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The Thalmor are the ruling party of the Aldmeri Dominion. They are High Elves who are xenophobic and convinced of the superiority of mer over man. They see themselves as the saviours of the mer from the tyranny of the human-led Empire. It was they that started the Great War with the Empire which only ended with the White-Gold Concordat.
At present, agents of the Thalmor operate throughout Tamriel as part of one of the clauses in the Concordat allowing them free reign to hunt down worshippers of Talos. They also maintain an agent at the College of Winterhold, Ancano, as well as an embassy in the extreme northeast region of Skyrim.
The Blades believe the Thalmor are responsible for the return of the dragons. However, while reasonable in the face of recent concurrent events and their magical prowess, this belief is erroneous. The Thalmor are as nonplussed at the arrival of the dragon scourge as the Blades or anyone else.