Ravnica is based on a Serbo-Croatian word for plain.

And the other planes, like Phyrexia (basically "land of Phyresis") seem to have etymologies for their names...

So, what's the etymology of the name Eldraine?

  • 2
    I don't want to put this as an answer because it doesn't feel satisfactory, but I think we don't yet know. The whole set/plane is inspired by Arthurian knights and Grimm's fairy tales, and Eldraine sounds vaguely Medieval themed. I don't think a more specific answer than that has been stated yet. We do know, though, that Eldraine is the name of the plane, and not just someone in the set.
    – Aetherfox
    Sep 9, 2019 at 13:47
  • Is there an etymology tag? Should there be? Sep 9, 2019 at 14:49
  • 2
    Guessing, but perhaps it has something to do with the word "Eldritch" (other worldly, weird, etc.)
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 9, 2019 at 17:46
  • Presumably patterned after "Eldar," Tolkien's often-recycled (by Midkemia, Warhammer, &c.) endonym for elves. The question is: does anything short of asking the designers and copy-pasting their reply here actually count as an answer?
    – Alex P
    Feb 24, 2020 at 16:21

3 Answers 3


I think the name comes from two words, Old and Land.

Eld is part of the word "elder". Other answers think that it relates to "Eldritch" but "Eldritch" also just means old.

Raine is like in "Ukraine" which literately translates to Borderland From Wiktionary

1651 Ukrain, 1671 Ukraine, 1688 Ucrania, Ukrania, 1762 Ocraine. Adaptation of Polish Ukraina, Russian Украи́на (Ukraína), or Ukrainian Украї́на (Ukrajína), from the specific use, originally meaning “borderland”

Now clearly Wizards took liberty with this. I am not sure the R in the world was taken correctly, but in our minds "-ania" is a place, and many fantasy writers use this.

So the game Land of Old fits perfectly for a place full of Arthurian knights and fairy tales


update: personal take on a possible etymology no official etymology has been published

If your looking for etymology here goes. To really get into it you have to break the word into parts Eld( which is an old english term for senior/) and Raine (small stretch incoming which is an old english name that comes from the german name Ragin meaning council). Those eldraine meaning old council. Fits pretty well. Below is where chasing this rabbit hole took me.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/eld https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=raine https://www.behindthename.com/element/ragin

  • Do you have any citation to back up that this was the etymology they were actually using? “This word resembles these other words” doesn't in and of itself demonstrate etymology. When Samuel Johnson formalised English spelling in the 1700s, he though "ache" came from the greek "akhos" (meaning pain), but he was wrong—modern etymological methods show that it came from another altogether different Old English word. Being a plausible origin doesn't mean it necessarily is the actual etymology. Feb 24, 2020 at 15:29

This is speculation without WotC citation, but my guess would be:

First part coming from eldritch, it's own etymology described here.

Less certain about the second part (maybe it just sounded good), but in both English and French the suffix -aine means "approximately".

  • 2
    Eldritch as a source doesn't make much sense given the theme of the set is not Lovecraftian at all. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eldritch Also note that there already is an MtG expansion, called "Eldritch moon", that has nothing in common thematically with Eldraine.
    – Hackworth
    Nov 28, 2019 at 12:52
  • 1
    I think you are using too narrow a definition of eldritch. Lovecraft may have repopularised the word, but it was certainly around before him and is often used to describe the darker side of fairytales, such as that presented by some of this set. The etymology link I included does explain this, in particular it includes the idea that eldritch itself may have derived from elf. I don't think having a previous set that uses the word eldritch precludes the idea that some of the etymology might be similar.
    – Bytes
    Nov 29, 2019 at 13:08
  • Whatever the dictionary says about the word eldritch, the "Eldritch Moon" expansion makes it quite clear how WotC uses the word. Do a google image search on "Eldritch Moon" and you will immediately see an abundance of tentacled space monsters, which is clearly Lovecraftian, not fairy tale-ish, not even dark fairy tale-ish, and that's how most people would understand the word. WotC designs for the mass market, and suspecting that they would suddenly change their definition of eldritch for an obscure etymology is an extraordinary claim that would require extraordinary evidence.
    – Hackworth
    Nov 29, 2019 at 14:43
  • 1
    There is a much simpler word in English "elder" which clearly shares a root with eldritch, and most likely Eldraine
    – Andrey
    Mar 4, 2020 at 19:44

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