Wooing the Un-waifu-able: Five Skyrim NPCS I'd Marry
Ask anyone who's played the game, and they'll tell you that Skyrim has a lot to offer. Those craving excitement can satiate that need by exploring dungeons, slaying dragons, and becoming the hero they were born to be. Conversely, Skyrim can also provide for those on the other end of the spectrum - those who want a more modest life entrenched in domestic bliss. You can get married and adopt children to create the perfect family. And a game as vast as Skyrim provides dozens of potential wives and husbands for you to choose from.
If you're anything like me, there's a slim chance you may have encountered an NPC who charmed their way into your heart and became spouse material. The giddiness they bring soon dissipates when you find that you can't put a ring on it. Those of us who are tech savvy (or aren't playing the Nintendo Switch version like yours truly) can easily get around this with mods. Those without such inclinations (or a PC that can handle games) will have to vent their frustrations elsewhere. In my case, I chose to write about the top five NPCs I'd propose to if I could. And if Marcurio wasn't already available and already the best husband in the game.
But without further ado, let's make do.
He's Calcelmo's nephew. He helps him around the laboratory. That's how the unassuming Altmer acquaints himself with you once you come up to him. From the get-go, Aicantar exudes pride in his uncle's work, itself fiercely guarded by the older elf due to his research being Dwemer related. Everything Aicantar says relates to his uncle, Calcelmo, in some way. You'll see more of this aspect of his personality by going through the main Thieves Guild storyline, specifically in the quest Hard Answers. In it, he'll be doing his best to prevent your entry into Calcelmo's Museum, ordering some guards to kill you if needed.
Loyal to a fault, Aicantar's sincere efforts aren't always recognized by Calcelmo. Inspect Aicantar's Lab Journal and you'll find he's documented his attempts to make a Dwarven Spider less belligerent. Weeks of untiring testing lead to a breakthrough that sadly no one acknowledges, from Calcelmo to the guards tasked with protecting the pair.
No one appreciates my work. Uncle Calcelmo is buried in his Falmer research, and doesn't have time to help me with the spider anymore. The guards are all afraid of it. I keep telling them it's harmless as long as I keep it under control, but there have been too many accidents. They just don't believe me.
I just want to give this poor, sweet Altmer a hug. Aicantar comes off as a very put-upon individual who nonetheless maintains his sweet demeanor in the face of his uncle's abrasiveness. He may even be the nicest person in all of Markarth, seeing as how he never asks anything of you before treating you kindly. Even if he isn't, he remains the most amicable Altmer in Markarth, of which there are many. Aicantar is one of the reasons I could never join the Thieves Guild. I just can't hurt him. He deserves all the best in the world.
Ingun is a spitting image of her mother, the notorious Maven Black-briar. Her looks are the only thing the two have in common, a fact Maven hangs over her head constantly. Having a keen interest in alchemy means that Ingun spends most of her time with Elgrim and Hafjorg, the husband-wife duo behind Riften's alchemy shop. She makes it no secret that she intensely abhors her family's criminal undertakings, remarking when pressed: "all that wealth has been squandered on foolish ventures and political schemes." The threat of disownment hasn't lessened Ingun's alchemical pursuits in the slightest, something you can't help but admire when you take into stock the reach of her mother's influence.
Surprisingly, Ingun may have actually been a candidate for marriage at some point in development. Completing her quest, Few and Far Between, will open up the chance for her to say "it's a fine day with you around" when passing by her. This line is normally only said by NPCs who can be wed, so those who wanted a cute Skyrim wife with goth leanings have sadly missed out.
Although there are whispers of Ingun experimenting on animals, I simply adore her. She's always polite and well-spoken. She never puts you down like her brothers and mother. She becomes even friendlier after you help her out, freehandedly rewarding you beforehand. If I could, I'd promptly whisk her away from Riften and settle her in the palatial abode of Proudspire Manor where she'd have an alchemy laboratory to utilize as she pleases. Sure, I'd need to keep a close eye on any dead rabbits or foxes that might turn up in the basement every now and then. It's a small price I'm willing to pay if it means coming home to a happy Ingun.
Erik the Slayer
It's a damn crime that Erik the Slayer isn't available for marrying. As a character, Erik is defined by his thirst for adventure outside the quaint farming hamlet of Rorikstead. His father, Mralki the innkeeper, fears that Erik is unprepared for what lies beyond their home, but Erik believes otherwise. It's a notion that isn't incorrect - once recruited as a follower, this strapping Nord lad can pivot war hammers and volley arrows with the best of them up. A barbarian he may be, Erik's personality is far gentler than the role he plays. He remains courteous, patient, and enthusiastic in any situation he's thrust into. Just as endearing is the wide-eyed wonder with which he sees the province of Skyrim. All of this wrapped up in a package that's easy on the eyes, to boot.
Thing is, I think I understand why he's not single and ready to mingle. Erik isn't any ordinary NPC: he's a tribute to a fan of the series, Erik West, who went by Immok the Slayer online. As the story goes, West was given the opportunity to visit Bethesda Softworks via the "Make-a-Wish" Foundation and awed the team with his proficiency of Oblivion lore. The tour occurred during the development of Skyrim, giving the team the chance to immortalize him in the game as a character named "Erik the Destroyer." Sadly, West would pass away at 18 from Ewing's sarcoma on May 11, 2011, just months before the release of Skyrim.
Having the ability to set one's cap for Erik would be in poor taste given his background. So while it's a shame still, I can at least respect Bethesda Softworks for maintaining the integrity of West's digital dithyramb with every release of the game.
If the immortal god-king Vivec can procreate with a Daedric Prince, why can't I marry a ghost? Especially one as likable and well-developed as Katria? Serana and the fetching Dawnguard uniforms aside, Katria is the best thing to have come out of The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard. Prior to her death, this intrepid Nord was quite the talented adventurer: it was she, not her conniving former student, Taron Dreth, who found the Dwemer ruins of Arkngthamz. This underground city served as an important location for the Dwemer and is crucial to discovering the fabled Aetherium Forge in modern-day Skryim. Agree to help Katria fulfill this monumental undertaking, and you'll be rewarded with the Forge's whereabouts to create one of three Aetherium-based objects as a reward. Her task complete, Katria will sincerely thank you for all you've done and then gladly move on to the afterlife (though not in Sovngarde for some bizarre reason).
It's not every day that you'll come across a character who'll willingly delve into depths teeming with both Dwemer automatons and Falmer. Yet Katria fearlessly did so, armed with just a bow and two steel daggers. I'm convinced that Katria would have succeeded in unearthing the Aetherium Forge if an earthquake hadn't snuffed out her life. You can catch glimpses of her courage and ferocity whenever she fights enemies alongside you, displaying what should have gotten her through to the end of her mission.
Were she a candidate for marriage, Katria could have stood alongside Aela the Huntress and Mjoll the Lioness as a wife just as tough as the Dragonborn. As is, she's literally a shade of her former self. I'm glad to have helped her attain her eternal prize regardless. She gives us a grand adventure, we give her the peace she's earned after everything she's been through.
After Katria, we have another DLC character and my favorite one of all. Morrowind fans were given quite the nostalgia trip with the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn, wherein we get to travel to the island of Solstheim and meet a cast of memorable characters. Among these is an unassuming figure seated at a table in The Retching Netch inn and tavern. Saddle up to him and he'll announce himself as Teldryn Sero "the best swordsman in all Morrowind...at your service... for the right price." If you take him up on his offer, you'll find yourself partnered up with one of the greatest followers in the entire game. Teldryn is a spellsword, and as such, makes ample use of one-handed weaponry and Destruction magic when handily decimating enemies. He's able to hold his own in the hairiest situations, so you'll never have to fret over the risk of him dying to an aggressive foe or an errant spell.
But what really enchanted me about Teldryn is his attitude: he's got so much of it. Drag him back to Skyrim and he'll have a few choice words for just about every city, each word dripping with smoky-voiced derision. A similar amount of causticness can be felt when he's asked to wait or dismissed from your services. He's not spitting out sass, all the time, however. Enter a dungeon or a bandit camp, and he'll advise you to stay alert the deeper you go. Infiltrate a vampire's lair or a cave inhabited by Spriggans, and Teldryn will express disgust at how these creatures can manipulate lesser beings to follow their will. Most interesting of all is what he says when you're in Riverwood. Enter the village and he'll say: "Riverwood looks peaceful. If I had to settle in Skyrim, this might be the place I'd choose." He'll tell you this without any hint of his usual sarcasm.
Did I mention that he's also hiding one very handsome face beneath the chitin helmet? Elevate your pickpocketing skill to level 100 and you'll be able to extricate the helmet from his person to unveil a tattooed, well-defined visage topped by a stripe of black hair. Personally, I don't care much for thieving (I'm almost always a warrior in any playthrough), but you can bet your sweet biddy that I pump that skill tree all the way to the top just so I can remove that damn helmet permanently. Gazing upon his chiseled cheeks and striking eyes only make listening to his entertaining remarks all the better.
I'll stop right here before this turns into me fervently gushing over Teldryn Sero. He's my favorite, but the others on this list are just as worthy of love - love I'd give if I was capable of doing so. Ah, well. That's what mods and fan fiction are for.