What is the Difference between Men and Mer, and do the Thalmor want to destroy the world?

Before we begin, I just like to remind everyone is my own understanding of the ideas involved and not necessarily the whole truth of the matter, although I’ll do my best to bring in other viewpoints as well where appropriate. You may have some other ideas. If so, I’d absolutely love to hear them. Please leave a comment below, and please also join the conversation on the Written in Uncertainty Discord server.

Where did they come from?

First of all, to understand what the differences between man and mer we need to understand what they are to start with or at least what they’re claiming to be. That’s that divide that fuels a lot of what will come later. The most usual understanding is that they were two different types of Ehlnofey. You have the Ehlnofey arriving on Nirn in the Anuad narrative from elsewhere (elsewhere in the sense of one of the 12 worlds and not the Khajiit province), and the Ehlnofey are themselves the descendants of the gods who created Mundus in others. Although this narrative isn’t entirely certain; the Ehlnofey get equated with the Earthbones in the Altmeri creation myth as given in The Monomyth:

Others, like Y’ffre, transformed themselves into the Ehlnofey, the Earthbones, so that the whole world might not die. Some had to marry and make children just to last. Each generation was weaker than the last, and soon there were Aldmer. Darkness caved in. Lorkhan made armies out of the weakest souls and named them Men, and they brought Sithis into every quarter.

So the term Ehlnofey represents both the laws of physics, the things that hold the world together as well as being the ancestors of the Aldmer. And you notice here that in this particular merish perspective; “Lorkhan made an army out of souls out of some of the weaker ones” implies those souls almost aren’t Ehlnofey. Or at least they’re not wanting to think of them as being Ehlnofey. There’s some sort of transformation that’s happened in what Lorkhan has done to them to make his army.

That’s the fundamental difference here, the mer claim descent from the gods and the Ehlnofey, where as the men choose what the monolith calls “the humble path” in saying that they are created by the gods. That difference is what informs a lot of the what will come after, although it’s a little confusing as to exactly what that difference is. As I’ve said already they both come from the Ehlnofey in many of these narratives, so what’s the difference here? Particularly in the Annotated Anuad there’s no sense of Lorkhan making anything out of a certain type of Ehlnofey or them being different in kind in any way; they’re just different in what they did:

A large fragment of the Ehlnofey world landed on Nirn relatively intact, and the Ehlnofey living there were the ancestors of the Mer. These Ehlnofey fortified their borders from the chaos outside, hid their pocket of calm, and attempted to live on as before. Other Ehlnofey arrived on Nirn scattered amid the confused jumble of the shattered worlds, wandering and finding each other over the years.

So according to the Anuad narrative, the Ehlnofey that form both man and ma have come from somewhere else. The Anuad says that they came from the remnants of the Twelve Worlds; the Ehlnofey and the Hist are the two types of survivors that that narrative gives, although I’m a little inclined to distrust it, because we don’t really know what the Twelve Worlds are. It also seems to contradict how the basic construction of the world came together. The Anuad has Nirn being made by the previous 12 being smacked together rather than having the laws of physics set down by the gods who gave themselves up for it, which we have in several narratives from things like Varieties of Faith, The Monomyth, and anything that mention subgradience. I know there’s one or two texts that talk about Anuiel and Sithis as  particular instances of subgradience. The Anuad seems to completely ignore that entire process of gods becoming mortals.

What is the “general merish view”?

I just wanted to clarify something before we go any further I’ve been using “merish” as a general term here and that’s probably not strictly accurate. The mer who most go along with these kinds of narratives are the Altmer, who very explicitly claim descent from the various gods, and to a lesser extent the Bosmer as well; if we go Varieties of Faith we have this quote:

Most Altmeri and Bosmeri claim direct descent from Auri-El. In his only known moment of weakness, he agreed to take his part in the creation of the mortal plane, that act which forever sundered the Elves from the spirit worlds of eternity.

So we’ve got this idea that it’s only some of the Elves that have this particular attitude. I’m going to be talking about merish attitudes in the fairly generic sense of wanting to disregard the world or thinking of the world as something bad.

The “general mannish view”

For men, the world is seen as a gift; they were made for the world as part of the world. We see this in the Cyrodilic aspect of The Monomyth:

Thus the Aedra gave free birth to the world, the beasts, and the beings, making these things from parts of themselves.

And from the Myth of the Aurbis, which is connected to the Psijic Order:

The magical beings created the races of the mortal Aurbis in their own image, either consciously as artists and craftsmen, or as the fecund rotting matter out of which the mortals sprung forth, or in a variety of other analogical senses.

This story was apparently something that was presented to Uriel V early on in his reign by Psijics who were trying to explain how Aldmeri religion worked. So it’s a bit of a halfway house in terms of how it thinks about things. You can see that in the way that it’s saying they are created in their own image or as their emerging out of the stuff of the Divine. So you’ve got that tension between descent and creation there in that particular narrative.

How do Man and Mer see Mundus?

Mer view the world as a bad idea, as a piece of trickery on the part of Lorkhan, which sundered them from what they rightfully deserved as far as they’re concerned, which
is very similar in some ways to the real world tradition of gnosticism, whereby the Godhead had various emanations, various attributes that started to coalesce and move towards the material world. One thing in gnosticism to link to this is that the Godhead,  the Supreme Being, was not what created the world. It was created by one of these emanations, the demiurge, and is used as a prison in some forms of gnosticism to keep beings of spirit in the thrall of the the demiurge.

A brief outline of how the Aeons in Gnostic Christianity fit together. A little more convoluted than the TES et’ada, but similar in some ways.

This is very close to how the merish view of Mundus comes across that they were tricked into giving up their divinity into becoming a material stuff, which is bad, which corrupts and rots and is there for something to be avoided at all costs. Although one potential irony here is that we don’t really see the same sort of asceticism that we saw with quite a few gnostic sect in our own world. In Tamriel, the biggest advocates of the idea that Mundus is a bad place that they’ve been tricked into being brought to and being part of don’t eschew material things. They are striving towards perfection in many ways they’re trying to make good on where they are. Which isn’t a traditional gnostic view, at least as far as I’m aware. If you know better than this, please feel free to correct me.

So we have this sort of odd contradiction within the Atlmer/Merish view that the world is a bad place and needs to be got rid of, and shouldn’t really have been in the first place, but they’re trying to enjoy it while they’re still here. At least for most of them are.

The Dunmer Exception, Almost Mannish

The Dunmer and the Chimer before them see Mundus as a place of challenge a place of trial, to refine you and to purge you of everything that was wrong with you, and then move you on to something beyond, which is similar to the Mannish view of Mundus as a place that you should be thankful that you have an opportunity to exist at all. And if we go by the line from The Monomyth:

Humans, with the exception of the Redguards, see this act as a divine mercy, an enlightenment whereby lesser creatures can reach immortality. Aldmer, with the exception of the Dark Elves, see this act as a cruel deception, a trick that sundered their connection to the spirit plane.

I want to go on now and discuss the exception to that, because the Dunmer have a really interesting view on what Mundus is and how it works. There’s not so much elaboration on the Mannish view, apart from the fact that the world isn’t inherently bad, but we do have one or two examples of that transcendence within mannish history, most notably Talos/Tiber Septim, but there’s an awful lot of Dunmer perspective that looks to this kind of transcendence as well. If you look at Sermon 10 of the 36 Lessons of Vivec:

We pledge ourselves to you, the Frame-maker, the Scarab: a world for us to love you in, a cloak of dirt to cherish.

That’s a reference to Lorkhan. The idea of a scarab is something that Lorkhan gets associated with in Dunmeri theology a fair amount, but this is saying, “thank you that you’ve made this world for us”. It’s not a glamorous place at all. It’s called a cloak of dirt but
It’s a place that still worthwhile and if we look at Boethiah’s role as specified in The Anticipations there’s a little bit more nuanced (emphasis mine):

Boethiah was the ancestor who illuminated the elves ages ago before the Mythic Era. He told them the truth of Lorkhan’s test, and defeated Auriel’s champion, Trinimac. Boethiah ate Trinimac and voided him. The followers of Boethiah and Trinimac rubbed the soil of Trinimac upon themselves and changed their skins.

The truth of Lorkhan’s test is the key here again, and if we want to go that little bit deeper  Changed Ones gives us some more detail:

So one day Boethiah, Prince of Plots, precocious youth, tricked Trinimac to go into his mouth. Boethiah talked like Trinimac for awhile then, and gathered enough people to listen to him. Boethiah showed them the lies of the et’Ada, the Aedra, and told them Trinimac was the biggest liar of all, saying all this with Trinimac’s voice! Boethiah told the mass before him the Tri-Angled Truth. He showed them, with Mephala, the rules of Psijic Endeavor.

The Psijic Endeavour, as we find out elsewhere is the idea of transcending mortal boundaries, of moving beyond, “returning to the first brush of Anu-Padomay”, all that good stuff. Boethiah’s philosophy here is pushing the idea that it’s a place to go to understand that you have to be tried, that you have to be pushed, and that you have to then move beyond which is fundamentally different to the way that the Altmer view things. They’re very keen to go back to the way things were before whereas Dunmer look forward they can transcend in whatever way, shape or form, and from what we can tell that that sort of perspective is what Man want as well.

The Redguard Exception, Almost Merish

The big exception to that is the red gods who are a race of man who consider very much like them that they have been tricked into being on the mortal plane, they are at the same time striving to go back to the far shores by whatever means necessary by walking at strange angles by going on the Walkabout by accepting the help of whatever gods they can to return to their place beyond the stars and it’s that’s again going back to which is contra to the typical view of man, and because they’re travelling in different directions and you’ve got that relation of what was before and what is to come as a different perspective.

How do Man and Mer see godhood?

How man and mer see the world also affects their view on godhood, the Altmer particularly consider it almost a natural right; the very word “Aedra” means “our ancestors” so you’re thinking this is what we come from this is what we can be again. The Dunmer have their own particular spin on this but it’s still quite a merish view; there’s no real objection to the tribunal as mortal gods either. There’s a very ready acceptance that you can have mer who are gods.

There’s also a line that MK posted in the Redguard Forum Madness in 1999 that ran contrary to the usual translation of Aedra or being ancestors and Daedra being not our ancestors. There was an idea that the Dunmer consider the Daedra “our stronger, better ancestors”. So you still got the same idea of descent from gods and therefore being able to be gods again, just from a different source.

We also have the view of the Psijics, which don’t make any difference between Aedra and Daedra. We have this from The Old Ways:

What, after all, is the origin of these spiritual forces that move the invisible strings of Mundus? Any neophyte of Artaeum knows that these spirits are our ancestors — and that, while living, they too were bewildered by the spirits of their ancestors, and so on back to the original Acharyai. The Daedra and gods to whom the common people turn are no more than the spirits of superior men and women whose power and passion granted them great influence in the afterworld.

I’d take the use of “men and women” here to be referring to people, by the way; the Order was founded by Altmer who didn’t like how Summerset was going, so they’re unlikely to be referring to the mannish races. However, their idea that the Aedra and Daedra are not

All of these are stark contrast to the mannish view, which sees godhood as a thing to be accomplished and fought for, something earned. Tiber Septim is celebrated for his achieving godhood, rather than just reclaiming what was his all along. And this is why the Thalmor  dislike the notion of men becoming gods; they are changing categories, in a way that mer aren’t when they become gods. One group is resuming their rightful place. The other is becoming something they never should be.

Where did Man and Mer come from?

The idea of different sources is also something that plays into more than just the ancestry debate between men and mer. It also plays into where they came from. We have various accounts saying that mer came from Aldmeris and men came from Atmora, Atmora being a big frozen continent to the north of Tamriel and Aldmeris being a nice temperate paradisical place to the south.

However, there are some little hints here and there that make the relationship between Aldmeris and Atmora very interesting; there’s the idea that they could potentially be the same place.

There’s the idea of Aldmeris being a distinct land from Tamriel and to the south of town real in the third edition Pocket Guide and elsewhere, although it’s somewhere that the Merethic elves never found. They looked for a place called Aldmeris or Old Ehlnofey, but no one has ever found it. If you look at some little snippets of text from some places, most notably for me Varieties of Faith it considers them to be the same place if you look at the description of Orkey in Varieties of Faith it describes him as:

A loan-god of the Nords, who seem to have taken up his worship during Aldmeri rule of Atmora.

And there’s accounts also in the Monomyth that also talks about Auri-El losing Atmora to the men, so now mer were present in Atmora during the Merethic era, or during the dawn era.

What is Aldmeris?

So what does that mean for its relation to Aldmeris? That’s raised all sorts of questions in the community, and there are quite a few possibilities that have come out of this. There’s the notion that Aldmeris could just be an idea. It’s the idea of a unified elven people, and
then that the people of Old Ehlnofey, whatever it may be, should be one thing and it’s a perfect place.

There are various little clues in various texts here. When you look at the 36 Lessons of Vivec, When Vivec and Nerevar travel across all of Nirn in Sermon Seventeen they don’t go south.
And when Nerevar asks Vivec what’s down there Vivec is silent on the matter,  ze never says what is were Aldmeris should be. Topal the Explorer never finds Aldermis, despite setting off and travelling everywhere from the Summerset Isles. The Anuad has a really interesting idea that Aldmeris is Tamriel. we have the quote:

The Old Ehlnofey realm, although ruined, became Tamriel. The remnants of the Wanderers were left divided on the other 3 continents.

Which in this case are Atmora, Yokuda and Akavir.

There’s also the possibility that Aldmeris is simply the idea of unified merish rule somewhere. Is it an actual place? Is it the racial purity of the Elves? Maybe; there’s all sorts of little spins on it. The most bald place where it comes across as being an idea is in the Nu-Mantia Intercept which says:

This sundering of purpose is the myth of the “destruction of Aldmeris.” Outside of the Dawn, and even then only in the dreamtime of its landscape, there was never a terrestrial homeland of the Elves. “Old Ehlnofey” is a magical ideal of mixed memories of the Dawn.

Do not believe the written histories.

All mortal life started on the starry heart of Dawn’s beauty, Tamriel.

Now there is a caveat that’s got to be added in here that that’s something that Kirkbride wrote after he left being an employee of Bethesda. He’s still written an awful lot of material for them as an independent contractor since then, but the text of the Intercept is a little questionable. If you’re fussed about canon. I think it’s a really cool idea. We’ve also got Lawrence Shik, remarking somewhere I can’t find that Aldmeris is a place, at least as far as he’s concerned, but there’s still that idea of old Maris being an idea as to why they can’t find it.

Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset does however, posit the idea that Aldmeris is something like an idea and not really a reality as such. We’ve got the text The Ubiquitous Sinking Isle which goes through Yokuda, Thras and Aldmeris and expresses them in terms of being a mythical thing, something that’s constructed by each race as a past to be. To quote from it:

Each island was the ancestral home of its resident race, and in all three cases, foes or fate destroyed the island as punishment for some act of hubris. In the case of the Redguards, foolish sword-singers sundered the Yokudan Isles with a forbidden sword stroke. The warriors of the All-Flags Navy drove the Sload and their island of Thras into the sea as punishment for the Thrassian Plague. And our forebears, the Aldmer, fled the Isle of Aldmeris to avoid some mysterious calamity—likely the result of our fall from Aedric grace.

Now, a novice historian would likely take these tales at face value. “If multiple histories say the island sank, it must have sunk!” But I entreat you to look deeper. Could it be that the “sinking island” is not a literal event, but rather, a metaphorical one?

Thras, Yokuda, and Aldmeris are much more than simple landmasses; they are societal symbols—avatars for a cultural identity lost in time. So stories about the sundering or sinking of these islands may be a trick of the light—a poet’s attempt at explaining the pain of forgotten origins. Did an entire continent drown as a result of a sword stroke? Did our ancestors travel to Summerset from a mystical half-Aedric isle? I think not. These lost islands rest at the fault-line between fact and parable. There is truth in those tales, certainly, but the true historian knows that not all truth is literal.

Now that almost seems to backup the Intercept’s account that Aldmeris is a metaphor however it kind of lumps Yokuda and Thras all together with it, so I’m a little inclined to be sceptical about the entirety of its version of the events. But it is right in thinking that Aldmeris is primarily a symbol of the singular identity of the Elves. If you think about how the Crystal Tower is constructed, it’s more or less a memorial to the Aldmer; it’s even got the graves of the first Aldmeri settlers within it, giving the notion that Summerset and Crystal-Like-Law and so on is a memorial to something else, so some shared past and shared identity. And the mourning of that loss could potentially be the sundering of Aldmeris, the separation of the merish races into different strands.

What is Atmora?

Atmora is in theory, the place where men came from but that’s questionable as well. The orthodox idea of where men came from is that they all came out of Atmora, and that the Nords of Skyrim are the first man the proto-men, however you want to put it, but we have various other things that point to this not necessarily being the case as well. The text Frontier, Conquest and Accommodation: A Social History of Cyrodiil presents this:

Historians often portray the human settlement of Tamriel as a straightforward process of military expansion of the Nords of Skyrim. In fact, human settlers occupied nearly every corner of Tamriel before Skyrim was even founded. These so-called “Nedic peoples” include the proto-Cyrodilians, the ancestors of the Bretons, the aboriginals of Hammerfell, and perhaps a now-vanished Human population of Morrowind. Strictly speaking, the Nords are simply another of these Nedic peoples, the only one that failed to find a method of peaceful accommodation with the Elves who already occupied Tamriel.

Ysgramor was certainly not the first human settler in Tamriel. In fact, in “fleeing civil war in Atmora,” as the Song of Return states, Ysgramor was following a long tradition of migration from Atmora; Tamriel had served as a “safety valve” for Atmora for centuries before Ysgramor’s arrival. Malcontents, dissidents, rebels, landless younger sons, all made the difficult crossing from Atmora to the “New World” of Tamriel. New archeological excavations date the earliest human settlements in Hammerfell, High Rock, and Cyrodiil at ME800-1000, centuries earlier than Ysgramor, even assuming that the twelve Nord “kings” prior to Harald were actual historical figures.

So we have this idea that humans may have come from Atmora in stages. We’ve also got a comment from Kurt Kuhlman that was made in character, calling the Atmoran origin of the Nedes “The usual Imperial arrogance. The hoary old “Out of Atmora” theory has been widely discredited (no reputable archaeologist would publicly support it these days), but the Imperial Geographers continue to beat the drum of the Nordic Fatherland in the best tradition of the Septim Empire.”

So we’ve also got that dispute in terms of where men come from as well. You’ve got some saying they come from Atmora you’ve got the account in the Anuad saying that they were scattered across all of the other continents. You’ve also got the idea that everything started in Tamriel, so men also started in Tamriel. it’s quite messy in terms of where they possibly come from and there’s no concrete answer to that that I’m that I’m aware of at this stage. It’s just that the idea of a unified Manish expansion from Skyrim onwards is probably rubbish.
that the race various races of men have common spread out from Tamriel, either from Atmora, or from wherever else they were originally created or descended from the gods whichever way you want to spin it and spread throughout Tamriel that way. The Anuad has it rather interestingly, that they were scattered everywhere and have steadily gravitated back towards Tamriel. You’ve had the ones from Yokuda, the ones from Atmore and the ones from Akavir that were all scattered and displaced from the ruin of the Twelve Worlds.

Atmora/Aldemeris Symmetry

And you’ve also got an idea that the fan communities have come up with and Michael Kirkbride has vaguely supported that the idea of Atmora being something else entirely, and consequently Aldmeris as being something else as well. They almost seem, in these sorts of theories, to be positioned as mirror images of each other. The idea of Atmora of being a frozen place, described in the 36 lessons as “a place of frozen bearded kings”, and even the accounts in the Pocket Guide to the Empire say that the places cooling and becoming inhospitable, because there’s so much cold and ice and everything else that everyone was steadily fleeing Atmora to Tamriel. There’s various theories that have pulled this together is saying it’s becoming frozen. But is it becoming frozen because it’s cold? Or because there’s no time there anymore.

It’s an interesting little leap. I really liked the conceptual idea of Atmora of being a space that simply run out of time, and everything that that implies. Aldmeris, in this sort of theory, has been pitched as being time without space. Which makes sense, if Aldmeris is an idea. It’s simply something that exists in the mind. It doesn’t have any physical representation, ergo no space. It’s a really, really appealing symmetry. But there’s not an awful lot to back this specific interpretation. I like a lot. I think that you can spin certain texts to suggest that it is the case but it’s not got a lot of explicit evidence for it in this particular case.

So, do the Thalmor want to destroy the world?

Does this look like a herald of the apocalypse to you?

And so, if Aldmeris is an idea, we can segue from that into the notion of the Thalmor wanting to destroy the world. If we think about the way that political movements in general, ideological movements in general, tend to treat the past, it’s generally through very rose-tinted glasses. Look at movements like the Nazis, to go for the obvious comparison to the Thalmor, but also modern Islamist movements. They do very, very similar things to the past and how they conceptualise it. These sorts of groups look back to an ideal that there’s this perfect German past or family in existence of strong Aryan people in the same way that there’s one unified Islamic Ummah according to the jihadists who are striving to try and create that thing by force and recreate a perfect idea of their ideal state.

In both cases you’ve got very very idealistic people trying to recreate a past that was very probably imaginary, which is an interesting little parallel to look at in terms of what the Thalmor are trying to do in the Fourth Era. They are looking at the past and saying the mer should be dominant over Tamriel and maybe other things as well (which I’ll get to in a second), and in so doing going along with the idea of Aldmeris. I can’t find where it is, but I’m sure I remember reading somewhere that there’s a text that references the idea of Aldmeris as a unified merish existence and homeland is a thing that’s come up every so often throughout Tamriel’s history as a reason for conquest.

So, to the explicit idea of the Thalmor wanting to unmake Mundus. This idea comes from a forum post which Michael Kirkbride made some years ago, that is entitled An Altmeri Commentary on Talos:

To kill Man is to reach Heaven, from where we came before the Doom Drum’s iniquity. When we accomplish this, we can escape the mockery and long shame of the Material Prison.

To achieve this goal, we must:

1) Erase the Upstart Talos from the mythic. His presence fortifies the Wheel of the Convention, and binds our souls to this plane.

2) Remove Man not just from the world, but from the Pattern of Possibility, so that the very idea of them can be forgotten and thereby never again repeated.

3) With Talos and the Sons of Talos removed, the Dragon will become ours to unbind. The world of mortals will be over. The Dragon will uncoil his hold on the stagnancy of linear time and move as Free Serpent again, moving through the Aether without measure or burden, spilling time along the innumerable roads we once travelled. And with that we will regain the mantle of the imperishable spirit.

Now there’s there’s an awful lot here, which chimes with what we were talking earlier about gnosticism, the idea of the material world being a prison for beings of pure spirit who are being kept in the material world against their will buy a malevolent creator. However, the focus on Talos rather than Lorkhan is kind of interesting. It’s looking at Talos as the thing that’s “fortifying the Wheel of Convention”, which I’ll get to in a second, but first I want to address why I think this isn’t necessarily an indication that the Thalmor want to destroy the world.

Firstly it’s pitched as an “Altmeri” commentary on Talos; it’s not a Thalmor commentary, it’s not attached to anyone within the administration of the Aldmeri Dominion, so it’s entirely possible from my perspective that this particular text is some xenophobic hermit mystic, some Altmer who is locked up in his tower and creating crackpt ideas and that this has been found by someone.

It could be that it could very well be the goal of the Thalmor, but we have no real indication of that from the text and it also runs counter to the suggestion of Thalmor goals as stated in The Infernal City. I talked about that particular one in last time’s cast when I talked about the Towers. The takeaway here is that the Thalmor are trying to establish a new Merethic Era is roughly the words that get used. The key is the idea of establishing merish dominion over Tamriel, it’s not necessary to wipe the world out.

Is Talos Convention 2.0? What does that even mean?

There’s also other little nuggets here, which I want to dig into a little. If we’re thinking about this as the goal of the Aldmeri Dominion, then why does Talos even matter? Why is he fortifying the wheel of convention? Talos was a man who became a god, but he was not at Convention itself. This is mostly taking from some conversations that happened around Talos as Convention 2.0, achieved through mantling Lorkhan. There’s an /r/teslore post by lilrhys that goes into this in quite some detail. The key part of it is that if The Arcturian Heresy is true, then Tiber Septim recreates Convention in everything that happens around the creation of the Mantella, someone gets their heart ripped out, there is betrayal, there is a new world and new gods being created and so on and so forth. Within that we have a mini-Convention and everyone who is involved in that get sucked into the Talos oversoul.

So Talos is not one but three, which I will go into more detail in a future cast, but in that reenactment of the Convention he contains within himself all the actual aspects of Convention and as such acts as a reiteration of Convention, and what that it means. The general consensus as to how Talos (Hjalti Early-Beard, Zurin Arctus and Ysmir Wulfharth achieved divinity is through mantling Lorkhan through imitating Lorkhan. I will try not go into it into any more detail because it really deserves its own cast. But from that kind of idea, he’s got all of the pieces of Convention and can therefore replace it in a way, can step into the missing God’s place, and reinforce the idea of the material world as something that is created as a place to create things to strive for. That is an idea you also have in the more idealistic portrayals of Tiber Septim, his dream of a unified Tamriel and such like.

And so that’s why we can see Talos being Convention, 2.0 and reinstating the general Mannish view that the material world is a good thing and needs to hang around for as many people to try and achieve divinity or happiness or whatever, in the time that it’s around. Contrary to the Merish view that it shouldn’t exist, that it was bad idea, and that it potentially that it needs to be got rid of. The idea of the Thalmor trying to destroy the world doesn’t necessarily have that much credence, but it certainly fits very well with what we understand as the general merish perspective on the material world and their relation to it.

That’s about it for this cast. If you’ve enjoyed this please subscribe on your favorite podcast catcher, join the conversation at the Written in Uncertainty Discord, or leave a comment below, and join us next time.

We’ve talked a lot in this episode about the structure of the world in the Elder Scrolls how it may have been cobbled together and in the last part about the Wheel of Convention. There was some talk in that last quote about “unblinding the dragon”, which is actually something that’s happened quite a few times within Tamriel’s history with huge amounts of consequences that have shaken up the world. Join us next time when we ask how do dragon breaks work. Until then, this podcast remains a letter written in uncertainty.

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