Ulfric Stormcloak is a fictional Nord nationalist, Jarl of Windhelm, and contender for the throne of Skyrim developed by Bethesda Game Studios for the role-playing game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Ulfric was a adept practitioner of the ancient Nord art of Thu'um. He fought against the Third Aldmeri Dominion during the Great War but was captured and made into an Aldmeri asset and allowed to escaped. After the war, Ulfric reclaimed the disputed region of the Reach from Madanach and the Reachmen and restored traditional Talos worship in the area.
However, the Aldmeri Thalmor used the opportunity to demand that the Empire once again outlaw Talos worship, and the Empire complied. Ulfric challenged the pro-Empire High King Torygg for the throne of Skyrim and slew him in single combat with the aid of his Thu'um. Although Ulfric won the support of some of Skyrim's jarls, other jarls supported Torygg's widow Elisif the Fair as High Queen instead. Thus, the Stormcloak rebellion began.
The Thalmor provided some covert assistance to Ulfric in order to prolong the war, but they didn't wish for Ulfric to win the war. Ulfric, however, sought to win the war and establish an independent and sovereign Skyrim. The player may join the Stormcloaks and aid Ulfric in his nationalistic endeavor, or the player may join the Empire instead and pursue unity at the expense of Skyrim's nationalism and religion.
They [the Greybeards] chose me when I was just a lad. It was a great honor, of course. I was to become a Greybeard myself. I spent almost ten years at High Hrothgar, learning the Way of the Voice. Then the Great War came… I couldn't stand missing it. I often think about High Hrothgar. It's very… disconnected from the troubles down here. But that's why I couldn't stay, and why I couldn't go back. I suppose the Greybeards care about Skyrim's troubles, in their way, but I needed to do something about it. I'm sure Arngeir would call it one of my failings.— Ulfric Stormcloak, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I fight for the men I've held in my arms, dying on foreign soil. I fight for their wives and children, who[se] names I heard whispered in their last breaths. I fight for we few who did come home, only to find our country full of strangers wearing familiar faces. I fight for my people impoverished to pay the debts of an Empire too weak to rule them, yet brands them criminals for wanting to rule themselves! I fight so that all the fighting I've already done hasn't been for nothing. I fight… because I must.— Ulfric Stormcloak, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
We're fighting because we're done bleeding for an Empire that won't bleed for us. Untold numbers of Nords died defending the Empire against the Dominion. And for what? Skyrim being sold to the Thalmor so the Emperor could keep his throne! We're fighting because our own Jarls, once strong, wise men, have become fearful and blind to their people's suffering. We're fighting because Skyrim needs heroes, and there's no one else but us.— Ulfric Stormcloak, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
My father, the great Bear of Eastmarch, died during my imprisonment after the Markarth Incident. I, his only son, forced to deliver his eulogy via a letter I had smuggled out of prison. Such is the love of [Emperor] Titus Mede for his subjects.
When finally set free, I returned to Windhelm, and was greeted by a city in mourning, at one with my own grief and anger. Clamoring in angry voices, calling out for justice, for war, they sat me on the throne. The Throne of Ysgramor! The throne of my father… I only hope I can prove worthy of the honor.— Ulfric Stormcloak, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I challenged him [Torygg] in the traditional way, and he accepted. There were many witnesses. Nomurderwas committed. True, he didn't stand a chance against me. But that was precisely the point! He was a puppet-king of the Empire, not a High King of Skyrim. His father [Istlod] before him perhaps, but not Torygg. He was too privileged and too foolish, more interested in entertaining his queen [Elisif] than ruling his country.— Ulfric Stormcloak, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I have shown the people that when our Jarls drink the Empire's milk, it makes us weak. I must now show them the path that will lead us back to our strength. There is no progress without sacrifice. No wheat without threshing the chaff. The Empire and the Jarls who back them must be swept away. The people demand it. I demand it.— Ulfric Stormcloak, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
When aided by the player
This is it men! It's time to make this city [Solitude] ours! We come to this moment carried by the sacrifices and the courage of our fellows. Those who have fallen. And those still bearing the shields to our right. On this day, our enemy will know the fullness of our determination, the true depth of our anger, and the exalted righteousness of our cause. The gods are watching. The spirits of our ancestors are stirring. And the men under suns yet to dawn will be transformed by what we do here today. Fear neither pain, nor darkness. For Sovngarde awaits those who die with weapons in their hands, and courage in their hearts. We now fight our way to Castle Dour to cut the head off the legion itself! And in that moment, the gods will look down and see Skyrim as she was meant to be. Full of Nords who are mighty, powerful, and free! Ready now! Everyone, with me! For the sons and daughters of Skyrim!— Ulfric Stormcloak, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I am indeed Ulfric Stormcloak, and at my side the [man or woman] we know as Stormblade, and the world knows as the Dragonborn. And indeed, there are many that call us heroes. But it is all of you who are the true heroes! It was you who fought a dying Empire who sunk its claws into our land, trying to drag us down with it. It was you who fought the Thalmor and their puppets who would have us deny our gods and our heritage. It was you who fought your kin who didn't understand our cause, who weren't willing to pay the price of our freedom. But more than that, it was you who fought for Skyrim, for our right to fight our own battles… To return to our glory and traditions, to determine our own future!
And it is for these reasons that I cannot accept the mantle of "High King." Not until the Moot declares that title should adorn my shoulders will I accept it.— Ulfric Stormcloak, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Yes, what about the Lady Elisif? Will she put aside her personal hatred for me, and her misplaced love for the Emperor and his coin, so that the suffering of our people will end? Will she acknowledge that it is we Nord[s] who will determine Skyrim's future? Will she swear fealty to me, so all may know that we are at peace, and a new day has dawned?
Then it is settled. The Jarl will continue to rule Solitude, I will garrison armies here to ward off Imperial attempts to reclaim the city.— Ulfric Stormcloak and Elisif the Fair, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
There will be peace for a time, during which we must rebuild Skyrim into the land it once was. Strong. Self-reliant. The center of mankind. Because getting rid of the Empire was only half the problem. Soon, the elves will again seek to rule the world. We must ready ourselves to fight them. For it will be Skyrim that shall lead Tamriel in those dark days, when the fate of the world is finally determined.— Ulfric Stormcloak, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- "Thalmor Dossier: Ulfric Stormcloak". The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
- Ulfric Stormcloak's Lore entry at the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages