I hate the Thieves Guild


The slow drip of water from the ceiling splashed into the puddle at my feet. I hear it echo into the darkness down the tunnel. I slide the axe from my belt and lift my shield. To my side I hear Mjoll heft her sword, Grimsever. Together we will burn this filth from the city and then I will ask her to be my wife. I’ve wanted her for a while, but first I had to recover her lost hammer and now, together, we would put an end to this band of thieves. Then we would marry as warriors.

I open the door to the Ragged Flagon and head around the large cistern full of brown water. At the far end of the room I see them waiting at tables and drinking. They think I’m here to join them, so they are at ease and continue drinking. These are dangerous men, but they are nothing compared to me. The first of the scum approaches to greet me and barely realizes what I intend before my axe smashes into his face knocking him to the ground. The rest are stunned, but they are professional and their blades are quickly unsheathed. As they are circling me and Mjoll, I shout and smash one of them with my shield, the force knocks him to the ground. My axe falls down onto him and then it’s onto the next one. Chaos is all around me. I am the Dragonborn, but they are many… almost too many. I swing my axe until fatigue sets in and then I realize something. They aren’t dying… What sorcery is this? These are thieves and I am the hero of legend! Something is wrong! I see Mjoll struggling to keep this scum down as I struggle to understand what is going on.

Wait… Hold on… Motherfucker! Damn you Bethesda! You glitchy motherfuckers!

According to The Elder Scrolls Wiki the members of the Thieves Guild are essential characters and cannot be killed. There is also no way to actually get rid of the Thieves Guild. So, if you are playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and you are the epic hero who has come to right the wrongs and save everyone, then there is no way to do anything about the Thieves Guild. Ever. There is no way to help Mjoll The Lioness get rid of the Thieves Guild. I can easily get rid of The Dark Brotherhood. They are a bunch of evil assassins, but apparently the Dragonborn is powerless against a few thieves drinking in a sewer.

This constantly pisses me off. Every time I go to Riften I am reminded of my inadequacy. I was planning on marrying Mjoll, but then I was worried she would keep bringing up the Thieves Guild or simply keep reminding me of their continued existence by her mere presence. Now, I’m considering playing the single dad for the remainder of my game. Part of me thinks this is a minor quibble, but the rest of me says fuck that. My frustration is justified. I’m playing Skyrim to get my role-playing on and Bethesda cock-blocked me. You know, because I was going to marry Mjoll.

The real problem is that Skyrim is supposed to be all about choices and allow gamers some freedom in how they want to resolve their problems. If it worked as beautifully as the game looks then I would never stop playing it, but the Thieves Guild isn’t the only time the game truly leaves you almost no choice it’s just the most glaring I’ve found. There is also a pretty sizeable penalty for not being more comfortable with crime. Unless you complete the Thieve’s Guild Quest you will never gain access to one of the Shouts. Why can’t I simply kill the leader of the Thieve’s Guild and take his keys? Or maybe they could have worked a series of quests in where I actually help Mjoll destroy the Thieves Guild. There is no solution. I simply avoid The Ragged Flagon.

I’ve heard that some P.C. modders created a way to get rid of the Thieve’s Guild and I congratulate them on recognizing the inadequacy of Bethesda and resolving to make Skyrim a better place. Unfortunately, I’m playing on an Xbox 360, but it makes me feel better knowing that someone killed those thieves.


Dan Hoyt has been an avid gamer his entire life. When he’s not playing games, he’s working out by walking his dog, hiking and doing martial arts. He likes to try new kinds of alcohol and discuss politics. He’s a graduate of The University of Kansas and has spent years as a journalist.

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