The REAL meaning of "i took an arrow in the knee" Is actually Nordic slang for getting married(Native race of Skyrim are the Nords). When a Skyrim guard says "I used to be an adventurer like you, but then i took an arrow in the knee", It has nothing to do with actually being shot in the knee with an arrow. Instead it is translated as "I used to be an adventurer like you, but then i got married". It then starts to make sense because they will have a family to take care of, therefore ending their adventuring. In all truths the joke was never really funny.
2 years ago
Last edited at 10:06PM on 12/7/2011
It's from skyrim. When used, however, it is typically an overexaggerated, sarcastic way of saying that you can no longer do something. People usually use this phrase when referring to things that either pertain to what they are watching or doing at the time. The statement usually makes little sense, in which its humor is typically derived. Example: You are watching a video about african elephants and someone comments "I used to be an african elephant, but then I took an arrow to the knee."
Kacie's right it is from skyrim. But it's a play on the real world, where people use old injuries as a reason for not doing something. This way, they can act like they could do it, but no one really knows if they can, and they probably couldn't. In the case of Skyrim, it's a guard saying that he would kill a dragon, if it weren't for his bum knee... in real life it could be something like, I would be playing for the broncos, if i hadn't hurt my knee playing football
It certainly predates Skyrim because it is also used in Gulliver's Travels. Page 223 of my copy, nearly the end, he is escaping in a canoe, and he says that the savages ran after him, "... and before I could get far enough into the sea, discharged an arrow which wounded me deeply on the inside of my left knee: I shall carry the mark to my grave." Jonathan Swift, 1727. But I've also seen a lot of talk about the phrase "arrow to the knee" meaning getting married.
No it is not nordic slang and no it's not a saying...this is the interview with the actual creators of the game.
"It's a great line," Howard continued, laughing. "[Senior Bethesda game designer] Emil Pagliarulo wrote it.
"This was late in the project. We wanted to have the guards to have more personality. They're usually just grunting, telling you what to do. So we had Emil go in and write a lot more stuff and have them reflect you. So the guards say the most about you and what you've done: 'Oh, I like that armor.' 'I hear you're doing this.' And then, there is a suite of, 'Why am I no longer a guard? These guys are adventuring. I'm stuck here with dragons.' That was just one of the lines."
Pagliarulo wasn't available to tell us just why he wrote that line, but at least we now know why it's in there. It's there for you, gamers. The guards want you to know that you matter.
It is the phrase that can be translated into many things. One of them is not having enough leg armor for adventuring. The other one is getting married to end the adventuring. The most hated but is true is, they have gave up their freedom to do something. If you hear someone say that, then they are telling you one of the three phrases. The true reason why they added that is to get guards to like your personality. They will comment on your armor, weapon, shield, the guild you are in, what you have done, and what you are doing.
I found out something interesting when searching items from the elder scrolls series. In the games before skyrim, there was another armor slot for greaves which protected the knee area. I assume they didn't have enough time to code it in or something, so they decided to make the guards in a way complain about not having them anymore.