The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has a map reportedly 41.44 km² in size. In case you’re new to the RPG game (unlikely), that’s fairly big. Okay, very big. Compared only to Grand Theft Auto V, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild kind of big.
Any life you want to lead, you can lead in Skyrim. If you’re hellbent on becoming the great bane of dragons everywhere, all you need to do is follow the signs to the nearest main quest line. If you want to defend freedom of religion, or lead the anti-racist crusade, there’s a faction for you (although, admittedly, you can’t do both of those at the same time). Want to be an infamous scoundrel, known for bringing the legendary Thieves Guild back to its glory days at the expense of hard-working citizens? Riften’s awaiting! Think you’ll do your best work as the big boss of the College of Winterhold? You’re only a few spells away from all the potion ingredients your little heart could desire.
Then again, you might just be more interested in collecting a vast amount of cheese with the intention to watch them roll down the snowy, steep mountains of the south east. In Skyrim, you’re free to be the flaming, fiercely- independent weirdo you can’t be IRL. That said, there are in-game experiences we can all relate to. Whether we want to or not. Here are fifteen hilarious Skyrim memes only true fans will understand.
16 Stingy AF Shopkeepers
Did...did he just say ‘20 gold’? We know he didn’t just say ‘20 gold.’. Surely not. Not for this here greatsword. The one we risked life and limb to find. 20 gold? How can it be? Does he mock us?
Does he even know the terror that haunts our psyche at every waking and sleeping moment - courtesy of the many dreaded dungeons made safe again by our hand? Can this Nord grasp what it meant for you to put yourself on the line for this weapon? Will he ever comprehend that when the great Dovakhiin threw himself in front of danger, so too was the future of Skyrim hanging precariously above the fiery abyss of doom? And so it is with Skyrim’s shopkeepers. Uncultured masses, all of them.
15 Stingy AF Dragonborns
Then again, sometimes it’s us that are at fault. It’s no secret that barring a few merchants, the shopkeepers of Skyrim are no Steve Wynns. You should know, seeing as you’ve probably poked around their rooms looking for a strongbox. And recall how the merchants would act while you were doing said snooping.
They were on you like white on snow. No one in Skyrim would watch you closer. It was the kind of gaze not even Sauron could replicate. ‘Why?’, we might ask. Because they’re poor as hell, dude! They can’t afford to have anyone stealing their few worldly possessions. Oh, and there’s a war going on, in case you hadn’t noticed. Is it too much to ask that you give a little itty bit of leeway every now and then?
14 Skyrim’s Amazing Ever-Lasting Candles
In crime dramas or murder mysteries, the good guys would always at an enemy hideout just too late. This would become apparent when someone spotted a still-burning cigarette, or a warm cup of coffee left on a desk. ‘We almost had him,’ the protagonist would say. Well, no one who worked on Skyrim has never seen even one of those movies.
Case in point, the Pelagius Wing in the Blue Palace, or many of Skyrim’s caves and burial sites. They are all riddled with artificial light. It’s everywhere. Even in the Dwemer ruins. Don’t tell us the Falmer have been keeping up appearances for the sake of it. They’re blind, for one thing. To be fair, though, this seems to be a problem for almost all video games involving ancient tombs or the like. Ahem, Uncharted. Ahem, Tomb Raider.
13 Just In Case…
It seems like many of us thought we’d eventually come round to alchemy. Once all the urgent battles were fought, after we’d got rid of all the dragons, after we’d made a million or so iron daggers to get out smithing up to 100. Around then. That’d be a good time. And in anticipation of that fateful day, of course, we stocked up on all the ingredients we’d ever need.
Blue butterfly wings? Check. Bone meal? More than we’d care to have, really. Crimson Nirnroot? Grrr...yes, we’ve got that, too (and it better be good). Daedra Heart? Oh, boy! We found a daedra heart! Now if only there was a better way to learn about each item’s effects than by a) eating it, or b) throwing it in a potion and hoping for the best.
12 The People Of Skyrim Have Short Memories
You never asked to be the Dovahkiin, okay. You might have asked for specific shouts, for sure, but never did you wake up one day and say, ‘Yeah, yeah...I think I’m going to risk my life to fight dragons from now on.’ But fight them you did. Blood dragons. Frost dragons. Elder Dragons. Odahviing. Paarthumax. Alduin. You slayed them all.
And how do the fair citizens of Skyrim repay you for the safety you’ve restored to their respective villages? By arresting you/trying to kill you for the most trivial of crimes. We’d like to think Tamriel just has incredibly progressive laws around animal abuse, but it’s unlikely given their attitudes to the resident dragon population. Closer to the truth, Skyrim’s inhabitants probably don’t have the emotional range necessary to comprehend flawed role models.
11 Your Logic Is No Good Here
Bethesda blessed Skyrim with a detailed and complex armor system. Everything you wear on your ragged body can be enchanted or otherwise enhanced. If you worked very hard to enchant the hell out of every soul gem you found, and did your bit to temper items before enchanting them, you might be looking at a full Enchantment skill tree.
Once you painstakingly reached 100 to get the ‘Extra Effect’ perk, you’d be able to add two enhancements to the same item. That’s right. You’d have to go through months of in-game training just to be able to get with one ring, what you’d be able to do in milliseconds if you could wear two of them.
Come to think of it, you could, in theory, wear multiple rings on one finger. People do it in real life all the time. If you wanted real immersion, Bethesda, you needed to give us the option to wear at least three rings on each finger, for a total of thirty. Pfft.
10 Skyrim’s Horses Neigh In The Face Of Physics
Horses don’t come cheap in Skyrim. You’re looking at an investment of 1000 gold. If you’ve ever been at level twenty or under, you’ll know that parting with 1000 bucks isn’t easy in a world where your best greatsword goes for 20.
You could always steal a horse, but then it would never stay put. It also means a bounty on your head that you can’t afford in a place as dangerous at Tamriel. It isn’t a cheap bounty, either. 50 gold is added every time you mount a stolen horse. Presumably, this is calculated by the horse and sent out to its original owner via cross-species telepathy. The point is no one has enough money to go about treating their horses like we all do. That is, hoping against hope the game’s physics won’t realize your neighing friend is descending a mountain while perpendicular to the ground.
9 Why Lydia, Why?
It would be difficult to remember a more hated woman in any video game series ever. Except for Metal Gear Solid V’s Quiet, but that’s for different reasons entirely. After you complete Dragon Rising, which sees you pitted against your very first dragon, you’ll come into contact with housecarl Lydia, who is promoted to this illustrious position once you become Thane.
You can then ask Lydia to follow you to aid you on your quests across Skyrim. However, after some time has passed, you will realize that Lydia is good for one of three things. One, she can set off traps. Two, she can stand in a doorway effectively blocking off all contact between you and the world outside that given room. And three, she’s a true inspiration behind most of our more creative swear words. Good old, Lydia.
8 The Giant’s Aren’t Playing Around
Fee-fie-fo-fum, there you go off to visit the sun. The giants of Skyrim are more or less Bethesda’s beta test for a medieval-themed flight simulator. Anyone who has been anywhere near these guys or their mammoths know the blaze of glory your body paints across the Tamriel sky as you learn that giants will not be messed with, buddy.
You’ll return when you’re stronger and try to pick a fight. Maybe you’ll win this time. But then you’ll see that loading screen about them just being gentle shepherds peacefully trying to keep their flocks safe, and you’ll feel bad. Oh, so bad. Plus, who wouldn’t kick people to high heaven, if they kept coming at you for your toes? Shame on you.
7 Run, Dovahkiin, Run!
The character you are when you start the game could not be more different to the one you are when you’re done. In this way, RPGs are kind of like life. You start of squishy, moving from one bumbling mistake to the next. Then when you know better, the anxiety stemming from missed opportunity will keep you up at night. The good news is, in an RPG, you can always start again.
It’s the reason why so many of us replay a game over and over, even when our game time is starting to hit embarrassing numbers. Think of all the real life skills you could have acquired in that time. If you had only picked an actual lock for every five hundred in Skyrim, you’d be a wanted billionaire by now. But you’re not.
6 Another Day, Another Pervy PC Mod
We’re trying not to judge, here. Each to their own, and all of that. What’s more troublesome than the kind of character mods showing up in Skyrim, is the fact that they are in Skyrim. As in, a video game set in the ancient world of Tamriel. A video game.
Like, there was a time when 'adult' material was not as accessible as it is, yes. That was arguably a good time to inject heavy mature undertones into everything consumed by an adult audience, ‘cause where else would we get that stuff, right? But this content is everywhere now. If you wanted to, you could open another tab, type in the P-word, and you’d have access to a plethora of videos. In the name of Talos, please, please stop.
5 Maybe They’ve Taken One Too Many Arrows To The Head
We’re not sure what kind of performance-enhancing drugs the Imperials are giving their guards, but it should definitely be illegal. Anything that allows you to get shot in the face with an arrow multiple times while giving you only the mildest sense of urgency is bound to be bad news.
But guards aren’t the only ones with serious intellectual challenges. You could be spotted in a civilian’s house after dark. Maybe you got caught trying to take out a couple of bandits. You could even be halfway through a long and heated battle with a foe. Whatever it is, whatever you do to these poor fools, there is nothing they can’t forgive and forget the second you crouch in a shady corner.
4 When Your Friend Asks If You’ve ‘Clocked’ Skyrim
‘Have you finished Skyrim? You’ve been playing that game for ages!’ Plebeians. They may be your closest family and friends, but plebeians they are nonetheless.
You don’t ever really finish Skyrim, Jeremy. There’s no dodgy cutscene followed by a roll of credits you can’t skip no matter what you do. You don’t speed your way through a storyless campaign in a rush towards instant gratification. When you play Skyrim, you’re not after something as pithy as a completion. Someone will always need saving, a weapon will need forging, and there is always a patch of Tamriel that still warrants exploring. Even when the unplayed quest lines run dry, you can start again. Start right from fresh. Hopefully with a little more sense this time. No, there’s no ‘finishing’ Skyrim. Just another play-through that’s on the horizon.
3 Out Of Health Potions? You’ve Got Potatoes, Right?
The only time the Dragonborn eats, apart from the occasional (and we mean occasional) cooked meal, is when he’s seconds from death and without a health potion in sight. Yes, once you’ve kicked back as many red bottles as you could manage to carry, you’ll inevitably turn to your inventory of twelve wheels of goats cheese, several hundred potatoes, and six sweet rolls.
It doesn’t seem so strange when you make allowance for this sort of thing through suspension of disbelief. But since Skyrim is a role-playing game, you can’t ignore the hilarity of the situation. Imagine you were fighting an opponent who stopped midway to do a month’s worth of carbo-loading. Fair enough, it would probably make for an effective deterrent, seeing as we can’t think of even one fight worth winning against someone who can eat that many apples in a single sitting.
2 Not Born Salesperson, Then
When there are as many NPCs as there are in Skyrim, you can understand that the game’s writers may have to copy and paste a few lines across some of them to save time. But, all of the merchants? And why did it need to be this line? This guy sells jewelry. Madesi in Riften does, too. Who are these bad and boujee people that are calling diamonds ‘junk’?
There’s actually never been evidence that any merchant in Skyrim sells anything its citizens would even consider junk. Think about it. They sell food, they sell weapons, they sell jewels, potions, and books. It’s not like there are people repping laptops and hoverboards elsewhere on the map. There’s no Starbucks in Whiterun. Food, books, potions - that’s all good stuff. Someone needs to make the call on the failing Mage College and open a marketing school STAT.
1 Dripping In Dragon Armor Screams ‘Pushover’, Does It?
‘Dragonborn, Dragonborn, by his honor is swornTo keep evil forever at bay!And the fiercest foes rout when they hear triumph’s shout,Dragonborn, for your blessing we pray!’
That’s the refrain from popular Skyrim ballad, ‘Song of the Dragonborn.’ Now, we’re pretty sure the conditions necessary for being designated as the chosen Dovahkiin representative have all been met by the player character. The one (and only) stipulation being that this hero is able to converse with dragons. That’s us. We kill all the dragons in a strongly-worded battle of wits (and arrows and swords, but whatever). Once these beasts are slain, we turn their bones into armor with our superior smithing skills. What about any of this gives a light-armored bunch of bandits the idea that we are a good person to mug?