Few games are as anticipated as The Elder Scrolls VI. With it not being expected to release for several more years, as of this writing, details are still sparse to come by. But when details are few, speculation is given fertile ground to grow. Usually, the best way to find out about the next entry in a series is to gleam the most recent entry for possible hints.
As of this writing, the locations most favored by fans to be the next game’s setting are High Rock, Hammerfell, or possibly even both. But what does this mean for the future of The Elder Scrolls? And are there hints in Skyrim that can lead the way?
10 Civil War Outcome
The Skyrim Civil War is one of the major events that plague the northern province during the life of the Last Dragonborn. The importance of its outcome could not be further stressed for the future of Tamriel. If The Elder Scrolls VI takes place after the events of Skyrim, an Empire controlled province would be pacified and stabilized, but still beneath the thumb of the Aldemeri Dominion.
Meanwhile, an independent Skyrim would be a new (albeit weakened) power on the continent in direct contention with the Dominion. Whichever the case, one fact remains consistent. It appears that war with the Dominion will be inevitable once again.
9 The Last Dragonborn?
One detail about Skyrim’s story that has fans speculating is if their character is truly the Last Dragonborn. Alduin’s Wall is tied to a prophecy from an Elder Scroll or Akaviri wisdom which states, “The World-Eater wakes, and the Wheel turns upon the Last Dragonborn.” However, it seems too definite for fate to decree that another Dragonborn will never exist.
Dragons are still alive after the events of Skyrim, so who is to say that another Dragonborn will not be necessary? Also, depending on how soon after Skyrim the next game takes place, the Last Dragonborn may appear in the story, which would be the first time a previous protagonist appears in-game.
8 Dragons Returned
On the subject of dragons, the entirety of Nirn has been changed by their return. Tamriel has not had to face dragons since the Merethic Era and the end of the Dragon War where their numbers slowly declined to the point where they were considered a mere legend.
But now, they have returned in a fair amount. Depending on if the Last Dragonborn killed Paarthurnaax, the ancient dragon will attempt to rally his people beneath the peaceful teachings of The Way of the Voice. If he is dead, it is assumed the dragons will act by their nature and spread to whatever corner of the globe they wish. What role they will take in The Elder Scrolls VI remains to be seen, but they may play a part in the story to come.
Skyrim’s expansion: Dawnguard added a plethora of content to the already expansive open-world RPG. Much of it was fascinating, from the vampire lords and their plot to darken the sun to the group of vampire hunters who sought to stop them. But perhaps the most interesting facet players got to witness was the revelation that the Snow Elves were not extinct and that two lived in a hidden bastion in the west of Skyrim. This is important for one main reason: Snow Elves may still live in other hidden locations across Tamriel. Perhaps the next game could involve a storyline where the player character can help aid them in reviving their race.
6 Miraak and Solstheim
The Dragonborn expansion for Skyrim, further added to historical events that will affect the future of the games’ stories. This expansion delved deeper into the lore of the Dovahkiin while also placing players in a setting with unique significance. Solstheim was an island that was both of Skyrim and Morrowind, combining features of both landscapes. It was also a refugee site, as many Dumner fled there to escape the Red Year. The Last Dragonborn’s efforts there may give Solstheim greater significance in the years to follow, most likely in the way that Skyrim and Morrowind eventually deal with the refugee crisis while Morrowind recovers.
5 Eye Of Magnus
Within the main questline of the College of Winterhold, players encounter an artifact of immense power known as The Eye of Magnus. Not only did a Thalmor agent, Ancano, almost use its infinite power to try and take over the world, but the missing and mysterious Psijic Order reappeared to bring it under their guard. After Ancano’s incident, they claimed the world was not ready for its power, but if that claim were true, then what exactly is the Eye? It is named after Magnus, but according to lore, it is not even certain that it was created by him. The most enticing detail around the whole event is the return of the Psijic Order. They were a precursor organization to the Mage’s Guild before their disappearance, and their return in The Elder Scrolls VI would certainly create a new power dynamic in the world.
4 The Mede Dynasty
Despite reservations some players may have about Skyrim’s Dark Brotherhood questline, no one can argue that it has the most ambitious contract in the series: assassinating the Emperor of Tamriel, Titus Mede II. It will be interesting to see which outcome Bethesda moves forward with, as the Last Dragonborn joining the Dark Brotherhood is completely optional.
Whatever they decide, the outcome of the Emperor’s fate will certainly affect the future of the entire continent. The Empire is already weak by the events of Skyrim, and despite his best efforts, many considered Titus Mede II unsuitable for surrendering to the Thalmor’s demands after the Great War. Whether he lives or is dead by the next entry, the Empire of Tamriel will certainly change.
3 The Blades
It is recent history in The Elder Scrolls lore where the Blades were nearly wiped out by the Thalmor’s conquest. However, the Last Dragonborn is aided by some of their remnants in the defeat of Alduin, the World Eater. This effort marks a notable shift in power that begins the resurrection of the once-powerful and revered organization of dragon slayers and imperial guard. The Last Dragonborn can choose to aid their efforts in the aftermath or let them expand on their own. In the next game, given how much time may have passed, the Blades could become a primary force against the increasingly antagonistic Aldmeri Dominion and it will be up to a new hero to choose which side they support.
2 The Aldmeri Dominion’s Plots
Penultimately, players will no doubt face the group that has permeated almost every entry on this list, which is none other than the Aldmeri Dominion. Few in Tamriel’s history have been as successful as they have at picking away the Empire, even fewer at reducing it to the state it is in now. By the end of Skyrim, the worst possible state of the Empire sees them controlling only High Rock and Cyrodiil if Skyrim’s rebellion is successful. The Dominion, on the other hand, controls the Summerset Isles, Valenwood, and Elsweyr. The Thalmor seek to rule all of Tamriel under the idea that Mer should have supremacy over the races of Men, so if The Elder Scrolls VI takes place after Skyrim, it is almost certain that the Thalmor will have to be dealt with in one way or another.
1 Peryite’s Afflicted
Finally, there is a theory circulating in The Elder Scrolls community about a possible plot point for The Elder Scrolls VI. It involves the Daedric Prince Peryite and his quest that the Last Dragonborn can take during Skyrim. Peryite released a new plague upon Tamriel in the Fourth Era, and it appears to be quite successful. Peryite is the weakest of the Daedric Princes, so the theory suggests that if the Afflicted move west into High Rock and Hammerfell, then it could be a bid for Peryite to gain more power, and potentially be one of the major problems that would need to be solved. Fighting a plague could make for a fascinating main storyline.