Back in May publisher ZeniMax Media, parent company to The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim developer Bethesda, filed a trademark for the term “Hearth Fire” in very much a similar fashion to their trademarking of the term Dawnguard, and we all know how the latter turned out. Since then not much mention has been made in regards to post-Dawnguard DLC for Skyrim, although more expansions are in the works.
Operating within the world of The Elder Scrolls and Skyrim, it can be inferred that Hearth Fire – if it were to be the next Skyrim DLC – would release some time in September, or it could center around the idea of conjuration or magic. In The Elder Scrolls lore, Hearth Fire, or more specifically Hearthfire, is the ninth month in the Elder Scrolls calendar. Our ninth month is, of course, September. See the connection?
It stands to reason that the developer could have planned something significant to take place during the month of Hearthfire. The inherent connections to dragons are extremely apparent, and who wouldn’t like to acquire a few more souls?
In addition to being one of the 12 months in the calendar year of the land of Tamriel, Hearth Fire is also the name of a pair of skill books that can be found in Oblivion, Morrowind, and Skyrim. Each version helps boost the player’s conjuration abilities, and contains quite a bit of lore, but their name is, once again, in relation to the calendar month.
Perhaps Hearth Fire could be an expanded version of the College of Magic or the Mage’s Guild, where players delve deeper into the conjuration and spell books. The game is already ripe with skill trees, along with those introduced for Dawnguard, but there’s plenty of room for more abilities.
While Dawnguard did end up being revealed as DLC for Skyrim, the probability of Hearth Fire being the next expansion is too tough to call at this point. The connections to Skyrim are certainly there, and given Bethesda’s protracted DLC schedule for Skyrim (it took nearly 7 months for the first expansion to release) a September release appears to be realistic, but that’s all speculation.
In all reality the Hearth Fire trademark could simply be ZeniMax trying to keep the Elder Scrolls brand from being exploited. Earlier this year they trademarked the dragon shout ‘Fus Ro Dah’ in order to be used on a wide variety of merchandise. Needless to say, there are some preemptive measures going on.
With a game as rich in lore as Skyrim, pointing towards any specific element as being an outlet to more content is likely to run rampant, but whenever ZeniMax files a patent it’s best to take notice. And now that Dawnguard is out for public consumption (albeit only for Xbox 360 gamers at this point) many will start looking towards the future, and what new adventures and quests it might hold.
This is but one way of looking at the Hearth Fire trademark, however, and is not as deeply informed by the world of The Elder Scrolls as those more devoted fans are likely to be. So take to the comments and share your hopes, feelings, and wishes for the next Skyrim expansion.