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10 Skyrim Secrets

Digging further into the world to shed light one some unknown gameplay
Skyrim: Elder Scrolls cover art, the Special Edition of the game was released 10/28 in honor of the game’s 5 year anniversary. (Courtesy of: Bethesda Game Studios)

His clean iron blade slices through the thin, bitterly cold air.  It grazes his enemy’s chest plate, barely making a scratch.  

The monster grips a steel shield and mace, unfazed, still pressing towards him.  The dragonborn dodges a blow from the mace and steps to the right, perfectly in line with the shield.  The monster takes advantage of the moment and puts all of its might into bashing him with the shield.  He stumbles back, momentarily dazed.  Quickly, he finds his footing and slowly looks up at the monster who is now exactly where he wants it. He focuses all of his energy on his voice and before the monster can make another move, he shouts.  The monster is sent soaring off of the mountain edge, the dragon watches as the monster hits and boulder, dead.

The gamer sits, staring at his screen.  His remote, shaking in his hands.  He reaches over to his can of Mountain Dew and takes a sip, shaking off the intensity of the battle that he had just fought.  He opens the menu, presses the save button, tightens his grip on his remote, and continues on.

The world of
Skyrim is full of monsters, fighting, adventure, and magic.  The single player game has a medieval feel with free roam.  It takes you through life a the “dragonborn,” the only human who can permanently kill dragons.  It allows you to choose your fate and enter into many different storylines throughout the world. Skyrim was originally released in 2011 for PC, Xbox 360, and ps3, but the remastered edition was released in October of 2016, making it available for Xbox One and ps4 for the first time.  

(Screenshot courtesy of Bathesda Game Studios)

As new and old gamers explore the world of Skyrim, the games secrets have been uncovered (and certainly there are more to discover).  Whether it’s secret quest lines, weapons, or seemingly randomly placed objects with hidden meaning, the game is full of mysteries.  

Here are 10 secrets of the game that players may not have known about.



1. Shedding Light on Shadowmarks

Shadowmarks are a way that thieves guild members communicate to each other  to know the buildings potential usage.  Players can find shadowmarks on buildings throughout Skyrim.

Shadowmark located on a building in Whiterun.
A reference guide explaining the Shadowmarks in Skyrim. (Courtesy of: eldersrolls.wikia.com)










2. Destroying the Dark Brotherhood

The Dark Brotherhood questline is started by completely the “Innocence Lost” quest.  Following the quest, the dragonborn will be kidnapped by Dark Brotherhood leader, Astrid.  At this point, the dragonborn can choose to kill Astrid, instead of killing one of the captives.  Afterwards, the player will be directed to report the death of the leader and the dragonborn will soon be sent to align with Commander Maro.  Together, the dragonborn and Commander Mar will work to destroy the group of assassins. 




3. Tricking the Thalmor

When playing the main quest line to defeat the dragons, Delphine will have the dragonborn break into the Thalmor Embassy, to see if the elves know anything about the dragons.

This quest can be difficult if the player is still a low level.  However, there is a way to avoid the fighting.  If the dragonborn is a high elf, they can put on Thalmor robes and the guards will let them in.  



4. Easter Eggs


You can find the reference in the back of Endon’s house in Markarth.







Lord of the Rings References

In the world of Skyrim, there is a war between the Stormcloaks and the Imperials.  Both groups are fighting for control over Skyrim.  The dragonborn gets to pick which side to fight on.  Either pick leads to big battles for cities throughout Skyrim.  The whole civil war questline, feels like Lord of the Rings when fighting for cities throughout Skyrim.  Turns out, Bethesda, the creators of Skyrim intended it to be that way and this can be seen with LOTR references.

  • Giant tree in Whiterun in reference to the White Tree in LOTR.  Both trees are dying.
  • During the “Battle for Whiterun” Hadvar or Ralof (depending on whether the dragonborn is stormcloak or imperial) say “I’m pretty sure I killed more than you.  I was counting.” In reference to LOTR characters Legolas and Gimli who count their kills during battles.
  • The city of Whiterun in Skyrim resembles the city of Edoras from LOTR

  • There is a Hagraven in Skyrim who will say, “My precious” while the dragonborn tries to take a ring away from her in reference to the famous line from Gollum.

Star Wars References

  • When traveling with the ghost of Lucien Lachance, he says “I feel a disturbance in the void,” which is very similar to the quote “I feel a great disturbance in the Force.”
  • In Frostfruit Inn, Erik is having a conversation with his father, his dad saying, “All I ask is that you stay for one more season,” and, “That’s just your mother’s side in you.”  This is a reference to Uncle Owen’s conversation with Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

5. Arresting Cicero

Cicero is a key player in the Dark Brotherhood quest line.  However, the dragonborn can have an interaction with the assassin before they even begin the quest line.

When walking outside of Whiterun, the dragonborn will come across Loreius Farm.  On the road in front of the farm, there may be a broken cariage, a big wooden box, and a man in a Jester’s outfit, Cicero. He is asking for help to get his other to her funeral.  The player can choose to help him or eport him to the guards to get him arrested.  When the dragonborn begins the dark brotherhood questline, Cicero will recognize them for their actions and the payer learns that his dead “mother” was really The Night Mother


6. Hidden Potions

There are potions of healing randomly scattered throughout the city capitol
of Skyrim, Solitude.  Not only can the dragonborn take them, but they also respawn. So don’t waste time and money to buy positions, there will be plenty, if searched for, in Solitude.





7. Notched Pickaxe

Located on the very top of the throat of the world is the notched pickaxe.

It appears to be like any other pickaxe.  However, it is enchanted and has conflicted meaning behind it.  Some people believe that it is a reference to the creator of Minecraft, Markus Persson, also known as Notch.  Other people believe that it is a reference to Andrew Irvine, a mountaineer who disappeared during his expedition on Mount Everest since the Throat of the World is the tallest mountain in Skyrim.

8. Ants

Skyrim is known for it’s impressive graphics.  The landscape and mountains can be beautiful.  However, the game isn’t just detailed in the big things.  If players look closely on logs and trees, they may see some ants crawling around.  The ants are proof of just how much work was put into the game to make it as realistic as possible.

9. Mammoths Tusks

Skyrim is home to several different creatures.  Some of the most fearsome creatures are the giants.  With one swing of a club, they can send players up to the clouds and back down to your death.  The beasts can be peaceful, unless you pose a threat to their precious mammoths.  

There is a way to avoid harming the giants mammoth, just look at their tusks. Giant’s Mammoths have carvings in their tusks.  Free mammoths do not.  Make sure to look at the tusks before you go mammoth hunting.









10. Ice Giant Karstaag

Players can resurrect ice giant Karstaag in the Castle Karstaag Ruins on the north western edge of Solstheim.  The dragonborn must travel to Glacial Cave, retrieve Karstaag’s skull, and return it to his throne.  As soon as the skull is placed on the throne, Karstaag’s ghost will appear and attack the player.  Once defeated, the dragonborn will be rewarded with the power Summon Karstaag which will allow them to call upon the ghost of Karstaag to help them in battle.

While playing Skyrim, whether it be for the first time or for the thousandth time, be sure to look for these secrets. They just may make your experience of thieving, spell casting, life-taking, and life-saving experience a bit more fun.  Shouting monsters off of mountains will no longer be the best part of the game.


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