Character Profile – Nitter

When we all transfer our DNA into hard drives and live in a virtual paradise, the one thing that is certain is that it will be full of beautiful people. Sure, there will be times when we all get bored of being hunky/sexy supermodels and role play a club-footed midget, but for the most part we are lazy and it is simply easier to live our daily lives as a more ideal version of ourselves.

We will all be beautiful. We will all be confident, for whatever weaknesses we had could be erased with the appropriate software. We will all be more or less perfect.

While there’s a Stepford-ian quality to such a utopia, this is not a bad thing. There will still be diversity, it will simply come from our various interpretations of beauty. There will also be Orcs and Khajiit and Fairies and Hobbitses, and that outweighs any fears of the kind of banality we now associate with the suburbs. In fact, the analogy probably works better in reverse. The virtual world will be full of breasts, beauty, beasts, and blood. It will be total hyperbole, and we will forget all the plain ol’ folks we left back in the real one.

The modding world is but a teaser for this dichotomy.  It adds to Skyrim hordes and hordes of beautiful, talented, badasses and quirky, adorable companions. For creators of smaller NPC mods, it makes sense, as there’s a marketing aspect to consider.  However, if you combine them all together, what you end up with is a Skyrim less like it was intended to be, and more like our virtual playground of the future.

That is to say, no one will want to download a companion mod featuring an insecure, submissive man with a bird for a haircut. In a vacuum, this person would not stand out. However, in a world full of beautiful, amazing, and eccentric people, the universe’s last pathetic weakling seems almost refreshing, and Nitter (Tom Shortridge) is all kinds of pathetic.

While Hjoromir‘s weaknesses are almost masked by his unwavering bravado, Nitter is no such thing. He is an obvious submissive, making himself an easy target in a city full of cutthroats. For the PC, Jaree-Ra is at best a partner and at worst someone entirely beneath you. For Nitter, he’s a chance for acceptance. He’s a friend. So while all the warning signs are there, he chooses to ignore them. Moreover, he has an incentive to ignore them. It’s not so much the loneliness that drives him, as he’s become numb to the feeling. It’s the joy of having someone muss his hair, even when the fingers are coarse. Nitter will commit crimes, he will act against his own interests, because for him, nothing was as euphoric as that feeling he belonged.

Which is why the only cure for his destructive behavior was true acceptance. In Ma’zaka, he found someone who not only forgave him, but understood him. After all those years cooped up in an old lighthouse, perhaps they needed each other. Sure, the relationship mirrors a mentor and his student, but in terms of their friendship, Ma’zaka is the first person to ever see Nitter as a peer. So while the pairing may not be perfect, and there will be days they annoy each other, in the end, having each other’s company is something they both find ideal.

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