Skyrim lives and breathes, active on every level. The skies, the land and the shallows each accommodate monsters both mythical and actual. Under the shelf of a vibrant sky a medley of colours stretch a restless landscape upon which the elk graze and the mammoth ramble. Salmon soar upstream as the torrent surges below and hawks glide across the face of the sun, casting shadows across the backs of the sleep bears below.
Above the surface Skyrim is beautiful.
Such beauty is immediate, apparent from the very first scene. Only after time spent exploring will the player realise that Skyrim‘s beauty is only skin deep. It does not extend beneath the surface. There are places not penetrated by light, where the objects do not glisten, where Skyrim neither lives nor breathes.
It is ugly, empty and aimless: the water.