Not much is known about Savos' early years, but entering dialogue with him reveals that he is at least one hundred years old, as he recalls he was only an apprentice at the college when the isle of Artaeum disappeared around 100 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Sometime when Aren was an apprentice, he followed an ill-fated group of mages through Labyrinthian, led by the Arch-Mage's favorite pupil, Atmah. The trip resulted in the deaths of everyone present except Savos. In an attempt to seal away the Dragon Priest Morokei permanently, he forced two of the surviving mages to remain behind, magically enthralled and forced to maintain a barrier around the Dragon Priest.
Savos returned to the College and eventually earned the title of Arch-Mage, leading the other mages with an air that suggested that he believed that everything would eventually work itself out.
Upon returning from Saarthal after discovering the Eye of Magnus, Savos Aren awards the Dragonborn with an enchanted item (either a ring, necklace, staff or circlet), then sends him or her to retrieve several books from the Arcanaeum to learn more about the strange artifact.
Discovering that the Staff of Magnus is hidden at Labyrinthian, the Dragonborn returns to the college, to find that Ancano has sealed himself in the Hall of the Elements with the Eye. With Mirabelle Ervine and the Dragonborn in tow, Savos breaks through the barrier he has erected. During the event, the Dragonborn is temporarily stunned. Upon waking, he or she finds Mirabelle wounded in the Hall. She instructs the Dragonborn to search for Savos. In the courtyard, the other students surround his body, which was transported there by the combined effort of Ancano's magic and the Eye's power. While returning to Mirabelle, she gives the Dragonborn the Torc of Labyrinthian and Savos Aren's Amulet, and tells him or her to retrieve the Staff.
The Dragonborn will succeed Savos as the new Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold after his death.
Mirabelle: "I continue to hear things about dragon sightings in Skyrim."
Savos: "Dragons? Well, that's fascinating. We should have someone look into that."
Mirabelle: "Would you like me to send someone? Faralda or Phinis, perhaps?"
Savos: "I'll think about it."
Mirabelle: "Arch-Mage, the Synod have contacted us again, asking if we've any word on their researchers."
Savos: "What did you tell them last time?"
Mirabelle: "That they had arrived, asked for information which was provided to them, and went on their way with no suggestion of further interaction."
Savos: "That hasn't changed, has it? Then just tell them again."
Mirabelle: "Should we consider investigating the matter?"
Savos: "No, I don't think so. Respond to their request, and we'll leave it at that."
Mirabelle: "Yes, Arch-Mage. Thank you."
Overworking the Master WizardEdit
Savos: "Is there anything new I should be aware of, Mirabelle?"
Mirabelle: "I'm dealing with a few new research proposals, evaluating the results of three long-term projects, and keeping an eye on our new Apprentices. There were also two items requiring disciplinary action recently."
Savos: "Everything's under control, then? Right. Keep up the good work."
Mirabelle: "Yes, thank you Arch-Mage."
Never a concernEdit
Mirabelle: "Sir, the Imperial Legion has again requested assistance. What shall I tell them?"
Savos: "The same thing we've told them before, and the same thing we've told these Stormcloaks. It's not our concern."
Mirabelle: "Forgive me, but at what point does it become our concern?"
Savos: "Never. The College cannot become mired in local politics. What happens inside these walls is our worry. What happens outside is theirs."
Savos: "Mirabelle, would you please make sure my schedule is clear for the next few days? I'm working on something important."
Mirabelle: "Your schedule is always clear, Arch-Mage. I see to that."
Savos: "Ah, yes. True. Well, thank you."
Mirabelle "Its like a ward, but who's casting it? Ancano? How?"
Savos "I don't care what it is. I want it brought down, now!"
[interval of bringing down ward]
Savos "Ancano! I command you, stop this at once!" [Savos approaches Ancano]
Mirabelle "Don't go near him!" [Energy explosion]
Savos: "Come on, we're finally here! Let's not waste any more time!"
Takes-In-Light: "Are we truly sure this is a good idea?"
Atmah: "We'll be back at the College before anyone even knows we're gone."
Girduin: "You would care about that, since you're the Arch-Mage's favorite!"
Savos: "Don't forget, this whole idea was Atmah's to begin with."
Hafnar: "Let's just get inside, see what's in there."
Elvali: "I can't believe we're doing this."
Savos: "Can you imagine the looks on their faces when we come back?"
Hafnar: "You keep talking like you're sure we'll find something useful in here."
Girduin: "Given the history of this place, it's more than likely there's still some amount of power here."
Savos: "Enchanted weapons, tomes of ancient knowledge, Shalidor's secrets themselves -- who knows what we could find!"
Takes-In-Light: "And what if... What if there are things guarding this place?"
Atmah: "Against six College-trained mages? I think we'll be fine."
Elvali: "We... we have to go back. We can't leave Girduin..."
Hafnar: "We barely made it out alive, and you want to go back in?"
Atmah: "It's too late. There isn't enough of him left to go back in after."
Takes-In-Light: "Gods, what have we done?"
Savos: "We can't go back. Might as well go forward. We can still do this."
Atmah: "Savos is right. We can make it if we just stay alert."
Savos: "Come on, we can't stop now. We have to keep moving!"
Atmah: "Where's Elvali? She was right behind me."
Hafnar: "Dead. Something grabbed her from behind. Gone before I could do anything."
Takes-In-Light: "This is insanity. We never should've come here."
Atmah: "You're right. This is all my fault. Should we turn around, head back?"
Hafnar: "I don't think going back is a good idea."
Savos: "Going back would be the end of all of us. We keep pushing forward, and we'll make it. We will!"
Atmah: "Come on, you can make it. Let's go."
Atmah: "We shouldn't have left her there to die!"
Savos: "What else could we do? Stay there and die with her? She refused to go on, we didn't have a choice!"
Hafnar: "This is it, you know. Through this door. Can you feel it?"
Atmah: "We're not going to make it, are we?"
Hafnar: "We stay together, no matter what. Agreed?"
Atmah: "I'll be right with you."
Savos: "Agreed. We all stay together."
- Savos Aren wears shock resist enchanted boots (BaseID
0007C92E), which can be found at any time on a table in the Arch-Mage's Quarters.
- When he dies, his corpse cannot be looted, and it also cannot be resurrected via the Dead Thrall spell or The Ritual Stone. However, Arniel Gane or Phinis Gestor may resurrect his corpse if a Dragon happens to attack during this scene.
- He is voiced by Keith Silverstein, who also voices Revyn Sadri and some other characters.
- If he is revived by console commands, he may recognize the Dragonborn as Arch-Mage.
- He may be related to Fathis Aren from the Mages Guild in Oblivion.
- When first conversing with Savos, there are two dialogue options when he says that the two of them have not met yet: "No, we haven't," and "No, sir." Choosing the later option will result in a chuckle from Savos and his comment of "How quaint."