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The Academic World of Skyrim March 8, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in Uncategorized.

One of the more interesting features of Skyrim is its academic world. While the wielding of powerful magic and the wholesale slaughter of enemies is all well and good, I find the scholarly life in Skyrim quite interesting. It has literary criticism, research, even institutions of higher learning.

As a historian, there are some familiar themes in here. Finding primary sources and comparing sources can be crucial to success. The partial and incomplete nature of history is apparent whenever you are given a chance to explore the past directly. While that isn’t an option in our world, it is in the world of Skyrim thanks to various magical mechanisms from potions to Elder Scrolls.

There are also scandals and academic rivalries at work. Self-important researchers, absent-minded novelists and outright plagiarists dot the landscape. Quests can often involve winning an argument through poetry, engaging in energetic “debate” with dragons and even retrieving lost books for Urag gro-Shub, the Orc librarian in Winterhold.

And the books… There are entire web pages devoted to the books which range from dry tomes on accounting, to cookbooks, to epic novels and even the rakish Gentleman’s Guide to Whiterun by Mikael the Bard. (He does nothing to improve the wanton image of his trade.)

The highest academic honor I have been able to achieve is Arch-mage of Winterhold. The position, similar to a dean, comes with a large endowment, apartment and favorable perks. Alas, Urag gro-Shub still won’t let you check out his books. An Orc obsessed with preservation? Yup. That’s Skyrim.



1. Jump Starts in Berwick - June 18, 2013

An interesting discussion is worth comment.
I think that you should publish more about this issue, it may not be a
taboo subject but generally people don’t speak about such subjects. To the next! Cheers!!

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