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He Is Ebonarm: Tractate On The Origin of the Black Knight

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IceFireWarden's picture
Joined: 09/27/2013


“All become suddenly still on the field of battle as both sides recognize Reymon Ebonarm, God of War, and the companion and protector of all warriors, also known as the Black Knight and his mighty steed War Master…” – Excerpt From ‘The Ebon Arm’, By Witten Rol
Ebonarm is the God of War of the Iliac Bay, and was originally the Ninth Divine before Talos finished crystallizing as a god during the times of The Elder Scrolls: Arena and The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. An obscure deity with only a few pieces of lore surrounding him. The Protector and Constant Companion of warriors who go off into battle, he’s a big deal in High Rock and was even the deity of transforming the mortal Sai into the God of Luck, denoting he may be higher on the cosmic order than just a mere Ada.
Then who and what is he, exactly? And what in Oblivion happened to him after Daggerfall? Well, this is IceFireWarden here. So you know I had to sit down with a shot glass of Ovaltine and drink this in for a minute. And so I came to an interesting conclusion.
Ebonarm is a weird quasi-mantling/fusion of Reman Cyrodiil and Trinimac, who were caught in a strange excess enantimorph aftershock event and merged as one being purely by accident and chance.
Now, right now you are probably going “Whoa dudes, IFW is off his meds again quick someone grab the Ovaltine pumping machine!” but that wont be necessary. First off, I hate that damn machine and you should all be ashamed for using it on me. Second off, I have EVIDENCE…sort of. More like interpretive analyzing. So let’s get started show we?
First, on the subject of Ebonarm’s…well, Ebony Armor:
“He rides into the middle of the blood soaked field and dismounts. He is a very imposing figure. His very tall and heavily muscled body is encased in ebony armor.” – Excerpt From ‘The Ebon Arm’
The most distinguishable feature of Reymon Ebonarm is that he’s entirely attired in ebony armor. However, something that should be of note is that the material ebony is in reality Lorkhan’s blood that fell to Nirn when his heart was tore out of his chest (which is why Morrowind is absolutely rich in ebony deposits). It makes since that Ebonarm would want to wear ebony armor: the material itself was forged in war, and is one of the strongest substances to craft tools of war out of in all of Tamriel. The God of War would want to wear the best.
But what does ebony have to do with this theory?
Well, a common argument to the Ebonarm is Trinimac theory is that it isn’t possible for them to be the same entity because ebony wasn’t in existence during the Dawn Era, so Trinimac could in no way wear ebony armor. But here’s something to think about.
“Finally Trinimac, Auri-El's greatest knight, knocked Lorkhan down in front of his army and reached in with more than hands to take his Heart…” – Excerpt From ‘The Monomyth’
Trinimac was the one that ripped out Lorkhan’s Heart. If this was as gruesome as one can think, then it’s very possible that Trinimac was splattered with Lorkhan’s blood and covered head to toe with it (the first person who brings up a sexual reference I swear I will…). Immediately afterwards, Auri-El shot the Heart into the sea (forming Vvardenfell and Red Mountain) as the Dawn Era began to solidify. If this all happened in the span of a few moments, then the blood of Lorkhan could’ve literally crystallized into the body armor of Trinimac, creating the first ebony armor set.
This also explains why the hell Boethiah really wanted to eat Trinimac (again, first sexual reference…). Not only was the Strongest God going around and preaching that the Doom-Drum was a liar and a cheat, Trinimac was literally strutting around in a suit of armor created from the blood of Boethiah’s older brother Lorkhan, and that pissed him off. So he decided to teach him a lesson by chomping him, taking on Trinimac’s appearance and speaking blasphemies in his voice, then defecating him out as Malacath. Also, here’s a mind screw for you all:
You all know how one of Boethiah’s Daedric Artifacts is the Ebony Mail, right? What if the Ebony Mail is Trinimac’s Armor? Yeah. If this has any merit, then it could explain why Ebonarm is all about ebony. Also, Ebonarm sounds a lot like Ebony armor or ‘the one who wears the ebony armor’. Sure, it could be denoting the ebony sword fused to his arm but that explanation sounds cooler don’t you think?
And on the subject of the ebony sword, let’s talk about that one now along with the rose motif that Ebonarm is all about.
“In his left hand he carries a massive ebony tower shield on which is emblazoned a fiery red rose. As he raises his right arm, all see an arm and a magnificent ebony blade which are extensions of each other. The fused arm and sword are a result and symbol of the wounds suffered by this god during titanic battles in the youth of this world.” – Excerpt From ‘The Ebon Arm’
The rose and ebony is in itself an ironic symbolism. A rose represents beauty, love, and compassion. Ebony is the blood of Lorkhan, who stood for change and what the mer thought of as hate and corruption. Roses have thorns as well, and they cut those that handle them foolhardily. This symbol basically says, “I’m beautiful but I will change you. Stay away from me even though you want me close to you. Even though I am always with you I can never be there.” This is similar to the fading of the worship of Trinimac as a whole; an once well-loved god casted out after becoming something he is not.
The ebony sword I can only grasp at its importance, but Trinimac was known as the ‘greatest knight of Auri-El’ and knights usually use shields and swords in combat. Coincidentally this mirrors Ebonarm, who also wears full body armor and a sword and shield in combat like a knight.
Here’s a tidbit I found extremely interesting while browsing through Daggerfall texts, on the story of the origin of the God of Luck.
“‘We are a gentle folk," the wood elf bard said in his musical voice, "yet Zenithar can no longer be restrained. And if he wars against you, the other elven gods stand with him! If the gods war, Tamriel itself may be destroyed. You may find daedra to stand with you; they love chaos. But I think you will find that not even Springseed, Ebonarm and Mara will fight for you if you defy them further.’” – Excerpt From ‘King Edward, Part X’
In this piece, the Merish god Jephre is speaking to Sai about how the God of Luck is accidently giving the rest of Tamriel rotten luck while Skyrim is having it good (because Skyrim is sooooo cool, cue rolling eyes). However, what is interesting that it seems to include Ebonarm as one of the ‘other elven gods’ that will stand with Zenithar to kick Sai’s butt if he ignores their orders leave his family. I could be looking to deeply into this, but the only mer god that Ebonarm could identify with is Trinimac.
Now, let’s look at where Reman comes into this.
For starters, ‘Reymon’ and ‘Reman’ sound very similar in terms of pronunciation and appearance. Another good point is that the people of Tamriel (well, mainly the Imperials) worship Reman as a conquering god-hero like Trinimac is.
“‘My sister is a devotee of the conqueror gods Reman and Talos, not the love goddess Dibella. She is plotting with those men, not having orgies with them.’” – Antiochus, An Excerpt From ‘The Wolf Queen’
Reman is also known as the ‘Worldly God’, because he conquered all of Tamriel except Morrowind (warning, incoming parallel). Trinimac could be considered a ‘Worldly God’, as he defeated Lorkhan and drove back the Armies of Men during the Dawn. However, he met his end at the hands of Boethiah, who led the Chimer away from the rest of the Aldmer towards the future province of Morrowind (parallel still not over). Similarly, the Reman Dynasty met its end at the hands of the Morag Tong, a guild from Morrowind (and cue the Flat What and the raising of eyebrows).
Something else interesting that also doubles as a ‘blink and you’ll miss the subtext’ moment is in a book about Reman and the Akaviri Invasion, and his status as Dragonborn.
“Invading from the north, the Dragonguard met not only dragons, but the men of Skyrim, who don't meet invasions with pitchers of mead. The Dragonguard cut a path through Skyrim, and it was not until they were stopped by Reman Cyrodiil during the battle at Pale Pass that the invasion came to an end. It was Reman who united the human lands of Cyrodiil and defeated the Akaviri invaders.” – Excerpt From ‘The Rise and Fall of the Blades’
“Reman is one of the first documented, and widely accepted, of the mythic Dragonborn; those anointed by Akatosh and Alessia themselves. ‘Born with the soul of a dragon’” – Excerpt From ‘The Rise and Fall of the Blades’
Reman Cyrodiil is commonly believed throughout Tamriel to having been Dragonborn. While it is unknown if he could use the thu’um or not, it’s the basis of this point and also something else of this post. By being Dragonborn, The Cyrodiil represented Akatosh/Auri-El/Pick-Your-[censored]-Time-God, being his chosen champion at the time (anyone seeing where I’m going with this yet?).
The Akaviri Invasion of 1E 2703 parallels the Ehlnofey War of the Dawn Era, surprisingly. The Forces of Auri-El are being led by Reman (who plays the role of Trinimac) and the Forces of Lorkhan being the Tsaesci. However, this isn’t a complete parallel so there a lot of missing pieces (for example, no one got their [censored] heart torn out). Also, instead of Reman merely driving back the Tsaesci he actually gets them to surrender, so it’s a victory for Auri-El and Reman.
Here’s the whole basis for my theory on Ebonarm:
Reman unintentionally mantled Trinimac. This is odd, since Trinimac became Malacath in both spirit and body after his corruption. However, the power sphere of Trinimac (which I believe was Strength, War, and Conquering) and his basic mindset was left abandoned and unfulfilled. When Reman accidentally mantled Trinimac, he became attached to the Sphere of Trinimac because the sphere found him the most suitable candidate for taking Trinimac’s place. After his death in 1E 2762, the soul and mind of Reman Cyrodiil and the sphere and power of Trinimac fused together and created the God of War Reymon Ebonarm, who has both of their personalities. However, Ebonarm isn’t entirely Reman nor is he entirely Trinimac; both of these individuals have their soul anchored somewhere else (Chim-El Adabal and Malacath), so they’re only their basic principals and ideals mashed together. Ebonarm was the result, an unintentional response that brought Trinimac (sort of) back into Tamrielic religion (only in Hammerfell and High Rock though, or at least the area of the Iliac Bay).
But what happened to Ebonarm then? It doesn’t make since that he just up and disappeared.
But he didn’t, really. When Talos ascended as the God of War, you have to take in mind who he is created out of. Tiber Septim, Wulfharth, and Zurin Arctus. Each of these men were Shezzarines, but Tiber was also Dragonborn and Zurin is commonly accepted as an Avatar of Magnus. Thus, Talos is Rebel/King/Observer (and has a bit of Magnus, Auri-El, and Lorkhan in him) all at once if you think about it. Ebonarm was displaced by Talos, but he wasn’t entirely destroyed all the way because he is also sort of Trinimac. In my opinion, Ebonarm serves Talos as his Herald of War probably. And so we have our Power Quartet of Creation/Convention back; Magnus, Auri-El, Lorkhan, and Trinimac.
Also, in my opinion the Ebony Warrior from Skyrim is in reality an Avatar of Ebonarm, testing the Dovahkiin (who is Dragonborn, possibly a Shezzarine, and undeniably touched by Magnus) because he is sort of Trinimac and Trinimac probably hates all three of those guys now (Magnus abandoned him, Lorkhan was his enemy, and Auri-El made him an outcast), deciding to challenge the closest thing that reminded him of all three of them. Below, I have answered a few self-questions to clear up some stuff on the Ebony Warrior:
Q: But if the Ebony Warrior is Ebonarm who is sort of Trinimac, how can he use the Thu’um?
A: Because Reman Cyrodiil was Dragonborn, and when he and Trinimac merged to create Reymon Ebonarm the new God of War inherited this trait. So the Ebony Warrior was probably channeling more of his Reman personality than his Trinimac personality.
Q: Then why the hell was the Ebony Warrior a Redguard and not an Aldmer?
A: The majority of Ebonarm’s worshippers are a mixture of Redguards and Bretons of the Iliac Bay, so it makes sense that he would take on the appearance of a Redguard or a Breton if need be.
Q: If Ebonarm is Remanimac, why does he want to go Sovngarde?
A: Best guess? He wants to kick Shor’s ass, who he knows is also Lorkhan. Might be a part of his plan really; if he gets the Last Dragonborn to kill him in honorable combat, he might be able to get into Sovngarde easier or something. Or that just a mere ploy
Q: And why is Ebonarm only worshipped in the Iliac Bay? You would think that since he sort of represents Trinimac he would be more well known!
A: But that’s the point, he’s only sort of Trinimac and only sort of Reman Cyrodiil. Don’t think of Ebonarm as a complete fusion of the two, but more along the lines of some parts of Reman running around in the remains of Trinimac’s armor and with half of his personality, but He Ent Trinimac. The reason why Ebonarm is only known in the Iliac Bay? My personal opinion is that it’s because of Adamantine Tower. He wants to stay close to it.
Minor Edits's picture
Joined: 03/23/2013

Thank you; I found this very insightful, and I certainly hope one of the developers runs with it someday.

Pilaf The Defiler's picture
Joined: 11/27/2010

One quick note - Ebony did indeed appear in the Merethic era. At least sometimes. In one of the newly discovered Songs of Return from ESO, Ysgramor's tears are made of pure ebony on the night Saarthal is sacked, and from this ebony his son Yngol forges Wuuthrad. Not only does this tie Ysgramor with the Ebony concept, but it could explain why some ancient Draugr carry Ebony weapons, and it also ties Ysgramor in with the human war god concept and thus to Ebonarm. (He already had strong associations with Lorkhan and Ysmir.)

Minor Edits's picture
Joined: 03/23/2013

And another followup: Aurbic Enigma 4: The Elden Tree asserts that the Chim-el Adabal is the crystallized blood of the Heart of Lorkhan. So it seems like ebony has some competition for being Lorkhan's blood.

Tailin Sero's picture
Joined: 01/25/2014

IceFireWarden wrote:

Q: If Ebonarm is Remanimac, why does he want to go Sovngarde?

A: Best guess? He wants to kick Shor’s ass, who he knows is also Lorkhan. Might be a part of his plan really; if he gets the Last Dragonborn to kill him in honorable combat, he might be able to get into Sovngarde easier or something. Or that just a mere ploy

But Shor is absent from Sovngarde.

My own theory is that Ebonarm is its own diety and has no connetction to Trinimac or Reman Cyrodiil, but that he sided with Lorkhan/Shor in the war between Et'Adas during the Dawn Era. He just wants to test the LDB's mettle.

Another thing:

"If the Dragonborn has a level higher than 80 and has not yet encountered the Ebony Warrior before the final battle of the Skyrim Civil War, it is possible that the Ebony Warrior will be waiting for them in the city the final battle will take place. When the Dragonborn enters the city, the Ebony Warrior will turn hostile on sight."

~The Elder Scrolls Wiki

I like to believe that this is the true ending to the civil war. Just because it's awesome.

Oh, and apologies for reviving and old thread.