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"I am the Queen of Solitude, daughter of the Emperor! Summon the daedra! I'll trade the soul of every last subject of mine for a little comfort!"
―Queen Potema, 3E 97[src]

Potema Septim, also known as the Wolf Queen, was a Queen of Solitude in Skyrim's hold of Haafingar during the Third Era. She was the daughter of Pelagius Septim II and Quintilla.[1] Her efforts to claim the Ruby Throne resulted in the War of the Red Diamond, which only ended with her death.[2][3] Her actions during the war cemented her reputation as one of the most notable necromancers in Skyrim's history. She is also one of the few historic figures to have been viewed by scholars as "unambiguously evil."[4]

The Last Dragonborn may fight her in 4E 201 as Potema's Remains, in which form she displays the ability to shout.[5]

She is the primary antagonist of the quests "The Man Who Cried Wolf" and "The Wolf Queen Awakened."

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

Born to the Septim bloodline in 3E 67, Potema was presented to her grandfather, the Emperor Uriel Septim II; upon seeing the baby, he remarked that she looked "like a she-wolf about ready to pounce."[4]

Potema grew up in the Imperial City, with distant parents, and a womanizing brother sixteen years her senior.[4] She was tutored, and had also found the time to sneak around the Imperial Palace and pick locks, stealing documents that she used to blackmail members of her family.[1]

Courtship and marriageEdit

By the age of 14, Potema was a famous beauty with many suitors, but she was married to cement relations with King Mantiarco of the Nordic Kingdom of Solitude, potentially following the misplacing of a marriage document to her older sister that Potema herself stole.[1][4] Despite the arranged nature of their marriage, the elderly King Mantiarco loved her, allowing her "all the power she wished."[4]

New Emperor and the birth of a sonEdit

TESV Banner Potema

The banner of Potema Septim

In 3E 97, after many miscarriages, the Queen of Solitude gave birth to a son, whom she named Uriel after her grandfather. Potema planted suspicion in Mantiarco's mind that his son by his first wife was not his, causing Mantiarco to proclaim Uriel his heir.[6]

Potema and AntiochusEdit

Two years later, Pelagius II died, and Antiochus, Potema's brother, became Emperor. Potema allegedly threatened to blackmail him with a forged letter claiming him to be a bastard, but she was rebuffed.[7] Mantiarco died the springtime after Pelagius, and Uriel ascended to the throne of Solitude, ruling jointly with his mother. During this time, Potema spent much of her time entertaining nobles from across Skyrim, High Rock and Morrowind gaining allies and spreading discontent against the Emperor.[4]

Both Potema and Uriel were visiting the Imperial Court in 3E 112 when Antiochus died, and Potema immediately challenged the rule of his daughter and heir, Kintyra II, claiming her to be a bastard.[2][8] Potema's appeal to the Elder Council was ignored, and she returned to Solitude to assemble troops for war.[4]

War of the Red DiamondEdit

Potema directly led troops for much of the war, including, in one account, the attack that led to the Empress' capture in High Rock, and may have been involved in her execution at Castle Glenpoint.[9] She also led troops in the subsequent rally of Imperial troops, commanding armies in Skyrim during the Battle of Falconstar in 3E 127. During this battle, she received word that Uriel had been captured at the Battle of Ichidag in Hammerfell.[10] Later that year, he was burnt alive in a prison carriage by an angry mob while en route to the Imperial City to face trial.[11] On hearing the news, many of Potema's allies deserted and swore allegiance to Cephorus I.[4]

Decline and deathEdit

The War of the Red Diamond may technically have ended at Uriel's death, but Potema fought on for another ten years,[11] summoning daedra and undead to fight for her.[12] She is documented as dying after a long siege in 3E 137.[12] Some claim that she either infected her castle at Solitude with her evil, or passed a charmed wolf pendant on to her nephew, who would become Pelagius III.[4][12] Both of these are attempts to explain his later madness.

InteractionsEdit

Falk Firebeard, the steward of Jarl Elisif the Fair, sent the Dragonborn to investigate Wolfskull Cave near Solitude. Investigating the deepest reaches of the cave, the Dragonborn discovered a cult of Necromancers, attempting to summon Potema and bind her soul for their own purposes.  They were believed to be unsuccessful, until Firebeard sent the Dragonborn to retrieve Potema's remains to prevent any such dark ambitions from being actuated again. Styrr, a priest at the Temple of the Divines, led the Dragonborn to Potema's catacombs below the temple, where her skull sat.

TESV Potema Skull

Potema's Skull.

When the Dragonborn located the remains, it was discovered that although necromancers were stopped, Potema's spirit was summoned successfully and she was able to exist as a hostile specter, a ghostly phantom of her former self. Returning the skull to Styrr after defeating the Wolf Queen, the Dragonborn learned that Potema dabbled in necromancy while still alive, explaining why she was able to escape and stay as a ghost with free will after the ritual of the cultists failed. The priest also mentioned that had Potema been successfully resurrected, she would have the most legitimate claim to the Cyrodilic throne, which would have effectively ended the Mede Dynasty and revived the Septim Dynasty.

QuestsEdit

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard, a soul in the Soul Cairn says "All I said to Potema was I thought she looked a little portly in that gown. How was I supposed to know?", implying that Potema had him killed for unintentionally insulting the pregnant queen.

AppearancesEdit

References

Start a Discussion Discussions about Potema Septim

  • Why isn't Potema a major enemy?

    12 messages
    • Potema would be the last Septim alive, so she would automatically become Empress of Tamriel. She's evil but that's still the facts. ...
    • It is still a fact that she is a usurper and was not a worthy Septim to be Emperor/Empress
  • mural image of potema septim

    6 messages
    • Where was she in Skuldafn? Or her representation? This mural IS clearly Mara, to be honest.
    • skuldafn is also from the dragon times, many many years before potema was alive