As a Spear of the Church of Filianore and the princess’ handmaid, Shira is obviously a knight of Anor Londo. Although not wearing their uniform, her formal wear nevertheless incorporates silver armor, much like Silver Knights — both even share a similarly old origin. Shira likewise wields a cross spear as well as the Lightning Arrow miracle producing a facsimile of the Dragonslayer’s Greatbow and Greatarrow, all utilized by Silver Knights during the gods’ dragon hunts. Indeed, the miracle was specifically created for the odd female knight joining the fray, presumably to bridge a physical gap with their male counterparts on average; if the knightess simply couldn’t handle such heavy, oversized arms, then she could supplement with faith. We do see Shira’s cross spear have a slightly lower strength requirement than the Dragonslayer Spear used by the male Ornstein, and this is factoring in the additional corpse entwining it. With the Dragonslayer’s Greatbow sharing the same criterion, it seems that Anor Londo strived to accommodate willing women without compromising battle readiness.

While female knights are not too commonly seen across the series, Shira’s case stands out for her particular choice of membership. As highlighted in the original Dark Souls, (DS1) women of Anor Londo choosing the path of knighthood generally opted to become Lord’s Blades, wielding much less physically demanding daggers as elite secret assassins. Whatever their exact reasons, this likely contributed to the rarity of Silver Knights of the feminine persuasion working as royal guards and, for a time, dragonslayers. For Shira to follow the path of “true” knighthood thereby speaks to her desire for the spotlight. The knight repeatedly talks of “pride” in her Japanese dialogue and continues to wear her knight’s attire even alone in the confines of a room where, as its description highlights, that serves no one. Someone who is so proud and open about their affiliation simply wouldn’t be satisfied skulking in the shadows with her head down low. Whether or not this attitude was true for the female knight minority as a whole, Shira had special reason to be so shameless with her presentation.

If you become a Spear of the Church, both the Princess’ sleep and Midir’s pact will continue to be protected, no doubt. As one who serves the Princess, and as his friend, my thanks to you. May your journey be full of pride from here on.

At Fire’s end, by the Dark’s side, but you protect the Princess’ sleep. My thanks to the Holy Spear. And may its journey be full of pride from here on.

During her battle cry, Shira proclaims her status as the child of both a god and a duke, tying those respectively to the “pride” of gods and “dignity” of flame. This by itself is quite revealing. Recall that in DS1 the only known duke of Anor Londo was Seath, having married the goddess Gwynevere in order to become Gwyn’s relative and thus worthy of that title. Indeed, dignity very much describes his Dukedom, which is part of the larger Anor Londo government hierarchy predicated on the power of fire their first King shared. The fact that the Duke wasn’t a born god, not even medial, also explains why this point is made separate from the divine lineage, which only exists with the Princess of Sunlight. According to its description, Shira’s fancy garb befits both a handmaid of Filianore and a descendant of royalty. This becomes especially obvious with its color scheme — green and gold have commonly been associated with Gwynevere, while silver and white are commonly associated with Seath. Even her name is one possible reading of the kanji for “white” (白) in likely reference to the pale white dragon.

I have searched for you, dark-aligned human. I am Shira, progeny of a God, daughter of a Duke. And friend of Midir. The gods’ pride, fire’s dignity, the Dark’s fear, it is all within me.

We can therefore be confident that Shira is Seath and Gwynevere’s daughter. As to why she doesn’t exhibit any draconic traits like other half-dragon crossbreeds, we can most likely thank her mother. Concept art depicts Shira with white hair like Priscilla, but she sports brown hair like Gwynevere in-game. Evidently, the developers considered showing some trace of her lineage to her father but ultimately decided against it. After all, the combination of his moonlight affinity with his wife’s sunlight affinity guaranteed that their daughter’s resulting soul would be more light than moon in nature, making her medial traits dominant. It is possible that Shira is hiding qualities seen in her half-sister beneath the heavy clothing, but they don’t affect her ability to appear as another pure-blood medial either way.

As the offspring of a divine princess and a dragon honored by the gods of fire with peerage, Shira has every reason to flaunt her status. Such pride is typical of a medial and is evident in her choice to wear gloves and boots made with carthamin leather. The safflower, or “scarlet flower”, (紅花) from which carthamin derives is used for both red and yellow dyes, the colors of flame and therefore the perfect means to show her appreciation for fire. We also see that the leather is fastened with buttons of brass, a popular metal among the gods and especially those close to the royalty. Shira clearly tried to capture everything to admire about her background in her apparel, inheriting her mother’s sense of beauty and elegance along with the vanity — though far more modest with her wardrobe. To add the honor of knighthood to her accolades must have sounded incredibly appealing, and again shows where she and Gwynevere diverge.

Gloves of Shira, knight of Filianore. It fastens carthamin leather with brass buttons.

It is part of her knight apparel.

Apparel of Shira, knight of Filianore. Unusual women’s armor of old origin.

It, which combines a white-silver breastplate with a gold-thread shawl and a green-cloth skirt, is appropriate for a handmaid of the princess and descendant of royalty. It possesses a reserved but elegant beauty.

Rather than support other warriors from the sidelines with blessings, Shira wanted to become one of those blessed fighters herself. To that end, she doesn’t seem to know any of her mother’s miracles, or any healing miracles for that matter. In that respect, she takes after her father, relying on a spell which rejects others in the most direct and efficient manner. The magic may not be sorcery, but Seath’s influence nonetheless helped cement her vocation as a knight. It is still curious that the knightess owns a cross spear, however. Lightning Arrow has its uses outside of dragonslaying, but the specialized spear no longer saw currency among any but the most renown dragonslayers following the dragon hunts. And yet, Shira’s parentage requires she not even be born until after the hunts had concluded. In that case, she must have been conceived not long after her parents’ wedding, when dragonslayer works were still fresh and the popular image of a heroic knight for Shira to want to imitate growing up.

Miracle that female knights used in dragon hunts in the Age of Gods.

Draws lighting bow and shoots lightning arrows.

Excels in range distance compared to spears and is also said to shoot straight through a dragon’s eye. Exaggerations are an essential part of beautiful stories.

If so, then the knight is proof that there might have been some romance at the start of Seath and Gwynevere’s political marriage; the Duke most certainly doted on their daughter. Her silver crown — which he undoubtedly commissioned — is adorned with a bival pearl in reference to the DS1 enemy localized as a Man Eater Shell. And, again, recall that Seath studied these five-legged bivals’ culturation of pearls during the earliest stages of his research into crystallization at Anor Londo’s archives. Aside from reinforcing the implication that she was born early on, the fact that an already full-grown Shira received a crown decorated with one of their pearls demonstrates her father’s personal fondness. Even if he was busy with his work, daddy could still find the time to pamper his little princess. Such paternal affection is on full display when the knight eventually departed for the Ringed City.

Crown of Shira, knight of Filianore. Delicate silverwork decorated with a bival pearl.

It is said that Shira, who shut herself in a dark room harboring the mad king’s crucifixion, didn’t get rid of that formal wear, which wasn’t for anyone’s sake.

The Aquamarine Dagger is a curious weapon to acquire in the Dreg Heap. It has been fitted with a crystal imbued with magic power, which it can unleash and then crystallize as a sort of blade extension from short sword to long sword. The dagger’s description also suggests that it was a parting gift since it is engraved with an expression praying for safety. We can thereby conclude that it was created by a crystal sorcerer as a present for a close friend or relative who was leaving for somewhere far away and potentially dangerous. On top of that, the idiom is engraved in an “old language”, meaning it well predates contemporary figures like the Crystal Sages. Taken altogether, the original owner of this blade was probably Seath, the ancient founder of sorcery whom all crystal sorcerers ultimately derive their craft. Likewise, the most likely recipient of the white dragon’s gift is Shira, who went to become her Aunt Filianore’s attendant and bodyguard at the capital at world’s end. Like any father seeing his little girl leave the nest, he was concerned and gifted a charm against the worst-case scenario.

Dagger inlaid with an aquamarine crystal.

It was given for a departure, right? An idiom praying for safety is engraved in an old language.

Battle art is “Crystal Blade”. Unleashes magic power shrouded in aquamarine and temporarily creates a blue blade of crystal. That blade is long and can be wielded like a straight sword.

In that case, why is the Aquamarine Dagger acquired in the Dreg Heap? We find it on the corpse of someone unfortunate enough to be crushed beneath a collapsing Lothric rampart, whereas we find Shira locked away in a room within the Ringed City below since long before lands began to drift. Most likely, the knight simply didn’t keep it on her person. It was a loving gift, but Shira already had to a spear and a preference for miracles, leaving no incentive to carry another weapon after arriving at her destination. And so, Shira probably left it in her personal quarters at the Ringed City, ripe for the taking. The corpse with the dagger lies behind one of the Harald Knights, and more can be found in various parts of the Dreg Heap. If these knights managed to infiltrate the city and later escape to these ruins as the lands coalesced, then it is completely possible for a thief to do the same. This burglar stole Shira’s dagger while she was away and fled, only to be killed by the crumbling environment outside. Such random circumstances likely weren’t the developers’ original intention, however.

Cut content confirms that Shira would have confronted us with a “Lady Attendant’s Retainer”. (侍女のお付き) The knight is Filianore’s lady attendant, and otsuki similarly refers to an attendant of a high-ranking person — such as a Duke’s daughter. Evidently, Shira would have brought one of her own servants with her from Anor Londo. This companion dresses in old Oolacilian attire, matching previous implications concerning the gods’ human servants in DS1. And befitting a servant of Seath, the Oolacilian would cast crystal sorcery with Logan’s staff, presumably intended to just be a generic wooden staff of great power in this particular case. Regardless, the retainer would wield the Aquamarine Dagger in the other hand, on the master’s behalf, leaving no room to doubt its origins. This confrontation in Gael’s boss room was most likely our original means to acquire the weapon before the additional NPC was cut and FromSoftware needed to reimagine its travel history.

Whether or not she needed the dagger for self-defense, Shira was undoubtedly reporting for duty during trying times. From her dialogue, we can infer that she was sent to the Ringed City as part of Anor Londo’s efforts to contain the growing threat of a Dark Lord emerging. Perhaps Gwyn was getting nervous about his own daughter’s safety at ground zero of the Dark’s upsurge and wanted another relative there to give him peace of mind, much like the case with the Way of White and Lloyd. And given the Duke’s marital scandal between his wedding and this point, he was in no position to object to a royal decree for his progeny. The knight had to fulfill her duty to her liege, and her behavior shows that she takes this duty very seriously. If she must hold the line until the gods solve First Flame fading, she will stand firm. And so, with support and well wishes from her father, she journeyed to the Ringed City.

There, she swore to act as a handmaid for the princess and Spear for her church, attending to her every need. As part of this, she received one of the goddess’ blessed chimes to use in the course of her duties, though the warrior couldn’t take advantage of its blessing outside praying for self-healing. She likewise came into possession of an Estus Flask in the course of her duties, apparently. The knight also learned about the hidden chapel, where she leaves her summon sign, and the Dark valley by extension. She was there to witness even the church’s best Spears be wiped out in the ensuing struggle against the rebelling pygmies. Losing so many respected comrades in these stressful times unsurprisingly convinced Shira that mankind as a whole forgot their “God” in Gwyn. Even ignoring her typical medial prejudice regarding human greed and duplicity, her hubris goes so far as to consider recognizing Gwyn as God a byproduct of moral character; she won’t even deal with us until we acknowledge his divinity. As Shira later admits, her background demands that she never forgive a human who fails to abide by the gods.

… Ah, you have… become a Holy Spear. That is the title of a hero in the Age of Gods and should in itself not exist at Fire’s end.

… You are a kind person, aren’t you? Because I, captive, can do nothing except provide my voice. Perhaps that is why you remember the name of God?

That is why I won’t forgive. Your kind’s betrayal, profanity, and lowly craving.

Such was the case when confronted with the mad pygmy king. Faithful knight to her king that she was, Shira promptly slew the rebellious monarch. Only, he wouldn’t quite die, his body continuing to cling to the spear skewering him. This put Shira in an unenviable position. Even if she were to remove the mad king from her spear, there was no guarantee that the church forces could restrain him any more effectively. And even if she were to throw out her spear along with the literal hanger-on, he might still survive to trouble them another day. Factor in the king’s ability to still cast Dark magic, and there was sure to be resistance threatening her and others no matter how they proceeded. With no ideal solution at hand, the knight’s quick thinking led her instinctively to the most honorable outcome: shutting herself within a building in the city with the mad king in noble self-sacrifice.

The building in question is a one-room, windowless rest area for Anor Londo’s knights; we can deduce this from the fancy chairs on either side of the red carpet beneath a chandelier, Silver Knight statue wall decorations provided curtains for fanfare. With the knights no more, it was the perfect place to confine the mad king on such short notice. Shira decided that she would contend with the crucified lunatic alone, preventing him from sowing more chaos as his constant monitor. Because of this, her only access to the outside world is through holes at the bottom of the thick metal door she firmly shut behind her, which allows her to communicate and exchange small items but nothing else as she is acutely aware. This also implies that she hasn’t eaten or drank since taking on this task, something perhaps only possible thanks to dragon heritage just like Yorshka. Item descriptions claim this to have been a dark room, adding to the severity of her conditions, but we find it has plenty of brazier and candlelight at least when we enter — in fairness, lighting throughout this game is more aesthetic than logically grounded.

Despite all these shortcomings, Shira perseveres even after the mad king is reduced to, mostly, just a skeleton. And she would have remained in that room, helping in whatever small way she can, until the gods won had we not disturbed Filianore’s rest. After that, Shira confronts us among what remains of the Ringed City, having surmised our involvement and been hunting for us. Although presuming us an ally of the Dark for our sacrilege, she is ironically willing to use the mad king’s power to punish us for our irrevocable sin. If we slay her there, a corpse will spawn with her set in her now open prison back in the Ringed City area. Although this entire instance is likely just more liberties taken by the developers, the image of “Shira” smiling whilst knelt before the Silver Knight effigies is no doubt fitting. Right to the end, she stayed true to her honor as a knight upholding Gwyn’s order, an order which made her existence — in all its glory — possible.