Alright, so, it has been, what, seven or eight years ever since we first stepped foot into the infamous civil war that tore the homeland of the hardy Nords apart? And through it all, we ultimately end up facing one particular enemy (other than Alduin). That, of course, being the dangerous sect of the Aldmeri Dominion that, quite literally, put the Empire to the sword and forced it to surrender. But through all that time, did we truly grasp the long-term plan of the elves, so obsessed with bringing the forces of Tamriel to heel? Or was the civil war a fleeting glimpse of just what the elves of the Thalmor have in store for humanity?
Let me begin this theory/speculation/observation by asking you yet another question; though it is quite obvious the races of mer under the Dominion's reign want to bring the forces of Skyrim to their knees, out of a truly burning hatred of all things man, is their entire plan JUST the banning of Talos, or was there more that the Dragonborn could not see directly?
Now, this far into this thing, a lot of you probably wondering just what the hell am I talking about, I am actually going to take you outside of Elder Scrolls for a moment, and put you inside one of the most infamous events of our real world; the Holocaust. Now, while I have heard people make comparisons, I don't think half of them realize just how deep that comparison goes. You see, a major part of what made that particular event so horrible wasn't just the physical torture, but the mental aspect of it. Just like how the Jewish were torn from their places of faith and all things they saw as holy, so too are the Nords being taken away from the reach of Talos, in their eyes, at the very least. Whether or not Talos is really a god, what is indisputable is the fact that Talos is what invigorates the Nords and urges them to fight on, even in their most desperate hours. The Thalmor, the very sect which are presently seeking out Talos worshippers in Skyrim are, in fact, trying to take Nords away from their source of power.
Now that we have that out of the way, we face yet another question; why? Why bother when the Empire is basically doing the work for them? Well, the answer could be that the Nords are the Empire's last possible hope. You see, the Empire, as we have seen, relies heavily on Nords, almost more than any other races, and not only that, but as far as we know, every single other province other than Skyrim has either been broken, is no longer in a stable enough state to face the Thalmor head on or has joined the Thalmor entirely. I mean, the Nords are the ONLY race who, in the past, have proven themselves capable of igniting sparks that end with a practical forest fire, destroying all who oppose it. We saw this with the rise of Tiber. Even if the legends about him weren't entirely true (such as the fact that any mortal man who looked upon couldn't help but see a dragon), his tactical ability was purely unmatched even by the elves, and that's without considering a race that has both the fighting capability AND prosperity of one such as the Nord race. The Nords are all that stand between the Thalmor and a firm grasp on Tamriel almost entirely.
But you may be asking "Well, how does all of this spell doom for the Empire?" and the answer to that is the fact that the Empire, as it is, is weakened, and all the races, especially the Nords, are seeing that now. I mean, this was the SAME empire only 200 years ago (which is a relatively short span in the entirety of the Elder Scrolls) that not only helped end an invasion by the extremely powerful Daedric armies of Oblivion, but the main province of said empire stood almost entirely (relatively) well against the Daedric invasion. Mind you, most other places were practically razed to the ground whilst it took Mehrunes Dagon HIMSELF bursting into reality and smashing apart the Temple of the One to do any real massively lasting damage to the city. Fast forward 200 years, and the same Empire has been weakened to the point that a lone group of Nords (the race of which, mind you, comprises a good portion of their military along with OTHER races, giving them a clear race advantage) who, even if they were secretly being assisted by the Thalmor as some theories state, might as well have been using the clothes on their backs (which a lot of them technically were) and pitchforks as, though you could chalk it up to game mechanics, realistically, using iron weapons against steel weapons, which, mind you EVERY single Imperial Soldier has, will generally result in the iron weapons being smashed to bits while the steel weapons find their way into the iron weapons' users' skulls. Now, even with that example I listed above about Nords being so powerful, an Empire, that may I remind has the assistance of Nords themselves, with ANY real strength left would eradicate as relatively small as the Stormcloaks. Now, before you go blaming the civil war for a lack of the Empire's strength, may I remind this is the same Empire that took on the forces of Oblivion with relative ease while even the elves, powerful magic users, some of the greatest among the races of Tamriel, struggled against these forces. And let's not forget the fact that about the only place that rebuilt ANYWHERE more quickly than the Empire was Black Marsh, and that's because those crazy bastards invaded the Daedra back.
So how will this affect the Empire's future? With the Empire's strength waning, I firmly believe (unless Bethesda pulls some "They got back up despite the odds" bullshit) the Empire as we know it currently will be either badly weakened and near dead if not gone entirely. BUT does this mean that the races of Tamriel are doomed? Not necessarily. As I said, the Nords are the key, they are the one race that has, more than once, formed groups and rebelled against forces far greater than themselves. For gods'sake, they were the ones solely responsible for overthrowing dragons with super magical voice powers, and THEN still had the balls to create an Empire (the one we all know and love) to unite a land at war with itself. To say that they have a good chance of doing this again if the current Empire dissipates is a MASSIVE understatement.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please let me know if I missed anything, this is just my take from what I knew, and how I saw the conflict in question. I do think, that, even if it isn't this result 100%, I do believe we will be, at the very least, either dealing with an Empire that is in post-rebuild or we go in after they have collapsed then fully rebuilt or have simply fully rebuilt without the Empire as we know it collapsing entirely at one point or another. Let me know what you all think. Again, thanks for reading.
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