By Jonathan Wojcik and Rev Storm
ENTRY 08: SPIRIT JELLYFISH
Jellyfish don't get nearly enough respect in fiction. Gaming is one of the few mediums in which they frequently appear as major creatures or characters, and even then it's often as one of the weaker, simpler enemies or even mere environmental obstacles. Here in Elden Ring however, Jellyfish appear as large, floating spectral entities all throughout the game, especially concentrated around graveyards.
These jellyfish are usually non-hostile until they've been attacked, at which point they'll turn red and actually fire poison at a distance, so they don't even have to touch you with their tentacles to "sting!" There are a few locations where the jellies are always out for blood, but for the most part, they're content to live and let live, or unlive and let live, since they're officially the spirits of the dead. Not just any dead, either!
Now is as good a point as ever to finally address the fact that Elden Ring is set in a time and place where the processes of death itself are pretty much broken. Everybody living in the Lands Between can technically be considered immortal, immediately resurrecting or reincarnating every time they're killed.
The specifics of this are ambiguous - like most things in the game - but the jellyfish are implied to be a form taken by souls in some kind of limbo-state between death and rebirth, but only the souls of human children for some reason.
You can even get to know one jellyfish more personally, and it's at this point we should also finally mention that collecting and summoning the spirits of various monsters is one of this game's biggest mechanics; yes, Elden Ring is also kind of the closest thing to a Soulsborne Mons Game.
The specific jellyfish you acquire as a summon (and she's not a bad fighter for the early game!) is named Aurelia, which is funny because that's also the genus containing moon jellies. Did she pick that name after becoming a cnidarian, or is it just a popular baby name in the Lands Between, possibly among parents with a sick sense of humor? She misses her twin sister, Aureliette, which is an even funnier name in light of all this, whom she had promised to stargaze with once they turn fourteen.
You can bring Aurelia to Aureliette for a sweet and touching reunion, but don't worry; you won't lose the summon, so you'll always have the soul of a dead kid ready and waiting on speed dial to wail on the local wildlife.