The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the gift that keeps on giving; or, at least, for Bethesda. Originally released in November 2011 for Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360; the open world action RPG continues to be ported to every new console, including virtual reality. The developer published three separate DLC add-ons before releasing updated editions of the base game, ensuring that the gaming industry does not forget about Skyrim too quickly. If nothing else, Bethesda should be praised for creating a fully functional world filled with colorful NPCs and tons of content.
With over 15 million copies sold, it is safe to assume that Skyrim struck a chord with the community. Despite being released over half a decade ago, Bethesda's RPG still ranks among the top 100 most played games on Steam. The publisher hit the jackpot with their fifth entry in The Elder Scrolls franchise, and we cannot wait to see what comes next. Over the last decade, cosplay has become a celebrated practice within most communities related to video-games or movies. Skyrim offers an immersive experience, allowing players to really feel as if they are part of the world, so the next logical step would be to bring those characters to life.
Time to scour Deviant Art for the most shocking Skyrim related cosplay. Here are 25 shameless Skyrim cosplay that go TOO far.
25 FULLY Deserving Of A Proper Fus Ro Dah
Photographed by TheBigTog, this piece is entitled Fus Roh Doll, a reference to Skyrim's Unrelenting Force. The Fus Ro Dah is the very first shout learned by the Dragonborn, so it holds a memorable role in the game's lore. MurderNurse is absolutely stunning, with a fantastic costume that really jumps off the screen. Admittedly, the armor would not be too useful in Skyrim's wild outdoors, but we are not going to be too critical. The fur used for the shoulder pads, arms, and legs are stunning; and the backdrop really enhances the overall quality of the photo shoot. There is a certain beauty found in Bethesda's RPG series, and this image does a great job of capturing it.
24 On The Hunt...
The Elder Scrolls always include a great deal of customization, especially when it comes to the armor pieces. With well over 40 armor sets available within Skyrim, it is unlikely that two people will have the exact same look. This variety serves to amplify the role-playing experience, as you can create an original character who best represents your idea of a hero. The.Erik.Estrada is a renowned photographer who primarily works in the cosplay community. There are countless of really impressive photos on their Flickr page, with characters like Catwoman and Princess Leia making an appearance. This Skyrim design was created for 2014's WonderCon event; and, in our book, it gets a perfect 10/10.
23 The Hero We Deserve
Dovahkiin is featured more than a few times throughout this list, although the entries are worlds apart. As the Last Dragonborn, the protagonist is charged with stopping the prophesied return of Alduin, the Nordic god of destruction. Skyrim's future is bleak, but there is hope that a single individual will rise from the ashes to challenge the sinister deity. Giulietta Zawadzki is THAT chosen one, the person destined to fight Alduin and usher in a new age of peace. Just as a suggestion, maybe consider a slightly heavier armor? This one seems to possess a few obvious weak spots. The helmet is fine, but maybe consider looking into a chest plate and some leggings? To be fair, who are we to question the Dovahkiin?
22 Part Of Skyrim's World
Skyrim does have a main story. Yeah, we are being completely serious. There is a way to finish Bethesda's game, and the central quest is hardly on the long side. While everyone has their preferred way to play an RPG, The Elder Scrolls titles tend to push the plot to the background. It is just there to give a sense of progression and to motivate the player to explore the world. Skyrim continues to be popular due to what can be done outside of the central plot. It is about immersion and feeling like a part of Skyrim's universe, so Amazing Rogue's cosplay is arguably the best way to capture the spirit of the game. She is just a civilian, not a hero or NPC, who has completely soaked in Skyrim's atmosphere.
21 Seriously, Wear A Coat
While Skyrim is very popular, the game is hardly the easiest starting point for models. The armor sets might be cool and even iconic, but they tend to not be particularly sensual. Rather than being designed to look visually pleasing, Bethesda created clothes that actually make sense within this type of universe. For a photo shoot, Emily Rosa's wardrobe is stunning and eye-catching, but a Dragonborn would not be caught dead wearing something that skimpy. Actually, if they wore Rosa's armor, they would die rather quickly due to frostbite. Still, there is nothing wrong with adding your own twists to a costume, as long as people can recognize what is being referenced. Thankfully, that immaculate helmet is a dead giveaway.
20 The Argonian Maid
This entry deserves a slow-clap. Seriously, that makeup should be studied. Elenasamko designed everything herself for this interpretation of the Argonian maid, and the photo was taken by Roguetenok. The character is part of a fictional play found in three games of The Elder Scrolls series, including Skyrim. The story centers around a scandalous romance between a wealthy human male and a beautiful Argonian maid, as they try to defy social expectations. There are two volumes located in Skyrim, and the content is hardly suitable for minors. Elenasamko took a big risk for this photo shoot, as it could have easily failed to meet expectations, but the final product is worth praising. Unique and oddly sensual, this maid is worth every penny.
19 One Of A Kind
Here is a completely original character from ZOMBIEBITME, as the description on the Deviant Art page explains that the costume is not based on any particular pattern or design. Skyrim is the ideal escape game, as the immersive experience allows players to create an entirely new persona. For this cosplay shoot, ZOMBIEBITME brought to reality her own character, giving fans a glimpse of the life she leads within Bethesda's RPG. Also, how awesome is that backdrop? This picture really highlights the importance of focusing on the entire experience rather than just the model. The costume is simplistic but interesting, and the facial makeup takes it up multiple notches. While she should throw on a coat before freezing to death, this cosplay is worth the risk.
18 How Do We Join The Circle?
Understandably, quite a few cosplayers prefer to focus on their own personal characters when creating a costume. Skyrim has been around for so long that the majority of players would recognize any armor piece from a mile away. That does not mean that Bethesda failed to create any memorable NPCs, as there are quite a few fantastic quests spread throughout the vast world. Aela the Huntress is a Nord werewolf and can accompany the player as a follower. As a thief, she is okay with most violent acts, including the murder of innocents. Dragunova-Cosplay's Deviant Art page is a gold-mine for RPG lovers, and her version of Aela is just one example of many. The level of detail is especially impressive, and this Aela should definitely not be taken lightly.
17 From The Highlands
Another jaw-dropping example inspired by the Forsworn clan. For a tribe of largely violent and ostracized warriors, they surely know their way around fashion. Beaupeep101 is perfect from head to toe, starting from the detailed makeup to the artic-footwear. It is a shame that the staff is not particularly clear, as the design seems rather impressive. For those who want a closer look, the headpiece can be viewed in some other photos. While the Forsworn possess a few animalistic qualities, they are organized and rather intelligent. The tribe serves as inspiration for a fair amount of cosplayers, as they allow for a more tantalizing costume while remaining relatively authentic to the source material. If you are a fan of anime, Beaupeep101's Deviant Art page is worth a try.
16 Lady Luck
In a world filled with strange mystical entities, Nocturnal might just be the strangest of the bunch. She is a Daedric Prince, who are powerful manifestations that are worshipped as Gods, but she also goes by the name of "Lady Luck." Ignoring the male title, these beings are actually genderless, so April Gloria's cosplay is right on the money. Nocturnal represents darkness, and she is primarily revered by the Cyrodiil Thieves Guild. The Prince's attire is rather revealing, so this is hardly a case of the cosplayer taking creative liberties. Nocturnal is hard to pin down, as she is nearly always shrouded in darkness, but her wardrobe is well known. Whether it was intentional or not, the blurry image actually enhances the mystique of the character.
15 Cold Hearted
The Nightingales are a faction shrouded in mystery. Until a strange corpse was found wearing the group's trademark armor, their existence was unbeknownst to the larger world. Consisting of skilled thieves, the identity of their members is kept on a strictly need-to-know basis, even from the larger Thieves Guild. When someone joins their ranks, they are gifted powers from the previously mentioned Nocturnal. Also, their armor is just so cool! Seriously, it manages to strike the perfect balance between sensible and fashionable, and VikkiieVoltage's re-imagining is awe-inspiring. The model is stunning, and the snowy background is an ideal setting for this type of photo shoot. She could totally be in Skyrim and we would love to see more.
14 Summoning Azura
After mentioning Nocturnal, it would be insensitive to not include her sister. Azura is the Queen of the Night Sky and represents change. As the Daedric Prince of Dusk and Dawn, Azura can be summoned during those time periods at her shrine. While we would not recommend pissing her off, Azura is among the more benevolent Princes in Skyrim. She plays a more prominent role in Morrowind, although Azura does make an appearance in the fourth and fifth entry in the series. The model for the photo shoot is Elena Nerium Oleander, who manages to simultaneously be terrifying and extremely attractive, and the photograph was taken by Fillakteria. This Azura could easily make an appearance in someone's nightmares or day-dreams.
13 Banded Iron Armor
Dovahkiin is the official name of the Skyrim's protagonist, and easily the most cosplayed character of the series. Obviously, since the hero's appearance changes drastically from player to player, cosplaying as the character is rather open-ended. Dovahkiin is a hero with a thousand faces. In this entry, Nihilistique is wearing the Banded Iron Armor and Iron Helmet, which are not the most common pieces within the cosplay community. Surprisingly, the former is actually considered a heavy armor, despite coming across as rather frail. The model added a great deal of color to the design while maintaining the overall aesthetic. The iron Helmet does seem to be on the small side, which might explain why she is not wearing it. To be fair, it could just be our imagination.
12 Welcome To The Nightingales
Skyrim is littered with cool guilds for the protagonist to join. The Nightingales are a secret group within the Thieves Guild, and they exist to protect the Shrines of Nocturnal spread throughout the game's world. Their group consists of only three members, although the player receives an invitation once they progress through the Thieves Guild. Once part of the inner circle, the Dragonborn is blessed with a rad armor set, as can be seen in this entry's photo. Tracey Harrison is the photographer, while flyrobotfly is the cosplayer behind the mask. As can be seen via their collaboration, they both are very talented and have a passion for Skyrim. The Nightingales armor is among the most iconic sets in the game, so it is amazing to see a real-life version.
11 Rebel With A Cause
The Elder Scrolls V does not lack for noteworthy clans, and the Forsworn or no exception. A feared group of warriors who are stuck in a centuries-old rebellion against the Nords, members of the clan can be found in the Reach's highlands. Despite their capabilities in battle, the Forsworn were overpowered by the Nords before being ostracized from civilization. Over the years, they have repeatedly tried to reclaim Markarth, but the Empire's power tends to overwhelm them. CosplayInABox is a group based in the United States who specialize in costumes. They are quite a big organization, with photo shoots that go beyond the norm. Their Forsworn warrior is worn out and has clearly seen her fair share of battles, and we pity anyone who is forced to face-up against her.
10 Pure-Blood Vampire
Pure-blood vampires are a rare commodity within Skyrim. The chosen few are granted their powers directly from Molag Bal, who is the species' patron deity. The ritual is rather dangerous, and only a handful actually survive the process of becoming "Daughters of Coldharbour." Within Bethesda's universe, vampires are not automatically evil creatures, and Serana is a genuinely friendly and likable companion. April Gloria's costume was made by Yelaina May Cosplay, who did a great job of re-creating the vampire's stylish wardrobe. Gloria is more than up to the task of stepping into Serana's shoes, as she embodies the character's power and ability perfectly. The setting is a great match for the vampire, and the special effects are an added bonus.
9 A Thief Of Hearts
Aela the Huntress is a member of The Companions, a warrior guild operating out of Whiterun. The popular organization is unique due to their decision to remain leaderless, a fact echoed by their chosen name. A hierarchy still exists within the guild, as senior members form part of The Circle, a sub-faction consisting of five members. Aela happens to belong to this select group. Monika Lee is a popular artist who specializes in anime, gaming, and pop-culture cosplay. She designs her own costumes, including some fantastic Final Fantasy ones, and often makes special appearances at conventions. Her site is a great source of inspiration for models looking to get into this type of work.
8 The Arrival of A Savior
The caption for this photo is "Th'um Master," a reference to an achievement in Skyrim that requires the player to find 20 different word walls spread throughout the world. Suffice to say, it is a phrase that only huge fans would recognize, so IceQueenSerenity has already impressed us. The Savior's Hide is the armor re-created by IceQueenSerenity and GingerAnneLondon, which can be retrieved after killing and skinning the Nord werewolf called Sinding. The set is pretty cool, and the cosplayers did an admirable job of bringing it to life. Admittedly, the background is not the best fit for this type of photoshoot, as an outdoor setting would have served better, but the pose and props deserve praise. Very few photoshoots include a weapon, so the staff is a brilliant touch.
7 Night Mistress
Since Nocturnal is considered the Mother of Night, it makes sense that thieves and spies tend to worship her. Mortals could never hope to understand how she operates, as Nocturnal is the very embodiment of enigmatic. Despite her ties to the darkness, the Night Mistress is not actually considered an evil deity. Her mysterious nature does not hide some ulterior motive, and Karliah compares her to a disappointed mother. While her backstory makes for an interesting read, Nocturnal's wardrobe is the real star of the show. The robe is simpler to re-create than most of Skyrim's armor sets while still being a recognizable design. Revien-Fiennes' mesmerizing portrayal is gorgeous, although the character's mystique is mostly lost in translation.
6 Time For A Close-Up
Stunning. No other adjective comes close to describing Arnytopter's Nordess photo shoot. Andred Dostovalov is the Russian photographer behind this intoxication picture. He has a pretty substantial Deviant Art page, although the majority of his uploaded work is not inspired by pop-culture. It is a shame too, as this Skyrim photo ranks among the best on the site. From the looks of things, the design does not seem to be based off any particular NPC, preferring to go for a general aesthetic that would not seem out of place. The make-up is pretty impressive, and the faded background adds a sense of wonder. The necklace is rather cool as well, and the hairstyle pulls the entire design together.
5 Dragonborn Arrives At A Convention
ZOMBIEBITME wore this cosplay to Fanexpo 2012, so an oldie but a goodie. The design is based on the Stalhrim Armor; or at least, the helmet seems to be. The rest of the set holds closer similarities to Ahzidal's Armor, although a few liberties have obviously been taken. Still, that is not meant to be taken as a criticism, since experimenting with the overall look is a big part of why people love to cosplay. Sure, it is about role-playing as one of your favorite characters, but it is meant to be your unique interpretation. Even if the armor is not taken directly from the game, the aesthetic works well with the helmet. ZOMBIEBITME has a large selection of gaming photos on her Deviant Art page, so we recommend a visit.
4 The Stylish Thief
Karliah is a prominent member of the Nightingales and gets involved in a few quests handed out by the Thieves Guild. For a short period, she is also available to serve as a follower. Karliah's physical design is unique, even among the Dunmer, as her eyes are violet. Her generally appearance is hard to re-create, primarily due to her greenish skin tone, but Aicosu is up to the challenge. The facial makeup is impressive, and the Nightingales armor is a sight to behold. To be fair, Karliah is primarily seen wearing her own unique set, but this is a rather awesome creation anyway. Debora V. Fulop serves as the model, and she does the thief justice. Actually, she might be a bit too good looking for Karliah.
3 Okay, Maybe The Khajiit Are Awesome
Wow, the Khajiit have really changed over the years. They went from being a strange human and cat hybrid to something that would not look out of place in Cats. Hey, we are not going to start complaining now. Anyone else surprised that two of the most attractive entries are based on the beast-races in Skyrim? Skyrap's Khajiit is rather far removed from the original, preferring to go for a more tantalizing re-creation. Still, the costume is impressive, although we wish the headpiece was clearer. Within the game, the Khajiit have a negative image due to their feline appearance; so, they should consider hiring Skyrap as their spokesperson. It could help turn the tide in their favor.
2 Ready For Battle
Aela the Huntress is among the more popular NPCs in Skyrim. She has a rather identifiable appearance, while her costume is reasonable enough to re-create. As a thief, her lighter armor makes perfect sense, as Aela would go out of her way to avoid getting involved in any combat situations. As photo shoots need to be visually pleasing and somewhat authentic, the Huntress offers the best of both worlds. For this time, Atsukine-chan is the Huntress, and she seems to be in the middle of a hunt. The weapon might just be the star of the show, as it seems like a really well-made prop that deserves some attention. Also, the metallic plates are a nice touch. La buhardilla de Floyd is the photographer behind this piece.
1 A Fiery Finale
Taken by M&M PhotoGraphic, DrosselTira introduces the cosplay community to her version of a Forsworn warrior. When it comes to photo shoots, it is the small touches that you really start to notice. For example, they did not need to add the flames for this session to work, but that extra effort is appreciated. The costume was already hot enough, especially with how they mixed the fur with the fabric. Yet, her deadlocks are the real scene stealers, as they just look otherworldly. How do you even being to describe that masterpiece? With Skyrim maintaining its popularity, it might be awhile before the internet witnesses a shortage of cosplay based on the RPG.