By Jonathan Wojcik and Rev Storm
ENTRY 25: GODWYN THE GOLDEN
We finally review a figure central to Elden Ring's entire storyline, even though he never quite appears "in person" in the game. Not exactly. Well...kind of? His story is a long one, but all you really need to know here is that he was the first demigod to ever be killed, and was buried in the roots of the Erdtree. This unfortunately created a corruption known only as deathroot, spreading noxious plants that cause your classic "haunted rotting corpse" kind of undeath, or what the setting calls "Those Who Live in Death." You'll even find tree roots around the game with creepy, humanlike staring eyes, as shown by Zullie here and these are apparently extensions of Godwyn's corpse itself; his "dead" tissues still growing like a fungus through the land.
There's also a couple places where the roots replicate Godwyn's entire face, or at least what now qualifies as his face, as we'll explain in a moment. These eerie structures look like huge, fleshy fossils of a mammalian being with a bizarrely flattened head, large empty eyes pointed straight up, lips spread out against the ground like a floppy stingray. It's a weird head...and it still gets weirder.
You can eventually find a manifestation of Godwyn's entire body embedded in the tree's teinted roots, displaying that same flattened face, but now we see that this face forms one half of a large bivalve shell, attached to a body that can be difficult to distinguish from the surrounding vegetation.
BonfireVN is another youtuber who gives us a closer look at this corpse. Slimy blonde hair hangs from within the giant clam-like head, which is attached to a rotten humaoid torso with tattered, fishy fins lining its arms, and a mermaid-style fish tail in place of legs.
Long, nasty blackish "roots" also sprout throughout his body, an example of the way his undead matter is spreading throughout the environment and the same effect we see when a character dies of "death blight" status...though Zullie was also the first to zoom on in and show us that these "roots" are actually made out of insects:
Worms and maggots tangled together, with fly-like wings protruding at random. No special meaning has been ascribed to these insects yet, besides the obvious association with carrion, though it does kind of break Godwyn's otherwise nautical motif, shared by many other ghouls, spirits and horrors throughout the game. Godwyn was not originally a sea god, as far as we know, and even looked totally human at one time; so why did he leave a shellfish mermaid corpse? Is the ocean connected to undeath, or did it become connected to undeath because of Godwyn, somehow?
Godwyn's face is even growing from the backs of some of the game's giant crabs, to boot. Creatures such as these, the parasitic crabs of the cemetary shades, the skull barnacles of the walking mausoleums, the land squirts and land octopuses reinforce that the ocean, Godwyn and death are all connected, but we don't know in exactly what order, or why.