Wild Golden Ring Theory Claims that the game is Really About Mushrooms

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Throughout the Elden Ring, the player — as Tarnished — will encounter demigods, omens, dragons and all sorts of perverted creatures. Their ascent to Elden Lord (or to any other ending of Elden Ring) is an epic story about defeating the gods and confronting them, trying to figure out right and wrong in the incredibly detailed, but admittedly confusing lore of Elden Ring.

However, one wild fan theory actually suggests that the history and lore of Elden Ring is based on mushrooms. Given the cycle of death and decay seen in all FromSoftware Soulsborne games, collecting evidence doesn’t seem like a stretch.

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YouTuber Ziostorm started this conversation on Twitter, although there are also matching theories elsewhere, by posting an image of a fungus commonly known as “Dead Man’s Fingers.” They are very similar to The Two Fingers and Three Fingers, as well as various tame creatures that fans will fight throughout the game. In addition, this particular fungus usually grows on the ends of damaged trees and stumps; in other words, it may link the fungal growth of fingers and hands to the Erdtree tree.

Many have added their own theories to the original Ziostorm post, and some contributions have emphasized that Erdtree may not be a real tree, but a giant parasite feeding on the dead in the catacombs. When players complete the Fii quest, this particular part of the dungeon is absorbed by the roots of trees, which may be an old dead Erdtree tree. Another user emphasizes that Malenia Bloom/Scarlet Aeonia from Elden Ring is similar to Cedar Apple Rust, a type of apple that consumes mushrooms. This could really change the context of the Scarlet Rot, its impact on the earth and its role in knowledge/history. It would even give a new context to the growing Haligtree.

Given that the Erdtri existed before the Ascension of the Great Will, one would assume that it was some kind of fungus that infected and killed the Erdtrees, spawning various arms around the Intermediate Lands. It would even explain how “Two Fingers” and “Three Fingers” appeared—they were once a full hand. Their split ties are related to how Two Fingers, a Great Will and all that could suck the life out of the Intermediate Lands, and Three Fingers could want to end it by burning everything to the ground.

This is an interesting theory, and many seem convinced. There are many other subtle hints in Elden Ring, and given the general use of mushrooms and decomposition in FromSoft games earlier, this would seem to make a lot of sense.

Elden Ring is already available for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.