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Skyrim’s tavern song is a staple of Sweden’s radio orchestra

Beware, beware the Dragonborn comes

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Anyone who has put just 400 or so hours into The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim knows this song by heart. You can buy it off any bard for a few septims, and it’s one of two “neutral” ballads heard anywhere throughout the land. It’s “The Dragonborn Comes.” Performing now is Sabina Zweiacker with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Apparently, this is a go-to for Zweiacker and the SRSO. They’ve been doing it since at least 2016. Here’s another performance from last year.

With an orchestral accompaniment, instead of a single lute and a crackling fire, it’s a lot more dramatic. And the performance incorporates themes from the game’s title song, too. Zweiacker’s final verse is a chef’s-kiss remix of the first and final verses.

“The Dragonborn Comes” is one of two neutral songs heard in taverns across the land (available on request!) I’ve ordered it from Lisette at The Winking Skeever in Solitude (she also sings “The Age of Aggression”) and from Luaffyn at Candlehearth Hall in Windhelm (she sings the counterpart song “The Age of Oppression.”)

Both singers are voiced by Colleen Delany in the game; I think Zweiacker nailed the song while still being true to Delany’s original performance. Others sing “The Dragonborn Comes,” too, but I consider Delany’s to be definitive, considering how often I’ve heard it in my time in the capitals of the Nords and Imperials.

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