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Should you suggest Thiollier or Hornsent in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree?

When Needle Knight Leda puts you on the spot, here's what happens with each dialogue choice.

A warrior speaks to Needle Knight Leda who poses a choice: suggest Thiollier, Hornsent or no one in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

What happens when you suggest Thiollier or Hornsent to Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC? When Miquella's Great Rune is broken, the charm binding all of Shadow of the Erdtree's NPCs together in harmony will also disappear, causing Leda in particular to grow suspicious and mistrustful of her fellow compatriots. At one point, she'll ask you whether she should go after Thiollier or Hornsent on her quest to root out those who don't deserve to be at Miquella's side.

In this guide, we'll explain the consequences of each dialogue choice during this moment, and what happens if you suggest Thiollier, Hornsent or make no suggestion at all. After all, you're just in the process of getting to know these characters, so should you really throw one of them under the bus like this so early on? To help you make your choice, read on below to find out whether you should suggest Thiollier or Hornsent (or make no suggestion) in Shadow of the Erdtree.

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The short answer is: you should suggest Hornsent, as the game will make this decision for you anyway, regardless of what choice you make.

Poor Hornsent, eh? As awkward as it might feel to suggest Hornsent to Leda (given he's standing literal centimetres away from you at this point in time), this is arguably the best choice to make out of the three available dialogue options.

Below, we'll explain what each choice does in more detail, but they all ultimately boil down to the same thing: Leda will start to pursue Hornsent regardless of what you say to her.

Suggest Thiollier

A warrior speaks to Thiollier in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

Thiollier is one of Shadow of the Erdtree's harmless early merchants who specialises in poison objects. You'll find him at the Site of Grace 'Pillar Path Cross', which is also a Miquella's Cross location, in Gravesite Plain. By his own admission, he's a harmless soul, and too useless and weak to stand on his own two feet.

If you suggest Thiollier, Leda will also conclude he's no real threat to Miquella, and will ask you to choose again.

Suggest Hornsent

A warrior speaks to the Hornsent in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

Speak to Hornsent before Leda, and he'll tell you how the "call of vengeance" against Messmer sounds clearly in his mind. He's still loyal to Miquella at this point, but it's clear that Leda isn't quite so convinced about his commitment to the cause.

If you suggest Hornsent to Leda, she'll say she needs some time to ponder this decision. Rest at the 'Highroad Cross' Site of Grace and pass the time, then speak to her again. She'll decide to target Hornsent, and both her and Hornsent will then disappear from Highroad Cross. The next time you run into them, it will be inside the Shadow Keep.

Make no suggestion

If you opt to make no suggestion, nothing will happen for the time being. You'll have a window of time to come back later and make a more informed decision, but if you leave it too long and never return to Leda, her questline will advance without you, and Leda will choose to target Hornsent regardless.

However, based on our own experience with this choice, only Hornsent will move on to the Shadow Keep if this happens, with Leda remaining at Highroad Cross until the end of the game.

How to save Hornsent

Hornsent, it seems, is doomed from the start then, but there is still a way to stop Leda from targeting Hornsent if you summon Hornsent as a collaborator during the boss fight with Messmer the Impaler. Beware: you can only summon Hornsent from inside the boss arena here, which can be tricky to do when trying to defend and dodge Messmer's attacks.

If you successfully summon Hornsent during the Messmer fight, however, Leda will stop targeting Hornsent, allowing Hornsent's questline to continue.

Be warned, though: her focus will then shift to Ansbach, which will impact their questline later on in the game.

For now, though, this is everything you need to know about whether to suggest Thiollier or Hornsent (or make no suggestion at all) in this first big decision with Needle Knight Leda.

If you haven't already completed it, your next destination after this choice should be the Shadow Keep, and here's how to access the east side of the Shadow Keep so you can continue to fight its boss, Messmer the Impaler.

Need more help? Improve your stats by finding all of Shadow of the Erdtree's Scadutree Fragment locations and Revered Spirit Ash locations. Alternatively, see which Erdtree bosses you've still got left to beat, and track down some great new early weapons to help you on your adventure.

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