Skyrim: Mjoll Loves the Dragonborn, Not Aerin
I promise this is not one of those "My waifu is the best!" posts where a nerd gushes about their fictional girlfriend for twenty paragraphs.
In reality, I actually hated Mjoll for years just because she was so popular with the fanbase and no one would shut the hell up about her. Every mod I installed -- including Inigo and 3DNPCS -- gushed over this character who wasn't that remarkable to me in the slightest.
This is coming from someone whose favorite vanilla character is Cicero, so maybe I'm just insane. I loved Cicero because he was the first Skyrim character I met that felt alive, like someone had put some effort into making him stand out.
I imagine this is the way most fans feel about Mjoll. There are actually many, many reasons to like her.
She's fairly decent to look at.
She has a backstory and feels like someone put effort into developing her.
She's essential and makes a great tank.
She's a decent human being in a world where most NPCs are jerks.
And for some reason, she has a crush on the Dragonborn.
That last point is probably the biggest reason most fans love Mjoll. That and she is also a badass warrior woman who kicks butt and takes names. But I'll get to her crush on the Dragonborn in a second. Let me first explain when I had this epiphany that Mjoll isn't in love with Aerin (and that people who kill him are monsters).
Inigo Brought Me To This Conclusion
I started using the Inigo mod about one year ago after years and years of going, "A blue khajiit? Whatever."
Yes, I suppose I fell into Gary's (the mod author's) trap of missing out on good things because I made a hasty judgement based on someone's appearance. As it turns out, I installed Inigo on a khajiit Guild Master character of mine and wound up loving him to little pieces. I haven't played Skyrim without him since.
Because I almost always play khajiit characters (assassins and thieves being my favorite builds), it was nice to have a friend for my character in a world where she faced so much vitriol alone.
One day I was walking through Riften with Inigo when I noticed Mjoll walking by with Aerin close behind her. I thought to myself, "What is up with those two?"
For years, I just didn't understand it (silly me). I never believed they were lovers but I never understood their friendship either. Then I glanced back over my shoulder and saw Inigo walking close behind me with the same vapid NPC smile as Aerin, and I thought, " . . . oh."
In that moment, I realized that Mjoll and Aerin were really good friends and loved each other in the same way Inigo and the Dragonborn are really good friends and love each other.
And yet, the fandom seemed utterly convinced that the two were bumping uglies, as if a man and an attractive woman can't just be friends. It's possible if the man isn't a sexist piece of crap who sees women as sex objects and not human beings he can befriend.
Now that I'm an enlightened one, it's become extra annoying to see Mjoll and Aerin constantly referenced as if they were a couple when they most certainly are not.
Mjoll is all alone. Her family is dead, and she's been wandering the world from place to place, looking for a home. If she were really an adventurer, she wouldn't have stopped traveling to stay with Aerin. It's my belief that she found a home in him.
Mjoll Wants The Dragonborn
Mjoll isn't gushing or batting her lashes when you first speak to her, but it's pretty obvious through her actions (not words) that she wants to be with the Dragonborn and only the Dragonborn. When you first meet her in Riften, she greets you warmly and chats with you about Riften and the Thieves Guild. If you mention you plan on joining, she becomes rude every time you talk to her after, but she will still marry you if you collect her sword, Grimsever.
You can be Guild Master of the Thieves Guild and Listener for the Dark Brotherhood, and Mjoll will still marry you.
I don't think this was an oversight. As I've mentioned multiple times on other articles, Skyrim is all about irony. Mjoll, the so-called "champion" of Riften, is more than willing to say "to hell with it" and marry the person who is the living embodiment of everything she stands against. If you tell her to her face that you're joining the Thieves Guild, she still wants you and doesn't care. She might get snarky for a while, but she'll walk down that aisle and enjoy it.
I believe this was done for the sake of pure irony, so that the player could have a laugh. I know it's the reason I married her last year on one of my Guild Master characters. I thought it would be hilarious to marry Mjoll after becoming leader of the people she hated. And it was . . . at first.
Mjoll Actually Is The Best Wife
After marrying Mjoll, I stopped hating her, and the joke was on me, because I realized that the fandom loved her for a damn good reason. She quickly became my favorite wife in Skyrim.
She was concerned for my character and was soft-spoken and kind. She called me "dear." And she could carry all my loot plus me.
Also, whenever Inigo hit on her, she shot him down, which was funny. She's a loyal wife, whose head can not be turned by charming blue cats!
I've married more than a couple of the followers over the years, and Mjoll, for me, takes the cake. She is a great wife both for gameplay reasons and roleplay reasons.
Kinda makes me sad that she didn't get more content the way characters like Serana or Frea did. Especially given that she's the only remotely unique vanilla follower who is a woman and can "romance" a female Dragonborn.
© 2018 Ash Gray