[*]Legate Rikke is horribly under-developed. With her background story as a Nord fighting against her own country, she has the potential to steal the show of the entire quest line. Unfortunately, she's not developed whatsoever (outside of 2-3 lines of optional dialogue) and is instead a horribly boring and lifeless character opposite of the interesting, at the very least, Galmor Stone Fist.
[*]General Tullius clearly doesn't understand or particularly care about Skyrim's traditions, but he does take them into account when told of them and plans accordingly. Although serious, he was much more "likeable" than I had first anticipated.
[*]Jarl Balgruuf wants nothing to do with the Imperials, nor the Stormcloaks. He sends Ulfric his axe hoping for peace.
[*]Again, like Rikke, Stone Fist is underdeveloped. The difference here is that he is an interesting character that has a unique atmosphere and voice actor about him.
[*]Ulfric Stormcloak is kind of a fool, and relies completely upon Galmor to accomplish anything. He has a great voice and knack for speaches, but from all indications won't be the best leader for Skyrim. He clearly seems to be in the whole ordeal for himself, having committed murder of a young "boy" who according to Elisif agreed with his stance anyways. What does it say about him when he's willing to kill someone that is on his side for the sake of a symbolic power-grab?
[*]Jarl Balgruuf RECEIVES the axe of Ulfric Stormcloak, and then sends it back and indicates he's against him. Complete reversal from the Imperial line, though Ulfric is still the aggressor who attacks.
[*]They're obviously racist. My poor elf character was turned away and barred from entry into the Stormcloaks at first, and was sent on some ridiculous "Kill an Ice Wraith" task in literally the middle of nowhere. It really seemed like an attempt to get rid of me either by my loss of resolve or death. Not sure if this happens with Nord characters, but I don't think it was a mistake either way since the Imperials accept you right away.
[*]The Civil War questline, I'm sorry to say, is horribly boring. Especially when played twice back to back. Go capture this fort, go capture that fort... etc, etc. There's really no emotion or variety. How hard would it have been to showcase a family torn apart by members fighting on opposite sides, or having someone unknowingly kill a friend of the opposing faction? It's all very detached and lifeless, and if it wasn't for Ulfric's constant jabbering you wouldn't even realize it's a Civil War.
[*]Elisif, if you talk to her, really sheds insight on how horrible Ulfric can act and how he's not exactly what he proclaims to be. She explains that her husband would have likely sided with his cause, had he asked. Ulfric clearly just wanted his title and fights not for Skyrim.
[*]Jarl Balgruuf's complete different role with the axe in both quest lines confused me. The stormcloak questline clearly tried to downplay the fact that Ulfric is the one who attacks Whiterun with the whole axe switch, and it really made me wonder why the developers did it.