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Examining Jurgen Windcaller

  • Member
    October 26, 2014

    Understanding Jurgen Windcaller

    and his "Way of the Voice"

    Something has always bothered me about the tomb of Jurgen Windcaller, and it ties into a few popular TES mysteries. This thread will be for discussing and inferring about this, the "first Greybeard" and some of the unknown history surrounding him.

    My own personal interest is related to the some the myths associated with the Dragon Cult, which itself can be discussed more thoroughly here. The issue in question is this: The origins of Skyrim's draugr are often attributed to ancient servants of the dragon priests, or maybe just adherents to the Cult, who were cursed(whether for choosing to serve the dragons over their fellow men, or to serve the Dragon Priests eternally is not clear).

    Why, then, would the founder of the Greybeards be interred in a draugr infested tomb? It is not suggested that he is Dragonborn, but it is stated that he was a great war leader, and of course, a master of the Voice.

    So is it possible that Jurgen served the dragons, even as one of their priests (who are likewise entombed in ruins filled with draugr attendants)? How would this be reconciled with the Way of the Voice? Could it explain the Greybeards' relative apathy towards the threat of Alduin? 

    If this were true, it would lend disturbing weight to the notion that Paarthurnax's path after the end of the game could lead to the rise of something not unlike the ancient Dragon Cult.

    Thoughts and tangents? I'll try to make links to new ideas below.

  • Member
    October 26, 2014

    Very nice Borom!

    The draugr and daedric runes are a mystery as far as I know, which is great because it allows so much room for the imagination to fill in the gaps.

    We know from Amongst the Draugr that the purpose of the draugr in dragon priest tombs is to replenish the life force of the entombed priest, the Dragon Cult version of eternal life. The fact we see Jurgen in Sovngarde implies that transfer of life forces was not the purpose of the draugr.

    Also, seeing him in Sovngarde also implies that Jurgen legitimately followed The Way of the Voice and was a believer in the Nordic religious viewpoint (I wonder if this religious difference on the nature of the afterlife was a contributing factor in the Dragon War?)

    So I think the presence of the draugr is to protect the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller. It seems that because we get given a soul when we return to the tomb, but realize later that it's not Windcaller's, that the horn could be a literal Wind Caller.

    In other works, such as the Story of Aevar Stone-Singer and Nordic creation myths, wind can be interpreted as a metaphor for souls. So following that line of thought, the horn is a soul summoner, very useful for Dragonborn. Maybe Jurgen was not just the first Greybeard but also a Dragonborn?

    Now, the daedric runes on Jurgen's tomb could be questioned in relation to that hypothesis. Could the Horn be a gift from a daedric prince known to be a collector of Dragonborn? Could Herma Mora have his tentacles in this pie too?

    If so, I propose that the whole Way of the Voice is a perversion and not what the Greybeards believe it to be. I don't know what Hermaeus' goals are but Skyrim's most powerful weapons have been silent since the First Era.

  • Member
    October 26, 2014

    Good thoughts Ben, nice to see you in this part of the blog! The snag is that the puzzle doors and traps were designed to keep the draugr in, meaning that they would have had to have been sealed/interred before the doors were closed for the last time after construction.

  • Member
    October 26, 2014

    Or are the traps, puzzle doors and draugr all a form of protection against grave robbers and the like?

  • Member
    October 26, 2014

    You can jump in anytime regardless Ben, as can anyone else

    You're right, the dungeon is unique so we cannot rule out your hypothesis of there being a later infestation in some parts of the dungeon.

    I like those monoliths. They are very stylized and I can't remember seeing them anywhere else. They kind of remind me of the stylized statues adorning Miraak's Temple but that could be my biased opinion forcing a connection.

  • Member
    October 26, 2014

    In this case that is my belief - there to guard the horn.

  • Member
    October 26, 2014

     Maybe not but it reminds us all not to take things too seriously, something lore guys need on occasion.

  • Member
    October 26, 2014

    If the Mora is connected to the Draugr then he would have been influencing the burials of nedes/nords for centuries before Jurgen time as they can be found in tombs that out date that of Jurgen; Ysgramor's for example and even the ancient city of Saarthal. 

  • Member
    October 26, 2014

    I think Mora's involvement is quite isolated, if indeed the draugr are there to protect the Horn.

    We know from Amongst the Draugr that eternal life was promised to the Priesthood of the Dragon Cult and this is where the practice of entombing started.

    It was here that I finally understood the dragon cult's notion of resurrection. The second eternal life was only promised to those who ascended to the priesthood, but the lesser functionaries contributed their life force to sustaining them for eternity.

    I proposed that the Late Merethic Era which saw the introduction of Sovngarde as a concept encompassed such a long span of time that the Dragon Cult was already in existence before this idea took root.

    According to the ancient writings and oral traditions of the Nords, going back as far as the Late Merethic Era, there exists a place so magnificent, so honored, that the entrance lies hidden from view. Sovngarde, it is called...

    So before, during and after the Dragon War, maybe the use of burial mounds died out as it no longer mattered where a person died or was buried, but rather how they died.

  • Member
    October 26, 2014
    You and you're darned Herma-Mora theory!! Haha! It's the most likely of reasons for the Daedric Runes but I just don't see Jorgen siding with Herm. Those statues are dragons aren't they..? The dragons symbolically rise when you enter the chamber, ushering in the new "soulcaller" aka Dragonborn.