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 "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 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."