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Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting
  • On the path between Robber's Gorge and Dragon Bridge, this troper found a destroyed caravan, a dead horse, and two dead people, a male Nord and female Redguard. Examining the bodies will reveal a journal that explains they were in debt and moving from Solitude to Whiterun for a fresh start, even though they knew people had disappeared on the path, with the logic being that they'll either live together or die together. The journal also says they suspect that it's not bandits that make the road dangerous. Further examination will reveal arrows that suggest a Falmer tribe attacked them. If you go south you'll find Chillwind Depths, a cave filled with Falmer. It felt so satisfying for this troper to slaughter the bastards, as if avenging the couple and all the others who vanished. And it's not even a quest! Everything that happened here was just... there!
    • In a sadly similar story, venture out to the northern central area and you'll come upon a lighthouse. With a dead horse outside. Not a good omen. Naturally, everyone inside, from the wife to the children who lived there, have been brutally murdered by Falmer. All you can really do is read through their journals that detail a loving old couple's fantasy retirement, children with their whole lives ahead of them, and know that there was nothing you could do for them. Except take the old man's bones and deposit them in the lighthouse flame like he'd always wanted.
  • When you first speak to the Greybeards' leader, Paarthurnax, he asks you why you wish so fervently to defeat Alduin. One of the responses you can choose reads, "I like this world. I don't want it to end." For some reason, reading that, this troper began to shed tears as he looked over the mountain and realized suddenly how attached he had become to the world of Skyrim, and how much he didn't want it to end. He chose this response, and Paarthurnax answers, "Hm... as good a reason as any." It was then this troper knew how hard he was willing to fight to save this beautiful place.
  • Meeko's Shack. That is all.
  • In the beginning of the game, when you exit the burned down inn, you'll come across a scene where a boy called Haming is standing perilously close to Alduin. Hadvar calls for the young boy to come to him; he does so. 'Great' you're probably thinking. But it's not. Why was Haming there in the first place? His father was slowly dying, lying in a pool of his own gore. And was subsequently burned to death by Alduin's fire. The poor boy was frozen in shock and sorrow as his own father died before him. If this doesn't make you want to kill Alduin, nothing will.
  • In this troper's playthrough, he had stopped by Riverwood to sell some junk when a dragon attacked. At one point in the fight, I was taking cover behind a wall waiting for magicka to recharge to heal myself (I'd ran out of potions), with the dragon about to round the corner and roast me. Right then, none other than Alvor (the uncle of the Imperial soldier you can flee Helgen with, who lets you stay in his house) ran up shouting "Come at me, dragon!" and started hitting it with his blacksmith hammer. He lasted just long enough before he got burned to death for me to heal and finish off the dragon. After the fight, among the townspeople surrounding the dragon corpse going "I don't believe it..." or "Is it really dead?" was one little girl who was standing at Alvor's body shouting, "This can't be happening!" I could have loaded an earlier save and done the fight over again, but I kept it because of the sheer poetry of the moment. Also counts as a CMOA for Bethesda, because this was a completely randomly generated event. None of it was scripted at all.
    • A similar thing happened in This Troper's game, though without the more dramatic specifics. I only realised Alvor had died after the battle (actually my first encounter with a dragon outside of the main quest), when I found myself "examining" the survivors who had come to check out the body. The Tear Jerker for me though, was just coincidence and even more unintentional; I tried to speak to Alvor's wife, Sigrid, and, as usual, she rebuffed me with a "not right now" sort of response. The expression on her face was noticeably forlorn and I couldn't help but conclude that she was...mourning.
    • This troper once turned on god mode and rampaged through Winterhold for fun on a separate savegame. After killing half the town, I let a guard arrest me and served my sentence. After I walked out of jail, I was about to leave town when I saw that next to the body of one of my victims, his wife and child were kneeling beside him, silently resting their hands on his body. Random massacres didn't feel so fun after that.
    • This troper has a similarly-sad tale of a Dragon attack on Riverwood. During the fight, Gerdur (the sister of Ralof, the Stormcloak you can escape Helgen with) was seriously injured by the beast, and it looked about to finish her off. Then, out of nowhere, her husband Hod charged in and started hacking at the thing with a woodcutter's axe. He succeeded in drawing its attention away from Gerdur, but was killed by a blast of dragonfire in the process. I had to fight back Manly Tears long enough to end the fight, ultimately finishing the dragon using my own fire breath.
  • In Sovngarde you find High King Torygg wandering Alduin's Mist, where he's been trapped since Ulfric killed him. The poor guy can only urge you to run so you don't suffer his fate. This troper had to fight back Manly Tears and felt very, very happy he had joined the Legion over the Stormcloaks.
  • Astrid's death in the Dark Brotherhood storyline. What's seen probably varies from being slightly Narmy to quite horrifying, depending on the player. When you hear the reasoning behind her betrayal though, that she just wanted a family to look after and to hide away with... and that she's atoning for it all by wishing for her own murder, it's really quite a poignant moment. This Troper couldn't help but agree with Nazir; I was shocked yet perhaps surprisingly sympathetic.
    • The fact that she tells you all this while lying spread-eagle on the ground, naked and severely burnt sends shivers down my spine. I don't know whether she did that to herself or one of the soldiers did...
    • The Dark Brotherhood may be remorseless assassins, and their "family" may simply be a method of conditioning for loyalty, but it's hard not to feel crushed finding the Pine Forest Sanctuary being invaded and burned by Oculatus Agents. Sprinting through the inferno, viciously stabbing Agents, searching for survivors and finding none while your "home" collapses around you; discovering, one by one, the remains of your brothers and's both awesomely dramatic and gutwrenching. And afterwards, it's a gutted ruin and the corpses are so burnt, you can't tell which of them were enemies and which were your family.
      • it's even more gutwrenching when you see that these people do act like a normal family, sharing stories, food and companionship (even with the morbid undertone).
  • Speaking of the Brotherhood, Cicero might be obnoxious and creep you out more than once, but if you take a good look at his character, he really is troubled and a tortured soul. Imagine yourself in his place: You're a hard-working, experienced assassin, and your skill and dedication earns you a very respected position in the Brotherhood. When the Brotherhood starts collapsing, you become the only one who can either restore the order by protecting the Night Mother for the future Listener, or doom the age-old traditions. You slowly lose all hope as your companions and friends die one by one, and you are too afraid to leave your hideout. You are alone, lost and scared, bearing a horrible burden on your shoulders and you only have the company of the Night Mother who would know what to do. You devote your whole life, your very being to this woman in the hope that you'll become worthy and learn what do to, but there's no answer. You try for days, months, years, and yet, there's only silence. You slowly become mad from all the pressure that gnaws at you. Finally, you travel to Skyrim, hoping that after all the hardships, there will be some sort of normalcy. But as soon as you arrive, your hopes are crushed: The Brothers and Sisters have abandoned the Old Ways that you've dedicated your whole life to. You try to turn their heads, seeing how your beloved Brotherhood has been lowered to common criminals scraping for coin, but they do not listen. Some go as far as to mock and belittle you. You know you're not welcomed, but you stay and take all their bile because they are still your only family. However, one of them is different. She does not insult you, and might even become the only one who you can think as a friend. You're overjoyed when it turns our she's the Listener, but the woman in charge still refuses to step down despite the evidence. One day, she insults your whole life's work out of sheer spite, and you finally snap, attacking her. You get chased out of the Sanctuary, being brutally wounded by the same people you thought as your family. You know the leader will send someone to finish you off, and it turns out to be your only friend. You're in the mercy of an assassin, and there's no telling what lies the leader has whispered to her ear. If she kills you, you die with the knowledge that you failed in your task, giving you life to the Night Mother for nothing. What makes it worse, that this is all told in his journals, but some players are either so lazy or heartless that they don't bother reading through them and kill him anyway, never knowing that Astrid played them a pawn because she loathed Cicero for being a threat to her power.
  • In the book "Rising Threat, Vol. 1", a chronicle of an altmeri refugee from the Thalmor purges of Summerset is recorded. It tells of his experience of the Oblivion Invasion, how Summerset's iconic and steadfast Crystal Tower (referred to as "Crystal-Like-Law" in the book) became a last bastion for those fleeing the daedra onslaught. Despite the valiant efforts of the elite mages and archers, Crystal-Like-Law fell...literally. Reading the book may bring back chilling flashbacks of the Twin Towers falling.
  • There's a part in the main quest line when after you first meet Paarthurnax you're supposed to ask either Esbern or Arngeir about the location of an Elder Scroll If you head back to Esbern, you'll notice that neither him nor Delphine are hanging out in the temple, but are instead found outside at the overlook. Esbern is talking to Delphine about a dream he had, standing atop a tower or mountain surrounded by an orange warm glow and hearing a sound like thunder. He then proceeds to clarify that the glow is a fire burning below him and the sound is the roaring of Alduin as he descends upon Esbern. The way the old man tells the story of the dream, even as the Dovahkiin walks up to the two, brought a tear to this troper's eye. Bonus points for the time I happened upon the scene as well, because it was a clear night and the aurora graced the skies.
  • Along the eastern border with Cyrodiil, a structure known as Darklight Tower can be found. Within are hagravens and their ever-loyal group of servants, consisting of witches and hags. Ever-loyal, of course, except for one. This witch, Illia, has seen the error of her ways and wishes to stop her mother from becoming a hagraven during an upcoming ceremony. When you finally stop to intervene, Illia decides that her mother must die so that she may find the happiness in the afterlife that she lacked in the mortal realm. After helping Illia commit the deed, she just stands there, grieving at what had to be done and confused as to what she should now do with her life. (This can become a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, though, if you accept her as a traveling companion. She's actually quite skillful with frost spells.)
    • After careful consideration, this troper went the extra mile and gave her life purpose by inducting her into the Blades. Her reaction afterwards, a combination of wonder, joy, and excitement, was the true Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • Tullius' death at the end of the Stormcloak questline. After seeing his beloved Empire, Tamriel's last bastion of hope against the Thalmor Dominion, crumple around him, utterly powerless to stop it, he can only watch as you and Ulfric butcher his Lancer and men like animals before being captured and set to be executed himself. His final words, in a voice full of sorrow and pain, are to lay into Ulfric for essentially handing the Dominion their victory. Ulfric's response? Ignore him and casually order the executioner to get on with it. Way to go, Dragonborn.
    • Ulfric's death isn't too shabby either. He gets to watch as the rebellion he has devoted years to crumble all due to the actions of one person, who also happens to be a hero to all Nords, the same Nords he's been fighting for. Imperial forces close in on his lifelong home of Windhelm, and then, none other than the Dragonborn enters, flanked by Tullius. He's already lost the war, but damn if he isn't going to make you fight for it. And then, after watching his friend and companion Galmar Stone-Fist butchered before his eyes, he is defeated and about to be executed. In a voice describable only as that of a broken man, his last request is, "Let the Dragonborn do it. It'll make for a better song." You can deny his request.
    • I won't lie. I felt absolutely awful after killing Ulfric, and it compelled me to do something: instead of looting his corpse (standard operating procedure for dead enemies), I pulled him up so that he was sitting on his throne. Then I took out the sword I'd been using for over a hundred days, my best weapon, which had seen me through countless battles, and laid it gently across his lap before turning around and walking out the door. Krosis.
  • A note found on a bandit's corpse east of Whiterun can leave you feeling horribly guilty. The note is from the bandit's father, begging him to stop running with the wrong crowd and that he'll get in serious trouble one day if he keeps being a criminal. He had no idea how right he was....
  • The death of Kodlak Whitemane in the Companions storyline. It hits especially hard if you choose to read his journal, which really drums it in that his soul, despite his very best efforts and intentions, will now be in the hands of Hircine and not in Sovngarde like he wished. Which makes the next quest even sweeter as you journey into the barrows of his forefathers to kill the wolf spirit tethering him to Hircine and allow him (and yourself if you so choose) a chance at Sovngarde.
    • And if you complete said quest before finishing the main one? You'll meet him in Sovngarde. Manly tears indeed.
    • Kodlak's death was sad, but what did it for this troper was when you enter Jorrvaskr, you find Farkas sitting cross-legged next to Kodlak. He doesn't say anything, he just...sits there, next to the corpse, like he's keeping watch, and you really get the impression he's feeling completely lost. Well, Kodlak WAS pretty much a surrogate father to Farkas and Vilkas...
    • To add to the impact of reading Koldak's journal, he also wrote down how much he admired the Dragonborn and that he was looking forward to spending many more years mentoring him/her.
  • Braig's story of why he thrown into Cidhna Mine. He only spoke to Madanach, king of the Forsworn, once. As a result, his daughter was beheaded in front of him and then he was imprisoned anyway to mine silver for the people who killed his daughter, the Silver-Bloods. The fact that he actually breaks down sobbing while he tells you is just...
    • Oh, GOD yes. Braig is the reason this troper didn't clear out that mine before escaping.
    • It gets worse. Braig says if his daughter had lived, she'd be twenty-three. He's also been in the mine the longest, aside from Madanach. Borkul the Beast has been imprisoned for twelve years. That means Braig's daughter couldn't have been more than eleven years old when the Silver-Bloods and the Jarl had her executed.
    • When I escaped the mine, I decided that the Forsworn had to be wiped out immediately after Thonar Silver-Blood was killed. My primary target was Madanach, but I also had to make sure the rest of the escaping Forsworn were dealt with as well, lest they bring further harm to the innocent people of the Reach. They were shocked and caught entirely off-guard by the betrayal, but the only Forsworn who actually hurt me to harm was Braig. When I came upon him, fighting off two Markarth guards, I stopped my rampage and spared him, moving on to Madanach and dealing with him before making my escape.
  • While wandering the roads one day, this troper came across a small campsite with a large saber cat standing in the middle. After killing the cat, I looked around the camp and found two dead bodies, a man and a woman, who had obviously been torn apart by the cat. Then I found the woman's journal which told their story. The man and the woman were Star-Crossed Lovers who had fled their town together to keep the woman's family from forcing them apart. The two are clearly described as having been very much in love and the woman's writing is hopeful about making it to Solitude where the two can live happily. They sacrificed so much and fought so hard to be together...and they were both killed by a minor encounter. It made this troper wish she could go back, cast Soul Trap on the monster, and leave it to a Fate Worse Than Death.
  • In the Mind of Madness quest, you'll meet Sheogorath who is filled with as much mirth and hammyness as you can imagine, asking you to clear out the mind of Pelagius. It's a fun and clever quest...But when you stop and see just how fucked up Pelagius' mind was, it can be quite harsh. Especially when watching the manifestation of his self-esteem get beaten down.
    • Doubles as a weird sort of Moment of Heartwarming for Sheogorath. He's the Prince of Madness, but enlists your help in making Pelagius (comparatively) sane.
  • Narfi and the quest related to him. I hoped with all my heart his sister was still alive, somehow.... I have been on many quests, more than a few with downer endings, but so far this is the only thing to make me really tear up. I even made plans to visit him from time to time. The fact that he reverts to a generic beggar character after the quest makes it feel worse somehow...
    • Twisting the knife even further, the poor guy is also being targeted by the Dark Brotherhood. And guess who has to kill him? Then again, since everyone he ever loved is dead and he's a pitiful crazy beggar, it's arguably a Mercy Kill.
      • It's never explicitly said if he ever wronged anyone, so the contract could have been a mercy kill in disguise. However the dialogue options for the Dragonborn seems to really kick the dog if this were the case.
    • Not to mention that if you Tell him about his sister's death, he'll claim that he's still going to wait for her to say goodbye, like with his parents. He even says he won't sleep until he sees her again. This troper mercy killed him, to reunite them.
  • There's a guy named Ramnir in Winterhold who spends his days drowning his sorrows and wallowing in self-pity because his lover Isabelle left him. By following a few clues and asking the right people, you will eventually find Isabelle dead in a cave full of necromancers. A letter on her body reveals that she only left because she wanted to find treasure to help support Ramnir after seeing how frustrated he was over being unable to make ends meet. Giving Isabelle's letter to Ranmir doesn't bring him any joy since the love of his life is dead but it does give him closure.
  • Near the Guardian Stones is a (barely) hidden shrine to Talos, where people were continuing to worship him in violation of the law. Sadly, someone ratted them out to the Thalmor, but the agent who knew couldn't find the place with a squad 7 times. Finally, Elewyn told him to go find it himself and stop wasting their resources. This time he found it. And he killed 4 people, a couple who were worshipping and priests, but they didn't go down easy. They took the Thalmor agent with them. Since Elewyn didn't care what happened to the agent, the Thalmor don't believe that there is a shrine here at all and with his death, they will never know. So anyone can worship there, saving potentially hundreds of people from being killed by the Thalmor. Still, there is that spy. So who knows...
  • In Solitude, after Roggvir's execution, this troper encountered a small girl. I talked to her. This is what she said:

 Girl: My pa says I won't be seeing uncle Roggvir anymore. He won't tell me why.

  • The plight of Azura's last loyal follower. After completing Azura's quest, she tells you that Azura will no longer give her any visions. She confesses that she has no idea what to do without Azura's guidance after spending most of her life worshiping her. She becomes one of your Followers mostly because she can't think of anything better to do with her life.
  • In one particular part of Eastmarch (the area south of Windhelm with all the geysers and hot springs), one can find a single giant gazing forlornly at the corpse of a mammoth, which apparently became mired in the springs and died. The giant is completely non-hostile, and will not react even if the player goes up and touches him. He'll turn to regard the player sadly, but as soon as you leave, he'll just go back to looking straight at his big furry pet, never abandoning his silent vigil. This troper, playing his heartless assassin character, was truly moved by this poignant, easily-missed event. He then decided to end the poor giant's heartache in the only way he knew how.
  • While exploring near Winterhold, this Troper found a pair of skeletons. One had its leg caught in an old bear trap. The other was sitting on the ground next to the first. It was a seemingly insignificant discovery, but this Troper has always kept it in mind.
  • Killing Paarthurnax. This troper managed to justify, at least in character, why he had to die but that didn't take any of the sting out of it. The worst part? He doesn't put up that much of a fight. Mechanically he's about the same as a Blood Dragon so by the time you can fight him he'll go down very fast. And that just makes it feel all the more like murder. Out of respect, I didn’t use Dragonrend and he still went down quickly. Nothing in the game, not even the Dark Brotherhood quests, will make you feel more like a Complete Monster than seeing those three words; 'Dragon Soul Absorbed'. Krosis.
  • After slaughtering the entire White River Watch Bandits, I returned to find Ulfr the Blind back at the entrance, unaware of anything that had transpired or that he was now the only living thing in a cavern filled with dead bandits. I couldn't in good conscience leave him like that, yet felt like a complete monster for having to Mercy Kill him.
  • This troper wound up pursuing a dragon bounty and, as usual, spent the majority of the journey trying to FIND the bugger's hunting grounds. About halfway through the search, we came upon a small shack out in the woods. Two burned corpses stood in frozen terror just outside next to a pile of firewood. Inside the shack was note from the woodsman, describing how he and his wife had seen a dragon fly overhead every day or so. His wife urged him to move them to safer lands, but he figured that like any other beast, if they left it alone it would leave them alone. It became clear that this was precisely why this dragon had a bounty in the first place. When Lydia and I finally got to its roost, it was the first time we had ever caused a dragon to crash and skid across the ground, landing face-first in the altar on which it had nested.
  • A very minor one but when exploring the area outside Whiterun after doing the Imperial Quest Line I found a single Stormcloak soldier in a small camp. The poor guy's side had lost the war and now he is all alone in the world just barely outside of an Imperial held city. Eventually I just mercy killed him.
  • This troper opted to join the Imperials after finishing the Dark Brotherhood Questline, not really thinking about the implications of doing so after killing the Emperor. On one mission I met the Imperial Soldier I escaped Helgen with, and he commented that he felt bad for killing Proud Nords. When he asked my opinion, I said, "Only an animal kills without remorse." Only then did the weight of that line fall on me.
  • The Old Orc. For a bit of elaboration, you may come across an orc in the wilderness while traveling, standing over the corpses of two sabre cats. If you talk to him, the very first thing he tells you is "I am waiting for a good death." If you ask him to explain, he will tell you that he is too old to become a chieftain or take a wife, and that to simply lay down and die would not please his god, Malacath. You then have the option of telling him that perhaps you could provide the death he seeks...
  • This troper accidentally shot Lydia with a bow, killing her, and didn't realize it for three hours. I was on the verge of tears as I went back through my saves, partially because I was such a horrible person and partially because I had lost so much progress.
    • This troper also accidentally killed Lydia, and didn't realize it until I'd already fast traveled a few places and overwritten the last autosave I had where she was still alive. The most recent save I had other than that was at Saarthal, probably about 12 hours before. Cruel as it was, I didn't want to go through all those hours of gameplay again. So I carried her body out to the river and let it drift off. It took some work to keep her from just washing up on random shores, but I eventually managed to let go of her in exactly the right spot. She floated off with the current, just as the sun was coming down in the distance.
    • Another Lydia story. This One gave her allegiance to the Stormcloaks. When it was time to attack Whiterun, this One did not want Lydia to be harmed. This One ordered Lydia to follow her during the invasion. It was a success and Lydia survived, but when Jarl Balgruuf the Greater gave his dissapointment, saying "You? A Stormcloak? I thought you were better than this!" the ackward positions made it look like Balgruuf was speaking to Lydia, ei. the woman who he hired into his service! A few days later and during a dragon hunt, this One could not find Lydia anywhere. Returning to the Whiterun house, this one found Lydia sitting in her room and drinking mead. (Yes, simple game mechanic, but given the context...) This One felt like cheering up Lydia by marrying her.
  • This troper once fought off a dragon just outside Windhelm, only to have the locals become hostile and charge after me. Confused, since I had no bounty and no desire to acquire one, I ran off and hid until the commotion died down. It was only the next day that I realized exactly why they were angry with me; next to the dragon's skeleton was the body of Nilsine Shatter-Shield, apparently killed by one of my stray fireballs. Knowing what would happen once her mother heard of her death, I reloaded from an earlier save. I don't know which is worse; being killed by the Dark Brotherhood, or by sheer accident.
  • During the Butcher Quest, if you did not correctly deduce who the killer was or if you were not quick enough to catch him before he killed again, another young girl dies. This time, however, she was an elf, not a nord. Given the racist mindset of Windhelm, the guards and people are more concerned with the killer still on the loose (if you accused the wizard) or just plain don't care about her at all (her corpse will not despawn, but no one will pay mind to it after the completion of the quest). This troper went through 3 tries to ensure that the killer was dead before he could commit the deed to avert this one.
  • This troper was wandering the area around Riften when he came to a small cave. Looking around I found it to be pretty empty except for a journal that explained that the author had been on hard times and found work with a friend who had discovered a gold mine only for the mine to be dry, he goes away for a few days and returns to find that his friend has ran off and abandoned him. Just as I was about to leave I decided to checked the place again. Behind a waterfall there is a few gold veins and a skeleton crushed at the waist by some fallen rocks. A double tearjerker; The writer never finding his fortune and the friend dead and disgraced.
  • Remember Sinderion, a High Elf from Skingrad in Oblivion? The one who gave you the quest concerning ninroots? He's in Skyrim... dead. My character (who I was roleplaying to have actually been through the Oblivion crisis and had met Sinderion) stood there for almost five minutes as I imagined her crying softly for him...
    • His death is actually justified; Skyrim does take place 200 or so years after the rest of the series.
    • However Sinderion was apparently killed by Dwemer Arrows, and he has a living Apprentice.
  • I had just recently lost Lydia while fighting a dragon, and I decided she had earned her rest. I left her body at the site of the dragon's nest, next to her slain enemy, and started wandering alone. I was struck at how quite and peaceful Skyrim was, and how tiny I really was by comparison. Then I encountered a friendly stray dog outside Markarth, and he started tagging along behind me. I felt good for the company, but I swiftly came to remember Lydia's death. I knew that I routinely fought dragons, undead, bears, evil mages, and worse, and I knew, deep down, that he would probably die a painful death if I brought him along. The only reward he would get for his loyalty would eventually be death, so I told him to go home. He whined quietly and then wandered off. I felt a deep, painful ache as I watched him head back down the road to Markarth, and knew that the life my Dragonborn was truly a lonely experience.
  • Having to kill Beem-Ja. He was a big help in the dungeon he turned up in, but in the end, you were forced to kill him. The fact that Salma seems so lost without him doesn't help, either. After killing him, I thralled him and gave him a proper burial (As proper as it can get) in Markarth's hall of the dead.
  • When visiting Riverwood one last time, before going to fight Alduin, specifically to forge a Daedric sword and Dragonscale armor at Alvor's forge (yes, Alvor. I do think of you when making stuff at the skyforge...), I heard the flapping of wings. Rushing out, sword drawn, I saw an ancient dragon swoop down to land on a roof top. It massacred the guards, but they managed to keep it away from the townspeople. Finally, a dragonrend shout forced it to the ground, and I fought the beast on foot. Problem was, it used fire, and I was a vampire who hadn't fed in two days. As it reared back to breath again, it shook and stopped mid-roar. Looking to the side, I found that Faendal had run up and smacked the thing in the gob with his bow, and he managed to fire one more arrow before its fire consumed him. No one else was harmed, and he bought me enough time to kill the thing. I used his blood to open the box and acquire the book of forbidden knowledge, and when the wizard was dead, I took the blood receptacle from his ashes back to Riverwood. I left it with Camilla.
  • I was hunting a few deer out in the fields of Whiterun, when a courier arrived and gave me a letter. Giving the generic "One of your friends died" dialogue, I figured it was Muiri, whom I had killed to level up my ebony blade, I took the gold and read the letter. As it turns out, Carlotta Valentia had been killed. I was sad enough, so I decided to stay in Whiterun for a while for a sort of mourning period. For four days in-game, I didn't see Mila, her daughter, who was now an orphan. (This was not scripted, she just seemed to not be in the city.) At the end of one in-game week, I went to the hall of the dead and left an Amulet of Talos in her coffin, not having any idea what killed her, and left the city once again.
  • The mission Laid to Rest was a tearjerker for me, but it could also be considered a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • I was swimming around the sea near Winterhold and found a sunken ship at the bottom of the sea. After exploring the wreck for a bit I surfaced and headed towards a small camp on the shore, thinking hunters were there, instead it was abandoned. Noticing a note on the top of a barrel I read it and found out this was a camp set up by a man waiting for his girl's ship to sail by (implied to be the one sunk just a few yards away) I decided to wait to see if the guy came back and explore a little. When it got dark I cast Magelight on the barrel with the note... i found the man, as a ribcage and a few scattered bones on top of a sleeping bed.
  • This Troper had a moment like this while fighting Krosis at Shearpoint with Faendal as a Companion. The two of us were getting hit hard by Krosis (I was level 18 at the time, while Faendal had been with me for ~12 levels; Krosis is a level 50 enemy). At one point, he had fallen down because of the fact that he had been hurt so badly. I thought that, since Faendal was a trainer for Archery, he couldn't die (some Companions can't die due to importance in a mission, etc.), so I hid behind a pillar while Krosis's fireballs kept hitting Faendal, allowing me to get a few shots in without dodging or getting hit. Since Faendal's health was so low, and yet he had taken as many fireballs as it would take to kill a normal NPC at full health, I thought I was right in my theory. Suddenly, Faendal's body went limp. Turns out I was wrong about Faendal being unkillable. I froze for a moment, ran over to his body to confirm whether or not he was dead, then reloaded the save I made before starting the fight with Krosis. At that point, Krosis was at roughly 1/2th health, and there was a chance that I could have won without Faendal. But I had decided at that moment, if Faendal wasn't there to celebrate with me, then it was not worth it. On the next try, we did defeat him, and the celebration was grand.
  • You can attack my follower. You can burn my horse. You can raid my city. But no one. Touches. My dog.
  • There is a depressing bug where Belethor can suddenly disappear, dead, for no apparent reason. His coffin can appear in the catacombs as if he was really killed. If his corpse was in the streets, no one will bat an eye. His apprentice Sigrid will also still act as if nothing has happened. While it is a bug, it appears as though Sigrid could not handle the death of his mentor and instead still thinks Belethor's alive, urging you to come to the store if you have time and shooing trespassers off of Belethor's property.
  • On the topic of dead followers (and long story): I had finished the Vaermina daedric quest, letting Erandur live and destroy the staff, and decided to have him follow my character. I became very fond of him as we wandered around Skyrim. After a scare where I thought he'd died, I decided that even though Erandur isn't a marriageable NPC, I'd do a console-code hack to marry him. My mistake was deciding to wait until I'd turned in my most recent quest, returning Jarl Balgruuf's axe to him. This takes you directly into the Stormcloak's assault on Whiterun, so I armed up and rushed into the fray. In the battle, I lost track of Erandur. It was only while listening to the Jarl's victory speech and praise of the fallen soldiers (which was tear-jerker enough) that I realized Erandur wasn't with me. After searching all over and fast-traveling, I realized he was gone for good. I wandered numbly around Whiterun for a while, trying not to cry because my family was in the same room. The timing made it rather beautifully poetic, and very very painful.
    • I just want to point out that Erandur is essential and is probably back at where you found him, alive and well, waiting for you...
  • If Game Mods are fair game, I recently had an experience where using a particular mod garnered a bit of Fridge Sadness for me. The mod is called "Interesting NPCs", which adds a variety of new characters with unique (and quite well-written) dialogue to the game. One of them, Bergrisar, can be found in a giant camp. I happened to find him sleeping by the fire...right after killing the giant there. At first, I thought he was some sort of hunter or forester, but then, upon talking to him, I learned his story - he's a Nord who was Raised By Giants and considers himself to be one of them. In other words, I had just essentially killed this man's foster father and trespassed on his land. I ended up leaving the camp without taking any treasure, just so I could feel like I didn't rob this guy of his property as well.
  • A very poignant moment for someone playing a Nord who is always a little doubtful about the Stormcloaks and still supporting them because they fight for the right to worship Talos, is speaking with Solitude's court wizard, Sybille Stentor. Her words can cause a rare sense of guilt and shame. "Because the Dominion is a sleeping beast that Skyrim cannot slay alone. Because many Nords are part of the Imperial army even now. Because the food and resources we get from the Empire are important to our people. Because even if we can't openly worship him, Talos the god was once Tiber Septim the man, and this is his Empire."
  • Reading the books to catch up on what has happened since Oblivion. Hearing about everything from the destruction of Cloud Ruler Temple, the burning of the Cheydinhal Sanctuary, and, worse of all, you find out that Ocato made a fantastic Emperor, and rebuilt Tamriel. And after briging the Empire to an age of prosperity it hadn't seen in years... the Thalmor had him killed.