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If you use your Dragon Shout inside of a village, a few of the guards will come up to you and ask you to stop. A few days later a courier will deliver a letter to you from "a friend:"
"(Name), You caused quite a bit of stir in (place) when you demonstrated the power of your Thu'um. Not everyone is anxious for the return of the Dragonborn. I for one desire to see you grow and develop your talents. Skyrim needs a true hero these days."
Barbas is essentially his conscience, after all, and the aforementioned order came before they were back together.
If you defy Hircine's orders to kill Sinding and instead help him escape, the Lord of the Hunt is a surprisingly good sport about it, congratulating you on overcoming so many worthy hunters and allowing you to keep his stolen ring with his blessing.
Jarl Ulfric's speech when you first find him. *sniff*
I fight for the soldiers I have held in my arms, cradling them as they died on foreign soil! I fight for their families, whose names I heard them whisper in their dying breath! I FIGHT SO THAT ALL THE FIGHTING I HAVE ALREADY DONE IS NOT WORTHLESS! I fight... because I must.
Particularly touching to anyone who's a fan of Code Geass and may remember Lelouch making a similar (though much quieter) speech on why they have to keep fighting and killing. Sunk Cost Fallacy notwithstanding, it's still very moving.
That does it. I'm making a Nordic character just to play the Stormcloak side.
I actually found the end of the Stormcloak side to be rather heartwarming while playing as an orc; Ulfric, an unrepentant nord supremacist, naming an orc foreigner Stormblade (considering me to be one of his own kin) was truly touching.
Same here. And my character? A high elf. Cue waterworks.
An Argonian here. Y'know, the ones who aren't even allowed inside Windhelm? Shame you can't talk to Ulfric and make him less...racist.
The third and final part of the quest "The Book of Love", where you're tasked to help two long-dead lovers find each other. Not to spoil too much, but it's such a sweet thing to see two lovers who were so committed to each other that they could not find rest until they found each other once again, finally enabling them to be at each others' side forever.
Freeing Kodlak Whitemane from his curse and allowing him to go to Sovngarde. He swears to gather the heroes of Shor's Hall and lead them in attacking Hircine's realm to free the other Harbingers. He also says that he would love for you to join them on that day. Manly Tears, people. Manly Tears.
Best part? When you actually go to Sovngarde, he's there. It worked.
After his funeral, you get a chance to read Kodlak's journal. The old man apparently felt for you an admiration and a trust that are nothing short of touching.
Listen to that incredibly awesome intro involving Nord warriors singing about the Dovahkiin, a hero battling evil who is going to save Skyrim from Alduin. Now realize they are specifically singing about you. The warriors of the harshest land in Tamriel are singing praises and prayers of hope regarding you. Feel those Manly Tears, Dovahkiin.
Related ending spoilers: the heroes of Sovngarde all sing your praises when you literally slay Alduin's physical form, and Tsun, shield-brother of Shor, says that for your deeds your place in Sovngarde is ensured upon your death.
"One They Fear" is badass enough, but one interpretation of this song is that it is being sung by the Greybeards as they cheer you on.
Being accepted into the Circle. Farkas advocates your valour and states that he'd guard your back, fight your battles, and sing bar songs in your honour. Kodlak then proclaims that when fighting alongside fellow Companions, your courageous and furious heart would make mountains echo and foes tremble.
Kodlak: Would you raise your shield in his defense?
In the quest "Missing in Action," you are directed to break into the house of the Battle-Born clan in order to learn the whereabouts of a missing member of the Gray-Mane clan. The brother of the missing man suspects that he was sold out to the Imperial Army by their neighbors as part of the feud between the clans. When you find the missive, you learn that instead of being sold out, the Battle-Born clan was trying to use their rapport with the Empire to secure their rival's release.
This troper was inside Battle-Born home and Idolaf Battle-Born was sitting next to the room I had to search. When I talked to him, Idolaf called me a good friend but refused to give me any information on Thorald. I decided I'd wait for him to leave and then lockpick the door, but Idolaf unlocked the door for me. The evidence book wasn't even marked as stolen. Considering how the Battle-Borns had been trying to secure Thorald from the Thalmor, I interpreted this random AI action as Idolaf teliing me to rescue Thorald.
Taleen-Jei and Keerava in Riften. D'awwww.
It's possible for a friend of the player to pass away, following which a courier may appear to tell you that you're receiving part of the inheritance for your friendship. That in itself is heartwarming and sad, but it happened to this Troper because he spared a few coins to a guy down on his luck in Windhelm. It didn't help the Manly Tears that the guy was seemingly one of the nicest folks in town.
Aventus Aretino's actions, in their own twisted way. He manages to flee the iron grip of Grelod the Kind (a woman so cruel even adults won't cross her), but instead of simply escaping and trying to find somebody to take him in, he goes the extra mile to have Grelod eliminated and free the rest of the children from her tyranny. As payment for the deed, he offers up perhaps the only thing left from his mother: an antique and very valuable family heirloom plate. He even goes back to the orphanage on his own accord to be adopted properly.
I always slipped the plate back into the kid's knapsack before leaving, not touching any of the jewelry in it either. Technically since I wasn't in the Brotherhood (yet), I couldn't exactly CHARGE Aventus, now could I? Also, kid willing to do all of that plus use part of his mother's corpse just to get some justice for him and some other kids? I'm seeing a future Listener.
That should be Speaker or Keeper. Leave selection of the Listener to the Night Mother.
Right before this troper first arrived into Whiterun, he saw a group of Imperials escorting a captured Stormcloak. Knowing the fate that awaited him (having just escaped Helgen myself), I killed the guards and freed the Stormcloak. His gratitude was enough to make the high bounty on my head worth it.
You can do the same thing for Talos worshippers who have been captured by Thalmor agents. The Thalmor don't even disguise their intentions to torture the prisoner for information and say that they will kill him if he doesn't talk. Break out the magic or blades, Dovahkiin, an innocent needs saving!
This troper went through Nchuand Zel, and then jumped a gap to get out of the place within about thirty seconds. He then waited an hour after getting out, then another hour further down the passage. Lydia wasn't with me. I fast traveled to Whiterun and checked Breezehome. No Lydia. I raced back to Markarth and then got the horror story of Molag Bal's quest. When I finished it and returned to Nchuand Zel, I just barely got down the main path when all of a sudden Lydia sprinted directly at me. She rammed into my character, knocking me back inches and mentioning that she's behind me. It's just coding, and it was a random chance...But it seemed like the AI equivalent of a hug, and a comfort for facing Molag Bal's quest.
Had a similar incident after completing the main questline. Instead of fast traveling, I decided to take a leisurely, contemplative walk home to admire the aurorae and reflect on what I'd accomplished. When I made my way to High Hrothgar, the minute I stepped inside I was practically glomped by Lydia, like she'd run all the way up the damn mountain to meet me on my way back.
If you destroy the Dark Brotherhood, guards across Skyrim will openly tell you of their awe and appreciation, and offer to buy you drinks for ridding the world of one of the greatest nightmares they might ever have to face.
Getting married. Have a look around the temple before the ceremony - recognise anyone? Didn't you do a few quests for that lady over there? Aren't those a couple of your guildmates? The game keeps track of your friends, and they're here for you on your special day! I only got my character hitched for the achievement, but got a warm fuzzy feeling for my trouble. D'aww.
The jarl of Morthal, who made me her thane and helped me out at the Thalmor Embassy. A battle-brother from the Companions. A lion-hearted heroine I'd inducted into the Blades. AndAerin.
Some marriage options lead to unintentionally heartwarming stories when you look at them. Take Shahvee, who lives in a province filled with people who don't really care for Argonians. She lives on the docks of a city she's not even allowed to enter because of her species, and she's paid pittance to do back breaking labor (and when her boss isn't happy with the work she and the others do, he cuts their food rations). But she keeps being happy and cheerful, and maintains her hopes that the future will be better. And the town she's in has a serial killer on the loose and she's a potential victim. And then a legendary (and rich) hero like the Dragonborn arrives and marries her, allowing her to be the first Argonian to move into Windhelm (where her people are not allowed) since he owns a house there. Or even to move into the much more tolerant and cosmopolitan town of Solitude to live in a frickin manor.
How about Scouts-Many-Marshes? He lives on the same docks as Shahvee, and has ever since he was a hatchling. When the Dragonborn comes to town, he's attracted to him/her, sure enough...but it's not until he/she makes arrangements to have the Argonian laborers' wages raised that he'll agree to get married. The quality he first praises in his new partner? Kindness.
Some other marriage options are also heartwarming, but this troper actually found Uthgerd the Unbroken surprisingly heartwarming. While the dialogue option to find out what happened to her occurs after beating her in a brawl, this troper heard the story after the marriage. You learn that she has a major regret, and why she dislikes the Companions. It's heartwarming in that you show her that the thing she's best at, brawling, can have a happy end instead of an unhappy one. Of course, she still doesn't seem to ever smile due to the game itself, but somehow the actor managed to make the gruff voice sound caring.
Aela for this troper. Yough, hard as nails and never lets any emotion show except anger. A werewolf who loves being such. In just about every way a scary, scary woman, never letting anyone get close. Then this warrior arrives who is everything she admires and (at least in my playthrough) is even a fellow werewolf and she can finally relax arround someone. Attending the wedding with the rest of the Companions there to watch their battle brother and sister marry then listening to her voice acting, now much softer while still being the same person, gave me all the warm fuzzies.
Aela: Who would've thought that I would ever get married?
When Erandur, during a random Dungeon crawl, suddenly tells me he's enjoyed following me around Skyrim and doesn't care that we're making shit tons of money while we're at it. The fact that he gets to spread the word of Mara around with me is enough. A ray of light in this dark, dank cave swarming with Falmer.
General Tullius' speech at the end of the Civil War storyline should you choose to side with the Empire, which also counts as his Crowning Moment of Awesome. Also, talking to the man himself can build him up quite warmly. Generally speaking, he's pretty ignorant of Nord culture (despite being, you know, the Imperial governor of Skyrim) and Legate Rikke often ends up a Sarcastic Devotee in correcting his errors and ironing out his frustrations. However, he also reveals that while he doesn't particularly understand the Nords or their customs, he continues to admire them as strongly as he can in the face of all the trouble going on.
He adds that he intends to remain in Skyrim despite his job being finished, because he's come to love this land.
And before that, when Ulfric and his second-in-command are slain, Legate Rikke prays for them with a quiet "Talos guide you."
Ever had a fox scamper up to you and look up at you with his sweet, glassy brown eyes? It takes every gaming urge to avoid cleaving his head in with that big mace of yours, like you've been doing with every other living creature for the past few hours...but if you leave him alone and let him scamper away again, you'll be glad you did.
Giving the Elder Scroll to the librarian at the college. He's shocked that you would give up something so powerful for nothing. He does pay you, but you don't know that until you hand it to him.
I found a non-hostile giant roaming peacefully in the wilderness and for a while, we journeyed together in silence. Suddenly a Blood Dragon attacked and while the giant went for the head, I went for the tail and together we brought the monster down. The giant then raised its club at me, as if it were cheering me on. Best part? It still remained non-hostile and kept walking.
This Troper had a similar experience. A Frost Dragon attacked, but it didn't go after me, it went after the random elk and other wildlife in the area. I was quite angry at this Kick the Dog behavior, so when it turned its attention to me I ran to the nearby giant and his mammoth that were non-hostile. Together the three of us brought it down, but the mammoth was killed. I was providing arrow cover from near the mammoth, and as the Frost Dragon died the giant turned, walked over to the mammoth, looked down at it, then at me. The absorption of the dragon's soul began at that point, and the giant turned and looked at the skeleton of the beast before walking away. It was almost as if it knew I was The Chosen One and what its mammoth's sacrifice meant in terms of my life and the fate of Skyrim.
Slightly similar experience here. This troper once fought a dragon out on the plains, succeeded in killing it, and turned around, only to find a giant and his mammoth herd standing a stone's throw away. He could have easily struck the tiny little lizard-man that had only moments ago been slashing crazily near his precious mammoths...but instead, he looked at me, turned, and calmly followed his herd towards the hills. Giants seem to be pretty understanding guys, overall.
I've got a bounty on a gang of bandits in the Halted Stream camp, which I know from previous playthroughs to be the site of a mammoth poaching operation. Now I'm a sneaky bastard, but not sneaky enough to move in undetected under cover of noon, and I'm not looking forward to getting shot to pieces by the guys on the base's outer walls. And then one of those guys nose-dives into the dirt right in front of me from the stratosphere. I stop sneaking and from a hill see that a pair of giants is already assaulting the camp and doing a marvelous job of turning bandits to jelly. Gift horse, mouth, I slip inside, hoping that they won't mistake me for a bad guy. But once the giants mop up the bandits outside, they just watch me move in on the tunnel entrance. Like they know what's going on in there, like they can smell all the mammoth blood, and they know that while they can't fit in, I sure can. Well, even if I didn't have the quest to clear the place, I certainly am going to now, right?
If the Dragonborn sides with the Imperials and Ulfric is slain, then at the end of the main quest his soul can be found in Sovngarde - and after Alduin is defeated, he will greet you with a wide smile and praise you as a hero, even if you aren't human. No greater honor can be offered to any warrior than to receive such praise from his or her enemy.
Encountering Sheogorath/ The Champion of Cyrodiil in Pelagius the Mad's deceased brain may seem like him just wanting to take a vacation in a madman's head for some "shared crazy." But his last lines about Pelagius after the player has cured him implies he was there for another reason.
Sheogorath: Now Pelagius is as dull and sane as the rest of you mortals. I always knew he had it in him!
Better yet, Sheogorath will state that Martin was the best Septim the Empire ever had. In other words, the Champion really did care about him. But wait, there's more! He alludes to Martin becoming a dragon-god, implying that they still know each other, and since the Champion is a god too, they might have visited each other. Two old friends and comrades, turned gods, finally reunited forever.
If you go to Solitude Lighthouse at night and enter the lighthouse keepers' home, you will meet a Khajit named Ma'zaka. He'll instantly get up from his chair and will get excited that someone is visiting him. He'll then ask why you are there and very poetically describe his days on the high seas with his saber, lamenting that he's too old to continue doing it. He's completely irrelevant to any of the quests, including the one that takes you here, but just entering his front door makes this elderly Khajit very happy.
Erik the Slayer, named for an Oblivion fan who died during the development of Skyrim.
The quest to get him as a follower has three choices: either sweetalk his father into sparing the coins to buy Erik the armor, threatening the man to do so...or pay out of your own pocket (which incidentally is a bribe choice due to game mechanics). Erik's father will note how such generosity is unheard of and he will make sure to get Erik his armor as soon as possible. It's heartwarming because his father is just barely making ends meet, he on some level does want Erik to leave the farm, but literally cannot afford it.
A somewhat minor, and odd, one from a random encounter. Being able to give the Old Orc his honorable death.
Just after Roggvir's execution in Solitude, I was walking around when I encountered a group of kids playing tag. I attempted to talk to one of them, and she told me that her dad doesn't want her to talk to strangers. I had three options: One about the death of her uncle, one about playing tag, and one about dragons. I selected the one about dragons, and she excitedly exclaims "I knew they were real! Wait till pa hears about this." Doesn't seem like much, but picture this: Remember all the fairytales you were told as a child? What if I told you they were all real?
The end of the Thieves Guild quest line. What was once shoddy and mean becomes grand and noble. A spirit is laid to rest. Justice is given. Love is confirmed. Plus, everyone goes home rich.
This fan trailer, made up of a combination of the live action trailer and Malufenix's cover of "The Dragonborn Comes" does an incredible job emphasizing what the Dragonborn should be to the people of Skyrim: a hero and a protector against things that mere mortals cannot face. Just watching this video and listening to the music is enough to move one to tears.
At the end of "The Book of Love", you reunite the spirits of a pair of lovers torn apart by war and watch as they ascend to heaven. Though they are unaware of what's happening, they don't care because they are together, and that's all that matters.
Just about as heartwarming is the second part of the quest, when you help Calcelmo and Faleen get hitched. After Calcelmo gets Faleen's message and runs off to see her, watching the normally brainy and nerdy wizard fumble his words and the usually gruff housecarl cooing and speaking very tenderly to him in response will just melt anyone's heart. Bonus points in that this all happens in front of the Jarl and his steward, who just sit back and watch the spectacle without interrupting, as if to show their wholehearted approval of their relationship.
If the Jarl and Faleen have relocated because of the civil war, this becomes a Triple Crowner (Funny, Heartwarming, and Awesome) on Calcelmo's part, because he will run all the way from Markarth to Solitude to proclaim his feelings for his true love. Not bad for an academic with a few centuries under his belt!
For me meeting the Dark Brotherhood for the first time. I never played an Elder Scrolls game before Skyrim, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but this group of people did not look like assassins to me. They were in a circle talking, sharing info on their killings, and generally looking every bit like the family that Astrid describes them as.
No arguments there. Aside from Arnbjorn and Festus (aka the Grumpy Old Men of the group), the entirety of the Dark Brotherhood was quite pleasant and friendly to be with, and their referral of my Khajit as "Brother" with such familial affection was just sweet. After a few missions of proving myself and saving Arnbjorn's life, even the old geezers warmed up to me quite nicely. as such, when the Emperor's personal guard came and slaughtered almost all of them, my next task went from a contract to a missionof vengeance, even going as far as to get the Dark Star from Azura beforehand so that I could subject them all to A Fate Worse Than Death for what they did.
This troper played an Argonian mage/ thief from the start. As you can expect, I got little respect, even from people I saved. When I got pulled into the Dark Brotherhood intro quest, I planned to kill Astrid and destroy the brotherhood, but then, I got pissed at the Khajit and killed him instead. Fast forward a few days and I go to there sanctuary and meet them. They call me brother, they treat me well, and no one shows me disrespect for being the newbie or anything. Well, Festus, but every family has a grumpy one. For once, I felt genuinely accepted. It's now one of only 3 place in Skyrim (including the College and Whiterun) I fight to the death to protect...
While the ghost at Old Hroldan Inn's quest is a little sad (and sorted as "misc."), the fact that he's been waiting centuries or even millenia for 'Hjalti' to make him his brother (by giving him a sword) played a little tune on my heartstrings. He's been dead and waiting for potentially thousands of years, and you get to end it for him.
The thing is, the reason Old Hroldan's ghost recognizes you as "Hjalti" instead of a random wanderer, is probably because you both had the souls of dragon. He's a soul, and may only be able to see other souls.
There are a lot of assholes in Skyrim, but for me, they only served to make me more grateful for the friends I'd made; it especially warmed my heart to befriend the simple shopkeepers and passersby. Madesi, Ysolda, Hulda, Ri'saad - there was a warmth I got from some that I rarely see even in real life.
Agreed. This troper's most heartwarming pastime in Skyrim is walking into a town to be greeted as a friend by every single person.
Riften contains the largest amount of Misc Traders (two in town and one Fence in the Thieves Guild) all centered in one area, and all of them have personal quests that you can do for them. These range from simple things such as gathering materials (Madesi) to finding out about their pasts (Brand-Shei). Since Riften contains the other easy-to-obtain house, most players will likely complete these quests for a non-dragon run. It's very easy to forget that the city has a serious corruption problem when everyone (minus Maven) greets you warmly every time you enter, especially if you finish the Thieves Guild questline.
Doing the Bard College quests so that the Burning of King Olaf festival can start again. These people are suffering through a civil war turning them against their neighbors, they've lost family members to the conflict, they know that their city is the rebels' final target, and now there's dragons swooping around. But, for one night (a week, if you pass some Speech checks) they can try to forget all that and focus on having fun, eating sweets, sipping spiced wine, and torching an effigy of a hated monarch. And who's to say that he wasn't a dragon who took human form?
The lights and feasting and merry-making, coupled with how excited the people of Solitude get for it, make it seem very much like Christmas. The game came out in November. So basically, it feels like saving Skyrim Christmas.
Followers. Maybe you helped them out and now they wish to repay you. Or maybe they were simply assigned to protect you and you've grown close. Either way, they'll follow you into the darkest dungeons, go up against everything from drauger to dragons, and never complain once. Some might flee if you accidentally hit them one too many times, but simply talking to them again solves this. This troper recalls gaining a bounty for killing some Thalmor and gaining a bounty in the nearest town. I dismissed Lydia before heading in so she wouldn't get into a fight with the guards. I approached said guards once Lydia had vanished, and they immediately attacked, despite constant sheathing and unsheathing of my sword. They had almost killed me when suddenly, out of nowhere, Lydia rushed in, axe drawn and brought the nearest guard to his knees. I had time to heal, and against all odds, managed to calm the guards down, pay off my bounty and be sent on my way without killing a single one of them. A few days later, Lydia proceeded to do the exact same thing in the first battle with Alduin.
A small one, but one preset line you hear in Whiterun:
Amren: Sometimes I miss the soldier's life, but when I hold my daughter in my arms, I know I've made the right choice.
This troper decided to have a little fun with the Thieves Guild one day. Specifically, to see how long they all lasted against a Dovakiin werewolf. I quick-saved, stood in the middle of the Ragged Flagon, and activated the power. After the customary blood-curdling howl which usually sets every NPC within range running after you in murderous rage, I turned around and found every single person in the tavern calmly sitting there looking right at me. And they simply didn't care. They did not care that one of their own number was secretly a creature that most people in Skyrim would kill on sight out of fear. The fact that I was in the Guild was enough for them to give me the benefit of the doubt, for them to trust that I wouldn't go feral on all of them. Ididanyway, but that's beside the point.
This troper's third encounter with an elder dragon. It was attacking in Whiterun, and this troper was just walking up to it to attack. Well, until he saw it was attacking Ysolda, his wife. As you can imagine, I was not happy. Just as the dragon prepared it's breath attack on the already low on health Ysolda, JOOR ZAH FRUL! (Dragonrend) The dragon was hit, interrupting it's fire, long enough for Ysolda to run indoors and for me to kill the dragon.
A really strange CMOH one for this troper that he wasn't expecting; playing a Dark Elf rogue-type, he comes to Windhelm for the first time and sees noted racist and Nord supremacist Rolff-Stone Fist badgering and threatening one of his own kind. He then follows Rolff to Candlehearth Hall and proceeds to beat him up in a bar brawl to teach him a lesson. Fast forward a little, and my character decides to marry Jenassa, the Dark Elf mercenary you can hire in Whiterun. You can imagine my surprise when, at a Dunmer wedding, one of the only two guests we had was Rolff Stone-Fist (the other was Faendal), especially when the groom had beaten him the hell up a few weeks earlier. It was shocking, surprising, and...well, good for Rolff. I guess I got through to him.
The end of the White Phial questline, with Quintus Navale, the assistant to Windhelm's cantankerous alchemist Nurelion, enlists the Dragonborn's aid to repair the White Phial you recovered for the dying Nurelion (which he had spent his life searching for) in a broken state before Nurelion passes on so his lifelong dream won't have been in vain. With your help, Quintus succeeds, and he presents the repaired White Phial to Nurelion just before his master dies. Nurelion's last words ensure you know he died content.
This troper inducted Uthgerd into the Blades. It felt so satisfying giving her a sense of belonging after she had been turned away by the Companions (oddly though, even as the Harbinger I couldn't pull a few strings to get her in there, unfortunately).
One for the developers, coupled with a CMOA. So here this one was, just walking through some random mountains, when he came upon a small, not - very - spectacular lake. Seeing as I was bored, I decided to take a dive, and what do you think? There was a small wrecked boat at the bottom, along with a small locked chest. There was nothing serious inside, but that's not the point. The developers put that little boat in that unremarkable lake, just in case some player would be passing by and decided to take a dive, and the best part? Skyrim is full of such small, thoughtful details, like some kind of adorable birthday gift. I mean, chances were I would have never known the boat was there, I found it by accident, but it was not a stock boat model, but a custom crashed boat, meaning someone took the time to make it and put it in there, fully knowing that odds were most players would never even know it existed. And I don't even know how many of those details I still haven't seen. So, I really have to take my top-hat off for the dev team, because they're awesome. *sniff*
This troper had started a new file. When walking around Whiterun, Nazeem, one of the biggest jerkasses in Skyrim, crossed my path and said "You're not troublesome like all of the other folk I have to deal with. I'd like you to have this." and handed me a potion of cure poison. This being the man who I make a point to kill in every save game, I was shocked, and remembered to spare his life this time around.
Helping Brunwulf Free-Winter become Jarl of Windhelm. He's the least horrible person in Skyrim, And he's actually actively working toward making Windhelm better for the dark elves, and only won't let the argonians in because he fears for their safety. He's one of the reasons I always join the Imperials.
He also allows Stormcloak Jarls from other holds take refuge in his palace.
When speaking with Paarthurnax about the time break atop the Throat of the World, he will mention that once your receive the vision, you will see the old Nord heroes - except he calls them his "friends". Think about his use of that specific word. A dragon, an ancient dovah, had mortal friends. They were not simply pupils or allies; Gormlaith, Hakon, and Felldir were Paarthurnax's friends. Something about that is so incredibly moving. And not only that, Paarthurnax has not seen them in thousands of years, but they live on on Sovngarde.
His friends were the first to use Dragonrend, a Thu'um created entirely by humans using the dragon's tongue. Paarthurnax is the leader of the Greybeards, and possibly the source of the words needed to create Dragonrend. Paarthurnax gave these three mortals a means of which to kill him, trusting them to never use it against him. It's little wonder why Paarthurnax considers them friends.
This one had an awesome/heartwarming moment with Meeko. I got into a habit of letting him stay at the house in Whiterun, then taking him for a walk around the shops then making him stay in the house so he wouldn't go back to the shack. After beating the game, and getting the wedding underway, I see a message that Meeko head back during the ceremony because I was taking so long. So, I went back to the Shack without only my swords and the clothing I wore at the wedding to just get him and head back home. As I grabbed Meeko, I heard the flapping of a dragon, and found that he had landed right outside. As I started swinging away, the dragon aims right at Meeko and uses its breath on him. Meeko takes the entire stream of fire... And survives! I killed the dragon and ran right to Meeko, not giving a crap about the loot, and saw that he is alive and well. My dog was a alive. We went right home together, with a wife waiting for us and (maybe) a family in the making. Meeko, for his undying loyalty to his fallen master and standing up to a dragon who threatened his new companion, earned himself a new home and family. In a world where anything could happen (I half expected him dead when I went to get him), it is probably the most heart warming happy ending I've ever experience. And I would be damned if I let some vengeful dragon take it from me!
This troper had just finished the Companions main quest and was wandering outside the Tomb of Yssgramor. Now while I could have fast traveled back to Whiterun, I preferred to walk everywhere so I wouldn't miss out on world events. However I was completely lost and couldn't climb the mountains that surrounded me. I wandered through that snowladen wasteland by myself for almost an hour when I discovered something. At first I thought it would be a standing stone, but it turned out to be a shrine to Talos. I triggered it on a whim and though none of its bonuses were of use to me, I felt a little less lonely out there. I never concerned myself with the religious war going on in Skyrim before that moment, but that moment changed me a little. Now I have a habit of activating the Talos shrine in Whiterun every time I'm there.
Having Lydia with me right before I mounted Odahviing to travel to Skuldafn. Since my follower couldn't come with me, I turned to her and remembered all of the adventures we had together. I told her that it was time to part ways, knowing full well I might not come back. She sheathed her sword and began to walk away. I stopped her and said aloud to my television, "I swear I'll come back, okay?" She almost seemed to... nod.
NPCs can be caught up in dungeons if they're under attack, so even if you escape, there's a chance that they won't leave with you, even after fast-travelling. In one instance Lydia and I were exploring the ruins of a random barrow and came upon one of the named dragon priests. Unfortunately, being low-levelled, the dragon priest made short work of Lydia and came after me when she went down on one knee. I bolted, hoping to fast travel and teleport Lydia out of there. As I turned my back I saw Lydia get back up, drawing away the Draugr and Dragon Priest's attention once more, but almost certainly dooming her. I still ran, hoping to exit the dungeon and teleporting her. After several fast-travels, throughout the reach and into dragonbridge, Lydia did not follow. Assuming she was dead, I was ready to reload a save from before until the Headless Horseman showed up. Having never seen him before, I chased him throughout skyrim, eventually reaching Hamvir's Rest. The Skeletons came to life as well as the Draugr, and they came for me. The Headless Horseman bid me farewell as the undead approached. I took down the Skeletons easy enough, but the Draugr was much stronger. Suddenly a dwemer arrow shot him and brought him down. Right where the horseman was standing was Lydia, apparently somehow managed to find me (note that I did not fast-travel to Hamvir's Rest, I ran all the way from Dragonsbridge to it) after escaping the dragon priest. It was an unscripted event, but it seemed like she had a Big Damn Hero moment, and for once I wished the game had a hug option. I did the best and tackled her attempting for a hug.
There's a sneaky one for players of Bloodmoon. One quest involved an immortal warrior named Ulfgar the Unending, who was traveling the world to find the way to get to Sovngarde. Of course, that turns out to be having to kill him. So, what happens when you go to Sovngarde? He's there. And so are his teammates, who were turned to stone. Yep, he finally found what he'd been searching for for 500 years.
My dog, Meeko was exploring a Dwemer ruin with me, when he slipped over the edge of the giant bridge I was descending. I was so upset I went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. But as I kept going down further, I noticed something odd: most of the Falmer, Skeevers and Frostbite Spiders were dead. When I entered the next room, Meeko bounded up to meet me. I still have no idea how he survived the fall, and all the enemies, but you can bet I was glad to see him again.
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