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I've heard the "arrow in the knee" joke pop up in a few discussions around here and elsewhere, mostly related to Skyrim. I'm aware that this is probably in reference to a generic quote said by many NPCs (mostly guards) in the game.

However, I'm wondering if there's an older reference I might be missing by not having played any of the previous Elder Scrolls games - like the sweet rolls?

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34  
I used to know the answer to this, but then I took an arrow to the knee. –  aslum Jan 5 '12 at 16:27
    
I don't think this is a "not constructive" question. It's about the lore of Skyrim. If the "arrow" was shoot in the precious games, or it just appeared in the Elders scroll. –  Michel Dec 23 '12 at 12:05

4 Answers 4

up vote 28 down vote accepted

For that kind of Meme, you can find every information you need on knowyourmeme.com:

In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the town guard non-player characters (NPCs) have several stock lines they will repeat when the player walks near them, including a bewildered statement about “curved swords”, a patronizing statement about “sweetroll” theft, and the melancholy confession “I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.” The restating of such a specific story over and over again by so many different guards caused it to be noticed by players, who then proceeded to post about it in gaming forums and image boards. Along with the game itself, the video below helps give the idea that almost every guard in Skyrim became a guard due to the life altering results of receiving an arrow to the knee.

Source: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/i-took-an-arrow-in-the-knee

So you were right: that's a NPC quote (and it doesn't come from older versions).

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+1 from me I always wondered what "So someone stole your sweet-roll meant". Thanks for the vid. –  ヴァイシャリ Jan 5 '12 at 15:59
    
Haha, you're welcome ;) –  Anto Jan 5 '12 at 16:04
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the "sweetroll" bit is actually much older than Skyrim; it goes back to the original TES: Arena. TES used to do the Ultima bit of determining your character class by answering situational questions; one of them asked what you would do if someone stole your sweetroll. (A sweetroll is an actual in-game food item.) I think that particular question was in all the way up to TES3. –  Michael Edenfield Jan 5 '12 at 21:34
    
I've noticed that this meme has sort of transformed from "in the knee" to "to the knee". It's not "to the knee". It's "in the knee". –  oscilatingcretin Aug 10 '12 at 13:01

The joke itself is from Skyrim, not a previous game. According to Know Your Meme:

In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the town guard non-player characters (NPCs) have several stock lines they will repeat when the player walks near them, including a bewildered statement about “curved swords”, a patronizing statement about “sweetroll” theft, and the melancholy confession “I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.”

The joke itself was spread on Reddit:

On November 18th, 2011, a thread reached the frontpage of the r/skyrim subreddit, titled “‘I was an adventurer too, until I took an arrow to the knee.’

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One reason I read about is that in former Elder Scrolls games, one of the armor pieces were greaves, which protected the knee. In Skryim, there are no greaves.

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No pants whatsoever, for that matter. Unless you count the ones that come in certain armor packages. –  Iszi Jan 5 '12 at 16:25
    
@Iszi Really? No Pants? Must be very awkward looking. I have not played the other ES games either. –  ヴァイシャリ Jan 5 '12 at 16:35
    
@desaivv Mostly dresses, robes, skirts, and kilt-like things. Occasionally, some armor packages will have actual pants. My point is that leggings are not separated from chest armor in this game. Some boots go high enough to offer some knee protection though. –  Iszi Jan 5 '12 at 16:44
    
@Iszi Well in that case in Skyrim I am not wearing any pants either. I know There is armor and no armor. With no armor, I get a underwearing character. LOL Sorry –  ヴァイシャリ Jan 5 '12 at 16:49
    
Can anyone provide a source for this? I would like to read more about that. –  galacticninja Dec 23 '12 at 5:38

I would like to say the actual reference maybe came from a book that came out in 2007. It's called "The Name Of The Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss. On page twenty-nine it says:

In spite of his grin it was obvious he'd hurt himself. His face was tight with pain, and he leaned heavily on a chair for support. "Took an arrow in the knee on my way through the Eld three summers ago. It gives out every now and then." He grimaced and said wistfully, "It's what made me give up the good life on the road." He reached down to touch his oddly bent leg tenderly."

The person who said it is Kote, who wasn't a guard but is a "infamous assassin".

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Good catch, here. It would be even better if you could find a reference (developer commentary, interview, etc.) that specifically tied this to Skyrim. –  Iszi Aug 3 '12 at 23:49
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Did a quick Google search of Skyrim "The Name of the Wind". It seems several people have the same theory, but I haven't found any official statements from Bethesda that links them. –  Iszi Aug 4 '12 at 2:52
    
yeah it was me looking into this connectoin tht brought me here maybe someone at bethesda is a fan of name of the wind –  user38726 Dec 22 '12 at 20:30

protected by agent86 Dec 22 '12 at 21:09

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