Lore inconsistencies are occasions when previously supplied information about the setting is contradicted, regardless of whether the contradiction is explained, corrected, or otherwise addressed. These are often (but not always) considered to be retcons. This page categorizes the inconsistencies by the first appearance of the conflicting information.
- According to the Player's Guide each Era lasts 1000 years, and then a new Era starts. This idea did not carry on into future games.
- A slide in the introduction sequence claims Arena begins 492 years after Tiber Septim conquered Tamriel in 2E 896, which would mean contemporary introduction slides take place during circa 3E 388 under the 1000 year Era model. However, Daggerfall lore later retcons that Septim declared a new Era upon his completed conquest of Tamriel, therein making the 492 number invalid, as there is an excess remainder of 104 years.
- A slide in the introduction sequence erroneously refers to Emperor Uriel Septim VII as Emperor Uriel Septim IV.
- According to Ted Peterson: originally, East and West were intended to be reversed across the board in this setting, with the sun itself setting in the east and rising in the west.[UOL 1] Remnants of this design can be found all throughout Arena. Ultimately this was inconsistent throughout the game's design, and was abandoned for future titles.
- Many of the races' artistic designs were notably changed from their depiction in Arena, in particular the Argonian and Khajiit. Though the Khajiit differences were later explained to be different Furstocks in Morrowind.
- In-game lore and faction data describes Barenziah as a Dark Elf, however, her in-game art portrays her as a Breton.
- Mehrunes Dagon's speech pattern is completely altered from his initial appearance in Daggerfall.
- This may or may not be explained by Jaciel Morgen's dialogue, which says that Daedra who return from banishment in the Wells of Oblivion come back changed, maddened, or sick. However, Morrowind and Skyrim have Mehrunes Dagon return to a speech pattern more along the lines of Battlespire.
- The Wild Elves book in Daggerfall introduces in-world linguistics for the Elves, which were intended to the most modern versions of these terms: the High Elves are the Salache, Dark Elves are the Moriche, and Wood Elves are the Boiche. The Wild Elves are the Ayleids, who practice an old version of Elvish, and therefore do not follow the modern naming convention. For whatever reason, the former three modern names were not used for PGE1 and Redguard, instead new terms were invented in their place: the High Elves are the Altmer, Dark Elves are the Dunmer, and Wood Elves are the Bosmer.
- In Arena, Dragons were always depicted with four legs, however, the Dragon in Redguard has only two, a retcon that carried on into all future games.
- Khajiit are depicted as entirely feline in appearance, a change that has carried forward into all future games. However, the original Khajiit's depicted in Arena and Daggerfall were grandfathered in as a furstock of Khajiit called the Ohmes and Ohmes-Raht.
- The Morag Tong was assigned to Morrowind as a place of origin.
- The term Colovia was nabbed from the Colovian Dynasty mentioned in The Brothers of Darkness. The term Colovia was assigned to the northwesternmost region of Cyrodiil for PGE1. The Colovian Dynasty itself is referred to as the Colovian Emperor-Potentates within the original book, which were turned into the Akaviri Potentates for PGE1. Elder Scrolls Online later changed the line in The Brothers of Darkness from "Colovian Dynasty" to the "Akaviri Dynasty."
- It's subtle, but in Daggerfall era lore, the Camoran Dynasty were low key intended to be Bretons. Wayrest, Jewel of the Bay mentions how the Camoran Empire granted Wayrest the right to call itself a kingdom, which would imply the Camorans either ruled in High Rock as their aborigin, or that they controlled a great swath of western Tamriel. Daggerfall Chronicles refers to the Camoran Usurper as the scion of a Breton woman and Molag Bal, who held a disputed heir status to the Camoran Throne after the Empire had long dissipated. The Chronicles mention that he had risen to power in the south of Valenwood. It was with this bit of context in mind, that the authors of PGE1 unknowingly reassigned the Camorans to Valenwood.
- The island in the bay where the two peninsulas of Elsweyr and Black Marsh project themselves is named the Topal Bay for PGE1, and features one banana shaped island. however, on the original maps, this wasn't one island, but a chain of three islands. Elder Scrolls Online refers to it as the Topal Island.
- Daggerfall originally established an entity called the Wild Hunt that killed King Borgas of Skyrim in the First Era in the book: A History of Daggerfall (for reference a Wild Hunt is a mystical event/entity in real world folk lore). Battlespire introduced it's own "Wild Hunt" as a Daedric practice, which may or may not have been a riff on the Wild Hunt that killed King Borgas. PGE1's Valenwood passage also featured it's interpretation of a Wild Hunt which was very intentionally based on the Wild Hunt of A History of Daggerfall. Skyrim later entitles the Daedric practice as the "Great Hunt," clearing up the issue.
Imperials did not exist as a distinct race until Redguard's development. For context, in Arena, the Imperial Province was imagined as a land featuring only one city, with the cityless outer territory encompassing the rest of the province acting as "miles and miles of moat" between the Imperial City and it's vassal states, as the Empire thought it safest to be central without any rival capitals around.[UOL 1] The population of the Imperial City itself in Arena is borked/unfinished in nature; the way the game generates the pigment-hue and names of villagers is by selecting from a list of eight hues and eight name generators, which were set up for villagers in the other eight provinces. The Imperial Province was set up as a ninth province, but it was never set up with a unique hue and name generator data. So in place of a ninth hue, the game defaults to whatever data it can fetch first, which was the Redguard racial hue. However, the game did posses data for a ninth name generator, which was intended for Monsters, so when the game goes to fetch the ninth name generator in the data, the villagers in the Imperial City are assigned Monster names.
Though the Imperial Family and Emperor Uriel Septim's race were never identified as anything specific during Arena or Daggerfall's development (notably, the early dynasty were definitely made out to be Bretons within in-game fiction), according to designer Ted Peterson, their race was intended as a sort of a mix of all the different races due to the various political marriages across the provinces (with various half-elven individuals lining the dynasty),[UOL 1] which you might infer affected the populace of the Imperial Province as well. Battlespire featured numerable characters that share the same Imperial origin, look, and name style as the Imperial Family as featured in Arena and Daggerfall, but they too are not identified with a specific race.
For Redguard, new designers came on board and sought to really flesh out the history of Tamriel. In Arena, the Empire is referred to as the Empire of Tamriel. Daggerfall later sharpens this term into the Tamrielic Empire. However, when the developers of Redguard were trying to find the in-world name of the Empire and the Imperial Province, initial queries didn't come up with anything. In Daggerfall, one of the languages mentioned in the setting is Cyrodilic or Old Cyrodilic. Designer Michael Kirkbride admits to finding the term in the Daggerfall materials and utilizing it for the cultural name of the Empire and the Imperial Province: "Cyrodilic" was retooled into "Cyrodiil" with double i's, being the Cyrodilic Empire, inhabited by a race called the Cyrodiils, who are ruled by the Cyrodiil -- a monarch-is-the-land tradition that goes back to when the Elves ruled.[UOL 2] Later in Morrowind, the Cyrodiils were made into a playable race called the Imperials, who have gone on to appear in every major entry since. Then in Oblivion, Uriel Septim was assigned to the Imperial race, which would make him one of the only characters from the classic games to have been confirmed as an Imperial.
- The shape of Vvardenfell, called the Black Isle in Arena, was completely redrawn, and a set of islands were added in the north called Sheogorad.
- The introduction of Daggerfall establishes that the kingdoms all over Tamriel are infighting, showing an image of Dark Elves fighting in reference to this, in the original art piece, Dark Elves are seen fighting an army of Nords. However, Morrowind doesn't address or flesh out these recent conflicts whatsoever.
- The name of the Daedric Prince Vaernima is spelled "Vaermina", a change which became permanent in later installments.
- In Daggerfall, the player character is given a personal background history that is determined by their class. In some scenarios such as under the Bard and the Rogue background history, the player character meets the Emperor's child and prince to the Empire. There are six possible names given to the prince. These include "Cassynder", "Cephorus", "Pelagius", "Trabbatus", "Uriel", and "Voragiel". None of these six names ever reappear in later lore as Uriel's children, with Morrowind introducing his heirs as: Geldall, Ebel, and Enman.
- In Daggerfall, Azura was depicted with light skin and flowing white/blue hair. In Morrowind she is entirely Dunmeri in appearance.
- In Arena, Mournhold is described as "lost city of the first empire." The Morrowind passage of PGE1 reintroduces/retcons Mournhold as the palace district of Almalexia City -- being the capital city of Morrowind, which very much does not fall under the definition of a lost city. Tribunal later un-retcons Almalexia City back into being titled Mournhold. It's definition as a lost city as indicated to by Arena could be explained by the layers of ruins beneath Mournhold, which are featured in the expansion pack. It's association with a "first empire" on the other hand, has never been explained.
- Despite previous descriptions describing it as mostly jungle, Cyrodiil is a temperate woodland.
- The main river in the Imperial Province was subtly named the Caledon River in the background history scenarios of Daggerfall. Oblivion names it the Niben River instead.
- Volkihar vampires do not have several previously described characteristics which were first mentioned in Immortal Blood. These include living under frozen lakes, being able to pass through ice without breaking it, and freeze targets with their breath.
- Saint Jiub, who was previously stated to have died in his homeland of Morrowind, states that he actually died in the city of Kvatch in Cyrodiil.
- An inexplicably "reforged" set of the pieces of armor of the Crusader's Relics appears alongside the original set.
- In the orignal version of the addon, normal hostile bandits wear both sets of the Crusader's Relics, despite their first appearance in Oblivion's Knights of the Nine official download specifying that they can only worn by someone of upstanding morals. This was fixed in a later patch.
- Many books appear that were written after the game's chronological setting. It is explained that an Ayleid worshiper of Hermaeus Mora created magical halls that would attract books from across Tamriel, no matter where—or when—they were published.
- All mentions of the character Ebonarm are removed from any materials that previously mentioned him.
- Bewan was originally referred to by Oracle Marieve as an Ayleid ruin. Her subtitles were later changed to 'Aldmeri ruin', but her spoken dialogue maintains the Ayleid origin. Then lead-Loremaster Lawrence Shick has elaborated that the error will one day be corrected.
- In Redguard, the statue of Frandar Hunding depicts him rising his sword in the air with his right arm and resting his foot on a goblin's head. In ESO, Hunding is depicted saluting with his right hand and resting his sword in front of himself with his left hand.
- The Draggin Tale tavern introduced in Redguard was said to have been established in 2E 284, 298 years before the events of ESO. However, the building in Port Hunding where the tavern should be located is a generic boarding house.
- Enduum is stated to have been built by the Ayleids in the Dawn Era, despite the race not existing until the Merethic Era. Then lead-Loremaster Lawrence Schick has stated that this is a typo, and that it was built during the Ayleid Diaspora of the First Era.
- Though previously stated to reside deep within Aetherius by the Battlespire Athenaeum, Lucilla Caprenia and Fa-Nuit-Hen instead place the Battlespire in a transliminally balanced Slipstream Realm, located between overlapping Oblivion realms at the edge of the Void and Oblivion.
- Vaermina's Shrine originally depicted her wearing an open-faced headdress and simple robes, wielding a modest staff. The shrine now depicts her wearing a close-faced helmet, armoured robes, and wielding a more mace-like staff, with two snakes encircling her arms.
- The Wilderking of ESO's time period is said to have been the first, being a mortal named Ostion, during dialogue with Sumiril and Aranias. However, Henodras states that there had been multiple different Wilderkings and Wilderqueens.
- The Mermaid of Anvil statue is depicted as sitting on a boulder, whereas in Oblivion she is depicted as "kneeling" on an elegant platform.
- Anvil Castle is present, even though it was not built until the Third Era.
- The Strid River Wayshrine appeared in Oblivion as a Jode Runestone dating as back as late as the First Era.
- The Shrine of Akatosh located to the immediate west of the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary appeared in Oblivion as a Wayshrine of Arkay.
- In Morrowind, the Shrine of Azura was depicted holding a star in her right hand and a crescent moon in her left, looking straight on, bare headed and bare chested. In ESO, the celestial bodies in her hands are swapped, she is looking to her right, wearing a floral crown and fully robed.
- Azura's statue in the Cavern of the Incarnate from Morrowind has also received slight alterations; previously having short hair and a bare head, now it depicts her with longer hair and wearing a floral crown.
- Sheogorath's shrine in Zaintiraris originally depicted him holding his staff in his left hand with his right hand resting on his waist. Now it depicts him holding the Wabbjack in his right hand with his left hand raised to his head.
- Despite previously being marked as unsettled by non-Dunmeri people until the start of the Third Era, Vvardenfell has many locations that would not be present until later.
- Desele's House of Earthly Delights in Suran is named after a character that doesn't exist until the Third Era.
- Despite Hlethena Vando's claim that Ald'ruhn is inhabited by the Redoran, it is instead inhabited by Ashlanders.
- Seyda Neen is Imperialized in the Second Era. Lawrence Schick explains that it was built by the Gold Coast Trading Company who have a trade deal with the Hlaalu and that is why the architecture has Cyrodilic influence.
- Leyawiin's Fighters and Mages Guilds halls have switched buildings.
- Despite Sundercliff being described as an active settlement, the epilogue depicts it as having been abandoned for years.
- Gideon is described as being an ancestral hub for Kothringi, but they have no visible architecture or presence when the city is visited.
- The Blueblood Wayshrine appeared in Oblivion as a Serpent Runestone dating as back as late as the First Era.
- The Fort Redmane Wayshrine appeared in Oblivion as a Ritual Runestone dating as back as late as the First Era.
- In Oblivion, the Shrine of Nocturnal depicts her standing on an elegant platform, with her arms outstretched in a T-pose with a crow sitting on each arm. In ESO, she appears to be levitating with her robes billowing out from under her, with her arms in a more relaxed position and the crows sitting in her hands.
- Red Bramman depicts an Argonian, despite Red Bramman being described as a man.
- Redoran Enforcer featured a Dunmer wearing Thalmor robes. The card was later altered to depict a bonemold wearing guard.
- Alduin and Wildfire Dragon were depicted with four legs. Their art was changed to depict only two legs in Patch 1.66.0.
- Legate Rikke previously identified her as an Imperial rather than a Nord. This was changed in Patch 1.66.0.
- In the The Forgotten Hero story, a Daedric Invasion called "The Culling" is launched, despite the Liminal Barriers being altered to make such an invasion impossible at the conclusion of Oblivion's main quest.
- Events of Redguard
- Events of Arena
- The Fall of the Usurper — Palaux Illthre
- Brief History of the Empire — Stronach k'Thojj III
- Events of Battlespire
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Cyrodiil — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
- Mock Q&A for The Origin of Cyrus!
- Events of Morrowind
- Events of Oblivion
Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.