The Elder Scrolls

Theory: The plot of elder scrolls 4: Oblivion is Christian allegory

TheElderScrolls5 - Theory: The plot of elder scrolls 4: Oblivion is Christian allegory

First off, I want to clarify this: I don't think that the writers intended for the plot to be an allegory for Christianity, but this is simply my interpretation, and I believe I have solid proof.

Point one: During development of oblivion, the lord of the rings movies were coming out and its evident that it had strong influence on its plot, what with oblivion gates looking like the eye of Sauron, the dreadlsnds being inspired by Mordor, sigil stones being palantirs etc. This is also reflected in the games tone and visuals, lacking the darkness of Morrowind and exploring more Tolkien esque fantasy, with good and evil being more obvious and the scenery more idyllic. LOTR, obviously, had VERY Christian themes (What with Tolkien being very catholic himself, although it is important to note that he did not intend LOTR to be an allegory for Christianity) with Sauron being the devil, a deviation from the light of Eru (being God) , representing corruption and evil.

Point 2: The story itself can easily be interpreted through Christian lens, with Mankar Camoran being the anti christ, the direct opposite of Jesus or the pope, who (despite certain historical events in the case if popes) function as God's direct representatives. Mankar himself is a sort of corrupted dragon born (With him being able to wear the amulet of kings) , representative of the power of Mehrunes Dagon instead of Akatosh. Martin Septim could be interpreted as Jesus, as throughout the story he is shown as being a beacon of pure light and hope against the forces of oblivion, showing no real flaws. He could, however, also be interpreted as the good of humanity itself, having redeemed himself for his past transgressions (with him being the champion of sanguine at some point). Mehrunes Dagon is the devil, for reasons beyond his design. The devil represents corruption, an evil deviation from the perfection of God, and I believe mehrunes is something similar. He was originally born on the mysterious continent of lyg and originally symbolised hope, but after the revolution against the dreughs, he became the very embodiment of destruction, a corruption of his original intentions with only traces left (keep in mind this is my interpretation of events, although his birth on lyg and being the prince of revolution is definetly true). Revolution in the real world has two sides to it, the oppressed rising up to defeat the oppressors (good) only to take their place (bad). In this sense, I believe mehrunes symbolizes corruption, and the evil within the hope of revolution. Akatosh in this case represents God, as he both chief the divines, and the only remaining great architect of mundus, with Magnus having disappeared and Lorkhan killed. Although there is a raging debate on whether or not the aedra, and therefore Akatosh, are good, but regardless in the oblivion storyline he is the great good, creator of Mundus and protector of the mortal realm.


Note that this my interpretation, certain events referred to here do have debated canon. I believe, regardless of whether or not you believe in God, and despite you're opinion on the church of today, and the undeniable actions of the church of the past, it is very much worth pointing out the similar themes explored. The elder scrolls is known for its lack of clarity and debatable morality within the games themselves, but oblivion was criticized for this turn into more conventional fantasy and more black and white story and tone (With this being remedied by skyrim later on) and I think it's just as worthy to include within the great stories of the elder scrolls. This is just what I think, thanks for reading! TLDR Oblivion's story, world and tone, despite its more conventional aspects and tolkien/christian-esque themes, are just as worthy as the other ones found in the elder scrolls series.

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