Twin Princes

The name “Twin Princes” (双王子) doesn’t necessarily indicate that Lothric’s royal brothers are actual twins versus magically paired together thanks to their curse. That said, the term is close enough (双子) for wordplay, and it would explain the two’s 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 a name for the younger prince, at least.

While the English inscription on his throne in Firelink Shrine reads “Holy King Lothric”, it more accurately translates to Holy King of Lothric. (ロスリックの聖王) This emphasis on the kingdom and royalty from which the prince hails 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 in Japanese dialogue. After 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 the English script. 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 the description for his clothes, 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. Under the care of his wet nurse, the infirm babe was swaddled in the old prayer clothes kept in the High Priestess’ chambers, their poison resistance helping protect his frail body from illness.

Hood of Prince Lothric.

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

In this manner, the boy was raised by the priesthood, hence why his chamber is readily accessed from a lift in the castle’s chapel. All of the clergy probably prayed for the prince’s recovery while also teaching him his sacred duty and miracles; the offensive variety of yellowish white magic seen during his boss battle would be especially useful for facing the Lords’ avatar. At the same time, he likely invented the spells himself following comparable instruction from the scholars. Several of the arts bear similarity to soul sorcery — in one instance, applying the principles of Crystal Soul Spear — and the Grand Archives does have a private study at the other end of the bridge to the prince’s chamber, complete with a lift for royals and priests alike to skip the rest of the library should they choose to observe. Lothric definitely had the talent considering the great holy power inherited from his mother, as evidenced by him casting miracles without the aid of a catalyst. And in either case, he undoubtedly excelled in both scholarship and scripture.

To complement these abilities, a straight sword was forged and blessed to contain comparable holy magic. This manifests in the the blade’s skill, unleashing sacred light named for its intended wielder. Such power is probably the reason that the sword is platinum, literally “white metal”, (白金) much like how Anor Londo infused holy magic to create white iron in the original Dark Souls. Regardless, it was an armament worthy of the future Holy King of Kindling. Indeed, the holy sword was forged expressly for his mission, according to its description. Its design was also clearly based on the sword emblazoned at the center of the kingdom’s coat of arms. Once he grew old and healthy enough to wield the faith-dependent blade, the prince would represent his namesake with all the strength only a sanctified servant of the gods could muster.

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.

Battle art is “Holy Light of Lothric”. Harbor holy light in that sword via a stance and fire it with a thrust from the strong attack.

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 being born twins caused complications with dividing the power into their individual souls. 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 lavish 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 inside 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, the elder prince bears the same holy power wielded without a catalyst. And while seeming nowhere near as proficient as Prince Lothric, he employs the younger brother’s same teleportation miracle and can gather divine light into his sword to erupt along the ground with a slam. 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 showcased by his victory over the Demon Prince. This skill with the blade is likely why the heir received the royalty’s old brass armor, flourished with blue cloth to designate his rank — it is also demonstrative of his worth to his family. It is no accident that his iron greatsword was dyed to match his black armor, the sword of the royal crest inspiring its shape. Knighthood was 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 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 more robust 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 of theirs 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 resorted to repulsive acts. Certainly, firelinking is the path of a curse.

Despite Prince Lothric never actually linking the fire, his remains contain flame comparable to that of a genuine Lord of Cinder — even the victory text upon the bosses’ defeat refers to them as one. This qualification is definitely thanks to Lorian and not the Demon Prince he ran through with his greatsword. While the man does expertly wield the demon’s flame retained by his melted, burning blade, the knight prince’s spirit looks no different from the standard boss soul. Lorian himself doesn’t manifest power of any fire demon, so his and his brother’s heat has likely combined to make them bear more heat 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; loss of vitality similarly explains the bleached hair. And unlike the Lords of Cinder, who draw upon their piece of the First Flame when placed on the back foot, the Twin Princes only become embered once Lothric enters incredibly close proximity to Lorian.

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.

After we first defeat Lorian, Lothric teleports over to revive his other half through their curse, a magic white light enveloping the older prince’s body upon contact. Only then, as both live, do their bodies manifest heat. For the rest of the battle, the younger prince remains hanging on the elder’s back, contributing his spells plus his own holy power for Lorian’s sword slam. Although this exposes himself to vulnerability, it is likely by necessity. Lothric’s body harbors both their souls, so the proximity is what would allow Lorian to maintain control over his own regardless of damage — and we do first see the zombie drag his crumpled form out of a corner by his sibling’s bed, as if left inert to be repossessed when required. Because of this, the younger sibling can also restore the link between elder’s body and soul whenever the knight is slain, though with diminishing results; each subsequent attempt, Lothric’s prayer to force the resurrection causes a backlash resembling Wrath of the Gods while the Lorian’s HP is restored less and less. But this is only a problem if Lorian dies. Ideally, he never would.

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; Lorian acting as his twin’s buffer is built upon even further in cut content, where the older prince would additionally use a shield modeled on the one featured in the kingdom’s coat of arms just like his brother’s platinum sword. 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 legs — he struggles to stand on one even momentarily. 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.

Shield that the older brother prince who protects Lothric favored using.

It is said that the prince who lost his voice and legs due to a curse kept holding up the shield to protect his frail younger brother.

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. 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 slays 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…