The Skyrim civil war is one of the game’s largest plotlines, but what actually changes if players support the Imperials versus the Stormcloaks?
In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, players are able to become a part of several storylines that can shape the future of Skyrim – and potentially the future of the Elder Scrolls series as a whole. One of the central stories in the game is that of the Skyrim civil war questline, which allows players to choose between supporting the Imperial faction or the Stormcloaks. But what does this choice actually mean in the context of the game’s story?
While the return of Alduin is arguably the focus of the majority of Skyrim, the fight between the Stormcloaks and the Imperials is present throughout almost all aspects of the game. Skyrim begins with players getting caught in an Imperial ambush alongside Stormcloak soldiers, and various NPCs will attempt to persuade the Dragonborn into joining one faction or the other. The Skyrim civil war questline even ties into the main story eventually as players are forced to either call a peace summit or secure victory one way or another.
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Both sides of the Skyrim civil war feature a unique storyline with interesting characters, so for many fans it might be worth replaying on both sides to experience the full scope of Skyrim‘s story. There are also different rewards offered for siding with one faction over the other. As players listen to different viewpoints throughout the game, they may find that one side’s political prospects speak more strongly to them than the alternative.
Stormcloaks Versus Imperials: What Changes In Skyrim
Within the world of Skyrim, one of the larger immediate consequences of a Stormcloak or Imperial victory is the shift in power across Skyrim’s various holds. Jarls that were supportive of the opposing faction will be replaced with loyal supporters instead. Characters such as Ulfric, Balgruuf and Maven Black Briar, many of which players may have strong opinions on, can either rise to or fall from power as a result of the civil war’s conclusion. Fans may want to consider who they want to see on the throne and how it could impact Skyrim’s future when picking a side.
Even more significant than this is the long-term effects of Skyrim‘s civil war. In the event of a Stormcloak victory, Skyrim more than likely becomes independent, freeing itself from the influence of the Empire and the Thalmor. This has the potential of bringing an all-out war to Skyrim, as the Thalmor and their allies within the Empire may try to bring the province back under their command. While victory for the Imperials is likely to bring more peace and stability to the land, Skyrim would remain under the influence of the corrupt Thalmor.
There’s a strong possibility that Elder Scrolls 6 could address the impact either victory has over the province of Skyrim and the empire as a whole, but as of right now nothing has been confirmed. Either way, players should take the political consequences of the civil war into consideration when picking a faction to support in their playthrough of Skyrim.
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