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  • I followed Ralof the first three times for one reason:

    He didn't try to have me executed despite not being on the list and not being a Stormcloak.

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    • I don't really care who I go with, half the time I go with Ralof, half with Hadvar. 

      I don't blame the Imperials for trying execute me despite not being on the list, you could be a new Stormcloak recruit for all they now. "I'm not a Stormcloak!" in this case is like a death row inmate saying "I didn't do it, I swear!" before being led to the chair, and once they discover their error when you try to sign up with the Legion they don't press the issue.

      Plus, I have no doubt were the shoe on the other foot and you'd been captured with Tullius by Ulfric and taken to Riften for execution, Ulfric would've killed you too.

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    • Very good argument. You must have one of those Imperial silver-tongues, or perhaps you just sweet-talked me like one of those Breton diplomats on the Council?

      Nonetheless, I'll be going with Hadvar this time simply to see what it's like going with him, you know?

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    • Dapoculos13 wrote:

      Nonetheless, I'll be going with Hadvar this time simply to see what it's like going with him, you know?

      Not that different, other than a few different lines of dialogue and enemies wearing different coloured uniforms. 

      Hey, that actually sums up the entire Civil War questline. Neat.

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    • Tbh, I often panic and just run after whomever I can as fast as possible, since the part before I enter the keep is notoriously buggy for me.

      In fact, since I always run ahead of Hadvar/Ralof to Riverwood anyway, it doesn't even matter.

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    • I don't follow anyone anymore except on PS3 because I have live another life mod on pc.

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    • I follow Ralof because, as he said, "we're all brothers in binds now". Hadvar, on the other hand, was just about to execute me for something I did not.

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    • LDuka wrote:
      I follow Ralof because, as he said, "we're all brothers in binds now". Hadvar, on the other hand, was just about to execute me for something I did not.

      The one who executed you was an imperial captain who refused to listen to Hadvar when he said your name was not on the list. ALSO since we don't know the Dragonborn's background, there really isn't any way for us to say he is totally innocent. He was crossing the border and we are not told WHY, given that the Dragonborn has no family in Skyrim and seemingly no knowledge of customs, one could say he is not from Skyrim, and if he wasn't from Skyrim, why did he NEED to cross the border? Did he murder someone in Cyrodiil and needed to leave the country?

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    • Whichever door is closest! Can't you see there's a dragon attacking?

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    • Depends on the character I'm playing and what ever story I have for them. With my Breton Mage I followed Hadvar because he grow up in cyrodiil and so is familiar with the legion and trusts them more then a band of rebels. As for the whole "trying to Kill him part" He figures that're doing their jobs and he was stupid enough to get in there way. Plus he thinks that he'd rather be executed by the legion then be brutally murdered by the thalmor who were chasing him for reasons he doesn't know.

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    • Mostly I follow Hadvar, because he's the nicest, though for my newest character I followed Ralof because I wanted the Imperial Captain's heavy armor to start out with instead of light armor that you always get.

      Hey, it doesn't really matter in the end, right? Tulius or Ulfric totally forgives you when you present yourself to them (if you picked Ralof or Hadvar, respectively) and say "I wanna join!" and they're like "Sure!" and say that you're a tough son-of-a-gun because you survived Helgen and then throughout the Civil War campaign, they say that they're really lucky to have you about and that they rely heavily on you and give you free weapons!

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    • Have done both, but just feels weird to follow Hadvar.

      Don't rightly make any sense, unless your character has some serious stockholm syndrome or somesuch I guess

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    • 80.216.218.146 wrote:
      Have done both, but just feels weird to follow Hadvar.

      Don't rightly make any sense, unless your character has some serious stockholm syndrome or somesuch I guess

      Stockholm Syndrome only really happens when you are with your captor for long periods of time. You're with the Imperials as a prisoner for like... a few hours to a day tops. WAY to little time for you to get Stockholm Syndrome. Please check facts first. You're also forgeting that Hadvar stood up to his superior officer on your behalf, stating that you are not on the list to die, but the Imperial captain dismisses it. It's also Hadvar who could end up saving your life ("Still alive prisoner? Stay close to me if you want to stay that way"), and giving you a new start by the end of it. 

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    • Shigeru Thalmor Slayer wrote:
      Stockholm Syndrome only really happens when you are with your captor for long periods of time. You're with the Imperials as a prisoner for like... a few hours to a day tops. WAY to little time for you to get Stockholm Syndrome. Please check facts first. You're also forgeting that Hadvar stood up to his superior officer on your behalf, stating that you are not on the list to die, but the Imperial captain dismisses it. It's also Hadvar who could end up saving your life ("Still alive prisoner? Stay close to me if you want to stay that way"), and giving you a new start by the end of it. 

      Chill out, he was just proposing a possible explanation. Ain't nothing wrong with that. I'm sure there's *someone* out there who was affected by Stockholm Syndrome in that short time, but I will agree, it does sound like a far-fetched idea. I would imagine it'd take a few days or a week to have the syndrome sink in and begin affecting you.

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    • I usually pick Hadvar, my character is the sort that rather likes the empire (in spite of the fact that they tried to kill him). I do kinda like how Hadvar tries to defend you briefly, and when that doesn't work he says he'll make sure your remains are returned to your maybe place of origin. So basically I like the fact he tried. It's not too useful as you're still going to die, but he did try. And in a place like Skyrim where people die for sometimes pathetic reasons, I really do appreciate the attempt.

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    • Whenever I make a new game I almost always follow Hadvar

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    • I personally choose randomly, although I try to follow which ever faction I decide to join that playthrough.

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    • First time I played I couldn't control where my character was going and ended up with Hadvar. 😄

      Going with Ralof means getting Imperial Heavy Armour before you finish the Tutorial (I'm yet to find a way to leave Helgen with heavy armour with Hadvar). 👍
      Going with Hadvar means free respawning Iron and Steel from Alvor. 😍 And The Jagged Crown (Item) when I inevitably get turned off by Ulfric's racism towards (not just non-humans, but non-Nords) and join the Imperials. My character gets called "Orc filth" enough as it is. 😄

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    • From a roleplaying perspective:

      1. Impulsive thinking: Follow Ralof. The Imperials have just tried to execute you and Hadvar still calls you "Prisoner".

      2. Rational thinking: Follow Hadvar. The Stormcloaks are attempting to escape from a fort under Imperial rule, which means some fighting will be involved. Your odds of survival are thus higher with the Imperials. 

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    • On my first time, I went with Ralof. By accident. While he and and Hadvar were talking, I was too busy dicking around like a crazy scamp. :D I randomly walked up to Ralof's door and it automatically transported me inside he keep with him.

      Nowadays I always go with Ralof, no matter which side in the war I decide my character shall choose. Even though the walkthrough is mostly the same and doesn't affect the rest of the game, there are a few perks if you go with Ralof:

      1. Revenge on the guard captain. Some people might not care for revenge and as for myself, I do not really blame the entire Legion for one captains actions. However, I will still blame her personally for issuing my death. And once you kill her, you can then take her semi-rare helmet as trophy!

      2. Better loot. Imperial gear is really valuable. By taking all the soldiers armor and weapons, and stashing it in a chest for later, I was able to make enough money to buy a horse early on in the game. And that has helped me immensely.

      3. You get access to both heavy armor and light armor early on, depending on your character preferences. If you go with Hadvar, you will only be able to obtain light armor.

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    • S'Dalaar the Snowcat wrote:

      2. Better loot. Imperial gear is really valuable. By taking all the soldiers armor and weapons, and stashing it in a chest for later, I was able to make enough money to buy a horse early on in the game. And that has helped me immensely.

      I think I'll follow him next time because loot is capital in this game to me.

      I tried both, I followed more Hadvar than Ralof because of what side tried to kill me. Now I don't like Stormcloaks and I don't join them whether I end up following Hadvar or Ralof. 

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    • Always followed Hadvar, He's nice and I liked his accent.

      You can get the Imperial heavy armor if you increase the Smithing perk to Steel when you level up and just make it with the free Iron and Steel ingots

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    • I will say, the benefit of following Ralof is that you finally get to take vengeance on the Imperial Captain that disregards the list.

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    • Think of this like this, if Hadvar had not said to the cap u are not on list u would have head chopped off before the dragon comes so Hadvar is better. :)

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    • I recently realized that I mostly follow Hadvar because if you follow him, you go straight, while with Ralof, you have to swerve to the right.

      Also, another point for Hadvar because he actually tries to reason with Stormcloaks you encounter first. However, with Ralof, you arguably get through the beginning faster if you don't bother to backtrack to where you enter with Hadvar.

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    • The first time through, I didn't even see a choice (all the dragon-fire etc.) and went with Hadvar as he'd been keeping me alive up to that point. The second time through, I took in the dialogue a bit more. Bethesda did a nice job presenting pre-Enlightenment justice systems and how military justice during a war can get. So, while I am not cool with  the racial nationalism of the Stormcloaks (Skyrim, Skyrim, Uber alles!); I think Stormcloaks would look you in the eye while stabbing you...not hauling you off for torture and kangaroo courts while wringing your hands about the ehtics like Hadvar does...besides, you can always veer off course to get to the guard room and loot the gear there; so it all washes out the same.

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    • Imperials: Less profit, but immediately friends with a blacksmith.



      Stormcloaks: More profit (imperial uniforms are more valuable), access to heavy armor right away, can still become friends with Alvor by doing the smithing tutorial.

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    • Next time, I will go with Ralof, for one and only one reason.

      I want to kill the torturer. That guy is a dick!

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    • MarvinKitFox wrote: Next time, I will go with Ralof, for one and only one reason.

      I want to kill the torturer. That guy is a dick!

      You CAN kill the torturer with Hadvar. You just "accidentally" kill him in the scuffle with the Stromcloaks or wait 'til Hadvar and the assistant are in the hall.

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    • I like hadvar cos of the fact he's nice, and the dialogue at the guardian stones...he's not judgemental even if u pick theif

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    • I say pick Ralof cause starting with him you get better loot like you kill the mage in the torture room he has decent stuff for a start and imperial swords are acctually pretty good for starter and if you sharpen it it’s really decent that’s the good things with ralof BUTT with hadvar you go to his house and you can get iron boots I think and there is some food at his house so both of them are good but I say ralof is better for weapons and armor which matters a lot at the start of the game

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    • Hadvar, i like not having to steal the iron and steel ingots next to the armor upgrade thing, yet to simply and legally take them

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    • LogicalLikeU23 wrote:
      Hadvar, i like not having to steal the iron and steel ingots next to the armor upgrade thing, yet to simply and legally take them

      This. Other than my Imperial bias, it's good to not be forced to steal if you want free Ingots at the beginning.

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    • Ifnsman wrote:

      LogicalLikeU23 wrote:
      Hadvar, i like not having to steal the iron and steel ingots next to the armor upgrade thing, yet to simply and legally take them

      This. Other than my Imperial bias, it's good to not be forced to steal if you want free Ingots at the beginning.

      It's good to see another Imperial.

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    • I’m a imperial now level 11 but I still say going with ralof can get a lot of better loot in Helgen

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    • I think when you get to Riverwood after following Hadvar you don't have to worry about getting in trouble for stealing the blacksmith ingots.

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    • Draevan13 wrote:

      I don't blame the Imperials for trying execute me despite not being on the list

      Strange logic Someone has made a rough mistake because of which you must die and you dont blame them. In such cases people bring an action against the guilty person at the least. Besides stormcloaks are not criminals.

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    • 85.26.164.90 wrote: Strange logic Someone has made a rough mistake because of which you must die and you dont blame them. In such cases people bring an action against the guilty person at the least.

      The Imperials had no way of knowing whether you were a Stormcloak spy, especially since you were sighted near the Stormcloaks when you crossed the border. Plus, they wanted to get Ulfric's execution done and over with.

      85.26.164.90 wrote: Besides stormcloaks are not criminals.

      They're actually war criminals.

      Ulfric killing High King Torygg at the start was a blatant act of open war and rebellion against the Empire; Ulfric & anyone who joined him will be treated as traitors, to be given the appropriate death sentence, upon defeat and capture.

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    • 85.26.164.90 wrote:

      Draevan13 wrote:

      I don't blame the Imperials for trying execute me despite not being on the list

      Strange logic Someone has made a rough mistake because of which you must die and you dont blame them. In such cases people bring an action against the guilty person at the least. Besides stormcloaks are not criminals.

      Although, while I love the Imperials (and side with them), I certainly didn't appreciate the execution, no matter how logical it was. Obviously, reality and logic support Ifnsman's claim, but I am still not over it.

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    • CatholicPrincess15 wrote:

      85.26.164.90 wrote:

      Draevan13 wrote:

      I don't blame the Imperials for trying execute me despite not being on the list

      Strange logic Someone has made a rough mistake because of which you must die and you dont blame them. In such cases people bring an action against the guilty person at the least. Besides stormcloaks are not criminals.

      Although, while I love the Imperials (and side with them), I certainly didn't appreciate the execution, no matter how logical it was. Obviously, reality and logic support Ifnsman's claim, but I am still not over it.

      How exactly do they support Ifnsman's claim? If reality support anything, it's that the Dragonborn should hold a decades-long grudge against the Empire for nearly chopping their head off. If the Dragonborn survived the ordeal it was due to chance, not the Emperor's mercy.

      Give us at least one real-life example of a person satisfied with a miscarriage of justice, please?

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    • Whitechocolateandblueberrycake
      Whitechocolateandblueberrycake removed this reply because:
      Deleted account.
      17:59, January 13, 2020
      This reply has been removed
    • Majorman86 wrote: Give us at least one real-life example of a person satisfied with a miscarriage of justice, please?

      ^Strawman argument right here. No-one's been saying they're "satisfied". In-fact, the guy before you just said he did not appreciate it.

      How should the Imperials have known at the time that the Dragonborn was innocent of involvement with the Stormcloaks?  Why would the Dragonborn have needed to illegally cross the border? What legitimate reason would the Imperials have, after they had just captured the rebel leader, to even believe the Dragonborn's claims?

      Hadvar ultimately had the right idea, that maybe you were innocent of involvement & were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the Imperial Captain was absolutely convinced by circumstance and 'common sense'.

      If you witnessed someone else in the same place as a known criminal ["at the wrong place at the wrong time", as it were] you would naturally assume their guilt by association as an accomplice, at least initially, regardless of whether they truly are guilty.

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    • Ifnsman wrote:

      If you witnessed someone else in the same place as a known criminal ["at the wrong place at the wrong time", as it were] you would naturally assume their guilt by association as an accomplice, at least initially, regardless of whether they truly are guilty.

      What happened to the "innocent until proven guilty" assumption? Also, why the hell the Empire sends the Dragonborn to the chopping block if he/she's not on the list? For all we know, most offences are punished by jailtime (e.g. trespassing, theft, even murder).

      The empire has grown paranoid and overzealous, so go team Rolof!

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    • Majorman86 wrote:

      Ifnsman wrote:

      If you witnessed someone else in the same place as a known criminal ["at the wrong place at the wrong time", as it were] you would naturally assume their guilt by association as an accomplice, at least initially, regardless of whether they truly are guilty.

      What happened to the "innocent until proven guilty" assumption? Also, why the hell the Empire sends the Dragonborn to the chopping block if he/she's not on the list? For all we know, most offences are punished by jailtime (e.g. trespassing, theft, even murder).

      The empire has grown paranoid and overzealous, so go team Rolof!

      You being on the cart was a mistake, and if you pay attention, the one who refuses to say you aren't a Stormcloak is Ralof, not Hadvar. Ralof doesn't care that an innocent is sent to the block, but at least Hadvar tries to prevent it.

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