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"Skyrim, also known as the Old Kingdom or the Fatherland, was the first region of Tamriel settled by humans from the continent of Atmora: the hardy, brave, warlike Nords, whose descendants still occupy this rugged land."
Map of skyrim bintoenglish

A map of Skyrim

Skyrim, also known as the Old Kingdom, Throat of the World[1], the Fatherland or Keizaal (Dovahzul: KEiZAaL Keiz-Aal, "Rebellion-May"[note 1]), is a vast region set in the northern part of Tamriel.[2] It is home to the Nords, large and hardy men and women who have a strong resistance to frost, both natural and magical.[2][3] Skyrim was originally inhabited by a race of Mer known as the Snow Elves, though after the Atmoran-Snow Elf War, the Snow Elves were destroyed and the Atmorans settled the land.[4] It is bordered by Morrowind to the east, Cyrodiil to the south, Hammerfell to the southwest, and High Rock to the west. The island of Solstheim lies to the northeast of Skyrim.


Merethic Era

Main article: Merethic Era

Skyrim, also known as the Old Kingdom or the Fatherland [2][5] is the home of the Nords.

Expedition to Skyrim

During the Merethic Era, a legendary Atmoran leader named Ysgramor, led an expedition from Atmora to the land that would later be known as Skyrim. They called the land Mereth, in recognition of the vast number of Mer that lived there. It was the first region of Tamriel to be settled by humans, who migrated there from the land of Atmora in the far north, across the Sea of Ghosts. According to legend, Ysgramor landed first at Hsaarik Head, at the extreme northern tip of Skyrim's Broken Cape. It is said that he and his companions were fleeing the civil war in Atmora, which at that time had a sizable population.[5]


Ysgramor formed the Five Hundred Companions.

The Atmorans settled the area that in the future would be known as Winterhold hold; they eventually built a city in the region and called it Saarthal. For a long while, relations between the Snow Elves and the Atmorans were relatively peaceful.[5]

Night of Tears

Main article: Night of Tears

However, the Snow Elves saw that the Nords, with their considerably shorter life expectancy, fast rates of physical maturation and expedient (by Elvish standards) reproductive cycle, would eventually overtake them if left unchecked.[source?] At the time, men were viewed by Snow Elves as being primitive and animal-like, and it was seen as no great moral remission to stop the spread of a potentially disastrous invasive species, who would destabilize the Tamrielic ecosystem. [source?] Thus, Elvish pogroms razed the city of Saarthal on what became known as the Night of Tears.[6] Only Ysgramor and his two sons were able to escape back to Atmora.[source?]

Another theory suggests that the sacking of Saarthal was brought on by the Atmoran discovery of the Eye of Magnus beneath the city.[6]

The Return

Main article: The Return

When Ysgramor and his sons returned to Atmora, they told stories of the events that occurred in Skyrim. The people of Atmora in turn cried out and for revenge against the Snow Elves; the people were united with a common cause for war. In addition, seeing the tenuous peace which had developed between the various factions of Atmora, Ysgramor recognized the opportunity to turn their plight into a uniting force for the race. Within a few years, Ysgramor was set to return to Skyrim with an army known as the "Five Hundred Companions", composed of the heroes of the Atmoran Civil War.[5] On the Day of Final Passage, the Five Hundred Companions left the port of Jylkurfyk to return to Skyrim.[7]

Atmoran-Snow Elf War

The Atmoran-Snow Elf War took place in the late Merethic Era. One famous battle, which occurred late in the war and happened to be the turning point for the Atmorans, was the Battle of the Moesring. During the battle, the Atmorans were winning and it appeared that they would be victorious, until the arrival of the Snow Prince. He rallied and led his forces into combat, inspiring the troops of the last remaining army of Snow Elves. Several of the greatest Nord warrior-heroes fell before the Snow Prince, which included Ingjaldr White-Eye, Ulfgi Anvil-Hand, Strom the White, Freida Oaken-Wand and Heimdall the Frenzied. The tide appeared to have turned for the Snow Elves, until the Snow Prince killed Jofrior. Finna, who was only twelve years of age and daughter of Jofrior, watched as her mother was slaughtered by the Snow Prince. In her rage and sadness, Finna picked up her mother's sword and threw it at the Snow Prince, which struck him in the breast and killed him. The death of the Snow Prince shattered the morale and motivation of the remaining Snow Elf warriors. Many Snow Elves fled, and those who remained on the battlefield were killed.[8]

The war would end shortly after, and was followed by a purge of Skyrim's remaining Snow Elves. The Five Hundred Companions, without much resistance, secured the region and laid the foundations for the Ysgramor Dynasty. [9][10]

Founding of Whiterun

After the war against the Snow Elves, the Five Hundred Companions broke into separate groups to find their own way in the newly conquered land. The crew of Jorrvaskr, led by Jeek of the River, journeyed around Skyrim until they came upon a mysterious yet wondrous sight; "a monument of a bird, whose eyes and beak were opened in flame." This monument, that would soon later known be known as Skyforge, was older than the Snow Elves themselves.It was supposedly as old as Nirn and was "some remnant of the god's efforts to render a paradise in Mundus before the shattering of Lorkhan." [citation needed] A city was built up around Jorrvaskr, and this city became known as Whiterun, with the initial area around it later known as Whiterun Hold.[11]

Founding of Windhelm

Ysgramor and his group traveled eastwards, heading towards Yngol Barrow. After stopping there, Ysgramor's eyes turned to the south, where a river met the sea. He decreed that he and his crew would build a great city, in monument to the glories of Mankind, and so he could look upon his son's final resting place and "feel that his line would know peace in this new home that was never known in Atmora." The city was built with a long bridge stretching across the White River, with much of the city made of stone. This city would be known as Windhelm, the City of Kings.[12]

Dragon War

Main article: Dragon War

Disclaimer: There is not much information on the dragon government and its timeline. The lore would suggest that the rule of the dragons preceded the greater wave of Atmoran colonization, and there is also little information about the dragons' interaction with the Dwemer and Snow Elves and their activities outside of Skyrim.[source?]

"When the populace rebelled, the dragon priests retaliated. When the dragon priests could not collect the tribute or control the masses, the dragons' response was swift and brutal. So it was the Dragon War began."
―The Dragon War, by Torhal Bjorik on the beginning of the Dragon War[src]

When the Atmorans came to Skyrim, they brought with them their history and culture, including their religion. Their religion focused on the worship of animal gods, the chief deity of which was the Dragon. Just as Dragons ruled supreme in Atmora, with dragon priests being their lieutenants to whom actual governance was left, the same occurred in Tamriel.[13]

At an unknown time, the people of Skyrim rebelled against the Dragons. At first, people died by the thousands.[13] Later, Kyne, the Nordic goddess of the Storm, intervened to help Mankind. She gave Paarthurnax the task of teaching Mankind the Voice.[14]

The tide began to turn in favor of Man, and eventually Dragons were hunted down and the cultists were killed or overthrown. The Atmorans solidified their victory after Hakon One-Eye, Felldir the Old and Gormlaith Golden-Hilt seemingly vanquished the Dragon lord Alduin.[15] Mankind would win the Dragon War, with many Dragons killed and the remnants of the Dragon Cult dispersing and going into hiding. What was left of the Dragon Cult built the Dragon mounds, entombing themselves and the remains of the dragons that died during the war with the belief that Alduin would one day return and resurrect the faithful.[16][17]

First Era

Main article: First Era
Sky haven temple map

Akaviri map of Skyrim in the First Era.

Second Century

Snow Elves persisted within the borders of Skyrim until the reign of the Thirteenth of the Ysgramor Dynasty, King Harald, at the beginning of the First Era. King Harald was the first to relinquish all holdings in Atmora (until that time, the Nords of Atmora and Skyrim had been considered the same group), proclaiming that the people of Skyrim were an independent people.[5]

Third Century

Vrage the Gifted started the expansion that would eventually lead to the First Empire of Men. Within fifty years of his reign, the Nords ruled all of Skyrim as well as parts of High Rock, Cyrodiil, and the Dunmer lands of Morrowind.[5]The acquisition of Morrowind was particularly bloody, still remembered in Morrowind. The purpose of the formation of the Chimer-Dwemer kingdom of Resdayn was to expel the Nords.[18][19]

Fourth Century

In 1E 369, High King Borgas was killed during the Wild Hunt. His death led to the start of Skyrim's War of Succession.[5] The War of Succession waned Skyrim's influence over many of its previous conquests. The Direnni Hegemony took advantage of the internal strife in Skyrim, and began taking land north and south of High Rock, even claiming portions of Skyrim at certain moments.[20]

Fifth Century

First Battle of Red Mountain

In 1E 416, the discord produced by the War of Succession greatly weakened the Nords and caused them to be expelled from Morrowind during the First Battle of Red Mountain (the Second Battle of Red Mountain would occur in 1E 700). The Nords lost all of their territory in Morrowind, and their armies suffered huge casualties at the hands of the combined Chimer-Dwemer army.[18][5]

End of the War of Succession
"Subdued the foul dragon Numinex,
reunited Skyrim after the war of
Succession, and conquered the
barbarous Reach."
Windhelm Palace of the Kings Plaque

In 1E 420, the Skyrim War of Succession ended with the Pact of Chieftans and the crowning of Olaf One-Eye as High King.[5][21] Records indicated that Olaf expanded Skyrim's boundaries when he conquered the Reach.[22]

Relations soured with Cyrodiil when High King Kjoric the White rebelled against Emperor Gorieus and his Alessian Army, but was killed at the Battle of Sungard in 1E 477 or 478. His son and heir, Hoag Merkiller, resented the Alessian Order so much that he allied with the Direnni Hegemony and King Rislav Larich's insurgents in their war against the Order. Hoag was soon killed at the Battle of Glenumbra Moors and his successor, Wulfharth, continued his predecessor's work in devastating the Alessian Order.[23]

High King Wulfharth reestablished the Nordic pantheon as the mainstream faith in Skyrim, drove the Direnni Hegemony from Skyrim,[22] and waged war against the Orcs. Legend has it that Wulfharth drew the ire of the Orcs' god Orkey, and that he had the ghost of Alduin Time-Eater reduce all the Nords to the age of six. Wulfharth pleaded with Shor to aid them and supposedly Shor's own ghost fought the Time-Eater on the spirit plane, as he did at the beginning of time, and won. Orkey's followers, the Orcs, were ruined by this act. Wulfharth watched the battle in the sky and learned a new thu'um that would change his people back to normal. But in his haste to save so many, he shook too many years out on himself. He grew older than the Greybeards themselves, and died. Allegedly, Wulfharth would later be resurrected as Shor's avatar and united the sons of Skyrim to invade Morrowind and reclaim the Heart of Lorkhan. The initial battles for the Nords were devastating after making landfall. Although they thought the Dwemer and Chimer armies would be weaker with reports of them warring with each other, they were surprised to be beset by both armies. Believing that Shor's army would need all the strength it could muster, Wulfharth had also allied himself with orcish clans and House Dagoth in his holy war, much to the vexation of some Nords who still clung to old hatreds. Voryn Dagoth who deceived Wulfharth and the Nords into believing he was an ally, betrayed the sons of Skyrim and facilitated the assassination of Wulfharth at the Battle of Red Mountain in 1E 700 by Indoril Nerevar. Somehow Voryn Dagoth claimed the Heart of Lorkhan for himelf since it sustained him until the events of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.[24]

Second Era

Main article: Second Era

Third Era

Main article: Third Era

Fifth Century

AT the beginning of the Fifth Century of the Third Era, the Oblivion Crisis began with Mehrunes Dagon's attempt to enter Tamriel in his "true and terrible form." Oblivion Gates opened up all over Tamriel, and a massive war between Mortals and Daedra ensued. Though most of the fighting took place in Cyrodiil, it is known that Oblivion Gates opened up all across Tamriel.[25]

Fourth Era

Main article: Fourth Era

First Century

"Untithed to any thane or hold, and self-governed, with free worship, with no compensation to Skyrim or the Empire except as writ in the Armistice of old wheresoever those might still apply, and henceforth let no Man or Mer say that the Sons and Daughters of Kyne are without mercy or honor."
―Skyrim's offer of Solstheim to Morrowind in 4E 16[src]
BA Red Mountain

Map of Red Mountain.

In 4E 5, Red Mountain erupted in Morrowind. Much of the land was destroyed, and as such many Dunmer were forced to flee their homeland.[26] to 4E 6.[27] In 4E 16 the High King of Skyrim gave the island of Solstheim to the Dunmer, giving the refugees coming from Morrowind a place to live.[28][29] Four years later, in 4E 20, the Decree of Monument was signed by the Jarls to "decree this site as a monument to the struggle of those who fled their native home of Morrowind in the time following the Red Year."[30]

Second Century

Forsworn Uprising

In 4E 174, a group of Reachmen launched an uprising in which they took the city of Markarth. This event would later be known as "The Forsworn Uprising." Since the Empire was fighting against the Third Aldmeri Dominion in Cyrodiil at the time, Markarth was undefended and was thus left open for attack. The Reachmen who took control of Markarth took over the government administration and created an independent Reach kingdom.[31]

Markarth Incident

Two years later, in 4E 176, Hrolfdir, who was the Jarl of Markarth prior to the Reachmen reclaiming it, asked a militia force led by Ulfric Stormcloak to retake Markarth.[32] The militia was victorious, however, many people who were related to the Forsworn were put to the sword and killed, those of the Forsworn who didn't flee Markarth were killed, except for Madanach, Nepos the Nose and a handful of others.[33][31][34] Those of the Forsworn who did manage to escape swore revenge against the Nords for preventing them a life of independence.[31][3] After this the Imperial Legion returned and had to accept the agreement of free Talos worship, which was made between Ulfric and Hrolfdir, supposedly due to chaos running through the streets in Markarth.[31] However, some time after this the Thalmor found out that the Empire wasn't honoring the White-Gold Concordat, and demanded them Ulfric and his men to be arrested or to face another war.[35] The choice was clear for the Jarl, Ulfric and his men were arrested and the Thalmor came to Skyrim with their treaty enforcers, the Thalmor Justiciars to ensure that the Talos ban wouldn't be dishonored again.[36][37] It was the founding day for the Stormcloaks and where the civil war in Skyrim truly started.[35]

Third Century

"When the sons of Skyrim would spill their own blood."
Esbern, describing the Skyrim Civil War[src]
"The World-Eater wakes, and the Wheel turns upon the Last Dragonborn..."
―Prophecy of the Dragonborn[src]
TESV civilwarbanners

The banners of the Imperial Legion and the Stormcloaks.

Skyrim Civil War
Main article: Skyrim Civil War

The Civil War in Skyrim is known to have started prior to 4E 199[38] and after 4E 176.[31] The exact cause for the war is a matter of debate in the province. On the Imperial side it is generally thought that Ulfric coveted the High King's throne and that he's just in it for the throne.[39][40] On the Stormcloak side however, people see him as a liberator who tries to free Skyrim from the claws of a corrupt and dying Empire.[41][42][43] Whiterun is neutral in this war and its Jarl claims that it will stay that way until the Hold is forced to draw its sword against one side or the other.[44] There haven't been recorded any significant clashes in the Civil War prior to the Dragonborn arriving in Skyrim. Save from a few skirmishes outside of Windhelm[43] and Whiterun[45] and Skyrim in general. As a result, not much territory has been gained by either side.

Dragon Crisis

The Dragon Crisis was a series of events that occurred in 4E 201, when Alduin, the Nordic god of destruction,[46] returned to Tamriel. He, along with the many dragons that he resurrected, caused destruction and chaos throughout Skyrim, already in strife from the Skyrim Civil War. However, a mysterious individual—later revealed to be the hero of legend, the Dragonborn—rose up and was able to defeat Alduin,[47] as foretold by the Elder Scrolls.[48]

The main questline of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim prominently features the Dragon Crisis.[47]



Skyrim features arctic tundra, mountains, and forests.

"Cold? This ain't cold. You should try Skyrim. Now THERE'S cold for ya."
Ulfrun relating Solstheim's climate to Skyrim's[src]

Skyrim features many different terrain types, including tundra plains, forests, highlands and mountainous regions. It is the most rugged region on the continent; not only containing five of the highest peaks in Tamriel[source?], but also very snowy and cold. Much of Skyrim is vertical; mountains, cliffs, and deep valleys. A variety of crops are raised in Skyrim, from wheat to the hardy snowberry.

Skyrim Scenery
The particular climate of Skyrim makes it the only region in Tamriel, outside of the most northern reaches of High Rock and Morrowind, suitable for the brewing of the infamous alcoholic beverage Nordic Mead, also known simply as "Rotgut." [source?] This is because, in addition to the local availability of certain ingredients, several times during the distillation process, the substance must be subjected to extreme cold temperatures, so that it may freeze and refreeze.[source?] The drink is noted for the distinct "cold" taste, similar to extraordinarily strong mint, which persists as a feeling of ice in the stomach, as well as for the very deleterious nature of its content. [source?] Nordic Ale is illegal throughout the Empire, but this does not stop many proprietors from stocking smuggled bottles for those brave enough to try a mug. [source?]

Skyrim also sports a number of caves, caverns and vales. One of the biggest caverns in Skyrim is Blackreach, or "Fal Zhardum Din" in Dwemeris, which translates to "Blackest Kingdom Reaches."[49] Blackreach is a massive cavern which contains a city, one that was built by the ancient Dwemer. Blackreach is theorized to be the capital of the Dwemer empire [source?], and is connected to three other Dwemer cities: Alftand, Raldbthar and Mzinchaleft. A variety of ore veins, plants, and animals are found in Blackreach, many of which are unique to the location.

Flora and fauna


A vast number of types of flora is found throughout Skyrim. Flora can be found anywhere in Skyrim, even in the least hospitable of locations. Flora such as Snowberries and Frost Mirriam are capable of surviving in cold, harsh conditions. There are nine types of Fungi found in Skyrim. These can be found in cave networks beneath the surface.

One of the most intriguing plants in Skyrim is the Nirnroot plant. Nirnroot typically grows near fungi and water resources, and depends on water and sunlight to survive. This rare plant is light green and emits a very bright glow, as well as a chiming sound. Nirnroot flourished on Skyrim and all of Tamriel until the event known as the Sun's Death (1E 668), which catastrophically affected almost all plant life, including Nirnroot.[source?]

The Crimson Nirnroot is a variant of the Nirnroot, which only grows in Blackreach. Crimson Nirnroot emits a glow and chime sound just like the regular Nirnroot, but its natural color is red and can naturally reproduce itself. On Rain's Hand of 4E 2, a conference was held at the Alchemical Symposium. During the conference, Master Alchemist Sinderion delivered a speech on this Nirnroot in which he presented the notes of noted Herbalist Chivius Regelliam. Regelliam developed a theory which stated that the Nirnroot was entering evolution; the plant was gaining an ability to "preserve itself." When the volcanic ash mixed with the fertile soil of Cyrodiil, the Nirnroot was able to gain the aforementioned ability. Sinderion supported this theory and gave evidence on it, and recommended that funds should be used for a project to study the Nirnroot to find a way to save it from extinction.[50][51]



A frostbite spider, a common creature in Skyrim.

Main article: Creatures (Skyrim)

A number of animals found in Skyrim are domesticated. These include the dogs, horses, chickens, cows and goats. The horses of Skyrim are hardy and strong, and "make up for endurance what they lack in speed."[52] Horses and horse-drawn carriages are commonly used as methods of transportation. Both are capable of traveling the harsh terrain and climate with ease.[3]


Main article: Hold

Holds are the nine administrative sections of Skyrim.[5][53] Scattered across the rugged landscape of Skyrim are five major cities and four minor ones, as well as minor towns, villages and settlements.

The Pale

Main article: The Pale


Main article: Dawnstar (Skyrim)


A garrison town on the northern coast of Skyrim, Dawnstar is the trade center of the region [source?]. It was named capital of the Pale after the destruction of a fortress in Dawnstar during 2E 283. [source?] Dawnstar is one of the northern most cities in Skyrim along with Solitude and Winterhold.

Falkreath Hold

Main article: Falkreath Hold


Main article: Falkreath (Skyrim) 


Falkreath is a city in southwestern Skyrim, capital of Falkreath Hold. It is close to the border with both Cyrodiil and Hammerfell. Falkreath is known for its cemetery, which dominates the southern part of the town.

The Reach

Main article: The Reach


Main article: Markarth
"Nothing ever changes in the City of Stone, and that's just fine."
The City of Stone[src]


A city in west-central Skyrim, Markarth is the capital city of The Reach. Markarth was notable for possessing the Imperial College of the Voice, which was founded by Tiber Septim to restore the Voice to the art of warfare. [source?] Half of the town is controlled by a wealthy family known as the Silver-Bloods. Violence runs rampant throughout most of the city due to the Forsworn and government corruption.[3]


Main article: Hjaalmarch


Main article: Morthal


Morthal is a town in west-central Skyrim and is the capital of Hjaalmarch. It lies near both Dragon Bridge and Solitude. The mage Falion, who can cure Vampirism, is located there. The current Jarl in Morthal is Jarl Idgrod Ravencrone.

The Rift

Main article: The Rift (Skyrim)


Main article: Riften (Skyrim)
Riften 2


Riften, also known as Rifton,[54] is capital of The Rift. This town is located in south-eastern Skyrim, close to the province's borders with both Cyrodiil and Morrowind. Home to the Skyrim Thieves Guild, it was in Riften that Barenziah joined the Guild during her return to Morrowind from exile in Skyrim. [source?]

Maven Black-Briar is one of Riften's most influential figures, and has de facto control of both the Riften Guard and the Jarl, as well as connections in both the Thieves Guild and the Dark Brotherhood.


Main article: Haafingar


Main article: Solitude (Skyrim)


Solitude is the center of Imperial influence within Skyrim and capital city of Haafingar. Castle Dour is located there, from which General Tullius runs the Imperial Legion in Skyrim. The nobility are housed within the Blue Palace. Solitude is located far to the northwest. The home of the famous Bards College, Haafingar is also one of Skyrim's few natural harbors and chief ports; ships from up and down the coast can be found at her crowded quays loading timber and salted cod for the markets of Wayrest, Anvil, and Senchal. [source?]

Founded during Skyrim's long Alessian flirtation, the Bards College continues to flaunt a heretical streak, and its students are famous carousers, fittingly enough for their chosen trade. [source?] Students yearly invade the marketplace for a week of revelry,[source?] the climax of which is the burning of "King Olaf" in effigy, possibly a now-forgotten contender in the War of Succession. Graduates have no trouble finding employment in noble households across Tamriel, including the restored Imperial Court in Cyrodiil, but many still choose to follow in the wandering footsteps of illustrious alumni such as Callisos and Morachellis.[source?]

Whiterun Hold

Main article: Whiterun Hold

Whiterun Hold is the largest of the nine holds, and is located in the center of mainland Skyrim. The Hold features a wide variety of geographical features, including rolling plains, green hills and snow-capped mountains, including the Throat of the World, which is the tallest mountain in all of Tamriel. Whiterun Hold is located at the center of Skyrim, and is the hub of trading and a core part of the province's economy.[52] Whiterun Hold's major city is Whiterun, and features two other settlements, Riverwood and Rorikstead.

Whiterun Hold's economy is helped by the major trading and business in Whiterun City, the sawmill business in Riverwood, and five farms, three of which are located just outside of Whiterun City, while the other two are located in Rorikstead.


Main article: Whiterun (Skyrim)
"The Plains District of Whiterun is home to the city's shops and market, while the Wind District is mostly a residential district. The Jarl's palace, Dragonsreach, dominates the Cloud District."
Proventus Avenicci[src]
Whiterun Skyrim


Whiterun is a city in central Skyrim and capital of Whiterun Hold and the trading hub of the region.

This hold contains Whiterun and High Hrothgar, and was once referred to as the "Imperial City of Skyrim" before it underwent several acts of chaos including a dynastic feud, attacks by bandits and frost trolls, and a series of annihilating winters of alternating floods, droughts, and fires.[source?] A self-proclaimed priestess of Lorkhan, Jsashe the Witch-Queen, controls the county and the local witches' coven.[source?] The local giant population uses the grasslands and tundra outside Whiterun as a pasture for their mammoth herds, and a place to set camp, such as in Bleakwind Basin.

Winterhold Hold

Main article: Winterhold (Hold)


Main article: Winterhold (Skyrim)


Winterhold, the capital city of Winterhold Hold was once a wealthy and influential city and county in north-eastern Skyrim. Winterhold is heavily affected by Dunmer ways and ideas, being close to the border. It contains the Ysmir Collective and the well known College of Winterhold. Winterhold's current Jarl is Korir.

Due to The Great Collapse, most of the historic city sank into the ocean two hundred years prior to the dragon attacks. It is the smallest hold capital, with only a tavern, the Jarl's Longhouse, and the College of Winterhold.


Main article: Eastmarch (Skyrim)

Eastmarch is located along the eastern border with Morrowind. The northern part of Eastmarch features snowy tundras and mountains, while the central and southern areas of the Hold are volcanically active. The western part resembles much of central Skyrim, while the eastern part borders the Velothi Mountains. Eastmarch's major city, Windhelm, is located in the northern part of the hold.

A smaller settlement, known as Kynesgrove, is located south of Windhelm. Eastmarch's economy is supported by three farms, Brandy-Mug Farm, Hlaalu Farm and Hollyfrost Farm, all located just outside of Windhelm. Eastmarch is also supported by Mixwater Mill and four mines: Darkwater Crossing, Goldenrock Mine, Steamscorch Mine and Gloombound Mine.


Main article: Windhelm (Skyrim)
Windhelm Skyrim


Windhelm was once the capital of the First Empire of Skyrim, but as of the Fourth Era, it was the capital city of Eastmarch. The palace of the Ysgramor Dynasty still dominates the center of the Old City. Windhelm was sacked during the War of Succession,[5] and again by the Akaviri army of Ada'Soon Dir-Kamal;[5] the Palace of the Kings is one of the few First Empire buildings that remain. Today, Windhelm remains the only sizable city in the otherwise determinedly rural Hold of Eastmarch, and serves as a base for Imperial troops guarding the Dunmeth Pass into Morrowind. [source?]



The Jagged Crown is a symbol of power for the rulers of Skyrim.

"Maw unleashing razor snow,
Of dragons from the blue brought down,
Births the walking winter's woe,
The High King in his Jagged Crown."
―Ancient Nordic verse describing the Jagged Crown[src]

The whole province of Skyrim is ruled by the High King (or Queen) and their consort. Each hold is ruled by a Jarl. Until the Stormcloak Rebellion and Civil War, the province was included in the Empire of Tamriel. However, by the beginning of the Fourth Era, only half of Skyrim counts as Imperial territory. While under this banner, Skyrim enjoyed military aid from the Emperor's army and inclusion in world affairs, as part of the Elder Council. The High King and each Jarl held a seat on the council.[3][55]

The Jagged Crown is a symbol of leadership and power of a High King or High Queen. It was made out of the teeth and bones of Dragons and was an ancient relic of the Nords. It is believed to date back to the time of King Harald. The last High King to wear the crown was King Borgas and was lost during the War of Succession.[56]

There are no known laws or legal documents of Skyrim. There were some surveys, censuses and records used by the government, such as the Book of Life, which was a census that kept track of people and livestock in a certain region.[57] The government also kept records of cities' general status and economic production. One such survey was the Survey of the Holdings of Jarl Gjalund, taken down during the First Era by Slafknir the Scribe, under the rule of Jarl Gjalund.[58] The following is the actual survey itself.

Survey of the Holdings of Jarl Gjalund

As Witnessed by Slafknir the Scribe, so Sworn by the Old Gods and the New

Whiterun -
The Jarl's Holding, with Plentiful Water and Pasturage. Home of Jorrvaskr, the Far-Famed Hall of the Companions.

Rorik's Steading - RORIKHOFKAH (RORIK-HOFKAH: Rorik Steading)
A Small Farmstead in the Western Plains. Grain, Leather, Horses.

Granite Hill -
Three Farms and an Inn, just north of the Falkreath. A Market is Held here Weekly.

H'roldan -
A Spacious Wooden Hall and Pasturage, recently Seized from the Reachmen. Silver and Iron as Tribute from the Natives.

Bromjunaar -
BROMJUNAaR (BROM-JUN-AAR: North King Servant)
An Old Settlement, much Reduced from Former Days. Lumber and Stone.

Korvanjund -
A Small Forified Settlement. Hides and Meat.

Volunruud -
A Fortified Wooden Hall near Giants' Gap. Meat and Worked Ivory.

Hillgrund's Steading -
A Large Farmstead Near the Base of the Monahven. Grain, Mead, Honey.

Armed forces

Whiterun Hold Guard Skyrim

A Whiterun guard.

Other than the Imperial Legion and the Stormcloaks, Skyrim appears to have no centralized armed forces. Each Hold has its own section of Hold Guards who act as both a national guard and police force. These soldiers are the first line of defense against any opposing force who threatens Skyrim and her people. All the Hold Guards were Legion Soldiers prior to the Civil War and were able to get conscripted by the Empire in times of war.[31][59] After the Civil War erupted some time after the Markarth Incident, the Hold Guards of Skyrim were divided just as Skyrim itself was, with Haafingar, Hjaalmarch, The Reach and Falkreath Hold remaining loyal to Imperial control and Eastmarch, The Pale, The Rift and Winterhold Hold changing to Stormcloak control.

The Hold Guards and all armed forces are under the command of their respective Jarl of the nine Holds which are largely independent. However, in theory all Jarls must swear fealty to Skyrim's High King who can unify the Holds' armed forces into a centralized army.[3][60][52] The Nords' warlike character and history of conflict contributed much to Skyrim's formidable reputation. As an ally of the Empire, it was also considered to be the Empire's strong arm.[61]


East empire sign

The East Empire Company symbol.

Skyrim is a wealthy and powerful province and traditionally was a profitable trading partner of the Third Empire.[62]

In some cities, a citizen becomes a part of the economy by either logging or blacksmithing. In the Fourth Era, Skyrim was politically unified until the outbreak of the Civil War, which pitted the Eastern Holds against the Western Holds. Although this, coupled with The Great Collapse, has caused some damage to Skyrim's economy, the city of Riften has become an industrial powerhouse, producing mead and fish. Skyrim is also abundant in a variety of wildlife that is hunted as prey by local hunters. These animals are hunted for their meat and pelts which can be sold or utilized for cooking and leather crafting.[63]

There are many forms of economic production in Skyrim. This includes agriculture, which is common despite the harsh and cold conditions, as well as grain production, mining, stone-cutting and logging. In Skyrim, there are many farms, Grain Mills, Mines, saw mills, docks and ports that produce goods and services. In addition, the trading and shipping industries are another part of Skyrim's economy. In each major city in Skyrim, of which there are five, there is a central marketplace where business, trading and social activities take place.

Some cities, towns and villages produce specific goods and services. During the First Era, Rorik's Steading (Rorikstead) produced grain, leather and horses, Korvanjund produced hides and meat, Volunruud produced meat and worked ivory, Bromjunaar produced lumber and stone, Granite Hill held a weekly market
Septim Skyrim

The Septim, the currency used in Skyrim.

and Hillgrund's Steading (Ivarstead).[58]

The East Empire Company is a multi-national, monopolistic trading and shipping company based out of Cyrodiil. The East Empire Company essentially dominates the shipping and trading industry in Solitude, which is a major shipping port of Skyrim.[52] However, the East Empire Company has been having troubles with the Blood Horker pirates, who were used by Clan Shatter-Shield to dimish the flow of Imperial goods to Skyrim, which in turn enabled Clan Shatter-Shield's trading and shipping business to rival them in Windhelm.[64]

Skyrim uses the Septim, which is the main currency used in Cyrodiil and throughout all of the Empire.



The most populous race in Skyrim are the Nords. However, people from all Tamrielic demographics can be found throughout the province.



A depiction of a Nord male.

Skyrim and her people, the Nords, have a diverse culture that spread across multiple aspects, such as holidays and festivals, music, religion, architecture and infrastructure and education. Some elements of their culture even date back to the Merethic Era and the Atmorans, the Nords' ancient ancestors.[source?]

There is a spiritual relationship between Nords and breathing, which is associated with the goddess Kynareth.[source?] Though the art of speech is usually associated with the goddess Dibella, the art of the Thu'um, or Storm Voice,[65] is associated with Kynareth, who gave Men the ability to speak.[66] Nords consider themselves to be the children of the Sky. They call Skyrim the Throat of the World because it was where the sky first brought the North Winds upon land and formed them. [source?] Breath and the voice are the vital essences of a Nord; the art of breathing, speech and articulation is with them. [source?]

Nearly all Nords have the capability to speak, but some have the capability of using the Thu'um, or Storm Voice. The power of these Nords can be articulated into a Shout.[67] The Way of the Voice was a pacifist philosophy developed by Jurgen Windcaller. The philosophy preached the Thu'um should only be used for worship and glory of the Gods rather than martial exploits. Jurgen Windcaller first developed this philosophy after the First Battle of Red Mountain in 1E 416. He then founded the Greybeards, a monastic group of Tongues who practice the Way of the Voice.[5][66]

Saunas are also popular in Skyrim.[OOG 1]



The Temple of the Divines in Solitude.

There are two religious pantheons of Skyrim, both worshiped in different time periods throughout Skyrim's history. The first was the Ancient Nordic Pantheon, worshiped during the Merethic and early First Era.[13] The second was the Nordic Pantheon, revered during the rest of Skyrim's history prior to the Fourth Era. During the Fourth Era they adapted to the Imperial Pantheon.[68][69][3]

The Nordic Pantheon consists of various deities, resembling or drawing influence from the Nine Divines. Specific deities venerated by Skyrim and her people include: Alduin, Dibella, Orkey, Tsun, Mara, Stuhn, Kyne, Jhunal, Shor, Ysmir, Herma-Mora, Maloch.[65] Shor is considered the father deity of the providence, as opposed to Akatosh, the chief Divine of Cyrodiil. Some scholars report that Akatosh and Alduin are the same deity, while others disagree.[65][70][71] Conversely, the Ancient Nordic Pantheon venerated animal gods; the deities were the hawk, wolf, snake, moth, owl, whale, bear, fox, and the dragon.[65]

Sovngarde is believed to be the Nordic afterlife created by Shor. When Nords, as well as anyone who believe in the Nordic Pantheon, die a heroic and honorable death, they ascend to Sovngarde.[72]

Daedra worship is rare in Skyrim. The main pantheon consists of Herma-Mora, an Atmoran demon who some claim is the incarnation of the Daedric Prince Hermaeus Mora. Mephala, the Daedric Princess and webspinner, is Herma's sister, supporting claims that he is a Daedric Prince. Maloch, an incarnation of Malacath, is the patron of the ostracized. This Daedric Prince was brought to Skyrim by the Orcs. Other Daedric Princes worshiped in Skyrim include Azura—whose followers fled Morrowind after receiving spiritual dreams from their liege;[73] Nocturnal—worshiped by the Nightingales; Namira—worshiped by a cult of cannibals; and Hircine, largely patronized by lycanthropes.[3]

Talos worship

Shrine of Talos Skyrim

One of the last Shrines of Talos in Skyrim.

Because Tiber Septim liberated Skyrim from the elves, many consider his divine apothesized form, Talos, as worthy of veneration. Worship of Talos is prevalent in Skyrim, despite the Thalmor and the Elder Council signed the White-Gold Concordat as a treaty to the Great War conflict. The document contained explicit demands by the Third Aldmeri Dominion to uproot the worship of Talos in Cyrodiil and its territories. Skyrim, at the time, was a territory of the Empire of Tamriel, its High King being a member of the Elder Council. Loyalists supported the efforts of Imperial Legion and the Thalmor to eradicate Talos worship in Skyrim, although rebellious groups such as the Stormcloaks refused to relinquish these beliefs. Sometime after the Concordant was signed into law, the shrine of Talos in the Temple of the Divines was desecrated and removed.[74]




The Bard College found in Solitude.

Many songs are found in Skyrim's culture; some notable songs included Ragnar the Red, the Song of the Dragonborn, The Dragonborn Comes and Tale of the Tongues. Music is also popular in relation to war and propaganda. In the third century of the Fourth Era, when the Civil War was taking place, two songs were produced with lyrics altered to suit each side. The Age of Aggression was for the Empire and The Age of Oppression was for the Stormcloaks.[75] These songs are sung by Bards in Inns and Taverns all across Skyrim.

One very notable song of the past was King Olaf's Verse. The verse, written by Bard Svaknir, criticized King Olaf One-Eye and his adventures and referred to his adventures as "lurid and false." In response, King Olaf One-Eye ordered Svaknir to be imprisoned and all copies of his verse to burn.[76] In 4E 201, the Last Dragonborn joined the Bards College; their initiation task was to retrieve the last known copy of King Olaf's Verse from Dead Men's Respite.

Queen Elisif the Fair banned the Burning of King Olaf, a festival of the Bards College, after the death of her husband, Torygg. She considered it to be in bad taste. The Bards,however, desired for the festival to take place. Viarmo and the Last Dragonborn went to Elisif the Fair and presented to her King Olaf's Verse. Elisif soon allowed holding of the Burning of King Olaf festival. The festival was to be held that day, and for all days in the future when the festival was to take place.[77]

Festivals and holidays

A few notable holidays and festivals are customary in Skyrim and in Nordic culture. One notable festival is the Feast of the Dead, which is held on the 13th of Sun's Dawn in Windhelm to honor Ysgramor and the Five Hundred Companions. During the festival, the names of the Five Hundred are recited.[5]

Architecture and infrastructure

Solitude sawmill

Solitude Sawmill, an example of architecture that can be found in Skyrim.

The architecture and infrastructure of Skyrim is a mix of rural and urban; much of Skyrim is untamed wilderness, broken up by nine major cities spread across the province. Of these nine cities, there are five that are more urbanized, heavily populated, and more city-like, and four that are smaller, less populated, and more rural in nature.[3]

The actual architecture of the buildings varies, but it is unknown what they were based on. The city of Markarth was originally built by the ancient Dwemer. The buildings were made of stone and the unique metal known only to the Dwemer. After the Dwemer disappeared in 1E 700, people started to settle into Markarth, so the Nords who settled the city did not have to use their cultural styles of architecture and infrastructure.[source?]

Forelhost Wordwall

A Word Wall in Skyrim.

Examples of Ancient Nordic architecture include longhouses, with "each beam and cornice festooned with carvings of dragons, bulls, boars, leering wild men, and dancing, long-tressed women."[OOG 2] The Ancient Nords, known as the Atmorans, built massive structures called Word Walls. Whether it was out of fear or respect, the Ancient Nords learned the language and writing system of the dragons.[78] One purpose of these Word Walls was to teach Words of Power to those who could learn and use Shouts. [source?]


Alduin's Wall

There are also examples of Akaviri architecture present in Skyrim. Sometime during the First Era, Sky Haven Temple was constructed for and by the Akaviri Dragonguard. In 1E 2812, Emperor Reman II permitted the construction of Sky Haven Temple. [source?] Alduin's Wall is a massive stone mural built to record all of the Akaviri's accumulated dragon-lore and the Prophecy of the Dragonborn. Sky Haven Temple and Alduin's Wall are testaments to Akaviri architecture and sculpturing, and is considered to be some of the best preserved examples of early Akaviri structures and sculptures.[79][80]


Three colleges exist in Skyrim: the Imperial College of the Voice in Markarth,[5] the Bards College in Solitude, and the College of Winterhold in Winterhold.[3]



  1. If divided differently, the word Keizaal can become Keiza-Al, which translates to "to Rebellion-Destroyer."


  1. Children of the Sky
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Provinces of Tamriel
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  4. Dialogue with Knight-Paladin Gelebor
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Skyrim
  6. 6.0 6.1 Night of TearsDranor Seleth
  7. Songs of the Return, Vol 2
  8. Fall of the Snow PrinceLokheim
  9. The Falmer: A Study — Ursa Urthrax
  10. Fall of the Snow Prince
  11. Songs of the Return, Vol 7
  12. Songs of the Return, Vol 19
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 The Dragon War — Torhal Bjorik
  14. Seven Thousand Steps Etchings
  15. Alduin's Bane
  16. Note (Forelhost 1)
  17. The Dragon War
  18. 18.0 18.1 Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Morrowind
  19. Nerevar at Red MountainAlandro Sul
  20. Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: High Rock
  21. Olaf and the DragonAdonato Leotelli
  22. 22.0 22.1 Windhelm Palace of the Kings Plaque
  23. Rislav the Righteous
  24. Five Songs of King Wulfharth
  25. Events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  26. History of Raven Rock, Vol. I — Lyrin Telleno
  27. Lymdrenn Tenvanni's Journal
  28. Events of The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn
  29. An Elder Scrolls Novel: Lord of Souls
  30. Decree of Monument
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 31.5 The Bear of Markarth — Arrianus Arius
  32. Varieties of Faith in the Empire
  33. Dialogue with Nepos the Nose during The Forsworn Conspiracy
  34. Dialogue with Braig
  35. 35.0 35.1 Dialogue with Igmund
  36. Dialogue with Alvor
  37. Dialogue with Thalmor Justiciars
  38. Dialogue with Solaf
  39. Dialogue with Saerlund
  40. Dialogue with Elisif the Fair
  41. Dialogue with Ralof
  42. Dialogue with Ulfric Stormcloak
  43. 43.0 43.1 Dialogue with Vulwulf Snow-Shod
  44. Dialogue with Balgruuf the Greater
  45. Dialogue with Captain Aldis
  46. Varieties of Faith in the Empire
  47. 47.0 47.1 Events of the Main Quest
  48. The Book of the Dragonborn
  49. Dwemer Inquiries Vol IIIThelwe Ghelein
  50. Sinderion's Field Journal
  51. The Nirnoot MissiveSinderion
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 52.3 Loading Screens (Skyrim)
  53. The Holds of Skyrim: A Field Officer's Guide, For Use By Officers of the Imperial Legion
  54. Was thus named in The Elder Scrolls: Arena
  55. Skyrim's Rule: An Outsider's View — Abdul-Mujib Ababneh
  56. Dialogue with Galmar Stone-Fist
  57. A History of DaggerfallOdiva Gallwood
  58. 58.0 58.1 Holdings of Jarl GjalundSlafknir the Scribe
  59. Dialogue between Elisif the Fair and Bolgeir Bearclaw
  60. Skyrim's Rule: An Outsider's View — Abdul-Mujib Ababneh
  61. Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: SkyrimImperial Geographic Society
  62. Dialogue of Balgruuf the Greater
  63. Nords of Skyrim — My People, My PrideHrothmund Wolf-Heart
  64. Rise in the East
  65. 65.0 65.1 65.2 65.3 Varieties of Faith in the EmpireMikhael Karkuxor
  66. 66.0 66.1 Dialogue with Arngeir
  67. Children of the Sky
  68. Dialogue with Cirroc
  69. Dialogue with Antonius Nuncius
  70. The Alduin/Akatosh Dichotomy: Book Seven of 2920, The Last Year of the First Era — Alexandre Simon, High Priest of the Akatosh Chantry, Wayrest
  71. Alduin is Real — Thromgar Iron-Head
  72. Sovngarde, a ReexaminationBereditte Jastal
  73. Dialogue with Aranea Ienith
  74. Dialogue with a priest in the Temple of the Divines
  75. Songs of SkyrimGiraud Gemane
  76. Dialogue with Giraud Gemane
  77. Events of "Tending the Flames"
  78. Dragon Language: Myth no More — Hela Thrice-Versed
  79. Annals of the DragonguardBrother Annulus
  80. Dialogue with Esbern
Notice: The following are out-of-game references. They are not found in any in-game books, but can still be considered part of The Elder Scrolls lore and are included for completeness.
  1. An Elder Scrolls Novel: The Infernal City pg 196
  2. An Elder Scrolls Novel: The Infernal City pg 121

Start a Discussion Discussions about Skyrim

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