fantasy · video games

Serana, Marriage, and Romance in Skyrim


Word up, there will be some minor spoilers.

After much debate, I finally broke down and bought the remastered console version of Skyrim. I bought it on my Xbox 360 a few years back, and I loved it. But like most RPG’s, I play it for months, neglecting sleeping, eating and going outside and then suddenly I stop. Forget about it and move on with my life. Onto the next game. But on Christmas I got the Skyrim Remastered and now I’m hooked yet again.

Now it’s not just a game with updated graphics. It includes the three DLC’s; Hearthfire, Dragonborn, and my personal favorite; Dawnguard. In Dawnguard, the Dragonborn teams up with a vampire hunting faction and you can either become a master vampire and be the monster of the night, or you can be the one to fight against the Master Vampire Harkon. It sounds, fairly straightforward like most Skyrim missions and tasks. Except, you’re given a partner to team up with throughout this experience.

Now, most followers in video games tend to get in the way, and become more of a burden than they’re worth and/or they just have irritating personalities. But then I was introduced to Serana, a “pureblood” vampire and Harkon’s daughter. Much like Elizabeth (Bioshock Infinite), I instantly fell in love with the character. She was snarky and complicated, above the usual character with a forgettable plot line and an even more forgettable name.

(Also being voiced by Laura Bailey helps a great deal.)

So, through Dawnguard, the Dragonborn and Serana travel from throughout the land of Skyrim, back and forth, completing objectives and casually dropping by the Lakeview Manor to store loot like the hoarders we are. And then it was over.

Serana became another follower and since she’s more interesting than most housecarls (except for snippy Lydia). I was praising Bethesda for including a companion that not only had an interesting background and a personality, but it was easy to get attached and identify with her. Because of this I thought, this is what the marriage function in Skyrim should be about. Finding someone who you connect with the most and you can spend the rest of your life with said person. On top of that you can adopt children with the Hearthfire DLC, which means you can be one kick ass family.

And when I put on my Amulet of Mara, and approached Serana, expecting her to notice with the typical “Is that an Amulet of Mara etc. etc.” dialogue, she acknowledged it and rejected me. Her reasoning? She was far too old for me (true) and she felt that she didn’t deserve my affections (wrong). I shouldn’t have been this hurt over it, and I admit it is a huge overreaction, but that’s what the marriage option in Skyrim should’ve been about. Instead of marrying someone who you barely know and has a few lines of dialogue with you, it would’ve been interesting to start a romance that you build a bond with over time.

I know it’s a completely different game, but that’s why I love the romance options in the Dragon Age games. In Origins I romanced Morrigan. Admittedly, I disliked her at first and found her annoying and overly cynical. But over the course of the game, I grew to love her as much as my Hero of Ferelden did. She’s a complicated person and we have history together, which makes romancing her all the more compelling. In Dragon Age Inquisition, it gets even stranger. I decided to romance Commander Cullen Rutherford, who I had come to get to know over the period of three games. His character changing over that period of time made his romance with a Dalish mage meaningful. But that’s another rant for another time. I’m getting off track…

Bethesda gave a tease of what could’ve been when they gave players a marriage and romance option. Alas, it’s not to be. I guess I’ll stick with number one warrior love, Vilkas.

Beautiful Vilkas.

Rough around the edges Vilkas.


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