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Elesh Norn
Elesh Norn.jpg
Race Phyrexian
Birthplace Mirrodin
Lifetime Mending Era

Elesh Norn is the Praetor of the white faction of New Phyrexia.[1]


The white-aligned faction of Phyrexia, led by Elesh Norn, believes that Phyrexia must adhere to the teachings of the Father of Machines. They intend to indoctrinate everyone about the truth, even if it means tearing them limb from limb and reattaching the parts into a creation that is worthy of Phyrexia. They are dogmatic, hierarchical, and orthodox in their methods.

Norn appears on the surface to be delirious to some extent, and her religious fanaticism has been interpreted as her being blind to the machinations of the other praetors. She is actually a highly manipulative individual, subtly influencing her own faction to suit her desires.[2] She has even attempted to bring Karn to the surface to protect him from Jin-Gitaxias.

During the final battle in which the Phyrexians officially conquered Mirrodin, a Mirran angel named Atraxa was captured. Elesh Norn was impressed by Atraxa's tenacity and "rewarded" her with compleation, a process by which organic beings are converted into Phyrexians. Elesh Norn's intent was for Atraxa to become the "praetors‘ voice", a symbol of Phyrexia's unity. Elesh Norn invited the other praetors to contribute, with only Urabrask declining. Atraxa's creation marked the final victory of Phyrexia over Mirrodin.

Eventually, Elesh Norn gained the upper hand in New Phyrexia, slaughtering Sheoldred's and Urabrask's forces, and becoming the dominant praetor.[3] She was able to manipulate Vorinclex easily as he is the least ambitious of the praetors.[4] Jin-Gitaxias, Vorinclex, and many of the Black Thanes have pledged themselves and their spheres to her grand vision, but Urabrask remains outside her grasp.[5]

Meeting Ashiok[]

At some point after the events of Theros Beyond Death, Elesh Norn tried to compleat a Mirran woman in front of a large gathering of Phyrexians. When the compleation failed horribly, the Praetor investigated, discovering that she was experiencing a nightmare produced by the Planeswalker Ashiok. Ashiok was surprised to see that the Phyrexians could have nightmares as well, leaving Norn in shock. She tried to attack Ashiok when they conjured a figure of Elspeth Tirel wearing Norn's armor. Enraged, Norn vowed she would kill Elspeth.[6]


  • The Judge Gift card of Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite uses Phyrexian scripture instead of normal English text.
  • Traditionally, a Cenobite is a member of a monastic community. However, the Cenobites are an extra-dimensional race that appear in the works of Clive Barker - notably featuring flaying as part of its mythos. Elesh Norn's title ends up being a play on both, being a religious leader whose dogma is related to the removal of flesh or skin.
  • The Norns in Norse mythology are female beings who rule the destiny of gods and men.


Story appearances[]

Title Author Publishing date Set Setting (plane) Featuring
A Garden of Flesh Lora Gray 2022-05-03 New Phyrexia Elesh Norn, Ashiok

In-game references[]

Represented in:
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  1. Savor the Flavor (May 11, 2011). "Getting to Know the Praetors". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Magic Creative Team (April 06, 2011). "A Planeswalker's Guide to New Phyrexia: The Machine Orthodoxy". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Jenna Helland (September 11, 2013). "The Lost Confession". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Ari Zirulnik and Jenna Helland (January 21, 2021). "The Legends of Kaldheim". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Elise Kova (March 30, 2022). "Episode 3: Tests". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Lora Gray (May 3, 2022). "A Garden of Flesh". Wizards of the Coast.