The main reason I love Skyrim is simple; I love a good RPG. I love to define and create my character until they are wholly mine and mine alone. Skyrim lets you do this very well and this article is going to show you exactly what I mean by that. I’m going to tell you a regaling tale of the beginning of my adventure in Skyrim and it starts with a name.
The first thing you have to do in any good RPG is pick a name. To some this is a menial task they wash away on some attempt to be funny or clever, which is fine and well for those people. I assume our own elusive DorisfromNoris would name his character with some sexual provocateur to be certain, and we won’t even get into what he named his Pokemon because I don’t want your cheeks to get red. However, I on the other hand always take my naming very seriously and use it to define my character through story progression. So what did I name my Nord Warrior? Holger Danske. You’re probably wondering what the heck kind of name Holger Danske is; the answer lies within the tales of Charlemagne in an old French poem, Chanson de Geste. While I will save you the history lesson, in short, Holger Danske (also Ogier the Dane depending on who’s writing about him) was a Danish prince who grew up in Charlemagne’s court, won many battles, killed a giant, had a special sword, and did all sorts of fanciful things. His legend claims that he fell asleep in old Kronborg Castle, and sleeps there still until the time that he will wake again to defend the Danish people against a great enemy (pretty cool).
My Holger? Well he’s no sleeping Arthurian-esque hero; at least not yet. Born into the great Empire of Tamriel, Holger didn’t quite enjoy the persnickety Imperials, not even a little bit. You see Holger’s great-great grandfather was a true Nordic kinsmen of the famed Companions. However, for purely economic reasons his family of blacksmiths moved south into the empire two generations ago, and has been blacksmithing in the south-eastern regions for decades. The Empire, nevertheless, was no place for Holger’s restless heart. You see, Holger grew up resenting the Imperial taxes and longed for the cold northern skies and his bearded kinsmen. After his father’s untimely death he packed what few belongings he had and decided he would go north, search out the Companions, and find his fate.
Along the way he was mistakenly arrested as a storm cloak rebel and the rest is history currently in process of being written. I will, however, leave you with a bit of prose that defines my Holger well. It comes from the English poet Ted Hughes (credit gatesofvienna.com):
The Warriors of the North
Bringing their frozen swords, their salt-bleached eyes,
their salt-bleached hair,
The snow’s stupefied anvils in rows,
Bringing their envy,
The slow ships feelered Southward, snails
over the steep sheen of the water-globe.
Thawed at the red and black disgorging of abbeys,
The bountiful, cleft casks,
The fluttering bowels of the women of dead burghers,
And the elaborate, patient gold of the Gaels.
To no end
But this timely expenditure of themselves,
A cash-down, beforehand revenge, with extra,
For the gruelling relapse and prolongueur of their blood
Into the iron arteries of Calvin.