A new video exploring the lore and development of Elden Ring questions the nature of Rennala’s Juvenile Scholars by considering certain cut content from the game. The Rennala fight in Elden Ring, and especially the first phase, isn’t particularly difficult, but it is incredibly unsettling and lore-heavy. Something has gone very wrong in the Academy of Raya Lucaria and the reasons why remain a mystery, even now seven months after Elden Ring‘s release.
Much regarding Rennala herself is revealed within Elden Ring. Rennala is the head of the Carian Royal family, the head of the Academy of Raya Lucaria, and was once the wife of Radagon. While she is no demigod, she bears a shard of the Elden Ring itself in the form of the Great Rune of the Unborn, which takes the form of Rennala’s amber egg. Rennala uses this egg, and her own magical powers, to grant rebirth — though those reborn are “all frail and short-lived. Imperfect beings, each and all.”
The child-like students that surround Rennala are an example of these imperfect beings, as they crawl across the floor and seem detached and ethereal. Players must kill the students in order to defeat Rennala’s first phase, a sacrifice the students are more than willing to make for Rennala. Cut dialogue from Elden Ring for these students adds some unsettling perspective to the situation, showing that the students are seemingly well-aware of the violence at hand but largely apathetic about it.
Voices for the Juvenile Students during the first-phase boss apparently used to ask the player to be their friend and treat the fight as a playful endeavor. They also mention making Rennala “whole again,” teasing some awareness of the situation. Video creator Zullie the Witch questions if the students are comfortable dying as they assume they’ll be resurrected, as they have prior.
One large unanswered question is why the dialog was cut from Elden Ring. Zullie questions if it was a gameplay decision, as the audio may distract from the combat or make players uncomfortable attacking the students. Zullie notes that the audio files remain in Elden Ring and are even loaded as the game is played, perhaps revealing that From Software‘s decision to cut the content happened late in development.
Some believe that Rennala’s husband abandoning her led to a mental break for the woman. Others attribute it to the corrupting influence of the Elden Ring. Regardless, the Great Rune was used for unnatural, disturbing acts in Rennala’s possession and not only her students but the entire Academy of Raya Lucaria paid an indescribable price for it.
Elden Ring is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.