The Thalmor is the combined government of the third Aldmeri Dominion and according to Ondolemar represents an alliance between Altmer and Bosmer regents. A militarist regime founded on beliefs of racial supremacy, the Thalmor seek to advance their power and influence across Tamriel with the specific intent of establishing the racial superiority of Mer over Man, "one century at a time". In Skyrim, they maintain an embassy in the mountains overlooking Solitude, are in control of Northwatch Keep (used as a covert detainment center for their political prisoners), and have an unused building set aside for them by the Empire within Solitude's city walls. Thalmor Justiciars can be found traveling the roads, sometimes with a Nord prisoner in tow, and engaging any Stormcloaks they see in combat. While not immediately hostile to you, conversing with them will reveal their antagonistic nature and choosing certain dialogue options (particularly on the topic of Talos worship) can turn them hostile toward you. Thalmor death squads may also track you down in the wilds, proclaiming "Behold the future! Behold the Thalmor!" as they attack.
For more information, see the main lore article.
Prior to present-day Skyrim, the Aldmeri Dominion and the Empire waged a devastating conflict known as the Great War. The Dominion sacked the Imperial City and held it under military occupation for two years before the Empire was able to mount a counter-attack and reclaim the city proper. With the Empire greatly weakened after these campaigns, a peace treaty known as the White-Gold Concordat was negotiated. The White-Gold Concordat outlawed Talos worship, disbanded the Blades, and forced the Empire to cede much of southern Hammerfell to the Aldmeri Dominion. The Thalmor thereafter set up various embassies across the Imperial provinces, such as the one in Skyrim, from which their Justiciars and other agents keep the local provincial governments under control and enforce the terms of the White-Gold Concordat.
According to Ondolemar, the Thalmor were the "Victors of the Great War" and the only reason the Empire still exists is because they "allow it to exist".
|Ancano||College of Winterhold||Thalmor advisor to the Arch-Mage.|
|AncarionDB||Northshore Landing||Leader of the Thalmor on Solstheim.|
|Elenwen||Thalmor Embassy||First Emissary to Skyrim.|
|Estormo||Labyrinthian||Thalmor agent, second to Ancano.|
|Gissur||Thalmor Embassy||Undercover Thalmor agent sent to track you down.|
|J'datharr||Outside Windhelm Stables||Thalmor assassin sent to kill Malborn.|
|Agent Lorcalin||Shrine of Talos at White River Gorge||Thalmor agent sent to kill Talos worshippers.|
|Ondolemar||Understone Keep||Commander of the Justiciars assigned to Markarth.|
|Northwatch Guard||Northwatch Keep||Guards the front gate from possible trespassers.|
|Northwatch Interrogator||Northwatch Keep||Justiciar in charge of interrogations at Northwatch Keep.|
|Rulindil||Thalmor Embassy||Third Emissary to Skyrim. In charge of interrogations.|
|Shavari||Riften||Thalmor assassin sent to kill you.|
|Tsavani||Thalmor Embassy||Thalmor Embassy's cook.|
|Captain Valmir||Forelhost||An undercover Thalmor agent.|
|Agent Sanyon||Southwest of the Guardian Stones||Dead Thalmor agent near a Talos shrine.|
Generic Thalmor Members
|Northwatch Archer||Thalmor Archer||Northwatch Keep|
|Northwatch Guard||Thalmor Warrior||Northwatch Keep|
|Northwatch Mage||Thalmor Wizard||Northwatch Keep|
|Thalmor Archer||Thalmor Archer||Skyrim|
|Thalmor Soldier||Thalmor Warrior||Skyrim|
|Thalmor Wizard||Thalmor Wizard||Skyrim|
Thalmor come in three different types, with names based on their location. The type you encounter does not depend on your level, the only differences being in their armor, weapons, health, and magic. The boss in any encounters will always be a Wizard. Though the lore states that the Thalmor are a union between Altmer and Bosmer, all Thalmor NPCs seen in Skyrim are Altmer.
Justiciars are the official enforcers of the terms of the White-Gold Concordat, specifically enforcing the ban on the worship of Talos. They can be randomly encountered wandering the countryside accompanied by Thalmor Warriors. You have the option of talking to them and discussing various topics. Telling them that you worship Talos, support freedom of religious belief, or lingering too long near one will provoke them into attacking you. They can either be Warriors or Wizards, and will be equipped as such.
|Hooded Thalmor Robes
|Clothing||Worn by Wizards|
|Clothing||Worn by Wizards|
|Clothing||Worn by Wizards|
|Clothing||Worn by Wizards|
All generic Thalmor have weapons that are leveled, and can be either steel, elven, or glass; the only exceptions are the archers' bows, as there are no steel bows. The archer and warrior classes wear leveled armor, either elven, gilded elven or glass; the only exceptions are the warrior's shields which are either elven or glass and are leveled separately.
Major quests revealing important lore about the Thalmor include:
- Diplomatic Immunity: Infiltrate a party at the Thalmor Embassy.
- A Cornered Rat: Locate Esbern.
- Search and Seizure: Find evidence of a Talos worshipper for the Thalmor.
- Season Unending: Enforce a ceasefire to secure Dragonsreach.
Other Thalmor Quests
Quests and favors that merely involve the Thalmor or going into Thalmor controlled areas include:
- The Eye of Magnus: Reclaim the College and contain the Eye.
- Find the Thalmor Assassin: The Thalmor are after Malborn. Help him get to safety.
- Good Intentions: Find and consult the Augur of Dunlain.
- Missing In Action: Rescue a missing Stormcloak supporter from the Thalmor.
- A New Source of StalhrimDB: Find a blacksmith missing from Skaal Village.
- Siege on the Dragon Cult: Enter the ruins of Forelhost and defeat Rahgot to recover his mask for Captain Valmir.
- The Staff of Magnus: Retrieve the Staff of Magnus.
- Unbound: Escape Imperial custody and a dragon attack.
- Under Saarthal: Uncover the mysteries beneath this ancient ruin.
When you first encounter Thalmor Justiciars you may have the following conversation:
- Player: "Who are you?"
- Justiciar: "I am a Thalmor Justiciar on important business that you are interfering with."
You then have two choices:
- Player: "Who are the Thalmor?"
- Justiciar: "We are special envoys of the Aldmeri Dominion, the rightful rulers of Tamriel. If you'd like I can show you why."
- Player: "What are you doing in Skyrim?"
- Justiciar: "We're making sure your Emperor wasn't lying to his elven masters when he agreed the Empire would give up false gods and foolish beliefs. Perhaps there's something you wish to confess?"
A third conversation option is available if you have discovered that Talos worship is illegal:
- Player: "Do all Thalmor have such high opinions of themselves?"
- Justiciar: "That we are superior to men is an established fact. For example, take this belief in Talos. The "ninth" Divine. Heh. Certainly you don't believe such things? Perhaps there's something you wish to confess?"
Subsequent encounters will also provide you with the following initial option:
- Player: "What's wrong with worshipping Talos?"
- Justiciar: "It's immoral to worship a man. And it's also illegal. A faithful Imperial citizen would know that. Perhaps there's something you wish to confess?"
You then have three choices, the first two of which will and the third may result in combat:
- Player: "You got me. I believe in Talos."
- Justiciar: "And so, you will die a heretic's death." (attacks)
- Player: "I can worship anyone I want."
- Justiciar: "Incorrect. You can worship whatever gods you like. But Talos is a man, and only a heretic would think otherwise... And so, you will die a heretic's death." (attacks)
- Player: (Remain silent)
- Justiciar: "I don't like you... I think you're a heretic."
Thalmor Justiciars may warn you away with one of the following lines. These may be said outside of conversation and at the end of most conversation lines:
- "You're interfering with official Thalmor business."
- "This doesn't concern you, "citizen.""
- "And now you'll walk away, if you know what's good for you."
- "If you're smart, you'll walk away."
- "Perhaps there's something you wish to confess?"
- "Now, go away."
- "Now, get of my way."
- "Walk away. Now."
- "Move along."
When leaving conversation with them they have a number of possible remarks (three for everyone and nine race-dependent):
- "Go now. Return to your pathetic pursuits."
- "Be warned. You have been marked by the Thalmor."
- "Now remove yourself from my presence, while you still draw breath."
- "You are a disgrace to the Altmer. I should kill you on general principle."[Altmer]
- "Go. Your very presence sickens me." [Altmer]
- "Back to the swamp with you, Argonian. Lest I carve you into boots." [Argonians]
- "Pathetic excuse for an elf..." [Bosmer]
- "Flee from my sight, Dunmer, or I'll have you shipped back to Vvardenfell in a crate." [Dunmer]
- "Slink away now, little Khajiit, with your tail between your legs." [Khajiit]
- "Filthy Nord. In time, your entire race will be eradicated." [Nords]
- "The Justiciars know your face. And we elves have long memories..." [Nords]
- "Crawl back into whatever pit spawned you, Orc." [Orcs]
- Elenwen is present at the execution in Helgen when Alduin attacks during the first main quest, Unbound.
- According to dialogue from Delphine and Legate Fasendil, the Thalmor even carry out acts of ethnic cleansing on some segments of their own Bosmer and Altmer populations, which are never heard about elsewhere in Tamriel. The reasons for this are unclear, but Fasendil's comments suggest this is related to the quelling of dissident uprisings.
The following is a list of lore that reveals various aspects of the Thalmor's culture and history:
- Dragon Investigation: Current Status by Rulindil — A Thalmor report on the return of Dragons
- Flight from the Thalmor by Hadrik Oaken-Heart — A written epitaph of a Nordic skald
- Imperial Missive by General Tullius — About the Thalmor imprisonment of a Whiterun citizen
- J'datharr's Note — Mark information for a Thalmor Assassin.
- Justiciar Execution Order
- Rising Threat by Lathenil of Sunhold — A multi-volume series on the threat posed by the Thalmor
- Thalmor Dossier: Delphine — Thalmor Dossier on the Blades agent Delphine
- Thalmor Dossier: Esbern — Thalmor Dossier on the Blades Loremaster Esbern
- Thalmor Dossier: Ulfric Stormcloak — Thalmor Dossier on the Stormcloaks leader and Jarl of Windhelm Ulfric Stormcloak.
- Thalmor Orders by Elenwen — A communique from a Thalmor agent to a subordinate scout.
- The Great War by Legate Justianus Quintius — A soldier's summation of the major events before and during the Great War
- Valmir's Orders — Orders to retrieve Rahgot's Dragon Priest Mask.