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Blades or Greybeards: Which Should You Choose?

Blades or Greybeards

Are you playing Skyrim and unsure about who to side with – Blades or Greybeards?

It’s a big decision that can significantly shape your gaming experience.

That’s why I’ve created this guide: “Blades or Greybeards: Which Should You Choose?”

I’m going deep into the histories of both groups, outlining their philosophies, abilities, and their impacts on the Skyrim world. I’m laying out the pros and cons of each group so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

Picture yourself as a disciplined and honorable Blades member, or align with the peaceful and wise Greybeards. Each choice opens up different quests, relationships, and influences.

Whether you’re a seasoned Skyrim player or new to the game, this guide is for you. Get ready to make a choice that could redefine your Skyrim journey.

History and Overview of the Blades


The Blades are a secretive and elite group of warriors known for their unwavering loyalty and exceptional combat skills. They have a storied history, dating back to the early days of the Empire when they were known as the Dragon Guard.

Tasked with protecting the Emperor and serving as his personal agents, the Blades played a crucial role in shaping the course of history.

Over the centuries, the Blades have evolved from a purely martial force into a network of spies and diplomats adept at gathering intelligence and navigating the complex political landscape of the realm.

Despite their changing roles, the Blades have remained steadfast in their dedication to the Empire and its ruler.

Recently, the Blades have faced a decline in their influence and power as the Empire itself has weakened. However, they continue to operate in the shadows, working tirelessly to protect the realm and ensure the survival of their ancient order.

History and Overview of the Greybeards


The Greybeards are an ancient and mysterious order of monks dedicated to pursuing wisdom and mastering the Thu’um, or the Voice.

They reside in the secluded monastery of High Hrothgar, high in the mountains of Skyrim, where they devote their lives to meditation and the study of the Way of the Voice.

Founded by the legendary hero Jurgen Windcaller, the Greybeards follow a strict code of non-violence and isolation, believing that the power of the Voice should be used only for the worship of the gods and the pursuit of enlightenment.

They are revered throughout the land for their wisdom and mastery of the Thu’um, and many aspiring heroes journey to High Hrothgar in the hope of receiving their guidance and training.

Though the Greybeards rarely involve themselves in the world’s affairs, their influence is felt far and wide. Their knowledge of the Thu’um is unparalleled, and their teachings have shaped the course of history on more than one occasion.

As guardians of the Way of the Voice, the Greybeards symbolize wisdom, power, and the enduring spirit of the ancient Nords.

Blades or Greybeards: Comparative Analysis

Compare the Philosophies

The Blades and the Greybeards represent two distinct philosophies in the world of Skyrim. The Blades primarily focus on their duty to the Empire and its ruler, valuing loyalty, service, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Their mission is to protect and serve, and they do so through a combination of martial prowess, intelligence gathering, and diplomacy.

The Greybeards, on the other hand, are dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom and the mastery of the Thu’um.

They adhere to a strict code of non-violence and isolation, believing that the Voice should be used only to worship the gods and pursue enlightenment. This focus on spiritual growth and inner harmony sets them apart from the more pragmatic and worldly Blades.

Compare the Abilities

In terms of abilities, the Blades are known for their exceptional combat skills, honed through rigorous training and years of experience. They are proficient in various weapons and fighting styles, making them formidable opponents on the battlefield.

Additionally, their skills in espionage and diplomacy allow them to navigate complex political situations and gather vital intelligence for the Empire.

The Greybeards possess a very different set of abilities rooted in their mastery of the Thu’um.

Through years of meditation and study, they have learned to harness the power of the Voice, allowing them to perform incredible feats such as summoning storms, manipulating the elements, and even bending the will of their enemies.

While they are not warriors in the traditional sense, their mastery of the Thu’um grants them a unique and powerful form of combat.

Compare the Influences

The influence of the Blades and the Greybeards can be felt throughout the world of Skyrim, though in very different ways.

The Blades have shaped the course of history through their service to the Empire, playing a crucial role in many pivotal events and conflicts.

Their network of spies and diplomats ensures their presence is felt, even if they are not always visible.

While more removed from the world’s affairs, the Greybeards still wield significant influence through their teachings and status as guardians of the Way of the Voice.

Their wisdom and knowledge of the Thu’um is sought after by many, and their rare interventions in worldly matters can have profound consequences.

Compare the Quests

The Blades and the Greybeards offer different quests and challenges for adventurers in Skyrim.

The Blades’ quests often involve espionage, diplomacy, and combat, requiring players to navigate complex political situations, gather intelligence, or eliminate threats to the Empire.

These quests emphasize the player’s role as an agent of the Empire and test their skills in various ways.

The Greybeards’ quests, by contrast, focus on the player’s spiritual growth and mastery of the Thu’um.

Players seeking to learn from the Greybeards must undergo trials and challenges, testing their understanding of the Voice and their commitment to the Way.

These quests often involve meditation, exploration, and using the Thu’um creatively and unexpectedly, offering the player a different kind of challenge.

Overall, the Blades and the Greybeards represent two distinct paths for adventurers in Skyrim, each offering unique experiences, challenges, and rewards.

The choice between them will ultimately depend on the player’s personal values, goals, and preferred playstyle.

Blades Pros and Cons


  1. Combat Skills and Training: Aligning with the Blades grants access to their expertise in combat, providing valuable training in various weapons and fighting styles.
  2. Intelligence and Diplomacy: The Blades are skilled in gathering information and navigating political situations, which can be beneficial in completing quests and understanding the complex world of Skyrim.
  3. Equipment and Resources: As a member of the Blades, one can gain access to their arsenal of weapons, armor, and other resources, which can be a significant advantage in combat situations.
  4. Influence and Prestige: Aligning with the Blades can increase one’s standing in the world, as they are a respected and storied organization with a long history of serving the Empire.


  1. Limited Spiritual Growth: The Blades’ focus on martial prowess and loyalty to the Empire may leave little room for personal spiritual growth and exploration of the Thu’um.
  2. Potential for Conflict: Aligning with the Blades may lead to conflict with other factions or groups with opposing interests, potentially limiting one’s options and alliances in Skyrim.

Greybeards Pros and Cons


  1. Mastery of the Thu’um: The Greybeards are unparalleled in their knowledge of the Voice, and aligning with them offers the opportunity to learn and master powerful shouts.
  2. Spiritual Growth: The Greybeards’ focus on meditation and the pursuit of wisdom provides a unique path for personal growth and self-discovery.
  3. Respected Status: The Greybeards are revered throughout Skyrim, and aligning with them can grant a certain level of respect and admiration from others.


  1. Isolation and Non-violence: The Greybeards’ commitment to isolation and non-violence may limit one’s involvement in Skyrim’s broader conflicts and events, potentially making some quests and objectives more difficult to achieve.
  2. Limited Resources: As a monastic order, the Greybeards may not have the same access to resources and equipment as the Blades, which could be a disadvantage in certain situations.
  3. Less Political Influence: Aligning with the Greybeards may not grant the same level of political influence and connections as the Blades, potentially limiting one’s ability to navigate the complex landscape of Skyrim’s politics.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Blades or Greybeards

  1. Personal values and objectives
  2. Preferred play style (combat-oriented vs. spiritual development)
  3. Desired engagement in political affairs and conflicts

Selecting between the Blades and the Greybeards should be based on your play style, ethical inclinations, and overall goals within the open-world game.

Contemplate how each faction corresponds with the type of experience you want to have and the challenges and rewards you seek in Skyrim.

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