Jagar Tharn was an Imperial Battlemage and personal adviser to Emperor Uriel Septim VII during his earlier years as emperor. After months of plotting, Tharn used the Staff of Chaos to trap Septim in Mehrunes Dagon's Plane of Oblivion out of jealousy and desire for the throne, and copied his look by using Illusion magic.
Tharn usurped the throne as Emperor of the Septim Empire of Tamriel from 3E 389 until his ultimate demise in 3E 399 at the hands of the Eternal Champion, by the unification of the Staff of Chaos and the Jewel of Fire. Tharn served as the main antagonist of The Elder Scrolls: Arena.
Tharn's earlier life before Imperial service has been left ambiguous, and isn't explained in-depth throughout much of the lore. What is known about Tharn, is that before his ascension to Imperial Battlemage, Tharn was a mage-priest at the Temple of Sethiete in Camlorn, High Rock.
An ambiguous stretch of time later, Tharn managed to become the Imperial Battlemage and adviser of Uriel Septim VII. In 3E 389, he used the Staff of Chaos to trap Septim, and banished him into Mehrunes Dagon's plane of Oblivion, and shortly thereafter murdered Ria Silmane before she could warn the Elder Council physically.
Tharn, using illusion magic, took the Emperor's appearance and usurped the throne of Tamriel, replacing the Emperor's guard and servants with Daedra and other foul creatures. The only issue with this plan was that should the Emperor die in Oblivion, Tharn's treachery would be revealed. Normally when the Emperor of Tamriel dies, the Elder Council is magically informed by the Amulet of Kings and meets to select a successor. By imprisoning Septim in another dimension where time ran slower, Tharn prevented this from happening. He then shattered the staff into eight pieces, which Ria Silmane explained was done by Tharn "splitting the land," and hid them in all of Tamriel's provinces, excluding the Imperial Province.
Essential to secure his position, Tharn had to eliminate any and all threats to his reign. As some circles of battlemages were aware that Tharn was impersonating the emperor they clearly posed a threat. Mehrunes Dagon was defeated and cast back into Oblivion by a mysterious hero, but the Battlespire was destroyed. The Imperial Battlemages were no longer capable of thwarting Tharn's reign.
In 3E 397, Tharn and Pergan Asuul tried to manipulate the War of the Bend'r-Mahk to create the Shadow of War, the powerful creature known as Umbra' Keth. However, another mysterious hero with the help of Skelos Undriel and Azra Nightwielder, thwarted his plan.
Tharn's reign ended in 3E 399. The Eternal Champion, with the help of Ria Silmane and Lady Barenziah, managed to gather the eight hidden pieces of the Staff of Chaos. During the final battle, in the depths of the Imperial Palace Dungeon, the Eternal Champion managed to unite the Jewel of Fire with the Staff of Chaos, a jewel that held Tharn's lifeforce.
Jagar Tharn disintegrated into fire-like ash and liquid, his clothes burning with him. Uriel Septim VII was saved, and declared the hero the Eternal Champion of Tamriel.
At the fourth level of the Imperial Palace, Tharn will fight the Eternal Champion on sight.
After having his health fully depleted, Tharn will encase himself in a magical shield, resembling a bubble. In order to finally defeat Tharn, the Champion must pick up the key on Tharn's body when he is defeated, or find the spare Mithril Key, and unite the Staff of Chaos with the Jewel of Fire.
Doing this will cause Tharn to disintegrate, and the final quest is finished.
Tharn is the most powerful enemy in Arena. The following is combat info from the Codex Scientia:
- Makes no noise.
- 25% chance of reflecting spells.
- 10 - 25 damage range in Hand-to-Hand.
- Sees invisible characters.
- Does not regenerate lost health points.
- Has no aura/breath weapons.
- Can be instantly killed by activating the Jewel of Fire.
- According to certain magic-based backstories for the main character in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, there were circles of Imperial Battlemages who knew Jagar Tharn "really was" when impersonating the emperor, but none were brave enough to stand up against him.
- There is an ambient black metal band from Poland, named Jagar Tharn. The lyrics of their songs consist purely of Elder Scrolls-related stories and concepts.
- When reaching Tharn in the Imperial Palace, fighting him is completely optional, as you just need to unite the Staff of Chaos and the Jewel of Fire.
- The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall (Mentioned only)
- An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire (Mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey (Mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Mentioned only)
|Imperial Battlemage to the Emperor|
|Zurin Arctus||3E 3?? - 3E 389||Ocato|
|Empire of Tamriel|
|Uriel Septim VII||3E 389 - 3E 399 (de facto)||Uriel Septim VII|