The most ruthless characters in The Elder Scrolls series

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Ancient Scrolls The franchise is filled to the brim with interesting, and at times polarizing, characters with intriguing motivations. Although there is a lot of buzz in the fandom about which character is the most hated or which character possesses brutality beyond the others, and questions about power, method and morality often crop up in the fandom , they often do not receive a consensus.


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The cruelty is a trait marked by the combination of all these factors and the characters on this list are defined as such in addition to the level of guilt they feel after the fact. In order to keep this list fair, Aedra and Daedra will be ignored due to their mythical status.

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Delphine des Lames standing in the secret base of The Bannered Mare

Delphine is the leader of the Blades faction in Skyrim. Once charged with guarding the rulers of Tamriel and being known as the Dragonguard, the Blades in Skyrim don’t even hold a fraction of the power they once had.

Urged to return to this era of glory, Delphine, one of the two remaining Blades, sends the Dragonborn on a series of quests to get to the bottom of the Dragon’s attacks. At the end of the questline, the player’s final quest is to slay the dragon that helped them defeat Alduin, Paarthurnax.

Astrid standing against a wall in Falkreath Shrine

Trained in the art of clandestine assassination, it will be hard to find anyone more ruthless than a member of the Dark Brotherhood.

Astrid, the leader of the Falkreath Branch, refuses to defer to the authority of the Night Mother, plots behind the Dragonborn’s back to eventually try to kill them, and does so for selfish reasons. The player’s betrayal comes at a high cost to the Dark Brotherhood itself as an unintended consequence of their actions. However, she admits her guilt moments before her death.

Mercer Frey in the Ratway Vault

Mercer Frey is the leader of the thieves guild in skyrim, and also serves as the main villain of the questline. Unlike Astrid, the cutthroat apparently has no regrets and proves it countless times.

Mercer’s ambitions were well thought out, and his cloak and dagger methods somewhat surprise the questline conflict. It is debatable whether stealing from thieves is really immoral, but the leader had unquestionably broken the code of order and broken the trust of many people without regard.

Maven Black-Briar meets the player at The Bee and Barb

There are few characters who elicit as much hatred and antagonistic feelings from the fan base as Maven Black-Briar herself, and for good reason, too.

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She is incredibly selfish, shrewd, cunning, and rude. What makes Maven ruthless is not her ability to kill competitors of her brewing business or anyone else in the manner of the Black-Briars, but that she apparently has no qualms about committing such acts and cares very few of anyone is not his family or himself.

Lady Syl with her courtiers, presiding over the court of Dementia.

The Lady of Paranoia holds the court of insanity in the Shivering Islands and is the more conniving of the two dukes. Lady Syl is explained to the player as a deeply chilled person who thinks everyone is trying to kill her.

However, if the player following this quest line denies helping her eliminate the conspirators, she wastes no time in reminding them that she will lock them in her torture chamber. Like those above her on this list, betrayal is another mark of the Duchess’s cruelty as she surrenders to Jyggalag and becomes a priest of the order, betraying and spitting Lord Sheogorath.

Mathieu Bellamont in the game. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

In Oversight, the main antagonist of the Dark Brotherhood questline is Matthew Bellamont, a member of the Dark Brotherhood who has served the order since he was a young boy.

From the alleged murder of his own father to attract the attention of the Night Mother, to the systematic murder of members of the Dark Brotherhood, Bellamont had planned the downfall of the organization ever since his mother was murdered by a Brotherhood assassin. black. This, while somewhat understandable and capable of being rationalized, is a brutal act that characterizes a cold-blooded killer.

Miraak In Apocrypha, looking at the Dragonborn.

Once a dragon priest, the “First Dragonborn” is an antagonist of the Dragonborn questline of Skyrim. He bonded with Hermaeus Mora and his Apocrypha plan gained all the knowledge and power Hermaeus Mora offered, then turned against his original masters, the Dragons.

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Despite all the power he had, he refused to end Alduin’s terror when the Nords asked him to lend his expertise against the World Eater. The icing on the cake is that when the player encounters him after defeating Alduin, Miraak says he could have done the deed on his own.

Archivicar Vyrthur

Arch-Vicar Vyrthur is one of the last snow elves in Skyrim. It is not a good sign that Gelebor, his brother, upon meeting the Dragonborn and Serana, asks them to kill Vyrthur due to the turpitude the Falmer have inflicted on him.

To create an entire prophecy, The Tyranny of the Sun, that would endanger the lives of countless people and throw Nirn into chaos, just to antagonize a Divine and derive some personal satisfaction for a wrong that may not even have been committed by the said Divine is a product of his nefarious revenge.

Mankar Camoran with the mountains of Skyrim in the background.

Mankar Camoran is the creator of the Mythic Dawn, a cult of Daedric worshipers in service of Mehrunes Dagon, the Lord of Destruction. Although his plane from Oblivion is called Mankar Camaron’s Paradise, it’s anything but.

Prisoners are harassed by Dremora, and the only way out of the plane isn’t even a real exit unless you have the Chosen Tapes. It instead leads to a torture chamber. To add to his acts of cruelty, he was the one who planned the assassination of the Emperor.

Lord Harkon at the Vampire Court of Volkihar.

In the Dawnguard questline, the player encounters the Volkihars, a court of mighty vampires who live far from men and the sea. Lord Harkon is the leader of the clan and is by far the most ruthless character the Dragonborn encounters in the game.

Not only did he betray the player and Serana, his daughter, but he also killed and sacrificed thousands of people as part of his worship of the Daedric Prince, Molag Bal. In addition to this, Lord Harkon plots to follow the prophecy made by the priest of the Ark so that the vampires can dominate Nirn and rule it.

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