A player of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim has made a heartbreaking discovery while adventuring in the massive open world game alongside potential follower Aela the Huntress. Aela, for the uninitiated, is a character that players meet during the Companions questline. Alongside Lydia, Aela is one of the most popular followers in Skyrim. And also like Lydia, Aela can permanently die if players aren't careful enough.

Skyrim gives players the freedom to do pretty much whatever they want while they're out exploring, and so most of the characters one comes across can be killed. Essential NPCs in Skyrim are the exception to the rule, as the game does not allow players to kill off characters that are crucial to completing important quests. Aela is an essential NPC in Skyrim before players have completed the Companions quest, but she loses her immortality once the questline has wrapped up.

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Skyrim player and Reddit user HotelMikeLima found this out the hard way when they accidentally killed Aela with a shot from their own bow. While Aela becomes killable after the Companions questline is completed, she can still only be permanently killed by the player character, making the situation that much more tragic. While one could simply reload an old save to get Aela back, the Reddit user said that this was a role-playing playthrough, so being able to erase one's mistakes would ruin the immersion.

The post asked for recommendations as to who could replace Aela, with Lydia offered as one suggestion. Unfortunately, Lydia is already dead in this Skyrim player's save, so she isn't an option for an Aela replacement. Lydia and Skyrim followers in general have a bad habit of disappearing, so one could argue that it's better to know their follower's fate definitively as opposed to them disappearing one day and never showing up again.

Characters like Aela the Huntress can be married in Skyrim, with players having the option of not only marrying them, but building a home and starting a family with them as well. It's unclear if this would have been in this particular Aela's future, as her life was cut tragically short by the Dragonborn's stray arrow.

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim - Anniversary Edition is out now for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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