on May 8, 2014
I’d like to interrupt this special episode of “hoarders” for the following political commentary: The whole “Ulfric is a sleeper agent” idea pretty much ruined the entire political questline for me. Once I discovered that, I lost all interest in it.
I like the idea of idealism vs. practicality that the quest represents on its face. Do we support the religious freedom of a nation of people who are partly, but not entirely racist? Do we condemn all based on the way some have lashed out at non-Nords? Do we side with the Empire, who are really just trying to make the best of a bad situation? I mean, sure, we could fight to defend Talos worship now. But we would lose badly to the Thalmor. Wouldn’t it be better to just keep the Talos-business secret while we try to build up enough power to crush the murderous and genocidal Thalmor? Then again, if Talos worship is diminished, that might also diminish the power of Talos, who might be key to overcoming the Thalmor. Then again again, if the Nords are so hell-bent on shoving their Talos in everyone’s face, wouldn’t it just be better to let the cede from the Empire? Let the Thalmor and the Nords duke it out for a decade or so, rather than expending our finite supply of imperial power basically fighting the Thalmor’s battle for them? On the other, other, other hand, don’t the Stormcloaks kind of have a point? Why serve and pay taxes to an empire that’s clearly unable and unwilling to do its job and protect you from foreign powers? Can we blame the Stormcloaks for wanting to keep fighting about something that means so much to them? They’re not the only people in Tamriel who would rather die than give up their god, they’re just the only ones being asked to do so.
I’m sure we can do another couple of paragraphs of pro-and-con. The point is: This is a really interesting setup and there are lots of ways of looking at this.
And then in this stupid message it’s revealed the whole thing is a massive waste of time. The idealistic Stormcloak leader is just a brainwashed puppet, the whole war is a plot of the Thalmor, and the only winning move is not to play. Okay Bethesda. You talked me out of it. I won’t play the political questline. Not sure why you wanted to reduce the most interesting problem in Skyrim to an uninteresting reveal, and I don’t know why you’d want to dissade players from playing the second-biggest questline in the game. But whatever.
AND THEN YOU CAN’T SHOW THE NOTE TO ANYONE. WHO WROTE THIS COMPLETE DROSS?
If someone at least SAID this out loud, then we could have fun with it. Were they telling the truth? Were they mislead? Who do we believe? It would also give us a justification for why we can’t show the proof to the various leaders. I mean, every other piece of paper in Skyrim is considered irrefutable evidence of this-or-that. But the same apparently isn’t true for this, the most important document in Skyrim that isn’t an actual Elder Scroll.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.