Fragment of Wuuthrad 2

A fragment of Wuuthrad depicting a screaming Mer visage.

The Nordic-Falmer War was a conflict between Atmoran immigrants to Tamriel and the native Snow Elves of Skyrim, which took place in the late Merethic Era

Order of eventsEdit


Late in the Merethic Era began the Atmoran tradition to migrate and settle on Mereth, a continent later known as Tamriel. Early Nordic ancestors had given the land this name due to the Mer that used to rule there.[1]

For a time Atmoran settlers and Mer lived in peace with each other. This resulted in a population boom of the Atmorans in Skyrim. Harsh weather and civil war ensured more Atmorans coming to Mereth. Thus, the first major settlement was built - Saarthal.[1]

Some believe, that this might have been the reason why the Snow Elves decided to get rid of Atmorans: the relatively fast reproduction rate of Men could have scared the neighboring Elves. Therefore the Elven population might have decided to hunt down the Atmorans as vermin.[2]

Another theory is that Atmoran settlers had found an unimaginably powerful artifact - the Eye of Magnus, that was said to be buried somewhere in Skyrim. Combination of greed and fear drove Elves to reclaim the artifact for themselves.[3]


Snow Elves attacked the unsuspecting Atmoran settlement during the night and murdered nearly its entire population. Saarthal was in ruins and it is said that only three survivors were able to escape the carnage and sail back to Atmora: Ysgramor and his two sons. This event is known as the Night of Tears.[3]

The seemingly successful plan, however, only fueled the wrath of the Atmorans in the form of the Five Hundred Companions, who were led by Ysgramor. A fleet of longboats left the port of Jylkurfyk to avenge their slain brethren. The Atmoran return to Skyrim started the historic period known as "The Return."[4] During this period, Atmorans led bloody skirmishes to kill and enslave the Elven populace. This way, these Nordic ancestors quickly spread all over Skyrim and nearby areas, claiming land for themselves.

The last Snow Elven commander was said to have fallen on Solstheim during the Battle of the Moesring. The Snow Prince, was, perhaps, the only Elf that Atmorans honored. He proved to be a worthy enemy for many Atmoran warriors and was buried in a barrow in a show of respect, as Atmoran tradition demanded for brave foes.[5]

The war was said to have ended during the reign of King Harald, thirteenth of Ysgramor's line.[1] The last recorded skirmish against the Snow Elves, however, happened in 1E 139, under the rule of, then just a lord, Harald.[6]


The Nordic-Falmer War resulted in humans becoming ascendant on the continent of Tamriel as a whole, as the Atmoran campaign of conquest against the Snow Elves not only broke the long dominion of Mer over Mereth, but also freed much of the Nede populations of Men from Ayleid slavery. With the help of labor by the Elven prisoners of war, Saarthal was rebuilt and cities as Windhelm were founded.[7] The first human empire was born, lead by the Ysgramor Dynasty. Using claimed Elven knowledge from the conflict, humans first developed writing.[8]

The surviving Snow Elves struck an alliance with the Dwemer, who ultimately betrayed their kin and struck them blind through mass-poisoning. After the disappearance of the Dwemer, these Snow Elves gradually devolved into the cave-dwelling beasts known as the Falmer.[9][10]

Few Snow Elves managed to escape from the Nords and not make a deal with the Dwemer survived. The only known case of this was at the Chantry of Auri-El, where hundreds took refuge. They were eventually slaughtered by their degenerated brethren, leaving only Knight-Paladin Gelebor and Arch-Curate Vyrthur as the last known Snow Elf survivors.[10][11][12]