Drem yol lok people of Tamriel, this is actually my first time going into depth about something from The Elder Scrolls video game series.
The Gods know I will have a lot of ground to cover because of how vast its universe is, but right now I’m just going to do the same thing that I do with Mass Effect, main questline ramble first and then DLCs.
Ever since I befriended Brayden one of the first things I knew about him was that he was a huge TES fan, so it’s no wonder he became hysterical about Skyrim’s release back in 2011. I eventually picked up the game for the hell of it, and I wasn’t used to RPG back in the day. I was always playing shooters like Halo and games based off of movie and TV franchises that I loved when it came to what was on the Xbox.
The most important lesson I learned that made me finally get into the nitty-gritty of these games is to not try to squeeze in too many skills to focus on. Like, I tried to be a battle-mage once who also uses a bow and sword, and can also be stealthy. I didn’t get very far, so as a newbie I decided let’s just narrow things down. While playing the game on the Xbox I tried to do that by becoming a warrior but it was easy for me to get distracted and forget where I was. Now, I’m proud to say after getting the game to work on my computer, I finally was able to push myself to fulfill my destiny as the Dragonborn.
A dark elf in light armor, specializing in one-handed weapons; mainly a sword with a shield, good speech skills, and efficient at enchanting with a touch of alchemy. So, that seems like a lot less than what I tried to do in the early years. It’s sort of like, your classic warrior kind of character. I have learned that enchanting is super useful, and I suppose alchemy can save you some gold if you make all your potions as long as you’re always stocked up on healing ones!
Alright, enough of that, onto the story!
It goes differently for everyone, but I’m going to share my thoughts based on the warrior play through that I have been doing.
In a flesh, well no one really knows why you start the game off captured by the Imperial Legion, but this beginning I think gives a lot of people a bad impression about that organization right from the start. Then word is out that dragons are returning to Skyrim and we learn that we are something called “Dragonborn” where we have the ability to absorb a dragon’s soul and speak their language in shouts that have different powers to them.
Everything up to this point is pretty much easy for me all the time. I always start the golden claw quest and pick up the stone from Bleak Falls Barrow too while at it, but I always dread climbing those seven thousand steps to High Hrothgar, all because of one damn frost troll.
Let’s face it, we’ve all dreaded it if we’re, say, under level 10. Well, with this most recent play through, I was finally on my way up the mountain and a dragon attacked just as I was approaching that trench where the troll waits. The dragon’s frost breath began to slow me down, I found myself holding down the button to keep moving forward, and went down the next set of stairs eventually losing the troll while the dragon pursued. From there, I just kept running until High Hrothgar loomed ahead.
Meeting the Greybeards, I just knew I was going to commit to their ways because there’s something to believe in and that is: “Use your power wisely.”
When they tasked me to journey to Ustengrav it felt like a walk in the park minus the glowing stones puzzle. But, seven hells, I dread what comes after this for a while. We get to meet my all time least (and certainly everyone’s as well) favourite character in this game.
That’s right, it’s Delphine and unfortunately I have to add a picture in here since her part in the story is still quite large. For the next few parts of the main story, we as Dragonborn now know of the nearly extinct faction known as the Blades who wish to serve us. Well, actually, judging from how things go from Kynesgrove to the Skyhaven Temple, it sounds more like the Blades are just using the Dragonborn for their own will, and that is not how it works.
There’s not much I want to say in regards to helping them, but I guide them to the temple and after that I never will help them again. First you find out if the Thalmor have anything to do with the dragons returning, help Delphine’s old friend Esbern come out of his little
cave *ahem* rat hole, and then lead them to Alduin’s wall to find out how to defeat him.
The only exciting parts of this series of quests is you meet Alduin again when he revives the dragon at Kynesgrove and then another over the hill West of Rorikstead. Last time I was approaching the temple, two dragons attacked the Forsworn camps just outside of it, a blood dragon included. I was getting pummeled with frost AND flame breath AND magic! By the Gods, I managed to get inside the cave mere seconds away from death!
But don’t worry, once that’s over, we get to my favourite part of the main quest!
We get to meet Paarthurnax! Yay! I know you just talk to him about Dragonrend and I find that speaking to him makes me realize all the time I wasted helping the Blades, and I finally realized what it really means to be Dragonborn. Paarthurnax and the Greybeards seem to recognize that with great power comes great responsibility, so you should not use your power recklessly. That also explains why Jurgen Windcaller devoted to The Way of the Voice and formed the Greybeards. I felt like the Blades wanted me to use the Thu’um in a way that would be considered, blasphemous in my eyes now that I am devoted to the Greybeards, and that’s using it to kill dragons without remorse like a weapon of war. That’s not what I wanted to use the Thu’um for.
I mentioned before how talking to certain characters in RPG games can be just as exciting as the action, and Paarthurnax is the primary example of this. He is my mentor and friend in this game just like he is for every other player out there.
Why did I put him on my list of fictional crushes again?
By this point, this is where I like to slow down and start doing other things just to make sure I’m extra prepared. That grueling journey through the ruins and Blackreach is long, but at the same time there is a lot to explore there. I recently have tried to find all those crimson Nirnroots and only have 6 more to go. But, there’s one area of Blackreach I’m reluctant to set foot in because there is a giant wandering there. Then, I learned you can summon a dragon called Vulthuryol from this giant orb floating above a structure. Maybe he will take care of that giant for me!
It’s the Alduin’s Bane quest that I really go out of my way to prepare for. I didn’t go to do it until I got my Smithing level to 70 so I could make and don glass armor. Then I took him on without too much trouble.
At this point I was getting disappointed how little the interaction is between the Dragonborn and Alduin, you’d think you’d get to talk down your enemy, well not in this case unfortunately.
I was not looking forward to Season Unending, and I clearly should have settled the war first. Ulfric Stormcloak was making way too many demands, it just shows you how power hungry he is, not to mention a racist and some of the people who follow him. When he started to demand too much at the meeting, I was like “Nope, screw you, this is about the dragons, not you!” I’m proud to say that I executed him personally in his own castle in the battle of Windhelm. Come at me Stormcloak supporters of the Internet, I dare you!
Also, I never invited Esbern and Delphine to this meeting, they think they have every right to show up to whatever I have planned. They never have served me, nor do I serve them. I just want to ask, who in the name of Azura decided to make them part of this story anyway, or better yet, the quest option Delphine gives you to kill Paarthurnax?
I wanted to chop her head off for that. Why would anyone want to kill him? If you do kill him the Greybeards will no longer help you find more words of power and I like finding those words regardless! So, there’s pretty much nothing you get out of killing him.
But, Delphine is probably the most stubborn character in any video game I’ve ever met. She doesn’t believe that one can redeem themselves which is what Paarthurnax did. It’s almost like she’s saying. “He must pay for his crimes even if he committed them eons ago and learned from them,” or “He’s a dragon, therefore he needs to die.” She even gets annoyed when she finds out you trap Odahviing and then ride him out of Dragonsreach. Hey lady, I’m the Dragonborn here, I decide what’s best for fulfilling my destiny, not you!
Speaking of Odahviing, he was pretty cool too, it’s nice to have another dragon on my side.
Then, when we go to Sovngarde I just couldn’t stop to take a break. I loved the music while I was in there, and meeting Nords already there who had left Tamriel. Kodlak Whitemane was there, Jurgen Windcaller, many notables mentioned throughout the story. We joined together and defeated Alduin once and for all.
Then, what was even more perfect was when I returned to Tamriel I was on the Throat of the World with Paarthurnax and several other dragons chanting Alduin’s defeat. Even though it was a victory, Paarthurnax had not forgotten that Alduin was his brother before flying off, and Odahviing pledged his service to me.
So, on a scale of 1 – 10, I’d say the story gets a solid 7.5/10. If they removed the parts with the Blades, replaced it with something else that leads us up to Alduin’s Wall then I would have raised my score an 8.
Would you like to know what I would like to have the Blades replaced with? More interaction with Alduin. He seems like a straightforward senseless antagonist with not a lot of depth as a character over all. I would have liked to see more of him, to understand his motives which eventually led Paarthurnax to no longer serve him. The only thing we get out of him aside from any quests that involve him, is we sometimes catch him flying around Skyrim and then he revives a dragon at a burial site. I am a dragon lover, I like it when dragons have depth if they have personalities are not just monsters flying around annihilating everything.
That being said, Skyrim’s main quest requires a lot of pushing yourself to complete, since there have been many times where I have started it and never finished it because I got distracted by other games and hobbies. Maybe that’s why playing it on my PC was better if I really wanted to finish it, and I succeeded this time!
What did you think of Skyrim’s main story line? Good? Average? Seen better? Let me know!