For those who have forgotten or skipped this quest, it is about the Argonian Murk-Watcher, one of the band of retired adventurers who tried to make a go of a settled and peaceful life at the Dro-Dara plantation, only to be driven away in the end. Her old companions are concerned that Murk-Watcher has been in a decline recently and “frequently seems confused as to where she is,” as I think one of them puts it. When you speak with her in the middle of a flooded field, after releasing her and the others from the bandits, she tells you that she has realized that she is not an Argonian but a crocodile, and asks you to kill a large, old crocodile on the plantation so that she can eat its heart and become what she has always really been.
I expect a lot of people found this rather absurd, even funny. I didn’t, and I suspect it was not written to be funny. Something was nagging at my mind when I saw the way Murk-Watcher was expressing herself; I recognized it from somewhere.
All my life, I have harbored a secret. It drove me to leave home and seek adventure, but now I must face my inner truth. That I am not an Argonian. I am a crocodile. This lifetime, I have borrowed the form of another, but my true form is calling me home…. My entire life, I have felt like a crocodile out of water. Literally. I am old now, and this body is dying. If I become a crocodile, I can start anew. Live the life I was supposed to live.
What became clear after a little thought was that Murk-Watcher’s situation has been written as a close parallel to that of a trans person recognizing their true gender identity: All my life, I have harbored a secret…but now I must face my inner truth….I have borrowed the form of another, but my true form is calling me home….If I become a ……., I can….live the life I was supposed to live. One of my closest friends is trans, and we talked a great deal during the time that she was working through to an understanding of her own situation. That’s whenI had heard all these themes first, of course not in the same words, but in the same spirit.
I don’t know whether this parallel was intentional, unconscious, or accidental. But I am glad to see it there.