Ranni is one of if not the most important characters in Elden Ring. She is essentially the entire reason behind all of the world-changing events in the history of the Lands Between. Here is a deep dive into her story.
Ranni is the youngest of the three children of Radagon and Rennala. She has two older brothers, Starscourge Radahn and Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy.
Ranni was an Empyrean, meaning she was chosen by the Two Fingers to potentially succeed Marika and become the next ruler of the Lands Between. She was granted a shadow by Two Fingers, called Blaidd, who was supposed to be her vassal. Rennala raised Blaidd along with Ranni and the two grew up together often accompanied by a troll blacksmith called Iji, who served the Carian Royals.
Under the guidance of her mother, Ranni stumbled upon her Dark Moon which was mysterious, chilly, and shrouded in occult mystery. She came across an elderly woman named the Snow Witch while wandering in the forest, she became a secret mentor, who taught her cold sorcery.
The Snow Witch also told Ranni to be fearful of the Dark Moon. Over the course of time, the full Dark Moon became Ranni’s symbol of power.
Her father, Radagon went to be with Marika, leaving Rennala in such a state of shock he became a cripple. Ranni developed a hatred towards her father because of this.
Ranni’s doll body
As mentioned above, the Two Fingers had chosen Ranni as Marika’s successor. Ranni did not wish to be so as she resented the Golden Order (perhaps because of her father), but the Two Fingers had the power to manipulate the thoughts of others and so to free herself from its control and the Greater Will, Ranni took her own life, during the Night of the Black Knives.
Her soul, without a body, settles on the doll and thus Ranni attains the form of a doll. The doll is said to have been modeled after the Snow Witch.
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The Night of the Black Knives
Ranni stole a fragment of the Rune of Death from Maliketh, the Black Blade, and imbued it to the blades of Numen assassins. She also gave a small fragment to Rykard so that if it comes to it, he could kill Maliketh.
The Numen assassins went on to kill Godwyn the Golden, while Ranni killed her own body. Ranni’s hand in the matter would go unnoticed by most of the people in the Lands Between.
After the Elden Ring was shattered, Ranni claimed a Great Rune but discarded it, and was passive for the rest of the Shattering.
Ranni’s doll body requires her to hibernate, and so she withdrew from the world while her agents carried out the ambitions of bringing an end to the Greater Will.
The Tarnished runs into Ranni two times. During the first time, Ranni gives the Tarnished Champion a Spirit Calling Bell. The second time the Tarnished joins Ranni, who then instructs the Tarnished to seek the Fingerslayer Blade, which she can use to kill the Two Fingers.
The Tarnished obtains the blade and finds Ranni in Nokstella, the Eternal City, where she convinces the Tarnished to kill the Shadows sent by Two Fingers to kill her. After the Tarnished eliminates them, Ranni guides them to a ring that is to be given to her future consort and successfully brings an end to Two Fingers.
If the Tarnished agrees to become Ranni’s consort, she will grant them the Dark Moon Greatsword as a symbol of their union. She will then explain her plans of succeeding Marika and bringing in the Age of Stars, where she will go far away from the Lands Between and allow its inhabitants to have true free will and life without the intervention of the Greater Will.
Should the Tarnished summon Ranni after slaying the Elden Beast, her plans will be achieved.