Character Profile – Zora Fair-Child

If you met Zora Fair-Child in her youth, you would not be as fond of her as you are now.  That Zora was selfish. Vain. She was the Diamond of Riverwood, but inside, she was about as ugly as they come.

From the day she was born, they said Zora was the lucky one. Born with beauty and blessed with charm, she was a child destined to be loved. Her sister, on the other hand, was a quiet, homely, mage – a girl destined to be scorned.

When Zora first lost her beauty, she went through all the Kubler-Ross stages of grief, but it was the anger part that was the most consequential. She stormed into the caves that surrounded the White River with a sword twice her size strapped to her back. The wolves around Riverwood were known to hunt in packs, and had fangs that could cut through flesh like a warm sweetroll. Zora didn’t just know this, she was counting on it. She didn’t care anymore whether she lived or died. Yet somehow, the poor girl managed to live.

Of course she did. She was always the lucky one.

When Zora woke up from her hysteria, she found herself an unrecognizable mess of scars. And yet with every new wound, every discolored stripe that streaked across her flesh, the loss of her physical beauty became less and less important. When her destiny was out of reach, she found something else to define her. Not because she wanted to. She had no other choice.

Zora’s growth as a character is about being comfortable in her own skin. As such, it’s no coincidence the one spell in her repertoire is Oakflesh. Still, throughout her trials and tribulations with the Dragonborn, a part of her will never be at peace with what she’s lost. Nor will you, despite all your powers as the savior of Skyrim, be able to free her from this curse. That’s life. Not every problem can be solved. Not every affliction has a cure.

As human beings, when faced with such problems, we endeavor to accept them. That doesn’t mean you’re happy to, or that you’re satisfied with your current existence. It just means you learn to move on with the cards you’ve been dealt. Zora has those moments where she laughs at herself, or feels sorry for herself, but in the end she still has the resolve to move forward, when so many others would wallow in self-pity, constantly looking back. She eventually learns to accept the person she is, and yet in some ways, even that isn’t enough.

Which brings us to the final step in her evolution as a person. In both her dialogue about Joselyn and The Children Fair, she goes beyond simply accepting the past. She embraces it. After all, without her medley of scars, she would have never understood her sister’s pain. Moreover, she would have never understood herself. And it’s that resolve and understanding that is the very essence of her strength.

That, ultimately, is what makes her beautiful.

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52 thoughts on “Character Profile – Zora Fair-Child

  1. Zora is my favorite follower (and arguably my most favorite npc) in this mod.Not only is her back-story and personality done very well, her dialogue can go from deep to light hearted in a way that is so natural that makes it her really appealing to travel around with. Though to be honest I’m curious as to what ever happened to her parents and how they felt about her being scarred.

    I have a suggestion though. Have you thought about adding dialogue on Zora’s opinion on quests and NPCs added by this mod that she doesn’t have a personal connection to? Quests such as the Radiant Dark, The Paper Mirror, etc and NPCs such as Skarjn, Fironet, Griffith, etc. It would add a different perspective to not only other characters but to Zora herself.

    1. Vanilla quests and commentary will have to be done first. The mod quests and characters, as well as Dragonborn, will hopefully be incorporated in time, depending on whether you’re supposed to have additional followers.

      For instance, you’re not supposed to be able to bring an additional follower into the crystal in The Children Fair, so no commentary will be added there.

  2. Yup, I have trouble leaving her getting an other follower. She still is fair, just allot of scars too!
    Does she have banter with vanilla followers, or was it that she comments when one meets other iNPC’s in inns and such?

    Looking forward to expanded dialogue on this one; then again that pretty much goes for everyone in this mod :D

  3. This was a good read, especially since I’m not yet on the Zora bandwagon. She seems to be the most beloved character in the whole mod, so you’re clearly doing something right!

    1. did you do the prerequisite? zora requires passing the main quest and telling her you’re interested, as much of her dialogue was written before i figured out how to marry people.

      if you’ve done that, the other possibility is another mod that uses the vanilla marriage quest, try load order fiddling.

  4. Hi.

    I finished the main quest, and a new conversation appears about the fall of Alduin, but I cant marry her, why? the comment for marriage is not showing… The other npc are fine, but Zora does not ;_;


    1. You have to have responded that you’re interested in her, which sets dialoguezora to 20. doing it via the console also works.

      you also need to own a vanilla house and be a man. all other requirements are vanilla

      1. What command do you use to set that? (Tried finding the command, but there was just too many of them! o.o)
        I wanted my character to seem unsure about his love to Zora, so I wasn’t as straightforward as normally. ;)

        Amazing mod.

        1. haha, zora needs to be wooed. she was born a princess-type, but more than that she’s afraid you won’t like her because of the scars. So you’re uncertainty results in her uncertainty, and everyone gets friendzoned.

          But in any case, “setstage dialoguezora 20” will open up the dialogue

          1. Right, so here’s what I’ve tried. I completed the main quest (doing the last half of it twice due to a lack of saves) and spoke with marmal. I’ve had Zora around forever and I expressed interest of marriage to Zora upon my return from Sovngarde. She says something about fairy tales, then the conversation moves on to what she wants, which is apparently out of her armor. I wear the amulet, I’ve waited and fast traveled, I’ve tried console marriage and setstage dialoguezora 20 – nothing is working. I don’t have any mods that affect marriage. Should I just give it up? Or am I missing something that’s going to make me feel stupid?

  5. Can you explain to me what’s with her deliberately and constantly allowing herself to be captured by necromancers? Does she have a death wish? Or was this supposed to be sarcasm on her part and I shouldn’t have taken her too literally?

        1. Ah, so she avoids public spaces except for Riverwood, where everyone already knows her. Her need to avoid them wasn’t actually clear to me.

  6. Such a great mod… it made skyrim so much more interesting. And most of all Fun. As for Zora, Yes please expand her dialogue, maybe some Romance Role play? Jokes, vanilla followers interaction’s just like “Vilja” does… Quest for Dibella. with the reward to remove your scars, or hers, or make her sister beautiful… Tough choice. lol Dunno just trowing some ideas.

    1. Well, the entire point of her story is that she’s become okay with not being beautiful. Her scars are part of her. And it’s the same with her sister. They’re both beautiful already, they doesn’t need magic or a perfect face to be beautiful. Changing her sister’s face or healing her scars would ruin the entire point and message of their storyline!

    1. literally ruined my plans for my shield maiden char, now I’m going to have to make a whole new character who’s male just to marry her.

        1. Tried sex change, like, the dialogue of me asking her if she would wear the amulet is there, but she just replies that she would hope someone else wearing one will see pass her scars… and then that’s it, got any further ideas for help?

          1. you have to beat the main quest as well as express interest in the post-quest conversation.

            Zora was originally made a marriage candidate before I learned to make quests. Thus all the progression of your relationship happened over the course of the vanilla quests, particular right before you leave for Sovngarde and after you return. It still does, for the most part. It made sense to make slaying Alduin the culmination of that.

          1. setstage dialoguezora 20 does not work for me. I’m sure I typed it correctly. Is there any reason for this? I’ve completed the quest, just accidentally skipped through the dialogue.

  7. Hi Kris,
    Zora is not in her cage at Brittle. I even teleported to her using commands and she’s not there. Is there a way I can reset her using console commands? Granted I did try to start the blood of kings quest line via console command before I met her so did I screw the pooch on this?

    1. yeah, console command will disable zora because you’re not supposed to take her along at the start of Blood of Kings.

      It will also disable every other NPC involved in that questline too.

  8. So I just have to restart the quest? Because the quest doesn’t even work. So I should restart it using the “set stage” command, yes? Or is there a special way to do it? I don’t want to break it any more than I have.

    1. Well, I’m not sure what console commands you used, or what you did to break it. If you started blood of kings with the console command to set stage 10, then you just talk to Helcyon at the huntsman and proceed. but if you did other stuff, then I’m not sure.

      There also could be weirdness throughout the quest (people you’re supposed to have met doing their initial greets instead of quest dialogue) but should be functional once you get past that.

  9. Why the distinctly non-Breton name for a Breton (I was surprised to learn that she is, in fact, a Breton)? Are she and Joselyn daughters of a Breton mother and a Nordic father?

  10. Zora is the first “interesting NPC” I ran into on my first game after installing the mod. I can’t imagine ever letting her go for a different follower. Thank you for adding this character. The voice actress is great too.

  11. I used setstage dialoguezora 20 to try to marry Zora, she still won’t give me the option to marry her. I am a male toon, I own a vanilla home, and I have like 20 Amulets of Mara. Can someone point me in the right direction?

  12. I can’t seem to get marriage to work…finished her personal quest, the main quest, expressed interest, wore an amulet of mara and asked her about it…still nothing.

  13. A good quirky companion character with a touch of complexity, always gives the sense like shes not all quite there touched with a little madness. It just seems apt to have her fitted like an assasin, Sicarus armour hood and unique Ebony Blade and a mask but I might take the mask off.

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