From the mysterious powers of the Elden Ring to the chilling backstories of each boss, From Software’s open-world masterpiece holds perhaps as many mysteries as player deaths. One of the most compelling characters here is the Fingermaiden/Finger Maiden Hyetta, who carries a dark and disturbing secret.
To uncover this, we consulted the lore expert Stefan Fuchs. Living in the Between Lands for 500 hours, he has discovered dozens of disturbing secrets. So who are these mysterious believers in Hyetta’s order? Clearly: they are probably the saddest creatures in the Elden Ring.
Elden Ring: Who are the Finger Maidens?
Stefan Fuchs tries to explain to you what the finger maidens stand for in Elden Ring: We’re not going through the whole and ultra-exciting history of the origins of the intermediate lands. But what is essential: In Elden Ring, there are two fingers and three fingers. These are intermediate beings who mediate between the human and the divine.
We are particularly interested in the two fingers that transmit the will of the golden order. The two fingers serve the golden order, and the three fingers turn the raging flame, i.e., chaos. The Elden Ring experts assume that the fingers belong to the same hand, that of the crucible of life, i.e., the cosmos that created everything and uses its hand to order and chaotically intervene in the fate of humans and gods. However, since the two fingers cannot speak directly to humans, there are two religious professions in Elden Ring: the finger readers and the finger maidens.
The finger readers interpret the messages of the two fingers and pass them on to the Fingermaidens. The fingers want the tainted to perform activities, go places, serve a lord, or kill. Then the finger maidens set out to look for their tainted one and complete the task with him. The Fingermaidens are predominantly women trained to cover their eyes, so they are no longer dependent on the world and can entirely rely on their faith. The Fingermaidens are supposed to eat the so-called Shabriri grapes to find their tainted ones. When they eat these, they see a flame guiding them in their minds.
The word grape comes from their appearance: The surface is faded, and the interior is mushy, not unlike a large, overripe bunch of grapes. Fingermaidens themselves describe their flavor as deliciously tender and sweet yet fiery. The Fingermaiden’s Mission is holy but also life-threatening. When players encounter Fingermaidens in Elden Ring, they are almost always dead. Some have gone insane and committed suicide. Others have been murdered, including many, by the Cult of Blood, whose initiation ritual explicitly brings a Fingermaiden’s blood.
We can only accompany the finger damsel Hyetta on her way. Since her tainted one doesn’t seem to be coming, we can take his place. For Hyetta to begin her religious path, we need to bring her the Shabriri Grapes. It’s a hidden quest that eludes many players and brings about the third ending in the Elden Ring.
The disturbing truth behind the grapes
In the game, we can get three typical grapes. Two of these we find in deceased believers. One prays as a ghost in Stormveil Castle. The other lies in ruin, with a talisman by his side. The third standard cluster is Edgar Morne, a steward gone mad. After the player brings Hyetta the third grape, she asks us what Shabriri grapes are. We have the choice of telling her the disturbing truth: they are human eyes, as the item description also reveals.
This secret is wholly kept from the finger maidens during their training. “The eyes usually come from believers who are poor and frail. They rip their own eyes out in hellish agony to give them to the Fingermaidens to eat and thus give their lives a final, more significant meaning. However, if they don’t get eyes, the Fingermaidens stay where they are and mostly despair, says the expert.
But there is a way out, which can be found in the backstory of the grapes. Her name comes from a priest named Shabriri, the most reviled man in history, as the spell explains Shabriri’s howl. A disturbing image tells his story: After Shabriri opposed the supreme goddess Marika, his eyes were gouged out as punishment. The item description says over time, the flame of madness settled in [his] empty eye sockets. As a result, Shabriri has switched sides and no longer serves order, but the three fingers, the raging flame, the chaos.
A happy ending in Elden Ring?
Now he wanders as a spirit through the intermediate lands and nests in bodies. When the player discovers this, Shabriri tells them that there is a way to save a Fingermaiden from being sacrificed: having an audience with the three fingers and consuming an exceptional eye, a fingerprint grape. This is an eye blessed by the three fingers.
The player can learn such a thing from the Round Table Knight Vyke. The Tainted One who took the player’s quest to become the Elden Lord, the furthest of all the contenders. But then he looked for the three fingers and went mad. The description of his armor raises an interesting question: did he stray from his path to saving his maiden? Does history repeat itself?
Stefan Fuchs gives an insight into the current theories: Some experts assume that his finger maiden did not want to be converted and insisted on being set on fire. Others even suspect that they have gone their separate ways and that Melina, our savior from the start of the game, is his finger maiden. The one who later wants to perform the fire ritual for us and swears eternal revenge on us if we deny her this fate.
Anyway, since many players don’t discover or complete Hyetta’s quest correctly – the order is important – in most cases, she commits suicide because she couldn’t complete her task. If we prevent her from being sacrificed, she still decides to set herself on fire to stay true to her religion and order. She asks us to watch her do it. She seems happy. At the hour of her death, she is fully immersed in her religion. Elden Ring is a real family movie.
Reading through hundreds of item descriptions, uncovering hidden mysteries and drama, and rounding it all off with all the more sinister theories – that’s what makes Elden Ring so great for Stefan Fuchs. Even if you can defeat every boss blindfolded, the adventure begins for him in the lore!