If there's one thing gamers love, it's analyzing the fictional universes of their favorite games in an attempt to discover hidden meanings and messages left by the creators. Conspiracy theories about video games and their worlds are a fun and intellectually stimulating way to engage with our favorite games years after they've been released. While this principle extends to analyzing virtually all forms of art for hidden meanings and symbolism, the gaming community has more than its fair share of fan theories; many are patently absurd but still make for an entertaining read, while others are more reasonable and are backed by at least a bit of evidence.
Because developers rarely comment on fan theories, the best part is that we may never know for sure if the ones presented here are true or not, though some, like the famous one about Super Mario Bros. 3 being a stage play, have been officially confirmed. So who knows? Maybe some of these crazy fan conspiracy theories aren't so crazy after all. After reading some of these, you may never look at games like Animal Crossing, Mass Effect, Pokemon, Shadow of the Colossus, the Elder Scrolls, or Portal the same way again. What's fun is, many of them have a dark or eerie tone to them.
We've put together a list of the creepiest, most spine-tingling video game theories that totally blew our minds. Please keep in mind this article will contain major spoilers for the games listed.
20 Shadow of the Colossus: Wander and Mono Aren't A Couple
This critically acclaimed game starts with our brave hero Wander carrying a woman named Mono's body to the Forbidden Lands on the back of his horse Agro. Mono has been sacrificed for "having a cursed fate," and Wander brings her body to the Shrine of Worship to bring her back to life. In order to do so, he must obey the cryptic instructions of a disembodied voice named Dormin, who charges him with finding and killing all sixteen colossi that wander the land. He proceeds to slaughter the colossi, all just for her. There's simply no doubt that Wander and Mono love each other more than life itself...right?
For starters, nothing about Wander and Mono's relationship prior to the game is confirmed. Wander clearly has strong feelings for Mono - that's all we know. It's a mystery if they were in love, if they were childhood friends (with Wander having an unrequited love for her) or siblings, or if they never even met before she was sacrificed. The fact that according to some the revived Mono doesn't seem to recognize Agro at the end of the game, when the trusty steed and its rider were clearly very close, is another clue. Adding to this is the fact that the two characters never speak to each other in Shadow of the Colossus, which means the story leaves plenty of room for fan theories. Another theory is that Wander is a Templar and performed the sacrifice himself and does what he does out of guilt.
Whatever the case, Wander is blinded by his feelings to the point of obsession, never even questioning why he's murdering all the (mostly) gentle leviathans, who posed him no harm. It's clear nothing good can come of the journey, but as he says at the beginning, "it doesn't matter." Shadow of the Colossus is a tragedy and the theory that the relationship at the center of the plot might not have even existed makes it all the more so.
19 Pokémon: The Great Pokémon War
Pokémon is one of the most popular video game franchises of all time and many fan theories exist about the monster-catching and battling franchise. One compelling theory that explains the logic of some of the more bizarre aspects of the Pokémon Universe is the Pokémon War Theory. The theory goes like this: Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow take place just a few years after a devastating war between Kanto and a rival nation or possibly even a world war involving the use of Pokemon, that you and your rival both lost parents in the war, and are now among the first generation of young people born in a post-war age.
This would explain why you have no father in the game and your rival is an orphan, why your mother recognizes you as the man of the house, and why ten-year-old children are allowed to wander on journeys around the world without supervision. With this in mind, other parts of the Pokémon world, such as the prevalence of hospitals and gyms, the lack of adult males except for the elderly or those involved in organized crime (such as Team Rocket), and the lack of infrastructure and population, suddenly seem much more ominous.
Perhaps the strongest evidence for the theory is the dialogue with Lt. Surge: “Hey, kid! What do you think you’re doing here? You won’t live long in combat! That’s for sure! I tell you kid, electric Pokemon saved me during the war!”
18 Destiny: the Guardians are The Darkness
Some fans have theorized that the Guardians are The Darkness. Fallen Dregs in the game have been heard to shout in garbled speak something which sounds an awful lot like, "It's the Darkness!" when you engage them. There's also the idea that we don't really know that we're the good guys: we don't know much about the Traveler, its motivations or origins, and we don't know much about The Darkness or what it is. Players have also noted disturbing language in the objectives for the game, which include words like, "slaughter" and "decimate," all the way down to simply, "kill them all." It's hard to believe a benevolent force would use such language. In addition, Guardians have titles like Titans, Hunters, and Warlocks – all names with negative connotations, while enemies have titles like Knights and Wizards.
The theory says that the Traveler is a weapon, or a malevolent being who has brought humanity under its spell to act as a proxy army of undead killers, or even that the Traveler was the one who caused the Collapse and humanity's near-extinction. It's not made any better by this notable excerpt from the diary of a Guardian detailing their doubts about their noble mission: “The Ghost said to me: You are a dead thing made by a dead power in the shape of the dead. All you will ever do is kill. You do not belong here.”
17 Super Mario Bros.: Every Mario Game is Just a Performance
By now, a lot of us have heard the two famous game theories about Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3, that is, that the events of 2 were a dream and never happened, and that the curtains, hanging stage blocks and flat worlds indicate that 3 is really a stage performance where Mario and his friends are actors, a theory which has recently been confirmed. So that's one mystery solved, but what if the rabbit hole goes even deeper than that?
To begin with, the Mario series contains just about every type of game you could imagine, from platformers to racing, sports, fighting, and role-playing, and there seems to be little continuity between all of the games. The Mario gang seems to be comfortable in just about any genre. A fan theory states that the idea goes beyond one game and Mario and his crew are really just a group of actors who play whatever parts the various games require them to, and that every Mario game has been a stage performance. Sounds far-fetched, so what's the evidence?
Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine both refer to their levels as "episodes," and are presented like episodes of a television show. The Mario Party games also resemble reality TV and it would explain why the characters go from being bitter rivals to bosom buddies at the drop of a hat. Finally, in the style of The Truman Show, we can see flying Lakitu camera crews in several of the games, including Mario 64 and all of the Mario Kart series.
16 Pokémon Go: The Game Has a Dark Secret
The mobile game Pokémon Go was the feel-good hit of the summer, providing some much-needed relief to the disastrous year of 2016. It was nostalgic, it was cute, it was refreshing, and most of all it was fun, seemingly having no connection to the games before it. Or did it? Before long, lingering questions bugging Pokémon fans started popping up: where does Go fit into the Pokémon canon? Why does the system of catching and training Pokémon seem so different (even rudimentary and scaled down)? And most of all: what is the true significance of the three teams the players have to choose from, Team Mystic, Valor, and Instinct, and why are none of them in the Generation I games?
The theory goes like this: Pokémon Go is the very first game in the Pokemon timeline and, most importantly, is about the build-up to the Great Pokémon War that devastates the world.
In Pokémon Go, not all the 151 First Generation Pokémon are present in the game because they haven't been discovered yet, and Professor Oak hasn't made the first Pokédex. Aerodactyl, Omanyte, and Kabuto are extinct by Generation I and can only be revived through fossils, but in Go they are seen in the wild. When you encounter Pokémon, trainers only throw Pokéballs and you can't weaken them first because the strategic combat hasn't been invented. Trainers can't teach their Pokémon new moves because there are no experienced trainers, and TMs and HMs don't exist. Trainers also don't know how to use battles to level up their Pokémon, so instead they use candies. The traditional Gym and Gym Leader structure of the League also doesn't exist, so Gyms switch hands all the time.
Now for the scary part: Team Valor, Team Mystic, and Team Instinct are the three competing factions with very different belief systems (and very powerful Pokémon) that end up starting the Great Pokémon War over the question of artificial Pokémon like Porygon and Mewtwo - a war so violent that by Generation I all of them are gone – annihilated in the frenzy of the war, vanished from history and all memory without a trace, or perhaps even outright banned due to the destruction their competing ideologies caused. A war in which candy was outlawed as unethical, making them very, very hard to find. Dare we say...rare candies?
Oh, and there's more about how Professor Willow is really Pryce. Go here for more information on the very complex theory.
15 Mass Effect 3: Indoctrination Theory
Before the end of 3, Shepard is blasted with a powerful beam of Reaper energy. The theory says that everything afterwards is the Reapers invading Shepard's mind (after the blast, the world appears fuzzy, like a dream). This would mean that the ending is a hallucination and the battle taking place after entering the Citadel only takes place in his mind.
The games and many of the Mass Effect novels go into great detail about indoctrination and how subtly it can affect an individual, sometimes taking years before their mind is totally consumed. According to the theory, at the end of 3, the Reapers use their control to trick Shepard and the player into false choices, all three of which are an apparent win for the bad guys: "Control" means that Shepard controls the Reapers (when it's the other way around), "Synthesis means the Reapers get to bond with everything in the galaxy. There's still the "Destruction" that means Shepard destroys the Reapers, but he also dies, still leading to a virtual Reaper victory. The Indoctrination theory still explains the strange tone of the ending and why the choice to rule the galaxy with the Reapers is coded "blue" for good, and the choice to destroy them is coded "red" for evil.
Mass Effects fans so swear by this theory that there's a two-hour documentary you can watch about it.
14 Majora’s Mask: Link is Dead/Represents the Five Stages of Grief
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is one of the darkest games in the beloved franchise. There seems to be an atmosphere of grief and defeat infiltrating the land itself, but according to a fan theory that has gained serious fan support on the internet, it may be even darker than we initially thought. According to this school of thought, Majora's Mask is about a literal journey through the five stages of grief, perhaps spurred on by Link's feelings after Navi leaves him.
Clock Town represents denial, with the people of the town continuing to go about their lives and plan their festival, despite the moon overhead with a malevolent facial expression. The Deku of Woodfall represent anger in their treatment of the monkey. Snowhead is bargaining, with Darmani, the leader of the Gorons, bargaining for his life. Next is depression, portrayed by Lulu in Great Bay. Finally, Link finds acceptance of his grief in Ikana Valley, land of the dead, when he finds the Elegy of Emptiness and the Light Arrows.
Another, perhaps connected theory, says that Link is actually dead throughout the game and the stages of grief are about his own demise from falling off his horse in the opening cutscene. It's undeniable that something feels "off" about Majora's Mask in comparison to the other games. It takes places in Termina instead of the usual series setting of Hyrule, a name which is very close to "terminal."
13 Metal Gear Solid 3: The Entire Thing is a Virtual Mission
If there's one thing the Metal Gear Solid series has experience with, it's convoluted plot twists. Since the endlessly unfolding plot continues to shock us all these years later, it's only fitting that MGS should have more than its fair share of conspiracy theories. One of the most intriguing ideas is that Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater isn't a prequel, but in fact nothing more than a virtual reality simulation based on real events, ala Assassin's Creed. If it sounds a bit lazy to fall back on the old "this isn't really happening" theory, fans have found real evidence for this theory.
Right from the beginning, Naked Snake mishears Major Zero describe the mission – Virtuous Mission – as a "virtual mission" during the briefing. There's also an odd sequence if you happen to kill Ocelot, who can't die because he has to appear in future games. Should you kill Ocelot, Snake is not chastised by Zero but by...wait for it...Roy Campbell, whose voice scolds you for creating a "time paradox." Is this berating for mission failure or for breaking the simulation? Also, there's no reason Campbell's voice should be involved, since he isn't your contact. Unless of course, the whole game is Solid Snake playing through a virtual training exercise decades in the future.
12 Animal Crossing: About a Child-Abducting Cult
On the surface, Animal Crossing seems like a really happy and uplifting game about a human living in a village with kindly anthropomorphic animals that love decorating, fishing, bug-catching and other fun activities. But according to one fan theory, Animal Crossing is about a child being kidnapped and indoctrinated into a cult.
Animal Crossing begins with the player character, a human child, being transported to the village by a bizarre duck-like creature called Kapp'n, who is modeled after the Japanese mythological creature the kappa, known for kidnapping children. In some games you wake up in the back of Kapp'n's car, almost as though you were drugged. Once the character arrives in the village, there's already a house waiting for you, as though the whole village knew you were coming. You're immediately buried underneath a mountain of debt and the animals living there put you to work to pay it off.
Even after you pay off your non-consensual house loan, Tom Nook upgrades your house with or without your permission, keeping you in constant debt. Oh, and if you try to leave, the guards stop you at the gates. So there you are, trapped in a village where you're dependent on your captors for everything and they never stop watching you, giving you no hope of escape. It seems Animal Crossing has less in common with a community simulation than it does with Jonestown.
11 Bloodborne: You Are Drinking Menstrual Blood
Bloodborne involves a lot of blood, literally. Not only is it very violent, but players in the game even drink vials of it to regain health. Drinking someone else's blood is already rather gross, but it's made even more disturbing if one particular fan theory is to be believed. According to the theory, the blood in Bloodborne is menstrual blood. For starters, the characters in the game that give you the super-special healing blood vials are all exclusively female. Arianna, notably, stops supplying you with vials when she becomes pregnant. Other players have noted that you can't get any vials from the elderly women characters, who would be unable to produce menstrual blood due to the onset of menopause.
Not to mention the game and the lore itself is chock full of references to menstruation. There's a boss called the Mensis Brain, an item called the Mensis Cage, and an area called The Nightmare of Mensis. "Mensis," of course, sounds awfully like "Menses," the Latin word for menstruation. The item called the Blood Stone shards you use to upgrade weapons closely resemble used tampons, and there's also the rare Blood Rocks. Finally, the Healing Church picks out particular women to be "vessels for blood" as "Blood Saints." Yeah.
10 Kirby 64: Earth Has Been Destroyed
Kirby games are mostly harmless fun. Nintendo's famous power-absorbing pink puffball protagonist is powerful and lovable and consistently ranked as one of the most iconic video game characters. But the pink pillow with eyes is not without his dark side. For one thing, there's the downright creepy theory that Kirby once visited a post-apocalyptic version of Earth.
In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby travels to a world known as the Shiver Star planet, which from orbit looks identical to Earth: the same continents (North and South America can clearly be seen), the same single moon in its orbit, but the surface is completely covered in ice. But the places Kirby visits on the planet soon reveal it's not the Ice Age. He stumbles upon a factory and a shopping mall, with the autonomous machinery and patrol robots in perfect working order. But there are no humans to be found anywhere. There's no other logical explanation: Shiver Star is Earth and humans have been wiped out by a nuclear holocaust or a new Ice Age. All that remains are a few buildings and the robot servants humanity left behind, still humming along like clockwork towards an unknown goal.
9 Donkey Kong Country: Allegory for the Banana Wars
We like to think that Donkey Kong series is just about a well-dressed gorilla and his ape pals seeking to recover a hoard of bananas from a wicked crocodile monarch by throwing a lot of barrels, but using a bit of world history, a well-researched fan theory argues that Donkey Kong Country is an allegory for American imperialism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a period known as "the Banana Wars." The Banana Wars were a series of interventions and occupations by the United States against countries in Central America and the Caribbean after the Spanish-American War, during which the U.S. gained control of Cuba and Puerto Rico, allowing it to plunder states like Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, frequently on behalf of the United Fruit Company (now known as Chiquita), which gained domination over the banana trade.
The theory says that Donkey Kong Country symbolizes one of these countries under siege from the game's villain, King K. Rool, an allegory for President Teddy Roosevelt (Teddy's name even looks similar to K. Rool's, and he was often drawn in caricature as a king). Its bananas have been stolen by an invading military force (K.Rool's army has units that wear helmets and insignia with a striking resemblance to American soldiers). Notably, K. Rool is a crocodile and doesn't even like bananas, which would imply he's stealing them for economic reasons. The broken railways and heavily polluted levels throughout the game symbolize America's destruction of the rail system and environment in these countries. Near the end of the game there are even references to oil and you fight K. Rool on a pirate ship, which seems odd until you remember the U.S. and United Fruit had a habit of enforcing their policies via naval vessels.
8 Pokémon Red/Blue: You Killed Gary’s Raticate
Creepypasta about Pokémon have become widespread in recent years and one of the most disturbing among the fandom is the idea that you are responsible for the death of your rival's Raticate. When you encounter your rival in the creepy ghost-ridden Lavender Town (basically a Pokémon graveyard), he asks why you're in the Pokémon Tower since you don't have any dead Pokémon to mourn. This would seem to imply that he himself has lost a Pokémon. Astute fans have noticed that at this point in the game, your rival no longer has the Raticate that he used in previous battles, the last of which being the one aboard the U.S.S. Anne.
This has led some to theorize that your rival's Raticate sustained serious injuries during your last battle on the luxury cruise liner, but because the ship had no Pokémon Center, he was unable to find medical help in time and his Raticate died from his wounds. The fan theory goes on to portray you as the real bad guy of the story, responsible for crushing your rival's dreams of being Pokémon Champion moments after he gained the title, being responsible for the death of his beloved Pokémon and thus his innocence, and by the end of the game even taking away the love of his own grandfather. By the way, your rival is an orphan.
7 Portal 2: Cave Johnson and Caroline are Chell's Parents
Say what? You heard right, it could be that the two biggest antagonists from the Portal series are actually the parents of our beloved silent Chell. But what evidence is there? In Portal 2, the player finds a "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day" with multiple science fair projects by the daughter of employees. One of these projects, an experiment involving a potato (!) that has grown to huge size, has a scribble in the corner that says, "by Chell." Since there probably aren't a lot of girls named Chell, this proves that she was the daughter of an Aperture Science employee.
The game also hints at Cave Johnson and Caroline being involved with one another. Perhaps the most creepy piece of evidence of all is the oil painting of Cave and Caroline. Sharp-eyed players noticed that if you look closely in the shadowy background on the left, you notice the ghostly outline of a young girl. Back in the olden days, only family members would be included in custom oil paintings, which means Cave must have married Caroline, and the young girl is their daughter, Chell. Later in the game when GLaDOS inhabits a potato (!) and learns she is an AI based off Caroline's consciousness being uploaded into the computer, she becomes loving and protective of Chell, something the old GLaDOS would never have done. During the credits song, GLaDOS even says Chell is a lot like Caroline, perhaps hinting at their relationship. The turret song itself even refers to "my dear child" over and over!
The idea that Chell has been at Aperture her whole life has also been confirmed by the comic "Lab Rat," which shows a teddy bear in her bed. Some have even said that GLaDOS lies about deleting Caroline at the end of the game, because she knew Chell would never leave if she knew GLaDOS was her mother. Still not convinced? Well, for the icing on the cake (ha!) Cave, Caroline, and Chell's names all begin with the letter 'C."
6 Portal: Companion Cubes Have People in Them
One fan theory suggests that the Companion Cubes are "weighted" because they contain the dead or dying bodies of failed test subjects. The name of the achievement you get when you incinerate the Cube is "fratricide," just as the previous (likely thousands) of test subjects are your brethren. Also, the Cube is easily large enough to fit a human inside. Eerily, GLaDOS tells Chell that the Companion Cube can't talk and if it ever does it should be ignored, which would seem to imply they both can talk and should be listened to. Doug Rattmann's scribbles all over the walls of Aperture (which include pictures of Cubes glued over the heads of people) are usually dismissed as crazy rants...unless those people were actually put into Cubes.
In Portal 2, GLaDOS even mocks Chell by saying it was about to say 'I love you' and notes, "They ARE sentient, of course. We just have a LOT of them." This suggests that the Cubes possess some rudimentary intelligence,or perhaps that the dark theory is true.
5 Elder Scrolls And Fallout Are In The Same Universe
Two of Bathesda's biggest game series are Elder Scrolls and Fallout, which have many similarities in gameplay but are two very different settings: one fantastical and otherworldly, the other post-apocalyptic and distinctly Earth-bound. So far, there's never been any connection between the two except for their parent company, but a recent Easter egg in Fallout 4 could have some pretty big implications for two of the most popular video game series of all time.
In Fallout 4, there's a research facility aboard the Brotherhood of Steel's airship where you can see a variety of plants, animals, and specimens. The facility houses an "experimental plant" that glows and has healing properties. It just so happens that these plants look strikingly similar to Nirnroot, the well-known plant from the Elder Scrolls series. Computer logs about the plant are filed under "NRT," which could be shorthand for Nirnroot, and the plant is described as being found "at the mouth of the river," while in Elder Scrolls, Nirnroot only grows near the water.
Of course, the discovery of Nirnroot in Fallout may just be an Easter Egg, but to even suggest that Fallout and Elder Scrolls are part of the same world is pretty mind-blowing, and fans have been debating which came first chronologically ever since.
4 Silent Hill 2: Mary's Body was in James' Car Trunk the Whole Time
Silent Hill 2, widely considered by fans to be the best of the famous survival horror series, is a disturbing game. Not just because of the presence of grotesque horrors like Pyramid Head, but also due to the revelation that you murdered your wife and repressed the memory. But one thing many fans have noticed is that in all of the manifestation of James' guilt we encounter, the body of Mary is nowhere to be found throughout the game. But according to one theory, Mary's body was closer to us than we thought.
The theory states that the corpse of James' wife is stowed away in the trunk of his car the whole time. James put it there so that, in his own twisted way, he could fulfill her wish of going back to Silent Hill. Although there are multiple endings that Silent Hill 2 can have, this theory does explain James' choice of words in one of them. James originally came to Silent Hill to kill himself and, in the "Water ending," he does so by driving his car into the lake. As he does, he says that now he and his wife can be together forever. While some interpret this comment as acknowledging his death and presumed trip to meet her in the afterlife, fans of the theory say that he meant he and his wife's body would be together in a more literal sense.
3 Fallout 3: Mysterious Morse Code Messages Predicted the BP Disaster
The Fallout games have their fair share of weird in-game radio stations. In the third installment, the most prominent is Galaxy News Radio, hosted by Three Dog, who regularly comments on the player's latest activities. But one internet rumor that's picked up steam recently says that something downright creepy is waiting on the weird airwaves of Fallout 3. Throughout the game's post-apocalyptic Washington DC setting, players can pick up on radio broadcasts in the form of Morse Code, which can be decoded to decipher a message.
According to the rumor, one of these sequences reads as follows: "nine-four-five-four-two-zero two-zero-one-zero. Accident in the Gulf, several dead. Oil spill apparently averted." Strangely, this is the exact date of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, which happened at 9:45 on April 20th, 2010, or more than two years after the game was released. During the real-life disaster, BP initially reported that an oil spill had been averted, before it became one of the largest oil spills in history. The "several dead" also applies, as eleven people went missing and were never found. While the rumor has yet to be confirmed, the theory that Fallout may have predicted the future is undeniably eerie.
2 Braid: The Game is About the Atomic Bomb
Critically-acclaimed indie hit Braid is relatively simple in its plot: you are the boy in a private school uniform, Tim, who, in the style of Mario, tries to use his powers to reverse time to rescue a princess from a monster. But messages and symbols throughout the game soon reveal a multifaceted narrative, especially as the game becomes darker as you go on, and the game's cryptic non-ending has caused Braid conspiracy theories to be tossed about the internet arguing over the "real" meaning of the game. The most popular, and perhaps the most spine-tingling, is the theory that Braid is actually about the discovery of the atomic bomb.
Hidden throughout the game are seven secret stars with no achievements, no hints, no sounds, nothing to tell you they're there. You can easily play through the game without finding them (for one you have to wait in a particular screen for two hours to get it), but if you manage to get them you unlock a different ending. It turns out you've been watching the whole situation in reverse and the "princess" you're trying to rescue was fleeing from you, the knight/monster she's running to is the one trying to rescue her, and you, Tim, are the monster who's been stalking her all along. If you manage to catch up to her, she begins flashing and you hear the sound of an atomic bomb detonating.
So the princess represents the atomic bomb and Tim is actually a scientist based in New York who is involved with the Manhattan Project. Tim's time-reversing powers are really his wish to turn back time and undo all the damage his invention caused. It doesn't help that the opening credits are against what appears to be an entire city on fire (ominous, much?), and the last level involves a wall of fire similar to a bomb's shockwave chasing you. Oh, and the unlocked ending? The player finds additional texts that include a quote from Kenneth Bainbridge after the detonation of the first atomic bomb: "Now we are all sons of b*tches." Yeah...pretty heavy.
1 Skyrim: Bug Jars to Trigger End of the World
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is so huge that despite it being almost six years since its release, players are still finding new secrets in it and new fan theories to boot. But none of them are as in-depth and "so crazy it just might be true" as the bug jar conspiracy. Scattered across the icy land of Skyrim are five unique glass jars, each containing five different insects: a butterfly, a torchbug, a dragonfly, a moth, and a bee, and rune inscriptions carved into the lid. The translated runes point to five specific major cities throughout Skyrim, which form a pentagon when put on the map. Several other key locations inside that form another pentagon, and in the center of this is the Shrine of Talos.
There have been many different explanations for the real meaning of the jars, but the most popular explanation is that these bugs and locations are part of a huge transmutation circle across the entire map of Skyrim to perform a powerful summoning ritual that will trigger the apocalypse and bring an end to mankind. In this theory, which ties into other Elder Scrolls lore about the Towers of Mundus, the Thalmor are set to perform a bizarre ritual that will cause the end of the mortal world.