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Was Marika Involved In The Night Of The Black Knives? Elden Ring Lore

ProbablyLying: There’s going to be a Miquella cosplay epidemic the second half of 2024.
fadedraven9523: I have some insight from the Japanese that supports the point about Marika betraying Maliketh. The Japanese description where it says she betrayed him has a single-word difference that specifies the nature of her betrayal is indeed the sealing of destined death. It says she wanted/hoped of him to seal destined death, and then later, she betrayed not "him" but "that" - the sealing of destined death.

マリケスは、神人に与えられる影従の獣であった マリカは影従に、運命の死の封印たるを望み 後にそれを裏切ったのだ

The それ (sore - "it/that") near the end is the key here; it's the object of "betrayed," and it refers grammatically back 望み, i.e. to the desire (for sealing destined death). So yes, Marika had but one wish/desire for her shadow beast, and in the end she betrayed him specifically in the sense of the role she gave him.

Another thing that supports Marika's plotting all this well in advance is Hewg's god-slaying weapon at the Round Table Hold. The Round Table is a place specifically meant for Tarnished who've returned to the Lands Between (i.e. her candidates for lordship, as covered in the video). She imprisons there, where the Tarnished will meet him and use his services, a blacksmith, and tasks him specifically with making a weapon that can kill a god. He made a promise (perhaps under duress, but nevertheless) directly to Marika to make this god-slaying weapon. And she's the only god around, really. This weapon is meant to slay "the demigods. And [their] god. Queen Marika herself wishes it so." And Roderika confirms it: "So slay her, with the weapons he smithed. Slay the god, Marika, who cursed us all." To sum it up, Marika herself very specifically set conditions up so that the Tarnished would have access to an element necessary to kill her.

She engineered the entire course of events long in advance, from the stealing of Destined Death to the Night of the Black Knives, foresaw the demigods' failures to become lord or god, putting the Tarnished in reserve specifically so they could come back to the Lands Between and fill that void, wherein one would eventually slay her, brandish the Ring, and become Elden Lord over a new age.
TheSoulDivided: This is, admittedly, more based on vibes than anything else, but there are two things I know about Marika: She is a schemer, and she at some point fell into conflict with the Greater Will. Setting all of this off by assassinating her own children just feels right.
saulgoneman: "Marika...why...wouldst thou...gull me? Why...shatter..." could easily be read as implying the betrayal was the Shattering itself. Maliketh was devoted to preserving the Golden Order, and Marika destroyed it.

I don't think Marika orchestrating the Night of the Black Knives really fits with her motivations. She was willing to sacrifice her children, but the point is that they would be sacrificed to another (the Tarnished), who would take their strength (their runes) and use it to become Elden Lord. Marika isn't saying "I'll kill you", she's saying "If you can't stand the heat, I'll let you die, no special treatment just because you're my kids". She wants champions to prove themselves worthy, and "grow strong in the face of death". Just assassinating the failures doesn't achieve anything for her. If they're weak, let them be slaughtered in the Shattering War. And I doubt Godwyn was weak - he beat the Ancient Dragons in defence of Leyndell.

I'm not firmly against the idea that Marika was involved somehow (and I think there's plenty of room for being involved and fooled simultaneously e.g. Ranni didn't tell her about the splitting Death part), but as the lore stands I don't see why she would do it.
matheuskiskissian: "Oh, Lord Godwyn... Such cruelty, such humiliation... My poor, sweet lordling should have died a true death. As the first of the demigods to die. As a martyr to Destined Death. But why must it yet bring such disgrace? A scion of the golden bough, sentenced to live in Death... How could such a thing come to be..."

Whoever was behind the black knives, wanted Godwyn to die a true death, but got outwitted by Ranni.
I think Marika or the fingers wanted him dead, but the his half death was completely unexpected.
NamelessKing1597: I think she was but they were supposed to kill her, not Godwyn. She and Ranni both wanted out, and when the plan didn't work out on her end she Shattered the Elden Ring in a fit of rage. She also might have actually liked Godwyn in a Narcissistic Machiavelian kind of way, in her mind he was probably her only child that was actually useful.
Bigboy_smooth: The scene where it shows queen marika holding up the golden strands reminds me of the eclipse scene from berserk
Sadonyx: Messemers eye is glowing real good. He has hella grace
UncreativePontiff: I have been thinking for a while, and the new story trailer does seem to give some credence to what im about to say but i believe that Marika's defining character trait above everything else is an insurmountable ambition. Basically, i think Marika above all else simply desires to rule, to have her own immortal kingdom of which she is its rightful ruler, and to do so she fully exploits every avenue she sees to remain in power, this means becoming the chosen god of the Greater Will (i also think the story trailer implies she wasnt meant to be the chosen god but she usurped that position through "seduction" and "betrayal"), it means removing destined death from the Elden Ring so her subjects can follow her into eternity (while also conspiring to use destined death to kill those that are more loyal to the Greater Will than they are to her), it means banishing Godfrey and the Tarnished while also implanting in them a prophecy so she can use them later, it means shattering the Elden Ring when shit hits the fan so the Greater Will cant just immediately replace her as its chosen god.

I know that rn everyone is on the train of "haha Miquella is Griffith haha" but honestly if there is one Griffith-esque character in this game its 100% Marika, she has the same level of blinding ambition to rule that Griffith does.
NickCombs: Ratatoskr, you opened by saying there's strong evidence for both theories. Are you going to finish that thought?
nickperri6571: So Marika wasn’t upset about Godwyn dying, just that he didn’t die “properly”. This gives me quite a bit to think about, and changes what I thought her motivations were considerably. Can’t wait to see what the dlc reveals!
Navelia: I think that this theory revolves far too much around complicating things, considering that more simple/straightforward answers are plausible.

Taking into account Rogier's dialogue, the Numen and the Nox have some ties, and what ties them together are exactly the Black Knives. We all know what happened to the Nox. It doesn't seem farfetched to me that the Black Knives might have harbored resentment for Marika/the Golden Order and that Ranni might have capitalized on it to enact the Night of the Black Knives. After all, Ranni has an interest in Nox civilization and wants to obtain the Fingerslayer Blade, so they are perfect (circumstantial) allies, with mutual interest in what each party has to offer. Now, there's definitely some degree of uncertainty as far as many events involving the Night of the Black Knives go. It's possible that they might have been duped in some way, and that this led to such alliance falling apart, considering the Alecto evergaol. But it's also likely that it might have been a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" kind of deal, and it's a fairly reasonable way to see it. The Blasphemous Claw sets a precedent for this kind of deal. Ranni and Rykard are certainly not allied with one another by the time we arrive in the Lands Between, such alliance seems to have been rather short-lived and their ambitions/goals don't match at all.

Also, the Maliketh's betrayal thing. It seems fairly straightforward to me that the betrayal in question is the Shattering, because we know that the Golden Order was created exactly when the Rune of Death was removed from the ER, and Maliketh's whole existence is what allowed this to happen in the first place. So the betrayal is having caused the Shattering, leading to the ER and alongside it the Golden Order being in a state of disrepair, effectively spitting on Maliketh's raison d'etre in the process. He was nothing more than a guard dog to Marika, and yet due to her actions he has no more reason to protect the Rune of Death, only his loyalty to Marika remaining

May 29 2024

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