Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For the human that became Talos, see Tiber Septim.

Talos, also known as Tiber Septim, Ysmir, Dragonborn, and the heir to the Seat of Sundered Kings[1], is the most important hero-god of Mankind.[2][1]

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.[1][2] Talos is worshipped as the protector and patron of just rulership and civil society,[1] and his Nordic aspect of Ysmir is also seen as the patron of questing heroes.[3]


"Talos says: Be strong for war. Be bold against enemies and evil, and defend the people of Tamriel."
Ten Commands: Nine Divines

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.[2] Upon his death, he is believed to have ascended to godhood[4][5][6] as the most important Hero-God of Mankind.[1] The Talos Cult has since then been included in the Eight Divines of the Imperial Cult,[7] and is largely followed by members in the Imperial Legion.[8] Tiber Septim was already venerated in Nibenay prior to his death, however, since the Cult of Tiber Septim was followed in Nibenay 70 years before Tiber Septim died.[9]

One theory presumes that Talos absorbed the essences of most Dragons when he became a deity, resulting in Dragons becoming nearly extinct in the Third Era.[10] Talos' own priesthood, however, claims that his divinity was a reward from the Gods themselves upon his death,[11][12] a belief shared with some of the Nords within Skyrim.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15] 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.[1]

Another aspect of Tiber Septim is known as Wulf, who appeared on Vvardenfell in 3E 427.[16] Wulf, at the time, was suspicious regarding the state of rulership in the Third Empire. He stated that 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.[17] This change would eventually take place with the rise of Titus Mede I.[18]


"In mortal life, Talos was a Nord possessed of unmatched tactical skill, limitless wisdom, and the power to see into men's hearts. Talos mastered the power of the Voice, and with it he united the lands of men into a great Empire."

Third Era[]

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.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22][23]

Fourth Era[]

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.[24]

Following the Markarth Incident, the Emperor was forced to permit the Thalmor entry into Skyrim,[25] as the treaty terms had been broken due to the Empire's open acceptance of free Talos worship.[26] The Thalmor Justiciars within Skyrim were tasked with stamping out Talos worship within the land,[27] as they were treaty enforcers.[28] Due to the Talos ban being enforced, a civil war would break out within the province.[29][12] Within the city of Solitude, the shrine of Talos was removed due to the Concordat,[30] and within Whiterun, Riften and Windhelm, the priests of Talos supported Ulfric.[11][31] Many Nords within the land still revere Talos.[2] If the Stormcloaks win the civil war, Talos worship will be permitted within the province again.[32]

An Imperial Liason to the Aldmeri Dominion wrote a book in which Talos worship was outlawed due to sincere beliefs.[5] 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[33][34] and the Thalmor.[27][35]

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.[36] These worshippers are then detained and interrogated by the Thalmor until they renounce their faith in Talos.[37] Sometimes members affiliated with the Stormcloaks are detained by the Thalmor, and interrogated until they confess to worshipping Talos.[38] The Thalmor also perform illegal raids on Talos worshippers in the wilderness, aiming to kill the worshippers instead of converting them.[39][40]


  • 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. According to Michael Kirkbride, the name "Talos" was directly inspired from Greek mythology.[UL 1]
  • 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.


See also[]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Varieties of Faith in the Empire
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Loading Screen in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  3. "Tiber Septim" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  4. "latest rumors" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Talos Mistake
  6. Dialogue with The Prophet during "The Blessing of Talos"
  7. "Morrowind History" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  8. "Talos Cult" dialogue topic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  9. Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Cyrodiil
  10. There Be Dragons
  11. 11.0 11.1 Dialogue with Heimskr
  12. 12.0 12.1 Dialogue with Jora
  13. Dialogue with Thongvor Silver-Blood
  14. Reflections on Cult Worship
  15. Dialogue with The Prophet during "Pilgrimage"
  16. Events of "A Lucky Coin"
  17. Dialogue with Wulf
  18. Rising Threat, Vol. IV
  19. Events of "A Lucky Coin"
  20. Events of "Blood of the Divines"
  21. Events of "Pilgrimage"
  22. Events of "The Blessing of Talos"
  23. Events of "Umaril the Unfeathered"
  24. The Great War
  25. Dialogue with Alvor
  26. Dialogue with Igmund
  27. 27.0 27.1 Dialogue with Ondolemar during "Diplomatic Immunity"
  28. Conversations between Thalmor Soldiers
  29. 29.0 29.1 Nords Arise!
  30. Dialogue with Freir
  31. Dialogue with Nura Snow-Shod
  32. Aftermath of "Siege of Solitude"
  33. Dialogue with Imperial Legates
  34. Dialogue with General Tullius following the "Battle for Windhelm"
  35. Thalmor Dossier: Ulfric Stormcloak
  36. Events of "Search and Seizure"
  37. Dialogue with Aranande during "The Forbidden Divine"
  38. Dialogue with Thorald Gray-Mane during "Missing in Action"
  39. Random encounter with Thalmor Justiciars in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  40. Lorcalin's Orders
  41. 41.0 41.1 Generic dialogue with Imperial Cult members
  42. Ten Commands: Nine Divines
  43. Dialogue with The Prophet
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.