Elder Scrolls Lore » Discussions


Lore Discussion: Gauldur's Race

Tags: #nord  #Breton 
  • July 1

    So, I've been doing research into Gauldur and his three sons Jyrik, Sigdis, and Mikrul. Whilest doing so, I stumbled across something interesting. Gauldur is a Breton, not a Nord. I believe we found out this by going into the code, where he is listed as a Breton.

    This is especially interesting seeing as his sons are all Nords. This is shown by three points of fact. The first are their names which are Nordic. The Second is Sigdis and Mikrul's weapons are Ancient Nordic in design. The third is that they are listed as Draugr, which if you look at the technical definition is the following.

    Draugr are undead Nordic warriors of Skyrim.

    -ElderScrolls Wikia

    So, Gauldur is a Breton in First Era Skyrim. His sons however are Nords. This is possible if Gauldur was married or at least involved with a female Nord. This may indeed be the case, but there is also the chance that he was just mislabeled in the programming. Consider also the fact that Gauldur's amulet is an Ancient Nord Amulet in style (others would include Kyne's Token and the Saarthal Amulet), as well as he is one of the earliest named arch-mages in Skyrim's history.

    In terms of evidence of Gauldur's....Bretonhood? He is found in the Reach whereas his sons are found in Nordic crypts, which could suggest the Breton-Nord relationship.

    So, what do you guys think? Anything in Lore that I missed that shows definitively either way? Do you think that he married a Nord or do you think he was mislabeled?

     

    (Note: This discussion was first posted in the Forum, because I was unsure if it fit here. I was told to move it here. ;))

  • Member
    July 4

    RuinedCrown said:

    (Note: This discussion was first posted in the Forum, because I was unsure if it fit here. I was told to move it here. ;))

    Glad to see it here then Crown. Thanks!

    As to the race of Gauldur... I don't know. A possible perspective could be to look into when people started seeing Bretons as an entirely different race instead of small Nords/Nedes with strong magical capabilities, if anything his name does sound distinctly nordic as well.

    Another possibility is that he was born to a Breton mother (most likely from the Reach for that time period) and a Nord father. He would technically be a Breton but inherit a few physical traits (blond or red hair and a paler skin for example) as well as a name from his father, so for all intents and purpuses he could look like a Nord and be raised like a Nord but have the magical capabilities and the short stature of a Breton for example. Another thing to keep in mind if you want to look more at his ancestry is that he was probably born to a family with a high social status. In the first era, most magic practioners followed Shalidor's idea of magics being for the elite and the scholarly. The idea of allowing everyone to tap into their magical potential only came much later; after Galerion and his mages guild. Long story short; Gauldur was probably nobility.This may have been retconned by ESO, I'm not sure.

    As to the sons...

    I'll be honest and direct here: I don't think they are necessarily Nords either. Technically a Draugr is an undead humanoid whose corpse underwent ancient Nordic Funeral preparations (pseudo-mummification) and burial rituals. I will agree that most of them are undoubtedly Nords or Proto-Nordic atmorans (depending on the tomb), but I wouldn't be surprised if there's the odd Nede, Breton or even well respected Falmer in there (the latter is extremely unlikely but possible: Henantier probably hangs around in Ysgramor's tomb too). The possibility that they were racially Bretons but culturally Nordic is quite big here.

    Regardless if they had a Nord mother the whole point is moot anyway because they would then automatically be Nords.

    On an entirely different note: keep an eye out for discussions I might post this Summer/Winter (whatever hemisphere floats your boat), there's an interesting tidbit about Gauldur I would like to revisit at a later date. His artefact is very peculiar and while at first sight it doesn't look like something you would start what looked like a short lived civil war over it; in truth I believe the thing is far more powerful than meets the eye. Or at least its creator was.

  • July 4

    Teineeva said:

    As to the race of Gauldur... I don't know. A possible perspective could be to look into when people started seeing Bretons as an entirely different race instead of small Nords/Nedes with strong magical capabilities, if anything his name does sound distinctly nordic as well.

     Another thing to keep in mind if you want to look more at his ancestry is that he was probably born to a family with a high social status. In the first era, most magic practioners followed Shalidor's idea of magics being for the elite and the scholarly...Gauldur was probably nobility.

    I'm not sure if this would change anything, but Gauldur was the Arch-mage well before Shalidor (I think. There isn't really a strong time-line for the college). It is very hard to tell when Bretons became more than just the love-slaves of the High Rock Elves. I actually really like the thought that Gauldur had a Breton mother and a Nordic father. This is perhaps the more simple answer but it also creates the mirror-image for his sons, if indeed he bred with a Nord.

    As to the sons...

    I'll be honest and direct here: I don't think they are necessarily Nords either. Technically a Draugr is an undead humanoid whose corpse underwent ancient Nordic Funeral preparations (pseudo-mummification) and burial rituals. I will agree that most of them are undoubtedly Nords or Proto-Nordic atmorans (depending on the tomb), but I wouldn't be surprised if there's the odd Nede, Breton or even well respected Falmer in there (the latter is extremely unlikely but possible: Henantier probably hangs around in Ysgramor's tomb too). The possibility that they were racially Bretons but culturally Nordic is quite big here. 

    I was just taking from the Elder Scrolls Wikia main page. The draugr point was weak as to them being Nords. I do think that there is some evidence of them being Nords being lent to the weapons they use. Though the Nordic grandfather, or mother, or culture could explain that away. I have always been really interested in this family even before I noticed the fact that they may not have been Nords. Their weapons and artifacts have always been and will continue to be Nordic artifacts just like Eduj, Okin, Helm of Yngol, Jagged Crown, and Wuuthrad.

    Finally, if these warriors and mages are not Nords, but rather Bretons then that raises the questions about whether they would've been discriminated against being half-mer. Taking some creative freedom, then that could be why the sons were so power hungry. They were trying to prove themselves in a Nordic culture that was against mer (and, if they were Bretons, at least wary of man-mer), because of the sins of the Ancient Snow Elves. Interesting, regardless.

     

  • Member
    July 5

    While it is certainly possible that they were indeed discriminated against and that this is the reason behind their hunger for power. I find it odd at the very least. As I mentioned before Galerion and his guild, magic was practiced only by the elite and those with great inborn talent. I would find it odd for Nords to not only allow them to learn magic but also for Gauldur to be a Breton Archmage of the College of Winterhold if Bretons weren't seen as fellow humans.

    I wonder if there's any information on second era relations between the Nords and the Reachmen. That could at least solve that issue.

    If Bretons were discriminated against I would rather think Gauldur must have been the victim of it rather than his sons, would paint him in a very interesting picture as well: the perfect example of rising above the general expectations.

  • Member
    July 16

    Teineeva said:

    RuinedCrown said:

    (Note: This discussion was first posted in the Forum, because I was unsure if it fit here. I was told to move it here. ;))

    Glad to see it here then Crown. Thanks!

    As to the race of Gauldur... I don't know. A possible perspective could be to look into when people started seeing Bretons as an entirely different race instead of small Nords/Nedes with strong magical capabilities, if anything his name does sound distinctly nordic as well.

    Another possibility is that he was born to a Breton mother (most likely from the Reach for that time period) and a Nord father. He would technically be a Breton but inherit a few physical traits (blond or red hair and a paler skin for example) as well as a name from his father, so for all intents and purpuses he could look like a Nord and be raised like a Nord but have the magical capabilities and the short stature of a Breton for example. Another thing to keep in mind if you want to look more at his ancestry is that he was probably born to a family with a high social status. In the first era, most magic practioners followed Shalidor's idea of magics being for the elite and the scholarly. The idea of allowing everyone to tap into their magical potential only came much later; after Galerion and his mages guild. Long story short; Gauldur was probably nobility.This may have been retconned by ESO, I'm not sure.

    As to the sons...

    I'll be honest and direct here: I don't think they are necessarily Nords either. Technically a Draugr is an undead humanoid whose corpse underwent ancient Nordic Funeral preparations (pseudo-mummification) and burial rituals. I will agree that most of them are undoubtedly Nords or Proto-Nordic atmorans (depending on the tomb), but I wouldn't be surprised if there's the odd Nede, Breton or even well respected Falmer in there (the latter is extremely unlikely but possible: Henantier probably hangs around in Ysgramor's tomb too). The possibility that they were racially Bretons but culturally Nordic is quite big here.

    Regardless if they had a Nord mother the whole point is moot anyway because they would then automatically be Nords.

    On an entirely different note: keep an eye out for discussions I might post this Summer/Winter (whatever hemisphere floats your boat), there's an interesting tidbit about Gauldur I would like to revisit at a later date. His artefact is very peculiar and while at first sight it doesn't look like something you would start what looked like a short lived civil war over it; in truth I believe the thing is far more powerful than meets the eye. Or at least its creator was.

    Heck, the Nords respectdd the Snow Prince's badassery enough to give him a tomb and draugr

  • July 18

    Gauldur lived in a time before the College of Winterhold, at least according to the historical accounts we have of the founding.  Also of note, Geirmund is listed in his epitaph as specifically:

    Archmage of Windhelm
    Lord Battlemage to King Harald

    While we can't verify that the two were Archmages simultaneously, it does raise an interesting question as to what the title meant back then.  It's certainly possible that the two had different jurisdictions.

  • July 18

    Uhh, Gauldur' is labeled as a member of the CoW in the rank of Arch-mage in the code. Whether or not this is Lore-friendly may be a different conversation. Geirmund can be the Archmage of a hold while Gauldur is the Archmage of somewhere else. Arch-mage just means the head mage or the first age. Like archangels versus angels.