Are the Beast Races less intelligent?

#1 Posted by Junkerman (319 posts) -

What do you guys think?

I'm undecided, but I want to say that they are less intelligent (or at least they were in the earlier games)

It's become a non issue in the later TES games, mainly Oblivion and Skyrim, as all of the races are represented as more or less equal to make them more appealing for character choice. But when you look back at the earlier games, Morrowind especially, the beast races are treated as second class citizens lower then dirt. They were almost always found as slaves, skooma addicts or working in plantations either as slaves or for miniscule compensation; and when conversing with a lot of them their range of vocabulary and sentence structure seemed very simplistic.

**I suppose I should also define intelligence as well. Obviously the beast races are a sapient species capable of higher level thinking, but I am mainly comparing them to the Man and Mer races which to me seem to possess more culture and sophistication.

***Also dont draw any derailing, racist, real life parallels between our world and fiction unless its a hilarious. (Elderscrolls isn't real)

#2 Posted by Canteu (2968 posts) -

2 words. Lizard Wizard.

#3 Posted by JasonR86 (10066 posts) -


#4 Posted by MooseyMcMan (12148 posts) -

@Canteu said:

2 words. Lizard Wizard.

Man, what a magical early morning that was!

Also, what would a fantasy series be without a little racism? It makes for an easy way to drive a story (be it the main one or a side one), and it lets the writers do it without involving real world racism.

And I also feel that if all the races are capable of speaking on a competent level, then they're all about equally smart.

#5 Posted by Damotello (103 posts) -

@Canteu said:

2 words. Lizard Wizard.

Gave my gf one of them last night, HIIYOOOOOO

#6 Posted by Vodun (2393 posts) -

So only stupid people are forced into slave labour then? And let's see you talk Khajiit with proper grammatical structure then professor.

#7 Posted by McGhee (6128 posts) -

Totally racist.

#8 Posted by gosukiller (2339 posts) -

I've only played Oblivion and this one, but I have to say I've noticed this as well. The Khajit and Argonian NPCs are nearly all very shallow and I can't remember a single one that has served as a major force for good OR evil. Most major roles in quests are almost always reserved for Man and Mer.

Since my scope of Elder Scrolls is limited I do not put much credibility behind my theory, but...

Maybe it's because we are only dealing with them in Foreign Lands? I'd bet that if the game was set in Elsewer or the Argonian (Black Marsh, i think) areas, you would find far more diversity of character in the "beast races".

That's just what my theory is from playing only part 4 and 5 of the series.

#9 Posted by Master_Funk (752 posts) -

What my khajit may lack in sophistication, he makes up for with his badass ninja skills.

#10 Posted by AlexW00d (6967 posts) -

You really need to read up on your Elder Scrolls lore.

#11 Posted by Thumbrunner (135 posts) -

I do believe you are correct the beast races do seem to be dummed down a bit but very capable, I find them to be more along the lines of stereotypical party store owners.

#12 Posted by fetchfox (1529 posts) -

No but seriously, I don't think they are. They are though by some considered to be less intelligent. Take the Orsimer (Orc) for example; they live a more simple and old lifestyle with chiefs, strongholds and blood-packs. That doesn't make them less intelligent, it only means that they might lack the potential for cultural and societal growth and change. This means of course that they will develop more slowly or not at all when compared to human or high elf races in Tamriel. The tribal sense of living often hinders further growth because of no change in tradition and way of life, and in the end it may (and often does) lead to extinction. Tribes and nomadic people in our world are the sad proof of this.

#13 Edited by Wiseblood (718 posts) -

But the smartest character in the game is Khajiit.

#14 Edited by kingzetta (4497 posts) -

There is no asian race, whats up with that?

#15 Posted by theguy (816 posts) -

I always thought that the way Kajiit talked wasn't because they struggled to grasp the language but because in their culture the language and customs are very different. ( Speaking in third person etc) Maybe that's polite in Elsweyr?

#16 Posted by Gargantuan (1898 posts) -

Beast races are smart.  In Morrowind and Oblivion (male) argonians and khajiit have 40 intelligence, female argonians have 50 INT which is just as smart as bretons and high elves. The dumbest races are nord, redguard and male orcs.

#17 Posted by JackSukeru (6227 posts) -

Oh I hope not, that would be hollibly lacist.

#18 Posted by Dagbiker (7022 posts) -

The beast races are actualy super
intelligent and talk that way because thats the way they think the dummber races talk. In fact they are actualy mocking you.

#19 Posted by JackSukeru (6227 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@RockmanBionics said:

Oh I hope not, that would be hollibly lacist.

God damn it man, that's just razy lacism.

Your wolds, they sting like allows aimed squarely at my kneecaps.

Now I won't be aber to adventure anymore.

#20 Posted by Olivaw (1233 posts) -

Well Argonians don't have a ton of time for art and societal niceties considering they live in a jungle that is so inhospitable no other race has ever successfully colonized or conquered it. It's like those tribes in South America that live in the Amazon, that are so consumed with their own survival and the search for food that they never bothered to develop art or writing or much in the way of culture at all. It's about priorities, mang (although I think the Argonians actually do have a culture, just one that is decidedly different and secretive since no one really gets to hang out in their homeland for very long to find out about it)

Meanwhile the Khajiit have a complex but very different society far to the south that is itself very different from any other, but we've just never seen it.

Really the only reasons you're assuming they're not intelligent is because in Morrowind they were enslaved but Dunmer assholes who looked down on literally everyone who wasn't them, and skooma/moon sugar are made in Elsweyr. Hey, opium was popular in China, and look at all the shit they invented! Probably while high on opioids.

#21 Edited by Seppli (11233 posts) -


Morrowind was perdominantly Dunmer and Human territory (as far as I know). Cyrodiil was a Human kingdom. Both Khajiit and Argonians are not 'at home' there. Prejuidice and lack of establishment does make 'outsiders' seem of lesser stock. You can be sure Humans and Elves alike would fare no better in the homelands of the Khajiit and Argonians.

Just like you (assuming you're caucasian) can't freely visit a soapland in Japan, because you're a dirty Gaijin and have the HIV. That's just how people are, and from conjecture I'd say you are... RACIST. Just guessin'.

#22 Posted by Moonshadow101 (650 posts) -

Khajiit Starting Intelligences in Morrowind: 40 for Male, 40 for Female.

Argonian Starting Intelligences in Morrowind: 40 for Male, 50 for Female.

30 being the lowest possible starting point, 40 being an average starting point, and 50 being exceptional.

Thread closed. Khajiit are average, Argonians are high-average.

Besides, they were never depicted as being outright unintelligent. Just "exotic."

#23 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6115 posts) -

Yes yes yes, this thread is racist, but i don't give a f***. 
I can honestly say no, most of the races in Elder Scrolls I'd consider to be of "equal" intelligence, it does of course vary based on the individual. I'd say the only race that might have a higher than average IQ would be High Elves, but they're dicks so **** 'em. 
Speaking of beast races i wish there was an actual wolf-like race, yeah i know, there are werewolves, but it's not the same as a race.

#24 Posted by coakroach (2495 posts) -

Yo man dats racist

#25 Posted by Helimocopter (370 posts) -

Well, if you want to get technical, there are multiple types of intelligence these categories include:

Naturalist Intelligent (Nature Smart, obvious)

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart, duh)

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Existential Intelligence

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”)

Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)

someone could easily be very high in a few of these and startlingly low in others, which is why the IQ score is often considered inaccurate, it only tests Logical/Mathematical Intelligence and Linguistic, sometimes also tests for some level of Spacial Intelligence.

Of course this is a psychological theory, but one that is wildly accepted and taught in high school classes

and that is not even looking at actual stats in game

(if you want some more info about those intelligences) are going to end up on wikipedia anyway, may as well start now)

#26 Posted by Slaker117 (4860 posts) -

R'kjir does not like what you are implying about his manner of speech.

#27 Posted by LAR (64 posts) -

@Canteu said:

2 words. Lizard Wizard.

I'm a Lizard Wizard and that is messed up.

#28 Posted by Canteu (2968 posts) -

After giving this some thought, aren't most of the "races" actually species? Like, the High Elves (Altmer), Dark Elves (Dunmer), Wood Elves (Bosmer), Snow Elves (Falmer), Deep Elves (Dwemer) and Orcs (orsimer) are all not Human, so theyre all different races of Elves (Mer), but a different species from Human. Same with the Argonion and Khajiit. They're totally different species so can't really be compared to the rest in terms of physical or mental ability.

@kingzetta: The Akaviri are the "asian" races (also Tiger men and Snake men). The Ka Po' Tun are Chinese and the Tsaesci are Japanese.

#29 Posted by Brodehouse (10800 posts) -

I don't hate the beast races but they shouldn't be using our swimming pools.

#30 Posted by Wuddel (2342 posts) -

@Junkerman: I only played some of Oblivion and Skyrim, and I am not so deep into the ES fiction. But for me they came across as non-native speakers of whatever the human language is. In this case your vocabulary tends to be rather limited and the sentence structure quite simplistic. I know since I am using my second language right now.

#31 Posted by XLR87T3 (31 posts) -

@helimocopter: Khajiit has Street smarts and Body smarts (martial artists), while Argonians have People smarts and Picture smarts. They both seem to excel at Intrapersonal Intelligence (not to be confused with Interpersonal Intelligence).

#32 Posted by Tennmuerti (8629 posts) -

In Morrowind specifically you see the beast races that way because of the Dunmer who are the dominant force in that game and are kind of quite racists themselves, they are also at constant friction with Argonians from the Black Marsh. So those Argonians they capture they use as slaves. I don't quite remember if there was a lore reason for a lot of Kahjit down on their luck in Morrowind, with the exception that Kahjit are by their biology are susceptible to skooma addiction even more them most, making them easier to exploit by the racists Dunmer who are a-ok with slavery.

#33 Posted by Fredchuckdave (8262 posts) -
#34 Edited by Brendan (8850 posts) -
#35 Posted by believer258 (13212 posts) -

@lar said:

@Canteu said:

2 words. Lizard Wizard.

I'm a Lizard Wizard and that is messed up.

Goddamnit. Guess it's a good thing I scrolled down before making that joke. Also, it's fucked up.

Speaking of @canteu, I haven't seen you post in ages.

On topic, I wouldn't be surprised if they are, or are seen that way by some of the other races and species in Tamriel. These games always seem to have conflicts of several kinds, from political and territorial to religious to race, etc. Man, this series deserves to be placed in the hands of better writers than can really do something with this world.

I should note, though, that there are several different races that are mages and the librarian in Winterhold is a big male orc who sends you on quests for rare books. And the archmage is an old dark elf.

#36 Posted by RawText (28 posts) -


Human Species
Races: Breton, Imperial, Nord, Redguard

Elf Species
Races: High Elves, Dark Elves, Wood Elves, Orcs

Beast Species: Argonian, Khajiit (with the Khajiit at least having a shitton of races that you never see in-game)

#37 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1932 posts) -

I find this to be racially offensive.

#38 Posted by Demoskinos (16930 posts) -
#39 Posted by XLR87T3 (31 posts) -

@xlr87t3 said:

@helimocopter: Khajiit has Street smarts and Body smarts (martial artists), while Argonians have People smarts and Picture smarts. They both seem to excel at Intrapersonal Intelligence (not to be confused with Interpersonal Intelligence).

Actually I take that back. Khajiit absolutely do NOT excel at Intrapersonal Intelligence. It's quite the opposite for those cats.

#40 Posted by TheHBK (5664 posts) -

They totally fucking are. I wish the Empire would stop tolerating those damn beasts. Especially the cats and the lizards. Fuck them.

#41 Posted by Noblenerf (418 posts) -

@thehbk: Down with the Beasts! Down with the Elves! Down with the Humans!

All hail the Dovah!

I think the Elder Scrolls Online will settle this debate once and for all.

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