With a game as expansive and in-depth as those of the Skyrim series, there is a lot of room for the developers to create dynamic characters, unique areas with their own legends, and comprehensive in-universe lore to explain everything that ever has and ever will happen within the worlds that the series takes place. However, that does not mean that every single hole will be closed. Nor that the fans of the series won’t be able to find new holes that appeared closed at first glance or even create holes of their own.
Any and every piece of media ever created is bound to attract fans and once attracted, those fans will spend their time finding and filling plot holes, scouring the media of their choice for inconsistencies, and creating theories that tie each and every element together with a perfect little bow.
The fan theories that I will be examining in this article will attempt to solve the unsolved mysteries of the Elder Scrolls games, uncover the backstories behind certain characters and areas, and connect the dots between characters and their origins. Some of these theories will provide different angles to the same issue and some might completely contradict each other. But that is the fun about theorizing about a piece of favored media, everyone can either make up their own theory or simply pick the one that they like best.
So, without further ado, allow me to present you, the people of the internet, 25 fan theories about the Elder Scrolls.
25 Dragonborn Was Forged By Gods
This theory offers another explanation of the origin and history of the main character. This one sort of exists as a bit of a middle ground between the established and aforementioned theories. This theory states that the gods forged the Dragonborn. That they were crafted by the hands of the deities of the world and were unleashed upon it when they were completed. And though this would make them mortal, it would also give them the connection to the Gods that the players seem to want to establish.
24 Elder Scrolls And Fallout Are Connected
Okay, so this theory is exceptionally far fetched and not one that I personally believe. But bear with me because it is fascinating. Some players believe that Fallout and The Elder Scrolls occur in the same universe but that, get this, Fallout came first. These players do not buy that The Elder Scrolls aligns with our medieval period but rather that they exist in a time long after the events of Fallout, when society had finally begun to truly rebuild itself. No longer scavengers and scorched Earth but rather thriving citizens of the new world.
23 Elder Scrolls Multiverse Theory
Is a series really a truly good, well thought out, and established series if its fan theories do not include a minimum of one multiverse theory? This multiverse theory attempts to explain the fact that the Elder Scrolls, which are scattered throughout the world, exist as tangible and accessible records of all of the possibilities which can be contained within each and every parallel universe in existence. It might be nice to get a hold of one of those when debating a major real-life decision in order to see how each path works out.
22 The Thalmor Want To Destroy The Pillars
What does Thalmor want? Well, it could be anything. But this theory which originated from internet gaming forums attempts to explain their motivations. This theory states that Thalmor is attempting to knock out the pillars that are holding up the world. Now, I have absolutely no idea why anyone would want to do something like that as that sounds incredibly reckless, dangerous, and dumb but to each their own, I guess. I do have to say that that sounds like an incredibly daft plan.
21 The Tragic Fate of Lydia
Some players have found themselves exceptionally frustrated with Lydia and her memory (or lack thereof). So frustrated, in fact, that they’ve attempted to figure out exactly what lead to her being in such a state. One theory states that someone tried to wipe her memory at one point but did a terrible job… or a very good job as her ability to process and retain information was relatively destroyed in the process. Whether or not this is true, this character has somehow found the balance between being a figure of pity and annoyance.
20 The Dwemer Will Rise
What exactly happened to the Dwemer and are they actually extinct? According to these commonly spread theories which have been floating around the interwebs as of late, no they are not extinct. Some believe that they are hidden deep within the mines that they forced the elves to build. Others say that they fled entirely. And others even believe that they have found a way to hide in plain sight. I am not sure how I feel about these creatures nor the possibility that they still may be kicking.
19 The Mora is Our Friend
Now, this theory piggybacks off of an earlier theory. So I hope that you have been paying attention. First off, we have to establish the fact that, in order for this theory to work, we need to consider the main character as an evil figure. Once that has been achieved, we can move on to the next two steps of the theory. Step two: The Mora is our evil little friend. Step three: the anonymous letters from a friend that we receive throughout the game are from the Mora.
18 The Dragonborn Orchestrated Everything
There is a rather popular theory floating around the interwebs that states that all of the events of the opening sequence of the game were staged or rather “set up” by none other than the Dragonborn themselves. Why would they do such a thing? I haven’t the faintest idea. Some suggest that it is indicative of the character's penchant for all things evil while others simply believe that it was all done in good fun. I don’t know about you but nothing about that was fun. It was stressful and anxiety-inducing.
17 The Dwemer Blinded The Elves
All of the elves that worked in the Dwemer-run caves are blind, but why is that? Some believe that they were simply born that way. Others believe that it was a product of living in the mines for so long. Whilst others believe that something a bit more sinister was happening. These people believe that the Dwemer purposefully blinded each and every one of them so that they would never see the realities hidden deep within those caves/mines.
16 Are We The Villain?
Some players took the main character's toying with morality to heart and began to question whether or not we were that good of a person after all. Though it is common for the main character/playable characters in a game to be good people who do the right thing (unless the player has something different in mind), not every game follows his pattern. Some believe that the main character of this game is actually the villain of the game and that we are not as pious as we would like to believe.
15 The Dragonborn Is A True God
Though it is important to say that not everyone agrees with this theory. Some people even believe that the main character is not mortal at all – therefore mortal ideas of morality should not apply to them whatsoever. These people believe that the main character is a god that has descended on the world in which the game is centered around. Now, there is a bit of debate on whether they are here to help, hinder, or have a good time. But since they are a god, morality kind of goes out the window.
14 Never Trust A Dragon
This theory states that the dragon who sits atop the Throat of the World is actually a super evil and villainous character. Due to his backstory including him decimating humanity and his constant need to remind us to never trust a dragon, some players have begun to wonder whether he has truly turned his back on his own kind. Maybe he is just being honest and wants to teach mankind how to fight back...or maybe he just wants his next siege to be a bit more challenging.
13 Titus Set Everything Up
Do you, the good people of the internet, remember Titus? The emperor whose defeat caused him to sully his reputation past the point of repair? Well, some people believe that the hired attempt on his life was orchestrated by Titus himself in order to save face. Look, he was old. He was tired. And there was no way that he was going to save his reputation on his own during his remaining years. But a politically disguised end to one’s life would make him a martyr, a sympathetic creature, and not someone you could so easily blame.
12 The Game Is The Elder Scrolls
Okay, so this may sound a bit weird but bear with me. There is a theory that states that the game itself is the real-life version of the Elder Scrolls. Let me explain. This theory states that the game itself is an interactive version of one of the many scrolls which can be found throughout the worlds that act as an anthology of the worlds’ lore. These scrolls hold powerful legends and stories about the world in which the game is set and the idea of playing through one in a “choose your own adventure” type way is very exciting.
11 The Bug Jars Might Have A Purpose
Ah, the bug jars. These objects have confused players for eons. Do they have a purpose? Will a purpose eventually be patched in? Or are they meant to be just another object within the game to add a bit of realism to the world? Well, one of the current most accepted theories on the matter is that a special and game-changing use for these infamously vexing bug jars will eventually be patched into either current or future versions of the game. Many think this purpose will be explosive.
10 What Happened in Rorikstead?
Okay, so we know that something happened in Rorikstead and it was bad. And whatever that something was, it may or may not have included the Daedra. But what happened? Some theories state that the land was wiped in order to get rid of the Daedra who lived there, once and for all. Others claim that the Daedra found the land after the event had already occurred. But one thing is for sure, that place is absolutely spooky as all heck and I will never set foot there again.
9 Tribunal Propaganda
This theory is a bit of a fun one. This theory states that all of the lore that we learn about the world whilst playing the game is actually nothing more than propaganda created by the tribunal, for the tribunal. This propaganda was meant to manipulate both the player and the in-game citizens into siding with the proper side. However, I am not 100% convinced on this front. Either way, it is a fascinating theory. It is important to always question your sources and ask yourself whether or not you can trust your narrator.
8 Cults Helping The Post-Apocalypse World
Though we will delve into greater detail on this theory a bit later into this article, there is a theory that states that the world in which this game occurs is a post-apocalyptic one. The theory that I am going to discuss at present is the one that states that the absurd amount of cults that exists within the world are simply the survivors lasting attempts to rebuild society and to find something to believe in when one has nothing. Granted, I am not sure if I buy this theory but that would explain why there are just so many.
7 Keep An Eye on Hogni
According to this theory, Hogni is a very bad man and though he can be trusted (to a certain extent) one should never purposefully anger or wrong him for one might end up shish-kabobed – and that is putting it in the most pleasant way possible. Fans spotted several things amiss with our interactions with him. From his unpleasant obsessions and the organizations he is a member of to the nature of his job in the first place, many players have deduced that he may have a flair for ending someone’s life.
6 The Daedra Of Rorikstead
Delving a bit further into the Daedra specific theories, there are several attempts at explaining what their role in Rorikstead has been. Some theories just involve casual odd and occasionally dark magic; however, some theories go beyond that. One theory states that the Daedra moved into town and began using the women of the town as offerings for their special meetings. They convinced the people to go along with it and what we have been left with is a spooky nightmare.
5 Abandon The Companions
There was a theory that attempts to explain the reason why the Companions are so few in number. Essentially, they were once an impressive and incredibly large group based upon commonalities and similar thoughts/beliefs. However, when those beliefs narrowed down to the obsession with going full beast mode and turning into creatures of the moon, many were not down for that way of life and had to bail. That caused their numbers to dwindle severely which only made those committed to the cause so much more into it.
4 Elder Scrolls Focuses On The Grey Areas
In most choice-based games, it is incredibly easy to decipher which choice is the morally upright one and which is the morally questionable one. And it is usually pretty easy to pick one exclusively throughout the game. However, this game does not make it so easy and often tests the boundaries of morality entirely. Some players believe that this was done intentionally in order to focus on the grey areas of life and morality. I think that we can all be a little guilty of “black and white thinking.”
3 Sheogorath and Dragonborn Are One In The Same
Now, this theory has, more or less, been confirmed by the games itself but some people still feel like it is up for debate. This theory states that the main character from the Elder Scroll games and the character of Sheogorath from the Oblivion games are, in fact, the same character. This theory can be improved upon when combined with one of the aforementioned Dragonborn origin theories. Personally, I think it adds a lot more depth and excitement to the Oblivion character if one considers them crafted by the gods… or even a deity themselves.
2 What Is The M'aiq?
Okay, I know that fantasy series has ridiculous age/life spans but I have some serious questions about M’aiq. This character has been around for an exceptionally long time and it truly goes beyond the level of suspensions of disbelief that I am able to afford a game. So what is their deal? Some theories explain that the character is an adept time traveler that is always there to help a friend in need. While others claim that the character has long since passed and we are simply interacting with their spirit form after their lifespan reached an end.
1 Silver Hand Branched Off From The Companions
This theory states that the anti-supernatural zealots, who call themselves “Silver Hand” were originally members of the Companions but branched off/defected when they became obsessed with becoming creatures of the night themselves. This theory makes sense as it could be the reason behind the fervor that pushes their anti-supernatural nature. Perhaps what they saw happen in the Companions was such an abomination that they decided to form their own little club in order to put a stop to it.