|“||Behold the future, behold the Thalmor!||„|
|~ The Thalmor's mantra.|
The Thalmor are the main antagonist faction in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim as they are fought in numerous main story quests such as "Diplomatic Immunity" and "A Cornered Rat". They were the most imminent evil force in the Elder Scrolls world prior to the appearance of Alduin and the return of Dragons.
Politics and Religion
The Thalmor are the ruling party of the Aldmeri Dominion, consisting entirely of supremacist High Elves (Altmer) whose goal is to destroy the Empire and end the worship of Talos (who is also known as Tiber Septim, founder of the Empire) and wipe out the human races. The Thalmor had tried for centuries to seize control of their homeland of the Summerset Isles and at the end of the third era were able to do so by claiming to have closed the Oblivion Gates of Mehrunes Dagon.
The Thalmor are fundamentally opposed to the notion of the human god Talos because of an old High-Elf creation story that states that elves (High-Elves in particular) are half-ascended Divines, held back from becoming true gods by the other mortal races; This leads the Thalmor to two very distinct mind-sets, 1 No man could possibly ascend to divinity before them and therefore belief in Talos is blasphemous, and 2 the quickest way for their race to achieve it's intended apotheosis is to destroy all other mortal races. About thirty years prior to the game Skyrim, the Thalmor instigated the "Great War" against the Empire, which cost the lives of almost all of the Blades and ended with the emperor forced to give into many of the Thalmor's demands, including banning the worship of Talos. Though the Thalmor frequently boast about their victory over the Empire, in truth the Empire dealt their forces a critical blow in turning back their invasion of the Imperial City and the only reason they were even willing to consider the treaty was because an extended conflict might have permanently crippled their military. After the War with the Empire the Aldmeri Dominion invaded Hammerfell, the last nation of men but were stretched too thin from their fight with the Empire and even with the Empire required to discontinue their alliances with Hammerfell the Dominion armies were defeated while attempting to take Hammerfell.
Despite being shown their military limitations the Thalmor were able to conquer their adversaries through shrewd and cunning negotiations. The Ban on worshiping Talos was not just to satisfy their ancestral sensibilities but also to create a rift between the empire and it's province of Skyrim, a land far more culturally attached to Talos (their native son). The Thalmor, Elenwen, was given a captured prince named Ulfric Stormcloak during his attempts to challenge the Empire's treaty with the Aldmeri Dominion. Elenwen, rather than simply kill Ulfric or stick him in a hole somewhere instead choose to turn him into an unwitting asset for the Thalmor. Elenwen tortured Ulfric for months, during which time she implied that the Thalmor were only doing so as a favor to the Empire, who she said wanted to make an example out of him to preserve their treaty (by all accounts this is in-fact a lie and the only authority the Empire had in the matter was handing him over to the Thalmor for the sake of the treaty). After a long time under Elenwen's cruel tortures she arranged for the Thalmor guarding Ulfric to subtlety minimizes security and Ulfric escaped. Ulfric started a civil war in Skyrim and the Empire's only major remaining ally began collapsing in on itself while the Dominion had time to lick it's wounds and amass it's forces in anticipation of a second conflict. For her lucrative scheme Elenwen was promoted to the head of the Thalmor's Skyrim branch. Skyrim was not the only place hit by the Thlamor's diplomatic machinations and many of Hammerfell's nobles and politicians were instigated against each-other, though the Thalmor had no official power there they secretly backed various power-seeking nobles letting different clans destroy the country's infrastructure by escalating political rivalries.
Thalmor agents are only encountered in a few locations in–game, most notably the Thalmor Embassy in the west of the capital city Solitude which the player has to infiltrate during the main quest to retrieve information on where the dragons are coming from. The Thalmor are known to be extremely arrogant and constantly insult the Dragonborn when encountered in wilderness and tell them to mind their own business. They will attack if pushed, especially about the Talos worship and that people are free to worship what they want. One member, Ancano, is the main antagonist of the College of Winterhold quest-line. The Thalmor are also known send their Justiciars to hunt down and kill the Dragonborn if (s)he has caused a lot trouble for the Thalmor (especially after completing a main quest where the Dragnborn has to infiltrate the Thalmor embassy). And even being a High Elf doesn't prevent the player from being hunted down by Thalmor.
The Thalmor must humor the Elder Council in the Imperial City along with the Emperor of Cyrodiil due to their treaty, but the policies they gain from it allow them to undercut the Emperor's power from him by arresting citizens with little to no proof of heresy. The Thalmor have bought off one of Skyrim's main politicians, Erikur, a thane in the court of Solitude, Skyrim's contested capital. Erikur will succeed the current High-Queen, Elisif the Fair, if she ever dies or loses power and so provides the Thalmor with a good source of influence. Despite his hatred of them, even Ulfric Stormcloak is a reliable asset for the Thalmor as the rampant hatred they instilled in him is directed at the Empire looks to tear it apart from the inside. The wealthy entrepreneur and crime boss Maven Black-Briar looks to be in the Thalmor's pocket, however Maven is less of an asset and more of a threat one they make sure to pay off to avoid conflict, Maven sees it less as a partnership and more as an agreement to stay out of each-other's business. The Jarl, Idgrod Ravencrone, strongly dislikes and distrusts the Thalmor however humors their attempts to bribe her, mostly to keep an eye on their influence, luckily however there is no indication that she actually supports them. The Thalmor, Ancarion, is attempting to enforce the Thalmor presence in Solstheim and is even on the hunt for powerful weapons native to the area to be re-appropriated for the Thalmor. Since the College of Winterhold has a nebulous, at best, attachment to Skyrim law the Thalmor sent Ancano to the College to attempt to influence the Arch-Mage, Savos Aren. As Savos's right-hand, Mirabelle Ervine, is quick to remind Ancano, he and his party have no actual authority over them and Arch-Mage Aren only humors his presence for the sake of political harmony. Aren seems to shrug off most of the Thalmor's concerns (for example at-least two of the mages there openly believe in Talos) and yet he is perhaps the only member of the College that is willing to offer Ancano and the Thalmor any befit-of-the-doubt as absolutely no one else trusts Anacano's presence there.
Fists of ThalmorThe Fists of Thalmor, sometimes shortened to simply "Thalmor", and originally known as Justiciars, are Thalmor agents and a para-military unit of the Dominion military in The Elder Scrolls Online.
The Justiciars were known to have decreed a 17th Degree Inquiry into the finding of Princess Ayrenn in 2E 563. Due to the heavy-handed nature of the Fists' enforcement duties, negotiations for aid from the indigenous locals of Valenwood have become more difficult for the Thalmor Diplomatic Corps.
Thalmor Diplomatic CorpsThe Thalmor Diplomatic Corps are diplomatic agents and representatives of the Thalmor and they are enemies in The Elder Scrolls Online.
Thalmor JusticiarsThe Thalmor Justiciars are roving groups of Thalmor who are occasionally met while traveling the roads. They consist of both mages and soldiers, but all share the name Thalmor Justiciar.
Should the Dragonborn converse with the Justiciar, they will have the option of saying whether or not they worship Talos. If they say that they do, the Justiciar will immediately turn hostile. Should they remain neutral on the subject, the Thalmor will assume the Dragonborn is hiding the fact that they are cooperating with the worship of Talos and turn hostile. The only way to avoid combat is to cancel conversation if things are turning accusational, or to exclaim a dislike for Talos. If the Dragonborn enters conversation with a Thalmor Justiciar twice, the second conversation will always end with the Justiciar deciding to attack the Dragonborn, regardless of the dialogue option chosen.
Justiciars may occasionally be escorting a Nord, presumably a Talos worshipper. The prisoner may be freed by starting a dialogue, which also allows for trading items. The Justiciars will immediately become hostile towards the Dragonborn, the prisoner, and any followers. Killing the Justiciars after they become hostile does not gain a bounty. After the Justiciars are dead, the freed prisoner will make his way to Windhelm.
Thalmor Justiciars can be sent to kill the Dragonborn. This will start to happen when the Dragonborn has completed the quest "Diplomatic Immunity." They can also be sent if the Dragonborn has attacked Northwatch Keep or if the Dragonborn has attacked Thalmor justiciars roaming Skyrim. They may also attack the Dragonborn after killing Ancano during The Eye of Magnus. Prior to the completion of these quests, only the "assassin" squads sent specifically to hunt the Dragonborn will be hostile on sight; regular Thalmor squads will initially be neutral to the Dragonborn.
- Thalmor Embassy
- Northwatch Keep
- Thalmor Headquarters
- Abandoned LodgeDB
- Northshore LandingDB
- Thalmor Archers
- Thalmor Soldier
- Thalmor Wizards
- Northwatch Archers
- Northwatch Guards
- Northwatch Wizards
- Elenwen - First Emissary
- Ancano - College advisor
- Ondolemar - Head Justiciar charged with enforcing the ban on Talos worship.
- Rulindil - Head Interrogator in Skyrim and Third Emissary
- AncarionDB - Thalmor agent on a mission to acquire Stalhrim weaponry.
- Captain Valmir - Undercover Thalmor agent investigating Forelhost.
- Estormo - Thalmor agent reporting to Ancano.
- Muril - Thalmor agent reporting to Estormo
- Agent Lorcalin - Thalmor agent hunting Talos worshippers.
- Agent Sanyon - Dead Thalmor agent killed while fighting Talos worshippers.
- The Thalmor are similar to the real-life white supremacist dictatorship known as Nazi Party.
- Attacking and/or killing Justiciars that were not previously hostile will lead to a bounty in the hold where the attack took place. Even if all witnesses are eliminated and there is no bounty, the guards of the hold where the attack took place may nevertheless become hostile (this may be a bug).
- The Justiciars may also attack immediately if the Dragonborn is wearing an Amulet of Talos.
- This is an easy way to obtain high elf blood for the quest Discerning the Transmundane.
- Attacking and/or killing Justiciars that were not previously hostile may lead to Elrindir in the Drunken Huntsman, and people in Dragonsreach attacking the Dragonborn. Free the prisoner first to avoid this.
- They may be found taking Northwatch Prisoners to Northwatch Keep.
- Thalmor Justiciars hold a role of enforcing laws within the Aldmeri Dominion.
- Their hostility are triggered by their factions and low relationship rank, if one modified it through console commands, all their dialogues will not trigger hostility.
- The Thalmor may send an execution team out for the Dragonborn even if they haven't done anything to them (i.e. have not attacked their patrols, rescued Thorald Gray-Mane, or started Diplomatic Immunity).
- They may attack with no provocation, and killing them acquires a bounty.
- The Thalmor behave in the same manner for every race, even if the Dragonborn is a High Elf, hinting that not every High Elf supports or likes the Thalmor and their ideals. A good example may be Legate Fasendil, the officer in charge of the Legion forces in Riften and the Rift who hates the Thalmor.