Elder Scrolls Lore » Discussions

Fate of the Falmer

  • Member
    July 2, 2014

    Disclaimer: This is an article of our former member, renown Loremaster Vix, acknowledged by Bethesda themselves. It ended up being deleted and I'm merely reposting it.

    The Falmer, commonly known as Snow Elves, have always been one of those interesting 'missing' races. Now that they've reappeared there seems to be some disappointment revolving around their goblinoid look. Perhaps there's something behind this. So, what happened to the Falmer? Why are they essentially blue goblins? The truth is a little disturbing that I think we had taken it for.

    Fall of the Falmer:
    We know about the Nord Empire's expansion which pushed the Falmer to the precipice of destruction. One of the final battles was near the Moesring Mountains in Solstheim where, following the death of their leader the Snow Prince, the elves were scattered as an effective resistance. This occurred some time between 1 E 240 and 1E 369. Solstheim was the last bastion meaning the Snow Elves were defeated on the mainland prior to this.

    The Snow Elves were driven out of Skyrim, not towards the outer reaches of society like the Ayleids, rather they descended under ground. At Alftand they met the Dwemer who took them. The Falmer were initially treated as guests; they were fed and protected yet the Dwemer didn't trust the Falmer. They decided to solve the problem of security and further themselves at the same time through an insidious scheme. The food given to the Falmer was laced with toxic luminescent fungi which caused blindness and chemical dependency. Thus the Dwemer enslaved the Falmer.

    Rebellion and the War of the Crag:
    They remained slaves for many generations before finally rebelling against the Dwemer. Instead of returning to the surface they headed down, into hidden fissures and seclusion in the deepest pits of Blackreach. It was beyond the Dwemer's usual homelands and more over it was close to their principle source of food.

    While the Falmer had escaped the Dwemer's direct rule they were still at war with the Dwarves. It became known as the War of the Crag and lasted for a lengthy period of time. The book Falmer: A Study related it as “Decades upon decades”. More accurately the war lasted until the Falmer attacked and found the Dwemer had vanished, which of course synchronizes with the battle of Red Mountain around 1E 700. Thus it is a period of approximately 400 years which changed the Falmer irrevocably.

    The Falmer Now:
    The Falmer had changed in other ways as well. The war with the Dwarves had made them militaristic, bestial, and vicious which when coupled with their percieved victory over the Dwarves had made them far more confident. It's unknown just how advanced they might be. On one hand, they raise the insect Chaurus for their chitin which is used to construct almost everything in Falmer society; on the other, books like
    Ghosts in the Storm suggests the Falmer preferred the scavenged equipment from victims in their raid. It could simply be the Chaurus husbandry was derived from necessity in fighting the Dwemer rather than preference.

    Raids are frequent and mentioned in almost every source that has listed Falmer since Fall of the Snow Prince. These raids occur mostly at night (Ghosts in the Storm, Story of Aevar Stone-Singer, notes found in Skyrim gameplay), and mostly have been directed from forest copses which may be a common tactic employed to avoid connections being drawn to their lairs. I digress, such raids occur frequently yet not all lead to slaughter. Many individuals are captured: some are fed to the Chaurus, others are forced into slavery and conditioned into a fanatical work force.


    Whatever the case the Falmer are portrayed as a bestial threat quite different from the Mer we've seen before. They greatly resemble the Goblins both in primitive tribal organization as well as tactics and habitation. While it is merely conjecture on my part, perhaps there is a commonality that explains the similarities between the Goblins and the Falmer. If this is true they may stem from an Aldmeri template which was passed on to both the Altmer and the Dwemer.

    So here comes the questions: what do you make of the similarities? Has this altered your perception regarding some of the other races such as the Dwemer?

  • June 25, 2015

    The similarities between Goblin, and Falmer is obvious for all to see, but how did it come about?. When the Falmer were enslaved by the Dwemer in 1 E 369 they were at the time still elven like Snow Elves. The Dwemer, being Dwarven  Possibly smaller in stature than the Elves, as well as enslaving them, possible interbreeding took place, after all the Dwemer were the Snow Elves saviours, and undoubtedly have been treated as such by the Elves. This would result in offspring, much shorter and stockier than their elven/Dwarven parents, over time 400 years approx, as is written here, the Falmer  evolved into the, Goblin like Bestial race of today.

  • Tom
    June 26, 2015

    The Dwemer were elves similar in size and appearance to the ancient Aldmer, whom the Altmer are self-described as being the only breed of mer closest to the original stock. Falmer weren't so different (as seen in Dawnguard) except in hair and skin coloration (white instead of gold).

    The Falmer (snow-elves, like Altmer is high-elves, Bosmer means wood-elves) are the result of centuries and generations of enslavement in dark pits where fungi and other plants were force fed to them to degenerate them enough for the Dwemer to more easily enslave them.

  • June 26, 2015

    Tom I was offering a conjectural view of how I thought the Falmer, we saw in Skyrim came to  be.The Writer of the piece That I commented on, stated himself "  While it is merely conjecture on my part, perhaps there is a commonality that explains the similarities between the Goblins and the Falmer. If this is true they may stem from an Aldmeri template." In the past the Dwemer have been likened to children with beards, further evidence is also contained within the Dwemer Ruins of Vardenfell, in the form of spectral Ghosts, which were short and stockily built, hence my comment.Concept art of two dwemer peopleere.

  • Tom
    June 27, 2015

    Goblins look nothing like Falmer, even as they currently are. If any similarities could be drawn, it's between goblins and scamps. Further, Goblins worship a form of Malacath and their appearance in ESO is more akin to Orcs.

    I don't care what Vix's speculations were, and I've argued against them in the past, but these conclusions are extremely spotty and based essentially off of height measurements. Even though we know the Dwemer weren't any shorter than other elves.

    Lets also not forget goblins long predate the mutation of the Falmer, since they've been used as slaves in Alinor for millennia.

  • Member
    June 28, 2015
    Could goblins have evoled from orcs through a similar process the falmer underwent or possibly be something like orcish reachmen.
  • June 28, 2015

    I'll throw in a little more conjecture: Destri Melarg, an in-game author, believes goblins come from an alternate (probably Daedric) world. Source

  • Tom
    June 29, 2015

    No. They predate orcs.

  • Tom
    June 29, 2015

    That seems most likely to me.

  • Tom
    June 30, 2015

    Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition

    Altmer had goblin slaves before they turned from worshipping their ancestors and started worshipping the "gods". The pre-Orsimer followers of Trinimac couldn't have happened before this.