- The lore of The Elder Scrolls franchise draws inspiration from various mythologies and legends, including the existence of deceitful and cruel deities known as Daedric Princes, such as Hermaeus Mora.
- Daedra worship varies across the continent, with cults forming in places like Cyrodiil and Skyrim. These cults have at times posed a threat to society and have been influenced by Hermaeus Mora to commit heinous acts.
- Hermaeus Mora has appeared throughout different eras in the game's lore, teaching Dragon Priests and granting powerful artifacts like the Oghma Infinium. His appearance has changed over time, and he has become more violent, manipulating heroes and leading innocent people to their deaths.
The Elder Scrolls franchise’s lore is inspired by a variety of established mythologies, religious stories, and legends all over the world. The deities the people praise aren’t always benevolent and kind. This is evidenced by the Daedric Princes, extremely powerful entities who inhabit the realm of Oblivion and get summoned by citizens of Tamriel through rituals and spells. Most of them are deceitful and cruel, too, with the perfect example being the Daedric Prince of Knowledge, Hermaeus Mora, whom Skyrim players may be familiar with.
Methods of Daedra worship are varied across the continent, with Imperial and Nord citizens in Cyrodiil and Skyrim often forming cults. While these groups are small and pop up in isolation, there have been times when they were actual threats to society. Even Hermaeus Mora, who, despite being an entity of knowledge, has goaded his human subjects to commit heinous acts.
A Look at Hermaeus Mora Throughout the Different Eras
Communication with and worship of Hermaeus Mora date back to the Merethic Era, a time before the establishment of the First Era. Fans may remember this point in history from their playthrough of Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC. Miraak, who was a Dragon Priest at that time, sought a shrine in Solstheim and became a subject of Mora. The Daedric Prince taught him to bend dragons to his will, making him the very first Dragonborn. Miraak was eventually defeated by another Dragon Priest named Vahlok, and his Lord had him retreat to Oblivion to mend his wounds and plan his next attack on Solstheim.
Hermaeus Mora didn’t seem to be involved in any major events during the First Era, but he was called upon by The Vestige during the Second Era. The Vestige is the character that players customize and control in The Elder Scrolls Online. Their adventures have brought them to assist the Daedric Prince in reinstituting his temple in Rootwater Grove for crucial knowledge to foil the Veiled Heritance’s conspiracy to defile the Heart of Valenwood.
In The Elder Scrolls 2 Daggerfall, which is set in the Third Era, the player summons Hermaeus Mora to receive the Oghma Infinium. This gives them 30 points to allocate to their skills. Thirty-three years later, during the events of Oblivion, the player travels to one of Mora’s shrines in the Jerall Mountains to offer him one soul from each race in exchange for the Oghma Infinium as well.
The latest encounter with Hermaeus Mora in The Elder Scrolls lore happened during the 201st year of the Fourth Era when the Last Dragonborn met with Septimus Signus during a College of Winterhold Quest. The mage asked them to get blood samples from different elven races to open a Dwemer lockbox believed to contain the Heart of Lorkhan. It was eventually revealed that Signus was led to the box by Mora. Upon finishing the quest, Hermaeus Mora kills Signus, names the Dragonborn his new emissary, and gives him the Oghma Infinium. The player can either accept or deny the god’s offer, with no reward or consequence.
The Dragonborn meets Mora again during the events of the Dragonborn DLC, as they go on a quest to defeat Miraak and restore order in Skyrim's Solstheim. Mora claims another innocent life by killing the spiritual leader of the Skaal after absorbing his ancient knowledge. He also asks the Dragonborn to be his champion once more after they defeat Miraak.
Hermaeus Mora seems to change his appearance from time to time. During the Third Era, he looked like an amalgam of multiple squids and crabs, with tentacles at the bottom and a host of pincers and eyes on his torso. In the Second and Fourth Eras, he had bigger and larger eyes with multiple tentacles. The Deadric Prince also becomes more violent as time goes on, from manipulating heroes to grow and rebuild his cult during his early days to goading heroes to lead innocent people to their deaths in the latest eras.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is available now on the Nintendo Switch, PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.