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Skyrim Civil War: Where Do You Stand?

The Skyrim Civil War, also known as the Stormcloak Rebellion is an ongoing civil war in Skyrim during the 4th era. I won't go much into detail about The Civil War or the events leading up to it, as that can be saved for another discussion due to how much can be said about it, but I do want to talk about the factions or "sides" of the civil war.

Essentially, there are 3 main factions in the civil war; the Imperials (the Empire), the Stormcloaks, and the Thalmor. Even though the Thalmor sides with the Empire and doesn't actively participate in this war, they don't exactly support the Empire, but rather they wish to see the downfall of both factions so they can dominate Tamriel. The Imperials fight to maintain peace and keep Skyrim in the Empire, believing that as a province of the Empire, Skyrim must abide by its laws and customs, which includes the terms set by the White-Gold Concordat. The Stormcloaks aim to remove the Imperial Legion from Skyrim and turn the province into an independent kingdom.

In addition, following Skyrim's independence, the Stormcloaks plan to lift the restrictions set by the White-Gold Concordat, namely the ban on the worship on Talos, execute Thalmor Justicars that were sent to Skyrim to enforce the ban on Talos worship, crown Ulfric the High King of Skyrim, and also prepare Skyrim for a future war with the Aldmeri Dominion. Lastly, the Thalmor wishes to maintain the civil war, crippling both the Imperials and the Stormcloaks so they can rule over Tamriel. The Thalmor believes that elves are superior to men, seeking to recreate the first Aldmeri Dominion whose aim was the right the course of history, believing that the younger races, also known as men, have dominated Tamriel for too long.

There's a lot more detail that could be expanded upon but for the sake of this discussion, I tried to remain brief and summarize the goals of each faction. Now that we're all on the same page, I want to ask, where do you stand? Do you have faith in the Empire? Do you side with the Stormcloaks? or do you believe that elves are superior to men and deserve to rule Tamriel? 

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  • I don't like any of them, and I make a point to attack stormcloak and imperial camps as well as ambushing thalmor patrols. Stormcloaks and the thalmor have a sense of self entitlement while the imperials fight because they fear what would happen if they resist the thalmor. If this means turning on their own brothers and sisters to save their skin so be it.
    • I’m not trying to sway your beliefs, but I do want to hear more about the reasoning behind your beliefs. I do agree that the Thalmor are self entitleled, but why the Stormcloaks? They’re just fighting for what they believe in, it’s their way of life and culture. For example, if you were Christian and then one day the government outlaws the worship of god, how would you feel? While some Stormcloaks may be racist, the same can be said for other races such as the Elves, Argonians, and even the Bretons and Redguard towards the Orcs. As for the Empire, they fight to maintain peace and keep Skyrim in the Empire, it’s not just about maintaining the White-Gold Concordat. Enforcing the outlaw of Talos worship is up to the Thalmor Justicars, the Empire simply seeks to maintain peace within their territories and perhaps recover for a future war with the Aldmeri Doninion to regain control over Tamriel.
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        • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with fighting for “the political power of the temple of Talos”. They’re just fighting for what they believe in. I’m going to use another irl example; if the government outlaws the worship of a specific god or religion, there would definitely be protest and public outcry. They can still privately practice their religion in the privacy of their homes, but it’s the freedom to publicly practice their religion that people want. and you’re right, the racism of other races doesn’t excuse racism from the nords, but a lot of people seem to hate Stormcloaks for their racism while being ignorant to the racism of other races.

          As for the Empire, they fight for both reasons. As territory of the Empire, it’s a no brainer for the Empire to fight for Skyrim. No country or government would willingly give up their land over a rebellion. They’d fight for that land and try to maintain peace since rebellions would obviously cause chaos and danger.
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            • Actually that’s true, it is self entitled. I didn’t understand what you guys meant before. As for the comparison between Stormcloaks and Thalmor beliefs, I think it’s different because the Stormcloaks only came to be due to oppression from the Thalmor and not being able to free express themselves. The Thalmor on the other hand are the aggressors, they’re invading the other provinces and oppressing the beliefs of the other races. But the Empire isn’t exactly innocent either. The Empire was basically created by invading other provinces and dominating them. History is written by the victors, that’s why so many people judge the Thalmor but don’t blink an eye towards the Empire. There’s more that can be said about this but I’m getting off topic now.
      • Self entitled wouldnt be the word. I just dont understand the whole concept. The illegal worship was totally ignored until ulfric rallied the troops because the imperials used him. So why not stand behind this betrayal instead of getting hundreds of men, and teens, to die for his will for vengeance and more likely, his lust for power
  • I will say one thing. I hate what little nuance Bethesda presented with each side. I'll elaborate more when I'm done driving.
    • I feel like Bethesda does a poor job of making the Stormcloaks side of the war sympathetic, which would probably explain the overwhelming support for the Empire. Also why it's hard to not to view the stormcloaks as anything more than racist troglodytes.

      Skyrim helped found the empire, only for it to grow weaker over time, ultimately capitulating to the Thalmor. And along the way the empire sold out Hammerfell, and it's a huge let down that we do not see any involvement from the red guards in the civil war.

      The empire on the other hand, were really left with no real choice. They had depleted themselves fighting the Dominion and had the war gone on any longer there would be no empire. The empire is screwed no matter what they do and the stormcloaks rebellion only helps the thalmor.
      • I’ve always wondered how the Empire can afford to stop a rebellion and how Skyrim is able to raise a rebellion but they aren't able to stop the Thalmor. If they were so depleated and out of resources, why are they still fighting? The only difference now is that they’re fighting each other rather than their common enemy. If the Redguards were able to hold back the Thalmor, imagine how things could’ve turned out if they all worked together and fought the Thalmor.
        • You make a solid point. United they'd have a decent chance in the inevitable second Great War.

          The stormcloaks are shooting themselves in their collective feet by sidelining the empires resources with rebellion. And funny enough, Talos worship was hardly a staple of Nordic religious custom until the Thalmor banned the worship of Talos.

          They worship Talos mostly to stick it to those high elves who have the audacity to dictate their religious customs.
      • I've seen discussions in the past in which support for either side is split down the middle. Ultimately, there are various reasons to join either side, but really I just hate the Thalmor.

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