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In the game franchise "The Elder Scrolls", I always assumed that Mer (the various Elf races) had a lifespan comparable to humans. However, in the game Skyrim there is an elderly Dark Elf farmer named Avrusa Sarethi who claimed to be a young adult when the Red Mountain exploded - an event that took place 196 years before the game!

Obviously my assumption about Mer lifespans was incorrect, but it got me wondering roughly how long each of the races actually do live.

What are the average lifespans of the various Mer races in The Elder Scrolls?

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Although the canonicity of The Elder Scrolls Online game is up for debate; the Development team of ESO answered this question on one of their "Ask Us Anything" sessions:

Elves live two to three times as long as humans and the “beast-races” (Orcs, Khajiiti, Argonians). A 200-year-old Elf is old; a 300-year-old Elf is very, very old indeed. Anyone older than that has prolonged his or her lifespan through powerful magic.

Another answer in an interview with a Bethesda Employee, which is considered lore by UESP.

I've known mer still mind-sharp in their late hundreds, and heard of folk 200 and older.

In the in-game book "The Real Barenziah V2", it is proposed that Mer could live to be a thousand years old.

Katisha's face briefly wore the envious, wistful look humans got when contemplating the thousand-year lifespan Elves had been granted by the gods.

  • Great answer, thanks! So I guess Avrusa being 220-230 years old isn't that uncommon for an elderly Dunmer. Sure surprised me, though, and I've been playing these games since Daggerfall – Omegacron Feb 23 '18 at 13:01

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