"The Elder Scrolls": The History and Culture of the Bosmer (or Wood Elves)

Updated on June 19, 2020
katleigh profile image

Dani has recently become interested in the awesome world of "The Elder Scrolls" and loves coming up with new, interesting builds.

A particularly bulky Wood Elf, wielding a greatsword instead of a traditional bow.
A particularly bulky Wood Elf, wielding a greatsword instead of a traditional bow. | Source

Who Are The Bosmer?

The Bosmer are a hardy, friendly race of Mer who hail from their densely forested home of Valenwood. They are strict carnivores as a result of The Green Pact and they practice a combination of ancestor worship and the traditional Elven Patheon.

The Green Pact

The foundation of the Bosmer religion is an agreement between Y'ffre and the Wood Elves known as The Green Pact. While the exact details of this agreement are unknown to many outside of Valenwood, there are three main tenets that the Wood Elves must follow while in their home province to maintain his protection and patronage.

  1. Only meat-based products can be consumed. This rule includes food, drink, and recreational use. All Bosmer that adhere to the Green Pact are strict carnivores who use every part of the animal they kill. Because of this, the hunt plays an essential part in their lifestyle and culture. They are proficient archers and can move stealthily through the vast woodlands they call home.
  2. Wood and other plant materials from Valenwood can't be used for construction. Cities in the Bosmer homeland are made from large migratory trees. They work with, not against, the natural order of their forest to ensure they maintain a proper balance. However, materials from other regions, commonly Hammerfell, can be used.
  3. When an enemy is killed during battle his body must be eaten. This rule is known as the Meat Mandate and causes the Bosmer to get a bad reputation as savages with most other races. However, most Wood Elves are very unwilling to wage war because of this rule, making them a mostly pacifistic culture that has never, to date, instigated war with another race. When the need for violence does become essential, the Bosmer go through a ritual fasting to prepare for the feast that they are obligated to have. One can only imagine that hunger drives the Wood Elves to be a particularly vicious foe.

It is important to note that the Bosmer are only obligated to follow these rules while in Valenwood are generally don't apply to vegetation outside of their homeland. Regardless, any Wood Elves still adhere to most of these rules even in foreign lands like Skyrim.

Green Pact Emblem
Green Pact Emblem

The Bosmeri Pantheon

The Bosmer worship a modified Altmeri Pantheon and as such the Wood Elves worship and venerate a variety of gods, both Aedra and Daedra. Like most Tamrielic religions, they view the Time Dragon (or Akatosh by an Imperial name) as king of the gods, but in their unique culture, Y'ffre is the most important deity.

Y'ffre is the spirit "of the now" and is the same deity to grant the Wood Elves the famous Green Pact doctrine mentioned before. It is thought that during the Merethic Era and brought Wood Elves their culture and nature her sounds. The Bosmer also hold a reverence for many of the Trickster gods, such as Lorkhan, that many other races resent. They hold this in common with the Khajiit, as they worship Sheogorath as the "Skooma Cat" in the sands of Elsweyr.

  • Arkay
  • Auri-El
  • Baan Dar
  • Herma-Mora
  • Ius
  • Jode
  • Jone
  • Lorkhan
  • Mara
  • Stendarr
  • Xarxes
  • Y'ffre
  • Z'en

The Wood Elves and Other Mer

The main distinction between Wood Elves and the other Mer of Tamriel is their rejection of stiff, "civilized" culture. Formality only inhibits a Bosmer way of life and are famous in their rejection of the high culture of their Altmeri cousins. The Bosmer penchant for cannibalism also causes distaste from the Dunmer, who are especially careful of how corpses are handled.

The Bosmer In Battle

While not a violent race by nature, the Wood Elves are the most skilled archers in all of Tamriel. They are also resistant to both poison and disease, and have a gift that allows them to command the simple-minded creatures of Tamriel to aid in their defense.

© 2017 Dani Merrier


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, levelskip.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)