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> Heroes, Are there any in Skyrim?
Acadian
post Apr 17 2015, 03:04 PM
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As the song says. . . I need a hero! Are there any such NPCs in Skyrim? To me the term implies noble, selfless bravery and leadership under both physical and moral duress.

In Oblivion, Buffy found Savlian Matius and Sir Mazoga to be the stuff that true heroes are made of. According to Sir Mazoga’s accounts, we understand that Emperor Martin Septim was also of the same noble, selfless cloth and was a hero. I think that Savlian and Martin’s credentials are clearly presented in the game. I admit that Sir Mazoga’s credentials are more questionable without the massive dose of RP / fanfic that Buffy and I have applied to her – for in Buffy’s world, Sir Mazoga is ‘The Chosen One’ / Champion of Cyrodiil.

Buffy has encountered two NPCs in Skyrim she would readily call heroes. Mjoll the Lioness as the brave protector of Riften and Captain Modyn Veleth – the relentless captain of the Redoran guards in Raven Rock on the Isle of Solstheim. I admit some of Buffy’s opinion of Modyn Veleth was influenced by the same factor that caused her to admire Savlian Matius – she was attracted to him. Alas though, Veleth is ‘taken’ by another elven lass in Raven Rock and Buffy is not a love poacher.

She felt initially that both Vilkas and Farkas might have hero potential, but when push came to shove, both of them wimped out leaving Buffy and Aela to do the dangerous stuff. Of the Companions, it is only Aela who has potential as a heroic leader. She does smell a bit of wet fur though. . . .

Serana seems rather noble, brave and determined to not let her own family clan destroy the sun – driven by a ‘heroic’ destiny? Buffy did grow to trust Serana – with her life - and willing to follow her into some very disturbing places. A vampiric heroine seems more than a bit ironic though. . . .

So are there any heroes in Skyrim among the vanilla NPCs?


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ghastley
post Apr 17 2015, 04:21 PM
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I'd suggest Karliah, who's working against the odds to extract the Thieves Guild from Maven's grasp, except for the leadership part. She wants to stay hidden, and would prefer another be the figurehead. Erik the Slayer has no leadership either, even if he could develop the rest.

Jarl Balgruuf comes close. He's trying to protect his city from the Civil war, and he's prepared to come out onto the balcony and help you catch a dragon when he has to. However, Jarl of Whiterun is probably his limit.

Mirabelle Irvine, if you want one that doesn't survive. I'm busy building Brelyna into the next Arch-mage in Clark's story, and she's got that potential in the regular game. If you take her as a follower, she's a lot braver than first impressions suggest. But she's mine, hands off! Faralda does a good job defending Winterhold from the Magical Anomalies when they appear, and could develop from there.

Ghorbash the Iron Hand, brother of Chief Burguk, might make a good one. He doesn't want to depose his brother, but presumably shares his leadership potential. Legion-trained, so has discipline to temper any personal ambition. Would lead when he has to, but will take orders too.

Of course, you could also switch someone around completely. If Aerin lost Mjoll, would he get angry enough to clean up Riften himself?


And of course, I was forgetting the ultimate - Meeko!!






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SubRosa
post Apr 17 2015, 05:22 PM
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Skyrim's characters have a lot more shades of grey to them, like people in the real world. As opposed to in Oblivion, where things were much more black and white. Just like in reality, in Skyrim, whether or not a person is a hero is largely dependent upon point of view.

For example George Washington is a hero to most Americans. Yet during his lifetime he was also blamed with starting the French and Indian Wars and murdering Joseph Coulon de Jumonville (which he was not actually personally responsible for). He was a traitor to his king. He was incredibly racist (he owned hundreds of African-Americans, and did his best to prevent them from serving in the Continental Army). And he ordered an act of genocide when he sent the Sullivan Campaign to exterminate the Iroquois Nation. If he lived today he'd be branded a monster and a war criminal.

That is why I don't hate Ulfric Stormcloak. Compared to Washington, he's a saint. Granted, the same can be said for most people in Skyim. Even Astrid, the leader of the DB, is not guilty of genocide and slavery. I am not sure if I'd call Ulfric a hero. Granted, he had been a member of the Greybeards, and he could have rode out the Great War nice and safe with them. But instead he gave that up to fight for the Empire, and was imprisoned and tortured by the Thalmor for his patriotism. Then after the war was over, he fought for Skyrim and the Empire again when the Jarl of the Reach called on him to put down the Forsworn Rebellion. For which he was again imprisoned for. Not many people have endured more for the Empire and Skyrim, except those who actually died in the Great War. Once again, he could look the other way like the Greybeards do, and live out an easy life as Jarl of Eastmarch. But instead he chose to risk everything to free his country from the domination of foreign powers. Doing the Stormcloak side of the civil war you see the ambition that goes with his patriotism. He wants to be king, and he's going to make it happen. OTOH, doing the Imperial side you see his death: "Let the Dragonborn do it, it will make a better song." Now that is going out with style. I think he's one of the best characters Bethesda has ever produced, precisely because he's not a stereotypical, cardboard cutout hero or villain.

Getting more on topic, I'd nominate Ralof for heroism. He's an ordinary Joe who has risked his life to free his country from the political domination of Cyrodiil, and the religious bigotry of the Thalmor. He's just a foot soldier, so obviously he's not doing it for personal gain. Except perhaps that wearing the uniform after victory is sure to get him laid all over Skyrim. wink.gif

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Apr 17 2015, 11:13 PM


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Acadian
post Apr 17 2015, 06:10 PM
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Ghastley, I've spent a fair amount of time in the Strongholds, but not nearly as much as you I'd wager. Buffy's always been in awe of the orcs in both Cyrodiil and Skyrim. Ghorbash is a great idea and one we'll really have to look into more carefully. Thanks!

SubRosa, Eeeep! Ulfric! Oh my, he certainly does ooze charisma. I mean just listening to his dialogue when you first visit Windhelm is almost enough to make you want to sign up for the bluecoats. I trust Buffy's judgment though and while she readily admits to his bigger than life charisma, he makes her feel quite uncomfortable. As if he oozes more than just charisma. Hard to pin down. I've never touched the civil war and probably never will though. Coincidentally, I have considered Ralof as well. He makes the Hadvar/Ralof choice an easy one during the tutorial. Not to mention that Buffy thinks, given a bath, he'd clean up into a very handsome Nord. tongue.gif


Just to be clear, my purpose for the thread is two-fold as I think both of you clearly 'get'. First, I'm in search of a 'hero' for Buffy's game - someone like a Savlian, Mazoga or Xena for Buffy to be inspired by and possible help. Secondly, it is just an open-ended question that I think SubRosa really honed in on as she discussed shades of gray. I love how 'gray' the civil war is - both sides are wrong and right at the same time. I do think Skyrim overdid the gray though when it comes to 'the ends justify the means'. The best example I can think of are the compromises you have to make if you were to complete the Dragonborn DLC. Buffy walked away in disgust 2/3 of the way through, refusing to betray the Skaal and in desperate need of a bath to scrub away getting slimed by Jabba the Hutt (Hermaeous Mora). Ugh.


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SubRosa
post Apr 17 2015, 06:18 PM
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QUOTE(Acadian @ Apr 17 2015, 01:10 PM) *

Not to mention that Buffy thinks, given a bath, he'd clean up into a very handsome Nord. tongue.gif

Ralof, take a bath? But he might melt! laugh.gif
Besides Hrafngoelir says mitts off her husband (who I note is still dirty...) laugh.gif

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Apr 17 2015, 06:20 PM


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Acadian
post Apr 17 2015, 07:42 PM
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What a great shot!

Heh, Buffy gets that a lot. Seriously though, she doesn't get why some women are jealous of her. She figures most Nord men would want a sturdy woman who can deliver a full litter of Sons of Skyrim - and Buffy doesn't pack the gear to do that. tongue.gif


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Grits
post Apr 17 2015, 09:14 PM
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Off the top of my head I’d have to add Storn Crag-Strider of the Skaal to the list, though his involvement in the Dragonborn questline probably makes him unsuitable for Buffy. I’ve seen him through Jensa and Mikke of Green River’s eyes as they both completed the Dragonborn main quest, and I’m looking forward to the day I get to meet him again with Jerric. His sacrifice is heartbreaking, but he was inspiring enough that both of my regretful Dragonborns could eventually get back to their lives.

I’ll speak up for Hadvar, since I’ve seen his back between my character and Alduin so many times. A dragon just appeared and is Shouting storm debris everywhere, and Hadvar’s response is to protect the most defenseless person on the scene (who is supposed to be getting killed anyway) with his own body and that little sword. Then he’s rounding up a kid when you see him in the street. Plus he tries to reason with the Stormcloaks inside the keep, but they’re having none of it. He faces the scorn of half of his countryfolk while he’s doing his part to keep the Empire including Skyrim together. During the Civil War he even suggests (to the character) that they would all be better off if they joined forces with the Stormcloaks for a little while and took care of some dragons. I’m not sure he’s among the biggest heroes, but strikes me as a decent guy doing his best when he’d really like to just go home, as he also implies in some Civil War dialog. Anyway my Imperial CW character was always happy to see him.

Love the screens! Hrafngoelir needs to give her man a bath. tongue.gif Acadian, I see in that picture that Buffy and Sigrid are both eyeing up what they think they don’t have. Isn’t that how it goes.


Hmm, and in support of Erik the Slayer as Dragonborn, I can see a bright-eyed farmboy heading to Whiterun to get the new armor that a kind-hearted adventurer financed for him when they come upon a dragon attacking the Western Watch Tower. Young Erik joins the fray with whatever weapon he can get his hands on, much to the dismay of the more experienced adventurer. When the dragon finally dies Erik gets a big swirly glowing surprise. biggrin.gif


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Acadian
post Apr 17 2015, 10:00 PM
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Grits, I do agree with you and that is why the civil war is so well done as a confusing swirling sea of gray. The Imperials tried to behead Buffy under the orders of a captain who was being directly supervised by a general. Yet, when Buffy meets the grieving Elisef and listens to the logic of Sybille. . . . Similarly, Buffy sees how the city of Windhelm treats elves and assumes that, since it is the seat of Stormcloak power, such would be the policy throughout Skyrim if they were victorious. Then she hears the soul stirring speech of Ulfric inside his palace. . . . A confusion that has been wonderfully and intentionally crafted by the devs is the result.

I've also thought of Erik. He is no hero but that is not to say he could not become one. His father was a warrior and, growing up on the farm, Erick is probably strong as an ox. tongue.gif


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ghastley
post Apr 17 2015, 10:04 PM
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Can we all agree that it's probably not Lurbuk? biggrin.gif


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SubRosa
post Apr 17 2015, 11:09 PM
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Let's not forget that cool Man Lizard in Black: Alduin. He has rescued every single player character since the game came out. He never takes a break. He is always on point, ready to swoop in, day or night, weekday or holiday. Santa Claus only works one night a year. This guy has been on the clock every minute of every day since November 11th, 2011. Now that is heroism.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Apr 17 2015, 11:10 PM


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SubRosa
post Apr 18 2015, 12:15 AM
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Oh, and this topic needs music smile.gif


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haute ecole rider
post Apr 18 2015, 02:16 AM
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Reading through this topic has made me realize that there are no clear-cut heroes in Skyrim, not like there is in Oblivion. Playing this through Alise's eyes makes me feel that everyone there has an agenda, and that none of them are right or wrong.

Grits, Alise is very much with you regarding Hadvar. While Ralof is handsome in a dirty kind of way, Hadvar seemed to want to do the right thing. Remember when the prisoner steps off the cart, he turns to Captain Harpy and suggests that there is a mistake, and that the prisoner isn't one of the Stormcloaks and maybe shouldn't go to the block. That right there is a man with a conscience. And of the three playthroughs (two before and this current one) where Alise has gone through that tutorial/character creation/cart ride, she has chosen to go with Hadvar. She did go with Ralof once, but she wasn't too impressed with him.

I have a very difficult time seeing Ulfric as hero material. Alise does, too, and it has nothing to do with the Dunmer/Altmer in Windhelm. Our mutual reaction to the first time we heard that "heroic" speech is "what a load of bull-crap!" Maybe it's our cynicism, as I am from Illinois, one of the most corrupt states in the US (yes, SubRosa, up there with Detroit), and Alise has been through a lot before coming to Skyrim, and has seen promises broken too many times to believe another one. But we both have a difficult time buying Ulfric's sincerity.

And when we did the MQ, we wanted to like and trust Paarthurnax, but we were left feeling that he, too, has lied to us about the real reasons he helped the Dragonborn. Still Alise won't kill him when Delpine asked her to.

I would nominate both Meeko and Vigilance for hero of the week, except that without mods, they make very annoying companions. So in this playthrough we are going to try a few new mods for those amazing dogs who have so much character (I love watching Stump with the kids in Riverwood!). And Alise trusts these dogs far more than she does any so-called sentient being who talks.


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Grits
post Apr 18 2015, 03:28 PM
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Sign me up for team Meeko. That pup was a faithful companion for his late master, and no matter how many times my characters accidentally burn, freeze, stab, electrocute, bash, shoot, poison, or soul trap him, he always stays true. wub.gif


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Lopov
post Apr 18 2015, 08:39 PM
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I'd say that the first Nord that gets decapitated in Helgen, is a real hero, because he saves us all of listening to boring rites.


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Destri Melarg
post May 21 2015, 08:00 PM
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I'm surprised that Isran's name hasn't come up. He may be a zealot, but he's a noble zealot. Those who have worked with him acknowledge to a man/woman that he is a real son-of-a-you-know-what to work with, yet they follow him just the same. His hardline bluster masks a good heart, and he is even willing to accept a vampire into the ranks of the Dawnguard because it's the right thing to do.

Irileth in Whiterun is another who uses bluster to mask a soft heart and a noble purpose. In fact, I'd say that all the housecarls qualify as heroic.

Erandur in Dawnstar is willing to return to the site of his greatest failure to right a wrong. What could be more heroic than that?

Shahvee in Windhelm also comes to mind. Heroes don't always have to be epic dragon/vampire/monster/bandit slayers. Sometimes the biggest heroes are those who do the thankless (yet necessary) jobs without complaint. Given her standing in Windhelm, it would be perfectly understandable for her to be bitter and resentful… but she's not.


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mALX
post May 21 2015, 11:07 PM
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I vote for Elisif the Fair. She is like a cat that always lands on its feet; and regardless the politics swirling around her and her own inexperience she is the position of possibly becoming the next Monarch. She is loyal to her husband, to his beliefs whether she admits to them for herself or not. She is loyal to her country, her people, her empire. She is just heroic enough to pull it off, and just hope that those in power don't take advantage of her when she makes it.




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Destri Melarg
post May 27 2015, 08:09 PM
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QUOTE(mALX @ May 21 2015, 03:07 PM) *

I vote for Elisif the Fair. She is like a cat that always lands on its feet; and regardless the politics swirling around her and her own inexperience she is the position of possibly becoming the next Monarch. She is loyal to her husband, to his beliefs whether she admits to them for herself or not. She is loyal to her country, her people, her empire. She is just heroic enough to pull it off, and just hope that those in power don't take advantage of her when she makes it.

Funny how we can have such different perceptions of the same person. I have always seen Elisif as being a little like Captain Renault in Casablanca in the sense that she goes whichever way the wind(read: player) blows. She will remain loyal to the Empire if you choose that side in the Civil War, but she will also proclaim her loyalty to Ulfric if you support the Stormcloaks. The first time you meet her she wants to send an entire detachment of soldiers to check out 'noises' coming from a cave on the say of a farmer from Dragon Bridge. Can you imagine if said noises had turned out to be an elk? biggrin.gif


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SubRosa
post May 27 2015, 08:27 PM
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What I do not like about Elisif is how wonderful she thinks the Thalmor's parties are. Nevermind all of her subjects being tortured down in the basement...


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mALX
post May 29 2015, 03:49 AM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ May 27 2015, 03:27 PM) *

What I do not like about Elisif is how wonderful she thinks the Thalmor's parties are. Nevermind all of her subjects being tortured down in the basement...



What? Really? I haven't sneaked into that palace (or actually, any of them in Skyrim yet) - did not know about that! laugh.gif



QUOTE(Destri Melarg @ May 27 2015, 03:09 PM) *

QUOTE(mALX @ May 21 2015, 03:07 PM) *

I vote for Elisif the Fair. She is like a cat that always lands on its feet; and regardless the politics swirling around her and her own inexperience she is the position of possibly becoming the next Monarch. She is loyal to her husband, to his beliefs whether she admits to them for herself or not. She is loyal to her country, her people, her empire. She is just heroic enough to pull it off, and just hope that those in power don't take advantage of her when she makes it.

Funny how we can have such different perceptions of the same person. I have always seen Elisif as being a little like Captain Renault in Casablanca in the sense that she goes whichever way the wind(read: player) blows. She will remain loyal to the Empire if you choose that side in the Civil War, but she will also proclaim her loyalty to Ulfric if you support the Stormcloaks. The first time you meet her she wants to send an entire detachment of soldiers to check out 'noises' coming from a cave on the say of a farmer from Dragon Bridge. Can you imagine if said noises had turned out to be an elk? biggrin.gif



Any way the wind blows - yes, that is kind of what I said - she is like a cat that always lands on its feet. A cat's primary concern is for its own survival; but they can and do have secondary concerns for others - she does. But she will do whatever it takes to survive, and if that means not facing off with Ulfric (who had no qualms about murdering her husband) - then she won't face off with him.

But she has private thoughts that are totally at odds with the public image she portrays - example: making sure her husbands Amulet of Talos be brought to the shrine of Talos. That was a huge risk in her position, which is probably why she entrusted the task to the Player instead of someone in her own palace who may or may not be loyal since someone let the assassins in to kill her husband.




*

This post has been edited by mALX: May 29 2015, 03:51 AM


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