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Ensemble Darkhorse / The Elder Scrolls

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Examples of Ensemble Dark Horse in The Elder Scrolls series.

Series Wide

Morrowind

  • Jiub. His badass appearance, the fact that he is the first character players encounter, the fact that he is a fellow prison-ship prisoner along with the player, and his friendliness all make him very popular with fans, despite only having a few lines before being put... or rather, kept on a boat. There are more than a few mods that bring him back in various capacities, including as a companion, and add quests centered around him. Bethesda took notice and later, in Oblivion, there is a mention of him having been canonized as a Saint for ridding Vvardenfell of all Cliff Racers. Finally, in the Dawnguard expansion to Skyrim, he returns in person. The player can encounter Jiub while wandering the Soul Cairn, where soul trapped individuals eventually end up; as it turns out, Jiub was in Kvatch just in time for the Oblivion Crisis, and his soul was captured by an invading Dremora. Although initially somewhat oblivious to his true fate, he asks the player to collect pages from the first part of his epic twenty-six volume Opus, The Rise and Fall of Saint Jiub the Eradicator Hero of Morrowind and Savior of the Dunmer.
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  • Crassius Curio, the Loveable Sex Maniac Camp Gay (though technically bisexual...and then some) Hlaalu Councilor. It helps that he's the main Reasonable Authority Figure within the otherwise very corrupt House Hlaalu, and is an Obfuscating Stupidity Guile Hero actively working to clean up the corruption. He also wrote the semi-pornographic play, The Lusty Argonian Maid, which has itself become an Ensemble Darkhorse. In it, the main character, "Crantus Colto", has the titular Argonian maid "polish his spear". Needless to say, it has spawned much... Fanart.
  • Divayth Fyr has inspired a rabid fandom for a guy who has only a short (but vital) role in the game's main quest. Being a Cool Old Guy Dimensional Traveler who is Really 4000 Years Old, has made himself multiple Opposite-Sex Clone wife/daughters, has a large collection of legendary artifacts (which you can take... if you can find the keys...) and helps the Player Character become The Ageless tends to cause that.
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  • Neloth is also receiving a surge in popularity, if only for his epic reappearance in Skyrim's Dragonborn'' DLC where is a snarky Insufferable Genius Archmage.
  • Vivec, the Tribunal deity, is also extremely popular. Probably has a lot to do with the 36 Lessons of Vivec, which detail some of his more wild and bizarre escapades, as well as all the innuendo surrounding MUATRA.
  • Heddvild, the big blonde Nord woman in Balmora, is surprisingly used in a lot of fanfiction and some people have even "cast" her as the Player Character in Oblivion.

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Oblivion

  • The player's superior in the Dark Brotherhood, Lucien Lachance, is extremely popular, both with fangirls and otherwise. Somehow, the fact that he is a Card-Carrying Villain doesn't hurt his popularity in the slightest. That said, if they've been working for Lachance long enough, the player also qualifies as a Card-Carrying Villain.
  • Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness is incredibly popular, due to the fact that being Crazy Awesome is his entire job as well as the runaway success of the Shivering Isles expansion, of which he is a central character. His popularity remains strong with his appearance in Skyrim due to the implication that the Sheogorath in Skyrim is actually the player character of Oblivion, showing a kinder but no less wacky side of himself.
  • On a similar note (speaking of Crazy Awesome), there's a portion of the fanbase that really likes Pelinal Whitestrake for the same reason.

Skyrim

  • Lydia quickly gained this status in the first few days of launch. One of the many companion characters who can be gained early in the campaign, she stands out for many reasons, among them the fact that she's well-armed, attractive, and sarcastic—as well as given to you as a housecarl as part of the main quest.
  • One of Oblivion's darkhorses, Lucien Lechance, returns as a spectral assassin the player can learn to summon.
  • Serana from the Dawnguard expansion, due to the depth and dimensions given to her character, as well as the subtle Ship Tease between her and the Dragonborn. Indeed, the Dragonborn takes the role of Supporting Protagonist in Dawnguard, which is ultimately her tale.
  • Jarl Balgruuf is very probably the most popular of the Jarls due to the fact that when you have to capture a live dragon, he decides to grab an axe and get stuck in personally. It also helps that he recognizes you as the legendary dragonslaying badass you are after the first Dragon fight and shows you the appropriate respect from that point onwards, unlike almost everyone else in Skyrim.
  • Teldryn Sero from the Dragonborn DLC. Despite being an unassuming faceless mercenary with no plot relevance, he has a surprising amount of personality and snark, making him quite memorable for a character that players can easily miss entirely.

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