LGBT in Elder Scrolls
I've been looking back at the games of my youth to see what LGBT influences there were, and whether they helped me to normalize the idea of being gay. Turns out not a lot of games from the early 2000s that I played had any representation in them at all. So, I thought I'd make a video highlighting the games that did well, and had an impact in my young mind growing up.
The first game, well series, I want to talk about is The Elder Scrolls, the critically acclaimed action role-playing series from Bethesda Softworks. Growing up I played Morrowind, Oblivion, and arguably Skyrim as I was 16 when Skyrim was released. Those are the Elder Scrolls titles I'm going to talk about.
Let's start with Morrowind, and its LGBT influences. Everyone's favorite warrior poet Vivec could be the Elder Scrolls equivalent of Rupaul, what with him being the being the poster boy for LGBT in the series. To put it short Vivec is an intersex, gender fluid, pansexual God, and also a downright badass. Vivec was married to and had sex with the Daedric Prince Molag Bal, and produced a number of offspring with him. However all good things must come to an end. Vivec bit off Molag Bal's dick and then hunted down their offspring and murdered them. Parent of the year. Vivec also had an small army called the Buoyant Armiger, and all the male members of the army are his lovers.
It is also mentioned in Morrowind that Argonians are agender at birth, and depending on much much they lick the hist tree, it changes their sex. Which also means they can change their sex whenever they want, assuming they are near to their Hist Tree.
Onto Oblivion, which is my favorite game in the series and possibly my favorite game of all time. Sadly though it has a lot less gay in it then Morrowind had. We will start with Eduard Hodge, a fighters guild member who was in a relationship with the guild leader's son Viranus Donton. However, their relationship ended poorly. While on an adventure to clear out a cave of trolls together, they both became fatally wounded. As an awkward teen who was coddled by his Mother I related to Viranus, which is why his relationship with Eduard meant a lot to me. It helped to put my sexuailty into perspetive as an awkward teen coming to terms with his sexuailty.
Another gay warrior from Oblivion is Pelinal Whitestrake, the 'The Divine Crusader' from the Knights of the Nine. He was deeply in love with an Imperial Hoplite called Huna, 'whom Pelinal often shared a tent with at night'. Sadly, Huna was slain by 'Celethelel the Singer' which filled Pelinal with such anger he laid wasted to multiple Ayleids cities. This story is tragic, and what's even more tragic is that the line implying Pelinal was gay was cut from the final game.
Finally the last notable LGBT character in Oblivion is City Swimmer, and Argonian who is addressed by other characters as being female, but City Swimmer uses male pronoun when talking about himself, leading some to believe that they are transgender.
Now let's talk about Skyrim. Sadly Skyrim has the least amount of LGBT representation in the whole series, despite being the most recent game. The only same sex couple are Bjorrnolf and Hrodulf. While in Hrodulf's house you can discover a note in the basement that Bjorrnolf wrote to Hrodulf,
'Hrodulf, light and strength, I feel your words are not your own, and I worry dearly for your health. I beg of you: please depart that blasted isle and return to Solitude at once! My nights have been almost impossible to bear without you; to lose you would be the death of me. My love, if you do not return soon, I will come for you.'
After receiving this letter, Hrodulf took off to return to Solitude to be with his lover. However, he was killed by a Spriggan on the shores of Solstheim. Not hearing back from Hrodulf, Brorrnolf fullfilled his promise: 'if you do not return, I will come for you' and came to Hrodulf's house, where he was killed by bandits, never knowing the fate of his lover.
That it for LGBT in Skyrim, which disappoints me, i would've loved to seen more representation in Skyrim. Yes you can marry any companion regardless of sex, but the fact that it is same sex is never even mentioned, which is why I don't include it.
With the release of Elder Scrolls Online, it seems the world of Tamriel got a whole lot gayer with tons of quests and characters catering for the LGBT community, I could do another series just based on the different gay stories in Elder Scrolls Online alone.This was some of the representation I got growing up as a young quiet gay boy. I know most people could not care less about LGBT in gaming. But it really does matter to help young LGBT feel more normal growing up, I have a bunch of other games that help me come to terms with my sexuality, if you want me to do more articles on them tweet me @Jackaphobia
Jack Dixon is a gamer, cinephile, and more than likely he's the guy who's ignoring you on Grindr. Tweet him @Jackaphobia. Support his writing on Patreon!