Religoin part I in Skyrim

ALMSIVI have mercy on this poor, poor utility monster. If the death of all reality would not satiate his hunger for happiness, then perhaps spiritualism is the way to go. Spiritualism and religion in Skyrim is much different to religion in historic Western Europe. In Skyrim, religion is dominated by the worship of the 9 divines, not the ALMSIVI Tribunal. There is a clear cut contrast between old Nordic faith that worshipped gods like Odin and Thor, and Skyrim Nordic faith which worships the Aedra creator gods. Most notably, there are no clear analogies between Odin to Akatosh, both Father gods, and between Thor and Talos, both Warrior gods. But the reason for faith in historic and in Skyrim are approximately the same, the quest for meaning in a depressingly quick and brutal life. Relgion also exaplains and upholds an idolized notion of honor and courage or motherhood and fatherhood in a society. The creation of religion may be in a myth that is spread to uphold the ideal of honor, etc in a society where there is no active incentive for the pursuit such ideals. These myths are spread in the name of the public good, and occasionally they become immortalized in the form of religion. Such is perhaps the origin of the Talos religion.

For me, the most interesting figure in the Skyrim pantheon is Talos, who was once the human emperor Tiber Septim. He was the conquering Emperor-General of Tamriel and exemplified the virtues of manly toughness and paternal benevolence, with millions of human souls upholding his soul as their personal idol. But the fragility of a myth that creates a figure for the public promotion of masculine virtues is apparent. Throughout the game, there is a question of whether or not Tiber Septim is truly divine, with the elves claiming he is not because he was a human and humans can’t be gods, and with the humans claiming yes he is. I will spoil the answer: Tiber Septim is actually divine. It is generally agreed upon by game developers that he fused with Ysmir Wulfarth, Zurin Arctus and the remnants of the dead god Lorkhan to take Lorkhan’s place in the pantheon as the over-soul Talos.

But the reason why Talos is interesting is not because he followed a confusing path to godhood, but because he bears a close resemblance to the Christian God and Jesus. Jesus bears a strained claim to Godhood, being approximately one-third human or all human and all divine at the same time, depending on who you ask. Many people question whether or not historic Jesus is even a little divine, but the refutations of the inquiries behind Talos’s godhood is Bethesda’s own rejection of agnostic arguments against Jesus. Half-divine Talos’s legitimacy is questioned, exactly like how Jesus’s holiness is questioned, and because Talos’s legitimacy is upheld, then through argument by analogy we can say that the game developers would like us to have another look at one of the most popular human religions.


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