Forums » Elder Scrolls

Why didn't they execute Ulfric first?

    • 30 posts
    October 3, 2014 11:40 AM EDT

    From a roleplay perspective, what were the reasons, if any, why General Tullius and the Imperials did not call Ulfric Stormcloak to the chopping block first? Was Tullius wanting Ulfric to wallow in dismay seeing his comrade in arms beheaded? What is your RP opinion? 

    ( For the Stormcloak storyline progression, yes it's obvious that Ulfric is essential)

    • 585 posts
    October 3, 2014 11:44 AM EDT
    One possibility is that they wanted to dishearten Ulfric, and make sure that he went to the block without any resistance. If they called him up first, and he put up a fight, it would bring a fight, which the Imperials don't want.
    • 856 posts
    October 3, 2014 11:45 AM EDT

    I think you summed it up precisely yourself. They wanted Ulfric to watch helplessly as his men were executed.

    • 1217 posts
    October 3, 2014 11:49 AM EDT

    Alphabetical order. "Damned Imperials and their lists!"

  • October 3, 2014 12:00 PM EDT
    They knew in their hearts what he says is true. That's why he wasn't killed first.
    • 1217 posts
    October 3, 2014 12:25 PM EDT
    I think if that were the case, they'd have done him first.
  • October 3, 2014 1:04 PM EDT
    They couldn't bring themselves to do it.
    • 133 posts
    October 3, 2014 5:11 PM EDT
    Because they are milkdrinking imperial cowards, they wanted to feel superior to him because in reality they are weak and stupid. They wanted to savour ulfrics helplessness. Yes, I am a stormcloak. What was your first clue?
    • 47 posts
    October 3, 2014 11:29 PM EDT

    Not all Imperials are weak and stupid... Martin Septim turned into a Dragon God then died.

    • 75 posts
    October 4, 2014 9:56 AM EDT

    Maybe, as well as this, they wanted to scare him. If he saw his men executed and realised he would have the same fate, he would be frightened. His men sentenced to be executed after him would be disheartened that their leader was terrified of dying..

    • 1 posts
    October 4, 2014 10:14 AM EDT

    If I recall right, what happen is that when the priestess were giving them their last rites, one stormcloak got impatient and when straight to the block by himself. Remember mister "Shut up and let get this over with" ? Also after the first guy was executed Ralof said "As fearless in death, as he was in life" meaning that he went there by himself before they killed Ulfric.

    But the reason why they went for the dragonborn next instead of Ulfric still makes me wounder.

    • 1439 posts
    February 2, 2016 1:59 PM EST

    Maybe they wanted to kill Ulfric last, let them savor their victory before they swoop in for the kiling blow

    • 268 posts
    February 2, 2016 3:28 PM EST
    Stop right there criminal scum!
    • 54 posts
    February 8, 2016 11:02 AM EST

    You always want to make a show of it. I love medieval times, and this is a thing they did too. Usually when an execution was held, if it was an important person, they would have a little holiday/festival, an excuse to take a break from their hard lives. That, obviously, isn't possible here, due to the risk of Stormcloaks busting him out, but if they make a good show of it, it can put down the Stormcloak rebellion that much faster, and less chance of him becoming a figure whose flaws were forgetton, and everyone symathisis with after death, making it easy to start his cause up again. Of course, that still would most likely happen, but you know.

    • 753 posts
    February 8, 2016 11:52 AM EST

    The power of necromancy is strong around here.

     It's what Boro said: the list. I think the Empire's intention was to execute the Dragonborn first so they could go on with their list, proceed with their protocol. The Empire is methodical. Let's make an analogy:

     A methodical player is about to start playing Skyrim, but then someone calls him. So he either ignores the call and takes the risk that the person calling will not give up, thus ruining the flow of his gaming session OR he picks up the phone, answers the call and goes back to playing the game, but this time he remembers to turn off the phone, or in the case of the Empire, to not capture an unknown dude and decide to execute him because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

     So some people can argue that the real hero in Skyrim is in fact a Stormcloak rebel who decides he can't wait to go to Sovngarde, for if he wasn't there, the Dragonborn would be the one to be executed first, and Nirn would be doomed.

    • 54 posts
    February 8, 2016 12:08 PM EST

    Hmm... But what if the priest keept on rambling long enough...

    • 753 posts
    February 8, 2016 1:08 PM EST

    That's a possibility, but it's still a big variable. We don't know how long that kind of sermon lasts.

    • 215 posts
    February 8, 2016 3:24 PM EST

    Yeah, I always pictured it was because he wanted Ulfric to suffer from seeing his kinsmen die.  Having done many playthroughs I actually felt the game forced you to side with the Stormcloaks without a really good "out" to join the Empire during the game (or even select them during the "split" process in Helgen).  Of course, for me, it took just one playthough with the 'Cloaks to realize that wasn't a good idea (to me) and that Ulfric honestly wouldn't really care if his men died in his stead. 

  • February 18, 2016 3:05 AM EST

    Plot armour is a roleplaying reason. Do not question the will of Talos!

    • 184 posts
    February 18, 2016 8:15 AM EST

    I feel that Bethesda handled it quite well, and your own beliefs are what ultimately prompt you to choose a side or not.

    They introduce you to Ralof, who is strong of faith and kind-hearted. They introduce you to Hadvar, who is highly disciplined and kind-hearted. They push you to Ralof, who nobly helps you out despite the fact that you could have committed any number of felonies. Then they push you to Hadvar, who is in the middle of saving children and the elderly, but still decides that he has time to rescue you - despite the fact that you could have committed any number of felonies.

    Both men, I feel, are designed to represent the bulk army of their respective factions (to a relatively superficial degree). They are both not very smart but large of heart. They grew up in the same village. They're basically the same person with different priorities. Unity and liberty.

    As a thirteen-year-old I was pro-Stormcloak; as a fourteen-year-old I gravitated to the Empire; now, I am at a politically sceptical stage in life and support neither.

    I feel that the game did a good job of letting you decide.

    • 27 posts
    March 10, 2016 12:28 PM EST

    Errr.... Rikke who orders the execution is actually a Nord. reading into that, many many Nords supported the Imperials. The only reason Ulfric got any traction with his Stormcloak idea was because he emphasized the outlawing of Talos worship. This galvanized many Nords to join into the Stormcloaks. Remember, the Empire is comprised of many races and cultures...not just the Imperial human race. Come to think of it, as of Skyrim time period, orcs are prized by the Imperial Legions for their tenacity and especially for their smithing skills. In reality, Ulfric did all of this as a bid for the throne. Now, that's fine by me, just call it for what it really is instead of national/racial pride. Of course his followers would tell you different.

    Truth be told, if the Empire still allowed the worship of Talos, by and large most of the Nord population would remain staunch allies with the Empire as they have been historically. But it was a serious mistake upon the Emperor's part to so easily accept the White Accord. Should have brought more to the table. Really he should have attempted to rally the nords of Skyrim as well as the Skaal into a galvanized force to push back the Dominion...and yes burn any Thalmor influence of the face of Skyrim.

    • 27 posts
    March 10, 2016 12:29 PM EST

    good point

    • 1439 posts
    March 10, 2016 12:45 PM EST

    I don't think the Skaal would want to help. They don't seem to worship the Nine, they seem to waant peace, they are too few, most of them are under Miraak's sway

    • 215 posts
    March 10, 2016 7:30 PM EST
    Your thought in the original post was exactly what I've always assumed that as the leader they wanted him to watch his men die and realize that he was to blame.
    • 753 posts
    March 10, 2016 9:02 PM EST

    I don't think Miraak's influence was already around back when the Treaty was sealed. But yes, I don't see the Skaal wanting to help, especially back then. They probably didn't even know about the Dominion and the Thalmor.