When Bethesda revealed that cryptic The Elder Scrolls VI teaser at E3 2018, the company knew damn well it had just unleashed a fleet of tinfoil ships. With no further official information to go on, fans can’t do anything but speculate, but Bethesda has finally confirmed one thing: the location for Elder Scrolls VI has already been set.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard confirmed that the team already decided on a location. In fact, they had chosen the msytery region “a while ago”. So of course, Eurogamer had to ask him the big question on everyone’s mind.
“Is it Hammerfell?” Eurogamer asked.
“I’m not going to answer where it’s set!” Howard replied with a laugh.
As expected, Howard didn’t confirm or deny anything. However, he did say that the teaser was intentionally designed to be picked apart, claiming that dedicated sleuths will be able to figure out where we’ll go next. That’s good news for all the theorists on the Elder Scrolls subreddit who pore over every possible hint.
But Howard’s silence doesn’t matter. We already know where the next Elder Scrolls is going to be set, and it’s all thanks to the seagulls.
When the teaser first premiered, fans pointed to High Rock as the most likely candidate. However, YouTube creator Camelworks made a brilliant case for Hammerfell using a variety of well-sourced evidence, the most compelling of which are the aforementioned seagulls.
The teaser clearly shows white birds flying towards the sea. As Camelworks found, there are only two species of white birds that have appeared in Elder Scrolls history, one of which is seagulls. In every Elder Scrolls title, including The Elder Scrolls Online, seagulls appear only in Hammerfell.
Naysayers may point out that Hammerfell is described as an arid region, dominated by the Alik’r Desert. While that’s true, keep in mind that these could simply be stereotypes. Even on our own planet, there are biodiverse countries that are stereotyped as being nothing but desert.
For example, Iran has a huge rain forest with tigers, brown bears, otters, ducks, and more, but you would never know it because the Middle East is wrongfully viewed as being a big bowl of sand. It ain’t all desert, you know.
It also wouldn’t be the first time a video game region had more variety than players thought. When Northrend was introduced in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, it was nothing but an icy wasteland. What we saw turned out to be only a small part of the continent, which was later revealed to have a fjord, tundra, wooded hills, and even its own rainforest in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.
While Howard didn’t divulge where we’ll be headed next, the case for Hammerfell remains strong. Fan theorists can also take comfort in knowing that they’ve been looking at the right things — like those damn seagulls.