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Why I Chose the Empire Over the Stormcloaks in Skyrim

Skyrim is a game that offers players a lot of choices, from character creation to quest outcomes. One of the most important and controversial choices is which side to join in the civil war that plagues the province. The Empire, led by General Tullius, seeks to preserve the unity and stability of Tamriel, while the Stormcloaks, led by Ulfric Stormcloak, fight for the freedom and independence of Skyrim. Both sides have their pros and cons, and the decision is not an easy one. However, after playing the game multiple times and exploring both perspectives, I have come to the conclusion that the Empire is the better option for Skyrim and its people. Here are some of the reasons why I chose the Empire over the Stormcloaks.

The Threat of the Aldmeri Dominion

The main reason why I sided with the Empire is because of the looming threat of the Aldmeri Dominion, the elven supremacist faction that almost conquered the whole continent in the Great War. The Dominion is the enemy of both the Empire and the Stormcloaks, but they have different strategies to deal with them. The Empire, after losing many lives and territories in the war, signed a peace treaty with the Dominion, known as the White-Gold Concordat. The treaty imposed harsh conditions on the Empire, such as banning the worship of Talos, the human god and founder of the Empire, and allowing the Thalmor, the Dominion’s secret police, to operate in Imperial lands. The Stormcloaks see this treaty as a betrayal and a sign of weakness, and refuse to accept it. They believe that the only way to resist the Dominion is to break away from the Empire and fight for their own sovereignty.
However, I think that the Empire’s approach is more realistic and pragmatic. The Empire knows that the treaty is unfair and oppressive, but they also know that they are not ready for another war with the Dominion. The treaty is a temporary measure, a way to buy time and rebuild their strength, while keeping an eye on the Dominion’s movements. The Empire is not a puppet of the Dominion, but a potential rival that still poses a threat to their ambitions. The Stormcloaks, on the other hand, are playing right into the Dominion’s hands. By rebelling against the Empire, they are weakening the only force that can challenge the Dominion on a large scale. They are also isolating themselves from potential allies, such as the other human provinces, and making themselves vulnerable to the Dominion’s invasion. The Dominion wants Skyrim to be independent, but not free. They want Skyrim to be divided, weak, and easy to conquer.

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The Character of Ulfric Stormcloak

Another reason why I chose the Empire is because of the character of Ulfric Stormcloak, the leader of the rebellion. Ulfric is a charismatic and passionate leader, who inspires many Nords to follow him. He is also a powerful warrior and a master of the Thu’um, the ancient art of shouting that can manipulate reality. He claims to fight for the freedom and glory of Skyrim, and to honor the legacy of Talos. However, I think that Ulfric is not the hero he pretends to be, but a selfish and ambitious man, who uses the cause of the rebellion to further his own interests.
Ulfric’s actions and motives are questionable at best, and reprehensible at worst. He started the rebellion by killing the High King of Skyrim, Torygg, in a duel. He claims that he challenged Torygg according to the old Nord custom, and that he proved his unworthiness by falling to his shout. However, this is a lie. Ulfric did not challenge Torygg in a fair and honorable way, but in a surprise attack, using a weapon that Torygg had no defense against. Ulfric did not kill Torygg to free Skyrim, but to make himself a symbol and a martyr, and to undermine the authority of the Empire. Ulfric did not respect Torygg, but he feared him. He feared that Torygg, who was young, popular, and open-minded, could have been a potential ally of the Empire, and a threat to his own claim to the throne.
Ulfric’s treatment of the non-Nord races is also appalling. He is a racist and a bigot, who believes that Skyrim belongs only to the Nords, and that the other races are inferior and unwelcome. He allows the Dunmer, the dark elves who fled from the devastation of their homeland, to live in a segregated and impoverished slum, known as the Gray Quarter. He forbids the Argonians, the lizard-like people who work as dockworkers and laborers, to enter the city walls, and forces them to sleep in the cold and the rain. He ignores the plight of the Khajiit, the cat-like merchants and travelers, who are banned from entering any city in Skyrim, and are often harassed and attacked by bandits and soldiers. He also persecutes and hunts down anyone who worships Talos, the very god he claims to revere, and who is revered by many other races as well.
Ulfric is not a true leader, but a tyrant. He does not care about the people of Skyrim, but only about his own power and glory. He does not listen to the voice of reason, but only to the voice of his pride and hatred. He does not seek peace and prosperity, but only war and destruction.

The Benefits of the Empire

The final reason why I chose the Empire is because of the benefits that the Empire brings to Skyrim and its people. The Empire is not perfect, and it has made many mistakes and compromises. However, it is also a force for good, and a source of stability and prosperity. The Empire has a long and rich history, and it has shaped the culture and identity of Skyrim. The Empire has also defended Skyrim from many threats, such as the Akaviri invasion, the Oblivion crisis, and the Great War. The Empire has also provided Skyrim with many opportunities, such as trade, education, and diplomacy. The Empire has also respected the autonomy and traditions of Skyrim, and allowed it to have its own laws and customs.
The Empire is not the enemy of Skyrim, but its ally and friend. The Empire is not a foreign oppressor, but a part of Skyrim’s heritage and destiny. The Empire is not a hindrance to Skyrim’s freedom, but a guarantee of its security and prosperity.

Conclusion

These are some of the reasons why I chose the Empire over the Stormcloaks in Skyrim. I think that the Empire is the best option for Skyrim and its people, and that the Stormcloaks are a dangerous and misguided faction. I think that the Empire is the only hope for defeating the Aldmeri Dominion, and that the Stormcloaks are playing into their hands. I think that the Empire is led by a wise and honorable general, and that the Stormcloaks are led by a selfish and ambitious rebel. I think that the Empire brings benefits to Skyrim, and that the Stormcloaks bring only harm. I think that the Empire is the true defender of Skyrim, and that the Stormcloaks are the true traitors.
Of course, this is just my opinion, and you are free to disagree with me. Skyrim is a game that allows you to make your own choices, and to experience the consequences of those choices. You can join the Stormcloaks, and fight for what you believe in. You can join the Empire, and fight for what I believe in. You can even ignore the civil war altogether, and focus on other quests and activities. The choice is yours, and yours alone.
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