Ayrenn – The Unforeseen Queen is a book directed at the Bosmer and Khajiit of the Aldmeri Dominion to detail the history and life of Queen Ayrenn. The author, Headmaster Tanion of the College of Aldmeri Propriety, is addressing the rumors circulating about Ayrenn’s life as she explored the world after disappearing prior to being crowned. The tone of the book is rather condescending, demonstrating the High Elves’ belief in their superiority over the other races of Tamriel. While the author states that many of the events that took place never really occurred, we can only assume that there must be some level of truth to the fantastic adventures Queen Ayrenn had before she ascended the throne.
Ayrenn was the daughter of King Hidellith and Kinlady Tuinden, born on the 5th day of the 5th month of the year 2E 555. When she was supposed to study Altmeri Regal Praxis, she ran away from home to adventure and explore the world. Ayrenn’s oldest brother Prince Naemon was declared the next heir to the throne and attended the school in her place.
When King Hidellith died in the year 580, Prince Naemon began preparing to become the next ruler of Alinor. To everyone’s surprise, Aryenn made her way back to the Summerset Isles to claim the throne once again. She was crowned later that year, becoming the Queen of Alinor, and eventually the leader of the Aldmeri Dominion only 2 years later.
One of the most important factors to keep in mind when understanding the context of this book is its tone. Headmaster Tanion is obviously prejudiced against the other races of the Aldmeri Dominion, nearly spending the entire first page of the book insulting them about how they could not possibly comprehend the sophisticated customs and history of the Altmer. While all of the Stories of Tamriel should be looked at skeptically from a historical standpoint, The Unforseen Queen is easily the most embellished when it comes to the truth.
While Queen Ayrenn’s birthday is described as being “auspicious”, it’s difficult to understand how it ties into the Altmer or the reason for a 55 day celebration. What it does demonstrate is the importance of dates and ceremonies to their culture, as even the queen’s name was chosen by the Scrolls of Praxis, a set of documents that appeared to pre-determine the names of future rulers. At the age of 8 years old, Ayrenn was supposed to attend Sapiarchs’ Labyrinth for 3,555 days (that’s a little under 10 years) of schooling, but apparently decided that she would learn more from seeing the world rather than just reading about it. Based on the odd events that took place during the night she disappeared, Ayrenn’s choice to leave might have been inspired by the divine intervention of the gods themselves.
Assuming that 8 years old was the required age to begin schooling to become a ruler, Prince Naemon can be estimated as being 2 years younger than his sister Ayrenn. When King Hidellith died roughly 15 years later, Naemon would immediately begin preparing to lead his new kingdom showing little to no grief over the recent death of his father. It would be at this time that the Unforeseen Queen arrives to take back her title that many had believed she renounced.
These events will most likely lead to one of the main quest lines of the Aldmeri Dominion; a power struggle between Ayrenn and her brother Prince Naemon. How could Queen Ayrenn possibly lead her people without having a full understanding of their customs, ceremonies and history? Many people will most likely remain loyal to Prince Naemon, who will feel like his chance at being the next king was stolen right out from under his feet. It will be exciting to see how events unfold as Ayrenn the “undisputed queen” attempts to bring together the elitist culture of the Altmer with their new alliance of the Bosmer and Khajiit.