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The Truth about Numinex


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#1
BrettM

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It seems like we have several conflicting stories about Olaf One-Eye and his captured dragon, and we can't even fully rely on the witnesses that we meet.

Paarthurnax should be the most reliable witness, but he tells you nothing about the capture, only that the poor creature was driven mad by his captivity and had forgotten his own name. However, Paarth also tells you that he used to visit the captive. Really? Did he get a visitor's pass from the Jarl, or did he disguise himself as one of the cleaning women? This claim sounds a bit suspect.

When arranging the capture of Odahviing, Balgruuf may mention that the dragon skull above his throne is actually that of Numinex. (I think you have to take the Imperial side in the rebellion to have this bit of dialog show up.) If so, then Numinex must somehow have died or been killed. Yet Viarmo may tell you that Numinex is known to have escaped, depending on your verse suggestions during "Tending the Flames". So we don't know the real truth here, either. Perhaps Numinex simply died in captivity, or he was killed during an escape attempt, or tracked down and killed after escaping. Perhaps the skull is really that of some random dragon and the idea that it is from Numinex came about because it makes a better story.

King Olaf's Verse doesn't seem very trustworthy, either. Svaknir may have had other issues with Olaf -- say a family member killed during the fight over the succession -- and used his position as a bard to spread nasty accusations about his enemy's rise to power. (Note to politicians: it can be a bad idea to make enemies in the media. :)) I would not find it surprising that a good king would become enraged and have Svaknir killed for spreading such tales, but neither is it surprising that a bad king would try to silence a critic for telling unpleasant truths. We have no way to tell which is the case.

The Bard's College perpetuates the accusations to this day and has treated Olaf as The Bad Guy for hundreds of years. However, one of the bards mentions that history is not made by those who act, but by those who write about those acts. A rather cynical and Orwellian comment, but certainly true. If the bards of the time wanted to show solidarity with one of their own, they might have let the story stand and started the tradition of burning Olaf in effigy, so it proves nothing about the truth of the matter. Modern bards are just accepting the accuracy of what has been handed down to them through the college. The only independent study that we have -- Olaf and the Dragon -- doesn't even attempt to do more than lay out the various conflicting stories.

When you meet Olaf in Sovngarde, he refers to Svaknir as an "honorable enemy" and doesn't bear any grudge. It's hard to believe that Olaf would even BE in Sovngarde if he were the cowardly con-artist that the verse makes him out to be. Tsun must have judged him valorous enough to enter the Hall. That seems to speak in his favor. But, then again, Svaknir is there too.

In short, we can't trust the scholarship and we can't ask the living/dead/undead witnesses (Paarthurnax, Olaf One-Eye, and Svaknir) for the full story when we meet them. We can't even get confirmation as to whether Olaf is a Tongue, which would argue for or against the shout-battle legend. No fair, Bethesda! Leaving a mystery in the backstory is one thing, but teasing us with witnesses that we can't question is going too far. :)

#2
RedRavyn

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This is one of many things in the game that Bethesda left completely unresolved. I think some of them were intentional, to put the players on the "moral burner", such as the "In My Time of Need" quest, where you have to make a choice of siding with either an allegedly innocent Redguard woman (by her accounts), or the Alikr who claim they're on a mission given them by the noble houses of Hammerfell to bing her back to face charges of treason. You never find out which side is right, and, of course, there are no repercussions either way later on in the game to even give you an inkling of whether your guess was the "right" one.

I'm convinced the Olaf/Numinex mystery is another such "tease", just to keep players off-guard. There a lot of quests in Skyrim which are just "unfinished", meaning Bethesda simply didn't make the effort to tie up all the loose ends (like leaving poor Cicero stranded indefinitely, even though you convince the farmer to fix his wagon). That's just the poor/sloppy/lazy game design we saw in Oblivion, and it didn't improve for Skyrim. Olaf/Numinex, though, is a nice touch, that I think was probably thought through, and goes a long way, in my opinion, to underlining the concept that the history of events that happened long ago "mutate" through time. That you can't get the truth from the "horse's mouth" (i.e., Olaf and Svaknir, themselves), once you get to Sovngarde, though, is something I find a bit annoying.

Some things can never be known for certain. This is probably one of them, and my assumption within the game is that nobody has all the answers about all this, so it really doesn't matter. After all, in a thousand years the Dovahkiin of this time will probably have his fair share of "illuminated" accounts, along with his equally fair share of detractors and fanboys. I wonder if anyone will tell the story about the Battle at the Western Watchtower in which a handful of brave Whiterun guards whittled down the fearsome Mirmulnir, just so the Dragonborn could bring him down with a single arrow. Yeah ... on one playthrough that's the only shot I got in on him because I was too busy hiding, running, and ducking for cover.

#3
sajuukkhar9000

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I'm convinced the Olaf/Numinex mystery is another such "tease", just to keep players off-guard. There a lot of quests in Skyrim which are just "unfinished", meaning Bethesda simply didn't make the effort to tie up all the loose ends (like leaving poor Cicero stranded indefinitely, even though you convince the farmer to fix his wagon). That's just the poor/sloppy/lazy game design we saw in Oblivion, and it didn't improve for Skyrim. Olaf/Numinex, though, is a nice touch, that I think was probably thought through, and goes a long way, in my opinion, to underlining the concept that the history of events that happened long ago "mutate" through time. That you can't get the truth from the "horse's mouth" (i.e., Olaf and Svaknir, themselves), once you get to Sovngarde, though, is something I find a bit annoying.


cicero does leave eventually, its actually a bug that causes the script to remove them to never trigger rather then Bethesda not making anything happen at all.

Edited by sajuukkhar9000, 04 April 2012 - 06:24 PM.


#4
kradus

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Lets give it a try.

1- I doupt Olaf would have been able to move Numinex all the way from mount Anthor to whiterun, let alone capture him alive in the open.

2- Olaf was versed in the thuum.

3- Olaf was a warlord of fierce reputation who was made king, or made himself king by the capture of Numinex.

So, we can assume that Olaf simply lured Numinex to whiterun somehow and used the dragon trap there, like the dragonborn does, after failing to kill him in Mount Anthor.

Or, Olaf and numinex where secretly alies, and the dragon could have helped Olaf to become more powerful with the voice. Olaf would have used the dragon and his own voice to destroy his enemies in order to become king. But the people where more concerned about putting an end to the dragon. So Olaf betrayed Numinex, made up a story and silenced all nonloyal whitnesses but one.

Or maybe Olaf did defeat Numinex in honorable battle, and Svaknir was just a whining little b*tch.

It depends on who you think was the Villain.

Edited by kradus, 05 April 2012 - 02:11 AM.


#5
BrettM

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Ah, but it's possible that neither was really a villain, based on Olaf's remarks in Sovngarde. He's actually looking forward to seeing Svaknir. Both of them must be honorable at the core, though they were enemies in life, or they wouldn't both be in Sovngarde to begin with, I would assume. Or at least not granted entrance to the Hall of Valor by Tsun.

#6
robanybody2000

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Olaf's presence in Sovngrade is a fact itself. If he was the vicious coward he wouldn't be there calling the bards wich burn him every week "honorable". I'm not saying the bards are The Villain, but they are prety much usless and don't have anything better to do. In fact if they didn't acuse Olaf of whatever they were acusing hif, you will have no quest in they'r college, because that's the only thing they do.

#7
kradus

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I think people only need to be great warriors to enter Sovnguard. Tsun does offer the dragonborn the option to return once he dies, no matter how many people you've betrayed/murdered.

#8
magiii

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it can supposedly only be reached by true Nords who die valiantly or in battle, regardless of personality.

its from uesp.

1. saying that they fought for many days and were even is nonsense! killing a human even a tongue is easy for an ancient dragon.
2. he was a tongue. he used thu'um in front of many witnesses (skyrim wikia)
3. numinex could not die in his cell (except he kills himself) for two reasons 1. if olaf used numinex as the verse says he would keep him alive. 2. numinex was mad but not hopeless to kill himself. and dragons are have a looooooooooooooong life span

4. the skull cannot belong to numinex. for two reasons 1. if a not-dragonborn kills a dragon it doesnt turn into bones as we see in game. 2. i think they eventually become bones after they rot away. but the jarl wouldnt hang a rotting dragon head from the wall now would he?
5. the bard was not a real nord! how can you accept a false nord's sayings about a true nord and an honorable tongue?

#9
BrettM

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The Jarl wouldn't have to hang a rotting skull. It is possible to remove flesh from bone without waiting for it to rot off, you know. Ask anyone who has ever made soup. Boiling water is all it takes.

#10
robanybody2000

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mmmmmmmm... Dragonhead Soup :happy:




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