Why Did Ranni Kill Godwyn In Elden Ring?

By Klein Felt Posted:
Ranni from Elden Ring, Elden Ring logo

The world and characters of Elden Ring have a long history before the character ever arrives, including events in its vast canon like Ranni's killing of Godwyn. 

In typical From Software fashion, the Japanese game studio's latest RPG epic tells its story in labyrinthian ways, making gamers work hard to fully understand what exactly is happening in this derelict fantasy world. 

Elden Ring's universe is particularly fleshed out thanks to the help of Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin (who aided in crafting its seeping lore during development). 

Ranni's Killing of Godwyn Explained

Godwyn with a sword in his back surrounded by Black Knife Assassins in a painting in Elden Ring
From Software

Ranni the Witch is one of the main characters seen in Elden Ring, and she is best known for killing the demigod Godwyn. 

Not to say Ranni's slaying of Godwyn the Golden is the central story beat in Elden Ring's base game, but the murderous event does play a major role in the open-world RPG. 

Before the player arrives in the Lands Between, the world of Elden Ring is stuck in the throes of a long-running conflict (something this killing was a small part of). 

The game sees a once great land thrown into chaos, following the shattering of the great Elden Ring. 

The breaking of this sacred vessel created several all-powerful shards. These shards ultimately fell into the hands of some demigod-like beings (including the terrifying Malenia and her family).

This created a never-ending war between the demigods to control more of the Elden Ring, a conflict that set the stage for what led to the Tarnished (the player character) coming to take on these demigods. 

Something that sets the stage for the Tarnished's arrival is the killing of Godwyn. 

Godwyn's death was ultimately orchestrated by Ranni the Witch when she decided she was down working for the demigods. 

Ranni the Witch from Elden Ring
From Software

Ranni was a member of the clandestine organization in the far-off land known as The Two Fingers. This mysterious group was empowered by the demigods to serve as their vassals hopefully impart the will/power of the Elden Ring. 

In leaving The Two Fingers, Ranni is forced to vacate her Empyrean body, thus giving up her power as a demigod while keeping her spirit alive. To accomplish this, though, she needs to make a sacrifice of blood. 

For Ranni's spirit to live on, another spirit needs to die at the same time. As a result of this grave realization, Ranni is forced to steal a fragment of the demigod's Rune of Death from the blade-wielding Beast Clergyman. 

The young witch then imbues the rune's powers to the weapons of some Numen Assassins. It is killers-for-hire that then use these tools of death to kill Godwyn, resulting in Ranni's soul being transferred into the doll she is seen in throughout Elden Ring

It is unknown definitively why Ranni chose Godwyn (the son of Malenai) in particular, but some have theorized it was not Ranni's intention to kill Godwyn at all. Some believe it was Marika who ultimately chose Godwyn. Marika is the leader of the Black Knife Assassins (a.k.a. the group Ranni approaches to do the deed). 

While gamers meet Ranni throughout their Elden Ring playthrough, they never come across Godwyn in any form only ever hearing about his story. 

Elden Ring is now available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC. 

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- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.