Gwyn Lord of Cinder

Location Kiln of the First Flame
Health * NG: 4,250
NG+: 6,745
Souls * NG: 70,000
NG+: 140,000
* Recorded in PATCH 1.05

Gwyn Lord of Cinder is a Boss in Dark Souls.

Gwyn Lord of Cinder Information

Gwyn, Lord of Cinder was a great warrior and God, once known as the Lord of Sunlight, who ended the Age of Ancients when he fought the dragons along with Gravelord Nito, the witch of Izalith, Seath The Scaleless, and his faithful knights. For disputed reasons, he sacrificed himself to link the First Flame at least one thousand years before the events of the game, and thus began the Age of Fire. Gwyn was so powerful that he bequeathed parts of his soul to the Four Kings and Seath the Scaleless prior to this, and still his soul remains "a powerful thing indeed".

He was succeeded by his children: his firstborn; the banished God of War who lost his status as a deity, his daughter Gwynevere; the Queen of Sunlight, and his lastborn Gwyndolin; his "repulsive [and] frail" son who Gwyn raised as a daughter due to his affinity for the moon.

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has spoken to Kingseeker Frampt, Darkstalker Kaathe, or the illusion of Gwynevere, that Lord Gwyn is the final boss of the game, and that it is the chosen Undead's goal to either succeed him and end further Undead sacrifices, or start the Age of Dark: the apparent age of humanity. He can be fought after acquiring all Lord Souls and Lord Soul Shards and returning them to the Lordvessel at Firelink Altar, which will grant access to the Kiln of the First Flame. After fighting past five of his Black Knights, a Hollowed and haggard Gwyn awaits the chosen Undead at the site of the First Flame, presenting himself as their final challenge.


"Once living, now Undead, and a fitting heir to father Gwyn thou art,
And beseech thee. Succeed Lord Gwyn, and inheriteth the Fire of our world.
Thou shall endeth this eternal twilight, and avert further Undead sacrifices.

- The illusion of Gwynevere, revealing the chosen Undead's destiny to succeed her father, Lord Gwyn.

"Lord Gwyn trembled at the Dark.
Clinging to his Age of Fire, and in dire fear of humans,
And the Dark Lord who would one day be born amongst them,
Lord Gwyn resisted the course of nature.
By sacrificing himself to link the Fire, and commanding his children to shepherd the humans,
Gwyn has blurred your past, to prevent the birth of the Dark Lord.

Darkstalker Kaathe, giving an alternative, darker account of Lord Gwyn to the chosen Undead.

The Facts

  • This guy is crazy fast, extremely aggressive (even for this game) and has incredible melee range
  • If you get too far away he’ll perform a high speed dive attack; this will do massive damage and will be hard to dodge and harder to block. You can parry the attack, but the timing window is extremely small, so it's much safer to dodge the attack instead of taking damage from him.
  • He deals a lot of fire and physical damage with each swing
  • He has a pattern, but it isn’t stable. He reacts to what you do, quickly, and possibly more so than any other enemy in this game.
  • He can easily dodge your attacks when not currently in an attack animation.


  • The room is circular but there are many obstacles in the room; put them between you and him for a few precious seconds of breathing room.
  • Learn his repertoire; you can beat most bosses without knowing their every tell, but not so here. He’s too fast for that, so you need know what he’s going to do.
  • Do not use lightning-based weapons; Gwyn has an incredible resistance to them and will almost half the player's damage output.
  • Gwyn is also extremely resistant to Faith-based offensive miracles, such as Lightning Spear and Sunlight Spear, practically nullifying their usefulness.


Gwyn has many different attacks, mostly involving a non-stop barrage of sword swings which will take down your shield and stamina quickly. Some attacks to watch out for would be his Grab which he will fireblast you into the air for moderate damage and a dashing strike which will do heavy damage if not blocked or dodged.

  • The easiest strategy would be to use Iron Flesh combined with Havel's armor and parry Gwyn's attacks to defeat him. Blocking his first swing and parry his follow-up should make the parry more consistent. (The Dragon Greatsword can stagger him as well, 2-handed him while on Iron Flesh)
  • Also a fairly easy strategy is to hide behind one of the large rocks near the center of the room so he hits the rock rather than you; when he goes for a grab and misses go in for a hit and back off. You can also hit him after he finishes his 3-4 hit combo.
  • The standard strategy is to keep Gwyn far enough away so he misses his attacks made against you and with a combination of rolling and quick attacks and backing off, you can slowly whittle away his health and beat him.
  • A very easy way to defeat him is to equip a few powerful fire spells and stay close enough for him to try and grab you so that when he reaches and misses just blast him with your fire. Also works when he kicks but his recovery is a bit faster so there is more of a risk of sustaining damage.
  • For casters: Use Homing Soulmass or Homing Crystal Soulmass when you have put enough distance between you and the boss to do so (put too much space and he‘ll dive bomb you), then rush him with your shield up so that when your Soulmasses launch he’ll be too busy attacking you to dodge. Do this three to six times (depending on Intelligence) and he’s done. In fact, this strategy works very well even without a shield. Lord Gwyn is very good at dodging Soul Spears and Soul Arrows, but he is terrible at dodging Soulmasses. He will try to dodge spells when you cast them by sidestepping without taking into account the slight delay before Soulmass spells go off. By dodging his attacks and repeatedly casting a Homing Soulmass type spell Lord Gywn can be killed very easily.
  • Gwyn can be defeated relatively easily using Havel's Greatshield (or any high stability/fire resist shield) and a spear type weapon. Simply move directly towards the rock to your immediate left upon entering the battle. Continuously sidestep and hug the rock to keep it between you and Gwyn. He will try to attack you and grab you through the rock and while he does this you can hold down block while poking him through the rock with your spear until he dies.
  • For those looking for a safer defensive strategy: Equip your best heavy armor such as Smough's Set or Havel's Set along with the Havel's Ring. The ring is crucial to be able to back away quick enough to dodge his kick or grab attacks. Next, equip a leveled Black Iron Greatshield. I used a +12 here. The higher the better. This will negate the fire damage from his attacks and absorb the majority of his strikes with ease. Use a leveled Lightning Greatsword. I used a +5 Lightning Zweihander. This will stun him and give you time to back away and let your stamina replenish. The key with the strategy here is to stay close enough to him that he doesn't do his dive bomb but far away enough to still be able to back away from his grab attack. So just barely out of his swords reach whenever possible, but it's good to vary your distance to try to lure him into going for the grab or kick. As soon as you see him start to lean in with his shoulder start to back away. After he misses the grab or kick go in for a hard R2 strike. In order for this to work you must keep an eye on your stamina bar at all times and drop your shield after each attack chain to let stamina recharge. Do not yourself get below 50% at any time if possible.
  • Repeat this and in no time he'll be gone. Another thing that works well is to keep moving and circling him with shield up in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. When he does his 3-4 strike attack you can generally dodge all swings by moving momentarily to the left, right, left as he swings each way saving you precious stamina. There's no need to roll with this strategy but it can be done if you get caught without enough stamina to block and need to get away to recover. You will need a reasonable high SL for this strategy. Minimum strength and stamina in the mid 30's.
  • Another method for casters (or anyone requiring some more room to heal, etc.) is to make use of the very large rock formation to the left of the room (facing inwards from the fog gate). There is a large rock that can be used to create a (very) large amount of breathing room and the only issue when using this strategy is leading Gwyn to the spot. It's best to start out in the middle, and then roll backwards until you reach the wall slightly behind the rock and then roll to the right, throwing yourself over the small uprising between the wall and the edge of the rock. This method will generally stop Gwyn's onslaught for a fair while as he fails one or even two non-jumping attacks, giving you an immensely gratifying break to heal up or load a soul mass. Beware though, this reprieve is only temporary and his jumping attack can clear the obstacle easily if you move far enough away from him to trigger it.
  • If you have the Iron Flesh pyromancy purchased from Laurentius and a good heavy damage weapon, you can take Gwyn within a minute or two. When you enter the fog gate walk a few steps forward and use Iron Flesh, raise your shield and wait for him to come. When you defend his jump attack, get double-handed weapon and don't stop attacking him; with a +5 Black Knight Greataxe at every 2 hits him will get stunned for a while and stop attacking, when this happens go to the back of gwyn and continue attacking until he dies. Wear your strongest physical damage reduction armor and the Flame Stoneplate Ring before entering the fog gate. Just be careful when Iron Flesh effect ends !
  • You can equip a Black knight shield +5 which has 74 stability and a 95% Fire damage block. Tank his hits until he does his grab move which leaves him vulnerable for several seconds.
  • The by far cheapest way to beat him is with chain parries; yes he can be parried, over and over, making him defeatable without taking any damage at all (Yes, don't just hit the parry button over and over, actually time the attacks, it's called practice, which if you plan on entering NG+, You will need a lot of experience.)
  • The Black Knight Sword +5 can stagger him every second two-handed hit. If you have a decent amount of stamina, simply beat on him until you are almost out. Stop attacking after the last staggering hit you can hit him with. If the last hit does not stagger him, he will have recovered by the time you will be able to get your shield out.
  • Here is a "playbook" that will beat Gwyn. If the player has a weapon that can do ~150 damage on him per swipe, and a greatshield with more than 80 stability that is at the right strength requirement such that the shield is drawn quickly, then the player is prepared. It is also recommended to use the Chloranthy Ring and the Mask Of The Child for this, to assist this strategy: 

    1. He lunges for his first attack. This can be tanked on the shield, and you have room for up to two hits, if the stamina cost is not low for the player. At this event, it is good to get a lock-on. Note that this lock-on can be broken by Gwyn very frequently and easily, so keep in mind to maintain the lock. It is easy to sprint to this area if the player would sprint-jump to regain stamina, so re-attempting this fight is easy, too.

    2. When he grabs you by raising his left hand, you can backstep away. You can also dodge roll, but if that fails, you can use one of the wider and taller pillars (one of them is next to the fog gate), and that will get you the needed time to use estus. Letting him do this more than once without fully healing is a very bad idea, and can kill your attempt. Probably the best pillar is near the fog gate, as it has a wide base, which can give a significant buffer for healing, but there is also another extra-thick pillar near the center of the arena where ou first meet Gwyn and where the bonfire pops up after the fight, which will allow for safe healing. 

    3. His combos are a deadly three-piece, and four piece, at longest. When his three piece is done, he will finish with an upward slash, and that's when you hit him. It is advised not to use a weapon with a slower light-attack than a shortsword, and handaxes are preferred, as they balance reach, damage, speed, and durability well.

    4. Parrying is an option, and all of Gwyn's sword-swipes can be parried easily as long as the blade is travelling toward the player, whie the shield is actually doing the parry animation, but it's not a 100% success rate, and does not do damage, unless the player stacks at least two significant buffs. Note that failing a parry can virtually insta-kill a player, or make his health too low to get into a healing position.

    5. Contrary to what people say, he is not weak to fire, so no chaos weapons or fire weapons are going to change the personality of the battle.

    6. If you get too far from him, he will lunge, and sometimes he will get you behind your shield, so it is better to not go further than the tip of his sword. 

    This strategy should take about twenty minutes, but is very safe, and effective, as it guarantees damage with little to no real health-tanking needed.


If Solaire of Astora survived the 'Izalith incident' (please note that you need to talk to him, killing the chaos bug with spells or by the shortcut isn't enough. I had to run all the way back in Lost Izalith and talk to him in order to be able to summon him against Gywn), then he can be summoned at the top of the last staircase.  Use him to draw Gwyn's attention. To make him survive, concentrate more on protecting Solaire than fighting Gwyn.

As the Kiln area remains popular for high level PvP, It is easy to summon players to assist with the battle should you choose. The most common location for summoning signs is on the platform at the base of the long staircase leading down from the lordvessel, but signs may also be found scattered throughout the level and before Gwyn's boss fog gate.

Given the high rate of invasions in the area, be prepared to sprint for the boss gate as soon as your summon(s) arrive.

Game Ending (Spoilers)

Upon defeating Gwyn, you have two choices. Exiting through the doorway, after defeating Gwyn, will give you the 'Dark Lord' ending. If you light the Bonfire you get the 'Link the Fire' ending. In either case, you will then immediately go into New Game Plus, so make sure you have done everything else you wish to do in your current playthrough before you decide to defeat Gwyn.


Area Bosses
|  Asylum Demon  | |  Bell Gargoyle  | |  Capra Demon  | |  Centipede Demon  | |  Crossbreed Priscilla  | |  Dark Sun Gwyndolin  | |  Demon Firesage  | |  Four Kings  | |  Great Grey Wolf Sif  | |  Iron Golem  | |  Moonlight Butterfly  | |  Nito  | |  Ornstein and Smough  | |  Pinwheel  | |  Seath the Scaleless  | |  Stray Demon  | |  Taurus Demon  | |  The Bed of Chaos  |


    • Anonymous

      23 Feb 2018 01:32  

      I feel like the dive attack is very easy to dodge. In fact, the strategy I've always used as a light/no armor build with a relatively quick weapon is to create the distance so that he pretty much uses it without fail, roll through it to get one maybe two hits depending on the weapon, roll out and repeat. Usually over in less than two minutes. Just have to watch the room to keep from getting trapped.

      • Anonymous

        25 Jul 2017 06:31  

        aye the ancient lord of light, defeater of the everlasting dragons, split apart his very soul to repay those who helped him even then his souls was unmatched in strength and when his age of fire was coming to a end, the fire fading, he sacrificed himself to prolong his great age now, young undead what will you choose? light? or dark?
        - The Iron Titan

        • Anonymous

          17 Jul 2017 14:35  

          Velka's rapier +5, power within, hornets ring at least 30 int. 2 parries and thats it. All over. Can use target shield to Make it easier.

          • 21 May 2017 05:09  

            Finally killed him on NG+ today. Had a hard time since I killed him with Solaire on NG (he makes it a breeze), but on this run Solaire died at my hands, accidentally, but I needed his armor anyways so... Main thing that made this fight hard was the fact that you can`t heal, well you can try but he`ll hit you for half your health when you do, I tried Iron Flesh and I can`t parry for crap, I am an average player, not elite, anyways most games are made for average people, there is usually a 'hard' way around. For me it was the Greatshield of Artorias, with 40 END and decent armor/fire protection if you block you take hardly any damage at all. But like all bosses you also need to be patient... and hardly any damage taken at all will eventually accumulate, so you will need to heal. The pillars are the key, put a pillar between you and him, but don`t stand right next to it as he will attack through them and still hit you. This is the only way to safely heal that I could figure. Then pyromancy, at +5 ascended flame I did like 700 damage, I also used the Obsidian Sword buffed with fire, Mask of the Mother for stamina regen and mostly a Giant set at +5, Havel and the ring of Steel Protection, happy hunting! (Also, NG+ to NG++ is awesome, as things don`t escalate as bad as when going from NG to NG+, and by the NG++ time you`ve 'get gud') :D

            • Anonymous

              30 Apr 2017 00:01  

              dont get me wrong but isnt this the easiest boss? maybe i farmed too much before ng cycle but its not that fast or damaging i suppose. for those who having hard time im not a pro or something but take hint and wear that black armor set and farm black knights for their shield. decent poise and good fire defense. also not that heavy. shield is useful since even if you have random 100 phy def shield youll still take fire damage. another good thing to do is killing fire keepers in londo and quelaags domain for their souls so you can upgrade estus at firelink shrine.

              • Anonymous

                13 Mar 2017 12:02  

                would anyone know what happens if you kill yourself (via posion or power within, etc) instead of leaving, or linking the flame?

                • Anonymous

                  Just finished my first play through.07 Oct 2016 17:09  

                  I had 20 estus(+3) and the black iron armor set, but with the gold hemmed hood instead of the helmet. I used a +3 crystal halberd (of which i did not know has very low durability) and a (+5?) crystal knight shield and i was able to parry most of his attacks, and the one's i didnt the armor allowed me to take a hit without staggering and also allowed me to 50% roll. This set has high fire and physical resistance so I would recommend it if you have havel's ring.

                  • Anonymous

                    Enhanced Strategy Suggestion (literally just beat Gwyn)08 Jun 2016 23:33  

                    "You can equip a Black knight shield +5 which has 74 stability and a 95% Fire damage block. Tank his hits until he does his grab move which leaves him vulnerable for several seconds." - For best results, use the Choloranthy Ring (or whatever the Stamina Regen ring is called) and wear either the giant armour (high fire resist, heavy damage resistance) or something else with suitable staying power. If your Endurance is above 45, you should be able to completely block even his longest combo (and with the giant armour, negate his fire damage) providing you time temporary shield drops in order to recover stamina. From this point, he will occasionally leave himself open at the end of combos and failed attacks; thus providing the player time to pick away at him.Good luck to everyone!- Terminus_X, died linking the fire... at least the first time...

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