(Originally Posted May 2018)
Over the past month or so there has been A LOT of wrestling, and as such, I haven’t had the time to write much gaming content, so I thought I’d get back into the groove of it by just writing a fun list based on a game I’ve been playing a hell of a lot of recently: Skyrim.
For the past couple weeks, I’ve not had access to my PC, so all of my gaming has been done on my Nintendo Switch. This was my first time playing it on the Nintendo Switch and more importantly, my first time in around 5 years playing without mods; and I’ve got to say, this is probably the most fun I’ve had playing this game in a good few years.
But circling round to the topic at hand, as I’ve been traveling Skyrim, I always get very different vibes in each of the 9 cities in the game and it got me thinking, if I were a citizen of Skyrim, where would I most want to settle down? I’m not talking about the houses that are purchasable by the Dragonborn in-game, I just mean what city would I like to live in if I were a generic, nameless character in the world. So I’ve neatly ranked them all from worst to best for your reading pleasure.
The beds….are made….of STONE. I have enough trouble sleeping as it is and you want me to rest my head on a bed made entirely of stone?! Not just the beds mind, but pretty much all of the furniture as well, it would be horrible. Not only that, but thanks to the Forsworn I’m at a high risk of being stabbed every time I leave the house and that’s not pleasant, trust me, I live in London. But that’s not all, with an extremely corrupt guard force, you could very well be arrested for no real reason and then be forced into slave labour in Cidhna Mine. So Markarth falls dead last.
So at face value, Dawnstar seems like a pretty nice place. It’s got two mines and a port to help the local economy, a lovely climate for someone like me who hates the heat and even a museum, however, it does have a lot against it too. For example, every time I visit there in-game, without fail, a dragon will attack the city, and given that all of the houses are made from straw or wood, it’s not really a risk I’m willing to take. On top of that, everyone in the town suffers from constant nightmares thanks to a staff in the nearby tower, and as I said before, I have enough trouble sleeping as is.
Another city that seems quite pleasant at face value, but is quite the Skeever-hole upon further inspection. I complained a bit about corruption in my entry about Markarth, but that’s nothing in comparison to Riften. The entire city is essentially run by Maven Black-Briar, who bought her way to power, if you do anything to upset her then you lose everything, and I just know I would accidentally upset her somehow, considering I’m a klutz and she’s a rather uptight woman. Not only that but with the Thieves Guild running rampant, I’d never be able to go anywhere without being in constant fear of being mugged. If Markarth is London, then Riften is Birmingham, so no thank you.
Winterhold is a town of two faces, if you’re a mage, then it seems like it would be quite a nice place. You get a really nice looking hall to live in with your own bed and a place specifically designed for you to learn and hone your skills as a mage. If you’re not a mage however, then it’s just quite boring really. There’s a general store, an inn, and a single house, I just don’t know what I’d do with myself all day, not to mention half the city’s already collapsed once, how can I be sure it’s not going to happen again? Really just a boring place, that I would avoid if I could.
Morthal is a weird one, I’ve put it towards the middle of the list because, while I don’t really have anything bad to say about it, there’s also nothing particularly great about it either. Admittedly, I’m quite a fan of natural water, I think it has a beauty to it, and Morthal is almost entirely on water which is nice, but I wouldn’t say that’s enough for me to really want to live there. Not really much else to say here, Morthal’s quite nice, but there’s not really much to it.
Much like Winterhold, Windhelm is a city with two sides and, sadly, it depends on your race. If you’re a Nord, then you’ll be welcomed with open arms, you’ll have a full market with a friendly community and be able to rub shoulders with the richest Nords in Skyrim; sure there’s a small problem with a serial killer, but I’m sure that’ll blow over. However, if you are any other race whatsoever, then you’ll be confined to the slums, being forced to work as basically a slave for no money; not to mention, if you’re a Khajit or Argonian you won’t even be allowed in the city at all. So if you’re a Nord, this may be the best place for you, anyone else though, probably best to keep looking.
The thing about Falkreath, is that I always completely forget about it. I only ever go there to do that one Daedra quest, and then I never come back; and that seems like exactly the kind of place I’d like to live. I’d love to live in a quiet little town where you’ve just got a load of space to yourself, and there’s plenty of forest around the place to wander, it generally seems like quite a nice place. However, the size could also be considered a negative, as it doesn’t provide the same level of protection or resources that the bigger cities have, so it gets knocked down a few points, but other than that, lovely.
Rather ironic that the most populated city in the whole of Skyrim is named “Solitude” isn’t it? Aside from that, Solitude generally seems like it’s quite a pleasant city, I’ve talked about security and protection a lot throughout this because in the lands of Skyrim, Dragon attacks and bandit raids seem rather frequent, and if I were living there I’d like to know I was safe, and where better than Solitude? It’s got city walls taller than the buildings, most of the buildings are made of stone, without having everything inside of it be stone as well. Not to mention it’s the home of the Imperial Legion and Castle Dour, so if we’re looking at safety alone, Solitude is the place to be.
The main downside to it, is that it seems you have to be quite rich in order to settle down there. Out of the purchasable houses in-game, Solitude’s Proudspire Manor is by far the most expensive, and I can only imagine the rest of the city has a rather similar economy, so while I’d love to live in Solitude, I’m not sure it would be a place I’d be able to make a decent living.
There’s just so much life to this city, you’ve got the Plains District, where there’s almost anything you could want to buy for life in the city, and it’s always bustling with a (mostly) friendly community. Then there’s the Wind District where most of the citizens of Whiterun live, along with the Gildergreen and a lovely plaza to take a seat and chat with the locals; and then of course there’s Jorrvaskr, home to the Companions, who would be willing to take care of any problems you had for a bit of gold. Finally there’s the Cloud District (which you don’t get to very often) that houses Dragonsreach, the Jarl’s palace, and while I can’t see why I’d have much reason to go up there as a regular citizen, it makes for quite the impressive view as you leave your house each morning.
As great as Whiterun is though, it’s not without its negatives, since it’s pretty much slap-bang in the middle of Skyrim, it’s a key city in the civil war, and both sides want very much to control it. However, regardless of who’s running it, the city itself remains largely unchanged, so I can’t see how it would affect me in my day-to-day life.
So overall, Whiterun just seems like the most pleasant and most affordable place to live in Skyrim, and that is where I would try to set myself up, where I a citizen of Skyrim.
Well there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this fun style of list, I’m going to try to do more articles like this in the future, but make sure to check back soon as I’m working on a new type of article to write for the blog!
As always please share this around, and follow me on Twitter @10ryawoo, and I’ll see you soon!