Twin Princes

The name “Twin Princes” (双王子) doesn’t necessarily indicate that Lothric’s royal brothers are actual twins versus just magically paired together through their curse, but it would explain their surprisingly close bond despite living completely different lives — twins are known for such extraordinary relationships, at least in fiction. Either way, Lorian is still the elder of the two siblings and thus eldest son of King Oceiros. This would normally make him the crown prince, which may have even influenced his name. If Lordran (ロードラン) is intended to mean “land of the lords”, then Lorian (ローリアン) might also derive from “lord” in reference to his future as King of Lothric.

Meaning was definitely considered when choosing the name for the younger prince, at least. While the English inscription on his throne in Firelink Shrine reads “Holy King Lothric”, it actually translates to Holy King of Lothric. (ロスリックの聖王) This emphasis on the kingdom and royalty which the prince hails from betrays the underlying intention behind his name. Prince Lothric wasn’t named to be an individual but to convey an idea: he represented his country, more specifically the Lothric Royal Family. This is evident by how he addresses himself during the Twin Princes’ boss battle in Japanese dialogue. While initially speaking in first-person, the younger brother immediately shifts his language to third-person, downplaying his individuality in favor of what he represents as a prince for his country and family. For all intents and purposes, there was no him.

Older Brother is my, the prince Lothric’s blade. So, please rise… That is our curse.

In short, by becoming a holy King who inherited the First Flame, the prince was demonstrating his namesake’s contributions to the whole firelinking process. The throne inscription also prefaces that he is the “last hope of his line” in English. Sue (末) is a vague kanji ranging from meaning “end” to “descendant” to “youngest child” among other things. However, the term for “line”, or “lineage”, (血統) is otherwise only used by the prince himself to refer to the royal line for firelinking. The inscription is thus likely prophesying the prince to be the latest in the line of Lords of Cinder first and foremost, though the double meanings all have their own relevance within that framing.

Future of the lineage, Holy King of Lothric

But, I won’t become a King. The mission of firelinking, the lineage of Kings, enough is enough…

This destiny of his was decided from the moment he was born according to his clothing’s description, presumably because he was the second prince. As is often the case in aristocratic societies, the heir apparent would become the head governing secular affairs while the next in line would take over an equivalent position in spiritual matters — a King and a Holy King for the family to hold dominion over both spheres. This choice proved to be premature, however. The actual prince was born frail and sickly, hardly suitable to becoming a Lord of Cinder. But making him one was nonetheless the royal family’s foremost desire, as his clothes’ Japanese description reveals, and so he was given the utmost care.

Hood of Prince Lothric.

He who was born destined to be a King of Kindling, the royal family’s most dearest wish, was instead a shriveled, ill baby. His baby clothes were thus old, coarse prayer clothes, and he has worn nothing else since.

The duties of being Prince Lothric’s wet nurse apparently fell to High Priestess Emma, who expresses the most concern for his destiny and is responsible for blessing the holy sword he was intended to wield as a firelinking hero. It is under her supervision then that the babe was wrapped in the church’s old prayer clothes, as if expecting the holy power present in the coarse cloth to help cure his weakness. In this manner, the boy had been raised by the priests, hence why his chamber can be readily accessed from a lift connected to the castle’s chapel. All of them probably prayed for his recovery while also teaching him his sacred duty and miracles; the offensive variety seen during his boss battle would be especially useful for facing the Lords’ avatar. Given his unique miracles’ similarity to sorceries like Soul Spear, it is possible that the prince invented the spells himself following comparable instruction from the scholars; the Grand Archives does have a private study linked to his chamber, complete with a lift for royals and priests alike to skip the rest of the library. He definitely had the talent to, considering the great holy power he inherited from his mother as evidenced by him casting these miracles without the aid of a catalyst.

Straight sword of Prince Lothric. It is tinged with strong magic power due to Emma’s blessing.

This was originally to be wielded by he who would be a hero. In the end, it was a platinum holy sword that was never wielded.

But divinity alone couldn’t cure the baby’s physical deficiencies. As the vanishing look of his soul shows, Prince Lothric was frail to the very core. This is unlikely to be related to his lineage. Despite the royal sharing the same voice actor and similarly delicate physique as Gwyndolin, the God of the Darkmoon was never lacking in his soul. And with Lorian demonstrating no such issues, something else must be the cause. Perhaps it was just the random nature of Disparity, or perhaps some other complications occurred during his birth. Whatever the case, Prince Lothric never grew out of his baby clothes and never ended up wielding his platinum sword. When we encounter the young man in his chamber, he is sitting on the bed as if it is the most natural thing in the world. Given his pallor, the prince has probably spent the majority of his life resting in bed with some ailment, failing to fulfill the sole purpose to his existence — what everyone around him had been preparing him for. One can only imagine the stress and self-loathing such a miserable upbringing inspired.

By contrast, Lorian lived an exemplary life for a royal. Being brothers, it is no surprise that the elder prince bears the same holy power, which he also wields without a catalyst. And while he seems to be nowhere as proficient as Prince Lothric, he employs the younger brother’s same teleportation miracle and can gather divine light into his sword to fire a beam. Another High Priestess to another prince, and thus he received the church’s instruction. However, this prince was raised as a knight, mastering swordplay as exemplified by his victory over the Demon Prince. This skill with the blade is likely why the heir received the royalty’s old brass armor, including a crown of fire for a helm — it is also demonstrative of his worth to his family. Knighthood was in all likelihood designed to impress Lorian with traits conducive to his household, namely the code of chivalry. Loyalty to gods and country with obedience to authority was the royal will, and with knights and clergy as his role models, young Lorian most likely took to his instruction.

The Lothric blood worked to make both siblings fit for their respective roles, but one continued to lag behind even after they matured. As the description for the younger prince’s kindling acknowledges, the family failed to make him qualify for the firelinking mission as a human and so resorted to more inhuman solutions. This includes cursing Prince Lothric so that his soul was inseparably merged with that of his elder brother, which is reflected in the overlapping core of the twin princes’ spirits. Since the younger refers to the older as his “blade”, the intention was clearly to merge both sibling’s powers so that the bed-ridden Prince Lothric would gain the strength of the far more experienced Prince Lorian, whose life as a knight made his soul much more suitable to fuel the First Flame. And to be fair, this curse did find some success in this regard.

Kindling of a King left by Prince Lothric.

If the Kings won’t return to their thrones, returning their kindlings will suffice.

The work of the blood of Lothric which sought a qualifier eventually failed with man and degenerated to repulsive acts. Certainly, firelinking is the path of a curse.

Despite Prince Lothric never actually linking the fire, his remains contain fire comparable to that of a genuine Lord of Cinder — even the victory text for defeating the twin princes refers to them as one. This qualification is definitely thanks to Lorian and not the Demon Prince he ran through with his black-dyed ultra greatsword. While the blade did inherit a smolder of the prince’s flame which has henceforth burned the weapon to the point of melting the iron, the knight prince’s spirit looks no different from the standard boss soul. Lorian himself didn’t inherit the power of any fire demon, so his heat has likely combined with his brother’s to make them bear more flame than your standard fire-inheriting boss. Their bound souls are together quite sizable, and both reside in Prince Lothric’s body, explaining why Lorian looks ghostly pale — no soul, no blood flow. Because of this, the younger sibling can also restore the link between elder’s body and soul whenever the knight is slain, though apparently only at close proximity.

Ultra greatsword of Lorian, Prince Lothric’s elder brother. The melted iron carrying a smolder is dyed black.

It is said that, before receiving his younger brother’s curse, the knight Lorian single-handedly killed the Demon Prince and that this greatsword has been continually burned in flame ever since.

Theoretically, the feeble prince should be capable of inheriting the First Flame with his brother’s zombified body fighting on his behalf as an extension of his own. But in practice, the two defeating the Soul of Cinder is unlikely. The transfer of his soul to his younger brother’s spirit cost Lorian function of his tongue and, more importantly, his ankles. Worse yet, he apparently must remain near his younger brother in order to keep any control over his body. For his part, the elder brother was willing to accept this outcome as the description for his armor relates. He wanted to be afflicted with this curse forever chaining him. Even if it did end up ruining him, he would have had no regrets.

Armor of Lorian, Prince Lothric’s elder brother. The brass helmet with a fire design is dyed black.

It is said that Lorian, who was raised as a knight, lost his voice and ability to walk due to his younger brother’s curse. And that that was his desire.

Acquiescing to his family’s wishes is a given, but Lorian’s continued loyalty to Prince Lothric implies that it was for more than just doing his duty for their holy mission. The twin princes were born under the same circumstances, yet they lived in almost completely different worlds. At the same time, Prince Lothric seems to genuinely care about his brother, so they must have had some interaction growing up. Did big brother sometimes come inside to play, maybe regale with his adventures of the outside? Did he pity little brother’s sorry fate, feel guilty that he was the golden boy while the other was a disappointment through no fault of his own? If so, then Lorian would naturally be the younger prince’s faithful knight. If it was a knight’s duty to sacrifice for the firelinking mission, so be it. If he could give back anything he stole from his younger sibling, Lorian was glad to pay the price.

But Prince Lothric’s physical condition seems to have seen no improvement. Simply put, the knight prince was made a mute cripple chained to another invalid, his sacrifice in vain. And with both now less than ideal candidates for firelinking, the Twin Princes were promptly discarded in favor of other repulsive solutions. Despite everyone’s efforts, Prince Lothric was ultimately denied his raison dêtre, and dragged his elder brother into his both literal and metaphorically cursed fate. But after they stewed in that reality for months on end, they were finally needed again. The kingdom was approaching collapse, beset by chaos, and the time came for a new Lord of Cinder to inherit the flame. Characters like Emma insist that the prince fulfill his original duty and link the fire. But at the critical hour, Prince Lothric ignored the call, shutting his doors and locking the chapel lift to laze around in bed while his brother slayed any and all intruders.

When we meet him, the sickly prince makes absolutely clear that he no longer has any interest in that mission. Why would he? Used and abused by their own blood only to be abandoned, firelinking has brought the Twin Princes nothing but misery. Why should Prince Lothric sacrifice himself for a world which has denied him everything, even his own identity? Now they expect their trashed doll to sing, after they have come crawling back begging for relief? No, it broke a long time ago. Prince Lothric is now convinced that firelinking is itself a curse, one which has trapped us and everyone else involved with it within an endless cycle of grief. If those fools need him, then the Twin Princes will simply idly wait in their chambers and leave the fire to die, letting the mission, the current world order, everything collapse along with it. The royals are well aware that they won’t escape this apocalypse, as they consider their boss room to be their grave. But Lothric has made his decision, Lorian will follow, and we can only respond accordingly.

Ash, do keep in mind. That you too are captured by a curse…