Skyrim made my Argonian Lizardwoman a lesbian.
Or at least outed her to me, anyway.
There were early signs: the dialogue in “A Night To Remember” indicated that my character’s fiancée was a woman, Evette San called her “the best man for the job” in helping her with her spiced wine issues, and there were a few others. But I put it down to Bethseda’s famous reputation for releasing quirky bugs in their game.
But then it came time to get married – for the Achievement – so Delilah the Argonian Lizardwoman started wearing the Amulet of Mara. I thought I’d just say yes to the first person who asked.
It was in the depths of Ysgramor’s Tomb, having just killed the wolf spirit that prevented Kodlak from entering Sovngarde (or, for those who haven’t played Skyrim: wise old warrior from entering Warrior Heaven), that someone expressed an interest. That person was … Aela the Huntress.
The Happiest Day of Your Life
Which all added up to why marriage is a keen example of the issues I had with Skyrim. It’s a game with a lot of detail – huge numbers of things to do, sure – but no depth. No connection for me, the player. Everyone in the world is basically waiting for you to come along and solve their problems, be in the return of dragons or delivering letters to towns up the road. Skyrim is a single player MMO, and the in-game marriage system was a continuation in that vein.
I’m not one to stand on the sanctity of marriage, but Skyrim’s “I’m interested, you interested, okay, let’s marry!” approach was overly brief, at best. You can marry with a few clicks of a button. No thought needed, no real relationship required, no consequences for being married – just wear the right amulet and talk to the right person after you’ve helped them.
The marriage ceremony was amusing, at least. Having arranged my wedding in Riften, Delilah shows up in full Daedric armour only to get the comment about being a blushing bride. What? She looks like a stand-in for Sauron, and the only blush on her scaly cheeks is probably from a light dusting of bandit blood. Or maybe they were talking about Aela, but she’s dressed in furs and looks ready to tear someone’s throat out.
I also can’t help but notice nearly no-one has shown up to the ceremony. It may have been because it’s been only a day since the characters agreed to get married, but by this time Delilah is head of the Companions, the Thieves’ Guild, Thane in a number of regions and Dragonborn to boot. You’d think that a few more people would have shown up in tribute. Guess it means the reception will be pretty cheap to host then.
The ceremony starts and the priest starts blathering on about love and eternal companionship, but that wasn’t the foundation of this relationship. We were just interested in each other. The word “love” was never mentioned. In fact, this is the character’s first real date. I suspect getting married on your first date is a bad relationship move for a number of reasons.
Next came the vows, and Aela clearly stated she wanted to marry Delilah. Then she turned around, left the temple before the ceremony was even finished and disappeared from the game entirely. Or at least Delilah can’t find her. Aela isn’t at the Companion’s headquarters any more and I haven’t stumbled across her in the wilderness.
So, not only did Skyrim make (or out) my Argonian Lizardwoman a lesbian, it also made her a lesbian woman who had a same sex marriage and then had her partner abandon her at the ceremony.