Bethesda is one of my favorite developers of all time, and so far they show no signs of slowing down. While they have been a leader in the industry for awhile now and constantly take up the spotlight in mainstream gaming news, many gamers don’t know that they’ve been around since the MS-DOS age. The first game in the Elder Scrolls series (The Elder Scrolls: Arena) was released in 1994. Since then, Bethesda has continued to develop better and better games building on each previous title.
Today, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is still one of the most widely played games around the world even nearly 7 years after its release. Furthermore, renewed interest in the game was garnered last year with the release of the Nintendo Switch port.
With its past and continued success, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has inspired countless mods, memes, and hilarious comics made by fans and professional artists alike. From poking fun at the mind-boggling logical inconsistencies to milking the “arrow to the knee” catchphrase spoken to the player by seemingly every guard in the game, the comics on this list will have some players laughing raucously and others grinning with nostalgia.
So keep your arrows nocked, make sure you’re not over encumbered, sit back and enjoy these 20 hilarious and artistic comics based on the Bethesda masterpiece we all know and love.
20 Save Before Plundering
In an open-world game like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that employs a bounty and notoriety system, most players take extra care to stay above board and on the right side of the law. However, the need to stay in check and not go wild makes the game feel confining and sometimes players just want to wreck havoc and set the cities on fire. After all, what’s the point of being the dragonborn if you can’t put your abilities to the test? Luckily, players can do this to their heart’s content.
Just make sure you save before plundering.
After saving players can use their dragon shouts against innocent villagers, set fire to every NPC in sight and loot and steal like no one’s watching. Thank goodness for the save function!
Comic by Dorkly.
19 Employees Only
In modern day retail stores, it is quite commonplace to not let customers behind the counter. The same can’t be said for Skyrim. In any shop in any town or village the player is free to roam the store at will, go behind the counter, into the storage rooms, and even the shop owner’s bedroom. The worst that will happen is the shop owner will follow the player around, and rightfully so. However, when taking the reputation of the Dragonborn into account, this doesn’t seem so strange. I mean, if a dragon slayer walked through your front door, would there really be anything you could deny them? For the Dragonborn, employees only has no meaning. I guess being the savior of humanity does come with its perks after all.
Comic by Dorkly.
18 Dragon Tales
One of the benefits of being Dragonborn is having the ability to master Dragon Shouts. These shouts have various abilities from calling beasts and spirits for aid in battle to making the player completely invincible for a period of time and much more.
Dragon Shouts are some of the most fun and useful abilities in Skyrim.
Yet the Dragonborn is not the only one who can use Dragon Shouts, but of course dragons can as well, as they are made up of dragon language. Imagine the look on a dragon’s face when they hear a puny human speaking their ancient language. Would they be shocked? Amused? Well, this comic ponders just that. However, this Dragonborn has let his power go to his head and doesn’t know how to take a compliment.
Comic by Dorkly.
17 Lactose Tolerant
Bethesda has chosen some interesting methods to deal with healing and health recovery in their games. In the Fallout series, stimpaks and purified water are the main go-to choice for quick health recovery. In the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, on the other hand, potions and food items are the primary methods. Among the food items, some of the most common and easiest to find are different types of cheese. The bigger the piece of cheese, the higher the health restoration. Full cheese wheels can restore quite a decent amount of health. Thus, it’s not uncommon for players to scarf down a few wheels of goat cheese in the middle of a heated battle. Never mind the practicality of carrying multiple foot long wheels of cheese around all day; imagine the ridiculousness of a fighter taking cover against a dragon to take a snack break!
Comic by Omny.
16 Fencing Prohibited
In every Elder Scrolls game since the Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, looting and sometimes stealing (don’t pretend like you’re the one Skyrim player that’s never had sticky fingers) is a major part of the game. Even more so if you join the thieves guild.
One large catch is that you can’t sell stolen items to just any merchant.
Stolen items can only be sold to fences, and some fences can only be sold to after joining the thieves guild. When trying to sell stolen items to honest merchants, some will politely tell you they can’t take the item and others will tell you off in an aggressive way. Even more peculiar is the uncanny ability of every honest merchant to sniff out stolen goods, even things as common as an apple without a price tag.
Comic by Awkward Zombie.
15 Honey, I Used The Kids As A Shield
Just like the movie industry, the video game industry is regulated by a rating system that differs slightly depending on the region. In North America we follow the ESRB rating system which rates games into the following categories: Everyone, Everyone 10+, Teen, M, Adults Only, and Rating Pending.
To be sold on store shelves, the game must achieve a rating of M or lower.
If the game’s rating is Adults Only, most, if not all retailers will refuse to stock it on their shelves. Therefore, to avoid such a rating, any NPC children in the game are immune to all damage. Taking that into account, the Dragonborn in this comic hatches a nefarious plan; that is, to use his children as a shield against the enemy.
14 Skyrim Vs. Fallout 4
For Bethesda fans, this debate has been posted and reposted on every social media outlet and every Reddit forum and has been debated over and over again. While fans of both games still can’t seem to come close to an agreement on which game is better, this comic provides the answer for us. The comic humorously compares the two games based on: the protagonist, food, crafting, lore, power-ups, and monsters. While the artist was obviously strongly biased towards The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the comic still brings up some interesting and true points. Inevitably, the setting of a fantasy world will have better food than a post-apocalypse. Nevertheless, the comic brings up the age-old battle of fantasy vs. sci-fi. Yet for fans of both games, it’s definitely worth a look.
Comic by Dorkly.
13 No Arrows For These Knees
While you will come across countless guards telling you their sob story about taking an arrow to the knee, arrows actually aren’t needed. The Dragonborn’s relentless crouching is enough to send them to the doctor’s office. While it may be fun to hack and slash everything in sight, most players prefer to take the stealthy archer approach.
Crouching is necessary in Skyrim to picklock, pickpocket, or steal things without being easily noticed.
Furthermore, players can enjoy a sneak attack damage bonus if they attack their enemies when crouched. Therefore, players will likely spend a lot of time crouching in the game. However, it’d be best not to overdo it as this comic points out, too much crouching and you won’t need an arrow to take out your knees.
Comic by Dorkly.
12 Basket Case
A very well-known and popular exploit in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was the use or perhaps abuse of pots and baskets to shield the vision of NPCs. Quite simply, players can position a basket or pot over an NPC's head and drop it so the opening lands over their skull and they wear the pot like a hat. For some reason this blocks the sight of NPCs and allows the player to loot and steal everything in sight without being caught. Please note that, of course, the player will need enough baskets and pots to cover the heads of all NPCs in the immediate vicinity for this to work properly. This comic artist criticized the player’s concept of sneakiness, pointing out the fact that basket-headed or not, the smart NPCs wouldn’t stand up to the mightiest fighter in Skyrim no matter how much cheese he steals.
Comic by Aaron Williams.
11 Not This Time, Nelkir!
If you’ve played Skyrim and have had the chance to visit the Jarl of Whiterun, you’ll likely have bumped into Nelkir. Nelkir is the son of the Jarl, and quite possibly the most stuck-up child in the game. Unprovoked and uncalled for, anytime the player approaches Nelkir, his first words are:
Another wanderer, here to lick my father’s boots. Good job.
To say the kid deserves a time out or two would be an understatement. Being the son of the most powerful man in Whiterun and having to live under his shadow can’t be so easy, but let’s just say it’s a good thing children are invincible in this game. However, I’m sure many players wouldn’t mind trapping the kid in a lesser soul gem.
Comic by NerfNow.
10 Not A Fire Drill
If you thought friendly fire was exclusive to online multiplayer games, you were wrong. It turns out accidental friendly fire, or in this case NPC fire, is quite common and annoying in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Why? Because not only does it begin an engagement, it also sends every NPC in the area at your throat. As well, if there are any guards in the area you’ll be reprimanded and sent to prison (unless you resist, of course). This is especially frustrating, as it’s quite easy to forget to sheath one’s magic abilities when you’ve been travelling a long distance with spells equipped. While the button to begin dialogue is not the same as the button to cast a spell, it’s easy to get the two confused. However, doing so will have dire consequences and can cost an NPC their life.
Comic by King of Slackers.
9 Pawn Stars, Skyrim Style
In almost every Bethesda game, Skyrim included, players can quickly collect a lot of junk, spare weapons, and armor that can amount to a substantial amount of worth in gold (or caps in Fallout). However, finding places to sell these items are not as easy. In Skyrim, for instance, you can’t sell armor to a potions vendor, or dragon bones to a blacksmith, which obviously makes sense and adds realism to the game.
However, when the merchant perk is in effect, the player can then sell any item to any merchant or vendor.
This makes it incredibly easy to sell unwanted items and get rich quick. With said perk, you can then sell daggers to a clothier or dragon bones to a jeweller, essentially ridding yourself of the need to travel to specific merchants or fences.
Comic by Awkward Zombie.
8 The Short Arm Of The Law
One of the things that drew me or impressed me the most about the Elder Scrolls series was the realism within the laws of their various worlds. For example, not only is it illegal to steal items, but even unlocking locked doors or homes will also send guards towards you. Trying to sell someone an item you stole from them will anger them and make them attack you.
Where all this realism falls apart in Skyrim is in the games pickpocketing mechanic.
When pickpocketing in Skyrim, players must sneak and then press the action button which will show the player all the items the NPC is currently holding. Merely looking at the NPC’s inventory will never register as an offence. It’s only when taking something that the game registers you as pickpocketing.
7 Skyrim Logic: Shapeshifting
You’ve seen dragons, vampires, giant spiders, and more. But I bet you’ve never seen a shapeshifter. In the beginning of every Elder Scrolls game, the player must choose the appearance of their character, along with their race, star sign, and complete other forms of red tape. Depending on the game, the amount of customization at the player’s fingertips varies, but is generally quite high. Players can customize everything from facial fair and eye color to body type and skin tone and everything in between. However, while the player is letting out their inner artist and viewing their character appearance change in-tune with their customizations, imagine what the NPCs are seeing. While dragons and vampires and even werewolves are commonplace in Skyrim, it may be the first time anyone’s seen a shapeshifter.
6 Worse Trade Credit Than Gamestop
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and almost every Elder Scrolls game before it takes a few factors into account when deciding a merchant’s offer for your goods. These factors include things like reputation, speechcraft, luck, reputation, and others. When starting out the game, your speechcraft and bartering ability will be quite low.
Therefore, it will seem like merchants and vendors will try to rip you off at every turn.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sold upwards of 1000 gold worth of items only to receive 600 or less. This happens regardless of the rareness or painstaking hours it took you to find or create the items you are selling. Therefore it’s best to train your speechcraft ability quick and while you’re at it, join the thieves guild to get access to fences who will give you better rates.
5 Do You Even Lift?
In games like Skyrim that encourage the player to loot and explore dungeons and caverns filled with treasures, players are bound to find more than they can carry. Depending on a player’s strength stats, the maximum weight they can carry will vary. However, going over the maximum amount regardless of whether you’re over by 1 or 100, your character will become over encumbered.
This means you will no longer be able to sprint nor fast travel.
The amount a player can carry in Skyrim is beyond unrealistic in the first place. But the ridiculousness of the carry weight system is that if your player is carrying capacity is as 299/300, even a single wedge of cheese or a couple flowers will render them unable to move faster than a snail’s pace. Better hit the gym!
4 PC Vs. Console
The Elder Scrolls series has a great gaming community around it and Skyrim is no exception. The mods for Skyrim, even the fan-made mods are incredibly well done... at this point, if you can imagine it, there’s likely a mod out there for it already. These mods can be as simple as creating realistic clouds in the sky or adding beautiful paintings to the walls.
The mods can also be over-the-top or themed.
For example, some mods will allow you to use magic attacks based on attacks from anime like Naruto or One Piece. On the other hand, Skyrim on the PC at times can be too mod-heavy which takes away from the original essence of the game. In this comic, for instance, the game seems to be plagued by Thomas the Tank engines instead of raging dragons.
3 Et Tu, Batman?
I think it is safe to say we’ve all had our fun. We’ve all shared many laughs, many facepalms, many sighs of frustration. So I think it’s time for everyone to quit it with the arrow to the knee memes, comics, and jokes. As if the influx and overload of arrow to the knee references weren’t enough, it seems as though even the DC Comics company is getting in on the fun. However, this comic is quite clever and definitely worth a look for Batman or DC Comics fans as it features a clever play on words and a Batman and Arrow crossover. Clever as it is, the arrow to the knee references have been milked to excess, so please just stop. Please, not you too Batman.
2 This Week On Hoarders
Fantasy role playing games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are loved for their ability to make the player feel like a hero, like a warrior, like a savior. Some players will take a different route and play as a thief, a mage, a heartless villain. Regardless of what the game can make players feel and regardless of the route the player takes there is one role the player can’t avoid; that is, the role of hoarder.
To gain wealth and be successful in Skyrim you must hoard and sell.
Hoard and sell until your pockets are filled with gold and your inventory is over encumbered with dragon bones. As well, the numerous rare weapons in the game and their fantastical names will have players hoarding items they’ll never even use. Such is the nature of Skyrim.
Comic by Dorkly.
1 Words From Above
And so he finally looked down at his people and decided to finally speak to them after thousands of years of silence. His light broke through the clouds and everyone in the streets looked up in awe. The people listened intently and when he spoke his words were:
My children I… used to be an adventurer like you, but then I took an arrow to the knee.
Yes, it seems like even the almighty one himself plays Skyrim and even he is getting in on the non-stop meme frenzy and face-palm catchphrase that’s taken the internet by storm. However, even if that were true I would hope that the creator of mankind would have opened with something other than a Skyrim joke. But hey, at least he’s got a sense of humor!
Comic by Action Trip.