Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Statue of Topal the Pilot, an Aldmer.

The Aldmer (meaning First Folk,[UL 1] or Elder Folk[Note 1]) were the original race of Mer on Nirn,[1] who claim to be direct descendants of the Aedra.[2] The modern races of elves all came from the aldmer as they spread from Summerset Isles throughout Tamriel.[3]

As the common ancestor of all mer on Tamriel, the term "Aldmeri" is sometimes used to refer to mer as a whole.[4][5]

Physical appearance[]

As far as anyone can determine, the Aldmer vanished as a distinct race sometime during the middle Merethic Era.[6] The Altmer consider themselves the most "pure" descendants of their progenitor race, and attempt to maintain that purity through careful breeding and eugenics.[7]


The Aldmer came from one of the two direct descendants of the Ehlnofey, the other being the proto-race of man. Some sources claim that the Aldmer, rather than the Old Ehlnofey from whom they are descended, fought against Lorkhan in the Ehlnofey Wars.[5]

Originally, the Aldmer were concentrated on the mythic continent of Aldmeris, coming to Tamriel in the Merethic Era.[1] Initially, most of the Aldmer remained on the Summerset Isles, leaving the rest of Tamriel to the ancestors of Khajiit, Argonians and potentially Orcs.[8] It is believed by some scholars that the Maormer diverged from the Aldmer before this time.[9][10]

Other groups of Aldmer began to explore the continent and settle the coasts of Tamriel, becoming the various races of mer that are seen throughout most of Tamriel's history, the Altmer, Ayleids, Falmer, Bosmer, Chimer, the Direnni clan would ultimately become the Bretons, and the Dwemer.[6]


Most information known about Aldmeri culture comes from excavated ruins on the Summerset Isles, and the artwork of private Altmeri collectors. Aldmeri society was primarily agricultural, with an egalitarian government.[3]

The Aldmer were also capable of impressive feats of engineering, as the Aldmer built many of the Towers that can be seen across Tamriel, in imitation of the Adamantine Tower.[6][11]

Early Aldmer engaged in a form of ancestor worship, which over time began to focus more specifically on the most powerful of their ancestors, especially Auriel, Trinimac, Syrabane, and Phynaster. It was during this time that various religious groups schismed from the Aldmer, such as the Daedra-worshipping Chimer and the Psijic Order. Over time, the remaining group that would become the developed what is known as the Altmeri pantheon of the Aedra.[3]

Known Aldmer[]

  • High Lord Torinaan – A sailor who led the settlement of the Summerset Isles
  • Topal the Pilot – An explorer who traveled through mainland Tamriel
  • Phynaster – An Aldmeri hero-god who taught his kin how to live for hundreds of years
  • Syrabane – An Aldmeri hero-god who assisted Bendu Olo in defeating the Sload
  • Kinlady Heinarwe – A noblewoman and lover of Orgnum who went into self-exile
  • Maelor the Twin – An Aldmer wizard who wore the Pearls of the Ehlnofey
  • Surillion Ocean-King – An Aldmer wizard who wore the Pearls of the Ehlnofey
  • Orgnum (formerly) – An Aldmer who became a Maormer and leads as the king of Pyandonea. He is said to be immortal, and getting younger rather than older as time goes on.



  1. This translation is not explicitly stated in any single source, but is an extrapolation of the meanings of "Ald" and "mer" as presented in The Monomyth and The Annotated Anuad.


Notice: The following are unlicensed references. They are not copyrighted by a ZeniMax Media company, but can still be considered part of The Elder Scrolls lore and are included for completeness.