What are the benefits of not killing Paarthurnax?

Answered by Cody Janus

The decision of whether to kill Paarthurnax or spare his life in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a moral dilemma that players often face. While the Blades, led by Delphine, insist on his death due to his past as a lieutenant to Alduin, sparing Paarthurnax offers several benefits that make it a more favorable choice.

1. Meditation bonuses: Paarthurnax serves as a mentor and teacher to the Dragonborn, providing meditation bonuses for Shout words. These bonuses can greatly enhance the effectiveness and power of the Dragonborn’s shouts, making them a formidable force against enemies. Without Paarthurnax, these bonuses would be lost, significantly hampering the Dragonborn’s progress and abilities.

2. Extra cutscene and lore: By sparing Paarthurnax, players are treated to an additional cutscene after Alduin’s defeat. In this cutscene, Paarthurnax shares his plans to reform the remaining dragons and teach them to live under the Way of the Voice, renouncing their destructive ways. This provides players with further insight into the lore and history of the game world, adding depth and richness to the overall experience.

3. Moral implications: Killing Paarthurnax is a decision that goes against the principles of mercy and forgiveness. By sparing him, players demonstrate their willingness to forgive and give others a chance to redeem themselves. This choice aligns with the core values of the Dragonborn and the philosophy of the Greybeards, who prioritize peace and understanding over vengeance.

4. Role-playing opportunities: Choosing not to kill Paarthurnax allows players to role-play as a compassionate and just character. It adds depth to the player’s narrative and character development, showcasing their ability to make difficult decisions and show empathy towards even former enemies. This choice can enhance the overall immersion and satisfaction of the gameplay experience.

5. Impact on the Blades: Sparing Paarthurnax means that the Blades’ recruitment quest remains uncompleted. While this may be seen as a negative consequence, it also allows players to challenge the authority and rigid beliefs of the Blades. It opens up a discussion about the nature of forgiveness, redemption, and the possibility of change. This divergence from the Blades’ agenda adds complexity and depth to the game’s storyline.

The benefits of not killing Paarthurnax in Skyrim are many. From the practical advantages of meditation bonuses to the moral implications and role-playing opportunities, sparing his life adds depth, lore, and personal growth to the player’s experience. It allows players to explore themes of forgiveness, redemption, and the potential for change, ultimately enriching the overall narrative and gameplay journey.