Skyrim: Top 8 Game Mysteries Answered

The already legendary Skyrim is a game chock-full of mysteries. With how vast the game world is and the amount of cut content being found by modders, new mysteries are born every day. So much so, that there are far more unsolved mysteries than solved ones. However, there are some oddities that intrepid fans have managed to find answers to.

From strange quirks in the game’s code to entire quests scrapped due to time constraints, these mysteries have been given surefire answers. Sometimes, they are genuinely satisfying conclusions to years-long mysteries. Other times, they’re kind of a lesson in not expecting too much from random video game trivia.


The “Regional” Horkers

Different horkers in Elder Scrolls

For fans of the Elder Scrolls franchise as a whole, this is honestly a minor “inconsistency”, but it’s noticeable. In The Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon expansion pack, Horkers are first seen as strange, seal-like creatures with long tusks and white coats. They are far more peaceful than Skyrim’s “Horkers.”

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In Skyrim, the “Horkers” look more like walruses than the seal-like creatures in Morrowind. As it turns out, this was not developer oversight. As it turns out, Nords just call all fat sea mammals “Horkers: regardless of accuracy. It’s a ridiculous little fact that’s hidden away in an art book, but it’s a fun answer to a relatively harmless mystery.

The True Bounty

The three hostages in Friends Like These Skyrim quest

The Dark Brotherhood questline is one of the more intriguing stories in Skyrim. It involves a lot of mystery and isn’t shy about going dark. After all, players start the questline by fulfilling an assassination contract started by a little boy. Players find themselves awakened in a dirty old shack, and three bagged hostages in front of them.

All of them are relatively amoral people, and the Dragonborn is forced to kill one of them to fulfill a contract. The player isn’t directly told one way or another whether they made the “right” choice. As it turns out, the way to the answer was in the game all along. Using the spell Clairvoyance, the player finds out the horrible criminal Vasha was the bounty all along. That’s one less murder on the player’s conscience out of hundreds of murders, but still. While the “accuracy” of Clairvoyance has been contested, most tests with actual footage always show Vasha being the target.

Far Provinces

The White-Gold tower in Skyrim

In certain places around Skyrim, the player can get high enough to see the surrounding provinces. In the distance, places such as Cyrodiil and Hammerfell are seen quite clearly. The White-Gold Tower itself stands regally, so massive that it can be seen from an incredible distance.

This has led people to wonder if there was cut content regarding the other provinces. The player does eventually visit Morrowind, so that leaves players wondering about the possibility of visiting the other provinces. Unfortunately, it’s been basically confirmed by deduction through the game’s code that it’s only there to flesh out the world. It’s cool to see, but since the Anniversary Edition added no new quests regarding these border provinces, it’s unlikely it will ever become DLC at this point.

Jarl Balgruuf’s Children

Balgruuf the Greater Skyrim stands in his hall in Skyrim

People who often frequent Dragonsreach are familiar with the bratty denizens within. Jarl Balgruuf is a great man, but there’s a lot of “trouble at home” that seemingly goes unnoticed. There are many subtle hints of discourse with the children, and many fans wonder why they get so much dialogue despite having no actual quests tied to them.

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As it turns out, mods have revealed an entire cut questline regarding Mephala and the Jarl’s family. According to the digging of dedicated fans from the UESP wiki, it would have involved Balgruuf’s three children killing him, and earning you the favor of the Daedra Mephala. It’s an incredibly dark questline that unfortunately never cut. Thankfully, modders have done their best to restore the questline, for those feeling a bit evil.

Miraak, The Redeemed

A shot of Miraak from Skyrim

Miraak is the penultimate villain of the entire game, seeing as Dragonborn is the final DLC. He will steal dragon souls from you and even send cultists your way, preaching about his superiority as the first Dragonborn. Some even argue this makes him a bit one-dimensional, if not for the fact that your ally during the DLC was Hermaeus Mora.

Some cut content reveals that Miraak was supposed to be a lot more sympathetic than what ended up in the game. Several dialogue lines imply that he could have been spared. Some modders even uncovered a unique quest that involved fighting off waves of Hermaeus Mora’s minions, alongside Miraak. Some modders even went as far as to make Miraak a follower, which is a game breaker in itself.

Cracked Dragon

Skyrim Logo

The iconic symbol of Skyrim is the Imperial Dragon, and there have been a ton of theories as to why this choice was made. Some believe it’s directly related to Alduin himself, and how he breaks the world with the dragons. Others think it’s because Bethesda thought it looked cool and was a familiar symbol.

However, Michael Kirkbride, one of the most influential writers of The Elder Scrolls lore, has confirmed that it was a symbol for the Empire itself. The mighty “dragon” has been broken. It also extends to the symbolism of Talos, one of the biggest symbols of human rule in Skyrim, being banned outright, causing all manner of problems in the province.

The Bugs In Jars

Bee in a Jar Skyrim menu

The mysterious bugs in jars were one of Skyrim’s more notable mysteries. Quests like the Stones of Barenziah and Jiub’s Journal Pages give precedent for collectibles that offer fascinating lore. Many fans thought that uncovering the meaning behind the mysterious symbols and bugs would provide similar rewards.

Sadly, this was not the case. An interview by YouTuber Camelworks has revealed that much like many of the mysteries in Skyrim, it was cut content for a quest that never was. The actual quest itself was never started, and that meant the bugs in jars are yet another reminder that Skyrim is a very unpolished product, despite all its positives.

Treasure Foxes

Fox with Skyrim logo next to it

This may be a mystery that many players didn’t even know was a mystery because it fit so well within the context of the game. In Skyrim, foxes would flee from the player, as most wild animals seeing a being clad in Daedric armor would do. What made them interesting is that they led the player to secret treasure troves, and many players use this in the early game for some loot.

Fascinatingly, developers have confirmed this was not an intended feature. That single response would cause hundreds of gamers to wonder how on earth the foxes consistently bring them treasure. As it turns out, a quirk in the code made it so that foxes will always follow paths littered with “points of interest.” It just so happens loot is one of those interests. Skyrim having one of its more iconic “features” turn out to be a bug is hilariously consistent with its history.

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