Popular theory posits that Bethesda’s upcoming Elder Scrolls VI will be set in High Rock, but two new arguments have made a strong case for Hammerfell instead.
After scouring the internet for ideas on where Elder Scrolls VI might take place, we’ve come back with two compelling theories that both point to the same spot.
The first theory: Sun, lore, and ornithology
That might sound a little crazy, but when Geoff Keighley interviewed Todd Howard at E3 2018, Howard confirmed that there are some key hints hidden in the trailer. Camelworks took up Howard’s sly challenge, and, man, he did an impressive job.
First we have the sun. Camelworks reckons that since the shadows are being cast on the left side of the screen, it must mean the sun is to our right, which also means the sun must be setting on the west. That narrows us down to western Tamriel.
The other hint is the giant crater by what looks like the ruins of a castle or settlement.
Camelworks dug through Bethesda’s titles and found Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey, a 2004 game that featured a shadow mage named Azra Nightwielder. Nightwielder lost control of his powers during a battle with the Redguard military and died in a spectacular explosion. A town called Azra’s Crossing sprang up by the massive crater he left behind, which is squarely in the northern part of Hammerfell.
But that’s not all. By going through old maps, he found three small peninsulas jutting out on the northern coast of Hammerfell which seem to line up neatly with the coast seen in the teaser.
He even investigated the white birds seen flying in the sky after receiving a tip, and found that there are only two species of white birds found in Elder Scrolls. One of them is the seagull, which has only ever appeared in Hammerfell, and the white birds we see in the teaser are indeed flying towards the ocean.
My friends, I am shook.
The second theory: It’s all in the colors
On the Elder Scrolls subreddit, user /theUSpopulation looked at the mountains and coastline in the trailer and cross-referenced it to a map of Hammerfell, then helpfully marked them with colored lines to show what matches. The redditor placed the teaser in southern Hammerfell, whereas Camelworks concluded it must be in northern Hammerfell, on the border of High Rock.
theUSpopulation’s theory isn’t as rigorously argued as Camelworks’, but it did bring up an important caveat for all speculators: video game developers have always struggled with geography. The maps we see of unexplored regions of previous games often contract the content we get when those regions are finally explorable. Elder Scrolls runs into this problem with nearly every title.
The redditor also provided a photograph of the Afghani desert to support the theory, citing that Redguards (one of the dominant races of Hammerfell) are heavily inspired from North African and Middle Eastern culture. This is true, but unfortunately, Afghanistan isn’t in Africa or the Middle East. It’s in Central Asia.
It’s Hammerfell time
With these things in mind, Hammerfell has usurped High Rock as the most reliable and well-examined theory. This Camelworks dude may very well have blown the lid open. We’re probably not going to hear more official news about Elder Scrolls VI any time soon, but until then, Camelworks currently holds the top tier in tinfoil bragging rights.