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Trivia / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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  • Actor Allusion:
    • One can't hear Max von Sydow's narration and not think of King Osric from Conan the Barbarian (1982).
    • Delphine is as gruff as Pamela Landy, and both work as an acting Grandmaster/Director of a shadowy organization (except Delphine is more hands-on).
    • Vladimir Kulich is once again playing a badass Viking leader.
    • Mercer Frey, the leader of the Thieves' Guild, is voiced by Stephen Russell, the voice of Garrett, the infamous protagonist and master thief from the Thief series of games.
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    • General Tullius is a gruff, no-nonsense officer who is practical-minded and does deep down care about his men and Skyrim itself. He shares these traits with one of Michael Hogan's other roles - Saul Tigh in Battlestar Galactica. Unlike Colonel Tigh, however, Tullius doesn't seem to have alcohol problems. He also looks extremely similar to Captain Bailey, another one of Hogan's roles. He's found inside Castle Dour, and Hogan is known for playing dour characters.
    • Tullius's second-in-command, Legate Rikke, was also a serious female military officer... on a certain space station.
    • Erandur's a repentant holy man who once acted like a monster and betrayed his friends, who's voiced by Keith Szarabajka, using the exact same voice he used for Captain Apollo Diomedes. Sadly, there's no BROTHER, I AM HIT!
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    • Paarthurnax teaches the player one of the words of fire breath. He's also voiced by Charles Martinet, who's far better known as Mario.
    • A very subtle one: In Farkas's bedroom in Jorrvaskr is a lute, which he presumably knows how to play. In Markarth, the Dragonborn can encounter Yngvar the Singer, an accomplished bard. Both characters (among others) are voiced by Michael "Popeye" Vogelsang, the guitarist and lead singer of the somewhat obscure band Your Favorite Train Wreck.
    • Serana, the female vampire necromancer who accompanies you throughout most of the Dawnguard questline, is voiced by Laura Bailey. This isn't the first time she's voiced a vampire or a magic user.
      • The similarities between Serana and Rayne border on plain Shout-Out at times.
    • Miraak is voiced by Peter Jessop, who's best known as the voice of the Reaper Sovereign. Guess what happens when you touch the pillars without proper magic?
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  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: The famous quote from the guards actually goes "Then I took an arrow in the knee", not "to the knee" as it's often quoted.
  • Christmas Rushed: It is very possible that this game suffers from it. When fans looked at the game-files with the Level Editor, it was revealed Bethesda had more expansive plans for the game than what was seen in the final product, most notably some complex quests and scripts that sadly did not make the final cut. Examples are a dynamic civil war, an arena in Windhelm, and a questline to help Mjoll the Lioness bring down the Thieves' Guild. Many of these were probably cut because the game had to be released on November 11, 2011, so the developers did not have enough time to implement all of their plans. As a result, many of the storylines in the game feel rushed when compared to earlier installments of the franchise. Fortunately, though, modders came to the rescue for PC players, and many of the cut quests have been restored, most notably the civil war and arena.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Odie" for Odahviing.
    • "Paarthy", "Paarth", and "Partysnax" for Paarthurnax.
    • Gallus Desidenius has earned the nickname of Amazo from some due to how similar the former's mask and the latter's face look.
  • Newbie Boom: Skyrim is the best-selling Elder Scrolls game of all time, and introduced an entire generation of gamers to Bethesda's style of open-world RPG. It created an even bigger newbie explosion in TES than Morrowind did.
  • No Export for You: The Collector's Edition was essentially this for Australia, selling out within hours of being put up for pre-order due to the incredibly small number of copies allocated to the country. As something of a compromise, Australia had its own exclusive Limited Edition, as a free upgrade for EB Games pre-orders.
  • Playing Against Type: As noted elsewhere, Paarthurnax is voiced by Charles Martinet. Yes, MARIO.
  • Port Overdosed: Was initially ported to most sixth generation consoles. It later got an Updated Re-release dubbed The Elder's Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition which is just the base game remastered using the updated version of Creation Engine that was used for Fallout 4. The Special Edition was later used as a basis for the Nintendo Switch edition and the VR edition, the former allows you to place the Link amiibo from BoTW, where you can obtain an exclusive item that gives you Link's attire for that game and the Master Sword alongside the Hylian Shield.
  • Referenced by...: The Forced Meme that all the town Guardsmen are retired adventurers who got shot in the knee is referenced by the manga The Strongest Wizard Becomes a Countryside Guardsman After Taking an Arrow to the Knee. (Phew, what a mouthful).
  • Screwed by the Network: The original Skyrim, otherwise called "The Legendary Edition", is, as of 2017, delisted for Steam; while it can still be bought for those who didn't own it, it isn't eligible for price cuts at all and must be bought with the DLCs separately.
    • On the console modding side, while the PS4 does allow mods, Sony only allows them if they don't use any new texturesnote , meaning that a large number of very popular mods can't be ported to the console. Strangely, this ban only applies to mods downloaded off of Bethesda.net, since content from Bethesda's Creation Club has no such problems, possibly because Sony considers them DLC.
  • Similarly Named Works: Hircine's Daedric quest shares its name with the 1957 film Ill Met By Moonlight, based on the novel of the same name. They're unrelated, but all have the same origin; the phrase is a quote from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • The first example of this happens if you go with Ralof in Helgen. He and his brother-in-law, Hod, are both voiced by Michael Gough.
    • In the final Dark Brotherhood mission, the player can opt to have the ghost of Lucien Lachance kill the Emperor, both of whom are voiced by Wes Johnson.
    • Stephen Russell voices both Clavicus Vile and Barbas. Of course, considering that they are two aspects of the same entity, this works pretty well.
    • Keith Szarabajka voices both Erandur and Veren Duleri in the Waking Nightmare quest.
    • Niane Salinger voices every female orc in the game, and Noah Nelson voices every male orc. As a result, any and all dialogue in an orc stronghold between two orcs of the same gender is an example.
    • Popeye Vogelsang voices Stenvar the mercenary, who can be hired as a follower at Candlehearth Hall in Windhelm; after he's been a follower, he becomes a possible spouse. Vogelsang also voices Argis the Bulwark, who is appointed housecarl to the Dragonborn if they become Thane of the Reach. Should the Dragonborn marry Stenvar, then move him into Vlindrel Hall in Markarth along with Argis, the two can sometimes be heard arguing with each other - usually about dropped items.
  • Updated Re-release: Twice, in both 2013 and six years later in 2016. The former is a standard "Game of The Year" edition called Legendary Edition that includes the base game and expansions while the latter is the Special Edition which does the same as the Legendary Edition as well as porting the game to Fallout 4's version of the Creation Engine as well as letting console players use mods (including "mudcrab armor" [that one has to buy no less]).
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: A story was floating around social media for awhile that "taking an arrow to the knee" was an old Norse euphemism for getting married, meaning the guards were really just saying they'd settled down. This started life as a joke, but thanks to being widely shared it quickly got out of hand.
  • What Could Have Been: It is quite evident that quite a lot of the content was planned for Skyrim didn't end up in the final version of the game. Some of it even made it to a more or less finished state, but was ultimately Dummied Out, most likely due to the game being Christmas Rushed.
    • If the file names seen in the editor for their equipment are any indication, the Stormcloaks were originally going to be called the Sons of Skyrim, with their officers being called the Sons of Talos.
    • It seems that the Civil War was originally going to have several new features, such as all five main holds being attacked by their opposing side, as well as new radiant quests. At least some of these features were restored with apollodown's popular "Civil War Overhaul" mod. Sadly, this mod was taken down by the creator out of irritation that some people complained about making both armies more diverse.
    • According to rumors, there was going to be a Dark Brotherhood sidequest where Erikur commissions you to assassinate Elisif so he can become Jarl of Solitude. Thankfully, it never made it past the cutting board. An alternate take on that sidequest, "Boethiah's Bidding," was supposed to be a sequel to "Boethiah's Calling" and involved the same task. Some of the code is actually in the game, but the fact that it was never fully implemented makes the quest Unwinnable even if you force-start it with the console.
    • According to Todd Howard, shortly before working on Skyrim, Bethesda were in talks to make titles based on A Song of Ice and Fire; but, despite some heavy interest, they ultimately turned it down in order to continue developing The Elder Scrolls and their own lore. The return of the dragons and the Civil War in Skyrim (plots that feature heavily in both works) may also have been partially inspired by this, although this has yet to be confirmed by any official sources.
    • Miraak, from the Dragonborn DLC, had a bunch of lines cut from the final game. These lines make him more of an Anti-Villain (such as regretting having to kill you), and even hint that he was originally slated to live at the end of the main quest.
      • In fact there exists unused, unimplemented code in the game for an alternate ending to the DLC which a modder finished that allows the player to earn Miraak as a follower by using the bend will shout on him during the battle, causing him to become an ally as Hermaeus Mora sends multiple enemies to fight both of you. Rather than being killed after the fight, Miraak will move to his temple in Solstheim.
    • Mephala's Daedric Quest has some cut content that implies that Jarl Balgruuf would have been killed by his own children, with his brother Hrongar taking over as Jarl. Remnants of this are still hinted at within the quest, and the plot of Balgruuf's son having been corrupted by Mephala is never resolved.
    • Considering the dropped Balgruuf and Elisif murders in game, Skyrim as originally written would have been much more pro-Stormcloak, ultimately leaving the Empire with only one Reasonable Authority Figure Jarlnote , who's probably going to die of old age soon, with the remainder being scheming backstabbers. While Elisif's murder was dropped early in development, Balgruuf's made it all the way to early beta testing. It was ultimately the beta testers who pointed out that killing off reasonable authority figures on the Imperial side, especially the one who trusts the Dragonborn from the start of the game, made choosing to go Imperial a Shoot The Shaggy Dog Story and would ruin the moral ambiguity of the Civil War storyline that's loved today.
    • Mjoll the Lioness was going to have a lengthy questline in which the Dragonborn helped her take down the Thieves' Guild, along the lines of "Destroy the Dark Brotherhood," but this was scrapped for time. This is probably the reason that Mjoll has an essential flag - like many quest-giving NPCs, she was to remain unkillable until after the completion of her quest, and you can't complete her quest because you can't ever begin it. As with a lot of unfinished content modders also worked to implement this into the game though the final result is slightly buggy.
    • There is an absolute metric ton of lines and dialogue cut from the game, and it's not just a matter of them being taken out, as they are all still there and easily put back in with mods. Instead of the standard "arrow in the knee" and Welcome to Corneria comments, followers and NPCs can have full conversations with you, and each other.
    • For unknown reasons, if you no-clip past the borders of Skyrim, you'll find you can walk all the way to Morrowind and Cyrodiil. They're not at all detailed, just height maps with generic textures and a few landmarks (like the White Gold Tower), but they're still there... even though you'll never be able to reach them without cheats or, theoretically, Game Mods.
      • Much of it is there for those instances when you can see beyond Skyrim from within the game's proper map. There are plenty of places inside Skyrim that do this, too. If you no clip through the walls of a city, you'll see a partially detailed map of the city again to provide the detail you'd see from certain vantage points even though the city interior is a different map. Likewise, when you're within a city, the exterior of Tamriel is all detailed this way, again to provide what you'd be able to see from within city walls. There's a mod called "Open Cities" that moves some of those cities into the Tamriel map. The Dragonborn DLC takes place in Solstheim, the island just north of Vvardenfell, where the events of Morrowind took place.
    • Michael Kirkbride said in a Reddit post that the banning of Talos would have a very devastating cosmic effect on Nirn. Namely, any attempt to depict the Red Diamond emblem in any form will have horrific consequences. A painter who paints it will have his painting turned into that of a 2D explosion. A blacksmith who forges it will have his work crumble after a while. A singer who describes the symbol in a song will cause anyone who listens to it to have their head explode. Apparently, this was going to become a minor plot point, with Talos worshipers trying to figure out how to safely depict his emblem. Though the effect didn't make it into the game, the cracked Red Dragon symbol is a nod to this, and Kirkbride confirmed that the effect might appear in future titles.
    • Serana's voiceset includes a dying scream, despite Serana being forever flagged essential, even after full completion of the Dawnguard questline. This hints that, at some point in the game development, her death was possible.
    • One loading screen mentions that users of the Lady Stone "regenerate their health and stamina much faster for a while." This implies that the Lady Stone was initially planned to grant an active ability instead of a passive, permanent buff.
    • The Amulet of Articulation has 7 different versions, and the fact that the stats are different suggests it was originally going to be leveled, but for whatever reason, it's instead randomized.
    • For whatever reason, most NPCs have the line "Oh, I don't believe those rumors, my friend. Besides, who would ever want to harm such beauty?" - while most of these suggest that someone else was supposed to take Asta's place during the Eldergleam quest at one point, or it would've been your follower who would make the comment, for whatever reason it also includes some unique NPCs, such as Brynjolf and Malacath, who shouldn't have any reason to comment on the tree.
    • Although Nazeem and his wife Ahlam lack a house in the final game, if one pickpockets them and opens up their inventory, both are carrying a key to a non-existent house called Wintersand Manor (and both belong to a faction associated with said locationnote ), suggesting that was the location both were originally going to live - while the mod Cutting Room Floor restores the mod, the location file suggests it was going to be inside Whiterun, whereas the CRF mod puts it next to Chillfurrow Farm. Strangely, Acolyte Jensen from the Temple of Kynareth also carries a key to this non-existent manor (and he would've also been a member of the custom faction as well); this, combined with Nazeem and his wife having a strained marriage, suggests that Jensen and Ahlam would've been having an affairnote . This quite possibly explains the fact that Ahlam seems to spend a lot of time at the Temple of Kynareth.
    • As evidenced by how she greets the player ("It's a fine day with you around") after putting her husband's war horn at the Shrine of Talos in Whiterun Hold, at one point, the player would've been able to marry Elisif the Fair. Presumably, Bethesda scrapped this idea because it would've made the Last Dragonborn High King of Skyrim if they sided with the Imperials.
      • Similarly, the fact that Ingun Black-Briar says the same line after her miscellaneous ingredient-collecting quest is completed hints that she might also have been a candidate for marriage at some point. This was likely scrapped because having Maven Black-Briar for a mother-in-law might have required entirely too much special coding and voice acting. Alternately, the fact that she has the line might simply be because Elisif and Ingun have the same voice actress, and the line may have been attached to Ingun's coding by accident.
    • Game files show that Aela the Huntress has dialogue for the mission "Proving Honor", suggesting that either she was originally going to be the one who would accompany the player on said mission instead of Farkas, or it would've been random between the two.
  • Word of Saint Paul:
    • The idea that the Thalmor want to end Talos worship as part of a plot to destroy the mortal world and Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence doesn't actually appear in-game (beyond some strong hints from Esbern), but comes from forum posts by Michael Kirkbride. While responsible for a lot of Elder Scrolls lore (especially Morrowind) and the creation of the Thalmor originally (they are referenced in the first Pocket Guide to the Empire that was packaged with Redguard), he was not directly involved in writing the plot of Skyrim beyond the initial idea stages (that happened during Morrowind and early Oblivion).
    • The idea that the Champion of Cyrodiil is Sheogorath in Skyrim has been Jossed by Michael Kirkbride in a Reddit post. However, Kirkbride said so based on the design documents of Oblivion, and stopped working for Bethesda after that game, so he didn't know if it still held true by the time of Skyrim and encouraged players to make up their own conclusions.
  • You Sound Familiar: Obviously, generic NPCs have this, although they're not keyed to the races as in Oblivion so Talking to Himself is usually avoided. But...
    • Wes Johnson voices both the ghost of Lucien Lachance and Emperor Titus Mede II. This is really the only case of this trope where Talking to Himself potentially occurs, since you can summon his ghost to assassinate the Emperor in the Dark Brotherhood questline.
    • Lynda Carter voices the Nord hero Gormlaith Golden-Hilt in Sovngarde and the Daedric Prince Azura.
    • Craig Sechler plays the Daedric Princes Hircine and Peryite.
    • Lani Minella is the Daedric Prince Nocturnal and the Night Mother. Talk about an evil resume - and this is on top of her providing the low, husky voice for female dark elves.
    • Popeye Vogelsang voices Farkas of the Companions, the Riften blacksmith Balimund, the Markarth housecarl Argis the Bulwark, Yngvar the Singer, Stenvar the mercenary in Windhelm, Maul, and a handful of other NPCs.
    • Michael Gough voices Vilkas of the Companions, Jarl Balgruuf, Brunwulf Free-Winter, Talsgar the Wanderer, and several other characters.
    • Claudia Christian voices Legate Rikke, Aela the Huntress, the spirit of Queen Potema, Faleen in Markarth, and a few other characters.
    • Corri English voices Idgrod the Younger, Ingun Black-Briar, Nilsine Shatter-Shield, Brelyna Maryon, and Camilla Valerius, among others.
      • She also voices both Jarl Elisif the Fair and Elisif's personal maid, Erdi, which can be a little weird if you speak to both of them in a short period of time. This is why some fans headcanon that Erdi is either related to Elisif or, perhaps, serves as some sort of impersonator for the Jarl in case of an emergency.
    • Jean Gilpin voices Elenwen and the Daedric Princes Meridia and Boethiah.
    • There is one point in the Thieves' Guild questline where Mercer can follow the player all the way to the general goods store in Whiterun. It is almost startling to hear two characters with such differing personas sharing the same voice actor.
      • Additionally, Mercer and Enthir share a voice actor (Stephen Russell). It's jarring to say the least during the Thieves' Guild questline, given that Mercer serves as the main antagonist, while Enthir plays a critical role in taking him down.
    • Gideon Emery is encountered twice in the Dark Brotherhood questline - he voices both Arcturus and Commander Maro's son Gaius. He also voices a few random Imperial archers who can be met on the road.
    • Colleen Delaney voices Nenya (the steward in Falkreath), Ria of the Companions, Vittoria Vici, Keeper Carcette, and Aphia Velothi (from Dragonborn), for starters.
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