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I am Hermaeus Mora, I am the guardian of the unseen, and the knower of the unknown."
~ Hermaeus Mora (Skyrim)

Hermaeus Mora, sometimes also reffered to as Herma Mora, is a recurring antagonist in the Elder Scrolls series. He's known by the mortals denizens of Tamriel as the Daedric Prince of Knowledge. His sphere is the scrying of the tides of fate, of the past and the future. Mora's plane of Oblivion is called "Apocrypha", which is an endless library full of forbidden knowledge, teeming with ghosts that are afflicted with a thirst for knowledge that they sought when they were among the ranks of the living.

The artifact that Mora bestows upon his Champions is called "The Oghma Infinium", which is a powerful tome of knowledge that was written by the elven god Xarxes, a god of secret knowledge and ancestry.

In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, he was voiced by Wes Johnson, who also played Mr. Burke in Fallout 3.

Biography

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Hermaeus Mora has a shrine in form of a statue depicting him as a formless mass of eyeballs, tentacles, and crab claws. Mora's Daedric Quest in Oblivion involves capturing souls from each of the ten races. Once the quest is completed, the player is rewarded the Oghma Infinium.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Hermaeus Mora's Daedric Quest in Skyrim is called "Discerning the Transmundane", and it's intertwined with the main questline.

After the Dragonborn inscribes a Dwemer Lexicon for Septimus Signus, an elderly mage who lost his mind from isolation, Septimus takes the Lexicon, and gives the Dragonborn a device meant for gathering the blood of Mer (elves), called an "Essence Extractor". Just as the Dragonborn is about to exit Septimus's lair, Hermaeus Mora himself appears before them as a void of darkness. Mora tells the Dragonborn that Septimus will have outlived his usefulness by the time he opens the Dwemer Lockbox that the Oghma Infinium is stored in. Mora disappears, and allows the Dragonborn to exit Septimus's hideout.

After the Dovahkiin collects all of the blood samples that Septimus requires, the latter uses the samples to open the Dwemer Lockbox. To Septimus's dismay, the "heart of a god" that he seeked within the lockbox is not present, only the Oghma Infinium. Suddenly, Septimus is disintegrated by Hermaeus Mora, and the Dragonborn is allowed access to the Oghma Infinium, and they are given the title of Mora's Champion.

Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn

After reading one of Mora's Black Books that was stored in a Dwemer Ruin called "Nchardak", the Dovahkiin meets Hermaeus Mora in person, rather than just as a void, as he appeared in "Discerning the Transmundane". Hermaeus Mora gave the Dragonborn the second word of power to the "Bend Will" shout for free. The third word of power would be given to the Dragonborn, as long as the latter forced the Skaal shaman, Storn, to give up all of his wisdom to Mora. After Storn's death, the Dragonborn travels to Apocrypha, now with the entire Bend Will shout. During the battle between Miraak and the Last Dragonborn, Hermaeus Mora intervened and impaled Miraak with one of his tendrils. Mora killed one of his champions because he knew that Miraak was planning to betray him eventually. After Miraak's demise, Mora dubs the Last Dragonborn to be his true champion.

Personality

Hermaeus Mora is overall morally neutral, caring more about collecting secrets and knowledge for its own sake rather than seeking power. Despite being the most monstrous and inhuman out of many of the Daedric princes, Hermaeus Mora is very polite, affable, and rather generous, as he happily gave the Dragonborn not only the Oghma Infinium, but also the words of power to the "Bend Will" shout, which is one of the most helpful shouts in the game.

Of course, this generosity only extends to those who aid Hermaeus Mora and follow his commands. Those who plot against him or attempt to hide secret knowledge from him end up killed by Hermaeus Mora quickly and without mercy. This was demonstrated in the Dragonborn DLC, where Storn and Miraak were impaled by Hermaeus Mora for attempting to hide knowledge and wisdom from him.  

Appearance

Daggerfall/Oblivion

Hermaeus Mora is depicted in Daggerfall and Oblivion as a towering, amorphous mass of green sludge with numerous eyeballs, tentacles, and crab claws protruding from its mass.

Skyrim

Mora's appearance in Skyrim changed very drastically from his older counterparts. In Skyrim, Hermaeus Mora is first depicted as a "Wretched Abyss", a floating purple-and-black portal hanging in the air that speaks in his voice. Later, he is shown as a solid black portal from which several tentacles stretch out towards the player, and dozens of greenish-yellow eyes blink and bubble in and out of sight. A single large eye with an hourglass-shaped pupil sits in the center.

Quotes

At last, the Skaal yield up their secrets... TO ME!
~ Hermaeus Mora after learning the Skaal's secrets.
Did you think, you could escape me Miraak? You can hide NOTHING from me here!
~ Hermaeus Mora after impaling Miraak
Your free will is an illusion. Whether you acknowledge me or not is your own business, but I will be in your mind...
~ Hermaeus Mora
As I told you when I gave you the Oghma Infinium, your free will is an illusion. Why else would you be here?
~ Hermaeus Mora

Gallery


Trivia

  • Several aspects of Hermaeus Mora evoke of elements of classic Lovecraftian Horror; most notably, his tentacled form resembles various deities from Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. This is suggested by his tentacled, unknowable appearance and massive wealth of knowledge, as well as his ability to control and corrupt the masses and powerful leaders, as seen in The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn.
    • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Oghma Infinium appears to be bound in human flesh. This is a trait commonly attributed to the Necronomicon.
    • His amorphous shape of writhing tentacles is strongly akin to Yog-Sothoth, Cyäegha, or Shub-Niggurath, along with numerous other Lovecraftian monsters such as the Shoggoths.
      • His appearance in Dragonborn is also evocative of Shuma-Gorath, an elder god originally created by Robert E. Howard, and a recurring enemy of Marvel Comics' Dr. Strange.
    • The Lovecraftian theme of forbidden knowledge, which could make a man insane, is also a trait of Mora's lore.
    • Hermaeus Mora's realm of Apocrypha, a vast dark library full of books, is similar to the libraries of the Great Race of Yith, who also keep a library filled with the knowledge of countless alien races.

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