In case you are not one of the over 10 million people who have purchased Elder Scroll V: Skyrim since its critically acclaimed release in November, “Fus Ro Dah” is magical shout. As a dragon-born in the game, your character is able to learn power phrases, including “Fus Ro Dah,” which means ‘unrelenting force’ and is accompanied by epic music. When your character shouts “Fus Ro Dah,” a wave of force emits which blows over monsters and animals. Even before the game’s release, internet videos were popping up involving “Fus Ro Dah” which became a full internet meme. A youtube search of “Fus Ro Dah” shows 50,800 videos. The videos often take the form of the “Fus Ro Dah” shout from the game being imposed over a video of someone falling over or being blown away by wind.
Unsurprisingly, T-shirts saying “Fus Ro Dah” have popped up all over, and some are currently available on sites like Zazzle, Amazon, and Cafepress, though most if not all are unofficial. Zenimax, the parent of Skyrim-maker Bethesda, has recently applied for six trademarks of “Fus Ro Dah” in a variety of contexts, including T-shirts and other typical merchandising items, like backpacks. If Zenimax has its way, the unofficial “Fus Ro Dah” merchandise, which doesn’t net them any profits, will go away. A Zenimax spokesperson commented that the company is only looking to protect their intellectual property rights.