Apparently “Skyrim Lydia Hot” Is a Thing, and It Might Even Be Trending

I was attempting to kill some time by searching for some hilarious Skyrim videos on YouTube the other day when an interesting trend was brought to my attention. You see, I typed in the words “Skyrim Lydia” into the YouTube search box, and one of the auto-fill options was “Skyrim Lydia hot.” This means that enough people have actually used “Skyrim Lydia hot” as search parameters that YouTube decided there’s a fair chance that this is what people who search for Skyrim are looking for. Enough people that there’s an auto-fill option for that, anyway.

And then, just a few days later, GeekParty’s Josh Engen casually brought up the fact that someone had found their way to this site by searching “Skyrim Lydia hot” into Google. (Yes, we can see things like that, you little perverts.)

Does this seem strange to anyone else? I mean, I can come up with several reasons that one would search for “Skyrim Lydia.” I can understand that. But apparently there are people who are specifically looking for videos of Lydia doing nothing other than looking hot.

Now, I won’t deny that Lydia is a super popular character in the game. I remember back when Skyrim first came out, there was a very vocal group of fans who complained that they wanted her as a marriage partner until Bethesda actually implemented that into the game. In fact, there are even videos of things on YouTube of Lydia and Aela the Huntress fighting to the death. Presumably, this was due to Aela being jealous of all the time her Dragonborn husband (or wife; I’m not judging here) was spending with Lydia, (though in my own game, Aela takes a more passive aggressive approach by sleeping with Belethor of the General Goods store.)

In fact, I’ve since learned that UGO gave her a place on their list of “99 Hottest Fictional Women of 2012” (even though Skyrim came out in 2011).

So what is it about Lydia that makes her so attractive? Well, after thinking about it for a while, the answer might be kind of disturbing, actually.

You see, Lydia is your bodyguard in one sense, but in another sense she’s your personal slave. Ask her to carry something and hear her response: “I am sworn to carry your burdens.” Also, she will risk her life to protect you (though this ends up with her getting in the way of fireballs and arrows more often than not), and you can command her to stand still or walk to a specific point. Or sit out a particular adventure, if you’re tired of her.

And that strikes me as particularly sexist. Apparently tons of men (and possibly women too) are finding her insanely attractive, and I have to wonder how much of that can be attributed to her submissiveness. And that just seems to send kind of a backward message that reinforces out-of-date gender stereotypes.

I think I’d be less weirded out by all this if a character like Aela or Vex were getting this attention. I mean, those are very strong female characters who are both quite attractive. And I feel like either of them would stick a dagger in your face if asked to “carry your burdens.” Lydia just does whatever the hell you tell her to.

Or maybe I’m just looking way too deeply into the psychology behind this. I mean, I guess now that you mention it, she’s a decent looking lady.

So what do you think? Is this Lydia craze purely about they physical attractiveness of her character model, or is this an indication that Skyrim‘s audience has some sexism issues going on? While you’re thinking about that, here’s a fan-made video of Lydia leveling up her “One-Handed” ability. I warn you though, unless you work at GeekParty, it’s probably not the safest thing for work.

  • Ben

    You’re attacking a strawman here. You think the reason people are searching for “Skyrim Lydia Hot” is that she’s submissive to the protagonist, but that’s just conjecture, so to bring sexism into it is a bit sensationalist and knee-jerk. The real answer is that there are a lot of people who get their kicks in various ways, some of which are by finding their favourite game characters in “hot” pictures. Replace “Lydia” with anyone from any big game, and I’m sure you’ll find something. Skyrim alone has a huge community of modders dedicated to “beautifying” the NPCs and adding adult content to the game. It’s just a niche element of gamers doing what they do, there’s nothing to read into here.

    • Ben

      Also, finding a woman in a videogame attractive isn’t sexist. Even if the attractive quality is submission. If that were so, you’d be implying an entire community of people (BDSM for example) are inherently sexist, which just isn’t true.

      • Ben

        Sorry to triple reply here, but, regarding your comment: I think I’d be less weirded out by all this if a character like Aela or Vex were getting this attention.

        I just googled “Aela”, without skyrim, and without “hot” and one of the first image results is Aela reclining in a skimpy outfit.

        • Josh Wirtanen

          Well, I’m glad to hear that Skyrimmers are equal opportunity oglers. I feel slightly more optimistic now.

          • Sparrow475

            Way to completely dodge every criticism Ben had for you.

  • crispy

    considering that it’s uncommon to find ‘unattractive’ female characters in most video games (mainly because the demographic for core games is predominantly male) one could justify the argument that sexism is implicit in most, if not all of them. However, you also have to look at who’s designing, and playing, said games. The players are predominantly male, aged 13-35, and the companies that design these games are aware of this. Sure, they throw in attractive male characters for their female (or gay) players, but the companies all realize the truth that has been known since the beginning of ‘civilized’ culture: sex sells. and who thinks about sex on the average every six seconds? that’s right, their demographic player. is there sexism? not any more so than what you’d find searching for anything else on the web. type in any phrase you wish, and there will always be references to sex in there. our animal reproductive drive is an ever present force in the way our society operates, always has been.

    • Mike Ockizard

      Wow, people are still using the old “every six seconds” thing? I’m a male, and granted, I think about sex often, but c’mon………I’m pretty sure no man would be able to get dressed or feed them self if they about it that often. I don’t even think I think every six seconds…

  • Scent

    Maybe it’s just me but the way she says “I am sworn to carry your burdens” sounds almost like she hates your guts. Kind of comes off as an asshole treating me like I’m some slave owner when I’m just giving her some useful equipment

  • squiggy

    this is silly. Just like you, people see the option for “lydia hot” and laugh, and then they start typing it to see what comes up. The reality, Mr. Wirtanen, is you reacted the way any gamer would. Why is it everyone else is weird but you wrote an entire article about it? This why why we put the words “games journalism” in quotes…

  • Mike Ockizard

    LOL, I have never found a bunch of pixels attractive, but the author is getting a little carried away with the political correctness/feminazism. You are now telling me that it is considered “sexist” to find an obedient woman attractive (even though that was a huge leap in logic in the first place)?

    According to the new laws of society, you MUST ONLY be attracted to strong willed, tough as nails, independent women or there is something wrong with you? My god, I am going to need a full list of what I can and can’t be attracted to and also what I should be offended by on my desk my the end of day….I just can’t keep up anymore…

  • DarthDiggler

    I think it’s stupid that guys get boners over Video Game chicks. Instead of searching for Lydia Hot, search for Tits. You will get much better results.

  • TweakTheWhacked

    The problem with the assumption is that all of your followers in the game, male or female, are exactly as submissive as Lydia. They all carry everything you tell them to, they all go where you tell them to, they all risk their life for you. Lydia’s role as Housecarl makes her obligated to do that, yes, but she’s one of five Housecarls in the game(two of which are male), and out of all of them, she’s arguably the least submissive; when she says the line “I am sworn to carry your burdens”, it’s in a somewhat mocking, snarky tone.

    Lydia’s popularity stemmed from how much of a badass she is; she’s one of the toughest followers in the game, can take an insane deal of punishment and keeps getting back up.

  • 007

    I particularly think they should make a update to where it’s a little like a little like fable3 (with there permission of course) So much as to be able to actually raising the children or having your own and raising your own and towns either hating or liking you and you should be able to cheat or divorce your wife and judging the conciquences based on your actions I mean they already do that but they need to make it more like life is

  • 007

    Ps this was off topic But I felt like saying that it would be cool and also leave a comment about what you think about my ideas