So i'm making this blog because even though i don't really care what anyone else thinks of Ulfric it bothers me that mostly everyone's opinion on him is based on false evidence or speculation. So here im going to tell the true story of Ulfric Stormcloak and with it prove he isn't a power hungry racist, unlike the Thalmor. A warning this is going to be long.
You may or may not know but Ulfric was the son of the last jarl of Windhelm ( it never mentions his name) and a decendent of Ysgramor. In his early years he studied the way of the voice in High Hrothgar to become a greybeard (he was never ment to be Jarl) but that all changed when the Great War started. He joined the Legion and fought the Dominion in Cyrodill along side with Galmar and Rikke. Some time before the fall of the Imperial City he was captured by the Thalmor who tortured him for information, which they eventually got, though after the capital had been taken. he however did not know it had already been taken so the Thalmor led him to believe it was his falt that the Imperial City was captured.
After this he was set free by the Thalmor(it mentions he was a hero at the battle of the Red Ring but details were never mentioned) He later returned to Skyrim. When the White-Gold Concordat was signed most Nords felt betraed by the Empire so they joined Ulfric who was openly worshiping Talos and calling b*** on that so called "peace treaty"( not to mention he is a naturalborn leader thanks to his charismatic personality) His little following were also openly disobeing the Concordat, their protest was peaceful like his. When Igmund contacted Ulfric and his followers to help retake the Reach and promised in return he would be able to worship talos at Markarth's Shrine he agreed.(it is assumed that all other shrines had been taken down because after the treaty was signed the Empire paid the Jarls to follow the ban, much like the one in solitude and since the reach was captured by the reachmen during the Great War it was probably still there) His militia invaded the Reach with the help of Igmund's forces and libirate it from reachmen controle.
- The only source that claims that Ulfric killed civilians is the book "The Markarth Incident" which was writen by an imperial simpathiser. Evidence of this is the fact the forsworn NEVER mention anything bad about Ulfric, and the fact that after Markarth is taken by the stormcloaks none of the citizens rebel ( if he did kill anyone that didn't help do you think everyone would be ok with him taking Markarth again, NO).
Igmund kept his side of the bargain and the Legion( who just came back to garrison the reach) let him keep worshiping, the Dominion however put presure on the Empire. The Legion than invaded and imprisoned Ulfric and his militia. Who the Empire dubbed the Stormcloaks, to belittle them. This betrayal caused Ulfric to start hating the Legion he was once a part of.
- therefore they started the Civil War not Ulfric, because they were the first to attack.
During his imprisenment Ulfric's father died and he had to send his eulogy by letter which was smuggled out of prison. When he was released from prison he returned to Windhelm, the city was still in mourning after the death of the last jarl. The citizen then called Ulfric and MADE HIM JARL.
- the reason Ulfric is jarl is because he was CHOSEN by his citizens. Lets see how some other jarls got their position: Elisif-married to last jarl; Igmund-conquered the reach with the help of Ulfric; Siddgeir-stole the position from uncle with the help of the Legion( not to mention Siddgeir is the WORST JARL EVER, he is super lazy, his steward is who actually rules Falkreath, all he does is stay in his house and enjoy the money he gets from the Empire)(sorry for the rant :P)
Ulfric continued to call b*** on the Concordat but as jarl he now had more power to do this(so he probably reopened the possibly closed temple of talos in Windhelm). He then got tons of Nords coming to him to join his stormcloaks , who at this time weren't in open war with the Legion. All the jarls were aware of this, some started supporting him. He then went to Solitude, Ulfric then challenged him in the ancient nord way claiming him to be too weak to rule Skyrim. Torygg accepted( or else his honor would be stained) and ran sword in hand to fight Ulfric, who used unrelenting force to throw Torygg across the room and then stabed him through the heart with his sword.(This happened a few weeks before the games starts)
- Ulfric therefore didn't murder the High King, he challenged him, this is confirmed by the solitude court(ask the mage) If Torygg was really going to support Ulfric if he asked like some claim why didn't he, its not like Ulfric never said he opposed the Legion, nooooo he kept it a secret until he killed Torygg, then he told everyone, yeah thats how it totally happend. Give me a break!!!
- Also he didn't betray anyone, like some claim he did, the Legion betrayed him. The Empire betrayed the nords, the redguards and the dunmer. A chalenge is not a betrayal, its nord tradition, there for legal.
He then when back to Windhelm and oficially declared war on the Legion, who were already fighting the stormcloaks. After this the Legion captured him, Ralof, more stormcloaks, a horse thief and a certain traveler trying to cross the border into Skyrim.
Now that we got History out of the picture lets start refuting some arguments against Ulfric.
Argument 1: Ulfric is power hungry, all he wants is to be High King.
- this is wrong, its a twisted take on reality. The reality is what Ulfric wants is freedom for his people and his land. He only decided to become High King a little before he killed Torygg and after he became jarl of Windhelm. So all he did before was out of unselfiness and for the good of Skyrim. Now if he didn't kill Torygg and start fighting the Legion no one would have, the other jarls were all busy getting bribed by the Empire to keep the Nords in control. Skyrim needs a leader that will keep its interests first and the rest of Tamriel after (that is what Ulfric is doing). Another thing all the High Kings thst won the moots (called only when a King died without a direct heir) for the past generations have been picked by the Empire and the jarls voted for him because they were bribed, Torygg's family has been High Kings for atleast 2 generation just because they keep the Empire's interests first and Skyrim second (The jarls of Solitude have been High Kings for the most part because its the city most influenced by imperial culture and politics). Torygg was young and inexperienced( Much like Elisif )not the High King Skyrim needed now. If some else like say Balgruuf had stepped up after the signing of the Concordat and defied the Empire than Ulfric wouldn't have to, but Balgruuf was to busy getting bribed.
Argument 2: Ulfric is racist, hates all non nords and segregates the dunmer and argonians.
- this is wrong, its not even twisted reality its just plain wrong. I'll start out by saying all the races in Tamriel have prejudice against one another (no exceptions) ex: everyone thinks khajiits are cunning and will stab you in the back if given the chance; ex 2: everyone thinks orcs are barbarian brutes with no culture; ex 3: dunmer for example think nords are "white-skinned, jaundice-haired apes of this godforsaken frozen wilderness"(taken from the book Dunmer of Skyrim). Ulfric himself never says anything prejudice about any citizens of Windhelm or the player( the most i've seen is him do is being annoyed that the dunmer keep complaning, saying that he has a rebelion to lead and not to bother him unless some important happens), some npcs do however( like Galmar for example, even the hero to the dunmer people of Windhelm, Brunwulf calls you a cat or lizard). Ulfric does however hate the Thalmor and the Legion as a whole(i explained earlier), he does not hate individual races, as evidence shows he lets 4 altmer live in Windhelm without being segregated because they work hard and contribute to the city.
- Now to the Dunmer. When the Red Mountain erupted many dunmer fled to Skyrim and stayed in mainly the east (Winterhold, Windhelm) this was many many many years before Skyrim began, therefore no one that we know from the game was even alive. At this time the jarls and the dunmer made a deal that deal was recorded in "The Decree of Monument" found in Refugees' Rest. In this deal the dunmer were able to live in Skyrim and keep their culture and religion. Also special sections of the cities were given as refuge to them, but as part of the deal they weren't counted as citizens of the city and so their sections weren't patrolled by the guards and they had to maintain their sections themselfs. They didn't have to follow the hold's law as long as they stayed in their sections of the city. Not all dunmer agreed some left and lived elsewere like the Hlaalu who started a farm outside windhelm for example. Those that did agree started living in their sectors of the city. When most of Winterhold fell into the sea of ghosts the dunmer started to leave from there into other parts of Skyrim or back into Morrowind (the mainland was now inhabitable to some degree) so that is why Winterhold doesn't have dunmer living there(explained by Brelyna). Windhelm still had dunmer living in their special sector called the Snow Quarter ( now called the Grey Quarter ), after many years the quarter started to became rundown and so became a slum by the time Skyrim started.
- Now for the Argonians. The argonians migrated to windhelm much later( according to Scouts-Many-Marshes he atleast has been there since he was a hatchling). They worked any job they could find, were poor and logically( as there is no where in the city they could have been staying before the assemblage) didn't have anywhere to live (unless they were living in the wilderness). However as we know with the nords joining the Stormcloaks jobs in the docks started to became avaliable, because of this they started working there. After this they were given an old warehouse to live in. Even though the Assemblage is rundown it was good for them as they were homeless before and argonians prefere to live next to other argonians and water, also because they now worked at the docks it made their rotine easier (and lets them avoid the dunmer). They aren't segregated because they aren't forced to live there if anything they keep non-argonians out of the Assemblage. Proof of this is the fact that Shahvee can be seen in the market INSIDE THE CITY during the quest "Blood on the Ice" were she can be murdered by the butcher.
- It has been pointed (by Draevan13) out Ulfric was the one that confined the argonians to the Assemblage through some decree which, according to Scouts-Many-Marshes doesn't let them live inside the city, though they can go inside.
- Now for Brunwulf's arguments, the "Nord Towns" and Khajiit Caravans.
- So Brunwulf claims that Ulfric only helps "Nord Towns", lets see there could only be two scenarios that could be catogorizes as "Non-Nord Towns": a) a town not built by nords; b) a town whose predominent population isn't nords. I DARE you to find one town/city in the east part of Skyrim (Stormcloaks territory) that doesn't fit into one of these catagories, you can't can you, because we are in Skyrim, all towns fit into one of these catagories.(80% of Skyrim's population is nords so all towns are predominently nords)
- Khajiit caravans, they aren't trusted by jarls everywhere. I'll share with you guys an adventure i went on, i was in Falkreath trying to cross into the Rift, on the road i found a khajiit caravan (random encounter), it had been ambushed by bandits, all the khajiits were dead, i then killed the bandits and went on my way. So lets se a caravan was attacked in Imperial territory, Siddgeir did nothing about it. Skyrim is a dangerous place to travel, bandits everywhere, dangerous wildlife, etc. The caravan had maybe 4 khajiit, jarls can't waste resourses on 4 travelers, maybe the most they can do is get more guards to patrol the hold.
So in conclusion Brunwulf is either: a) an idiot; or b) an imperial spy spreading propaganda.
Argument 3: Ulfric is really a Thalmor agent.
- Wrong, its so out of caracter i can't see how its even remotetly possible. The Only "evidence" of this is the Dossier on Ulfric in the Thalmor Embassy. Lets break it down.
- It says he is a dormant asset, though uncooperative. This means he isn't helping them directly(if the Civil War lasts and is very bloody then that would help the Thalmor) of his own free will. One possibility is during his capture in the Great War the Thalmor may have inplanted something in his mind, making him a sleeper agent, this would still make him act not of his own free will. Another is he was blackmailed( he still thought the info he gave them after his torture was crucial in the capture of the Imperial City) into helping them before the Markarth Incident.
- "After the war contact was established", i can think of one possibility, the Thalmor themselfs contacted Ulfric and blackmailed him into helping them up until the Markarth Incident(though not the only possibility its the most probable one).
- "The so-called Markarth Incident was particularly valuable from the point of view of our strategic goals in Skyrim" This obviously refers to the fact that the Incident caused Ulfric to hate the Legion and caused a divide between the nords, Stormcloaks or Empire.
- "although it resulted in Ulfric becoming generally uncooperative to direct contact." This could mean he found out the info he gave up after torture was not responsible for the capture of the Imperial City( this fits more with the blackmail scenario). Since it wasn't the Thalmor who imprisoned Ulfric and his militiamen after the Incident( it was the Legion) it wouldn't make sense for Ulfric to became uncooperative with the Thalmor because of the Incident unless my theory above is right.
- "Direct contact remains a possibility (under extreme circumstances)", this means the Thalmor aren't supposed to interfere in the Civil War so as to not cause the nords to unite against them. This quote backs my claim up "As long as the civil war proceeds in its current indecisive fashion, we should remain hands-off". The Thalmor want a long bloody war so as to even the Human's numbers with the Dominions (which are smaller, as elves reproduce/grow slower). "The incident at Helgen is an example where an exception had to be made - obviously Ulfric's death would have dramatically increased the chance of an Imperial victory and thus harmed our overall position in Skyrim" "A Stormcloak victory is also to be avoided, however, so even indirect aid to the Stormcloaks must be carefully managed" see the Thalmor want a long bloody war, they don't want any side to win, they want a divided Skyrim, a divided Empire.