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In Skyrim, I've had multiple occasions where my followers have remarked, "I don't like the looks of this." and every time, I've ended up going into a battle where I've died multiple times. It's almost as if the follower knew I didn't have the experience needed to win the fight.

Is it just 'something they say'? Or is there more to it? Are they telling me that to warn me?

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Possibly, but I've had a companion tell me this multiple times, and I've never had much trouble. Possibly remarking on if they are "bosses"? –  Domocus Dec 1 '11 at 3:54
    
I'm almost certain there's no relative success calculation, as I've heard this before bosses I was clearly capable of dealing with. I think they just say it when you pass by certain areas. –  brymck Dec 1 '11 at 6:22
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You'll find that companions have a list of sayings like: "I don't like the look of this" "Watch your head on low bits of rock" "This place smells funny" "Don't go to far, you might not come out" - that's what she said!

They say them whenever they enter a dungeon. It means there might be enemies nearby but that's nothing to worry about. They're just big sissies.

On a side note, if you take them somewhere with a nice view they'll say something like "Wow, would you look at that?"

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Or Lydia's personal favorite, "Look! A cave! I wonder what's inside," after we've explored the cave. Companion fail. –  spugsley Dec 1 '11 at 5:22
    
Who is this Lydia everyone keeps talking about? She sounds lame. I got me a cool mage and now I'm INVINSIBLE!!! His favourite line is "I'm an apprentice battle mage, not pack mule... oh ok" –  Coomie Dec 1 '11 at 6:59
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@Coomie Lydia is the housecarl and follower you get from becoming a Thane in Whiterun (the first major city). Her passive-aggressive personality quickly makes her misfortunes amusing. –  brymck Dec 1 '11 at 8:09
    
@Bryan It seems like everyone has Lydia as a companion. I must have missed her somehow... Funny video –  Coomie Dec 1 '11 at 8:16
    
@Coomie She is a "housecarl" you get after you become Thane of Whiterun. If you've completed those quests (you probably have, they come very early in the game), you can pick her up in Dragonreach. –  victoriah Dec 1 '11 at 10:35
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