The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Developer Reveals Original Ending to Dark Brotherhood Questline

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Dark Brotherhood questline was originally not going to be as cool. Anyone who has played Skyrim on PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, or Xbox Series X|S will know that the Dark Brotherhood questline is one of the best questlines in the game. That said, it originally had a different ending. 

To celebrate the game's 10-year anniversary, Bethesda has been sharing insight into the development of the game. Included in this was the snippet about the original ending of the Dark Brotherhood questline from Design Director Emil Pagliarulo, who revealed that the questline originally was going to accumulate with players just killing the Emperor's body double rather than the Emperor himself.

"The Dark Brotherhood questline ends with the player assassinating the Emperor. But it didn't start out that way," said Design Director Emil Pagliarulo. "When I first pitched the questline to Todd Howard, I was like, 'And then, at the end... you kill the Emperor's body double!' He just kind of looked at me. Then he basically said, 'The body double? Lame. If you're going to kill the Emperor... kill the Emperor.' Never in a million years did I think he would sign off on killing the ACTUAL Emperor of Tamriel. So you do in fact kill the body double... but earlier in the questline. After that, killing the real Emperor is even more meaningful and cool."

Now, if you completed the questline, you'll know killing the Emperor wasn't as cool as it sounds, but that's a problem with the game itself, and not the idea. On paper, that's as big of an ending there could have been, and far better than the questline ending in you killing his body double. 

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is available on PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, or Xbox Series X|S. For more coverage on the aging RPG, click here.