So I've been play for while now and I'm thinking about joining one of the factions vying for control of Skyrim. I'm playing a Nord and he is mad as hell about the banning of Talos worship and the presence of plotting Thalmor agents in Skyrim so visibly influencing the empire. The Stormcloaks fight for Skyrim's freedom both political, cultural and religous. I like them, but here is my dilemma: Skyrim breaking away from the empire might actually end up weakening it to the point where the Thalmor can easily destroy it, which would lead to a Thalmor hegemony over all of Tamriel, which would counteract much of what the Stormcloaks are fighting for. Further some members among the Stormcloaks have tendencies towards bigotry which i dislike. Also (Possible spoiler) I found an interesting missive in the Thalmor embassy about Ulfric Stormcloak being a dormant asset, that no longer heeds their counsel, but was previously under their influence and might be again if approached at the right time. What do you think my nord character should do join the empire or the Stormcloaks and why? Who are you joining in your first playthrough?