In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, one of the Mage's in the Collage of Winterhold when asked about Necromancy being despised by the Nords says something like

Those Arcanic views vanished along with the Mage's Guild. Necromancy, like any other magic, is a tool to be used.

From my point of view the Collage of Winter Hold serves as the Mage's Guild and the Companions serves as the Fighter's Guild in Skyrim however from what i remember both the Mage's and Fighter's Guilds in Morrowind and Oblivion were more Tamrial (or at least Empire) wide organizations so they should have had Guilds in Skyrim.

since the Thieves Guild and the Dark Brotherhood are still in operation in Skyrim i am wondering what happened to the Mage's and Fighter's Guilds in the 200 years since the end of the 3rd era (the end of the Oblivion Crisis), are they just gone from Skyrim or gone from the world?

  • If Clarke's 3rd law is true, maybe in a magical world the inversion is true too: Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology. At some point you don't need a magic-clergy if a fire-spell is as common as lighter a is for us. And no self-important guild teaches me in using a lighter. It's just a tool.
    – Einer
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 14:13
  • Pure speculation: The guilds are imperial in nature (that is to say, sanctioned and organized by the empire). It's possible that they just never got a foothold in Skyrim, as the people there are so culturally opinionated.
    – Chaosed0
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 14:14

2 Answers 2


Mage's Guild

Tamriel's Mages Guild was dissolved in the beginning of the Fourth Era, directly following the Oblivion Crisis. From one of Skyrim's loading screen tips:

The College of Winterhold is an independent organization, and thus was not affected by the dissolution of the Mages Guild at the beginning of the Fourth Era.

Apparently, the dissolution was due to the Oblivion Crisis itself. Common folk blamed the disaster on magic, and the Mage's guild was a simple scapegoat. The UESP cites a (real) book, The Infernal City, as supporting this conclusion - I admit, I've never read it.

Afterward, the Mage's guild splintered into the Synod (one of whom you meet during the Winterhold College questline), and the College of Whispers.

Fighter's Guild

Unlike the Mage's Guild, the Fighter's guild is actually still around - just not in Skyrim. From another loading screen:

Tamriel's Fighters Guild has no presence in Skyrim. Instead, warriors seeking adventure and kinship may join the Companions, in Whiterun.

It's likely that the Guild didn't succeed in extending to Skyrim because, as noted in another answer, the Companions were founded and held cultural significance in Skyrim long before the Fighter's guild existed.

  • 1
    The Infernal City is a decent read for any TES fan. It actually details several events which occurred in succession that brought down the Mages' Guild. The Oblivion Crisis was the first major event, followed by several other magic-related disasters.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 15:08

If Serana is to be believed, the College of Winterhold is older than the Mages Guild, dating back to the First Era at least. If you only go by the documents held by the College, then it is approximately the same age as the Guild. Likely, the Mages Guild doesn't have a hold in Skyrim because the College served the same purpose before the Guild could spread that far.

The Companions date back to the Merethic Era; the Five Hundred Companions of Ysgramor were an army which played a vital role during the Return. The mead hall Jorrvaskr which you find the Companions inhabiting in Skyrim is made from one of the original longboats of the Five Hundred Companions, and the town of Whiterun was built around it. In comparison, the Fighters Guild was established in the Second Era, long after the Companions existed and their mead hall was built. There was simply no need for the Guild to extend into Skyrim, when the Companions served the same purpose and got there first.

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