The Elder Scrolls

Zora, the Damaged Princess – a Follower Review

Content of the article: "Zora, the Damaged Princess – a Follower Review"

Time is up for another review! While I usually focused on followers either obscure or controversial, I decided to give some attention to a fan-favourite for once: I’m talking about Zora Fair-Child from {Interesting NPCs}, after I had it with me for quite a while in my last playthrough.

General Concept

Zora is a Breton girl you find trapped in a cage in Brittleshin Pass, where she’s been captured by some necromancers (which seems to be a habit, as you’ll soon discover). Since the beginning she displays a quite unique sense of humor that’s quite obviously a defense mechanism: she pretends she’s annoyed by being rescued and that she was expecting a more charming hero, she flaunts very high expectations on partners and saviours – all to hide her embarrassment for being in such a predicament once again, and her fear of all-too-common rejection.

Appearance-wise, her most remarkable trait is a large hand-shaped scar that covers a large portion of her face. As you’ll discover if you ask her about it, it was caused by a magical mishap during a fight with her sister, and it marked not only her skin but her entire destiny as well. Before the accident, in fact, Zora was quite a beauty, admired by all and quite spoiled as a result; she was utterly dismissive of her sister, less attractive although much more talented, and she expected nothing else but some dashing rich guy to marry her and pamper her.

After the accident, she became an adventure less in need of a new purpose, and more as if seeking self destruction, throwing herself in the midst of lethal danger. She survived, though, and learnt a few things about her strength.

Before moving on I’d like to address the running joke of Zora being a “psychopath” – which could lead to some misconception. Zora comes across as a generally nice person, with a taste for all things sweet and lovely: she’ll tell you about her beloved dog, or comment on flowers and fluffy snow. Not to the point of being sickly, but you get it. Now since the world of Skyim and your own adventuring are ripe with violence, and she’s all for brandishing a huge hammer on a bandit’s skull, someone had troubles reconciling these two aspects of her personality and described her a psycho who likes talking about cute bunnies in the middle of a killing spree. And… if you want to headcanon her that way, you do you, but her concept is simply that of a sweet girl who learnt to be tough, but didn’t lose touch with the things she used to love. I haven’t had “cute” dialogue fire at especially weird moments, anyway to me she comes across as a complex personality rather than disconnected.

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Voice Acting

A common complaint is that her voice is rather soft and difficult to hear. I think there’s a mod to fix that, although I did not use it. As for the acting, I thought it was slightly out of character at first, then I realized it was probably meant to reflect the “small town princess” she was once supposed to be.


Being a “super-follower” she has a good amount of quest- and location-aware comments, plus some bonus dialogues in some places and some points of your quests.

She has a thing for calling you “My prince/thane/lord/etc”, in a way that’s somehow sarcastic at first, but that sounds more endearing as time goes on and your relationship develops.


Despite her small frame, she has a thing for huge two-handed weapons, but being a Breton she stil has some magic aptitude (although not much magicka to fuel it). At first she casts Oakflesh on herself to reflect her defensive personality, later however she will discuss with you if she should rather use some difference tactics, using her limited magical resource to support you or to attack directly. You also have the chance to throw some cheap psychology about it. 🙂 Overall, like all 3DNPC followers she comes across as fairly balanced – she levels up with you so she doesn’t run out of usefulness, but it’s not a kill-stealing powerhouse either.

Other Functions

Not many as she uses the vanilla framework. Which means you can manage her with NFF and use all its options with her.

Opinions, Affiliations, Alignment

I didn’t find any especially judgmental comment in her dialogue – I haven’t done all quest lines but I did dig a bit in ssedit. If I have missed something let me know. She seems fairly flexible from that point of view.

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After a while you can ask her what happened to her sister, thus triggering the Children Fair quest. You go looking for her sister and discover she’s in danger, so you track her down and discover she got into troubles with some shady witch in order to gain a gem where she could escape the real world, trapping herself in a perpetual childhood dream, a more innocent time when her relationship with Zora had not soured yet. The adventuring part is fairly simple, but the conclusion is quite emotional and further step in Zora’s story arc that’s all about reconciling with herself.


Zora counts among the number of those that I call “unfortunately straight” – so for the occasion I rolled my first male character, a Nord hero-wannabe with some romantic notion, who couldn’t help but fall in love with the fist girl he rescued… While the actual proposal and marriage is quite simple and vanilla, you can only unlock it after completing the main quest, which means that, if you picked her up at the beginning, at that point you have spent a lot of time together, having various chances to set the tone of your relationship with her. Indeed, saving the world together doubles as a romantic arc in this case.

By the way – even though I had all the requisites I encountered the apparently common bug where her dialogue won’t appear. This can be fixed by: setstage dialoguezora 20 – and apparently that’ll make her marriable regardless to your gender, just in case you’re desperate to marry her to your lady dragonborn, although she will still call you her husband since that’s the lines she has.


Suitability mainly depends on personal liking. Personally I find more satisfactory to have her around if I am playing a hero-type, like the one I made for the purpose. Also after the moving speech she gives you at the Throat of the World, I’d feel a bit bad if I had to forego the romance. Anyway – since we’re talking about Interesting NPCs, which has something for all tastes, it’s probably worth installing the mod in all cases, and try out characters to figure out how much you like them.

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My other reviews:

Kaidan: a glitterless review

Anduniel, the untraditional Bosmer

Evangeline, the arcane farm girl

Talking about Vilja…

Shor's bones, a scholarly girl in Skyrim – Lielle's Review

Livia Salvian, the Imperial Paladin

Mirai, the Tsundere with the Dragon Heart

Alassea the Bard, at your service

Nanak, the well-read cat


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