So, your kid is into Skyrim.
What does that mean?
Your kid may give a long, convoluted answer that doesn’t make a lot of sense, something about wizards and dragons and such. Here, I’ll be able to set some things straight, and help you understand why your kid is going on about being the Dragonborn.
Skyrim is an Action Role-Playing Game by game developer Bethesda, a company also famous for games such as the post-apocalyptic Fallout series, as well as the classic First-Person Shooter (FPS), Doom.
Skyrim is rated M for Mature, which means it is for ages 17+ and involves Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, and Use of Alcohol.
Skyrim is the fifth game in the Elder Scrolls series and takes place on the fantasy continent of Tamriel, which is on the planet Nirn. Tamriel is a continent split into many provinces and territories, a full map of which is found here.
Skyrim, as the name suggests, takes place almost entirely in the northern province of the same name, save for the add-on Dragonborn, which allows players to travel to an island outside the main province.
Skyrim begins with the player character waking up in a carriage, bound and gagged. The other men on the cart are rebellion leader Ulfric Stormcloak, a rebel named Ralof, and a common thief.
The player is brought to the town of Helgen to be executed for an unspecified crime (at this time, the player can customize their hero ) but just before they are beheaded, a great black dragon known as Alduin attacks, and our hero is allowed to escape.
What becomes of the hero from there? That’s entirely up to the player. The “Main Story” detailed is that the hero is “Dragonborn”, which means he or she alone has the power to stop Alduin from destroying the world, but the hero could also become an assassin, a thief, a wizard, a warrior, the possibilities are endless.
So that’s Skyrim. An open-world adventure game set in a magical world full of monsters and magic, where you can be anything.
Now that you have the gist, here’s the rest of the backstory. Ready?
Skyrim takes place 200 years after the previous game, Oblivion. Oblivion saw a grand-scale disaster, involving the invasion of the continent by demonic monsters, led by the Daedric Prince known as Mehrunes Dagon. The end of the “Oblivion Crisis” saw lots of political instability in the realm, which eventually saw a war between the High Elf Aldmeri Dominion and the human Empire 30 years before Skyrim takes place.
a map of the current political layout can be found here.
The Aldmeri Dominion nearly toppled the Empire, forcing a surrender known as the White-Gold Concordat. One of the terms of surrender was the immediate outlaw of one of the Empire’s nine gods, Talos, who is said to be the ascended form of a great Emperor from ages past, Tiber Septim.
A soldier from Skyrim, Ulfric Stormcloak, fought in this Great War and was outraged by the terms of surrender, as Talos is one of Skyrim’s highest gods. Ulfric was initially allowed to continue his worship in a small temple in Skyrim with some of his closest friends by the Empire but was imprisoned by the Aldmeri Dominion shortly afterwards.
Ulfric decided while imprisoned that the Empire was weak and that Skyrim needed to be independent of the rest of the continent, and so shortly after his release from prison, he went to the capital of Skyrim, Solitude, and challenged the High King of Skyrim, Torygg, to a duel. Ulfric killed the high king and fled.
And this brings us to the player’s first moments in Skyrim, thank you for your patience.
I hope you can talk to your kid when he mentions this game now because then you’ll be a rock star!
BONUS: A small assortment of screen-captures from my favourite times playing Skyrim can be found here, with some description to what each picture is.