To those who remember me, I'm known on this wiki for my passionate Stormcloak values, as many blog posts can prove. However, I feel that no matter what side I would take, I would ultimately still prefer the civil war to the main storyline of TES V: Skyrim. In this blog post, I have tried my best to be impartial with regards to the Stormcloak-Imperial conflict.
"But why?" I hear you scream in a frustrated rage, eager to understand this bold spectator. Don't get me wrong, the main storyline is great fun. Quests such as Diplomatic Immunity, Alduin's Bane, The Fallen and Dragonslayer are very fulfilling and magnificent. However, even as I was trapping Odahving and dueling Alduin on The Throat of the World and in Sovngarde respectively, while it felt intricate, I was just fighting villains, big evil villains who represented not a whole set of ideas, just one. I didn't truly feel as though I understood Fourth-Era Tamrielic realities, which is what fascinates me most about Skyrim.
The Civil War was different. Colourful personalities are encountered, such as the honourable and fearsome, yet somehow almost Machivellian Ulfric Stormcloak, the dutiful and stoic General Tullius, who wants to be in Skyrim no more than Ulfric wants to have to fight a civil war. Then there is the staunch Galmar Stone-Fist, who, in his own words, would "Follow (Ulfric) into Oblivion", eager to fight a war but under the surface is a deeply philosophical man with stubborn loyalty, both de jure (he is Ulfric's Housecarl) and de facto to his High King. Legate Rikke is almost a mirror of this, a woman who hates the Thalmor as much as the Stormcloaks, but feels the Empire is a necessity. Then there is Elisif the Fair, who though deeply sad and shocked shows herself capable of incredible fortitude at times.
Then there are the soldiers themselves. The Stormcloak Warriors feel that they are truly fighting for their futures and homeland, the Imperial Legionnaires understanding that they are meant to be there to stop a Nordic insurrection, despite many being Nords themselves.
But all this means a very simple difference: a more morally grey, original and in my opinion, interesting conflict.
What do you think?
Sidenote: One general fault with the war, but not the only one, is that everyone pretends it is still going on after it's finished.