Elder Scrolls 6 Plot: Will The Skyrim Sequel Continue The Thalmor Storyline?

Is another DLC coming soon? Or is Bethesda moving on?
Is another DLC coming soon? Or is Bethesda moving on? Bethesda Game Studios

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim made some big changes in the Elder Scrolls series. Its predecessors had been set in the days of the late empire, all of them under the reign of Emperor Uriel Septim VII, who died at the beginning of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Skyrim jumped the clock forward two hundred years, and the world was a very different place. The old Empire, backed by the divine right of kings, was gone, replaced by a far weaker Roman-style military dictatorship… a dictatorship that had lost a war and fallen under High Elf control. And that’s what we need to see more of in Elder Scrolls VI.

Elder Scrolls VI And The Third Aldmeri Dominion

The political backdrop of Skyrim is surprisingly complicated. Skyrim is nominally part of the Empire, whose High King—recently deceased—acknowledges the overlordship of the Medes, the new imperial dynasty. The Stormcloak rebels, of course, want no part of this, and want an independent Skyrim instead. This sets the stage for a civil war between the rebels and the Empire in Skyrim, which the player determines the outcome of.

But the whole time, the Empire isn’t really standing alone. The Third Aldmeri Dominion, a racist and theocratic state based in the High Elf lands of the Summerset Isles, broke away from the Empire after the Septims died and have become a great power in their own right. Notably, they fought the Empire to the brink of defeat about 25 years before Skyrim, and they imposed the White-Gold Concordat on the Empire. The agreement outlawed the worship of Talos and essentially made the Empire a subservient state to the Dominion. Not a vassal exactly, but not free to do what it wished either.

That’s the backdrop for Skyrim—a rebellious land ruled by the Empire, but also overseen by the Thalmor, the High Elf secret police / Inquisition. The Thalmor show up throughout the game, but ultimately Skyrim isn’t about them. Whether Skyrimends up independent or a loyal part of the Empire, the White Gold Concordat still stands, and the Empire still kneels.

That’s what Elder Scrolls VI needs to address in its storyline. The Aldmeri Dominion’s defeat of the Empire is a compelling narrative that’s only been touched on so far. I would love to see that storyline explored in full. That doesn’t mean the game has to be set in the Summerset Isles, of course, although that would certainly be cool. All of the Empire is touched by the Dominion now.

But I do dearly hope that the next Elder Scrolls game—which, to be clear, is approximately a million years away—continues in the same timeline as Skyrim, and doesn’t skip backward again, or forward too much. The Thalmor and the Dominion are too compelling. And I want to have the chance to bring them down.

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