Early in my experiences with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I found myself getting frustrated with the repetitive dialogue of the residents of Whiterun. So I threw together this short fan fiction to express my feelings on the subject. Recently I found it again, and thought it might be amusing to share with the other wiki residents.
I've come to the conclusion that I am surrounded by idiots.
I like Whiterun, don’t get me wrong. I’ve basically considered it my home ever since Jarl Balgruuf the Greater named me a Thane in his court. It’s a nice city and a comfortable place to live. It’s just that I’m beginning to think there’s something in the water which renders its inhabitants unable to have normal conversations.
I first came here about two months ago. I was supposed to have been executed, having been unfortunate enough to wander into what turned out to be a Stormcloak uprising; even though I had nothing to do with it, I was clapped in irons and dragged off to Helgen for a beheading. Seems a little harsh, don’t you think? But then along came a dragon - you know, as dragons do - and interrupted the entire thing. I managed to escape, thanks to a friendly Imperial soldier, and we made our way together to Riverwood. His uncle, the blacksmith of that village, asked me to journey on to Whiterun to bring news of the attack to the Jarl. So I did.
Jarl Balgruuf is a friendly and intelligent man. Most of the courtiers in his home of Dragonsreach are likewise sensible. But outside...
My first inkling that something wasn't quite right was when I was introduced to Lydia. Lydia is my housecarl - a live-in bodyguard to the Thane, more or less. I was given permission to purchase the empty residence called Breezehome, which I did, and Lydia has her own small room not far from mine. She’s a good fighter, I've seen that firsthand, and she’s pretty and pleasant. She answered all my questions about what a Thane is and what a housecarl does. Trouble is, that’s all she seems capable of telling me. When I tried to converse with her about what we should have for dinner, she just got up and walked away. I followed her. “Honored to see you, my Thane,” she said, as though we hadn’t just been talking a minute ago. I watched as she sat down in a chair, looked at me, then got up and went upstairs.
My house is next door to Warmaiden's, which is an excellent armor and weapons shop. It's run by Adrianne Avenicci, the daughter of the Jarl’s steward, and unless I’m talking to her specifically about things to do with her work, she’s constantly mentioning her father. I think she’s asked me five different times now if I’ve met him. She also keeps telling me that she advises him and he in turn advises the Jarl, which was only interesting the first three times I heard it.
There’s another guy who keeps telling me that mercenary work might suit me. Then he walks away. I got so annoyed with him about this one day that I decided to follow him and see where he went. From the front of Warmaiden's, I followed him up the hill past the Drunk Huntsmen and into the main circle of Whiterun, then down a different set of steps to the marketplace, and then back to Warmaiden's! And as I backed away and watched, he just continued to walk in the same circle over and over, now and then pausing to remind me that I should consider mercenary work. What is wrong with this place?!
Easily the worst offender of them all as far as babbling nonsense is a little girl who's constantly running into and out of the marketplace. I heard her story on my very first day, and so many times since then that I can actually recite it word for word. "I work with my mother, selling fruits and vegetables. It’s fun most days, but hard work." The other day, just as I was leaving my house, she came pelting down the hill and all but screeched to a stop right in front of me. I thought maybe she had an important message for me from the Jarl or something. Instead, she looked up at me with her big eyes and declared, "I work with my mother..."
I know that, you twit! You've told me every damn day since I got here! Go away!
About two weeks after I arrived in Whiterun, a dragon attacked one of the city’s outposts, so I had to help fight it off. Long story short, I killed the thing and ate its soul. Now some of the guards are sort of afraid of me, but others just keep telling me things like "Disrespect the law and you disrespect me," or "I've got my eye on you." You'd think I’d killed their pet kitten instead of a menacing dragon.
Then there’s the drunken beggar who tugged at my heartstrings enough to make me give him a gold coin. Ever since then, whenever he sees me coming, he says, "If it isn't my favorite drinking buddy!" I have never had a drink with this man; I don't even remember his name.
Don't even get me started on the feud between the Battle-Borns and the Gray-Manes. It's like pulling teeth to keep myself out of it. My very first day, I was accosted by one of the Battle-Borns demanding to know which side I was on. I had no clue what he even meant, so he explained... and then demanded again to know which side I was on! Well, I'm not stupid, I like breathing; I said Battle-Born. That's all well and good, but ever since then, every time I bump into him, he announces, "You've been a good friend to me. That means something." Er... thanks, I guess?
Another one of the Battle-Borns - I think his name is Jon, but at this point I’ve lost the will to care - is forever leaning against the porch post at the general store. Every time I walk past, he mutters, “You know what’s wrong with Skyrim? Everybody’s obsessed with death.”
No, what’s wrong with Skyrim is that everybody - at least in this town - seems to be operating on a damn script and somehow they've all gotten stuck.
So a few weeks ago I mistakenly wandered into an overturned longboat and found myself being permitted to join Companions Guild in Whiterun|the Companions. I have to admit, I’m not sure how one mistakenly wanders into an overturned longboat. I mean, it’s pretty in your face about being there. I guess I was just bored and wanted to see if the door was open, which it was. Somehow this led to my being allowed to join.
I don’t mind, at least not much. They’re warriors who more or less try to keep the peace in Whiterun, and in Skyrim in general. Overall, they seem decent, if secretive. I’m not crazy about being addressed as “whelp” - I’m the Dragonborn, people, have you heard of me? - but it’s a small price to pay. Unfortunately, even this group of highly skilled fighters seems to be suffering from the same verbal issues as the rest of the town. My first day after joining, I listened very politely while Brill explained how Vignar Gray-Mane saved him from drinking himself to death. I would have thought that'd be the end of it, but nooo. Every time I get anywhere near him, he starts all over again. “I’d be dead if not for Vignar.” Yeah, I got it.
One girl, Ria, was apparently the newest recruit before I joined; I know this because she keeps mentioning it. “I was the newest Companion until you came along. I guess that’s okay. It means I can show you the ropes!” Except she hasn’t actually shown me a blasted thing. At least some of the grumpier Companions, like Aela and Vilkas, will teach me different skills (if I ask nicely and they’re in a decent enough mood). Ria’s not grumpy, but she sure seems kinda useless.
The one I don’t really mind is Farkas. He’s fairly up front about the fact that he’s not very bright, and that sort of excuses his tendency to repeat himself - at least he seems more or less aware that something’s not right upstairs. The rest of the townspeople don’t seem to have noticed that they have this problem. Frankly, I’m grateful that Farkas says this, because I was seriously starting to wonder if it was me. He’s also probably the nicest one in the bunch, even if he does say the same things over and over again.
In fact, here he comes now. Let’s see what gem he drops today. He’s stopping in front of me… he’s going to speak…
"Some people say I’m not smart. Those people meet my fists. But you, I like.”
I know, sweetie. I know.