Elder Scrolls Lore » Discussions

Altmer Part 5: Piecing Together the Thalmor

  • April 2, 2015

    You can pretty much say that the Thalmor is as any secret police, they do what they believe benefits their people at any cost even if it hurts everyone else.

  • Member
    June 25, 2016

    Quite possibly one of the hardest to explain and even conceptualize for the Thalmor to have posed as demands is this point. 

    I actually have my own theory now that I think of it. It's a little crazy (though certainly far less crazy anything Kirkbride came up with.... no don't worry I"m not going to knock him one this time), but hear me out.

    The fourth reason: the Hammerfell invasion (as well as the Thalmor's eventual "loss" in Hammerfell) was essentially a ruse to get Hammerfell to leave the Empire and spread animosity between the two of them.

    This sounds somewhat absurd, right? But allow me to explain.

    First, consider that every action the Thalmor have taken thus far has been towards one single goal: To Destroy the World to undermine/defeat the Empire. At the time, Hammerfell was one of three Providences still within the Empire (along with Skyrim and High Rock.) If this is their goal, it does make sense that they would also want Hammerfell to succeed from the union to undermine the Mede Empire all the further.

    The point of this condition in the White-Gold Concordat was that it would lead to one of two outcomes, both of which benefit the Dominion: 1. The Empire would deny it, wind up wasting resources trying to retake Hammerfell thus making the Imperial providence easier to conquer and hang onto (what happened the first time around). Or 2. The Empire would concede that portion of Hammerfell, alienating the Redguards and inspire them to leave the Empire, thus weakening it in the long run (what happened the second time around.)

    Now here's the crazy part about this: If this is correct, it may also be possible that the Thalmor lost control of Hammerfell and let the redguard rebels win deliberately (though not without a fight. Wouldn't want the ruse to be obvious and wouldn't want to leave that part of Hammerfell in too good of a shape after all.) That does sound rather crazy, why go through all the effort of trying to capture a providence and hold onto it only to lose it on purpose? 

    I have several reasons to explain why I think that:

    First, the entire point of the war in Hammerfell was to get it to succeed from the Empire. Since it had already done that, there simply was no further point in hanging onto it.

    Secondly, if they had hung onto it, it would mean having to waste time and resources trying to do so. Something they were trying to get the Imperials to do.

    Third, if the rebels actually "won", it might inspire the two other Providences (Skyrim in particular, especially coupled with the Ban on Talos worship) to look at it and say "hey look! Hammerfell managed to beat back the Dominion all on its own! We don't need no stinkin' empire!" If they hadn't however, the providences might be a bit more hesitant to try to brexit the Empire, the exact opposite of what the dominion is trying to accomplish. By appearing less capable than they actually are, the Thalmor are essentially giving the the other Providences a false sense of hope to go their own way.

    Four: as noted by Vix, there isn't really any good reason for them to hang onto the providence in the first place. The best you get is some bizarre illusions to very very very ancient pacts and rites, but that's really stretching for straws.

  • June 25, 2016

    I actually agree with you. Also that would mean that the Thalmor would support and encourage provinces' rebellion against the Empire (secretly, of course) which we see in Skyrim.