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In the base game (without DLCs):

Okay, maybe that last three on that list begins to stretch things a bit, but I think the first portion (and probably some others I've not yet realized - if anyone else thinks of any, feel free to edit them into here) are good demonstrations that the number nine seems to have some particular importance in Skyrim's design and culture. Is there any explanation for this, either in-game or from Bethesda? Can it be tied to the Norse culture from which much of Skyrim's seems to be derived?

To be clear, I'm not asking for any sort of speculation here. I figure the answer either lies in some knowledge of Tamrielic or (real-world) Norse mythology with which I am unfamiliar, or it may have been something already addressed by Bethesda separately. Any answer that cannot provide a solid reference to one of those, in support itself, would be off-topic.

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migrated from Feb 4 '12 at 15:22

This question came from our site for passionate videogamers on all platforms.

Related: 23 Enigma – Origami Robot Feb 4 '12 at 4:52
Of course that is what I was referring to, when I included the last three items in my list. However, I can't see any other number having such apparent significance in the game. It would seem to me that there is some sort of religious or cultural influence. Such as the number 7 or 40 in Biblical history. – Iszi Feb 4 '12 at 4:54
Don't forget, November should also be the 9th month – Izkata Feb 4 '12 at 16:53
@OrigamiRobot I thought of The Number 23 while reading this question =) – Windle Feb 19 '13 at 12:57
Related: Apophenia and this TED talk :) – jbabey Feb 19 '13 at 20:25
up vote 20 down vote accepted

According to The Elder Scrolls Wiki, the origin of the Nine Divines (from which many of your mentions are derived) is based on the Nine Noble Virtues of (real world) Norse mythology:

The Nine Divines originated from the Nine Noble Virtues of the Norse religion. The Nords of Skyrim are largely based on ancient Scandinavian, or Nordic, cultures here on Earth, and the Nine Noble Virtues played a major role in Norse life.

Bonus numerology:

  • Bethesda released nine plug-ins (and one full expansion) to Oblivion.
  • Bethesda Softworks' parent company, ZeniMax, also owns the Quake franchise (through id software), for which Nine Inch Nails produced music and sound effects
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+1 for the bonus numerology! :-D – Evgeni Feb 19 '13 at 15:08 3 and 9 are very important. The shadow mark for danger is suggestive of a 9 point circle. – Mazura Mar 16 '14 at 5:11

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