The Elder Scrolls

The Punishment of Lorkhan – Lore Theory

TheElderScrolls11 - The Punishment of Lorkhan - Lore Theory

After years of analyzing and several rewrites, and reposts on other threads, I'm just posting this here for a reference at this point. Despite it's sheer breadth, still a work-in-progress, and likely will remain so until outright contradicted. Civil Feedback appreciated.

Without further ado:

The Punishment of Lorkhan!

Akatosh is the god of time,and a dragon, and it is thus from him we get the phrase "Dragonbreak", which refers to a point in time where there were multiple, simultaneously overlapping timelines all happening at once on Mundus. He is in actuality the soul of the higher god, Auri-El, which is itself the soul of an even higher god, Anu-El. This will be important later.

Alduin is also a god, the God of Destruction, Akatosh's first born dragon child. Gods of destruction have their place, and it is at the end of days; Only when the new world is READY to be born is Alduin to Eat the World, as is his name. But Alduin didn't do as he was meant to, instead he chose an evil path, one of domination and subjugation.

He was not created at the beginning of time to immediately destroy the world. Akatosh saw him going out of control and created the first dragonborn to oppose him. Miraak did so, and made it possible for humans to rise up against the dragons, for them to find the Thu'um Kyne gave them, and for Paarthurnax to be able to teach them, to banish Alduin outside of time. . .

And this is where we come to TLD: Who is he? Why did Akatosh allow this doomsday prophecy to come about and be triggered prematurely? It is simple, because it was part of the plan.

The plan to take grand revenge on Lorkhan, the dead god, the one who orchestrated the Creation of Nirn in the first place.

Allow me to explain:

But, first, we must go over a key concept: Mantling, the process by which lesser beings, mortals, and the ilk to impersonate and eventually BECOME godly figures, or otherwise. Another concept to take into account is that beings like this are strange and don't follow normal rules: Boethia ATE the Aedra Trinnmac and shat him out as the Daedric Prince Malacath. The other divines fought Lorkhan and ripped his body in half, before tossing his Heart down to mundus, his body becoming the twin moons Masser and Secuder; The gods and godly figures can do real weird shit to each other. It is also worth noting that a Godly or divine being each has their own personal realm, including the Aedra, which is also an extension of their form and power, and thus technically part of their body.

Jagar Tharn attempts this on a lesser scale, trying to become The Emperor, Uriel Septim, with "The Imperial Simulacrum". I don't believe it happens in Daggerfall, to my knowledge, thoughI may be wrong. The original Tribunal accomplishes this, and transforms the nature of 3 daedra in the process, while simultaneously becoming those Daedric Princes themselves (using the power of the Heart of Lorkhan, more on that later). Tiber Septim accomplished this by mantling Shezzar, one of the reincarnations of Lorkhan. Dagoth Ur attempts this, and fails, driving himself insane. The Hero of Kvatch accomplishes this, Mantling Sheogorath and becoming another Daedric Prince. Martin Septim, last of the Septim bloodline, instantaneously mantled Akatosh at the end of the oblivion crisis, sacrificing himself to seal the gates of oblivion permanently, eternally reigniting the dragonfires, his death and rebirth from dragonborn to true dragon the ultimate fulfillment of Akatosh's pact with the wearers of the Amulet of Kings.

It is my theory that the Last Dragonborn also mantles a deity, none other than Talos himself.

To mantle a greater spirit like the Aedra and Daedra, one must mimic their feats, "impersonating" them. They must attain sufficient power to approach Godhood. They must be famous and reknowned, with many who know of their deeds. Finally, they must meet specific criteria for the being they are mantling.

For Talos, Tiber Septim, Shor, Lorkhan, Ysmir, Lorkhaj, Shezzar, there are a few criteria, can bw accomplished in no particular order; First, one must form an oversoul (a multi-soul fusion) containing at least one human. Second, one must be a champion of humanity, helping the common folk and defending them from persecution by elves. The final is to become venerated, blessed by, or reffered to by one of Lorkhan's names; or achieve CHIM.


Some of the ways the Dragonborn "impersonates" Lorkhan: getting many beings (the daedra specifically, but the gods bless him tool to donate power to his cause despite serving his own ends, but having them believe he is working for them. Fighting the thalmor (elves) on behalf of humanity. Ending a civil war and reuniting turbulent peoples. Facing off with a dragon god, (outcome admittedly different. . . Or is it?). Fighting an ACTUAL deity and winning (The Ebony warrior is a little-known Redguard warrior god). Simply being dragonborn; but there are likely many more as well, don't assume my list is all of them. Some other supporting evidence is thus: The ghost of Old Hrolden, where the last dragonborn gets a glimpse into the life of Hjalti Early-Beard, the basis of the oversoul which became Tiber Septim (It's established in Morrowind that reincarnations can experience visions of their past lives). The absence of Shor (the original nordic version of Lorkhan) on his throne in Sovengarde (it is UNHEARD OF for a deity of such power to not meet one of their most important mortal champions, espesially leave them in utter radio silence); he cannot be there for he is currently…you. The Greybeards literally name you Ysmir, like Talos before you, and refer to you as such with the Thu'um, with words of power. The locking of your soul away in a soul gem to enter the soul cairn a parallel to the Mantella. The ability to find Keening, one of the tools which let one harness the power of the heart of Lorkhan itself to attain divinity. The face off with Alduin leaving his body to be sundered, his power scattering into the realm of Sovengarde.

I've heard some various arguments like the minor god Tsun not recognizing you as Shor, or some of my evidence not necessarily lining up due to conflicting cultural sources, and if anyone has concerns about those, I'd be willing to discuss, but that first part of this theory is vital to understanding the final part, The True Punishment of Lorkhan:

The Goddess Nirn loves Lorkhan for bringing her into existance and allows him to reincarnate as a mortal every so often, that he might slowly regain the strength he lost in godhood. These reincarnations are called the "Shezzarine", and it wasn't until Talos' ascention that Lorkhan had regained enough power to truly be considered divine. Indeed, the Thalmor smear campaign is likly rooted in their understanding of Talos' status as a Shezzarine, and their hatred of Lorkhan for his role in "stealing their immortality" in the formation of Nirn. But his divinity is undoubtable, espesially for the dragonborn, who can use the power of his shrines to shout more often, perhaps in connection to their shared dragon souls.

The Dragon souls are special, as a dragon who beats another can absorb their soul into their body and steal their power. So let me ask you the question: what would happen if, in a beings personal realm, when facing another god, when both gods happen to be dragons, and the dragon who is defeated seemingly explodes into energy, absorbed by the REALM ITSELF. . . Would you say it's far fetched that the victorious dragon god simply, by choice or not, absorbed the power of the fallen god? And remember, Akatosh is himself a soul, a dragon soul at that, and Alduin his "firstborn".

Harken back to Arngeir's words: perhaps the gods will allow him (Alduin) to return at the end of time to fulfill his role as World-Eater. Well, what if he's right, but only half-right?

What if the person who must now take Alduin's place is the one who would hate it the most, the one who would have to personally destroy their own, perfect creation? The one who personally fought so hard to protect it?

Would it not be perfect poetic justice, a betrayal to match a betrayal, that Lorkhan, Talos, the Last Dragonborn, be remade by a hostile divinity, into a god of destruction, whose only role is the utter annihilation of everything they swore to protect?

What if the plan all along was for Akatosh to create Alduin to fail and lose due to his arrogance, to a mortal raised to the level of godhood, fighting in the realm he would inheirit which is also the only place the evil god was vulnerable, so that that same mortal who would be a god could eventually be forced to take the black wyrm's place as World-Eater, counting on Lorkhan's insatiable hero complex, delusions of grandeur, and uneffable reincarnations?

Would it not be a gambit fit for an omniscient time-god-dragon?

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