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The Aedra and the Daedra

     Planets and the Divines 
  • The most commonly presented theory regarding the cosmology of Mundus is that the eight planets represent the original eight divines. But how would that work? The eight divines are not a universal constant. Their members used to be part of two completely different, larger pantheons. And, they probably aren't the most widely worshipped either, with valenwood, elseweyr and summerset now revering the elven pantheon, and the akaviri probably having different gods. Why don't Syrabane, Phynaster,Y'ffre, Diagna and others have their own planets? Did the cosmology of the universe suddenly change when the eight divines were founded? But if so, why didn't it change again when they became the nine divines? (and again when they rebecame the eight divines).
    • Long answer coming up, so I've divided it into separate paragraphs:
      • First, a bit of clarification on what exactly the eight planets are. They are the planes of those Aedra who had the most impact in the creation of Nirn, and who continue to exert the most influence over it. According to the series' accepted creation myth, there were actually many more Aedra in the beginning, who were tricked by Lorkhan into giving up their divine power to give birth to the mortal plane. Some fled the creation when they felt their divinity slipping away,note  while others remained and gave some or all of themselves in fashioning the rest of the world. Those who retained a part of their divinity occupy their own planes of existence in Aetherius, which the mortal mind registers as the eight planets.
      • The identity of which eight Aedra occupy these planes is a subject of in-universe debate. That's exactly why the different pantheons exist. The "Eight Divines" was merely the name St. Alessia came up with for her new religion, which coincidentally coincided with the number of planets around Nirn. Regardless of what names they're given, it's a fact that there are eight Aedra influencing Nirn from above, and they have remained constant, which is why Nirn has always had the elements that is has, such as time,note  rain,note  life and death,note  etc. Those planets have always been there, and have always remained there.
      • The various races each have different philosophical outlooks on the world, and thus ascribe different gods to these elements. Some gods might be redundant, some might be false, and some may even exist within Nirn itself.note  The key point to take out of all this is that there are eight constant divine forces in Mundus, it's just that people have seen them differently throughout history, sort of like how real-world polytheistic religions attribute different natural occurrences to multiple gods, while a monotheistic religion attributes them to one god. The problem, in short, is simply semantics.
    • According to Varieties of faith, most of the religions have more than eight gods, ranging between 10 and 12.

     People Acknowledging the Daedra 
  • Are the people of Skyrim even acknowledging the Daedra and what they're doing? I play this game all the time and I think to myself "How does no one seem to care that the Daedric Lords can kill everyone that exist in a matter of minutes if they wanted too?"
    • They can't. It was like, the entire plot of the last game. There's a contract with Akatosh, Aedra of Time that prevents Daedra from breaking willy nilly into Nirn. Sotha Sil also made a law that prevents the Princes from manifesting for more than a set period of time. You can still summon them, and they do have some limited influence over Nirn, mostly focusing on their aspects, but they aren't omnipotent within the Arena.
    • Remember that there's only one Daedric Prince who wants to destroy the world, and that is Mehrunes Dagon, and he's got lots of issues with getting into the mortal world these days.
    • The Shivering Isles made it clear that, while still great, the power of the Princes is incredibly reduced in the mortal realm.
    • Even if they did acknowledge it, exactly what do you expect them to do about it? The Daedra are completely immortal and next to impossible to do more than inconvenience without divine intervention. The average person may be scared of what could happen, but they have little choice but to accept it and try to live their lives without giving in to nebulous dread. The Daedra aren't anything new for the people of Nirn. They've always existed and always will. If they aren't planning large-scale invasions or the like, it's basically business as usual for the populace so there's no reason to waste time and effort concocting futile efforts to oppose them that might incite their wrath. It's not too different from any setting with Jerkass Gods or other assorted supernatural nuisances. Besides, the Daedra aren't united (the most vicious hate each others' guts) or even evil, just different.
    • Think of it like Christians and Satan + demons, in particular the ones who believe in demonic possession. Whatcha you gonna do, brother, when Pazuzu is runnin' wild on you?
    • Oblivion's events were two hundred years ago. With the exception of some elves, vampires, dragons, and a smattering of other immortal creatures, no one in the game was alive when Mehunres Dagon invaded. They're literally nothing more than historical records and tales your great grandfather talked about to your parents.

     Jyggalag's lack of Daedric quests 
  • Jyggalag was free of Sheogorath ages ago, but for some reason he doesn't have his own shrine/daedric quest (unlike all the other Princes), despite the fact that we know he has no problem with worshippers (like the knights/priests of Order). Why no love for Jyggalag?
    • there's a recent fan theory making the rounds on Reddit that believes that Jyggalag was a creation of Sheogorath's to help drive the Champion of Cyrodiil insane. It's a random fan theory with little explanation, but it does sound interesting.
    • Jyggalag has no daedric realm left to him (with Shivering Isles passing back to Sheogorath 2.0), so he might still be busy rebuilding his forces and powerbases after several ages of absence.
    • My personal theory, as related on the elder scrolls wmg page, is that Jyggalag's speech is utter bunk and that he and Sheogorath are simply split personalities of each other, both relating different faces of madness as a whole(Jyggalag is obsessive compulsion, Sheogorath is manic depression). So there'll be another greymarch in a couple thousand years.
      • Unlikely. Word of God confirms Sheogorath and Jyggalag are distinct (see Bethesda's 4th wall breaking interview with both lords' chamberlains).
    • They're probably just saving him for DLC.
    • Another thought: Does Skyrim seem like the sort of place to worship the incarnation of law and order to you?
      • Skyrim doesn't seem like the sort of place to worship Peryite, Boethiah, or Molag Bal. Yet they all have shrines and worshippers there.
      • To be fair all three of those Daedric Princes have rather sensible placement and presence in Skyrim: on the geographical and societal fringe of the province. Peryite's Shrine is located near the border with High Rock and the majority of his present followers seemed to have been Bretons (the Afflicted) with the rest being non-Nords. Boethiah has his/her Sacellum located near the border with Morrowind from where many Dunmer (who tended to be her traditional devotees) emigrated from after the Oblivion Crisis as well as also being near the city of Windhelm (largest concentration of Dunmer in Skyrim). Finally in the vanilla game Molag Bal only had a comparably tiny shrine deep inside some abandoned house in Markarth, a city known to be co-inhabited by Reachmen whose Forsworn counterparts worship the "Old Gods" (implied to be the Daedric Princes though they could just be the old Breton Pantheon), while Dawnguard introduced his only other existing Skyrim followers as Volkihar Vampires, whose main settlement is an isolated island-fortress far to the northwest on the border with High Rock.
    • Because most people don't even know Jyggalag exists. It's only been two hundred years, which in the grand scheme of things is not that long, and Jyggalag doesn't seem like the type to go out and announce his return. So, few have found out of his existence and even fewer are interested in actually worshipping him.
      • Technically, it has been more than two hundred years, in that it has been known since before Daggerfall that a Daedric Prince named Jyggalag existed (On Oblivion mentions a number of Daedric Princes as being mentioned by name over and over in ancient records — the ones that showed up in Daggerfall, plus Jyggalag). Of course, by the time of Daggerfall knowledge of Jyggalag seems to have been limited to experts on Daedric matters being aware of his name...
      • Slightly off-topic, but the Knights of Order are NOT worshippers. They are not people in funny armor. They aren't even daedric, just mindless automatons that Jyggalag prefers to use. Both Shivering Isles and the Bethesda interview with Dyus and Haskill make this clear, especially the interview.
    • Jyggalag isn't active on Nirn because he has zero interest in Nirn; he's vastly more interested in Oblivion. Compared with the hundreds of thousands of realms of Oblivion that are known, Nirn is a very stable and controlled environment. The Aedra enforce an extreme degree of order on it compared with the general chaos that is Oblivion. Princes only act on Nirn to further the interests of their particular spheres, and Nirn, being the shining beacon of order and control that it is, has little immediate interest for Jyggalag. There's no reason for him to do anything there, not when compared with the utter offensive mess of chaos and disorder that is Oblivion. He can order up Nirn later on once he's put the other Princes in their places and cleaned up the disordered mess that is Oblivion.

     Dragonrend and Daedra 
  • So "Dragonrend" disorients Dragons because they are immortal beings that can't comprehend mortality. Shouldn't it have a similar effect on the Daedra, who are just as immortal?
    • Indeed. Most likely the dev team just didn't think of it.
    • Alternatively, Dragonrend is purely a metaphysical concept. Other shouts have tangible, physical effects, while Dragonrend has no actual effect beyond your voice carrying over a long range - all that happens is you yell words. It works on dragons because it's in their language, they understand what you're saying but can't comprehend it, but Daedra presumably don't speak the dragon language, so to them you're just shouting gibberish really loudly (which, considering the kinds of things daedra usually deal with, probably isn't an uncommon occurrence).
    • The shout is called Dragonrend, not Daedrarend. It was created to be used against dragons, as Arngeir describes it as basically being fueled by the pure hatred of dragons. I suppose it's possible that a shout that weakens daedra could be devised, but it would have to be designed to counter them, and not just be a shout against another immortal species that shares a few similarities with the daedra but are mostly different.
      • The English name of shouts means nothing. Case and point "Fire Breath" and "Ice Breath" aren't breath weapons & "Elemental Fury" involves no element. Also note that Arngeir doesn't know Dragonrend, he's basing this off nothing other than his liking and respect for Paarthunax.
    • Daedra aren't built the same way Dragons are, they're similar, but lets make a comparison between dragonrend and a virus. Some viruses can transfer between species, but one that's managed to tailor itself to the specific biology of a dog won't have any affect if a human caught it, and dragonrend likewise is tailored to affect dragons but won't affect a daedra or a more powerful aedra (though the second one's just a guess since dragon's are part aedra and the aedra themselves are mortal enough to be murdered).
    • It should be noted that you can kill Daedra permanently in their plane of Oblivion (theoretically, however...)
    • Dragons are the children/born from Akatosh's (The Draconic God of Time) soul, thereby making them literally represent the concept of immortality, infinity and eternity. Dragonrend is designed specifically to force the complete opposite upon their mind and souls hence it forcing it to land as result of hearing a Brown Note.
    • Dragons are Aedric souls, which are fundamentally different from Daedric entities. The former are tied to Nirn and the Mundus while the latter are not. What affects one doe snot necessarily affect the other, especially as Daedra are mortal in their own respects and realms and can be killed by mortals.
    • Dragonrend has no effect on Daedra, because Dragonrend was specifically made to target dragons. As in, the Shout itself was made of pure and undiluted hatred toward dragonkind, and is so integral to the Shout that it cannot be separated from Dragonrend. It doesn't affect Daedra because the fundamental nature of the Shout targets dragons exclusively.

     Daedric Prince manifestation 
  • How are 2-3 Daedric Princes (Nocturnal, Sanguine and maybe Sheogorath) apparently physically on Nirn after "Oblivion"? I'll admit I never played Oblivion, but didn't Martin's sacrifice permanently bar Daedric entry, or is that just Mehrunes Dagon?
    • (Other than that, best I can figure is the Skeleton Key unlocks even Martin's seal, Sanguine is considered just a nuisance, and good ol' Sheo was already in Nirn when the seal went up).
      • If Nocturnal's key opens all doors, it would presumably open gates to Oblivion that could be sealed (And the quest outright states it opens a passage to her realm allmowing luck to flow into Nirn). Sheogorath is not in Nirn, he's in the mind of a dead, non-undead, human. And dead humans don't remain in Nirn except when turned to undeads (See: Sovngarde). On top of that, Sheogorath comes from Nirn to begin with, since he was human, he may not even be bound to those rules. Sanguine could be using various loopholes, such as adopting a weaker form than his true self (Hence appearing as A human and a Dremora rather than a stomping monstrosity like Mehrunes Dagon. He might also be a mere avatar, as it has been shown before that even with the Dragon Fires lit up, Daedric Princes can project themselves to the material plane to some mortals (As Azura did to the Nerevarine during Morrowind) or cross completely when certain conditions are met (As Hircine does during his wild hunts in Bloodmoon)
    • The barrier does not prevent the High Daedra from manifesting in Nirn. It prevents them from THREATENING Nirn. Mehrunes Dagon wanted to come in and wreck up the place, the others are just hangin' out. Incidentally, you forgot hircine. The Skeleton Key can't unlock Akatosh's barrier because the Daedra cannot affect Mundus. they can only affect people in it.
      • Except that they've affected the world itself a few times without affecting the people. Take during Tribunal, where the Dragonfires are active, and Azura clears the Ash storms around Mournhold when Almalexia is killed. Weather Manipulation is a pretty big effect.
    • Daedric influence is limited, and usually only to areas and locations that, through the efforts of their worshipers, they have been allowed to more actively influence. Morrowind, for example, has a great deal of worshipers of Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala, so they can influence that area to a degree. That and Azura seems to be allowed some more leeway in her effects on Nirn, probably because she's not as actively malevolent. Akatosh slams the door on Mehunres Dagon or Molag Bal when he can, but Azura or Nocturnal are less destructive and thus are allowed a little bit more influence.
     What's Sheogorath been up to? 
  • What has the Sheogorath been doing since Oblivion? Word of Dante from his voice actor Wes Johnson and the character's own words of having been there for that affair 200 years ago heavily imply that he is Champion of Cyrodiil having taken up the mantle of Daedric Prince of Madness. Why did he let the Empire he helped save 200 years ago fall into decline? Were there circumstances outside of his power to control?
    • A) He IS the prince of Madness, nothing says he has to help. And since the events of the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild quest happened, he most likely wasn't exactly the nicest, most selfless of guys even before then. B) He's a Daedric Prince now. It's likely that the fate of the Empire is small fries to him now, on a cosmic scale. Heck, compared to Mehrunes Dagon trying annex Mundus, the war between the Dominion and the Empire is like watching kids fight over marbles. C) Being a Daedric Prince may not be a job one learns in a few days. D) Interfering directly in the war could invite other Daedric Princes to do the same. E) Who says he didn't help the empire in subtle ways? If Titus Medes II apparantly wielded Goldbrand, who says Sheogorath didn't involve himself too?
    • Remember the plot of the last game? Thanks to the pact with Mundus and Martin's sacrifice, there's nothing much Champion!Sheo could do even if he wanted to help, so gathering an army of Golden Saints and Dark Seducers to invade Aldmeri Dominion with him at the lead is out of the question. (And really, why would he do the very thing he and Martin struggled so hard to prevent Dagon from doing 200 years prior?) Plus, his mind isn't 100% there anymore, being a Daedric Prince of Madness and all that. He probably revels in the fact that everything in Tamriel is now so insane. I mean, he called you puny mortal despite being one himself not that long ago when you think of it in cosmic scale. It's clear he may have long forgotten who he once was, and no longer cares about the fate of the Empire.
      • I wasn't talking about being so extravagant as to rain down the divine judgement of an angry God like Armageddon out of the Bible (though given how over the top the Sheogorath is I wouldn't put it past him to do something like that if he could), I was thinking more along the lines of checking in on the Empire periodically to see how everything is doing. Apparently his mind isn't too far gone because he still remembers having witnessed the events of Oblivion first hand and says in a very deadpan manner how Martin ascending to the status of a dragon god didn't do much for his social skills, so it didn't seem to me like Tamriel was completely out of his interest. The whole Prince of Madness persona could very well just be a Obfuscating Insanity thing he has going on just to mess around with people; I mean who is going to think a guy who acts like that is a god that could destroy you with a blink of his eyes? To be fair the puny mortal quip is slightly justified, even if it is Hypocritical Humor on his part since he was once mortal too, I mean the Champion of Cyrodiil did earn his status as Sheogorath after all. Though if he does think of mortals as puny the Empire must be an amusing show for him to watch, must be like watching ants fight.
      • Just remembered something very important from the ending of Oblivion I should have brought up earlier. Martin tells the Champion of Cyrodiil that when the next Elder Scroll is written that he (the player character) will be its scribe and that he will be extremely important in the fate of the Empire. Is the Sheogorath supposed to ignore what the Avatar of Akatosh himself said his destiny would be just because he has become a Daedric Prince? I think that the 9 Divines have a little bit more say in the matter than Sheogorath does.
    • True. Maybe he's like Bumi from The Last Airbender? He acts insane, but he's really not and is somewhat aware of what's happening to the Empire and, in subtle ways, is doing things to protect it while not directly violating any compacts that would threaten Mundus? Hell, it could be that both he and Martin Dragon God are working together behind the scenes (assuming Daedras and Aedras can interact) to stop the Thalmor?
     How many gods are there? 
  • So I read some where that the reason why the Thalmor resent Talos so much is because he was a mortal ascending to the status of a god, whereas they believe they are a race of gods who were descended into mortals. OK assuming this is true that raises the number of gods from a few dozen to thousands (possibly even millions). Just how many gods exist in this universe?
    • Depends how you define "God". Daedras & the Divines, according to myths related to the Monomyth, are ostensibly the same kind of creatures - spirits. Who come in various level of powers. The main difference between a Daedra and Aedra is the role the played (or not) in Mundus' creation. Weaker versions of these spirits are common Daedras like scamps, Dremoras, Dragons etc... While higher order ones are the Daedric Princes, the Divines, Lorkhan, Magnus, etc... There's a LOT of such spirits, with the implication that there may be many, many Daedric Princes that do not interact with Mundus at all and are therefore unknown to us mortals. And then there's stuff like semi divine beings who roam(ed) the mortal plane like Pelinal Whitedrake. And then there's the variance between religions... And that's not even counting creature of a higher order than those spirits, like Sithis (aka Padomay), the the Primordial state of Chaos, Anuiel, his opposite. Anu, the everything, primordial stasis.
      • I'm fairly new to the Elder Scrolls lore. I'm heard of these games for years but I didn't actually get involved in it until my friend loaned Oblivion to me last year, and then I started playing Skyrim recently (very fun by the way). My friend was explaining to me that there are many powerful spirits who claim that they are immortal beings, or "gods", but only the Daedric Princes and the Nine Divines are true gods and deserve that superstitious awe that we invoke that word with. That is why I said a few dozen. Was my friend wrong, or are there other beings on the same power level as the ones I just mentioned?
      • Depending on how you define "Being", there's even higher than them. Anu, Anuiel and Padomay are primordial forces who created the Daedras and Aedras, making them even higher order of beings than the princes and the Divines. There's also major Aedric spirits who are not counted amongst the nine. Magnus, the god of Magic to the elves, withdrew from creation at the last moment, leaving a hole we call the sun in Mundus. By most account, he was of the same order of strength as the Divines. And then there's forces we just don't know much about, like the Daedras who never interact with Nirn.
      • So there are so many spirits/gods out there that the mythology of who started it all is kinda blurred? Is there a Supreme God? Or are such creator beings so advanced beyond mortal and even divine comprehension that we can't even conceive of them? If I may make a religious parallel The Bible says that humans can't even look at the face of God or hear his voice or it would destroy them, I would imagine if the Dragonborn's voice can send people flying through the air with its sheer force alone than a true primordial God would destroy reality itself with its voice. Is that why we don't see divine beings very often, they are too powerful for the physics of our world to contain them?
      • It's a bit complicated. I'll try to give the short, simple version: In the beginning, there were two spirits: Anu, stasis, and Padomay (or Sithis), change. From these two beings were born the Et'ada, a race of great spirits. There were spirits of both padomaic and anuic descent. One of the padomaic spirits, Lorkhan, convinced the anuic spirits to join him into creating Nirn, the world. The other padomaic spirits refuse to join in this endeavor, creating spheres of their own. These are the daedric princes. Meanwhile (or something. Time didn't fully exist yet), the anuic spirits and Lorkhan (known as the aedra) continued their creation of Nirn. However, the creation of Nirn turned out to be a trap, creating lower and lower levels of reality, killing and trapping the anuic spirits that had worked on it. It was only when Akatosh became the adamantine tower that this process of descending had stopped. The killed anuic spirits had become shadows of their former selves, forming the ehlnofey in Aldmeris, on a higher level of reality, before turning into man, mer and beast. The creatures that are referred to as gods are the original two spirits (anu and padomay), the most powerful daedric leaders (most of the daedric princes), the aedra whose identity survived the creation of nirn (the eight divines, magnus, possibly the old aldmer and yokudan gods, like phynaster, ebonarm and tu'whacca), mortals who ascended to a higher plane of reality through apotheosis, becoming aedra or daedra (talos, the champion of cyrodiil) and mortals who achieved apotheosis but didn't become aedra or daedra (the tribunal, the god of worms). The idea that there is a clear dichotomy between gods and non-gods is false. Dragons and lesser daedra are a very clear example of this, as they are much closer to gods than to mortals, but are rarely considered such.
      • For the record, how the gods work in the Elder Scrolls is similar to old Egyptian and Greek mythology (maybe other ones too, but not familiar with them). So it's better to make parallels with those polytheistic religions instead and assume that "if it's how it goes in Egypt/Greece, it's likely how it goes in TES".
     Lazy Talos 
  • So if Tiber Septim ascended to godhood to become Talos; why hasn't he laid the smackdown on his former Empire and the Stormcloaks and tell them to stop fighting? As a mortal he was Tiber Septim a Nord Dragonborn who conquered all of Tamriel, establishing a continent spanning Empire, so you would think he would care a little bit about the Civil War that is tearing his beloved Empire apart. Are the other Divines telling him to stay out of mortal affairs?
    • Officially Tiber came from Atmora, which would make him a Nede. According to the Arcturian Heresy, he came from an Island in High Rock (Alcaire), making him Breton (Though he had a Nord name, Hjalti Early-Beard). On the question itself, it's most likely that on a grand cosmic scale, the empire, the Stormcloaks and even the Thalmor don't really matter.
    • Gods don't actively interfere with the events on Nirn for the same reason that Daedra cannot. Their ability to directly influence the world is limited by their nature. Also keep in mind that Talos is kind of busy holding the world together. And, in a way, Talos is stepping in to stop the war, with some help from Akatosh, in sending the Dragonborn to Nirn.
      • Holding the world together? So what he became the Elder Scrolls' planet's equivalent of Atlas or something? What is causing the world to be in danger, and why can't some other deity do it or better yet help him fix it?
      • Short version: Talos is an aspect/embodiment of Lorkhan, who created Nirn and is holding it together. The other gods don't have "hold the world together" as their particular responsibility or idiom, as that's Lorkhan's job. Its a complicated matter. Note also that Akatosh is actively helping to keep the world held together in his own way: he sent you to Dragonborn the shit out of the things threatening Nirn's cohesion, first with Alduin and also with the Thalmor.
    • For the most part, when the Divines need to Get Things Done down on Nirn, they embody mortal agents, like a Shezzarine or Alessia and the Dragonborn Emperors, or otherwise send down an Aedric agent, like Pelinal Whitestrake. Typically, though, mortal issues are left for mortals to deal with. Sure, Talos might not be happy that the Thalmor and being assholes to his worshippers, but that's a problem between mortals. It's only when something outside of Nirn gets involved, such as a Daedric or Aedric force, that the Divines step away from their duties of maintaining the Mundus and drop in to do something, and that typically involves the aforementioned agents. Also keep in mind that actively stepping in is a nuclear option for the Divines; Martin summoning the Avatar of Akatosh also effectively broke the influence of White-Gold on Nirn, and dispatching Pelinal Whitestrake to aid the Alessians resulted in mass Ayleid genocide. The Divines only get directly involved when Shit Gets Serious, and up until Alduin's slated return to linear time, there just really wasn't a threat worth warranting a Divine sending down an agent to Do Important Things.
    • One thing to note is that the Divines have difficulty acting directly on Nirn, by their very nature. When the Aedra created Nirn, they gave up a lot of themselves to do so, to the point that they gave up most of their self-awareness and physical bodies to not just build the planet but define its laws and keep it a discrete entity from Oblivion. The Divines were the most powerful of the Aedra who gave up their powers and much of their own cognitive capacity to create Nirn, and as such they retain some degree of their awareness and ability to act, but even that is very limited. Aside from the Aedra, Lorkhan did the same thing, only the body and power he lost were taken more... directly. Talos is no different from the other Divines, even if he is a Divine that ascended afterward (and apparently mantled Lorkhan, taking his place). Talos is immensely powerful, but all of his power is tied up in stabilizing Nirn like the rest of the Divines. He cannot directly intervene, simply because all of his awareness and power are keeping Nirn intact like the Eight, but he can act within the world in more subtle ways, i.e. incarnating Shezzarines or sending blessings that bend the rules of the world he's holding together to favor an individual. If Talos pushes things too hard, he runs the risk of breaking the entirety of Nirn, kind of how whenever Akatosh loses his shit we get Dragon Breaks, only a lot worse. There's a reason why, when mortals need a Divine's direct power and intervention, a mortal will only very briefly take over and direct that power to deal with the threat and then it is released: if a Divine were to direct that power on their own, all of Nirn would be impacted.
      A rough analogy would be to imagine you are holding a large globe in your hands and keeping it very steady. On this globe is an entire living, breathing civilization. You notice something is amiss and need to correct it. Direct intervention, in this case, would likely involve moving the globe or shaking it or similarly disruptive actions. You can alternately cause very slight shifts to the globe's positioning, or maybe take a tiny needle and poke it into the globe's surface and use that to very slightly nudge one part of the civilization on that globe. Or maybe even communicate with someone within the globe, and have them precisely direct the very slight shifts you can make to the surface of the globe to achieve the effects you want with minimal damage to the civilization on that globe. This is, in essence, how the Divines - and by extension, Talos - have to act.
     Are the Daedric Princes gods? 
  • I've played all five of the main Elder Scrolls games and I still can't figure this out. Are the Daedric Princes gods? Or are They simply god-like? They call Themselves gods, and so do the people who worship Them, but people who are against Daedra worship say that the Princes are nothing more than very powerful Daedra. The lesser Daedra look to Them as masters, but not as gods. Of course the Aedra say they aren't gods, but that's mostly out of spite due to the Daedra still being at full power while the Aedra are in a weakened state. When Haskill spoke of Sheogorath in the Shivering Isles, the pronouns were capitalized in the subtitles, suggesting divinity. Finally, remember what the Thalmor said: "You can worship whatever gods you like, but Talos is not a god." The Thalmor have nothing against Daedra worship, which suggests they believe the Daedric Princes are gods. The first three games had me thinking the Princes were simply god-like, but Oblivion and Skyrim made me start to wonder if They're actual gods. So which is it?
    • You ask that as if there's a difference; to quote another game: "If you have the arrogance of a god and can kill like a god, who’s to say you are not a god?". To expand, there is no definitive definition of who or what qualifies as a god. Is Akatosh a god? Is Alduin? Talos? Ebonarm? Almalexia? Morihaus? Mannimarco? All of them are worshipped as gods by somebody on Tamriel, but few of them have a common origin or nature. Some Tamrielic cultures consider the Daedra gods, some consider them demons, some consider them "Greater Spirits", some consider them "Not our Ancestors". There is no universal qualifier for godhood - it all depends on who you ask.
     Worship of Dibella 
  • Haelga from Riften is apparently concerned that if the locals find out that she is "practicing her Dibellan arts" (a.k.a sleeping with numerous men in a short amount of time) they will run her out of town. Yet Haelga doesn't try to hide the fact that she does worship Dibella, going by the small altar she has set up for her in the Bunkhouse and the fact that she wears an Amulet of Dibella. So, how does that work? Nobody cares if you worship a particular deity so long as you don't PRACTICE the act of actually worshiping them? Or is it more that Haelga is just using Dibella as an excuse to have as much sex as she wants and that promiscuous behavior (insert air quotes here) isn't actually something other Dibellan worshipers practice?
    • Likely the latter. Everyone's cool with the temple in Markarth—it's a great honour to be chosen as their Sybil—so probably Haelga is using Dibellan "traditions" in the same way that someone would claim to be Hindu by going through the Kama Sutra.
    • Haelga's worried that you're gonna out her for sleeping with all the men in town, which apparently includes married men. Whether or not she worships Dibella is entirely irrelevant, beyond the fact that her Dibella worship leads her to promiscuity and seducing men around the city. No one cares about her worship of Dibella, but they do care that she's making married men unfaithful, and that's a problem. Also, it's possible that, considering the nature of the Noodle Implements in her bedroom, Haelga might be considered an extreme sexual deviant, at least by the standards of Riften's more conservative population. And yeah, it would be nonsense for the people of Riften to get on to anyone about moral indecency, but it is Riften we're talking about here. It wouldn't be the Rift if it wasn't hip-deep in hypocrisy.
    • Another thing to consider is that while Haelga calls them "Dibellan arts", (and she may well think of herself as a follower of Dibella) she tends to be engaging in drug-fueled sex and indulgence with married men instead of using her skills in the expression of love and art though pleasure, which is Dibella's sphere. Haelga behaves more like a follower of Sanguine than Dibella, and she may realize that and be afraid of those implications.
    • Even among those who worship the Divines, worship of Dibella is taken differently, with many of the more conservative peoples considering Dibella worshippers to be hedonistic and extremely promiscuous. After all, Dibella is said to "pay men in moans." It wouldn't be surprising that a sexually-deviant Dibella worshipper would be ostracized in Riften, a city which is devoted to Mara, whose teachings on love are a bit more traditional compared to the free love and artistic expression inherent to Dibella's teachings. That Haelga believes that what she's doing is in line with Dibella's teachings won't help when a more conservative population who favors Mara's teachings ostracizes her for doing things like promoting unfaithfulness to married families and pushing for promiscuity.
     So if Talos holds the world together... 
  • did Nirn survive all these millenias before he came about? All things considered, his ascension to godhood is recent. Furthermore, this "Talos as the protector of the world" deal kinda seems to clash on the accounts of him we find in Daggerfall, especially from Zurin Arctus, the Underking, who personally knew the man, and was betrayed by him. Heck, even in Skyrim we meet this one ghost who has been waiting forever for Talos (At the time, called Hjalti Early-Beard) to fulfill an oath he made, which Talos seems to have not felt the need to complete. Heck, by these accounts, Talos really was kind of a dick, maybe the Thalmor do have a point in eliminating worship of him.
    • Talos and Hjalti are also not one in the same. Hjalti/Tiber Septim was certainly a dick, but Talos is a distinct being. Talos came into being and essentially did a huge Cosmic Retcon that made Hjalti Early-Beard, Zurin Arctus, and Ysmir Wulfharth essentially cease to exist and replaced them in history with a single entity known as "Talos", who was a mortal that ascended to godhood.
    • Talos is a thing that holds the world together (and it has nothing to do with him being a good man, except for that Man bit - seeing the world as a Good Thing being a rather Mannish thing). At the time of Talos' ascension, there were several more Towers (like Red Mountain) operating, and those too are things that hold the world together. In short, Talos holds the world together, but he's not alone in that — and he was even less alone when he became a god (one can also make guesses about Lorkhan, just how dead he is and was, and what it means that Talos took his place in the pantheon).
      • Again, where do these claims that Talos holds the world togheter/is an aspect of Lorkhan come from? I am curious coz I've yet to see any book claiming that, so I'd like to know which one I'm missing. And none of the TES wikis contain those claims either.
      • Just a quick note while I look for more citing: the claim of Talos-as-Lorkhan-aspect can be found on UESP (which does have its flaws, but is generally more reliable than the other TES wiki)'s page on Shezzarine.
    • As mentioned above, Talos is an aspect of Shor, which is an aspect of Lorkhan. Godhood is....weird, and kind of fluid.
      • Shor and Lorkhan are different people? Shor isn't just another name for Lorkhan?
      • Shor is the Nordic aspect of Lorkhan. There's multiple aspects of Lorkhan, much like how there's multiple aspects of Akatosh and other gods. Like I said: godhood is weird.
    • And to be fair to Talos/Hjalti, I think the implication is that he and the ghost planned to take the oath after the battle, but then he was killed in action. The guy can probably be forgiven for not waiting around to see if one of his dead friends would come back as a ghost just to take the oath.(Especially since I think that battle was the one he learned he was a dovahkiin, so he probably had other stuff on his mind.)
    • The world is held together by Towers, not by Talos. Talos was not a Divine until the Warp in the West, i.e. the ending of Daggerfall - because Numidium did weird things to reality. Even then, Talos does not actually need statues or worship to continue existing. Talos only needs people to try to be like him and follow his way of life in order to continue existing.
      • Talos is strongly indicated to have taken Lorkhan's "place" in the cosmology of the Mundus after Auri-El "killed" him (though in the Elder Scrolls cosmology, "killing" a god is not really possible, you just end up separating him from aspects of his powers or making him go to sleep). Since Lorkhan was the one to help design and create the world and his divine spark fell to Nirn after his sundering by Auri-El, when Talos ascended and took his mantle up, he effectively became part of Lorkhan, and thus part of the construction of Nirn.
  • OR Talos and the Towers don't hold the world together, since the world did fine without them. In fact, Talos is just one religious view of many in the game, and the Towers are not mentioned in the games at all except in the completely different context of Alduin's Wall.
    • No, the Towers are mentioned in the games, and the world literally didn't exist in anything like it's current form before Direnni Tower was constructed by the Aedra. There's an entire article discussing the Towers on the UESP and how they appear in game canon.
    • Direnni Tower is an essential part of the structure of Nirn. Other Towers built after it were made in the image of that Tower, and like Direnni Tower, they help stabilize their parts of Nirn by shaping it with their own versions of the Law of the original Tower. In effect, Direnni Tower is the central support beam, while the other Towers are secondary support beams that help hold together the entire structure. They're important but not essential, unless you're trying to unmake the world, in which case you need to tear them down too to unmake the Mundus.
  • The bit about Talos being what holds the world together is mostly from Michael Kirkbride's statements on various Elder Scrolls lore communities.
  • Talos' importance to the structure of Nirn stems from at least part of the oversoul that formed him being from a Shezzarine, which is an aspect of Lorkhan. For all intents and purposes, Talos is assuming Lorkhan's position and power, and Lorkhan is deeply connected to Nirn and its structure. Keep in mind that two of the known Towers, Red Mountain and White-Gold, were formed from parts of Lorkhan's body (heart and blood, respectively).
    • Keep in mind also that Talos "existed" before he experienced apotheosis, as Lorkhan. Talos basically moved in to fill Lorkhan's place as the ninth Divine, or the "missing god" that was part of that religion to placate both elves and men. The forces that Talos came to embody were always there, but they didn't have a Divine directly associated with them until Talos mantled Lorkhan and took his place.
     Daedric Artifacts 
  • Why are Volundrung and Spell-Breaker considered Daedric artifacts when they weren't made by Malacath and Peryite respectively? They were made by the dwemer. The Oghma Infinium and Mysterium Xarxes at least make sense because Xarxes specifically wrote those books for Hermaeus Mora and Mehrunes Dagon respectively.
    • Not all of the daedric artifacts were crafted by the daedric prince they're associated with(Hercine's Savior's Hide, for instance, is said to have been crafted by Malacath). It could be that Malacath and Peryite assisted the dwemer in crafting the hammer and shield, or that they took them from dwemer they defeated as trophies.
    Talos is both Dovahkiin and Shezzarine 
  • Okay, in the game itself we find confirmation that the Greybeards named Talos Dovahkiin, thus meaning that Akatosh gave him a dragon soul and empowered him the ability to use the thu'um. On the other hand, Michael Kirkbride also confirmed at one point that Talos was Shezzarine, meaning he was one of Lorkhan's avatars. Just... how does that work? If he's Shezzarine, doesn't that mean he can't exist anywhere but on Nirn? And aren't Akatosh and Lorkhan opposed to each other?
    • Welcome to the Elder Scrolls universe; where godhod is weird and a space-time clusterfuck made all the endings of the second game happend at the same time.
    • Interesting fact: we know of one other being who actually was aspects of Akatosh and Lorkhan at the same time: Pelinal Whitestrake. Think on that the next time you quick-save and go on a rampage through Whiterun....
    • Akatosh and Lorkhan are opposed to one another, but at the same time they have things that they agree on, such as defending Nirn. Pelinal Whitestrake was an example of where their interests intersected: Lorkhan incarnating a Shezzarine to protect humans, and Akatosh using his Divine gifts as blessings to ensure his Covenant with Alessia. Talos would be another example of this: General Talos leading an army for the benefit of mankind, and Akatosh blessing the same individual with a dragon's soul so he could take the Ruby Throne and renew the Covenant. The Fourth Era Dragonborn is another possible example, if the player is indeed a Shezzarine: Lorkhan doesn't want humans to be subjugated by the dragons and Akatosh wants to bring Alduin to heel and delay the next round of wolrd-eating, so they both work together on the Dovahkiin.
    Pantheon names 
  • How come the Nords don't refer to their dieties by their Nordic names?
    • This is actually discussed by a few characters in-game. Its one of the examples of how Nords are actually adopting a lot of Imperial cultural elements.
    • The oddest thing is how the Greybeards call Kyne Kynareth, you'd think that being the exemplars of Nordic beliefs who've been isolated from most of the going-ons in Tamriel for centuries, they'd at least use the old name for the goddess. Then again, they apparently became Talos worshipers. On another note, I wish that there were more Nords like Froki Whetted-Blade in Skyrim. Preferably they should have been in the Stormcloaks.
      • Well, Ulfric trained with them, and he's pretty big on Talos. The Greybeards aren't totally isolated from everything and everyone, they're just not very chatty.
  • Mind you however, the Nine Divines aren't exactly an "Imperial Pantheon" (the actual Imperial pantheon upholds the worship of mortals-turned-gods Morihaus and Reman, who are rarely mentioned even within Cyrodiil); they're a simplified Pan-Human pantheon that consists of reinterpreted Nordic gods that had the most impact on the creation of the world. Such as it is, over time, the names of the Divines and the Nordic pantheon aspects have most likely become interchangeable, see Stormcloaks who call Talos "Ysmir". Shor is obviously still worshiped by all Nords too, despite not being a member of the Divines (even though he is probably the one being that had the most part in the creation of Nirn).
    • Also, it's not like the Nordic pantheon itself hasn't changed in recent years. Talos was added to it after his ascension, so it may be that the names were also co-opted at some point.
     Jyggalag or Hermaeus' library? 
  • So, Hermaeus Mora has a Great Big Library of Everything, right? But wasn't Jyggalag transformed into Sheogorath because he had one that had so much into it that the other Daedra were afraid of him? So, who has it?
    • The Daedric Princes feared Jyggalag because of how powerful he was and for how great his plane of Oblivion had become. Jyggalag's library, Knifepoint Hollow, contained great knowledge, not all knowledge, and Sheogorath destroyed it himself because it was too orderly. However, he kept Dyus alive because the servant of Jyggalag had knowledge too great to let it go to waste.
    • So they both had a Great Big Library of Everything? But isn't knowledge Hermaeus Mora's domain?
      • There may be some overlap in domain, much like the Greco-Roman pantheon had. Jyggalag is the Keeper of Order, which may include knowledge of the order of things. Hermaeus Mora is the Keeper of Knowledge, both forbidden and not
    • Once again, Jyggalag's library contained great knowledge, not all knowledge. Just because Mehrunes Dagon is the Prince of Destruction, doesn't mean the other Princes can't destroy anything.
    • Also, note the essential difference between the two libraries. Jyggalag's library was filled with his logical predictions of the result of every action, except when an individual defies their fate. (In other words, a Great Big Library of Destiny/Causality.) Mora's library is his attempt to acquire all knowledge that already exists, from "how to skin a horker" to the words of the most powerful Thu'ums. Both became very powerful because of their great knowledge, but they got and used it in very different ways that reflects their natures.
      • In short, Mora has the library of everything this is or was. Jyggalag has the library of everything that will be.
    • My suspicion is that Mora took the Library from Jyggalag when he was cursed. The Library was a great trove of hyper-accurate predictive knowledge of what every being in the multiverse would ever do, which is the sort of thing that a Prince of both knowledge and fate would adore.

Other creatures

     Draugr and Dragon Cults 
  • If Draugrs were created by the Dragon Cults (or from those involved with them), then why are there many Draugr originating from after that period, or of people who opposed the Dragon Cults? (Olaf One-Eye, who fought a dragon, Gauldur's sons, who lived in the first Era, long after the Dragon Wars when the cults were thought extinct according to a journal dating from the same era.)
    • Mikrul and Geirmund retreated to pre-existing crypts that were ancient at the time of Gauldur's death, so they had draugr to start with (and presumably were draugr-ified by a different process). It's also implied that in Ansilvund that (non-dragon priest) draugr can be raised by modern-day casters from mummified corpses, suggesting that the distinction from draugr and skeletons has as much to do with material as it does anything else.
    • Also Draugr featured in Morrowind's expansion Bloodmoon without being anything to do with dragons. Basically they are just a type of undead dragons made extensive use of, not something that only happens as a result of Dragon Cults.
    • Draugrs can also result from people who practice cannibalism, and one of the crypts imply that the Draugr themselves were creating more draugr with fresh corpses. There may be a non-Dragon Cult related method or maybe Skyrim people just call whatever shrivelled corpse that moves a Draugr, regardless of it's origins. While Dragon Cult Draugr are the most common, they're by no means the only ones.

     Draugr language versus Ancient Nord language 
  • Why can you understand the ancient heroes both when reading the Elder Scroll and when talking to them in Sovngarde, but draugr from that time are incomprehensible?
    • The first time you are using an artefact of timeless knowledge, the second you are in Nordic heaven. It's likely that the ancient heroes aren't speaking a language you recognise, but you understand them anyway thanks to your unique circumstances.
    • Also, and I could be wrong about this, but aren't the draugr speaking draconic?
    • Yes, the draugr speak Draconic.
    • It could be that the ancient heroes simply chose not to speak Draconic all the time as opposed to the Draugr, who worshipped the dragons and it wouldn't seem out of place to have them speak their gods' language all the time
     Are giants intelligent 
  • So, i'm a little confused. Giants. Are they intelligent? i would think so, because i apparently sold a goat to one. And i remember seeing a post outside of a giants camp that pretty much said "The Giant has permission to be here. do not fuck with giant. thanks." or something along those lines. it seems like they have the ability to speak, and yet, speaking to them isn't an option, as i was made painfully aware of. See, in my case, i was trying to talk to this giant, who was a named character and everything, so i could buy a goat back from him. but i couldn't talk to him. i had to kill what might have been an innocent giant to get a goat back. So, what i'm asking is, are they intelligent; if they are, are they intelligent enough to speak and hold a conversation with?
    • Yes, they are intelligent. Theoretically, you can communicate with them. Its just that giants most commonly communicate with their clubs.
    • If you want to take the goat without hurting the giant, interact with the goat, and then when the giant objects (but before he clubs you into orbit), "yield" by lowering your weapon/hands/whatever and "talking" to him. If you haven't harmed him too much he'll more or less shrug and decide it's not worth arguing over. You may then lead the goat back to the farm without him bothering you.
    • Fans of Daggerfall will remember Giants have their own tongue: Giantish. Yes, they are intelligent. You just don't speak their language.
    • In that Case, it really bothers me that none of the Giants have speaking roles (as in, speaking in english, or at the very least, speaking Giantish with it then being translated by someone). hopefully DLC's correct this.
    • There is at least one case (probably randomly occuring) where a giant can be found starring at a recently decensed mammoth that appears to have died crossing one of those sulfur lakes. You can walk right up and touch him and he'll just leave you alone, apparently too sad to bother with you unless you attack him.
    • It's probably less of a matter of Giants not being able to speak as Giants not having anything they feel the need to say. They're the strong silent type.
     Frost giants 
  • Giants basically look like giant humans, while trolls and frost trolls are wild animals. So where do frost giants come from? They look like the unholy offspring of a giant and a frost troll. They have horns and I think they may have four eyes. Are they supposed to be related to normal giants or what?
    • I don't think so. There was one of them back in TES III: Bloodmoon, though.
    • According to The Seven Fights of the Aldudagga, humans (or at least, Nords) evolved from giants, meaning that giants are descended from the Elhofney. In theory so are Frost Giants, they just went down a slightly different evolutionary path.
     Mammoth Tusks 
  • It sucks that I can't harvest "mammoth" tusks from the mammoths/mastodons that are already dead. It's understandable when it's a trophy in the Pelagius wing (they probably replaced the tusks with artificial ones), and maybe when I come across a mammoth that was dragged into a fort and butchered by bandits (two or three of the tusks were missing; maybe they could tell that the tusk[s] they left were mystically unusable, but they should have still been worth their weight in ivory). However, a mammoth skull that still has all its tusks just lying around on its own or with the rest of a mammoth should be harvestable. The same arguably goes for Small Antlers from deer skulls (although not all bucks and elk carry Small Antlers even when they totally have antlers). Is there a reason given in-game for this, or is it the same reason the developers didn't bother making all mer skulls that can be found obtainable and instead made some of them immobile and others movable, unobtainable scenery?
    • Doylist explanation: There are so many other sources for mammoth tusks (Halted Stream Camp alone has eight tusks lying around) that it just wasn't worth it. Making all those mammoth skeletons interact-able would use up processing power (probably not a lot, but a significant amount) for no good reason. Watsonian explanation: Aside from the Ivory Dragon Claw we never see anything made of ivory in Skyrim, so presumably the only use the people of Skyrim have for mammoth tusks is potion/spell ingredients. Maybe the tusks from those exposed mammoth skeletons have "gone bad" and can't be used anymore. They are visibly brown.
    • The Hunterborn mod fixes this, at least. You can harvest tusks from mammoth corpses with that mod.
     Dragonpriests and Liches 
  • Is there a particular or notable distinction between Dragon Priests and the liches seen in earlier installments of the series? I ask because it was a fairly specific plot point that Manimarco was the first lich in the Elder Scrolls universe, but as far as I'm aware, the dragon priests predate him by a significant margin.
    • Dragon Priests are unique liches that worshipped the dragons during the Merethic Era, and were rewarded with incredible power. Liches are necromancers who placed their souls into philacteries. Also, considering Miraak's condition when you meet him, and the lore about draugr transferring their life energy into the Dragon Priests, it's possible that the Dragon Priests did not become liches until long after their deaths.
    The lack of Dwarven specters 
  • What's Bethesda's reason for not including them in Dwemer ruins like in Morrowind? Seems like a strange thing to exclude even if they were on a time crunch because they made a reference to it in the Winterhold quest where Arniel turned into a specter, hinting at what may have happened to the Dwemer.
    • Either the conditions that led to Dwemer spectres didn't occur in the Skyrim ruins, or the Falmer occupying those ruins destroyed or drove them out.

General people

     Bandits and fur 
  • Why do Bandits who reside in forts nowhere near snow wear fur gear?
    • Because they're bandits. They have to venture out of their fort to earn their livelihoods, and hoping that particularly stupid trade caravans wander into your dilapidated bandit-fortress isn't a recipe for success.
    • Just because it's not snowing doesn't mean it's not cold.
    • Coz hides is one of the more plentiful resource and it also allows you to get food?
    • In addition to those reasons, most bandits appear to be light skirmisher types; they rush in, use hit and run tactics. They'd prefer lighter armor that would allow them to carry more on their way back and outrun any pursuers. They also likely don't have many skilled smiths in their ranks to make them superior armors than hide and fur.

     Bandit forts and the Empire/Stormcloaks 
  • Why don't Stormcloaks and Imperials try harder to retake fortresses from bandits and other groups? It seems they just give up on really powerful fortresses in strategic locations (I'm looking at you Valtheim Towers!)
    • Could be they don't want to spread their forces too thin.
    • Or perhaps they're simply waiting for someone to do the job for them. This troper once cleared Fort Greymoor on his own initiative, and was surprised to find that the Legion had moved in when he visited the fort again.
    • It's said that the forts are supposed to be maintained by the Jarls, but most of them are neglected and left to fall apart. Repairing the fort and defending it from the various groups trying to occupy it is no easy task, which is probably why Tullius waits for the need to arise and a capable leader (you) before deciding to take a fort.
    • It's important to note that before the civil war starts in earnest (at the start of the game, the war is mostly down to minor engagements and skirmishes) both Tullius and Ulfric are assembling their armies and preparing their forces. As much as they'd like to storm these fortresses and take them, they don't yet have enough troops in place to siege and capture them from the bandits. That said, if you do clear them out, then one faction or another will gladly move in and take them now that they're free for the taking. Once the war begins in earnest - signified by you grabbing the Jagged Crown - then at that point both sides will have gathered enough manpower to be willing to assault and take the forts, and at that point, any forts you haven't cleared yourself will automatically be seized by whoever owns that hold.

     Shopkeepers and stolen items 
  • How do shopkeepers know whether the item you're trying to sell them is stolen? And why do they care?
    • Simply put, it's not that the shopkeepers know and care, it's that you know they're stolen, and that you should care a great deal. If you're carrying some "hot" merchandise, the last thing you want to do is try and pass it off to a reputable business. After all, once word gets out that somebody's house was robbed, people are going to be looking for whatever was stolen, and trying to sell said item in a regular store is going to leave an obvious trail for people to follow. Interacting with a shopkeeper means they have a description of you and what you sold, and if the guards show up a while later asking about the jarl's stolen necklace which the shopkeeper just happened to come into possession of recently... well, you can see how that would get messy for you real quick. Selling your stolen goods through a trusted fence ensures you remain anonymous to the authorities, and it's assumed the fence passes the goods through their various connections until they're sold in some far away place where no one cares about where they came from. Granted, none of this actually comes into play in the game, but that's precisely why the "stolen item" mechanic is there: so that the player doesn't have to deal with all the minutiae of professional thievery.
      • And, of course, if they did know many of the shopkeepers would care, either because they genuinely think thievery is a bad thing (they are, after all, shopkeepers) or because they want to keep up a reputation as reputable businesspeople, which is easier to do if it doesn't come out that you've been dealing in stolen goods.
    • Related to the above- you know the item is stolen and you'll likely be caught if the shopkeeper figures it out, so you're nervous about trying to get rid of it because you're afraid of getting caught. The shopkeepers can tell you're nervous, and somebody who's nervous about trying to sell you something usually isn't a good sign, so they turn it down. They don't know for sure, but if they get caught with stolen goods in their shop they'll be in serious trouble, so they're making an assumption to reduce their risk. (How much this explanation works depends on what your character's history is and how good of a thief they are.)
      • That explanation actually works pretty well with how you get the Fence perk. You'll need to advance speech by quite a bit to get the perk, which indicates that you've spent a long time working on being convincing. Once you've learned enough smooth-talking, you can convince the shopkeeper to take the item without suspecting it is stolen.
    • The result of this is actually a plot point in Sadri's personal quest. He bought a ring that turns out was sold to him by a thief, having stolen it from a prominent Nord Noblewoman in Windhelm. Note that you never tell him this, he puts two and two together after you accuse him, by remembering the rumors he heard around town and looking at said object. Given that Hired Thugs can be sent after you, it's possible that the original owners of stolen goods will report it and rumors will spread, so your character himself is afraid to actually show shop owners these items.
     Justicar execution order 
  • Something that happened while I was playing: I was doing the Missing in Action quest, and had elected to save Thorald on my own. I was on my way to Northwatch Keep, when I was attacked by some Thalmor Justicars. I killed them and found a Justicar Execution Order on one of their bodies. So, the Dominion considered me a big enough threat to have me killed. The odd thing was, I hadn't interacted with the Thalmor before. Sure, I was on the Missing in Action quest, but I hadn't actually done anything yet other than talk to the Gray-Manes and trespass in the Battle-Borns' house. I hadn't so much as made a snarky comment to a Thalmor agent yet. Am I missing something, or do the Thalmor have really good spies?
    • The Thalmor Justiciars random encounters are, well random. There's no trigger for them, not even your level. They can just occur whenever the game selects a random encounter. If you want to be generous, one could assume that escaping Helgen (Where their emissary was with General Tullius) made the Thalmor assume you were an enemy since the Dragon conveniently saved your neck and almost killed their emissary.
      • Ah, okay. Thanks.
    • Technically, the encounter with Thalmor Justicars who are specifically targeting you comes about when you perform any action flagged as opposing the Thalmor. Starting Missing In Action is one such trigger; assume that the Thalmor have spies that reported you speaking with the Gray-Manes, and they preemptively targeted you to prevent you from interfering with their plans. Other triggers include killing anyone who is part of the several "Thalmor" factions, or completing Diplomatic Immunity.
     Falmer Servants in Blackreach 
  • How and why are there humans serving the Falmer in Blackreach? How do they communicate? Are they mind-controlled?
    • Abducted and brainwashed. They communicate like anyone else: by talking.
     The Vigiliants and Orcs 
  • What's the Vigilant of Stendarr's position on Orcs and the Orc-strongholds considering they are openly worshiping Malacath the daedric prince?
    • Malacath is one of the "Not really that bad" Daedric Princes that is considered a gray area, like Meridia and Azura. So they're not going to do much than give them stern glares while more serious threats abound. The Vigilants only target immediate threats to innocent life, like vampires, werewolves, and the aggressive, violent cultists of Daedric Princes like Mehunres Dagon, Boethiah, Molag Bal, etc. A bunch of Orcs keeping to their own strongholds who worship Malacath are extremely low on their priority list.
    • Malacath also isn't always counted among the Daedric Princes- the other princes even don't consider him one, and most orcs seem to think of him simply as their god, outside the context of the aedra/daedra divide.
    • Plus, apparently Vigilant-aligned NPCs are programmed to have a negative disposition towards Orc characters, just not to the point where they're outright hostile.
    • I would imagine their opinion of the Orcs is not good. But at the moment there's not much the Vigilants can do about it without putting the Strongholds under siege, and that would be quite a challenge for them.
    • The key factor in the Vigilants and their pursuit of Daedra worshippers is that they are hostile toward worshippers of those daedra who are considered an active threat to the people of Tamriel, and those monsters who prey on the people of Tamriel: lycanthropes, vampires, and servants of the overwhelmingly malevolent Daedric Princes. They don't particularly care about those who follow the less dangerous ones like Meredia, Azura, or Malacath. We certainly don't see them actively threatening anyone but werewolves, vampires, and Molag Bal cultists. Orcs are not really an issue for them, since Orcs tend to stick to their strongholds, and Malacath has no designs on damaging or destroying Tamriel so they have no beef with him.
     Falmer archers 
  • If the Falmer are all blind, how are their archers able to know where to aim their arrows?
    • Practice and very good hearing.
    • Well, yeah. If the Falmer have detected you and are shooting their toothpicks at you, chances are you rushing at them with a sword or trying desperately to summon a little fireball, undoubtedly with your armor going clank, clank, clank, the entire time. You make a lot of noise in the heat of battle. Sure, you can crouch and silently move around a bit and they'll keep shooting, but I don't think you can explain that with in-game logic.
    • Your silent movement is not their silent movement. They're blind and live in an extremely quit environment. What sounds silent to you would likely be blaringly obvious to the Falmer.

Specific named NPCs

     Sulla and Umana 
  • What were Sulla and Umana doing before you showed up in the Alftand Cathedral? Were they just slumped, unconscious, behind those pillars? They must've been in pretty deep comas to not hear and react to your battle with the centurion, or to not have resolved their differences before that moment. It just seems weird to have these characters show up, literally from the stonework, and have them suddenly duel to the death in front of you.
    • Probably just hiding from the Centurion, bickering aimlessly while you carved through it. And to answer the question about not hearing the Centurion activate or you fighting it, evidently a Centurion can activate simply by walking in front of the console, so they probably assumed a stray Falmer activated it and the rest of the horde swarmed it, destroying it...
    • It's pretty clear from the way they were both hiding back there that they must have run from the Falmer and hidden in that elevator area, unable to advance any further and unable to escape without the key to unlock the gate to the elevator. With the gate locking behind them and a Centurion on guard, the Falmer stopped pursuing and left them to starve. They then started fighting when the stress got to be too much and they heard the Centurion outside starting up, which probably drove them to panic, begin arguing, and finally snap and try to kill each other.
     Farengar and dragon remains 
  • If Farengar Secret-Fire is so interested in studying dragons, to the point of trying to take scales and blood from Odahviing, then why does he refuse to buy Dragon Bones and Dragon Scales from you?
    • Perhaps he's more interested in the study of living dragons. He wants actual scales and blood from a living subject, not the soul-scoured bones of a corpse.
    • I guess it just never crossed the Dragonborn's mind to give him the stuff, and he/she likely assumed Farengar wouldn't accept them. Plus, the Dragonborn might want some for him/herself to make Dragon Armor.
    • If you've got the right perks, he will buy them.
    • The game has several types of merchants, and those merchants, by default, are only programmed to buy items of certain classes. Farengar, for example, is listed as a spell merchant. The game's programming only allows him to buy clothes, staves, scrolls, books, and soul gems. He won't buy items tagged as "remains" - only general merchants and caravans will buy those. It might have been possible to program a custom merchant package for Farengar to let him buy dragon bones and scales, but that would mean re-tagging dragon bones as something else or otherwise he'd start buying any random body parts you brought him. It was likely considered too much of a hassle for Bethesda to program a custom merchant package and reprogram the dragon bones/scales as a different item class just to make Farengar's shop slightly more lore-friendly.
     Torygg trapped in the mists 
  • Why is High King Torygg stuck in the mists of Sorvngarde? He died some time before Alduin returned, so he should've reached the Hall of Valor unimpeded.
    • You have to best Tsun to get into the Hall of Valor. Tsun may be a pushover for the Dragonborn, but that's because you're the goddamn Dragonborn.
      • If that's the case, why aren't the field of Sorvngarde not filled with the ghosts of the dead from the past several thousand years who have failed to beat Tsun? The halls of valor have about only two dozen people in them, so Sorvngarde should have millions of defeated ghosts wandering with Torygg. Only people there are the freshly dead since Alduin's return. That seems to indicate that the souls who don't beat Tsun are destroyed, not left to wander about. If Torygg is there, it means he's not faced Tsun at all, so again, why is he there.
      • Have you considered the fact that a very hungry dragon who may or may not be his own dad, the aspect of Time, etc. has been devouring souls willy-nilly for a whily until you showed up?
      • Tsun only says you need to prove your valor in a warrior's trial. He never specifies you need to win. Presumably he can let pass people who give a good fight even if they lose (not like they can die again either, unlike the Dragonborn).
      • Nords who fail to best Tsun aren't necessarily destroyed. They could just be shunted back into the dreamsleeve and given another go-around until they meet Shor's standards of a mighty warrior.
      • You don't see vast, endless fields of Nord souls because Sovngarde, like all other planes of Aetherius and Oblivion, is infinite is scale. Nords are everywhere in Sovngarde, they're just wandering elsewhere in the infinite plains and fields and mountains of Sovngarde, likely fighting and training among each other in order to become strong enough to be worthy enough to pass Tsun's tests and enter the halls of Shor.
    • Maybe Alduin's been back for a little longer than we've realized, few months, maybe a year, but he only reveals himself at the Dragonborn's execution. As for what he's been doing; recovering from being bitchslapped through time by an elder scroll, maybe. Tracking down the dragon graves. Looking for you.
    • Note that Alduin has been devouring the souls of nords in Sovngarde to recharge his strength. It's amazing that Torygg is still there and the areas outside Sovngarde were possibly filled with a ton of people, just that they got snatched up by Alduin long before you arrived. The soul of the guard you meet there clearly is scared of being taken by Alduin.
     Amren vs bandits 
  • Really Amren? The dude couldn't get his sword back from like 5 bandits?
    • I'd like to see you beat five well-armed men single handedly.
    • The Dovahkiin can take on five or more bandits, but the Dovahkiin is a certified magic-wielding, Thu'um shouting, sword swinging badass. Amren is a lone man with studded armor, an iron sword, and a family to think about. Most of the average NPCs in the game would honestly be hard-pressed to take on that many bandits and win; what makes you think Amren is special? Five bandits are, in fact, a serious threat to the individual NPC.
    • It has nothing to do with whether or not he can take them. He's his family's sole breadwinner, and has given up fighting to take care of them. It isn't worth risking his life (and, since they rely on him, his family's lives) to get the sword, but it is worth offering a reward to any passing mercenary who might be able to deliver it.
    • Amren is apparently good enough that the Thieves' Guild put a mark outside his house basically saying "don't mess with this guy." So yeah, it's not so much a case of that he can't do it, but rather he has to think about his family and can't just go running off into danger to retrieve a sword whose value is purely sentimental. This is pretty explicitly stated in the argument between him and his wife that plays when you meet him during your first visit to Whiterun.
      • His wife explicitly states that if he tries to leave Whiterun for the sword, she'll leave him.
     Sven/Faendal trusting random strangers 
  • Why would Sven trust a random stranger to deliver a fake letter to the girl he likes? Its just asking for trouble.
    • Meta reason? It's a standard RPG cliche. In-game reason? Riverwood's population is at most, what, sixteen people? Maybe there really wasn't anyone else in Riverwood that he could trust to do it for him. The PC has no real reason not to deliver the letter, seeing as they're gonna get paid to do it.
      • And even if you assume Riverwood's population has been scaled down for gameplay purposes, the village probably would have no more than a few hundred people at most - and that's still "everybody knows everybody" level in the real world.
    • Why wouldn't he? Its not like he's one of those idiot thieves who hands you a powerfully enchanted item and then runs off and says he'll be back for it. He's asking you to take a letter and hand it to the girl next door and will pay you money for it. Realistically, you know what just about anyone would do? Go "Whoo, easy money!" hand the letter over, and get paid.
     Battle-born and Gray-Mane's wealth 
  • So the battle-born clan is rich while the gray-mane clan is poor. The battle-born clan has a farm. The gray-mane clan has one of the best smiths in the world, working a legendary forge. How in oblivion are the gray-mane clan any poorer than the battle-born?
    • Eorlund seems to be in the smithing less for the money and more for the experience. That, and from what we see most of his commissions are doing free repair jobs/giving free starter equipment to the Companions. By the looks of things although he's a better smith, he's being beaten in business by the Warmaiden (They own a store, he has a single stand in the middle of the square). And finally, it's also basically outright stated that Eorlund's been spending a very long time reforging Wuuthrad from dozens and dozens of shards, something that probably would've cost him alot of very rewarding commissions over his lifetime.
    • Aside from Eorlund mainly Doing It for the Art, keep in mind, Space Compression. The Battleborn farmlands probably cover dozens of acres and feed hundreds, if not thousands of people. They apparently export all the way to Cyrodiill, after all. Eorlund is just one guy, and while he could probably do commission pieces for a hell of a lot of money, it still wouldn't equal the steady stream of income that mass food production would.
    • The Battle-Borns own land and also seem to be high ranking members of the Imperial Army, to the point that they can call upon Whiterun's Blacksmith for large orders of weapons and armor. In addition, Eorland and his wife are likely the only source of income for their family, as Eorland's elder son was taken by the Thalmor, and his younger one is terrified of a similar fate and refuses to leave the house (alternatively, after their quest is complete, the Grey-Manes now have lost both sons entirely, so they're just an elderly couple). The Grey-Manes are likely kept afloat by the Companions out of gratitude, and may be considered poor otherwise.
      • The Civil War questline seems to imply that Vignar, not Eorland, is the head of Clan Grey-Mane, and that they have some men under their command(Balgruuf will state that Vignar's men weren't on the wall if the Stormcloaks win the Battle of Whiterun). While Vignar seems to be mostly retired from his Companion days, he seems to still have some pull.
    • Also: No one is buying his stuff. The Skyforge is out of the way, and his only market presence is a tiny wooden stall run by a little old lady. Warmaidens is RIGHT at the entrance, and you can SEE the wares being made. Her sales pitch is also screwing him over, as she is essentially implying that her wares are not good as good, sure, but they still ARE good, and without that artisan price! Combine that with the companions monopolizing his time and aforementioned point that he may be the sole provider for the clan... yeah. "Gods be praised" indeed
     The Al'kir and Whiterun 
  • How come those two Alkir weren't allowed into Whiterun? Is Whiterun anti-Alkir or something?
    • My guess is that the guards thought they were troublemakers.
      • Basically this; the Al'akir are a group of foreign police who are storming into Whiterun without any foreword from the men who sent them, and refusing to tell the authorities who they were looking for. The guards had every right to refuse them entry into the city.
    • This is part of the guards' jobs. You don't run into it regularly, but the most important job of the gate guards in any city is to checkout anyone suspicious. The Al'kir definitely count, especially as one of their number was already arrested and thrown in jail for getting caught doing something illegal. The Whiterun guards are doing their jobs by questioning the Al'kir as to what they're up to and throwing them out if they think they're going to cause trouble, which they really are.
    • For the same reason the guards stopped you when you first came to Whiterun: No non-citizens of Whiterun are allowed into the wall with the Dragons about. And considering the two Alik'r show up at the same time as a dragon has been spotted near the western watchtower, the guards are ever more keen to enforce the Jarl's orders.

  • In Markarth, you can meet the local Thalmor Commander Ondolemar. You can recieve a quest to prove that a local citizen is worshipping Talos in secret. There's nothing too unusual about this... besides the fact that there's a shrine to Talos in the middle of the city, in rather good maintenence to boot. Is Ondolemar being hypocritical or is he just that blind?
    • Well, "root out Talos worship" seems to be code for "Pace around the keep all day and hire strangers who just happen to walk in and are plainly wearing amulets of Talos to do my job for me." So, yea, probably that blind. Or lazy.
    • Seeing as the city already has heavy Stormcloak support, shutting down the altar may lead to a revolution (backed by the Silver-Bloods, who are Stormcloak supporters and have their own army). He probably just doesn't want to get torn apart by the angry masses, but still wants to pretend he did something to appease his superiors.
    • Ondolemar strikes me as the Wally of the Thalmor. He chills in the keep, chats up the Jarl, eats good food, drinks good booze, writes up a report to Elenwen and periodically hires amoral mercenaries to poke around and find Talos worshippers and pass that off as his quota for the month.
      • Even if you do his quest, nothing happens to the secret Talos worshiper you gather evidence about. Seems possible that he's just pretending to do his job. There's a point where, if you did help him, he'll provide a distraction at the Thalmor embassy just because you ask him to cause a scene without giving him much of a reason. I got the impression that he was with the Thalmor just because pretending to do the job was easier and let him live better than anything else he might have done instead.
    • Another possibility is that he knows about the shrine, but leaves it alone as bait. That way, assuming he has somebody watch it from a distance, he can quickly get the names of everybody visiting it - IE (most likely) Talos-worshippers.
    • Ondolemar even shows up at your wedding if you helped him. He's probably not such a bad dude and more of a Punch-Clock Villain.
     People being where they shouldn't 
  • Can someone please explain to me why there are two Thalmor guards still living in Understone Keep in Markarth after I take the city for the Stormcloak. In the same room with a STORMCLOAK OFFICER? Outside of bugs, anyway. What, are they Prisoners of War or something? On that same note, why is the Emperor's cousin still living in Solitude despite the city being taken for Ulfric? Especially if I've killed of the Dark Brotherhood, and she has no in game reason for being there? She should be kept as a hostage or should be sent back to the Empire! And also, why is Maro still in Dragon's Bridge? The Emperor's personal bodyguard should be dead if the Stormcloaks have won!
    • I'm pretty sure the Thalmor being in Understone is a bug; they were gone when I captured the Reach. As for Maro, you could say him and his group are one of the groups of hold outs Galmar and Ulfric told you about along with the camps dotting the map and that the Stormcloaks are just waiting them out. The real reason, of course, is that he's vital to the Dark Brotherhood questline, which really doesn't make a whole lot of sense the way it's played out if you complete it after winning the Civil War for the Stormcloaks.
    • Okay, that's fine. But if Maro's a hold out, then why didn't they just make it so that he switches position from Dragon's Bridge to the Haafingar Imperial camp or something if the Civil War ends in Stormcloak territory? There are several Stormcloak guards pacing just outside his outpost. Or is he supposed to be a POW by this point?
    • As the above responder noted, the Dark Brotherhood quest as a whole doesn't make much narrative sense if played out after a Stormcloak victory. You might as well ask why the Emperor deigns to travel right into the heart of a hostile separatist nation, into the very capital which has recently suffered a massively destructive attack by said separatists, seemingly just to have a dinner prepared by a good chef. As for why this is, it's because it would take considerable effort to restructure the quest to accommodate all these different factors. It's far simpler to just leave things as is. That way, there are no discrepancies between quest triggers, you don't need to program new NPC travel paths, record new dialogue, or spend countless hours debugging what is now essentially a wholly different quest.
      • The Emperor's presence makes sense. The game has no sense of the passage of time but in wars between brothers, you often have outreach between the powers that remain and the new powers to foster peace. You can see many examples throughout history. The Stormcloaks got what they wanted, autonomy and freedom of worship. They'd be idiots not to reestablish trade relations with the Empire. And killing the Emperor after the end of the war would be a sure way to sabotage that. If anything, the Emperor has more to fear from the Thalmor and his own court after this turn of events.
  • You need to get the attunement sphere from Septimus Signus before you can get to the Blackreach. In there you find a field laboratory of alchemist called Sinderion. How did Sinderion get there without an attunement sphere?
    • There's more than one attunement sphere, and Sinderion had one.
      • This, right here. There's an attunement sphere right on the table in his lab, next to his bag.
    • I always figured he got in using nirnroot. The atunement sphere apparently produces a noise that makes the stairs appear, and concidering the blackreach has a unique kind of nirnroot, it would make thematic sense for it to be the same noise. Or something like that.
    • There are a number of perfectly functional lifts from the surface to Blackreach. Granted they're all locked from the inside when you find them but maybe one wasn't when poor Sinderion showed up and the Falmer locked it after they killed him.
    • The Champion of Cyrodiil once did some work for him, namely, bringing him Nirnroot. This Champion is now Sheogorath, officially the Daedric Prince of Madness, unofficially, the Daedric Prince of Trolling. Thanks to Sinderion's death, the Dovahkiin now has to go run around collecting Crimson Nirnroot for Sinderion's colleague. Both the Champion and Dovahkiin are "Heroes". According to the Wiki, "A Hero (or Heroine) is a mortal blessed (and cursed, from another point of view) with a special fate and the ability to rule his or her own destiny. Heroes are closely related to the Elder Scrolls. They often grow to become far more powerful than most other mortals." This makes you two closely connected. My headcanon? Sheogorath opened a door for him so that he could go in there and die so the Dovahkiin had to go through the same pain in the ass experience he did.
     Maven Black-Briar and Riften 
  • Jarl Maven, Riften and the Thieves Guild collectively bug me. They set up a corrupt town run by thieves and corrupt business people with an incompetent Jarl on the throne. I understand that the Thieves Guild is there for people who like playing thieves but some of us want to root out the corruption. Worse, one of the first people you meet is a struggling young heroine looking to do just that and her companion, a young man who managed to turn out idealistic in spite of knowing nothing but Riften. This is the set up for a quest to save Riften from itself but that quest doesn't exist. Your only options with regards to both Maven and the Thieves Guild are to help them become even more powerful. Were they saving this for the DLC?
    • It's probably so Riften for that matter) wouldn't lose its characteristics, meaning they can reference it in later games. Same really goes for Markarth(forsworn vs silverblood) and winterhold(hatred against mages).
    • The Elder Scrolls games tend to lean more toward the cynical side on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. Riften is presented as a city so interwoven with crime and corruption that what benefits the corrupt ultimately benefits the city as a whole. Trying to remove the corruption from the city would actually make things worse for everyone in the short term (violence in the streets over filling the power vacuum, etc.), and probably wouldn't benefit anyone in the long run either (whoever eventually takes control is liable to be even worse than those who came before).
    • Part of it also comes down to maintaining the grey and grey morality of the civil war questline; Some of the replacement Jarl's are better than the Jarl's they replace, some are worse, and some are on more or less equal moral footing. One of the things that shows that the empire doesn't necessarily have Skyrim's best interest at hard is that they put Maven Black-Brier in charge of one of their cities.
      • If you chose to support the Legion, but yet initiate the peace conference during the Main Quest, and assuming you chose to give Riften instead of Dawnstar to the Imperials, Tullius makes a remark about Maven being put in charge, something about that arrangement providing the Legion with a nice port and a lot of mead, seeing that she *does* own the best, largest, and most famous meadery in Skyrim.....
      • Maven and the Black-Briars are basically the Legion counterpart to Markarth's Stormcloak-aligned Silverbloods. The exchange in Seasons Unending really changes nothing; Maven directly lampshades this if she becomes Yarl. Regardless who's actually wearing the title of Yarl, Maven and the Silverbloods are the ones in charge in their respective cities, and both are very corrupt and cast some very unflattering light on both the Legion and the Stormcloaks. It's definitely meant to maintain the morally grey feel of the Civil War questline.
    • Forget it, Troper. It's Riften.
    • Ironically, the best way to help Riften? Don't join the Thieves' Guild. Let 'em rot. Do whatever else you can to help everyone out and clean up other troubles in town, but keep the Guild from recovering in power if you want to clean the place up.
      • The Thieves Guild only able to exist because of Maven needing them at the time since they no longer have Nocturnal's blessing thanks to Mercer, you undo the curse and they will be the one pulling the strings on Maven and thus cause less trouble in the long run then now. And it's a case of prosperity vs honor in terms of the conflict, would you live a life of honorable poverty (Stormcloak) or live well at the price of your own personal morality? (Legion)
      • The dichotomy between the Stormcloaks vs Legion is much greyer than that, as that pretty clearly poses the Stormcloaks as the moral side, when in reality it just isn't that simple. It's more a matter of survival vs honour. Is it more important to swallow ones pride in order to try to survive? (Legion) or is more important to fight for your beliefs even if it means death? (Stormcloak)
     The Vigilants and the Companions 
  • How the hell has the Vigil of Stendarr not noticed that a large group of one of their worst enemies lives in one place in the Companions Hall in Whiterun?
    • Three reasons
      • Its not a large group, just five people
      • These five people are going out of their way not to alert anyone, unlike most werewolves, daedra and witches.
      • Detection spells in the elder scrolls lore suck. Since werewolves are not undead, they are pretty much undetectable.
      • You can also take into account that accusing the oldest and most sacred society of warriors of being werewolves may not be the best idea in the world. Most won't believe you and, at the very worst, you could start a war with the rest of Skyrim.
    • Considering it's possible for you to summon a pair of Dremora Lords in front of, or possibly inside of the Hall of the Vigilant, and they won't do anything about it, it could be assumed that the Vigil aren't as learned in the ways of Daedra as they'd like to think.
    Vigilant of Stendarr: Wherever the Daedra hide, the Vigil of Stendarr will cast them into the light.
    Dremora Lord, standing just behind her: YOU ARE WEAK, MORTAL.
    • Summoning Daedra and worshipping Daedra are two very different things. The Vigilant probably would prefer you didn't do that but the Dremora is totally under your control and no threat to anyone unless you are.
    • The Vigilants aren't blind, nor are they stupid. They probably have some awareness of the Circle's true nature, but they're also well aware that the Companions aren't really a threat to anyone except whoever they get hired to deal with. The Vigilants' primary purpose is to fight those that prey upon the innocent: werewolves that attack innocents, daedra worshippers whose rites and activities hurt innocents, and so on. The Companions are likely very, very low on their priority list compared to everything else in Skyrim.
     Thalmor agents outside of Markarth 
  • How come sights like the Thalmor agents in Markarth aren't seen all around Skyrim? Why are there no Thalmor in Whiterun, Solitude, etc? Wouldn't the Thalmor want to keep an eye on all of Skyrim?
    • Remember Shavari in Riften? Wouldn't be too much of a stretch to assume the Thalmor have agents just like her all over the major towns in Skyrim to keep tabs on everything.
      • There are Thalmor Patrols you can meet on the road who do not have prisoners with them. Likely these Thalmor are there to make their rounds and check up on their holds once in a while. Markath probably just has the permanent visitors because of the aforementioned Markath Incident.
    • In addition, they likely send out agents to the hold capitols on occasion to check up and do monthly reports. Solitude, at least, is a relatively short distance from the embassy. Markarth likely gets a permanent appointment because of the Markarth incident; the city openly and officially ignored the treated and allowed open worship of Talos, even if for a short time. That likely put it at the top of the Dominion's shit list, at least for Skyrim. As for why there isn't one in Whiterun specifically because Whiterun was the only hold not to declare for one side or the other and the Thalmor wanted to keep it like that; the war is won or lost at Whiterun. Whoever controls the center controls the outcome. And until Ulfric forced the issue, no one was really sure which side Balgruuf would come down on. Putting Thalmor agents in Whiterun might have pushed him to joining the Stormcloaks outright; such an action without conflict would have spared Ulfric time and men that would have ended the war even sooner.
    • Note that the harder the Thalmor bear down on Talos worshippers, the faster they'll drive resentful Nords and other Talos-worshippers to back up the Stormcloaks, which will give Ulfric an edge. The ones operating in Markarth are also only there specifically because the Jarl is desperately trying to avoid pissing off the Aldmerri; they specifically gave him an ultimatum to either purge the Talos-worshipping presence in the city or they'd send troops to take the city by force. The Thalmor likely can't get away with having an active, armed presence in other holds without severely pissing off the other Jarls. Falkreath and Morthal are too small to bother with, and Elisef's husband was a Talos worshipper and she herself is also, so if the Thalmor came into Solitude, it might push her to action, whether covert or overt. Whiterun hasn't declared, but the giant Talos statue an the screaming priest in front of said statue indicates where Balgruuf stands and how he'd react to any Thalmor presence.
     The anonymous "friend" 
  • Do we have any idea who the mysterious "friend" who keeps sending you letters is? I keep feeling like I'm supposed to know.
    • There's some theories. One theory is that it could be the Blades. Another is that it could be the Psijic Order or another group of mysterious agents watching over the Dragonborn. Another theory is that it is Talos himself, covertly acting to support you. And there's the really, really out there idea that its just a few random people in the towns that noticed you Shouting and knew enough about the local landscape and legends to direct you to a Word Wall.
    • I always assumed it was the Greybeards...
     Cicero's wagon 
  • When Cicero's wagon wheel is broken, your only two options are to either convince Loreius to help him (not knowing if the jester is smuggling war contraband or drugs or whatever), or to lie to the guard and make up a story about how Cicero was breaking the law. Why couldn't you just tell the guard "Hey, this guy's acting weird, I have a feeling there's something illegal in that box but I'm not sure, could you check it out?"
    • Coz even in Skyrim, acting weird (while being a Jester no less) is not gonna convince any guard to do anything? A total stranger who walks up to a guard saying "That Jester over there is acting kinda weird... Like a Jester or fool or something" is far less convincing than "I've seen that Jester there, he's breaking the law!" even if the latter is a lie.
    • Hell, just look at what you do. The guards put up with a person parading around in armor made of dragon parts, demonic-enhanced ebony, or malacite, or even stranger things, who barges into Dragonsreach at all hours of the day, wakes the Jarl up in the middle of the night to ask him vague questions about his son, constantly shoving people off grindstones, alchemy tables, and enchanting tables, stalking Nazeem around town constantly, periodically standing in place for several hours at a time doing nothing, and selling all manner of goods which couldn't possibly be acquired legitimately. If the guards put up with the Dragonborn's behavior, they're going to let a jester acting a bit odd slide.
      • That and even if they do try and check it out/ask some questions, Cicero would just stab the hell out of the guards (remember, this is a guy that can take down a werewolf with just a knife) and kill the farmer and his wife just for good measure. So there.
    • Original poster here, now that I've played the game and know who he really is. From what I've read, if you tell the guard that Cicero's smuggling weapons, when you meet Cicero again, he'll remember you and say that the guard made him open the coffin. So I guess there's no problem with the guard actually checking - sounds like Cicero didn't attack him, and the guard must've let him go, only seeing a dead body - but admittedly you still would need a stronger reason to send him over there in the first place.
     Nurelion's sickness 
  • Nurelion in Windhelm is sick, so sick, he dies of his illness. So... Why didn't he just walk to the closest altar and touch it? They cure all diseases. and it's outright said he's sick, not dying of old age. The only diseases not curable by them ever seen are all supernatural in nature: Lycanthropy (Via Hircine), Vampirism (Via Molag Bal, and even then, curable during its incubation), Blight and & Corprus (By Dagoth Ur through the Heart of Lorkhan). What kind of disease does he have that's so virulent the gods can't cure it? What Daedric power did he piss off for this to happen? The same can be asked of the sick guy inside the temple of Kynareth, what did he contract that requires him to stay so bedridden despite being within spitting distance of an altar to Kynareth?.
    • I think a priestess in Solitude says something about blessings being granted to those who pray to the shrines, but is it ever stated outright that non-Dragonborn can have their ailments magically cured through prayer?
    • From what I've been able to gather, it really depends on the illness. Once an illness progresses far enough, like vampirism, you're pretty much not going to be able to stop it by simply using a cure-all potion or a prayer at a shrine. The shrines keep away debilitating but nonfatal diseases like what you'd pick up from getting bitten by wolves, but if the disease and damage to your body has progressed enough, the shrine by itself won't cure you. Also keep in mind that Nurelion is old and reaching the end of his lifespan, and he's a master alchemist. If Nurelion can't brew up a potion to cure himself, he's pretty much unable to stop it.
    • It was also suggested in Oblivion that the shrines only worked for the faithful, as demonstrated by the fact that if you were an out and out bastard, they'd just plain stop working(which is why the shrine of sithis had to be modded in). Skyrim lacks a karma meter so this aspect was dropped, but it can be assumed that shrines to gods don't grant blessings to people the gods don't like, and Nurelion expresses open disdain for the gods.
    • Plus, I'm pretty sure Nurelion was so much sick as he was dying of old age.
    • Dawnguard seems to infer the gods don't grant that blessing to everyone. Vyrthur, as a high ranking priest of Auri-El, could have presumably been cured of Vampirism before it became irreversible by simply touching his shrine, and if his rage at Auri-El is any indication, that did not happen.
    • He's not the only person in this condition. The temple of Kynareth in Whiterun has ordinary people being tended to for seemingly ordinary illnesses. If these people could simply touch the shrines and be cured, they obviously wouldn't be on those beds.
    • Perhaps praying at the shrines simply doesn't work for everyone. And it's not just about being generally good, it's about being divinely favoured. The Dragonborn can be cured at the shrines because the gods acknowledge his/her importance concerning the fate of the world. Some random townsfolk may be good people, but they're nothing really special in the grand scheme of things.
     Red Eagle 
  • Faolan, or the Red Eagle as he is called, is supposed to be a quasi-Celtic Breton King Arthur type figure and the paramount national hero of the Reachmen. Why is he buried in old Nordic fashion as a Draugr in an Ancient Nord structure, and why is his legendary sword forged in Nordic manner? And why is he a magic using Lich at level 80 when he's supposed to be a warrior?
    • That's assuming that only the Nords ever used that particular style and corpse preservation. It's more likely that everyone used them both, and it was more closely associated with Nords because it was more widespread and they built more often. Same with the swords, as everyone was using them at the time, and the sword got its name from being commonly found in Nord graves. Think about current times, where you can find armies wielding iron and steel weapons fighting other armies wielding iron and steel weapons. As for becoming a Lich, he's an automatically leveled Draugr. Typically, he's a strong Draugr warrior, but if you wait until you're past level 56, he'll spawn as the strongest Draugr opponent, a Dragon Priest.
      • Maybe he was a Spellsword?
      • Uhm, I don't know about you, but two entirely different cultures who hated each other would tend to have differing burial customs (Hjalti Early-Beard, Talos as he is known, had led the Nords to destroying the Witch Men of the Reach all the way to during the first era). Especially when they have different religious beliefs and afterlives. For instance, to the Bretons; Shor is regarded as a harmful deity and the 'source of all strife', where as to Nords, he's a Top God. I find it hard to believe that they had the exact same burial methods.
      • Bretons in general are the results of nords and elves interbreeding for several generations, and the Reachmen specifically are the result of Bretons and Nords interbreeding for multiple generations after that. It's likely that for all the Forsworn's talk about the old ways and the old gods, many of the ancient Reachmen were well integrated into Nordic society. The presence of so many Nordic ruins in the area are decent evidence of that.
      • That's not how culture works. Cultural contact would have happened anyway, and much of these burials are from the 1st era, 2nd at most, which is long before the reach was conquered by the Nords. Even then, it's probably mostly developer laziness; Solstheim in Dragonborn has Draugr in imperial uniform.
    • Red Eagle existed roughly during the time of the Alessian Empire, when the Reachmen were a more diverse population that did include Nords (since most Man races were split between Nedes and Nords at the time); the Bretons as we know them, and the Breton-like Reachmen who would dominate through the Second Era and onward, would come about later. We also know that the First Empire of the Nords ruled over the Reach itself (and the Reachmen) until their empire collapsed, so there would certainly have been some influence of Nordic culture on the Reachmen. We also know that Red Eagle came about between the fall of the First Nordic Empire and the Alessian Empire's invasions, meaning there was definitely Nordic cultural influence over the Reach and intermarriage. Thus, it is not implausible that there would be enough influence from early Nordic culture on the First Era Reachmen that they would bury an honored king in Nordic fashion, and that he would rise as a draugr.
     How old is Rorik? 
  • He says he's the founder (and namesake) of Rorikstead. Rorikstead has existed (and had his name) since the later merethic/first era and has had that name since then according to Holdings of Jarl Gjalund (The book dates from back when Bromjunaar, the sanctuary of the Dragon Priest Mask, was still a settlement and not Labyrinthian).
    • If it's like actual town, it has likely been abandoned and rebuilt multiple times. Alternately, Rorik is lying.
      • Other people back up his story, like Jouane Manette. Being destroyed and rebuilt still would not explain why there's always been a town there named after a dude called Rorik at roughly the same location. Is this some History Repeats scenario where there's always a new dude called Rorik who goes back there to build a town on the same spot every era and names it after himself? It gets even weirder as "Ragnar The Red" is an old, traditional song according to "Songs of Skyrim". Rorikstead's current incarnation is less than 20 years old (Since Rorik founded it after the Great War and it was an unbuilt stretch of land when he bought it) yet the song mentions "Ole Rorikstead".
      • It could be like this: there's always been a town there. There's periodic times where, during stretches of bad harvests or war, the town has been completely abandoned, only picked up years or centuries later when conditions improved enough to move back in. Presumably, the town there was struggling when Rorik came in, and used his money to finance the reconstruction, turning it from a house and a tavern into... several houses and a tavern. Still, it completely revamped the town (somehow), so either the locals renamed it in honor of him, or he just named the renovated town after himself. Most books just refer to Rorikstead as its current name.
      • That wouldn't explain why ancient books written millenias ago also call the place "Rorik's steading".
      • Or, he just happens to share the name with the person who founded it, and being all elderly he's decided to play a little with this young'un asking him about Rorikstead. Think someone named James living in Jamestown, VA, telling his grandson that the city was named after him.
    • You meet your culture's Jesus, a total badass who can kill people by yelling at them. You're elderly. He asks you how the town got it's name, and you're named after the town. You figure "Ehhh, what the hell. Might as well risk it for a good prank" and you tell him it's named after you. He takes it as gospel and you laugh your ass off as soon as he's out of earshot.
    • There's a theory, with a good amount of evidence, that Rorikstead is the site of a secretive cult and Rorik may be a mage who is sacrificing people to maintain his age.
     Erandur in "Waking Nightmare" 
  • During the quest Waking Nightmare, how did Erandur/Casimir get out? The moment he pulled the chain, the barrier went up, which should have trapped him inside. You see this happening when you dreamwalk as him. And he himself calls the barrier unbreachable. So how did he get out?
    • He dreamwalked himself out. You know, the same way you got around a locked door. He just did it to one of the invaders. Or, there was another exit we don't know about, which he used (but was inaccessible from the outside).
      • He can't have dreamwalked since he said he never saw or did it himself (If he did, he wouldn't need to tell you he can't guarantee what will happen or how it'll go down). And looking around fails to reveal a secondary exit.
      • IIRC, the gate type that blocks you takes a moment to close, and don't you get sent back to the real world once you've pulled it? As soon as he pulled the chain, the Erandur ran very quickly, or daresay, dived over the rising gate. Even if he missed the first time, he could have just tried again until he got out.
     Confusion around Torygg's death 
  • Somebody please explain to me the bizarre confusion surrounding King Torygg's death. Ulfric claims he used the Thu'um to stun Torygg and then killed him with his sword while other characters claim Ulfric "shouted him to pieces" or "ripped him asunder" with the Thu'um. Now, I can understand random NPCs claiming Ulfric "shouted [Torygg] apart" because they weren't there and only have rumors to go on. Rumors that were probably twisted seven different ways by the time those NPCs heard them. But some of the NPCs who witnessed Torygg's death claim Ulfric killed him with the Thu'um and not with a sword. So who's telling the truth?
    • Therein lies the problem. Everyone has their own idea of how Ulfric killed Torygg, but I think its safe to just assume Ulfric's claim was the right one, as Ulfric did it himself, and he has nothing to gain from just lying to the player. It would be out of character for him to not say exactly how he offed Torygg.
    • In addition, it is in the interest of Elisif's court to slander Ulfric by making Torygg's death at his hands seem as brutal and one-sided as possible, casting Ulfric in the role of a malicious murderer. It's also notable that eye-witness testimony is notoriously unreliable as people tend to view things through serious lenses of perception. It's possible that Ulfric's FUS RO DAH did cause Torygg significant injury when it slammed him into something, and that the witnesses couldn't bear to watch as Ulfric ended it with the stabbing- the shout is what stood out in their memory.
      • I don't believe Ulfric knows the full Unrelenting Force Shout, not enough to create the full-force launch that the player can create. It seems most likely that he used FUS to stagger Torygg, who fell on his butt like an idiot, and then Ulfric stabbed him. The tale grew in the telling by those looking to slander him, and you get people saying he murdered Torygg with his voice alone.
    • Oh, I think Ulfric knows the full shout. Ever pissed him off and had him attack? He'll do the Shout and send you flying across the throne room.
      • Just join the Imperials and try to attack him head on, Ulfric knows the full "FUS RO DAH" shout. With that in mind, he could have shouted him off of the edge of the balcony in the Blue palace.
    • Because eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, even when all parties don't have good reason to lie (and in this case, they do). That said, I tend to take Ulfric at his word on this one. Shouting someone apart with the Thu'um is distinctly more badass than knocking them down and stabbing them while they're disoriented, and given Ulfric's concern with what "will make for a better song," if he was going to lie, I would expect him to try to play up the epicness of the confrontation rather than play it down.
The Dragon Priests are stated to be waking up due to Alduin, but Morokei was awake well before that due to Savos Aren's backstory. Labyrinthian probably wasn't his burial spot, there is no tomb in the room he is found in, either. He also managed to get a hold of the Staff of Magnus, which was last seen in Morrowind. Why was he awake before the others? How did he get the staff?
  • Perhaps he was placed in a different burial spot near the Draugr because maybe his rank wasn't very high within the Dragon Cult and he was seen as equal to the Draugr, not really sure how else. There's plenty of ways to resolve the Staff of Magnus part, first of all not everything is accurately recorded in the Elder Scrolls Universe, many things appear out of no where. For me, I just imagine an adventurer fleeing from Morrowind with his prize, and he want to test it on certain creatures and he (unfortunately) tries to do it in Labyrinthian.
    • Also, about the waking up part, he may not have been a high rank within the Dragon Cult, but perhaps when he knew Alduin would fall, he used Necromancy to remain in a lich form.
    • Or as established by the college storyline, he survived so long due to the staff of magnus, which was a powerful enough artifact to hold the power of magnus who was an Aedra, who are the opposites of daedric princes.
     Dragon Priest questions 
  • So I have a few questions about Dragon Priests:
    • To begin with, why does Rahgot have a statue in the Bromjunaar Sanctuary? Rahgot and his followers were around in 1E 140, long after the fall of the Dragon Cult and Bromjunaar's abandonment. Yet, when you go back in time to the Sanctuary, he still has a bust on the shrine that was abandoned long before he was even born.
      • Remember that the Bromjunaar shrine is specific to the masks, not the priests themselves. Rahgot almost certainly recovered the mask that gave him his name at some point after the fall of the Cult.
      • I never thought about it that way. It would certainly explain a lot of things � it actually makes me think, maybe Konahrik was never an actual person. Maybe it was just a mask that could be accessed in times of need, and returned when it had been used.
      • The simple and obvious answer: Dragon priests and draugr can survive for thousands of years, so the ones you meet are the originals. The dragon priests are referred to as being individual people in history. It's never stated or implied otherwise. The priests have dragon names, since they try to emulate dragons and because that was a language used by the dragon cult. Their names reflect their personalities and abilities, and the masks were given to them specifically to increase their power. That's why the priests and masks have similar traits.
    • Krosis. What's up with this guy? What's he doing on Shearpoint? His coffin is just sitting on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere, in a relatively easily accessed site. It just looks like some people dragged the coffin up to Shearpoint and then said "well, let's just leave it here" and left. Volsung is in a similar situation, but the only path to his mountaintop is through a giant barrow clearly dedicated to him. All the other Priests are buried deep inside massive tomb complexes, with lots of shrines, ornaments, traps, and draugr. Did the Dragon Cult go over budget and have to forgo making his tomb? Did he offend them in some way? The guy doesn't even get a monumental wall carving.
      • Bit of a WMG, but maybe he DID have a temple complex at one point, but now all that's left of it is his coffin.
    • Dragon priests are clearly established as intelligent lichs whose souls are fully bound to their mortal bodies, unlike the husk-like draugr. Morokei and Hevnoraak both speak to you in dragon and English before you fight them. They are obviously both exceptionally clever and deeply bound to the way of the dragons. Why, then, don't they have shouts? Even mid-level draugr can use Unrelenting Force, and the Deathlords get Disarm, Frost Breath, and others. Yet these Dragon Priests, high lords of the Dragon Cult, rely wholly on magic and don't even get a simple FUS to their name.
      • This one is actually quite simple. Magic takes extensive training. The Thu'um takes even more extensive training. Mortals only really have time to devote to studying one or the other; Felldir the Old is the exception, it would seem. To wield tremendous magical power, one has to devote time to studying that magic, time that wouldn't allow for the Dragon Priests to also study the Thu'um in any meaningful way.
      • That actually makes a lot of sense. Thanks!
      • Dragon priests are wearing masks, so you can't see their faces. QED.
    • Why are all the Dragon Priests male, while Draugr are relatively even in gender?
      • Some undocumented rule of the Dragon Cult, most likely.
      • How do you know they are? They're dead, and the robes are shaped so as to hide their forms.
    • Also I noticed one thing, note that when you get the masks they aren't named for example "Krosos' Mask", the are named again for example "Korsis" maybe the dragon priests (barring miraak for obviosu reasons) don't have names maybe the dragon priests ARE the masks.
     What is Adrianne? 
  • Her dad is a Nord (though If I remember right, race is inherited by the mother) and Mikael's book states her as such, but she's dark-skinned and explains that the Stormcloak-aligned guards don't buy from her. Is she a dark-skinned Nord?
    • Imperial. Her dad is also an Imperial. Their last name is Avenicci....
    • Adiranne is an Imperial (who run between caucasian to middle-eastern in ethnicity), and so is her father, Proventus Avenicci. Hence, why Stormcloak guards don't buy from her, since she is considered part of the Empire they just rebelled against. Her husband is Nord, though. Why Mikael wrote that she was an Imperial; well, development happens in different stages accross a whole team of people. Perhaps, at one point, she was a Nord, and a writer wrote Mikael's journal as if she were. When her race changed later in development, that single journal out of the thousands was overlooked.
      • He also calls Carlotta Valentia a Nord lass (Again Imperial), so maybe he's just really accepting and calls everyone who lives in Skyrim "Nord".
      • It's also possible he just can't tell the difference. Mikael's not the sharpest tool in the shed.
      • He also calls himself an Imperial, despite being a Nord.
      • Race is largely inherited through the mother. It's possible that the rather fair-skinned Carlotta is Nordic, but inherited her Imperial father's surname and identifies more as an Imperial than a Nord. However, in Adrianne's case, she's also married to a Nord, so maybe the more accepting residents of Whiterun consider her a "Nord-by-marriage." It makes sense if she's immersed in Nordic culture and has lived in Skyrim her whole life. She might look like an Imperial and answer to a very Imperial-sounding name, but otherwise she's pretty Nordic.
     Drifa's "spices" 
(For the record, Drifa is the wife of Bersi Honey-Hand, owner of the Pawned Prawn in Riften.)In a random conversation, Bersi will sometimes ask Drifa why there is an entry for "spices" in the accounting books of their shop. Drifa acts like she doesn't know what he's talking about, even though it was in her handwriting, and then suddenly "remembers" that it was a special order for Whiterun. Naturally this struck me as very suspicious (my immediate thought was skooma smuggling) but there are no quests associated with this comment and it never comes up again. What was this all about?
  • Maybe it actually was a special order.
    • Drifa and her husband have an ongoing argument over how much money she spends on herself, and he's always threatening to cut her off. Its entirely possible that 'spices: special order' is the entry she makes in the account books to cover up her skimming from the till, and she was caught off guard by his questioning and took a moment to recover.
     Was Ysgramor also Dragonborn? 
I ask only because the The Seven Fights of The Aldudagga seems to imply as much - "These were the days of Ysgrim... [whose] breath was weighted with power sounds". Later lines of the text then confirm that Ysgrim is indeed Ysgramor. Now, the Nords only learned the Thu'um from Paarthurnax and other defectors (according to Nordic legends, anyway), Ysgramor was around long before the Dragons enslaved mankind so he couldn't have learned the Dragon Shouts that way, right?
  • Could you give a link to that piece of Lore? I've never seen that book in the game and the Elder Scrolls wiki doesn't mention any text with that title.
  • Very difficult to say for sure. Much of the Merethic Era is still unknown. In fact no piece of Lore can nail down a specific date for the Dragon War or Ysgramor's original arrival in Tamriel. Miraak is canonically the First Dragonborn so if Ysgramor was also Dragonborn he must have come after Miraak. (Perhaps there is a lost chapter of Ysgramor's life where he trained to be a Dragon Priest?) However Ysgramor wouldn't have to be Dragonborn to use the Thu'um. It's possible that Paarthurnax was mistaken and other mortals (other than Dragon Priests, obviously) learned to use the Thu'um before he turned against Alduin. We know that Tsun can use the Thu'um and he seems to have been a very pro-human deity. He may have passed along some knowledge of the Thu'um to the ancient Nords (maybe even to Ysgramor himself) at some point. Of course that's all assuming that Ysgramor could use the Thu'um at all and that one line from The Seven Fights of The Aldudagga isn't just a metaphor or a blending of one myth into another.
    Mjoll and Riften 
  • We all know Mjoll's hatred of Riften's corruption, so why Maven haven't gotten rid of her yet? I mean if she is Jarl she can literally order the town guard to capture her and execute her and Aerin at the square. Hell she could pull a favor and ask the Dragonborn to kill them both for her.
    • For all we know, she has. Mjoll is too badass(not to mention she's permanently essential), so it wouldn't surprise me to learn she'd killed a assassin or two from the Dark Brotherhood.
    • Because she's obviously not able to do anything about the corruption. If Mjoll was actually having any real effect on the Guild and Maven's profits, she would do something, but Mjoll's own frustrations with her inability to clean up the city indicate that she's ineffective and thus no threat to Maven.
    • Still, murdering her for amusement would be something that would exemplify the hopelessness of the situation and remind people of their place.
      • Maven doesn't give a fuck about that. She cares about her profits and nothing more. She's not some mustache-twirling evil-for-the-sake-of-evil supervillain. She won't kill someone just for her amusement.
      • She doesn't want to make a martyr; more of the oppressed citizens might band together and resist, and even if they don't succeed, they'd jeopardize her business, something she wants even less. Having someone continuously proving her ineffectiveness is better than acknowledging her as a threat and eliminating her. Besides, Maven isn't For the Evulz, and doesn't do things "for her amusement." It would change if Mjoll actually starts making progress in threatening her operations, but that's not happening now or anytime soon.
      • And she executes a shill who failed to shill, the only reason she is kept alive is for her to witness how hopeless it is. A better way would be to simply make Aerin disappear.
      • Again, it goes entirely against her characterization for her to be killing people in the streets. She's not going to execute people in the streets, when she can have the Guild ruin them without bloodshed or, if worst comes to worst, send the brotherhood against them. Maven doesn't care about making people "witness how hopeless it is." She's not a mustache-twirling villain. And making Aerin disappear would be the last thing she'd want to do, as that would quickly provoke Mjoll into a furious and expensive rampage against the entire Guild and Maven's empire.
      • In short, Maven avoids anything that'll risk the destruction of her empire. Plus, if she's been keeping tabs on you, she probably doesn't want to risk Mjoll recruiting you in helping to bring her down.
     Delphine, Horn Thief 
  • Why does Delphine steal the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller? When you ask her this, she says that she needs to "make sure you're not a Thalmor spy." Umm... what? Because a Thalmor spy couldn't POSSIBLY go after the Horn in order to get in good with the Greybeards, or assume that because the Greybeards / Dragonborn are going after it, it must be worth something and try to snatch it for themselves? Why wouldn't she present her findings to you at Dragonsreach (where she appears if you didn't grab the Dragonstone before Farengar asks for it) or any of the times you stayed at her inn? Methinks all those years living in hiding have affected the lady's mind.
    • Because Delphine is exceedingly paranoid.
    • Yeah, uh, you might want to read into the Blades' history a bit. The organisation is basically dead because the Thalmor decapitated every single Blades operative in Dominion territory just to prove a point. If Delphine was to take any chances then she'd be quite likely killed in very short order - her mind has been effected.
    • The question isn't "why does Delphine suspect the Dragonborn might be a Thalmor spy". It's "why on Nirn does she believe that stealing the Horn and leaving a note proves that he's not a spy"?
      • She explains it if you ask her. She needed to be sure that the person running around calling themselves the Dragonborn was the real deal, and the Greybeards would only send the actual Dragonborn to recover the Horn. Therefore, whoever went after the Horn would be the Dragonborn and not a Thalmor spy.
      • Except that she found out the location of the Horn and she got past the traps and undead. What's stopping a Thalmor spy from doing the same?
      • Delphine is a Blade. She's part of an organization intimately familiar with the Dragonborn and the Greybeards, and is one of their most experienced and capable members even before the Great War. Of course she would have knowledge about how the Greybeards operate that the Thalmor wouldn't. Hell, the Blades likely had plans to contact and verify a Dragonborn ready to go for centuries.
      • The Thalmor have proven that they're more than a match for the Blades when it comes to spy work, and they captured a lot of intel during the Great War when they sacked Cloud Ruler Temple. For someone who's supposed to be crazy paranoid, she certainly seems confident that the Thalmor have not discovered the location of the Horn.
      • Most of the Blades' dragon-lore was intentionally destroyed. When Cloud-Ruler Temple fell, the Blades burned everything. Esbern barely got out with a handful of texts and his own memorized knowledge. Delphine would know that the Thalmor would have no information, and the Thalmor's own dossiers confirm that even decades after the Temple was burned down and efforts to reconstruct the Blades' lore, they have virtually no intact information about Dragons, let alone the Blades. The Thalmor are utterly clueless about dragons or anything relating to the Dragonborn.
      • She is paranoid. What more could she have done without relying on meta-knowledge available to the player?
      • The Thalmor got very little from Cloud Ruler Temple, and in particular nothing regarding dragons. The archives and documentation were almost completely destroyed during the siege. There's a reason why they've got such a priority on Esbern. It is extremely unlikely they would know anything about the Dragonborn; the Thalmor dossier even outright says that what little they have on the dragons in general is theoretical at best.
      • We know that, because we're privy to the Thalmor's dossiers after the embassy infiltration mission. She doesn't even know Esbern's alive until you get those dossiers. She thinks they know so much about dragons that they can bring them back to life until she's shown otherwise. So again: knowing what she knows and believing what she believes (however wrong it might be to the omniscient player), why does she think that the player going after the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller proves anything about anything?
      • Delphine is willing to take the risk and put herself in potential danger. After all, dragons are back, which changes things, and she knows she'll need to do something about them. Delphine knows that she cannot stay in hiding forever, since she's no longer fighting a shadow war against a bunch of elves. The dragons are her real enemy, not the Thalmor, and getting a Dragonborn is her top priority. So she's willing to take an extreme risk by trying to contact a Dragonborn because that's her job.
      • Look at it this way. The Blades have been enemies with the Greybeards ever since they were founded. They've only been at ends with the Thalmor for a few hundred years. They've had plenty of time to learn exactly how the Greybeards think. The Thalmor, however, don't know anything about the Dragonborn legend, much less the Greybeards. They probably don't even know who Jurgen Windcaller was, much less where his tomb is or why the horn is of any significance. Delphine knows this. That's why she took the horn, because she knows that the Thalmor aren't even aware of its existence
      • Nope, still doesn't make sense. Again, she thinks the Thalmor are behind the dragon reappearance. If they know enough to do THAT, it's MORE than within the realm of possibility that they might have come across some record of the Greybeards and the Horn and know their significance. She's both over- and underestimating the Thalmor simultaneously in such a way that her conclusions do not logically follow from her assumptions.
      • What more could she have done without relying on meta-knowledge available to the player?
      • The question isn't "what more could she have done," the question is, "What was the point of doing what she did?" Stealing the Horn didn't prove anything about anything, she could just as easily have pulled the Dovahkiin aside at Dragonsreach. "Hey, thanks for tracking down the Dragonstone, I think it's a burial map. Says here Kynesgrove is next, let's go check that out once you're done at the western watchtower."
      • And if there's a Thalmor spy inside Dragonsreach, she just tipped her hand. She was already taking a huge risk by just talking to Farengar. Pulling aside the mercenary Farengar sent to retrieve the Dragonstone to chat might draw extra attention that she'd likely want to avoid. Pulling the "Dragonborn" into the Sleeping Giant Inn not only lets her first get a measure of you upon arriving but also lets her go and check to make sure there's no Thalmor kill-squads roaming around outside of Riverwood. If you prove to be an enemy, she can put a knife in your neck and run into the woods and relocate. She can't control the meeting and location if she pulls you aside in Dragonsreach. In addition, she likely didn't pull you aside in Dragonsreach because, aside from the public spectacle, she would have needed time to plan and arrange the whole meeting.
      • The player is confirmed as Dragonborn after the events at the Western Watchtower.
      • The point was to *confirm for herself* that the player is the Dragonborn. Lots of other things could go wrong even then, it's even feasible the Dragonborn could actually *be* a Thalmor (a branch of her decision tree that probably ends 'Well, if so we're *** anyway'), but to start with the concept of actually verifying a two step process of can the prospect (without the specialized information of the Blades) access the horn, and then to actually see him absorb the soul of a Dragon. Worry about the rest later, but lets make sure that he hasn't managed to magically fake it at the watchtower. She only has rumor that the Greybeards actually recognized you as a Dragonborn at all - One nice thing about forcing you to come to see her for the horn is ... she knows you were actually sent for the horn, an indication that the Greybeards have actually acknowledged you as (a potential) Dragonborn. Prior to that all she *knows* is that some people that aren't qualified to have an opinion saw some fancy special effects at the watchtower, and a loud 'Dovakhin' reverberated across the valley, both reasonably fake-able by the Thalmor.
      • An important thing to remember is that, well, this is a medieval society. Communication involves guys on horses riding around delivering letters, unless you've got magic. Delphine's not much of a mage ad tremendously paranoid, so she's got to confirm things directly, with her own eyes. And the Dragonborn is a big enough deal that her paranoia is justified. If the "Dragonborn" really is a Thalmor plant, he's going to be inviting an agent of the Blades' enemies into her confidence where they could easily put a knife in her back. She has to confirm you are really Dragonborn, and if that is an annoyance or inconvenience to you, too bad, in her eyes.
      • These are good points but what hasn't been considered is the timing. She heard about the dragon attack at Helgen because of either Ralof or Hadvar spreading word in Riverwood where she works. She then met you when you retrieved the Dragonstone for her and Farengar. You were called away in the middle of that encounter to help deal with the dragon, while she was still there. From there you immediately head to the field to fight the dragon and immediately back to collect your reward when the Greybeards summon the Dovahkiin. She would have been probably half way back to Riverwood. She must have known that if she could get to the Horn and replace it with the note that the Dragonborn would see that note within days. The don't know the Greybeards like she does. And the guy who shows up at her doorstep with the note is that merc Farengar hired. Well, he could be a Thalmor agent so lets test it. Oh look, he can absorb a dragon's soul. A Thalmor agent wouldn't be running errands for Farengar. They might be there to spy on Balgruuf but if they felt the need to run an errand for Farengar to maintain cover and they found a relic like the Dragonstone when there have been reported sightings of Dragons, they would have taken the stone to their wizards who they would surely feel are superior for the task of deciphering it. And for that guy to be the guy that found the Horn, that makes it that much more likely that he's the genuine Dragonborn but even then, Delphine (who is knowingly taking a risk) asks for further proof by getting the Dragonborn to kill a dragon. How many Thalmor spies are able to kill a dragon and absorb it's soul? You take all this into account and Delphine is being properly paranoid.
     Why is Ancano alive? 
Winterhold is, barring action by the Dragonborn in the Civil War quests, smack-dab in the middle of Stormcloak territory. Ancano is a Thalmor operative. And it doesn't seem to me like the faculty at the college would cross the street to help him, much less stand up to Jarl Korir. Why hasn't he been ripped to shreds by a Torches and Pitchforks-wielding mob — or at least arrested by Ulfric's men — before the Dragonborn even shows up?
  • Because he's an ambassador, so the Stormcloaks would - however grudgingly - let him be. (ambassadors get special treatment for a reason; without them diplomacy goes nowhere) Also, he's in the middle of the College of Winterhold, which itself is an independent entity and which is the best-equipped place in the entirety of Skyrim to deal with a mob. The staff of the College might not like Ancano, but they would like it even less if the ambassador for one of the most powerful nations in the world was killed while being their guest, and they absolutely would not let a mob of angry Nords break into the College on general principle.
  • Do they even know if he's there? The locals seem to go out of their way to ignore the college and not get involved with them. Plus even if they know he's here, they don't know how the college will react (They have no way to know he's not liked). The college has a sizeable (by Skyrim Standard) elven population. For all they know, going in there to get him is inviting being turned into a toad. Not like Winterhold has enough guards to really try anything.
  • It isn't entirely clear, but the Winterhold College seems to be outside the Hold's jurisdiction. The Jarl probably does have the power to get involved in their politics, if he wanted to do so, but given Nords' distrust for magic, they all seem to just stay away and allow the College to govern itself.
  • It's not at all clear that the faculty would let him be killed by an angry mob. Yes, they don't like him; but I'd wager they also dislike the idea of fellow practitioners getting turned over to angry mobs baying for blood, especially since everyone else at the College of Winterhold is barely more liked than the Thalmor — if they hand over Ancano, who is the angry mob going to demand next? They'd likely stand up for him both as a matter of principle and because it sets a bad precedent to allow wizards to get executed by angry mobs.
  • Additionally, given that Nords generally distrust magic, it's likely that relations between the College and the Stormcloaks are not good. The College generally seems to stay out of politics; from the perspective of the Stormcloaks, this is for the best — the last thing they want is for an intemperate demand for Ancano's head to result in the College concluding that the Stormcloaks cannot be trusted to let the college to continue to operate after the war, resulting in them putting their full magical might behind the Imperials. Everyone is tiptoeing carefully around the College, in other words, to avoid Awakening the Sleeping Giant.
     Could Karliah be Dragonborn? 
  • It seems pretty clear that Karliah does have a human ancestor somewhere, though the details aren't specific. It appears to be a relatively popular theory that Karliah is a descendant of Tiber Septim through his illegitimate child with Queen Barenziah, which would have to mean that the official story about the pregnancy having been forcibly aborted by his healer was just a cover up, and in fact not true. Dralsi Indoril seems to be singled out as a strong candidate for this theory, the idea being that she was passed off as Drayven Indoril's child to avoid a potentially dangerous conflict with the Empire. If this could be true, would this not make Karliah also a Dragonborn? And possibly a claimant to the Septim throne? Thoughts?
    • Seeing as the game (And the Elder Scrolls themselves who record both past and future history (including possible) all seem to agree that you are the Last Dragonborn, I'd say the answer is very much a no. Furthermore, Dragonborn (As in the Shout-having types) isn't something that's passed on genetically. The Dragonborn Emperors were such because of St-Alessia's compact with Akatosh (And if they counted as actual Dragonborn or merely worked because they were descended from Talos is a matter of debate).
    • Miraak was the first supposedly, but survived into the fourth era due to being trapped in Apocrypha... which was just a fluke really, but just because you're the last Dragonborn whose birth has been prophesied doesn't necessarily mean there are no others who were born before you that are still alive. It is unclear if Tiber Septim's line is the same sort of Dragonborn that you are; if it's not, then it's easily possible that Karliah could have the "dragon blood" and not be aware of it (may have been able to wear the Amulet of Kings and such, but not absorb dragon souls and Shout).
      • Except the player's race and age are flexible. There's no guarantee Karliah is older than you, when the player can make a wrinkled elderly high elf as a character.
    • Karliah cannot be Dragonborn unless Akatosh specifically chooses to make her such. The Septim bloodline only possessed the dragon "blood" due to the covenant with Akatosh, which ended when the Amulet of Kings was broken in Oblivion.
     Idgrod's visions 
  • In a world where people can live across the street from actual fireball hurling wizards, why is the idea of an old seeress so difficult to believe? Shouldn't people like Idgrod be a dime-a-dozen in Tamriel? Hell, in actual history, medieval Scandinavians would readily believe in all manner of seers and volvas with a lot less evidence to go on than the people of Skyrim.
    • Nowhere is it said that no one believes she sees visions. The closest there gets to that is one of Nords outside the town hall complaining that she relies more on her visions than on the opinions of her townsfolk, and that they need a leader instead of a mystic.
    • It's not that they don't believe her, it's that they don't trust her. Fourth-Era Nords have developed a cultural prejudice against any kind of magic (Thu'um and alchemy notwithstanding). While practitioners of magic aren't actively persecuted and are even tolerated in certain roles like court wizard, the general populace tends to get at least a bit leery whenever the subject comes up. The citizens of Morthal, being commoners of likely limited education, would naturally lump Idgrod's visions in with magic. Combine that with all the problems the town is facing, and you have a recipe for unrest.
    Potema's soul 
  • Isn't Potema a Dragonborn? The lore was pretty clear that all members of the Septim bloodline were Dragonborn, from Talos all the way down to Martin. It doesn't make much since that her soul isn't absorbed when she's defeated in the catacombs.
    • Potema was not directly part of Tiber Septim's line. She was the descendant of his brother, Agnorith. Since she wasn't a direct descendant of Tiber Septim, she didn't inherit the Dragonborn bloodline. She was technically part of the succession and did have royal blood as a descendant of the Septim family, but not being directly descended from Tiber Septim himself, she doesn't benefit from the covenant with Akatosh. In addition, the dragon blood is generally passed down to the legitimate rulers who possess the Amulet of Kings. Since Potema never had the Amulet, she wouldn't have gained the covenant with Akatosh either.
    • Okay, let's go over this one more time. The emperors (Alessian, Reman or Septim) being dragonborn has nothing to do with genealogy, and even less to do with genetics. You get to be dragonborn through providence, that is "because Akatosh says so". Alessia formed the covenant that made her dragonborn. Only those who renewed the covenant, either by relighting the dragonfires or turning into a golden dragon god, were dragonborn emperors. Potema was never empress, thus never dragonborn.
    • Related question but if her ressurrection was successful, would she still have a legitimate claim to the throne?
      • As the only legitimate living Septim, she would. Would the current Emperor or his council let her take over without a hell of a fight? Absolutely not.
      • There's also the question of whether the Empire is, legislatively, the Third or Fourth Empire, she might be able to, just be opposed because hey, Titus wants to keep his job. Or she might be no more eligible than a potential child of the Alessian or Reman Dynasties would be.
      • Considering that undeath and resurrection are things in the setting, I wouldn't be surprised if there were legal provisions against someone coming back from the dead and claiming a title. One of the reasons why geneology was considered important for claims was due to culture and perception of divine right of rule, and the culture of the Empire is staunchly hostile toward undead and necromancy, both of which were big elements of Potema's power. I suspect that if Potema did return, then the majority of the Empire wouldn't accept her as anything but an undead to be destroyed.
    Eltrys' plan 
  • So does Eltrys just hang out in front of the Silver-Blood Inn all day every day with a note asking someone to meet him in front of the Shrine of Talos, just hoping that some random outsider coincidentally shows up at the exact same time as a Forsworn attack happens, then proceed to just force that outsider to take said note, regardless of how they look or what they're wearing? Seriously, Eltrys, if that was your big plan, you got unbelievably lucky. Or maybe not, seeing as you're dead now. (Seriously though, I hated that quest.)
    • Or he was aware that the attack was about to happen and was watching the crowd during the attack, noticed a mercenary-looking outsider nearby who might be able to help, hastily scribbled a note, and handed it to you.

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