One of the most unanswered questions in the world of the Elder Scrolls is that of the Falmer. Fans of the game will be familiar with a number of “mer” (or Elven) races past and present in the game, including the Dunmer, Bosmer and Altmer that we know today. But what of the Falmer? Where do they fit into the whole scheme of things?
The Falmer are known to be one of the earliest races of elves in Tamriel, snow elves who were present in the land now known as Skyrim when the Nords first came to visit. We also know that for a time, the early Nords and the Falmer lived in harmony. But alas, these things do not last forever, and the Nords soon fell into an expansionist plan, siezing land and power all around them. The borders of Skyrim were established and widened, and wars broke out with nearby Morrowind, High Rock and Hammerfell.
And as for the Falmer of Skyrim?
Well, they were lost. Entirely. So precious little has been written of them that we can but speculate, but at least one written record remains showing evidence of Nord/Falmer clashes. Players of Oblivion may have stumbled across a tome entitled “Fall of the Snow Prince“, giving a near-poetic account of one of the last great battles between these two peoples…
“A Nord warrior sees much in a life of bloodshed and battle, and is rarely surprised by anything armed combat may bring. But few among us that day could have imagined the awe and uncertainty of a raging battlefield that all at once went motionless and silent. Such is the effect the Snow Prince had on us all. For when the joyous cries of the Elves had ended, there remained a quiet known only in the solitude of slumber. It was then our combined host, Elf and Nord alike, were joined in a terrible understanding — victory or defeat mattered little that day on the slopes of the Moesring Mountains. The one truth we all shared was that death would come to many that day, victor and vanquished alike. The glorious Snow Prince, an Elf unlike any other, did come that day to bring death to our kind. And death he so brought.”
If you haven’t found that book, load up your copy of Oblivion and head to Cheydinhal… check out the local bookstores and see how the Nords turned the tide and defeated the Elven Snow Prince.
But where are the Falmer today? Certainly no longer present in Skyrim, but what happened to them? Theories are…
1. They were obliterated. The Nords hunted and warred with them to extinction.
2. They simply merged in with other Elven peoples, interbreeding, and eventually the Falmer lineage was lost among the elven factions we see in Tamriel today.
or 3. Evolution had its part to play, and the Falmer are still with us, in unexpected places. While the elven folk in Tamriel today don’t like the theory that the Rieklings are descended from the Falmer, one can almost imagine the resemblance. What a cruel end this would be to a once-proud people – reduced to unpleasant goblins today.
So, what relevance does this have to us in our travels to Skyrim? Well, certainly, we can hope to uncover evidence of former Falmer civilizations. Check out some of the fantastic concept art released so far of ancient underground caverns and temples. Morrowind had Dwemer ruins, and Oblivion had the Ayelid. Skyrim World speculates that the legacy of the Falmer will play a pivotal role to the new games plot devices. And keep an eye out for more books and tomes – there, in the Throat of the World, surely we can uncover more detail on the Falmer? Maybe even find out once and for all what happened to them?
We want to hear your views and theories. Let us know what you think happened to the Falmer. Anything we’ve missed? What do you want to see of this race in Skyrim? Will they be integral to the plot? Head over to our Forums and let us know!