The Thalmor is the governmental representation of the Third Aldmeri Dominion, the union of Valenwood and the Summerset Isles. As explained by Delphine, the members of the Thalmor are "elven supremacists" who seek to end the Empire and eradicate the worship of Talos. Falsely, they claim sole responsibility for closing the Oblivion Gates in the Dominion. In reality, however, Martin Septim, aided by the Hero of Kvatch, ended the Oblivion Crisis by destroying the Amulet of Kings and invoking the avatar of Akatosh.
Philosophy and traits
As a branch of the Aldmeri Dominion, the Thalmor seeks to unify the provinces of Tamriel through one-government leadership, with Elves holding all places of power. Deeply offended by Tiber Septim's victory in Valenwood, members of the Thalmor have sworn to root out Talos worship in the Empire. The White-Gold Concordat, effectively ending the war in Cyrodiil, gave the Thalmor legal authority to eradicate Talos worship, although many devout believers, including Ulfric Stormcloak and Elisif the Fair relented, either openly or subversively.
Origins and early history
Thalmor was the name of the provisional government set up by the Bosmer and the Altmer during the Second Aldmeri Dominion. Claiming the Summerset Isles for themselves, they renamed them Alinor in the Fourth Era. The Thalmor sought to unify the land, even before, along with parts of Hammerfell, to align it against seafaring threats that plagued the isles for centuries. The endeavor was thwarted by Tiber Septim and the "Brass God" of Dwemer origin.  This sparked a deep-seated hatred for the Septim Dynasty and the man who apothesised into the deity, Talos. The Thalmor reacquired Valenwood during the Fourth Era, and the Former Confederacy of Elsweyr, shaken by political strife, became a branch of the Thalmor. Their ambitions did not cease.
- Main article: Great War
The Thalmor initiated the Great War against Cyrodiil during the reign of Titus Mede II, seeing the frailty of the ruling class and the office of Emperor, after the Elder Council had struggled for decades to place rulers on the throne. The war was vast and bloody. During riots in Bravil, the crypt of the Night Mother was destroyed along with the last Listener, Alisanne Dupre, causing discord with the Dark Brotherhood and slowing its operation in Tamriel significantly, as invokers of the Black Sacrament no longer had their prayers voiced to assassins through the Night Mother. Four years of rampant bloodshed force Mede II to sign the White-Gold Concordat, which included the removal of Talos from the Pantheon of Gods; the Nine Divines reduced to Eight. Ulfric Stormcloak, a Legionnaire in the Imperial Army was imprisoned. During Ulfric's incarceration, his father was killed by the Thalmor. Facing heavy torture by First Emissary Elenwen, Ulfric was eventually released, in the hope he might stir up unrest in the region thus destabilizing the Empire further.
Hammerfell and the Markarth IncidentAt this time, the Thalmor unsuccessfully attempted to siege Hammerfell, retreating after suffering extreme losses. Busied by continuing conflicts in Cyrodiil and Hammerfell, Jarl of Windhelm, Ulfric Stormcloak was able to defeat the Breton natives occupying The Reach in what came to be known as the "Markarth Incident". Ulfric asked only one promise as payment -- agreement to uphold the worship of Talos against all else. Quickly responding to the threat in Markarth, the Thalmor gave Jarl Skald the Elder an ultimatum -- forbid the worship of Talos or declare war against the Dominion. He forsook his promise to Stormcloak. Meanwhile, the Bretons stewed in anger at this defeat, vowing to retake the The Reach and renaming themselves the "Forsworn". After the Markarth incident, the Thalmor presence in Skyrim increased, as it sought to enforce the ramifications of the Concordant.
Role in Skyrim
Operating from Northwatch Keep and the Thalmor Embassy, the Thalmor settled into Skyrim to convene over the Dragon Crisis, search for the last Blades, and passively influence the Skyrim Civil War, through its sleeper agent, Ulfric Stormcloak
Rooting out Talos worshipIn Understone Keep, Markarth's, the Dragonborn may have met Ondolemar, who attempted to recruit the Dragonborn in rooting out Talos worshipers. If the Dragonborn joined the Stormcloak Rebellion, it is unlikely that he or she consented to involve themselves in Ondolemar's plot.
Active throughout Skyrim, the Dragonborn may have encountered them randomly in several ways. Initially, members of the Thalmor are non-hostile and will only attack when provoked.
Thalmor patrols can be encountered along most of Skyrim's major roadways and usually consist of one Justiciar and three bodyguards. A prisoner for interrogation may accompany the party to the Embassy. The prisoner can be freed by interacting with him and giving him weapons. After attacking a patrol, the Thalmor send another group of Thalmor agents to kill the Dragonborn.
The College of Winterhold
An adviser named Ancano was sent to The College of Winterhold to oversee its studies. During his stay, Ancano attempts to absorb the power of the Eye of Magnus, killing Arch Mage Savos Aren in the process. The Dragonborn, armed with the Staff of Magnus, ended the endeavor.
The Blades and the Dragon Crisis
Narrowly escaping the Thalmor during the Great War, Delphine, the last acting Grandmaster of the Blades hid at the Sleeping Giant Inn in Riverwood. There, she located and stole the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, hoping to lure the Dragonborn to her. With the Dragonborn's aid, she hoped to halt the resurrection of the Dragons. Suspecting the Thalmor of causing the Dragon Crisis and the return of Alduin, she sent the Dragonborn undercover to the Thalmor Embassy near Solitude. There, the Dragonborn learned that the Thalmor was not behind the return of the Dragons. Instead, the Dragonborn discovered that a Dragon Loremaster and Blade named Esbern was alive, hiding somewhere in Riften.
The Dragonborn freed Etienne Rarnis and killed his torturer, Rulindil, returning to Delphine with the news. Traveling to Riften, the Dragonborn cooperated with the Thieves Guild and located Esbern in The Ratway Vaults beneath the city. After convincing Esbern to bring him to Delphine, the two were attacked by Thalmor agents. Reunited, Esbern, Delphine, and the Dragonborn reclaimed the lost Sky Haven Temple and plotted the destruction of Alduin.
Although not blatantly offering aid, the Thalmor supported the Imperial Legion in its battle against the Stormcloaks. The Thalmor was more interested in weakening the morale of Skyrim than supporting either cause.
Thalmor bases in Skyrim
- Thalmor Archer
- Thalmor Guardian
- Thalmor Justiciar
- Thalmor Soldier
- Thalmor Spellsword
- Thalmor Warrior
- Thalmor Wizard
Joining the Thalmor
Although the Thalmor was not intended to be joined, console commands can be forced to add the Dragonborn to their faction. This is done by typing
player.addfac 39F26". The Thalmor should be friendly to the Dragonborn after this.
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Aldmeri Dominion
- ↑ The Great War
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Valenwood
- ↑ Cicero's Journal, Volume II
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dialogue with Esbern
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Thalmor Dossier: Delphine
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Thalmor Dossier: Ulfric Stormcloak
- ↑ Thalmor Dossier: Esbern