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So, I just realized the other day that Babette is 300 years old. While this is a fact that's been established to me a few times throughout my gameplay by now, I just now realized exactly what sort of implications that could have.

Particularly: She's old enough to possibly have been featured in previous Elder Scrolls games.

According to UESP:

  • Arena takes place in 3E 399.
  • Daggerfall takes place in 3E 405.
  • Morrowind and its expansions take place in 3E 427.
  • Oblivion and its expansion takes place in 3E 433.
  • The end of the Oblivion Crisis in 3E 433 is the epoch from which 4E is begun.
  • Skyrim takes place in 4E 201.

If Babette is exactly three hundred years old, that means she's at least lived through (if not actually been involved in) the entire Elder Scrolls series to date.

Now, I've not seen anything in UESP or otherwise to suggest that Babette is actually a carry-over character. But, there are plenty of other characters - long-living, immortals, deities, undead, etc. - who very well could be.

Are there any characters who actually are carry-overs from previous games in the series? Is this hinted at, or even spelled out to the player during the game?

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+1 Thank you for the entire description along with the year and eras. It helped me understand the eras system. Now the books I find have some meaning. –  ヴァイシャリ Jan 28 '12 at 14:38
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11 Answers

up vote 30 down vote accepted

M'aiq is essentially the same in all his various incarnations, but he's stretching it a bit as (in Skyrim at least) he admits to the fact that "M'aiq's father was also called M'aiq. As was M'aiq's father's father. At least, that's what his father said." Consequently it can be assumed that the M'aiq of Skyrim is descended from the M'aiq of Oblivion (but given the timeframe, the M'aiq of Oblivion is likely the same as the M'aiq of Morrowind. Unless there were brothers, too.)

As part of the Dark Brotherhood quests, you

obtain a spell to summon the ghost of Lucian Lachance, who appeared in Oblivion's Dark Brotherhood plot.

The daedric lords make appearances in all the games, so they sort of count, I guess. Of particular note would be the daedric lord Sheogorath, who is considered to be

the player character from Oblivion, given the events of the Shivering Isles expansion. This is never explicitly confirmed, however, just hinted at by the dialog.

Beyond that I haven't encountered any. There are a few references to plot points and locations (one of the wrecked ships you can stumble upon, for example), but that's it.

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Yeah, but M'aiq is a liar. ;) –  brymck Jan 24 '12 at 12:28
    
What about Shadowmere? Not really a character, but he (or she?) is present in Oblivion and in Skyrim. –  Kevin Aug 2 '13 at 12:35
    
Also Azura, though she's not visible in Skyrim –  Zommuter Aug 14 '13 at 14:03
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Amusei, the thief from oblivion, shows up at your wedding in Skyrim

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Note: The images link to their respective character's UESP wiki articles.
Dervenin Neloth Karstaag Sheogorath Falx Carius Udefrykte Sinderion M'aiq the Liar Ulfgar the Unending Saint Jiub the Eradicator Barbas Lucien Lachance Shadowmere Nelacar Ettiene Fallaise Isobel

Source and higher resolution version of the images: Reddit /r/Skyrim post, "A list I made of all the characters that appeared in an Elder Scrolls game before.", by OccupyTamriel

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Nobody said the dreth family? Valen Dreth is the prisoner across from your cell in the start of oblivion and a descendent of his (Whos name I have forgotten) lives in riften. He gives you a keg of black briar mead to give to the innkeeper of ivarstead. You can here him say in the bee and barb that valen killed 6 imperial guards before being imprisoned. Then he lies and says that valen took out the mystic dawn by himself.

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A carry over character no one mentioned was Jiub from the Skyrim DLC Dawnguard. You meet him when he is a ghost in the Soul Cairn. Jiub was the Dunmer on the ship that you made your character with when you started a new character in Morrowind.

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Neloth of house telvanni from Morrowind is also in the new Dragonborn DLC for Skyrim.

http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Neloth_(Dragonborn)

http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Neloth_(Morrowind)

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To add/expound on the other answers:

One of the most notable Skyrim characters carried over from Oblivion probably is the Champion of Cyrodiil/Sheogorath (player character in TES IV: Oblivion, Sheogorath in the end of the 'Shivering Isles' expansion for Oblivion and Skyrim):

Sheogorath mentions that he was present for all of the Oblivion Crisis and that Martin was possibly the "best" of the Septims. He then rattles off a list of seemingly unrelated objects: butterflies, a Fox, a severed head, and cheese. These likely reference the beginning of Shivering Isles, the Gray Fox of the Cyrodiil Thieves Guild and the severed head of Mathieu Bellamont's mother. The cheese may be in reference to Sheogorath's Daedric Shrine quest in Border Watch.

While nothing can be stated with certainty, these comments, coupled with his remark that Sheogorath is a title "passed down from me to me", suggest he is the Champion of Cyrodiil.

Source: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim%3aSheogorath

After defeating Jyggalag, the Champion of Cyrodiil became the new Sheogorath. The Champion of Cyrodiil appears to remain at his post 200 years later, having also taken on Sheogorath's personality, voice and likeness.

Source: UESP wiki, "Sheogorath - The Creation of Sheogorath" article
Another notable creature carried over from Oblivion is Shadowmere:

When summoned, the spirit of Lucien Lachance will sometimes greet Shadowmere as "Shadowmere, my old and dear friend."

From: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Shadowmere
Shadowmere in Skyrim was also Lucien Lachance's horse in TES IV: Oblivion, she/he was then passed on to the Dark Brotherhood Listener (the player character).

Shadowmere also appeared to have some sort of sex change over the course of 200 years from the end of the Oblivion crisis:

Though Shadowmere is implied to be the same horse in both games, it is referred to as a female in Oblivion but as a male in Skyrim. His color has also changed to dark brown from bluish-black. No explanation is given for these differences.

From: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Shadowmere
Also, the (Dark Brotherhood) Night Mother's coffin and corpse is being transported to Skyrim from Cyrodiil by Cicero at the start of the events of Skyrim (the game), and will play an important part in the events regarding the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim. The Night Mother also played an important role for the Dark Brotherhood at Cyrodiil (Oblivion).

30th of Sun's Dusk, 4E 200

I have written the letters. So polite. So official! To Astrid, in Skyrim. Her Sanctuary still stands. Still operates. But how? No Listener means no Black Sacrament, no Black Sacrament means no contracts. Her family can abandon the Old Ways, and still survive, still kill, but is that family still Brotherhood? Or something else? Something new. Something different. Something wrong?

Something wrong.

Still, we must go! Tomorrow, we set sail. Float on a boat through the moat called the sea her and me!

Source: Cicero's Journal - Final Volume

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At the beginning of the "Mind of Madness" quest, you are confronted by a madman named Dervenin. Dervenin appeared as a priest of Mania, located in New Sheoth in the Sacellum Arden-Sul in "The Shivering Isles" DLC for Oblivion.

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I recently discovered that Barbas is a carry-over from Oblivion, and was also mentioned (if not present) in all games since Daggerfall.

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There is, of course, Mai'q the Liar, who is more like an easter egg and he has been present since Morrowind, making humorous comments on the games since then.

During the Dark Brotherhood, you'll have the ability to meet the ghost of a character of Oblivion.

More specifically, you gain the ability to conjure the ghost of Lucien Lachance, who was your mentor and part of the Black Hand in Oblivion

You can also "meet" Sinderion, the alchemist giving you the Nirnroot quest in Oblivion

His skeleton is found in Blackreach, where he went in search of the red Nirnroot.

Finally, in a bit of a Babette way, there is Movarth Piquine, character in the book "Immortal Blood", where he is a Fighter Guild mentor and vampire hunter. In Skyrim, you can met him as a vampire, plotting some evil scheme.

There are also the numerous gods, most prominently the Daedric Princes, who still like to mess up the mortals. Sheogorath is heavily implied to have been the player's character in Oblivion, as well as the Grey Fox and the Listener of the Black Brotherhood.

Speaking of Sheogorath, you can also meet the ghost of Pelagius Septim III, the mad emperor, who lived between 3E119 and 3E153, and was Jarl of Solitude before beeing Emperor.

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Were Movarth & Pelagius actually featured in previous games? I'm only really looking for NPCs that the player may have actually interacted with before - not simply NPCs that existed during those times. –  Iszi Jan 24 '12 at 13:24
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There are two groups of characters that have been carried over to Skyrim.

The first are the Daedric Princes. They've been around since the first Elder Scrolls game, and, effectively being gods, are immortal and still kickin'. Sheogorath in particular (who is implied to be the Champion of Cyrodil from Oblivion) is carried over from previous games.

The second group is composed entirely by M'aiq the Liar, a Khajit character who appears to have been transplanted wholesale from Oblivion to reprise his role as the Dev's Snarkbox. Whether or not this is the same Khajit, however, is up for debate, both because he's a "Liar" (It's in his name! It must be true!) and because the character says:

"M'aiq's father was also called M'aiq. As was M'aiq's father's father. At least, that's what his father said."

Other than that, the games are completely distinct, character-wise.

Edit: As Josh Petrie mentions, Lucian Lachance also makes a reappearance, but as a conjured companion only, not a traditional NPC.

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