like Varre, Patches, and many of the Roundtable Hold’s inhabitants. Given time in Elden Ring‘s world, players will be able to track down these people and their stories through travel and item descriptions, but not every tale has a satisfying conclusion yet.
Ironically, the person players feel they know the least about is one of the first they meet. Melina joins the player as their honorary Finger Maiden a short time into Elden Ring, but by the time she sacrifices herself much later, there will likely still be confusion over who she was. Many hope that Elden Ring‘s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC will shed some light on Melina, but in the meantime, there are a lot of comparable characters and hinted-at relationships that may give clues about who this spectral figure is.
Why Elden Ring’s Melina Remains One of the Game’s Biggest Mysteries
Answers to many questions in Elden Ring’s lore can be found scattered throughout The Lands Between, but lore regarding Melina remains uncertain.
Ranni and Melina are Two Of Elden Ring’s Driving Forces
The first character similar to Melina appears early on, and they are a wellspring of mysteries on their own. For whatever reason, Melina and Ranni the Witch, facilitators of Elden Ring’s default ending and largest sidequest, are the only two NPCs in Elden Ring with visibly shut eyes. Melina has a seal tattooed on one eye, while Ranni has a ghostly second face overlapping with her closed eye. Given the amount of lore-relevant detail that modders have found by examining Elden Ring NPCs’ eyes, there’s likely meaning to each character’s features, though whether that meaning is shared by the two is a whole other topic. However, they have plenty of shared attributes elsewhere.
Both Ranni and Melina have ties to the spirit world, though these may be for different reasons. Ranni kills her body with part of the Rune of Death, but lives on as a soul possessing various dolls. Meanwhile, Melina is “burned and bodiless,” though the why and how of this are unclear. Regardless, Melina was able to meet the spirit steed Torrent, whom Ranni also recognizes, with an implied acknowledgment of Melina in the process. There are plenty of slight similarities and possible connections between Elden Ring‘s Ranni and Melina, but there isn’t enough information to establish a firm relationship between them.
Every Character Likely to Appear or Return in Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC
Shadow of the Erdtree has no release date in sight, but it’s still the perfect opportunity for key characters from Elden Ring to appear again.
Melina is Currently the Clearest Link To Elden Ring’s Gloam-Eyed Queen
Melina’s sealed eye may not have any concrete links to Ranni, but it may have everything to do with another character that doesn’t even appear in Elden Ring, the Gloam-Eyed Queen. This Queen is an ancient historical figure who apparently held the Rune of Death at some point, and had ties to the Godskin cult. Marika’s forces defeated her, so all that’s known in the present is her descriptive name — which partially applies to Melina. Gloam is generally an archaic way to say “twilight,” but it can also be a synonym for the noun usage of dusk, which Merriam-Webster defines as:
The darker part of twilight especially at night.
In the Lord of Chaos ending, Melina can appear with her tattooed eye open, declaring that the Tarnished will know Destined Death. Melina’s unsealed eye sports a unique dark purple coloration, matching the connotation of “gloam” being a fading purple twilight. Considering that she also invokes the Rune of Death, there could be a relationship, or even a shared identity, between Melina and the Gloam-Eyed Queen. The Queen and Melina being among Elden Ring‘s biggest mysteries invites such theories, though that still takes a backseat to the strongest implied relationship Melina has in Elden Ring.
Elden Ring Hints Strongly At Ties Between Melina and Marika
Out of every thread attached to Melina’s past, the one tying her to Queen Marika is the thickest. Melina’s clearest references to her background state she was born at the foot of the Erdtree and that her mother is currently within said Erdtree, heavily implying that she is part of Marika’s demigod family tree. Being half-sisters would make a Ranni connection more plausible, as Melina could have been in on the plan to use the Rune of Death to kill her body and subvert the Two Fingers’ influence. Whether or not that theory holds water, Melina seems to act out Marika’s will and benevolence towards the Tarnished, and is almost certainly an important figure in the Queen’s life.
When visiting a number of sites of Grace situated inside Churches of Marika, Melina gains new dialogue directly quoting Queen Marika herself. Elden Ring’s greatest source of information on the plot-critical Queen is from Melina alone, suggesting Melina could be her secret daughter raised to ensure a new Elden Lord rises, or is the embodied will of Marika herself, freed from Radagon and the Greater Will’s influence but unable to act alone without a body. Even if one dismisses the game’s files calling Melina “MaricaOfDaughter,” it’s hard to ignore that her name shares the first letter and general shape of Radagon and Marika’s children Malenia and Miquella, a common trend with Elden Ring’s demigod names.
Other Elden Ring Characters With Similarities To Melina
The remaining similarities between Melina and other characters are mostly aesthetic, but do have their own implications. Millicent, focus of one of Elden Ring‘s most rewarding questlines and one of Malenia’s supposed daughters, dresses similarly to Melina, and their respective quests to regain their memories and meet their mothers at the Erdtree or Haligtree are practically mirrored. Melina’s relationship with Miquella is also in question, given that Miquella may be her brother and is implied to be Torrent’s original owner, but information on him is similarly scarce. These qualities just enhance the mystery of Melina further, but hopefully Elden Ring’s DLC can explain what’s going on with one of its most important characters.