Much of his life as the mortal Tiber Septim is shrouded in legend and hearsay, but one feat is undisputed: he became the first person to successfully unite all of the nations of Tamriel under a single Empire. Talos is worshipped as the protector and patron of just rulership and civil society, and his Nordic aspect of Ysmir is also seen as the patron of questing heroes.
Tiber Septim conquered all of Tamriel and founded the Third Empire and the Septim Dynasty that would rule it for centuries, marking the beginning of the Third Era. Upon his death he is believed to have ascended to godhood as the Hero-God of Mankind. The Talos Cult has since then been included in the Eight Divines of the Imperial Cult, and is largely followed by members in the Imperial Legion. One theory presumes Talos absorbed the essences of most Dragons when he became a deity, resulting in Dragons becoming nearly extinct in the Third Era. Talos' own priesthood, however, claims that his divinity was a reward from the Gods themselves upon his death. A considerable number of Imperials are followers of the Talos cult, which in general is popular among soldiers of the Imperial Legion, colonists, and assimilated foreigners. They follow the cult openly, and hold a strong, and personal, connection to the cult.
Talos is also referred to as the "One" in the "Eight and One". Some followers of the original Divines follow the old ways of honoring the Eight, while also giving due to Talos, the "One" who ascended. The Nordic aspect of Talos, known as Ysmir, is included in the Nordic Pantheon. After Tiber Septim withstood the Voices of the Greybeards to learn one of their prophecies, many Nords could not look upon the Dragonborn without seeing a Dragon. Another aspect of Tiber Septim is known as Wulf, who appeared on Vvardenfell in 3E 427. Wulf, at the time, was suspicious regarding the state of rulership in the Third Empire. He stated both the Empire and the Emperor were old, and was uncertain how much longer the Emperor would hang on. He was suggesting a change in rulership needed to take place, and feared it could get messy. This change would eventually take place with the rise of Titus Mede I.
During the Third Era, Talos would take a role in history several times. During 3E 427, his avatar of Wulf appeared when the Nerevarine was on his way to defeat Dagoth Ur. Wulf offered the Nerevarine a coin, which would offer increased luck when accepted.
Talos' influence would become more apparent during the Oblivion Crisis. In order to recover the Amulet of Kings from Mankar Camoran, the blood of a Divine was required. As no blood of the Eight Divines existed, the encrusted blood on the Armor of Tiber Septim was used in order to meet the requirement. The divinity of Talos would provide more than just this during this time period, however. As Umaril the Unfeathered had returned to Tamriel, the next Divine Crusader had to follow the Pilgrim's Path of the Divines to speak to Pelinal Whitestrake. Talos' Wayshrine had to be prayed at, proving his divinity. Likewise, where as Pelinal had failed to successfully beat Umaril due to Pelinal's limited power, the Blessing of Talos provided the Hero of Kvatch with the means to chase Umaril into the spirit realm and truly defeat him.
During the Fourth Era, a war broke out between the Aldmeri Dominion and the Third Empire, and this war came to be called the Great War. The war concluded with the signing of the White-Gold Concordat. Two provisions in the treaty had serious impacts on what remained of the Empire, but one of the terms banned the worship of Talos.
Following the Markarth Incident, the Emperor was forced to permit the Thalmor entry into Skyrim, as the treaty terms had been broken due to the Empire's open acceptation of free Talos worship. The Thalmor Justiciars within Skyrim were tasked with stamping out Talos worship within the land, as they were treaty enforcers. Due to the Talos ban being enforced, a civil war would break out within the province. Within the city of Solitude, the shrine of Talos was removed due to the Concordat, and within Whiterun, Riften and Windhelm, the priests of Talos supported Ulfric. Many Nords within the land still revere Talos. If the Stormcloaks win the civil war, Talos worship will be permitted within the province again.
An Imperial Liason to the Aldmeri Dominion wrote a book in which Talos worship was outlawed due to sincere beliefs. However, as a Liason, their job is to keep relations between the Empire and Dominion intact. Contrary to the claim in the book that the Empire and Thalmor want centuries of peace, it is contradicted by both members of the Legion and the Thalmor.
In their persecution of Talos worshippers, agents of the Thalmor are required to provide evidence to the local ruler of a person's worshipping of Talos, after which said person is arrested by the Thalmor. These worshippers are then detained and interrogated by the Thalmor until they renounce their faith in Talos. Sometimes members affiliated with the Stormcloaks are detained by the Thalmor, and interrogated until they confess to worshipping Talos. The Thalmor also perform illegal raids on Talos worshippers in the wilderness, aiming to kill the worshippers instead of converting them.
- How Tiber Septim became the god Talos is a matter of debate. In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, much of the conflict between native Nords (particularly the Stormcloaks) and the Aldmeri Dominion comes from the Dominion's claim that a man could not become a Divine, and thus Talos is not a god and should not be worshiped.
- In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the "blood of a divine" is needed to open the portal to Mankar Camoran's Paradise. The blood used is from the Armor of Tiber Septim, which implies that Tiber Septim indeed became a god.
- In The Elder Scrolls IV: Knights of the Nine the Blessing of Talos is what allows the player to follow Umaril the Unfeathered into the spirit world and destroy his very soul preventing him from being reborn in Oblivion and returning again. The blessing also allows the player to return to his body afterward, further evidence of Talos' divinity.
- At the end of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the player is met by an aging Imperial named Wulf, who bestows on him/her a power called "Favor of the Emperor." If Lalatia Varian is asked about this, she will tell the player that this is a manifestation of Talos; similar manifestations of Mara and Zenithar occur in the Imperial Cult quest line.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim the player can pray at any shrine of Talos to receive the Blessing of Talos, reducing the recovery period between Shouts.
- The deification of Tiber Septim, the first emperor of Tamriel, as Talos could be a reference to the deification of Caesar Augustus, first emperor of Rome as Divus Augustus.
- The name Talos is of Cretan origin, and means "sun." In ancient Greek mythology, Talos was the name of the legendary living bronze statue on Crete built to guard the island at the command of Zeus (who was worshipped as Zeus Tallaios in Crete). In addition, Talos is similar to another Greek figure, Heracles, as he too was a mortal who ascended to divinity.
- Talos is also the name of a deity in Forgotten Realms, a campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.
- The Talos of Forgotten Realms is also known as The Storm Lord. The name Talos Stormcrown may be referential to this title.
- Blessing of Talos
- Altar of Talos
- Great Chapel of Talos
- Wayshrine of Talos
- Blood of the Divines
- Amulet of Talos
- Shrine of Talos
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (as Wulf)
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (mentioned only)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Varieties of Faith in the Empire
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Loading Screen in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- ↑ "Tiber Septim" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- ↑ "latest rumors" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The Talos Mistake
- ↑ "Morrowind History" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- ↑ "Talos Cult" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- ↑ There Be Dragons
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Dialogue with Heimskr
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Dialogue with Jora
- ↑ Reflections on Cult Worship
- ↑ Dialogue with The Prophet
- ↑ Events of "A Lucky Coin"
- ↑ Dialogue with Wulf
- ↑ Rising Threat, Vol. IV
- ↑ Events of "A Lucky Coin"
- ↑ Events of "Blood of the Divines"
- ↑ Events of "Pilgrimage"
- ↑ Events of "The Blessing of Talos"
- ↑ Events of "Umaril the Unfeathered"
- ↑ The Great War
- ↑ Dialogue with Alvor
- ↑ Dialogue with Igmund
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Dialogue with Ondolemar during "Diplomatic Immunity"
- ↑ Conversations between Thalmor Soldiers
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 Nords Arise!
- ↑ Dialogue with Freir
- ↑ Dialogue with Nura Snow-Shod
- ↑ Aftermath of "Siege of Solitude"
- ↑ Dialogue with Imperial Legates
- ↑ Dialogue with General Tullius following the "Battle for Windhelm"
- ↑ Thalmor Dossier: Ulfric Stormcloak
- ↑ Events of "Search and Seizure"
- ↑ Dialogue with Aranande during "The Forbidden Divine"
- ↑ Dialogue with Thorald Gray-Mane during "Missing in Action"
- ↑ Random encounter with Thalmor Justiciars in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- ↑ Lorcalin's Orders
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 Generic dialogue with Imperial Cult members
- ↑ Ten Commands: Nine Divines
- ↑ Dialogue with The Prophet