While I am certain this topic has already been beaten to death like a horse pinata, I'd like to open up discussion regarding the Dovakiin's potential affiliation with Caesar's Leg- I mean.... uh.... The Imperials and the Stormcloaks. I would like to present my views on each faction, respectively, from a Pro-faction perspective of each and see what, if anything, any posters out there have to say. I apologize in advance if I accidentally reveal any spoilers as the majority of this post is comprised of conjecture based on what little information has been given so far to the public (which is to say, not much) - so any actual correlations to actual in-game events will be entirely by coincidence alone. Some historical lore information may also be inaccurate due to human error. Besides, this is intended as an intelligent, open discussion, not a Team Empire vs. Team Stormcloak post-game slug-fest.
Arguments supporting a Pro-Imperial Dovakiin:
Personally, the most obvious fact one can take into consideration in support of the Imperials is the association with the royal line of the Empire and the Dragonborn. Given the events following the end of Obliviion's main story line, to my knowledge there is never any mention of a successor to the throne (with the exception of Chancellor Ocato named as a regent) prior to the content in Skyrim. If indeed there still remains an actual emperor in power by the time of the events of Skyrim, they are most certainly not of any lineage of the actual Septim royal line. Given that the player character is stated as being one of the last of the Dragonborn, the case could be made, lore-wise, that the player character could be a possible legitimate claimant to the Imperial throne by way of this fact alone. While I doubt this would ever be brought up explicitly in the game itself, it is conceivable that by the player character's exploits in the game could pave the way for an ascension to the Imperial Throne "off-camera" by either the player character, or a descendant thereof.
A second point is that a successful uprising by the inhabitants of Skyrim could spark similar events across the entire empire, eventually leaving the entire continent a fractured mess of warring, scheming, petty-kingdoms with little to no ability to stage a defense against a cohesive external threat. While the planes of Oblivion may no longer be a threat, what of the Akavir or Dwemer? Would it be so outlandish as to believe at some point one of these forgotten races were to suddenly reemerge and sweep across all Tamriel unchecked?
Arguments supporting a Pro-Stormcloak Dovakiin::
After the fall the Septim Dynasty it appears as though the Empire itself is buckling under it's own weight. Coupled with the less-than-stellar treatment of the native populous in the provincial regions of the empire (such as Morrowind) by Imperial occupation forces stationed to maintain "order", this could be seen as an opportunity to throw off the shackles of a foreign oppressor, especially if one chooses to play as an extremely nationalist Nord character or similar. Also given the Septim royal line argument made above, this route would provide an early boost to a would-be claimant's power base as there is already an established group willing to overthrow the Imperial regime. A Dovakiin with their eye on the throne could bypass the court intrigue and dubious pocket stuffing of bringing enough of the Imperial forces into his or her own fold to mount what would be in-essence a coup of the Imperial throne.
The region of Skyrim also has a long history of internal strife and civil war. It would seem that the population of Skyrim are then quite accustomed to possessing an independent spirit as embodied by the Stormcloaks fighting for an Imperial-free Skyrim. This also presents the age-old dilemma of personal freedom vs. civil stability. If you choose to support a free Skyrim, there is a potential danger that the system you replace the Imperial rule with is worse than what you had to begin with. Likewise assisting an oppressive Imperial Army could be just as bad as the alternative.
I don't think there will be a black-and-white distinction of who is the good guy and who isn't regarding these two factions, but instead left up to the player's interpretation based on their presentation in the game. Each side will have their own reasons and methods to accomplish their goals, some good, some bad. The actual decision of the player to support either faction here will be much more enjoyable for people like me whom try to keep their character 'in-tune' with events in the game rather than simply looking at the larger picture of a 'Rebels vs. Empire' dynamic.
Comments, ideas, counter arguments?
Edited by Xengeance, 10 November 2011 - 09:25 PM.