Radahn Lore: He Who Conquered The Stars – Elden Ring

Starscourge Radahn on his horse in the Desert

Starscourge Radahn is one of the most emblematic characters in the whole Elden Ring lore. You may know him from his dual colossal swords, or by the tiny horse he is riding. 

Or simply because you’ve died so many times against him, especially pre-patch, that you now know Radahn more than yourself.  

Jokes aside, Radahn’s Boss Fight is AWESOME. You meet him in a desert and (often) need to summon several characters in order to bring him down. 
After my first casual playthrough I was left with many questions about Radahn and his story: why is he that huge? Why is he in that desert? Why does he have to one-shot me with literal stars? Why doesn’t he talk?  

Who the heck is he to start with? 

Four additional playthroughs later and after hours of research, I am now ready to answer those questions and much more. I advise you, dear reader, to get some chill bonfire music and to grab a cup of tea or something: we are going full on into the history and lore of General Radahn. 

The Origins of Radahn’s lore: The Carian Royal Family 

Radahn is one of the three children of Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon and Radagon of the Golden Order. Although on his mother’s side there was a strong magical influence – Rennala was indeed the head of the academy of Raya Lucaria and one of the most powerful sorcerers in the Lands Between – Radahn inherited more his father’s genes, from the way he fought to the color of his hair. 

By the way, if you want to know more about Rennala and the Carian Family, I wrote an article about that which you can read HERE
If you managed to read that, you will also discover that Rennala and Radagon’s marriage did not really end well.  

The Lands Between were in the process of being reunited by the goddess Queen Marika the Eternal and her Golden Order. Marika’s army was led by her husband Godfrey, First Elden Lord
When Godfrey managed to win all the Golden Order’s wars, he was rewarded by losing his status as Elden Lord and being banished from the Lands Between with his army. Awesome, huh.

Since he was a youngster, Radahn has always admired Godfrey. He was such a fanboy that he decorated his armor with Godfrey’s signature animal, the lion.  
After going after his idol, Marika went after Radahn’s family. She made his father, Radagon, her new husband and Radahn and his siblings became automatically demi-gods.  

For the sake of completion, I must say that Radagon and Marika are hinted to be the same person. If Marika pretended to be Radagon in order for the Carian family to join the Golden Order, we can’t know for certain.  

Radahn Godhood and Gravitational Sorcery 

Radahn grew dramatically in size after becoming Queen Marika’s stepson. He grew so much, in fact, that he could not ride his favorite horse anymore.  
To solve the situation, he decided to do what any other kid would’ve done in his place: learn gravity sorceries in order to keep riding it. 

Son of the mighty Rennala and now able to use the Golden Order’s connections, Radahn started his magical apprenticeship in Sellia, mentored by an Alabaster Lord.  
If you played the game, you may have already encountered an Alabaster Lord: they are almost naked dudes with the power of using gravity sorceries like “Gravity Well”. Its description tells us about Radahn and the Alabaster Lords. 

Why Did Radahn Stop The Stars?

Radahn mastered gravity magic so well that he became able to stop the stars in their place. Yeah, you read me right.  
As for why he did it, I could not find anything official about it. The description of Collapsing Stars tells us that after Radahn mastered this spell, he thanked his mastered and said that now he could’ve challenged the stars.  

My opinion is that his Carian descendancy is the reason for that: the Carians were prominent astrologers and would seek their fate in the stars. Radahn probably stopped the stars in place to defy this way of living. 

General Radahn and The Redmane Army

At a certain point in time, and for reasons that I partially cover in this article regarding the Elden Ring, Queen Marika breaks the Elden Ring in an event that is going to be named “The Shattering”. Because of this grave sin, Marika was imprisoned inside the Erdtree. Considering that Radagon is just another side of Marika (yeah, I know, it is difficult to grasp), he gets imprisoned too. Now with both the Queen and Elden Lord imprisoned, the throne was empty.  

All of Marika’s Children became Shardbearers, having inherited each a fragment of the Elden Ring.  
This brought the Golden Order to corruption, and the Shardbearers started fighting each other to rise to the throne.  

Starscourge Radahn himself was incredibly powerful, but he was also the general of one of the greatest armies in the Lands Between: the Redmane Knights.  
his knights were renowned for being fearless, and their ranks were reinforced by soldiers of great renown, as Ogha – who studied Gravitational Magic with his general – and most importantly, Castellan Jerren.  
This one was a guest general and Radahn’s friend since his time in the Carian Castle, where Jerren was welcomed in the past. 

Radahn Vs Malenia: The Battle of Caelid Wilds

In the final battle of the Shardbearers war, only two of Marika’s offspring remained: Radahn and Malenia. 

Is it just me or every time I say or write the word “Malenia” I automatically hear in my head: “I am Malenia, blade of Miquella!”? What a traumatic experience. Brr, anyway. 
Radahn and Malenia faced each other in Caelid, Radahn’s lands, and after a fierce battle, Malenia won by unleashing the Scarlet Rot. This changed Caelid’s landscape forever and started eating Radahn’s mind from within. 

From that moment on, Radahn was left wandering the desert of the Wailing Dunes alone. A curious fact is that, while mindless, he retained both the ability to ride his horse and to one-shot somebody with gravity sorcery which, in my opinion, is a remarkable feat for somebody that effed-up.  

Castellan Jerren and the Festival of War 

Jerren's head

When the Tarnished (our character) reaches Caelid, we are greeted by Jerren, the Redmane guest general. 
He is hosting an event called the Festival of War, where the main objective is to go in the desert where Radahn is now wandering and try to kill him. 

So, why is Jerren inviting people to murder his friend? Well, Radahn is nobody’s friend now: he is consumed by the Scarlet Rot and would kill both friends and foes. 
The real reason is that Radahn and Jerren swore a pact of honorable death, meaning that they would preserve each other’s honor by giving the other a warrior death. The Festival of War was Jerren’s way of honoring the pact he swore to his friend.  

After Radahn is killed, the stars he challenged and stopped are put back in motion. One in particular will give us access to another city in which we can continue our path towards an option ending, involving General Radahn’s sister, Ranni the Witch.  
Also, we may proceed to be “filthy casuals” and cheese the rest of Elden Ring’s content wielding the Starscourge Greatsword, which is to this day one of my favorite weapons ever. 

Conclusion 

It’s been several weeks since I thought of writing an article about Radahn’s lore, and feels good to finally pay respect to one of the Elden Ring’s best boss fights!
Talking about boss fights, you should read this article that talks about another fantastic boss fight: Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid. That’s just nuts. 

As always, I hope that you have learned something after reading this article and I hope to see you, dear reader, in my next article! 

3 thoughts on “Radahn Lore: He Who Conquered The Stars – Elden Ring”

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