The Elder Scrolls

Theory: Lorkhan’s Boredom + Gratitude and Regret of the et’Ada

TheElderScrolls13 - Theory: Lorkhan's Boredom + Gratitude and Regret of the et'Ada

(This is a long post, so buckle up)

It appears that the one of the main things that leads to conflict in the Elder Scrolls universe is the religious differences between Men and Mer. Most of those differences are centered around Lorkhan/Shezarr/whatever-you-call-him and his supposed trickery/convincement. On the surface, this may appear to be a simple "order vs chaos" thing. But I believe the situation to be deeper.

The main thing most mythologies forget about is that the et'Ada had feelings and opinions. They may've been literal gods, but think of all the real life pantheons for a second. Each god had their own personality and opinions – not unlike modern day humans. The mythologies in TES either gloss over this fact or oversimplify it to "black and white".

Now, let's get to Lorkhan's motivations. You see, the "unchanging stasis" was just mundane life to the et'Ada. The details are, of course, lost in the "Dawn"; but you can imagine it as a serene village or your usual city. The et'Ada still retain their individuality, but don't show their inner thoughts because of the bliss.

So, what would happen if one got bored and openly proclaimed it in front of everyone?

This is my belief on what Lorkhan did. He didn't actively convince or trick anybody – he was just bored with the way of life. By proclaiming it, quite a few et'Ada had an epiphany. Going from this, we see a possibility of a collaborative effort to combat boredom (in this case, creating a whole new world) where Lorkhan doesn't have as much influence as many would think. He was still the one who spearheaded the project, but other et'Ada (who would be Aedra) would've added their ideas more prominently.

Skipping over some details, we come across a part that, curiously, doesn't appear in any mythologies (because of the afromentioned glossing over of opinions and feelings): Regret. There are exceptions (like Auri-el deeming the creation of Mundus to be his greatest failure), but they are almost always biased. Not to mention failing to account for changes in feelings, from initial enthusiasm to a "why am I here" mood to everything in between (I used Magnus' potential mood as an example).


Over time, some of the Aedra were satisfied with the mortal world, despite the cost. Some regretted it and wanted to regain their divinity. Some missed it out and wished they hadn't. And some were conflicted about the whole ordeal. I won't get into specifics for most Aedra, but will provide an explanation for Akatosh's dual nature: he was so conflicted about his feelings about Mundus that it evolved into a borderline split personality. And then the Middle Dawn happened and the split was complete.

No need to discuss the death of Lorkhan, it was certainly a regretful/resentful Aedra who killed him.

The gratitude-regret situation extended to the Ehlnofey: Their opinions on Mundus caused them to split. The Mainland-Wanderer war may not have been about where the Ehlnofey went, but about whether they were grateful for Mundus or regretful over it. Over time, the grateful Ehlnofey and early races of Men (excluding Redguards) began to hold Lorkhan/Shor/Shezarr in high regard and worship other grateful Aedra. Meanwhile, the regret of the Ehlnofey that would become the Aldmer evolved into a resentment and ultimately warped Lorkhan into a villainous figure. By the time of the mid-late Merethic Era, the idea of gratitude and regret was entirely gone.

As for the other races, Khajiiti beliefs seem to have gone in another direction (considering they see the immigrant Bosmer as mythological enemies). Argonians are tied to the Hist and don't care about any of this. Akaviri beliefs are shrouded in mystery and may or may not support this theory.

What do you think of this theory? Are there any things that I have missed or am wrong about? Any additions the theory to elaborate on? Let me know in the comments!

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