The Elder Scrolls: What is CHIM?

So after playing an absurd amount of Skyrim and getting pretty deep into the lore of the Elder Scrolls, I came across an interesting theory of a sort of meta-narrative throughout the games. I started reading more and more about the metaphysical concept of CHIM, which is detailed through some of the in-game books and expanded upon by fans on forums. From what I gathered through the dense language of the discussions taking place on the subject, CHIM is basically a character realizing that he is in fictional world but somehow still keeps his identity, and therefore becomes able to control the world around him…I think. In terms of the Elder Scrolls lore, it is like gaining complete enlightenment, and having the world become much like a lucid dream, where you can change what you see in whatever way.

The cool part comes in where it seems like the fans, though it could be inferred that the designers wanted the idea out there, have come up with idea that CHIM sort of breaks the fourth wall of the game, where characters that have achieved CHIM, reference the Elder Scrolls modding tools and other crazy notions. Even main characters, the ones you play as in the games, reach CHIM, allowing you to do all the stuff you do. Yeah, it gets a little crazy. Who knows, everything I just said could be incorrect. It is all a pretty neat idea though, and I would not be the best person to convey the meaning of it because I don’t really understand it all myself, but if you want to know more about the cool meta-narrative that might be happening you can read more about it here:


35 thoughts on “The Elder Scrolls: What is CHIM?

  1. I was beginning to get confused with this.
    Now i kind of get it, it’s basically like the Matrix and realizing there is no Spoon and doing what ever the hell you want with it o.o

    • Chim is more like realizing you are the spoon and realizing that you are not the spoon is an equally true statement and still be the spoon.

    • And it’s what makes the scholarly love TES all the more. The universe is so intricate, and its the reason that, despite how zany and bizaare the world is, it’s still relatable. Because just like in the real world, there’s complex philosophy, dense mythology, alien cultures, history shrouded in mystery. Since I’ve grown up with TES, I can honestly say it’s lore has turned into a more analytical and deep thinker. So yeah, it could be simpler, but I think it’s good that we have a game out there that isn’t afraid to be hard to grasp, and isn’t afraid to expand the minds of its audience.

      • I agree with your point, and yet am still with the guy below as well because holy shit that first sentence sounds pretentious.

        But yeah, I like lore, just not when it breaks the fourth wall.

    • Months late, I know, but I just wanted to make a quick point. The beauty of the lore is that you choose how deep you want to go into it. If you want to, you can simply view the events of any game at face value, with no consideration of more metaphysical elements. At the same time, if you choose, you can take on board the extremely complex elements, of CHIM, Vehk, and all the rest. And even better: you decide what you believe. At the end of the day the lore is built on your interpretation, so every single person can choose what they believe. You can choose to buy into the Godhead concept, or you can think of it as fanciful fiction created by the characters within the Elder Scroll universe. That’s the beauty of it – everything’s your call. There’s only as much complexity as you want there to be.

      • This is easily the most in depth, bravest, philosophical fantasy I’ve seen in a game. As you delve deeper into the lore you eventually hope to have an epiphany — or closure…but that’s what saddens me. As this is a work of fiction, I doubt there will ever be a full fleshed out “finish” to bring all the pieces together, but that in a way is much like life. Regardless, it is just so fun to “go along for the ride”.

        Heh, I got into the “ES Lore” a few hours ago when I was searching for an answer to “What happened to the Dwemer?” I stumbled upon all this. Vivec, CHIM, Vehk, the Godhand, reading up on this was a real treat, and I gotta say …I’m hooked.

  2. Ugh. No.
    Main characters of Elder Scrolls games have never achieved CHIM, because CHIM is a very particular phenomenon relating solely to Vivec and Tiber Septim.
    Nowhere in the lore is the Eternal Champion, the Agent, the Nerevarine, the Hero of Kvatch, or the Dragonborn referred to as having reality-bending powers, because they don’t, because they don’t have CHIM.

    Jesus. Leave it to sensationalist bloggers to pluck out an interesting anecdote and twist it into something it isn’t by their own flawed understanding.

  3. I think I see the problem. Everyone needs an example. Luckily, I have one. You ever seen the show Xena, Warrior Princess?

    That is CHIM. This is a world where there was this lavish, hour-long musical with insane scenes, including everyone in town singing… And it all made total sense in context. It occured because two groups were fighitng over a Lyre.. A divine artifact from greek myth that spreads song. The entire episode was a huge meta-extravaganza because every single person was being affected in some way, resulting in a giant musical.

    At another point, she gets frozen in ice for like.. no more than 20 years, and yet already its Rome time. And before that China. She almost took over china you know. By herself. And egypt. And the times she met julius ceasar..

    All these things happen. None of it makes sense until you introduce CHIM.

    *Note: Im well known for my ability to take a chunk of lore and drastically misinterpret it, to where I end up with a plausible but ultimately wrong conclusion. Alduin’s wall, for example, I read as a history from left to right over time, and I made it work.

  4. EVERYONE HERE IS AN IDIOT!!! CHIM stands for ChimneySwift11, a famous youtuber who makes gaming content videos (mainly Minecraft). He does play Skyrim so I don’t know why you guys are SO confused about what CHIN is!

  5. hey atleast it’s like religions, no one can agree on what it is, but hey as long as you believe that’s what matters

  6. Pingback: Might and Magic Book Two [11] - Snowbeasts and Luxus Palace Royale | Blogging Games

  7. when someone asks “What is CHIM?” my answer is always “This is going to take a while.” The Dwemer figured out that they werent real, but didnt achieve CHIM, and wiped themselves out of existence. Or Negated.

  8. I thought that the devs came up with CHIM as a elder scrolls version of the real world belief of obtaining enlightenment through a union with a higher power, which has been held by multiple religious sects throughout history.

    If this is the case, couldn’t we learn more about CHIM by researching religion and psychology?

  9. The only thing I don’t really agree with in your paragraph was that the main characters you play achieve CHIM. The only people that achieved CHIM were Vivec, Tiber Septim and maybe the dwemer although I’m not too sure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s