The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion – Does The Champion Of Cyrodiil Become Sheogorath?
- Who Is Sheogorath?
- Oblivion: The Shivering Isles
- Sheogorath In Skyrim
Thanks to his general chaos-loving demeanor and his appearances in The fourth and fifth installments of The Elder Scrolls series, Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness, is quite the fan-favorite. He's loved for how random his dialogue is and the engaging DLC, the Shivering Isles, that features him heavily.
But there's one question that gets asked quite a lot about Sheogorath, specifically concerning the end of that DLC's main quest. Does the main character become the Daedric Prince of Madness and take on that mantle themselves? There's evidence to suggest that this is the case! Let's dive in.
Who Is Sheogorath?
Sheogorath is one of the 16 Daedric Princes of The Elder Scrolls games. They are akin to gods, and each of them rules over a certain realm of Oblivion and is associated with certain concepts. Sheogorath's realm is called the Shivering Isles, and while many Princes have a few different concepts under their purview, Sheogorath is wholly dedicated to Madness. It's his whole thing.
In actual fact, Sheogorath's form and realm are the results of a curse laid on him by the other Daedric Princes. He used to be Jyggalag, the Daedric Prince of Order. Long before any of the games take place, Jyggalag rose to power and started to threaten the other Princes, and the curse they laid on him turned him into the incarnation of the thing he hated the most – madness and disorder.
Oblivion: The Shivering Isles
The Shivering Isles DLC for Oblivion begins with a mysterious door appearing in the middle of the Niben Bay. This door leads to the eponymous realm of Oblivion, and it's here that the Champion of Cyrodiil (the player character) gets to meet Sheogorath in the flesh.
Throughout the DLC's main quest, it's revealed that at the end of each era of man, Sheogorath transforms back into Jyggalag, who then wreaks havoc across the Shivering Isles, restoring it to his perfect image of order. The problem is that immediately afterward, Jyggalag transforms back into Sheogorath, and the cycle begins anew. This is called the Greymarch.
In Oblivion, Sheogorath enlists the Champion of Cyrodiil to help him break this cycle.
Towards the end of Shivering Isles' main quest, Sheogorath disappears, presumably to be replaced with Jyggalag. The Champion of Cyrodiil then takes steps to undergo what is known as mantling. This is the process by which a mortal becomes a god – or a Daedric Prince, in this case. To do this, they reanimate the Staff of Sheogorath, an important item to the position of Daedric Prince of Madness. With this complete, the Champion confronts the rampaging Jyggalag and defeats him in combat. It is only here that the implications of their actions become clearer.
I will take my leave, and you will remain here, mortal. Mortal…? King? God? It seems uncertain. This Realm is yours. Perhaps you will grow to your station. Fare thee well, Sheogorath, Prince of Madness. –Jyggalag, The Shivering Isles
Haskill, Sheogorath's snide servant, will also refer to you as Sheogorath. We can conclude a few things from this:
- Reanimating the Staff of Sheogorath allowed the Champion of Cyrodiil to mantle the title of Daedric Prince of Madness.
- Mantling may only be possible when there are no individuals currently possessing the role.
- Jyggalag is now free of his curse.
- The Sheogorath you once knew is gone, having been replaced with Jyggalag.
- With Jyggalag and the new Daedric Prince of Madness now separate beings, there are now 17 Daedric Princes existing at the same time, instead of having one Prince alternate between two identities.
- The Martin mentioned is Martin Septim, who becomes a draconic Avatar of Akatosh at the end of Oblivion's main quest.
- Butterflies refer to the first room you encounter in the Shivering Isles where you meet Haskill. It melts away in a cloud of butterflies.
- Blood refers to the Armor of Tiber Septim, an important quest item that has the emperor's blood on it.
- The Fox is capitalized because it refers to the Gray Fox, the secret identity of the head of the Thieves Guild.
- The severed head refers to the mother of Mathieu Bellamont, someone important to the Dark Brotherhood questline.
- The cheese refers to the multiple types of cheese encountered during Sheogorath's regular Daedric Prince quest, which has you making the residents of Border Watch believe the end of the world was nigh.
But what does this mean for future incarnations and games set after Oblivion?
Sheogorath In Skyrim
Sheogorath also appears in Skyrim, this time in a far smaller role. He's encountered in a small pocket-realm within the mind of the long-dead Pelagius Septim III. The quest has you besting the Mad God and acquiring the Wabbajack from him, but there are a few things that you might notice here that point to this version of Sheogorath actually being the Champion of Cyrodiil.
The first is the fact that he has the Wabbajack in the first place – while it's known that legendary artifacts almost have minds of their own in The Elder Scrolls, and no one person holds onto them for long, it would make sense that the Champion of Cyrodiil is able to give you the Wabbajack, since they received it themselves in Oblivion.
Secondly, Sheogorath's dialogue with Pelagius refers directly to the events of Oblivion in a way that makes it seem like he was a first-hand witness to them:
You are the best Septim that's ever ruled. Well, except for that Martin fellow, but he turned into a dragon god, and that's hardly sporting… You know, I was there for that whole sordid affair. Marvelous time! Butterflies, blood, a Fox, a severed head… Oh, and the cheese! To die for. -Sheogorath, Skyrim
This line of dialogue makes the following references:
This makes it obvious that the Sheogorath encountered during this quest is actually the Champion of Cyrodiil after having taken on the role more prominently, even taking on the appearance of the Daedric Prince as they first met him in the Shivering Isles.
Whether this is something that will remain true in future games remains to be seen, but we can conclude that it's at least heavily implied that the canonical ending of Oblivion has the Champion of Cyrodiil completing the Shivering Isles DLC (along with the main quest, Sheogorath's Daedric Prince quest, and the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild questlines) and taking on the role of Daedric Prince of Madness.
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