Stormcloaks or Imperials?

For some reason, it took me about eighty hours of gameplay to finally choose a side in the Imperials vs. Stormcloak war in Skyrim. I just didn’t want to make it so the other faction would start attacking me on sight everywhere I went, so I put off the decision until almost the end of the game.

Eventually, as I was a Nord, I went with the Stormcloaks, but about halfway through plundering cities and forts, I realized that they’re kind of huge racist pricks.

Also, I never really was clear as to what happened afterward (spoilers), Ulfric just sits around waiting to be crowned king, but that never actually ends up happening? Did I miss something here?

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  1. Originally i went stormcloaks but after talking to ulfric for like 2 min i reloaded a save and decided to not go with the plucky underdogs that are going to start genocide as soon as they can.

    I dont understand how someone could stick with the stormcloaks, they arent sympathetic at all. I was very pleased then when i got to hack me some ulfric after sacking windhelm, which btw was tons of fun.

  2. I went with the Stormcloaks at first because the Imperials had just brushed aside the fact that my character was innocent before beheading me. Talking to some of the Stormcloaks, I felt like they were very racist, “Every elf face deserves a Nord axe”, but they seemed like the extreme elements. Ulfric himself allowed the Dark elves into his city, and even though they were living in poverty at least he had made the first steps at including races.

    Compare this to the Imperials, who kill Talos worshipers at the Thalmor’s beck and call and generally seem to have already given up. They have extremists as well, but what swayed me was just how broken the Empire was. It seemed like the only race or nation that had the strength to openly rebel against the Thalmor were the Nords and High Rock.

    Regardless, I wonder how Bethesda will make the story for the next game. Hopefully the player’s influence will have changed it in some way; I just don’t want a copout like some unmentioned third party takes the crown or that the civil war went on until the elves won.

  3. Paul, any chance you posted the same picture + generally close description, including the Stormcloaks being racist part on 4chan today? Cause I saw a post almost identical to this article before it was posted. [colon capital P]

  4. By the way, I already know the answer, the question is will you lie to keep your integrity in front of your readers, or say the truth and get a mixed reaction, but earn points for honesty.

  5. I played a Dark Elf and for some unknown reason, followed the Stormcloaks. Main-Quest Spoilers Follow:

    Main Quest Spoilers:
    When you infiltrate the Thalmor Embassy, you can find profiles on different people in the game. One of these was Ulfric. If you actually read his profile, you would see that he was captured by the Thalmor and gave information that led to the capture of the Imperial City
    All he is a tool for the Thalmor. Think of it like what Lenin was to Germany in WW1. Germany sent Lenin into Russia to disrupt the Czar and take Russia out of the war (in a nutshell).

  6. I went with the Stormcloaks because I am racist asshole. It was fun killing all those shithead dwermer. Eventually I also started kill all individuals with certain hair styles that offended me. Then I just started killing everyone.

  7. I’m currently following the Stormcloaks, although I’ve only done a few missions.

    My main reason was to buy Hjerim. I really didn’t want to join either side in reality.

    The other reason I chose the Stormcloaks is because I really wanted to kill Thalmors after encountering them several times. Every time I had ever encountered them, I kindly said, “Hi!” and they launched a fireball at me.

    Stormcloaks seem like they’re more likely to fight the Thalmor than the Imperials, so I sided with the Stormcloaks.

    Neither of them seemed to have any idea what they were doing though.

  8. joining the imperial legion has never crossed my mind and never will. ALL HAIL ULFRIC STORMCLOAK THE TRUE HIGH KING OF SKYRIM!. and all you imperial scum can take an arrow to the knee 😉

  9. I joined the Stormcloaks as they weren’t the ones trying to kill me in the start of the game, and at the time they seemed like the ones with the noblest cause. Then I realized that Ulfric was a massive douche and that most stormcloaks were racist, and when he wanted me to invade Whiterun I relly regretted my choice. The Jarl there is a pretty alright dude and I have my home there and stuff, but I figured that by the end I would either get the choice of changing sides or kill Ulfric and become the leader of the stormcloaks or something, but that never happened. I really wanna beat up Ulfric now, but I can’t.

  10. At this point I’ve done both sides with two different characters. It’s true, the Stormcloaks are pretty damn racist, but really they just want to be independant of the empire that failed them. Unfortunately, Nords and elves have been at odds for centuries, and the Thalmor aren’t making things any better. On the other side, the Empire would claim that they have no intention of giving up to the Aldmeri Dominion completely, that they’re biding their time until they get the chance to strike back. I usually decide which side I’m on in the beginning with a coin toss, because this whole thing is the Thalmor’s doing and it only benefits them in the end. In fact, I’d love to see an expansion to this game that features a questline to take down the Thalmor and end the war peacefully.

  11. Imperials truly are the only reasonable side to join. Your execution wasn’t at the hands of the empire, just one dickheaded Imperial Captain, who dies, by the way. The entire Empire shouldn’t be blamed for the actions of one minor person.

  12. At first I was going to side with the Stormcloaks, because I didn’t agree with the Imperial’s agreement to ban the worship of Talos. I’m fully aware that he wasn’t a real divine, but I feel that people should be free to worship whatever they desire.

    However, someone on Gamefaqs pointed out that if the Stormcloaks were to succeed in their rebellion, then they essentially cause Skyrim to splinter off, and weaken the Empire as a whole. That would make the Empire even more vulnerable to the Thalmor in the event of a full scale war. After that, the legality of Talos worship may be the least of their problems.

    Not to mention that they’re racist pricks, and Ulfric is kind of a tool, and it really isn’t a choice at all.

  13. Actually, Talos (Tiber Septim) IS a divine. In Morrowind, there’s a number of small “quests” where you encounter the divines and for helping them out or doing as they ask, they give you an artifact. Tiber Septim appears as an old man (dressed as an Imperial Soldier) named Wulf that noone else sees, who gives you his lucky Septim to take to Red Mountain.

  14. I think the point was that BOTH sides suck. Just like in real wars. I really appreciated the subtlety of the choice after having played Fable 3. “Enslave children or educate them? What a moral dilemma!”

    Oh, and I went Stormcloak.

  15. I went with the Stormcloaks, while there are heaps of racist douchebags in their army but it seems like most of the good likeable people are too. I mean compare the Battle-borns with the Grey-manes. The Battle-borns are huge pricks who abandoned their ways because their daddy got a little rich, The Grey-manes value their families and tradition and will fight to the death to protect both.

  16. I’m sympathetic to the SC, but as in all the fights and feuds I’ve been drug into over the years, I side with the only logical side. My side. And I have zero qualms about boot stomping whom ever is stupid enough to get in my way or come calling for a fight.

  17. My first time playing Skyrim, I decided to go Stormcloak because the Empire and Thalmor seemed one in the same. But as time went on, I realized the racism that pervades most Stormcloaks, and that they only respect Nords, and only look out for Nords. Everyone else can be eradicated for all they care. Ulfric is a power hungry tyrant who kills any man, woman, and child who doesn’t support him. (There is a book in the game that talks about his execution of children) Once I sided with the Empire, I immediately saw a difference in the way I viewed them. Hadvar in the beginning tries to reason with the Stormcloaks in the keep, but they simply attack him out of primitive hatred.

    You also encounter Legate Rikke, a Nord of the Empire, who hints at how much she hates the Thalmor. If you talk to certain Legates in the Imperial camps, you’ll find out about their disdain of the Thalmor. The Imperials don’t like the Thalmor. But as it stands, it’s either appease them or have the Empire decimated by Aldmeri forces. The peace agreement is the only thing stopping the Dominion from razing Skyrim and all its inhabitants. Skyrim is ONE nation. The Aldmeri Dominion is SEVERAL. If Skyrim were to stand on its own, they would be enslaved by the Thalmor and broken. Their land would be utterly destroyed, and their people devoid of hope for freedom.

    The best option would be for Ulfric to combine his forces with the Empire’s, bolster the strength of an established army with soldiers in more places than just Skyrim. Biding their time and restoring their strength is the best option. Skyrim has no chance against the Dominion on its own. Only through the Empire can SKyrim, and ALL of Tamriel, be freed from their elvish oppressors.

  18. There is a Russian Proverb “Pray to God, fine; but keep rowing to shore.”. I think that the Stormcloaks are just a Elven distraction to weaken the Empire before the final war begins. The proverb relates to Skyrim because u can want to worship ur god but keep going through with what needs to be done, which in This case is taking out the Thalmor. The Stormcloak rebellion holds no true justification the Empire is not a proud fool like Ulfric and his Stormcloaks. Besides don’t u Stormcloaks think its ironic that u guys r fighting to worship Talos even though ur fighting the Empire which Talos himself made and is the only reason why he is a divine. And the whole independence thing wouldn’t it make sense that Tamreil would be more prosperous and peaceful under the rule of 1 government instead of multiple. Besides the Stormcloaks r racist bigots who only look out for their needs like the Thalmor except dumber. I find close to no justification for a full scale rebellion during a time when all of Tamreil could be conquered by the even more racist Aldmeri Dominion. The Empire has a the best track record of being open to other cultures and races the province of Cyrodill for example the heart of the Empire has the most diversity of any of the provinces. The Empire must stop the Aldmeri Dominion, which by the way would make the White Gold Concordant void and reunite all of Tamreil under the Banner of the Empire Starting a new Era the 5th Era!!!

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