General: Real-World References

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This page is for Real-World References only. Real-World References include apparent parallels between gaming content and places, concepts, historical events, people or cultures of the real world. For other points of interest, like Easter Eggs, or references to other games in the Elder Scrolls series, please see the appropriate pages.

Even though some references are more obvious than the others, the majority of such connections are subjective. Therefore, when listing a fact which you see as a real-world reference, please try to avoid definitive wording, e.g., "It was inspired by..." or "It is derived from...". Instead, use phrases that demonstrate an uncertain nature of such facts, e.g., "It has parallels with" or "It visually resembles...". Unless a reference is supported by an interview with developers, for instance, information on this page is in the territory of original research and should be presented as such.

Elder Scrolls universe concept Real-world reference Wikipedia/Interview Link
Alchemy Real-world alchemy was a protoscientific field of study whose core concepts parallel those of the magical alchemy seen in TES. Alchemy
Birthsigns Both are constellations with artistic depictions that are believed to affect the characteristics of those who are born when the constellation is visible from the night sky. Astrological Signs
Confessions of a Skooma-Eater This book seems to be a parody of the real-world book Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, which concerns the drug Laudanum. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
Conjuration The summoning of supernatural forces can be seen in many real-world beliefs. Conjuration
Daedra The daedra of Oblivion share many parallels with the demons that exist in many real-world beliefs. Demons
Dawn Era The concept of a primordial state of the universe before creation is present in many real-world beliefs. Chaos
Dragons The dragon is a legendary creature present in much real-world folklore. Dragons
Dwemer The brass-like dwarven metal and steam constructs visually resemble the retrofuturistic aesthetic seen from the steampunk genre. Steampunk
Enchanting, Illusion Many real-world beliefs hold that items and people can be influenced by magical charms. Enchantments, Bewitchery
Gods The broad concept of gods and deities can be seen in most real-world beliefs and cultures. Gods
Hermaeus Mora Yog-Sothoth is an Outer God in the Cthulu Mythos who appears as a conglomeration of mass and sometimes tentacles and concerns itself with knowledge. Yog-Sothoth
Housecarls In medieval Scandinavian cultures, the term "housecarl" referred to bodyguards for lords and kings, very similar to the housecarls of Nordic culture. Housecarls
Imperial Legion The Imperial Legion of the Empire of Tamriel shares several similarities with the legions of the Roman Empire. Roman Legion
Interregnum The period of overall decline of the state of Tamriel may have taken inspiration from the real-world epoch with similar characteristics. Dark Ages
Kalpa The idea that the universe ends in a climactic event is present in many real-world beliefs. End Times
Magic The broad concept of real-world magic holds many parallels with the magic seen in TES. Magic
Molag Bal The name "Molag Bal" might be a reference to the two Canaanite deities, Moloch and Baal, both notably evil figures, who often required human sacrifices. Moloch, Baal
Necromancy The concept of bringing using magic to a corpse back from the dead exists in many real-world beliefs. Necromancy
Nords The Nords of Skyrim bear a resemblance to the Vikings of Scandinavia in culture, stereotypes, architecture, and even somewhat in history. Vikings
Numidium, Talos In Greek mythology, Talos was a giant bronze automaton who protected the island of Crete from invaders Talos
Nymic The concept that to someone's true name can be used to hold power over them exists in real-world folklore. True Name
Oghma The term "Oghma", usually taken to mean "book", likely comes from the Celtic god of the same name who was attributed with creating the Ogham alphabet. Ogma
Oghma Infinium The symbols on the second page of the Oghma Infinium are visually similar to the symbols on an Icelandic magical stave, Vegvísir. Vegvísir
Orcs Orcish culture in Skyrim seems to resemble the Khans, both in terms of armor design and the attitudes other races have towards them. Genghis Khan
Satakal The Ouroboros is a serpentine symbol of the death and rebirth present in many real-world beliefs, paralleling the Yokudan depictions and beliefs about Satakal consuming the world to begin a new one in TES. Ouroboros
Skeleton Key A real-world skeleton key is intended to open many locks. Skeleton Keys
Soul Gems The appearance of soul gems are very similar to variations of Aura Quartz; special quartz crystals that are put in a high temperature vacuum and have had either gold, titanium, iron or other metals fused on in powdered form. Aura Quartz
Sovngarde In Norse mythology, Valhalla is a hall where those who die in combat can spend their afterlife. Valhalla
Thalmor The Thalmor have a very similar history, and, especially in TES V: Skyrim, some similar ideals, to the Nazis of Germany. They also use an eagle as their logo, which resembles the Nazi Hoheitszeichen. Nazism, Hoheitszeichen
Thane In Anglo-Saxon England and early medieval Scandinavian cultures, a "thane" or "thegn" was an aristocratic retainer in military service to a king or nobleman, very similar to the relationship between a thane and jarl in Nordic culture. Thegn
Tiber Septim Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy. Legend says Tiber was the river twin brothers Romulus and Remus, founders of the city of Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire (of which the Imperial Legion is heavily based on), were abandoned near. Tiber
The Towers The concept of cosmic focal points exists in many real-world beliefs. Axis Mundi
Vampire TES vampires parallel much of the appearance, behavior, and ideology behind real-world vampires. Vampire
Zombie The concept of a reanimated corpse is present in many real-world beliefs. Zombie