When you first arrive in Riverwood, you’re presented with a choice of followers, and the distinction is rather clear. On one side you have a titan with a warhammer stained in blood, a mountain whose very breath tumbles through the sky. On the other is a callow but eager weakling, who struggles to polish your boots as he daydreams of better days.
Perhaps the choice is easy. For practical reasons alone, the brute would be the one. He would stand tall against the waves of bandits and beasts, while his counterpart would spend half his time getting stomped, and the other half getting trampled. Combine the brute’s size with a bit of charm, and the poor errand boy doesn’t stand a chance. In fact, it only gets worse when he opens his mouth. The boy talks of being a hero, of saving the world and becoming something bigger than himself.
He talks as if he were you.
Hjoromir is the very first NPC you meet for a reason. As we embark on this journey to become a person we’re not, we inevitably leave behind the person we are. Hjoromir is the embodiment of the person at the keyboard, every gamer who’s ever immersed themselves in a fantasy world because the real one wasn’t up to standard.
Still, we don’t play games to be ourselves. The last thing we want is our avatars to be the common man. As great heroes, those are the people we ignore. At times, they’re the people we resent. They want us to fetch this or resolve that. Their menial, everyday squabbles mean nothing when compared to the scope of our destiny. And the boasts of someone like Hjoromir will only look foolish as we attempt to fulfill it.
Yet Hjoromir is also a follower for a reason. Maybe when we set out on this great and tireless odyssey, we don’t have to say goodbye to the person we were. Maybe, when you make your choice of companion, you’ll see a fellow traveler, a fellow dreamer, and take him along for the ride.