Not to be confused with Javad Tharn.
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"...for you have never faced a being as powerful as I."
―Jagar Tharn[src]

Jagar Tharn was a powerful Bosmer[1] Imperial Battlemage and personal advisor to Emperor Uriel Septim VII during his early years as emperor.[2] After months of plotting, Tharn used the Staff of Chaos to trap Septim in Mehrunes Dagon's Plane of Oblivion out of jealousy and desire for the throne, and copied his look by using Illusion magic, marking the beginning of the Imperial Simulacrum.[2]

Tharn usurped the throne as Emperor of the Septim Empire of Tamriel from 3E 389 until his ultimate demise in 3E 399 at the hands of the Eternal Champion, by the unification of the Staff of Chaos and the Jewel of Fire's power.

By game[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Tharn's life before Imperial service is highly ambiguous. Tharn claimed to be born in southern Valenwood to a Bosmer mother, which according to Notes on Racial Phylogeny, would likely make him Bosmer. According to Symmachus, Tharn was also part-Dunmer, part-Altmer, and "part the gods only know what." Symmachus also claimed that Human blood was absent from Tharn's ancestry. This, however, is untrue if he is a member by birth of House Tharn whose other members have been notable Nibenese rulers.[1] Tharn also claimed to be the heir of Moraelyn, a Dunmer of the First Era whose brother was the King of Ebonheart.[3]

Tharn was a mage-priest at the Temple of Sethiete in Camlorn, High Rock. He turned to thievery for a short period of time after leaving the temple's circle, stealing many books of old, powerful, and forgotten spells along with lore and articles about many ancient tools and magical items. Included among these texts was information on the Staff of Chaos, an immensely powerful magical staff said to be made with the land itself.[4] In 3E 376, Tharn had either traveled to Mournhold under one of his alter-egos, an enigmatic bard named "Nightingale," or tasked Drayven Indoril to do so,[5] and stole the Staff of Chaos from its hiding place in the Mournhold mines.[6]

Usurper of the throne[edit | edit source]

Later in his life, Tharn had been appointed Imperial Battlemage of the Empire and adviser to Uriel Septim VII. In 3E 389, Tharn used the Staff of Chaos to trap the Emperor and banished him to Oblivion. After his apprentice, Ria Silmane, threatened that she would warn the Elder Council of his treachery, Tharn used the staff to eliminate her corporeal form, though she was still able to communicate intermittently with Tamriel's inhabitants.[2]

Tharn sitting on the Imperial Throne with the Staff of Chaos.

Tharn, using Illusion magic, took the Emperor's appearance and usurped the Ruby Throne, replacing the Emperor's guards and servants with lesser Daedra and other foul creatures, also using Illusion magic to disguise them and remain beyond suspicion. Later, he split the staff into eight pieces, as the land itself split. He then drained the pieces of the staff of its power, and put it into the Jewel of Fire, as a sustainable lifeforce.[2]

The only fallacy with his plan would've been the true emperor, Uriel Septim VII, himself. Normally when the Emperor of Tamriel dies, the Elder Council is magically informed by the Amulet of Kings and meets to select a successor. By imprisoning Septim in another dimension where time ran slower, Tharn prevented this from happening. He then shattered the staff into eight pieces, which Ria Silmane explained was done by Tharn "splitting the land,"[2] and hid them in all of Tamriel's provinces, excluding the Imperial Province.

The Shadowkeys[edit | edit source]

Tharn disintegrating after the Jewel of Fire unites with the Staff of Chaos.

In 3E 397, Tharn and Shadowmage Pergan Asuul tried to manipulate the War of the Bend'r-Mahk to create the Shadow of War, the powerful creature known as Umbra' Keth. However, a mysterious hero with the help of Skelos Undriel and Azra Nightwielder, thwarted his plan.[7]

Destroying the Battlespire[edit | edit source]

The following year, in 3E 398, Tharn made a bargain with the Daedric Prince Mehrunes Dagon to invade the Battlespire, the Imperial training facility and bastion of the Imperial Battlemages.[8]

Essential to protect himself, Tharn had to eliminate any and all threats to his reign. As some circles of battlemages were aware that Tharn was impersonating the Emperor[9] they clearly posed a threat. Mehrunes Dagon was defeated and cast back into Oblivion by a mysterious hero, but the Battlespire was destroyed. The Imperial Battlemages were no longer capable of thwarting Tharn's reign.[8]

Final battle and death[edit | edit source]

Tharn's reign ended in 3E 399. The Eternal Champion, with the help of Ria Silmane and Lady Barenziah,[6] managed to gather the eight hidden pieces of the Staff of Chaos. During the final battle in the Imperial Palace, the Eternal Champion managed to unite the Jewel of Fire and the Staff of Chaos, which while the former infused with the Staff's power, served as Tharn's lifeforce. Jagar Tharn disintegrated into a red liquid, his clothes burning into dust. Uriel Septim VII returned via a portal generated by the staff, and declared the hero who saved him the Eternal Champion of Tamriel.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • According to certain magic-based backstories for The Agent in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, there were circles of Imperial Battlemages who knew who Tharn "really was" when impersonating the emperor, but none were brave enough to stand up against him.
  • According to some of the Eternal Champion's monologues during Tamriel's holidays, Tharn actively enforced higher taxation upon the Empire.
  • There is an ambient black metal band from Poland named Jagar Tharn. The lyrics of their songs consist of Elder Scrolls-related stories and concepts.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Imperial Battlemage to the Emperor
Zurin Arctus 3E 3??3E 38? Ria Silmane
Empire of Tamriel
Uriel Septim VII 3E 389 - 3E 399 (de facto) Uriel Septim VII
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