Characters: Skyrim Other Characters
These are minor characters who do not fit in the other categories, but are still unique in their own way. For other Skyrim characters, click here.
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"Long life to you, my Thane."
Housecarls are warriors assigned by the Jarl of a hold to protect the Dragonborn and his/her property. In order to earn a housecarl, you must become a thane (in other words, an acknowledged hero of the hold) which generally involves directly assisting the Jarl in question, helping the citizenry of the hold, and, in the case of the major holds (Whiterun, Eastmarch, the Rift, the Reach, and Haafingar), purchasing property. With Hearthfire
installed, you can also gain housecarls from Falkreath, Hjaalmarch, and the Pale's Jarls after purchasing land. (Winterhold alone does not have purchasable property.)
- Action Hero Babysitter: With the addition of the Hearthfire DLC, the housecarls become these. They will do everything in their power to protect the Dragonborn's children from bandits and other random attacks.
- Artificial Brilliance: If a fight is beginning to look a little one-sided, they'll snatch up a staff they found lying on the ground and use it to even the odds.
- Badass: All of the housecarls are amongst the most powerful of your followers (at a similar level, a Housecarl has around 150 to 200 more hit points compared to a regular Warrior-class follower). They are all equal in stats.
- Badass Normal: They don't need fancy magic or an ancient language to keep up with the Dovahkiin. But they won't hesitate to use a staff if you give one to them, or it is lying around for them to use.
- Badass Gay: If you marry one of them and are the same gender, though they'll hit on you if you have an Amulet of Mara on regardless of your character's gender.
- Battle Butler: They carry your goods if you ask them to, and, when not following and protecting you, they stay at home to guard your house, your children and anything you own. Starting with Hearthfire, they share this position with your Stewards.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Jordis, Lydia, and Iona respectively. But you can only marry one of them.
- Bodyguarding a Badass: That badass being you, of course.
"Honor to you, my Thane."
"Long life to you, my Thane."
"I am sworn to carry your burdens."
"As you will, my Thane. I will protect you with my life."
- The Dragon: To an evil Dragonborn. They won't hesitate to murder a defenseless old lady if you give them the order.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: They can generally scout traps and be aware of an enemy's presence before you are. They can absorb more punishment than you (technically, since they're difficult to kill) and at early levels, they might be stronger than you.
- The Lancer/Number Two: They are "your sword and your shield".
- My Master, Right or Wrong/Undying Loyalty: They will put up with almost anything you do and agree to almost any order. In fact, it's easier to list the things they won't let you get away with:
"Not for you. Not for anyone."
- Particularly notable is that Housecarls will fight by your side even if you're fighting against the very Jarls who assigned them to you. Lydia and Jordis the Sword-Maiden will stay right by your side while invading Whiterun or Solitude, with Lydia actively participating in directly fighting the very Jarl who assigned her to you, personally.
- Only Six Faces: The female Housecarls seem to have the exact same faces, to the point where Lydia and Jordis the Sword-Maiden almost look like palette-swaps of one another. Iona at least has a different hairstyle.
- Trash Talk: All of them use it when facing down enemies...
"I am sworn to carry your burdens...."
Housecarl to the Dragonborn upon being named Thane of Whiterun.
Voiced by: Michael Gough
Housecarl to the Dragonborn after being named Thane of Eastmarch in the capital of Windhelm.
Voiced by: Claudia Christian
Housecarl to the Dragonborn after being named Thane of The Rift in the capital of Riften and helping clear out a den of skooma dealers.
- Action Girl
- Genre Savvy: Upon entering suspicious or hostile areas, she remarks, "Trouble ahead. Be careful." She also sometimes exclaims, "A good place for bandits to hide" when approaching caves.
- Heroes Want Redheads: If you marry her, of course.
Argis the Bulwark
Voiced by: Popeye Vogelsang
Housecarl to the Dragonborn after being named Thane of The Reach in the capital of Markarth after taking care of several Forsworn camps.
Jordis the Sword-Maiden
Voiced by: Corri English
Housecarl to the Dragonborn after being named Thane of Haafingar in the capital of Solitude and helping save Solitude from a crisis.
- Action Girl: Her name says it all.
- Awesome, but Impractical: As stated before, all housecarls are equal in stats, which is unfortunate considering how much cost and effort one must undertake to get Jordis.
- Badass Adorable: She has the default "young lady" voice, and tends to express glee when brought along into exotic and impressive locales.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Her voice and dialogue give the impression that she's the friendliest out of the housecarls. Doesn't make her any less brutal in a fight, nor does it keep for from yelling threats in battle.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Name version. "Jordis" means "Sword Maiden" in Norwegian, which makes her name Sword Maiden the Sword-Maiden.
- The Fettered: She takes her oath to serve you very seriously. Unlike Lydia, she says "I am sworn to carry your burdens" without a hint of sarcasm.
- Genre Savvy: She'll declare that "I don't like where this is going" when entering a suspicious area.
- They Call Him Sword: Her sobriquet.
Voiced by: Popeye Vogelsang
The headsman and head jailer of Solitude. He can be made a follower if you grant him a request of eliminating a prisoner he accidentally let escape.
- An Axe to Grind: He carries a unique Battleaxe. It's the same axe he uses to execute people.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Despite his duties, he comes off as a fairly decent person who treats his job as what it is: a job.
- Establishing Character Moment: You'll likely notice him immediately upon entering Solitude, as the headsman in charge of executing Roggvir.
- Genre Savvy: He is pretty aware that Jaree-Ra is bad news.
- Off with His Head!: It's his job. He's pretty blase about it however.
- Scary Black Man: Aside from his job, he's notably much larger and more muscular than other Redguards as well as having a rather deep voice.
Voiced by: Colleen Delaney
A miner in Darkwater Crossing who prefers adventuring to getting stuck in the mine, unlike her husband.
- Action Mom: She has a daughter.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: While the ore vein she discovered was prosperous enough to establish the settlement of Darkwater Crossing and its associated mine, this unfortunately led to Small Town Boredom when she realised she was now tied down in one place.
- Follower In-Law: The Dragonborn can marry her daughter.
- Founder of the Settlement: She was the one who discovered the mine, leading to the establishment of Darkwater Crossing.
- Older than They Look: She has a full-grown daughter, which would make her in her late thirties or early forties at least. She certainly doesn't look it; in fact, when standing next to her daughter, they look like they could be sisters.
- Parenting the Husband: Inverted. Her husband, Verner, desperately wants her to act her age. It doesn't work.
- Retired Badass: Until she returns to adventuring alongside the Dragonborn.
- Small Town Boredom: Her reason for following the Dragonborn.
- Wet Blanket Wife: Inverted. She wants to do some adventuring, to the annoyance of her husband.
Voiced by: Michael Gough
A Nord mercenary in Solitude's inn.
Voiced by: Popeye Vogelsang
A Nord warrior hanging around the Guardhouse in Morthal. He will follow you upon beating him in a brawl.
- Above the Influence: It's possible for Alva to hit on him, and Benor says he'll agree, if Alva leaves that "kinslayer" Hroggar. Alva says Hroggar doesn't have to know, but that causes Benor to flatly turn her down, refusing to "cuckold" Hroggar even if Benor thinks Hroggar's a murderer.
- An Axe to Grind: He's wielding an iron battleaxe when you first recruit him, and he prefers Two-Handed weapons.
- Defeat Means Friendship: How you recruit him.
- Knight in Sour Armor: He's not pleased with the Jarl of Morthal, whom he feels isn't doing enough to protect the citizens of Morthal. He feels Morthal used to be a quiet place, back when the world made sense. So what does he do about it? He joins up with Morthal's guards to help them out.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: Well, not distracted by Alva's sexy, anyway, as described in the Above the Influence trope. The player can marry him, though.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sort of. He's the blue oni to his good friend Gorm's red. You can learn this in a minor conversation, but Gorm wants to do something immediately about his and Benor's mutual dissatisfaction with Morthal's Jarl, while Benor would prefer to wait until the time is right, when they're sure.
Voiced by: Stephen Russell
A talking dog found outside Falkreath.
Borgakh the Steel Heart
Voiced by: Diane Salinger
An Orc warrior, and the daughter of the chieftain of Mor Khazgur stronghold. Her eventual fate would have been to be married off
to another stronghold, which the Dragonborn has a chance to prevent - by either passing a Speechcraft check to talk her into running away, or by paying off her bride-price.
- Action Girl
- Arranged Marriage: She joins up with you to escape one.
- Badass Normal
- Blood Knight: One of her random comments is "My blood's calm. I prefer it boiling."
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: A minor example, but if you use Healing Hands on her to heal her wounds, she'll complain that an Orc lets wounds heal naturally.
- Hot Guy, Ugly Wife: Possibly (she can be married). Although for an Orc, she's fairly attractive.
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: An odd case in that her stats are geared for a sword-and-shield one-handed approach, but she seems to prefer using bows at long rage in battle instead unless you make sure she doesn't have any bows or arrows.
- Proud Warrior Race Girl
- Tribal Facepaint: Has blood-red tears painted on her face (as if her eyes are welling up and running over).
- You Keep Using That Word: A minor goof by Bethesda. She calls the goods Mor Khazgur would get in exchange for her a "dowry," but the correct definition of that term would be goods or money given to her husband in addition to her. The correct term is something like "bride-price".
Voiced by: Tim Blaney
The only Argonian follower. A miner at Darkwater Crossing who was apparently a prisoner of the Falmer.
- Catch Phrase: "Ours is to follow, friend."
- Idiot Ball: How he got imprisoned by the Falmer. Upon freeing him, the first thing he does is to kick himself for about how utterly stupid it was to swim into an unexplored cave when he didn't know what was in there first.
- I Owe You My Life: Derkeethus follows you because you saved his life and will stand by your side no matter what. "To Oblivion and back, as they say."
- Made of Iron: Due to the incredibly buggy nature of his recruitment quest, his essential status never gets removed, making it impossible for enemies to kill him. This means that, while his stats are average at best, he's actually one of the most useful followers in the game.
- Recruitment By Rescue
- Rescue Romance: If you chose to marry him.
- Runaway Groom: Because of a glitch, when attempting to marry him, he has a tendency to sprint out of the chapel in the middle of the ceremony.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Entering a vast room with no enemies to be seen? He sees this a mile away.
- Weapon of Choice: The bow, which he will use as long as he has arrows, even if you give him ridiculously powerful melee weapons. The solution, of course, is to give him ridiculously powerful bows instead. In melee combat, he almost always uses his pickaxe and will simply resort to Dual Wielding if given another melee weapon.
Voiced by: Susan Eisenberg
A follower of the Daedric Prince Namira.
An aged Dunmer priest, Erandur joins you following the "Waking Nightmare" quest, which can be started in Dawnstar.
- The Atoner: Used to be a Daedric Lord's priest, but abandoned his order and became a priest of Mara instead.
- Badass: He's unique among followers in that his level is 50% higher than the player's, so if you meet him at level 20, he'll already be at level 30 (almost all other Followers are at the same level as the player). Plus his level cap is 50, one of the highest in the game; this is matched only by Cicero, the members of the Circle, and the housecarls.
- Give him a couple of Destruction staves, stand back, and watch the bodies fly.
- Badass Preacher
- The Bard: He used to attend the Bard's College in Solitude, but was kicked out for worshiping Vaermina.
- Battle Cry: "Feel the benevolence of Mara!"
- Catch Phrase: "Blessings of Mara upon you."
- Good Parents: He claims that he had good parents and has no bad memories of them; he thinks he'll visit their resting place sometime.
- Heel-Faith Turn
- Kill It with Fire: One of his favourite spells is a ramped-up fireball.
- Kung-Fu Wizard: Erandur can take almost as much of a beating as Lydia or your other companions.
- Magic Knight: He often uses a mace and a fire spell. He's also a mean hand with Destruction staves.
- Nice Guy: One of the few followers who are fine with hauling your stuff around.
- Older than They Look: He states that he grew up it The Pale and lived there for most of his life, which is longer than the Dovahkiin may think.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Erandur's battle dialogue and some of his unique lines said when he isn't being spoken to directly are in the normal, nasal Dark Elf voice, as opposed to his usual Badass Baritone. Keith Szarabajka wasn't able to go the full Joshua Graham route for this preacher.
- Sadistic Choice / Friend or Idol Decision: It's either have him as follower, or kill him and gain possession of a nice magic staff. Of course, it's not really sadistic if you're a good guy, since doing the bidding of the Lady of Nightmares is not something you'd be inclined to do even if it didn't involve killing a decent man. However, if you're attempting to get the "Oblivion Walker" achievement, letting him live means giving up the chance to acquire one of the fifteen required artifacts.
- Unexplained Accent: He has quite a fantastic one compared to other followers.
- Weapon of Choice: Tends to favour using Destruction magic in magic, despite his stats revealing that he's far more skilled at Conjuration. One explanation for this might be that his Heel-Faith Turn from a Daedra worshipper is why he doesn't use it anymore, since that school is heavily associated with the Daedra and Oblivion.
Erik the Slayer
A young man from Rorikstead who dreams of being an adventurer.
- Ascended Fanboy: A meta example. Erik the Slayer is based off of Erik West, who was known as "Immok the Slayer" on the forums and who died of cancer in May 2011.
- Jumped at the Call: Takes the first opportunity that he can to just leave and start adventuring.
- Nice Guy
- Pet the Dog: The Dragonborn can offer to pay for his armor, so his father won't go into debt.
- Small Town Boredom: Why he wants to be an adventurer.
Voiced by: Jon Curry
A Bosmer from Riverwood. He is in a Love Triangle
, competing with Sven for Camilla Valerius' attentions. He will offer to follow you if you help him out (either by telling Camilla that Sven had written a fake note to pretend it was from Faendal, or by giving Camilla the fake note he
wrote to pretend it was from Sven).
- Adorkable: Somewhat.
- Badass Normal: He can only level up to level 30 and he doesn't know any magic, but he's so good with his bow that it often doesn't matter.
- Deadpan Snarker: "Riverwood's agreeable enough, I suppose. For a Nord village."
- Disc One Nuke: Getting him as a follower is not only possible within five minutes of leaving Helgen, but he's also a trainer, and as a companion you can get Archery lessons from him and then take back the gold from his inventory for free lessons. Enjoy having your pumped-up bow skills deal a One-Hit Kill to early enemies.
- Love Triangle: With Sven over Camilla. He's no better and no worse than Sven; both of them hatch a completely identical plot to win over Camilla's affections: write a forged note insulting Camilla and make it look like the other guy wrote it, so Camilla will turn on him and fall for the forger instead.
- Never Hurt an Innocent: His morality is set to 3 (will not commit any crimes), which means he'll turn on the Dragonborn if they instigate a fight with a civilian.
- Nice Guy: All Love Triangle issues aside, he's perfectly happy to help you out, he's extremely loyal to the point where he never objects if you turn him into a pack mule, and he's got none of the Fantastic Racism most of his species does.
- Not So Different: He's actually just as bad as Sven, as revealed when he tries to get you to manipulate Camilla into dumping Sven.
- Weapon of Choice: The bow is his default weapon, which he will use most of the time. He can also train you in Archery up to level 50.
- Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Ask him to kill a civilian and he will say, "Not for you, not for anyone." Kill one yourself without due cause (basically in cold blood) and he'll join the guards in killing you. If one of them attacks you first, however, he'll side with you since they started it.
Voiced by: Michael Gough
A Nord warrior who meets the Dragonborn at Hillgrund's tomb, where his ancestors are being experimented on by a necromancer. After the Dragonborn helps him, he offers his services as a follower.
- Abusive Parent: His dad locked him in Hillgrund's tomb for three days. It's an ambiguous example, however, because the note from his aunt says that it was actually his brother who did it. So it's hard to say what actually happened in that specific instance, but Dad sounds like a nasty piece of work regardless.
- An Axe to Grind
- Disappeared Dad: But that may be for the best. His dad was a drunken bastard.
- Fantastic Racism: Defied; when describing what the Necromancer (a Dark Elf) is doing to his ancestors, he talks about "filthy Dark Elf Necromancy". If the Dragonborn is a Dark Elf, however, he will immediately add that there was "no offense intended", as he assumed he/she wasn't in that kind of practice.
- Nice Guy
- What the Hell, Hero?: Calls the Dragonborn out if they steal treasure from his family's ancestral tomb. He reluctantly agrees that they can keep it as a reward for helping him out, but he's clearly not happy about it.
Ghorbash the Iron Hand
Voiced by: Noah Nelson
An Orc warrior who can be found at the Orc stronghold of Dushnihk Yal, slightly southeast of Markarth. He's the brother of the stronghold's chief and can become a follower if you pass a speech check.
- Retired Badass: Previously served in the Imperial Legion before returning to the stronghold.
- Small Town Boredom: Of a sort. Although his brother acted against usual orcish sensibilities by welcoming his brother back into the stronghold after Ghorbash left to serve in the Legion, he still has a strong urge to wander. The speech check required to make him a follower calls him out on this.
- Weapon of Choice: The bow, as befits a Ranger, Ghorbash's listed class.
Voiced by: Colleen Delaney
An Imperial witch. She enlists the Dragonborn to help stop her mother from becoming a Hagraven.
The Dunmer Priestess at the Shrine of Azura, and the last faithful follower who there remains. She joins the Dragonborn after they complete Azura's quest.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: After Azura informs her she won't receive any more visions, she's left lost, not knowing what to do, and decides to join you as a result.
- High Priestess
- Hot Witch
- Lady of Black Magic
- Really 700 Years Old: It's implied she was one of the original pilgrims that built the Shrine, over two centuries ago. She likewise mentions that Azura granted her a vision foretelling the Dragonborn's arrival at the Shrine, long before they were even born.
- Undying Loyalty: She is the only follower of Azura who remained at the statue after waiting a couple hundred years. Even after Azura stops giving her visions and she decides to join you, she will still stay at the Shrine in her free time to pursue her duties as a High Priestess.
A Dunmer mercenary found in Whiterun's Drunken Huntsman. Will follow for 500 gold.
Voiced by: André Sogliuzzo
A Khajiit caravan guard for the Khajiit Traders in the Rift. His Moon Amulet, his only reminder of home, is stolen by a quick-fingered bandit. Return it to gain his friendship and favor. One of only two Khajiit followers.
- Made of Iron: Starting in steel plate, he makes a great tank.
- Nice Guy
- The Nose Knows: Played with. "Don't worry, if someone tries to sneak up on us, I will smell them. Or not, we'll see."
- Off The Wagon: Kharjo advises you that drinking and gambling do not mix - whatever he did when he combined the two resulted in him landing in prison. Akhari got him out and he is replaying the debt by guarding the caravan.
Voiced by: Jon Curry
An Imperial magician usually found in the inn in Riften who can be hired.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: "If these ruins frighten you, take comfort in the knowledge that I am here."
- Badass Bookworm: Some of his dialogue suggests he is well-educated.
- Adventure Archaeologist: He claims to be highly knowledgeable on the topic of Nordic ruins and will consider taking a few items from Dwemer ruins to take back to Cyrodiil.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's one of the more talkative followers who often make comments on some places even when not talked to, and complains that you're using him as a pack mule when asked to carry things.
- Disc One Nuke: Is actually one of the more offensively powerful followers and will join you as long as you have 500 gold when you get to Riften.
- Shock and Awe: Uses Lightning Bolts as his main spells.
- Trigger Happy: Since he has Chain Lightning, he can (and will, repeatedly) electrocute you in combat.
- Tsundere: If you marry him and use him as a follower, then you'll get both the standard marriage dialogue and his snarky remarks.
Mjoll the Lioness
Voiced by: Martina Lotun
A former adventurer, she retired after a brush with death in the depths of a Dwemer ruins. She's taken it upon herself to try and clean up Riften
, but hasn't had much luck. If you can return her enchanted blade Grimsever, she will take up adventuring again at your side.
- Berserk Button: She considers the Thieves' Guild even lower than the Dark Brotherhood, since she believes the latter have some degree of standards. As a follower, however, she can be taken to the Ragged Flagon with no ill effect and can even be present during your initiation as a Nightingale.
- Boisterous Bruiser: A rare female example.
- Blood Knight: She loves to fight, as repeatedly stated in her dialogue.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: She comments on it if you bring her to Mzinchaleft, where she was severely injured.
- Dummied Out: She was originally going to be more active against the Thieves' Guild, and potentially help you destroy it, a la Destroy The Dark Brotherhood, but the questline was removed from the game due to time constraints.
- Friendly Enemy: It's never mentioned in-universe, and it's most likely just a case of Story And Gameplay Segregation, but you can befriend her even if you are a Thieves' Guild member, or even the Guildmaster. That's right, you can be friends with her even though, from her perspective, you are pretty much part of the Big Bad Ensemble (the other part being Maven Black-Briar).
- Just Friends/Platonic Life Partners: Apparently, herself and Aerin. Aerin will go anywhere Mjoll goes - including your house, should you marry her. He will even follow her to Sky Haven Temple, should you get her to join the Blades!
- Made of Iron: Because of her quest, Mjoll is tagged as "essential" and thus literally cannot be killed by any enemy in the game. This alone makes her one of the most useful companions in the game, as you don't have to worry about her getting killed in combat, though she'll still turn on you if you attack her enough.
- Might Makes Right
- Motor Mouth: One of the more talkative followers, to the point that she will talk during excursions into danger-filled caves and tombs and will talk over other NPCs during scripted story moments.
- Older than They Look: You'd never know it from just looking at her, but some of her comments imply that she's somewhat past her prime.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Despite her claims to be an opponent of the Thieves' Guild and the Black-Briars, she's never seen doing anything other than lamenting their presence in Riften. Even if you tell her that you're interested in joining the Thieves' Guild, she simply expresses mild disappointment at you. Dialogues between her and Aerin suggest that she does have run-ins with them offscreen, but he tries to convince her into limiting her actions to avoid having Maven send her to jail. She also does help the guards take down thieves whenever one shows up.
- Retired Badass: Though you can inspire her to make a comeback.
- Tribal Face Paint
- We Help the Helpless: Her reason for staying in Riften.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She dislikes Dwemer ruins, after almost losing her life in Mzinchaleft, and will wearily remind you if you take her into one and will state she never planned to go back to Mzinchaleft if you take her back there.
- Woman Of The City: Sees herself as Riften's protector, and vehemently opposes both the Thieves Guild and Black-Briar dynasty (or at least she claims to do so). It's been indicated that there was supposed to have been a questline in which she worked more actively against them, but it was cut.
- Unknown Rival: To the Thieves' Guild. Despite being the only resident of Riften who openly opposes them, none of them seem that concerned with her as they never even talk about her.
A Nord bard living in Riverwood who, like Faendal, is a potential companion if you side with him with his love triangle.
- Berserk Button: If you complete Faendal's quest, he becomes very frosty towards you.
- Joke Character: He's a cowardly twit who lives with his mom, he's one of the weakest fighters, and has the shortest span before he can stop leveling up. It's one of the reasons that he often gets overlooked and people travel with Faendal.
- Love Triangle: Both Sven and Faendal are competing for Camilla's affections. Sven is no better and no worse than Faendal; both of them hatch a completely identical plot to win over Camilla's affections: write a forged note insulting Camilla and make it look like the other guy wrote it, so Camilla will turn on him and fall for the forger instead.
- Not Now, Mother: At first believes his mother is crazy for thinking a dragon attacked Helgen. He takes it back (though not to her face) if you inform him there really was a dragon.
- Not So Different: Sven is no different than Faendal: each one hatches exactly the same plot to turn Camilla against his rival; only the Dragonborn makes the difference as to which of them succeeds.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Sort of. Sven is a bard and plays in the Sleeping Giant Inn. That's the "pink" of this trope. He's also a lumberjack, or at least the "faction" coding for this game classifies him as one. That's the "real men" of this trope.
Uthgerd The Unbroken
Voiced by: Claudia Christian
A Nord warrior found in the inn in Whiterun. She was rejected to become a Companion because she accidentally killed her sparring partner.
People of Eastmarch
Eastmarch is a hold in eastern Skyrim, with its primary geographical feature being its volcanic tundra, dotted with steam vents and hot springs. Its capital is Windhelm, whose climate is more akin to Winterhold, which lies directly to its north. Its banner is a bear head on a blue background, an emblem shared by the Stormcloak Militia.
Voiced by: Reese C. Hartwig
A young boy whose mother recently passed away. Aventus was sent to the Honorhall Orphanage in Riften, but he flees back to Windhelm to escape Grelod the Kind's abuse, and rumors start circulating of his attempts to contact the Dark Brotherhood.
- Creepy Child: He's a little boy trying to contact a cult of death worshiping assassins using what are heavily implied to be his dead mother's remains as the necessary body parts for the Black Sacrament.
- It's also clear that some time has passed between his mother's death, his stay at the orphanage and his return to Windhelm - meaning that he would have had to go grave-robbing to retrieve her remains, if they are even hers.
- Heartwarming Orphan: Bizarrely enough, he still manages to be this too. He's only contacting the Brotherhood because he wants to save his friends from Grelod's horrible abuse.
- Hero-Worshipper: To the Dark Brotherhood after you fulfill his contract. He tells you that he's going to become an assassin too when he grows up, so he can help other children like you helped him.
- Folk Hero: Becomes one to the children at the Orphanage, who cheer Aventus for getting the Dark Brotherhood to kill Grelod and leaves at least one of them musing on the things that can be accomplished through murder. Nice work, Dovahkiin.
- Take That Player: His quest, and the overall introduction to the Dark Brotherhood, is carefully designed to make you feel a little ashamed of yourself. In Oblivion, it was possible to be contacted by the Brotherhood by accident, but not so in this game. Specifically, you must break into Aventus's home, get mistaken for and/or pretend to be someone you're not (although the only other choice is to walk away and leave the quest unfinished), murder an Asshole Victim in cold blood, and then return to a child and tell him that you just solved all of his problems through murder. Again, congratulations on screwing up a kid even worse than he was before, Dovahkiin!
- It gets worse - he never goes back to the orphanage, despite saying that's what he'd do if you succeeded in killing the evil old woman. Instead, when you go back to talk to him, he tells you quite happily that he's going to grow up to be an assassin like you so he can help children, too.
- There is an AI package for him to go back to the orphanage (it just doesn't have a quest stage check assigned to it), so it is just a bug that he stays in the house. Wanting to grow up to be an assassin, however, is certainly not a bug - and even with Hearthfire installed, it takes precedence over the adoption dialogue, so he's the one orphan that can't be adopted.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Arentino's childish attempts to contact the Brotherhood ultimately determine the future of the Brotherhood itself, ranging from its potential destruction to the death of the Emperor.
Voiced by: George Coe
The eccentric proprietor of Windhelm's House of Curiosities, where he has an interesting variety of items on display. And a very dark secret.
- Affably Evil: He's pretty friendly for a brutal murderer.
- Beware the Nice Ones: His cheery and eccentric demeanour masks a core of stone-cold lunacy.
- Brother-Sister Incest: This may have been the case, though it's not confirmed. After you confront and kill Calixto at the end of the quest, you can loot the key to his personal trunk off his body, enter his house/museum, and go upstairs to unlock said trunk. Inside is his journal, in which he writes as though speaking to his sister, and some of the wording is a little squicky.
- Chekhov's Gunman/The Dog Was the Mastermind: When you first come upon a murder victim in Windhelm, he'll be one of the witnesses, and the game sets him up as just a random bystander. Turns out, he's a just little more important than that...
- Collector of the Strange: Among other things, he's collected some embalming tools from ancient Nord barrows, a shelf full of rare alchemy ingredients, several soul gems, a 'Book of Fate' (which looks blank to you, but it's supposed to reveal your future) and a supposedly mystical flute whose tune could make any listener dance uncontrollably.
- There is a reason why the Dovahkiin would only see blank pages in the Book of Fate even if Calixto is telling the truth about it showing one's future: the Dovahkiin doesn't exactly have a defined destiny in the way most others have.
- Freudian Excuse: He lost his sister while adventuring, and committed the murders as part of a ritual to resurrect her.
- Jack the Ripoff
- Memetic Badass: He tells a story about an in-universe one: Ysgramor, who was able to eat soup with a fork. And he has the very implement on display! (It's even labelled 'Ysgramor's Soup Spoon' despite being a fork.)
- Necromancer: Speaking with him about the mysterious amulet found in Hjerim suggests that despite his supposed ignorance, he knows a great deal on the subject. It's later revealed that it's actually the infamous Necromance's Amulet and belonged to him, with his Butcher journal revealing that his entire killing spree was to acquire parts to resurrect his sister.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: His cheerful persona and (according to Wuunferth) ignorance of most of the magical items in his shop are revealed to be a ruse, designed to deflect suspicion off himself.
- Red Herring: Bring him the Strange Amulet you find among a murderer's possessions and he'll identify it as a Wheelstone, tokens given to some court mages upon their appointment to the position. Describe it to Windhelm's actual court mage and he'll all but facepalm at the misidentification. Entirely deliberate on Calixto's part - he's throwing you off the trail. The Amulet is a powerful Necromantic token.
- Astute players might Spot The Thread if you show it to Jorleif, the steward in the Windhelm court, who pretty much says "I dunno what it is, take it to Calixto." That he doesn't recognize it as a heirloom of the Windhelm court is telling.
- Retired Badass: Journeyed all over Tamriel with his sister.
- Sibling Team: He and his sister apparently went on all sorts of adventures in the past.
- Walking Spoiler
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He adored his sister and is desperate to find some artifact or method to bring her back to life. Unfortunately, that's proven a little problematic, leading him and sanity to say goodbye to one another.
Wuunferth the Unliving
The Court Mage of Windhelm, and a master of the Destruction school of magic. Has a a bit of a ferocious reputation, but is a mostly decent fellow aside from his anti-social ways. By his own admission he does little around the castle, but Ulfric allows him to stick around and work undisturbed due to their friendship with each other.
- Badass: Almost everyone in Windhelm, a city of badasses, is wary around of him. It's one of the ways he gets peace and quiet around there.
- Badass Bookworm: He's an extremely capable Destruction Wizard, and provides training in that school.
- Badass Boast: Makes one when you meet him.
Wuunferth: Whatever you've heard I can do is probably true.
- Badass Beard: The most epic beard of any of the Court Wizards.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name
- Court Mage: To Ulfric, but Ulfric has little need for magic on account of his mastery of the Voice, so Wuunferth is mostly allowed to work on personal projects.
Dragonborn: Does Ulfric have much need for magic?
Wuunferth: No. But then, I have little need for Ulfric. We mostly just leave each other to our work.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Despite living in the darkest part of the Palace of Kings, and his sobriquet implying he may be a Necromancer, he's actually one of the most reasonable and sensible wizards to be found in Skyrim. And unlike Farengar, he doesn't let the Nordic suspicion of magic turn him into a passive-aggressive asshole.
- His potentially being a Necromancer - or at least well-versed in the subject - isn't even illegal, according to the Mages in the College of Winterhold, who admit that even when it was banned by the Mages Guild, the law was never enforced in Skyrim.
- Grumpy Old Man
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Over the course of the questline to find the Butcher, the player can go to him and tell him what they've found. Wuunferth instantly starts readily sharing some very extensive knowledge that proves integral in capturing the murderer, and holds no hard feelings to the player for idiotically suspecting him of being the culprit with no proof.
- Undying Loyalty: To Ulfric. Everybody else can go hang, far as he's concerned.
If Ulfric needs a favour, he has it. Anyone else better pay well for the service.
- Wizard Beard: By far one of the most traditional-looking wizards in Skyrim.
A family in mourning, they are trying to cope with a pair of recent tragedies. First Friga Shatter-Shield was murdered by the Windhelm serial killer, and then they were robbed, seemingly by a family friend.
- Asshole Victim: They're not exactly as innocent as they seem, though there is no way you see this unless you do some other quest unrelated to the Dark Brotherhood. See Corrupt Corporate Executive and Fantastic Racism below.
- Awesome McCoolname: For all their woes, they still have a decent sobriquet.
- Badass: The family patriarch, Torbjorn, is the expert trainer for two-handed weaponry.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: They paid the Blood Horker pirates to attack traders of the East Empire Trading company.
- Driven to Suicide: If Nilsine dies as well, Tova commits suicide in her grief, leaving her husband Torbjorn as the only surviving member.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Tova Shatter-Shield has taken to alcohol to cope with her daughter's death.
- Fantastic Racism: They only pay the Argonian dock workers a fraction of Nord workers' pay. Then again, some of them brazenly admit to stealing cargo from them.
- Pet the Dog: If you bring this up to Torbjorn after helping him ease his wife's grief with an Amulet of Arkay (it's supposed to remind her that their daughter is in a better place), he agrees to drastically increase their pay with no protest - primarily out of respect for you.
- Miscarriage of Justice: Muiri, a family friend, came to share in the family's grief, only to be charmed by the bandit Alain Dufont. He managed to rob the family and convince the family that Muiri did it, ruining their relationship. Muiri took this so hard that she puts Nilsine as a bonus objective for her Dark Brotherhood contract on Alain - her fuzzy logic is that with both of their real daughters dead, Torbjorn and Tova will look on her as their daughter instead.
A retired Nord ship captain that can often be found in Candlehearth Hall. He was meant to replace Jorlief as Windhelm's steward if the Imperials win the Civil War, but a bug prevented this. Version 1.3.2 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch fixes this.
The proprietor of The White Phial in Windhelm, he's spent his entire life searching for the legendary alchemy flask of the same name.
- Grumpy Old Man: Generally rather rude.
- Hope Spot: You finally find the phial and return it to him.
- Despair Event Horizon: But it's broken, and the knowledge to fix it is long gone.
- Let Them Die Happy: Until his assistant manages to do it, with your help, and is able to show it to him seconds before his last breath.
- Jerkass: His assistant admits that Nurelion can be rather abrasive. After you show Nurelion the broken phial he only tips you five gold for your troubles, which is just insulting. Then again, Nurelion is facing the prospect of dying with his lifelong dream unfulfilled. His assistant apologizes for his master's manners and gives you a more substantial reward.
- Incurable Cough of Death: His very first 'words' when you enter his shop and see him and his assistant talking.
- Insufferable Genius: Lampshaded by his assistant, who mentions that once you get passed all the abrasiveness, Nurelion really is a brilliant alchemist. He's so well-regarded in his field, his assistant came all the way from Cyrodiil just to learn from him.
- Last Request: He knows he's dying and wants the chance to experiment on the phial before he goes.
- Retired Badass: He used to be an adventurer but has settled down after years of disappointment in his quest for the White Phial.
The local blacksmith. A huge supporter of Ulfric, so much that he wants a copy of a sword given to a legendary Queen of Skyrim to give to Ulfric to have as High King. He wishes to prove that he is the best smith in Skyrim. He has an apprentice, Hermir Strong-Heart.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name: War-Anvil. Overlaps with Meaningful Name too, as he's a blacksmith who manufactures for the Stormcloak freedom fighters.
- Determinator: Openly states that he'd gladly smith a thousand swords and shields for the Stormcloaks if it helps win them the war.
- Heroic BSOD: Gets one if the Stormcloaks lose the Civil war, considering dropping his trade just leaving (though where he would go is never explained...). He decides to stay for the sake of his apprentice.
- The Rival: Sees himself as that to Eorlund Gray-Mane.
- Worthy Opponent: He has the utmost respect Eorlund and regards him as a great smith. His observation that the Skyforge does give Eorlund a certain advantage over other Smiths is not incorrect in the slightest, since the forge is stated in several sources as being magical. His opinion of the man is nevertheless overwhelmingly positive.
- You Bastard: While he doesn't outright admonish you following an Imperial victory in the Civil War, he does become noticeably passive-aggressive towards you. His apprentice, however, is much more open about her anger towards you.
Oengul's apprentice, and a huge supporter of Ulfric and the Stormcloaks.
- Fangirl: Of Ulfric.
- Hidden Depths: But should the Imperials win the war, she'll freely admit to still supporting the Stormcloaks and any leader they might have in the future, showing that she cares more about Skyrim's freedom and what Ulfric represented for her than about Ulfric himself.
Brother to Galmar. Rolff is seen when one first enters Windhelm bullying a Dunmer, Suvaris Atheron. He spends his days at or around the Candlehearth Hall drinking, and his nights in the Grey Quarters shouting racist insults at the local Dunmer populations, whom he is convinced are all Thalmor or Imperial spies.
- The Alcoholic: Often gets drunk before shouting abuse at Dunmer or Argonians.
- Bullying a Dragon: Rather rude to the Dragonborn when they could theoretically kill him several times over.
- Butt Monkey: Owing to his essential status for many Thieves' Guild quests, he can't be killed and therefore is a great target for Videogame Cruelty Potential. He's also this In-Universe for many Dunmer owing to his alcoholic stupidity. In fact, several mods exist which take away his "essential" status, while many other PC players opt to kill him with console commands, just because of how annoying he is.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Beat him in a brawl and he'll consider you a friend, even if you are a Dunmer or Imperial. Unfortunately, he won't actually shut up about his racism, even if it's the reason you kicked his arse in the first place.
- Establishing Character Moment: The first thing you see him do is bullying a Dunmer and threatening her.
- Fantastic Racism: He proudly proclaims his entirely unfounded hatred of Dunmer and Argonians, even if you belong to one of the races, and he walks about the streets of Windhelm at night shouting racial slurs even if no one is there to hear him.
- If you're a Dunmer, the first thing he'll say to you is "You damn gray-skin. Go back to Morrowind!"
- Hypocrite: He complains the Dunmer must be spies because they do not support or help the Stormcloaks... Yet he himself does not do anything to help them either. He also claims they are parasites, thieves and just living off the Nords. Big accusations from a man who does not actually have a job and spends his entire days at the inn drinking... Note that unlike his friend, the beggar Angrenor Once-Honored, Rolff doesn't have the excuse of having suffered a debilitating injury on the front line of the rebellion.
- Insane Troll Logic: He believes that all Dunmer are Imperial spies... owing to the fact that an entirely different species of Mer is manipulating the Empire. He also has no proof that the Dunmer are spying whatsoever.
- Jerkass: And that's the nicest way to describe him.
- Patriotic Fervor: Not in a good way, unfortunately, as his definition of patriotism is "be a dick to any non-Nords in the nearby vicinity".
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Not exactly evil per say, but definitely makes other Stormcloaks (or sympathisers in his case) look downright liberal. To keep this in perspective, his brother and Ulfric will allow you to join regardless of race and you can rise to the second-highest rank possible regardless of race. Rolff will just shout abuse at you until you punch him in the face, and even after he doesn't moderate his views to anybody except you.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: Possibly. Rolff reached his conclusion that all Dunmer are Imperial or Thalmor spies based entirely on his Fantastic Racism. However, if you poke around the Dunmer-operated New Gnisis Cornerclub, you'll find Imperial armor and memorabilia prominently displayed, indicating that a few Dark Elves might indeed be Imperial spies. (Some of them might also be retirees from the Legion, or just like to collect Imperial memorabilia, but there's some ground for suspicion, at least.)
- We Have Ways of Making You Talk: He threatens various Dunmer with this.
An Altmer merchant in the Windhelm marketplace. Some of her dialogue at first appears... less-than-trustworthy, and for good reason once you find out that she has ties to the Thieves' Guild as well as their rival guild, the Summerset Shadows.
- Even Black-Market Dealers Have Standards: Trafficking stolen goods is just fine, but stealing from the dead is not.
- Friend in the Black Market: She has connections to the Thieves' Guild as well as the Summerset Shadows. After dealing with the latter, she goes back to dealing with the Guild and acts as a fence for you.
- Mob War: Finds herself in the middle of one between the Thieves' Guild and the Summerset Shadows. With enough persuasion, she'll sell out the Shadows to you, since they're a lot less honorable than the Guild and they forced her to work for them in the first place.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: See below. She offers to protect priests of Talos from the Thalmor.
- Pet the Dog: You can witness her conversation with Jora, wife of Lortheim; the couple are a Priest and Priestess of Talos. She subtly offers to have them smuggled out of the city if the Thalmor were to strike in some way, and even though they refuse, they are grateful for the consideration.
- Robbing the Dead: This is the Summerset Shadows' M.O., and what makes them so detestable to Niranye.
One of the many Argonians working at Wildhelm's docks, who can ask the Dragonborn's help to get her stolen Amulet of Zenithar back. She is the only female Argonian available for marriage.
People of Falkreath Hold
Falkreath Hold is the southern-most hold of Skyrim, and is noted for its verdant evergreen forests. Its capital shares the hold's name, and is home of the largest graveyard in Skyrim. Its banner is a stag with tangled antlers, on a lavender background.
Voiced by: Noah Nelson
Orc leader of Cracked Tusk Keep and protector of the blade shards of Mehrune's Razor.
- Badass Grandpa: When was the last time you saw an orc with white hair?
- Crazy-Prepared: Ghunzul doesn't simply use himself and his bandits to protect the shards. He keeps them locked in the dungeon, protected by several button-activated bars, numerous tripwire traps, and spikes that stab at anyone who opens the chest containing them.
- Retired Badass: The book "The Keepers of the Razor" suggests he once served in the Imperial Legion.
- Secret Keeper: He is the eighth descendant of the Inner Circle that shattered Mehrune's Razor and divided the fragments across Skyrim.
Voiced by: George Coe
Altmeri priest of Arkay, and overseer of the graveyard that puts Falkreath on the map.
- The Atoner: He was a Dominion battlemage, and he's now a Priest of Arkay to atone.
- Cool Old Guy: One of the nicest Altmer you will meet in Skyrim.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Runil has a dream portending the coming of Alduin, and of his own eventual path-crossing with the Dragonborn (his first scene in your presence has him giving last rights over a grave just as his dream foretells).
- Good Shepherd: As a priest of Arkay, the god of birth and death, he presides over funerals and comforts the family and friends of the deceased.
- Heel-Faith Turn: He explains that he became a follower of Arkay and presumably defected from the Aldmeri Dominion after the Great War, feeling the weight of all the people he killed and hoping to be redeemed.
- Retired Badass
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Much like Madena, he's got some shell shock over all the lives he terminated during the Great War with his magefire. His journal indicates he was on the Aldmeri Dominion side, who weren't known for holding back in the magic department either.
- Summon Magic: He is the common-level Conjuration trainer.
Voiced by: Thor Edgell
A Nord imprisoned in Falkreath jail for murdering a child. He actually is a werewolf who got cursed by Hircine for stealing his Ring.
- The Atoner: He admits that he probably deserves to die for what he's done, and if you choose to spare him, he promises to never return to society.
- Blessed with Suck: Hircine's Ring was supposed to allow him to control his transformations, but thanks to Hircine cursing it as revenge for his theft, it ended up causing him to transform randomly and lose even more control over his transformations.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Attempted this by stealing Hircine's ring. It didn't work out well for him.
- Tragic Monster: He didn't want to murder the child, but owing to Hircine's curse he ended up doing so against his own will.
- Sadistic Choice: Either kill him under Hircine's orders and get new armor, or help him kill the other hunters and gain the uncursed Ring of Hircine.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Justified, due to him being a werewolf.
Voiced by: Martina Lotun
A Nord ranger who lives in a shack high upon a mountain ridge south of Falkreath. Born and raised in Helgen, she decided to live alone in the wilderness after her family was killed, having grown tired of the townspeople all feeling sorry for her.
A Nord vampire who runs Half-Moon Mill. She provides lumber for Falkreath, and used to provide for Helgen before Alduin destroyed it. She's actually rather friendly with the Dragonborn, and will provide them with lumber as well for their homesteads.
- Affably Evil: She's extremely polite with the Dragonborn and pays them well if they chop firewood for her. If she likes the Dragonborn, she'll even let them have free lumber as long as they cut it themselves. That being said, she's still a vampire who feeds off of travelers.
- Cute Monster Girl: She's this in the vanilla game. Not so much with Dawnguard installed.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: She actually makes an honest living selling lumber.
- Schmuck Bait: Some of her random dialogue will have her offer to let you stay the night, although you have no way to accept this. Lucky for the Dragonborn, as the various fed-upon corpses in the basement reveals what happens to those who do.
- Unholy Matrimony: She's married to Hern, another vampire and a Dark Brotherhood contract.
An elderly woman who lives in a secluded shack north of Lake Ilinalta. She comes off as very friendly and lonely, but she's actually a powerful witch attempting to start a new coven.
- Evil Is One Big Happy Family: Her sister is Moira, the Hagraven to whom the Dragonborn gets drunkenly engaged during "A Night to Remember".
- Evil Old Folks: Again, she's a witch.
- Faux Affably Evil: When you first meet her, she remarks on how nice it is to have a visitor. She even has the typical "friendly old lady" voice set.
- He Knows Too Much: If you go snooping around in her basement, she'll attack you when you come back out.
- Most Definitely Not a Villain: When you talk to her, she may say that she's just a poor old woman with nothing interesting.
People of Haafingar
Haafingar is in the northwestern corner of Skyrim, and is known for its opposite extremes in climate: its southern regions are warmer from the Karth River flow, while its northern regions are more typical of its latitude. Its capital is Solitude, built upon a gigantic natural rock arch. Its banner is a wolf head on a red cross background.
A wood elf slave girl who works for Elenwen. She is seen during Elenwen's party. Gets send to the torture chambers after Erikur frames her because she rejected his romantic advances.
- Break the Cutie: She serves Elenwen against her will. Then she's sent to the torture chambers for not reacting to Erikur's advances. After the Dovahkiin saves her, she's shivering in fear, very confused and doesn't know where to go at all.
- Maid: Heavily implied to be forced into this role.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Can invoke this trope after fleeing the Thalmor Embassy. If a player goes their own way after freeing her, she is known to disappear without a trace. This is because she's set to go to Windhelm, but because she's very weak, she has a high chance of dying during her travel.
Voiced by: Paul Ganus
Captain of the guard in Solitude. He's in charge of training the guards against outside threats... and a possible siege by the Stormcloaks.
Voiced by: Stephen Russell
An arrogant and shady Thane of Haafingar. Has close ties with the Thieves Guild.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Yes, yes they are.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Or rather corrupt indulgent businessman, but the majority of his influence comes from his investments and so forth.
- Faux Affably Evil: Very well-mannered and welcoming, but also a sociopath and needlessly cruel.
- Hypocrite: "Well, if it isn't the bully who goes around hurting people" comes to mind.
- Karma Houdini: Causes a Bosmer slave girl to be sent to the Thalmor torture chambers, just because she refused his romantic advances. Sadly, the player cannot make him repent the deed, as he is an essential (unkillable) character. To make matters worse, every time he encounters the player afterward, he acts overly friendly towards him/her. On the other hand, his "essential" tag gets removed after completing the Civil War questline, so after that he's free game. The only thing his death screws up is an achievement/trophy tied to the Thieves' Guild questline.
- Kick the Dog: The aforementioned Bosmer slave girl incident.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Don't you dare lump Erikur in with those common Nords! With their obsession with strength, honor and warrior skill! He's good at one thing, and one thing only: making money!
- Only in It for the Money: Why he supports the Empire. One bit of ambient dialogue involves a discussion with his housecarl, where he mentions that he'd be perfectly willing to sell weapons to the Stormcloaks if they gave him a good offer. His housecarl points out what a shining example of loyalty Erikur is setting.
- Small Name, Big Ego: While he is a Thane and thus an important person, Erikur is convinced that he's the most important person in the Blue Palace. According to his sister, though, Falk Firebeard is the real power in the Palace, and Erikur is just a self-important fop.
- Smug Snake: Talks down to everyone.
- The Sociopath: Talking to his sister Gisli reveals he does not think about others. Really cements this position by causing a Bosmer slave to get tortured for not liking him, without any form of regret.
Voiced by: Michael Gough
The steward of Jarl Elisif's court. Has his hands full with his job's duties as well as curbing the exuberance and inexperience of his lady Elisif.
- Awesome McCoolname: Being a bearded ginger in a land of people fond of giving sobriquets does have its perks.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Elisif is an over-eager young woman, to say the least. Falk realizes that she means well, and appears genuinely fond of her, but she'd be lost without him.
- It's Probably Nothing: Has this reaction to the reports of weird things being heard from Wolfskull Cave. Of course, it's never just nothing. This is Skyrim, after all. He wises up very quickly when he realizes the "nothing" he was planning to dismiss as natural phenomena was actually the activities of a cult trying to resurrect Potema.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: After you stop the resurrection of Potema once, Falk gains complete faith in you and vouches for you in the Jarl's company. If you complete the Wolf Queen questline and then ask for permission to go into the forbidden Pelagius Wing of the Palace, he will at first turn you down, but you can turn that around by saying, in layman's terms, "Dude, c'mon, it's me."
Voiced by: Jon Curry
The librarian of the Bard's College, and Viarmo's right hand. He assists the Dragonborn with finding Olaf's Verse, as well as selling him/her several tomes regarding Dragons. He is also the Master Speech trainer.
- Badass Bookworm: Seeing how he is both a Bard (which in this universe requires a significant amount of knowledge of the history of Nirn) and a librarian...
- Cultured Badass: Well, he is a bard.
- Retired Badass: Used to be in the Legion. If you find the drum of a legendary bard for him, he'll teach you a few of his old tricks - giving you a skill point in each martial skill.
- Guile Hero: It comes with being the Speech master.
- Nice Hat
- Number Two: To Viarmo.
Jaree-Ra and Deeja
Voiced by: Tim Blaney (Jaree-Ra) and Renee Victor (Deeja)
Argonian siblings who are involved with a band of marauders.
- Affably Evil: Jaree-Ra acts this way when he first meets you. It's just a facade to lure you into helping him, though.
- Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Jaree-Ra describes his sister and himself as "Treasure Hunters" rather than thieves or pillagers.
- Blatant Lies: When trying to convince you to shut down the lighthouse so his band can loot the Icerunner, he assures you that there won't be any victims, and that you will even be able to pass for a hero by saving them. Of course, when you actually reach the Icerunner later, the boat is full of dead bodies.
- Brother-Sister Team: They commit crimes together.
- Bullying a Dragon: They are just two of the many characters in the game stupid enough to think trying to use the Dragonborn as an Unwitting Pawn is a good idea.
- Smug Snake: Both of them are too confident for their own good.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: Even if you're decked out in scary armor and carrying Game Breaker weapons, they still think of you as an easily-disposed schmuck.
- For added stupidity, when Deeja prepares to eliminate you after You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, she tries to do it herself, while she is alone with you in an isolated room, even though there are no witnesses and she has all her men close. She is likely to get killed before any of them can lift a finger to stop you.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: They try to pull this on you. It goes as well as you would expect.
Voiced by: Jon Curry
A Bosmer servant at the Thalmor Embassy. He is an associate of Delphine's, and helps you infiltrate the embassy during the main quest.
- Expecting Someone Taller: The first thing he says when you tell him Delphine sent you is "Really? You're who she picked!?"
- Jerkass Façade: Your first impression of him is not endearing, to say the least. Furthermore, if you find him in Windhelm after "Diplomatic Immunity," he'll be bitterly sarcastic toward you, even though by this time you've already saved his life twice. He eventually admits that he's just been so scared and that he should be more grateful.
- Non-Action Guy: He carries no weapons and cannot fight. The final act of "Diplomatic Immunity" has you protecting him from Thalmor soldiers and then a troll, and he has an extremely high chance of dying. If he survives, he'll be holed up in Windhelm, hiding from a Thalmor assassin waiting for him outside. After that, he'll run for Morrowind, but will be killed by animals unless you go along and protect him once again.
- Properly Paranoid: One of your options during the Thalmor assassin quest is to tell him he's just being paranoid. Of course, he has a lot of really good reasons to be paranoid, and there actually is an assassin after him.
- Right Under Their Noses: Malborn's family were killed in The Purge in Valenwood for political reasons. Delphine says that if the Thalmor knew who he really was, he wouldn't be working in the embassy.
Voiced by: Michael Gough
The player will witness him being executed upon their first entry into Solitude (there's no way to stop this), because he allowed Ulfric Stormcloak to escape Solitude by opening the main gate.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-universe; most people describe him as a good man and a true Nord who was at worse misguided and at best a martyr, but Sorex Vinius describes him as a bully and a jerk who deserved his fate.
- Badass Bystander: This is the man who, more or less, allowed the Civil War to come to be. If you win the Civil War for the Stormcloaks, then he essentially becomes a liberator of Skyrim by proxy.
- Cool Uncle: His niece seems to think he was.
- Face Death with Dignity: And how.
- Last Words: And by Talos, he's got some awesome ones at that.
"On this day, I go to Sovngarde..."
- Nice Guy: Even the man who ordered his execution has nice things to say about him.
"It's a shame, Roggvir. You were a damned good man."
- No True Nord: Feels that any true Nord would understand what Ulfric did, and would have opened the gate in his place.
- Not Quite The Right Thing: Letting Ulfric escape Solitude, as viewed by the people of Solitude. Sure, he may have been following ancient laws (of dubious validity), but he aided and abetted regicide by allowing Ulfric to escape retribution. The people of Solitude, being staunchly Imperial, are not impressed.
- Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: According to Sorex Vinius, when they were kids Roggvir tormented him after learning he had a crush on a girl. He even somehow slipped a beehive into the guy's bed. Evidently he continued bullying Sorex into adulthood. As such, the man is the only one that's happy about Roggvir getting killed.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: He opened the gates for Ulfric Stormcloak when he escaped the city, which means that everyone in Solitude blames him for a war that could have been stopped before it began. To his last breath, though, he stands by his decision.
Voiced by: Susan Eisenberg
The court mage for Jarl Elisif's court. She is actually a vampire, which seems to be a well-kept secret among the higher members of the Haafingar court.
- Boomerang Bigot: Finds baser vampires disgusting, as she prefers finery and civilized company such as one finds in a palace.
- Court Mage: For Elisif.
- Expy: She's basically a female version of Janus Hassildor.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: She's a bit of a Jerkass, sure, but when compared to most vampires out there...
- Of course, if you use Auriel's Bow to blot out the sun, she'll run outside and proclaim that the Tyranny of the Sun is over.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's not entirely nice, but she means well and will praise you for doing what you do if you help Elisif. She also treated High King Torygg like a son.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: It's implied that she tends to...spend a lot of time in the dungeons, with the worst of the criminals. Apparently, it's how she keeps fed.
- Lady of Black Magic: She's the Expert trainer of Destruction Magic.
- Like a Son to Me: High King Torygg was. She helped raise him as a boy, and was shocked by his death.
- Older than They Look: See the spoiler below.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: As seen in the picture above, with the Dawnguard DLC, she gains Glowing Eyes of Doom and looks much more vampiric in appearance.
- The Undead: It's a well kept secret. Not so much by ''Dawnguard''.
Voiced by: Stephen Russell
The High Elven headmaster of the Bards' College. He enlists the Dragonborn's help in convincing Elisif to allow the Burning of King Olaf festival in the wake of Torygg's murder, and afterwards has him/her recover several stolen ancient instruments.
- Cool Old Guy: As far as Altmer go, he is probably one of the nicest; he welcomes you with open arms to the Bards' College regardless of your race, is very grateful when you help him save King Olaf's festival and generally has a very affable attitude.
- Cultural Rebel: He has a great appreciation for Nordic culture, evidenced by his enthusiasm for traditions such as the Burning of King Olaf and the Poetic Edda. The Thalmor, on the other hand, have nothing but scorn for anything created by humans, and historically the Altmer and the Nords were bitter enemies.
- Guile Hero: If you opt to reconstruct the poem, he'll back you on it with only a little hesitation.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: He is pretty much the antithesis of the Thalmor personality-wise.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: To the Bards' College.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Subverted with his quest; he sends you to recover King Olaf's verse, in the hopes that the text will allow him to convince Elisif to allow the festival. When you successfully recover said verse, it turns out the copy is so old most parts are missing, meaning it's useless as it is. The subversion comes when the Dragonborn suggests they make up the missing parts to reconstruct the poem, and it actually works.
Wolf Queen Potema Septim
Voiced by: Claudia Christian
An insane necromancer from the second century of the Third Era who attempted to usurp the Imperial throne, but was defeated and killed. Her story can be read in the Flavor Text
book series The Wolf Queen
if you find and collect all eight volumes. The Dragonborn stumbles upon a plot by a group of necromancers to resurrect her and bind her to the mortal realm.
People of Hjaalmarch
Hjaalmarch is directly southeast of Haafingar, and features a large frozen salt marsh. Its capital is the quiet town of Morthal. Its banner is a simple triskelion on a green background.
Voiced by: Susan Eisenberg
A local woman who recently started a relationship with Hroggar after his wife and daughter died in a tragic fire.
- Bi the Way: Can be seen hitting on Jonna, the innkeeper, who finds the attention disquieting.
- False Soulmate: To poor Hroggar.
- Honey Trap: For Hroggar, and apparently, Movarth had planned for her to seduce all of the guards, one at a time.
- Impossibly-Low Neckline: Wears the infamous and exceedingly rare female version of "Tavern Clothes".
- Karma Houdini: If she survives the quest which involves her, she remains in Morthal and nobody seems to care. This is apparently a programming oversight; if Hroggar survives as well, he'll thank the player for saving him from Alva while she's sleeping in his basement.
- Manipulative Bitch: And it backfired in her face, completely.
- The Mole: For her sire Movarth.
- Monster Sob Story: Her diary provides one, as she was an innocent, if naive, girl before she was turned. All she wanted was to be loved.
- Our Vampires Are Different: She sleeps in a coffin, unlike most vampires in the Elder Scrolls universe. There's no real reason stated to do so. Further, her ruse is helped by the fact that she's a Daywalking Vampire, and she doesn't even hide out in caves or dress in dark robes like the more conspicuous ones of her kind (like Movarth himself).
- Romancing The Widower: The locals don't approve, believing it's Too Soon for Hroggar to move on after his family died in such suspicious circumstances. Not that there's any real love involved - Hroggar is just Alva's thrall.
- Tragic Monster: Read the first passage in Alva's journal and you'll see that she was once a doe-eyed, innocent girl who dreamed of being loved and romanced by a handsome Nord. Then she met Movarth...
- The Undead
- The Vamp: Literally and figuratively - her master Movarth sent her to Morthal to seduce and enslave the people there.
- Would Hurt a Child: She had instructed a turned Laelette to kill Hroggar's entire family, including his daughter. Her plans backfired because Laelette didn't want to hurt Helgi, and in fact tried to turn her.
Voiced by: Stephen Russell
A Redguard mage who left the College in protest of its restrictive policies on certain studies. If the Dragonborn ever contracts vampirism, he will be willing to provide them with a cure... for a price.
- Bad Powers, Good People: He secretly practices Necromancy and studied vampirism, and even almost became a vampire himself. However, despite his jerky attitude, he really is protecting Morthal from mystical threats, provides cures for vampirism, and is guided by his desire to protect his ward. When you ask for training in Conjuration, he says "You deal with powerful forces. Take care they do not overwhelm you."
- Berserk Button: The College of Winterhold and Arch-Mage Savos Aren in particular. When Agni brings up the possibility of studying there he immediately dissuades her. Phinis Gestor will tell you that Falion could never get along with Savos and disliked the way he ran the College, so he decided to leave altogether.
- Court Mage: Serves as a de facto court mage to the Jarl of Hjaalmarch.
- Cultural Rebel: Redguards, like Nords, generally dislike magic. Falion is not only a mage but a Conjuration specialist, and probably a necromancer to boot. What's more, he's open about it; he's probably the only other person in normal Skyrim society who would admit to practicing Conjuration besides his former student Phinis Gestor at the College of Winterhold.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Genre Savvy: The reason he abandoned the idea of being a vampire; he realized that by doing so, he might endanger Agni, which defied the purpose he had in the first place by doing so.
- Immortality Seeker: But not for himself so much as for his ward, Agni - he knows that he'll die one day and leave her alone, and he's worried that this could happen before Agni can take care of herself. He made a study of vampirism as a way to extend his life, but abandoned it because it might have put her in danger.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Knight in Sour Armor: The whole of Morthal thinks he's a creepy jerk. He protects them from mystical threats anyway, though he's pretty grudging about it.
- Morality Pet: Has one in the form of Agni, his ward, who adores him.
- Necromancer: Likely. He's a conjuration specialist, he's looking for ways to manipulate life, he left Winterhold College due to irreconcilable differences, and the other residents of Morthal don't like his studies (though that's probably the Nord prejudice against almost all magic). If nothing else, the ritual required to restore a vampiric Dovahkiin to true life requires a filled black soul gem.
- Older than They Look: He actually trained Phinis Gestor, the College of Winterhold's resident Conjuration expert.
- Scary Black Man: A Redguard necromancer feared by most inhabitants of Morthal.
- Summon Magic: He's the master-level Conjuration trainer.
Nord warrior and housecarl for Jarl Idgrod Ravencrone.
- Bodyguard Betrayal: Despite his loyalty to Idgrod, he wishes to see her removed from her position because he thinks her powers are taking their toll on her and she isn't fit for duty anymore. It's as much for her own safety as it is for Morthal. Nothing really comes of it, since his confidant Captain Aldis isn't wholly convinced.
- Undying Loyalty: Despite the above entry, Gorm still respects Idgrod, and warns the Dragonborn to do the same.
Voiced by: Harley Graham
Hroggar's daughter. She and her mother recently died in a mysterious fire, and she now exists as a ghost. She is the one who allows the Dragonborn to find out about Alva's scheme.
- Cheerful Child: Being dead hasn't gotten her down. When you meet her, she invites you to play hide-and-seek with her just like other children in Skyrim. Her "hiding" place is her grave.
- Go Into the Light: Once Movarth has been destroyed, Helgi's spirit appears for a final time, thanking the Dragonborn and noting that "Mother says it's time to rest now." By resolving her murder, you set her spirit free.
- Kill the Cutie: Her backstory.
- Spanner in the Works: Completely unravels the schemes of Alva and her master Movarth by winning over Alva's pawn Laelette with her adorableness. It doesn't save her from dying, but Laelette's attempt to turn Helgi rather than make her death look like an accident is what causes suspicions among the townspeople, and leads to the Jarl permitting the Dragonborn to investigate. Then, by appearing to play with the Dragonborn, she indirectly leads him/her to the true culprits behind Morthal's troubles.
- Undead Child: Not that she minds much.
A lumberjack whose wife and daughter died in a tragic and mysterious fire. His neighbors believe he had something to do with it since he immediately moved in with Alva the very next day.
- Acquitted Too Late: If you try to enter Alva's house at night and your stealth skill isn't high enough to let you go undetected, you'll be forced to kill him, unless you use a Calm or Fear spell.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Comes with being a vampire's thrall.
- Incriminating Indifference: Him shacking up with another woman one day after his family died while showing little in the way of grief makes him very suspicious in the eyes of his neighbors.
- Mistaken for Murderer: Understandably, considering the conditions, everyone assumes he caused the fire that killed his wife and daughter. He didn't; Laelette did it, following Alva's orders.
- Survivor Guilt: If he survives the quest involving his family, he's crushed and no longer feels any joy in life, even though he's thankful that you saved him (and astonished that you'd even want to speak to him after all he's done).
Idgrod the Younger
The daughter, elder child, and heir to Jarl Idgrod Ravencrone.
Jarl Idgrod's steward is also her husband and the father of her two children.
- All There in the Manual: It's really only in the strategy guide that there's any clear mention of the relationship between Idgrod and Aslfur, although if you enter the Jarl's longhouse during the night you'll find them sharing a double bed.
- Bodyguard Crush: How their romance began, apparently. In her youth, Idgrod roamed the breadth of Skyrim in quest of wisdom, and Aslfur traveled with her as her protector. They got married prior to returning home to Morthal.
- Happily Married: They seem to be this, and Aslfur is rather protective of his wife; he initially asks that the Dragonborn come to him with concerns rather than approaching Idgrod directly.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Should the Dragonborn kill Gorm, Aslfur will send a thank-you note about it. If questioned about the matter, he will acknowledge sending the note, and then add that their conversation never took place.
An Orc bard "working" at the Moorside Inn, famous for being the worst bard in all of Skyrim, and a potential target in the Dark Brotherhood storyline.
- Dreadful Musician: He is such a terrible bard that not only have people recruited the Dark Brotherhood to kill him off, but there were so many that Astrid actually has to draw a lottery to determine whose contract to honor.
- Expy: A Dreadful Bard with a major case of Small Name, Big Ego? Sounds a lot like Cacofonix.
- Informed Flaw: Well, to be fair, it should be fairly obvious considering his voice when he talks, but he is never heard actually singing in the game.
- You actually can ask him for a song right before you kill him. The results are horrific.
- Literal-Minded: In the Dark Brotherhood contract to kill him, it's possible to threaten him before you kill him by telling him to sing "A song of fear, and death." He apparently doesn't get the hint and starts actually singing a song about fear and death.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Seriously, how often have you ever seen an Orc Bard?
- Small Name, Big Ego: Despite obviously being a terrible bard, he is convinced that he's talented and destined to become famous, and oblivious to the hatred people have for him. If you tell him the Dark Brotherhood has been hired to kill him, he will just laugh and call such a thing ludicrous, stating no one would want to "deprive the world of his unique talent".
The master vampire behind Morthal's recent troubles.
- And Then Movarth Was A Vampire: Movarth used to be a devoted vampire hunter; it was an obsession that consumed his life. Then he met the author of Immortal Blood. Now he's everything he once fought against and worse.
- Ascended Extra: Was initially introduced in Oblivion as a character from one of the many books available over the course of the game. Skyrim gives him his first (and presumably last) actual appearance in-game.
- Bald of Evil: Not in the vanilla game, where his appearance was randomly generated, but by Dawnguard, he has a definite appearance and plays this trope straight.
- Big Bad: Of the Morthal questline.
- He Who Fights Monsters
- The Man Behind the Woman: To Alva.
- Oh Crap: Upon The Reveal that the anonymous author of Immortal Blood was a vampire him/herself. As the author states: "He was surprised, even stunned by the pallor of my flesh, the dark hunger in my ageless eyes, and the teeth. Oh, yes, I think the teeth definitely surprised the man who could not afford to be surprised."
- Retcon: In Oblivion, the ending of Immortal Blood heavily implied Movarth was killed when the author attacked him, but as Skyrim reveals, he suffered not mere death but undeath.
- Tragic Monster: Like Alva, he wasn't bad at all before being turned into a vampire. He was a well-meaning hunter who failed to guess the very simple reason his teacher in vampire-hunting knew so much about them...
- The Undead
A former Jarl of Whiterun who became High King. It was he who captured the dragon Numinex, whose head is displayed in Dragonsreach, where he imprisoned the beast. In present times, he's known as a tyrant and an annual festival in Solitude burns an effigy of him.
- 0% Approval Rating: Not only does Solitude have an annual festival denouncing him and celebrating his death, but when it gets cancelled (Elisif feels it's in poor taste with Torygg's recent passing), people protest.
- Ambiguously Evil: He's certainly seen as evil in Skyrim these days, and his ghost is fought as the boss of a tomb. But when you get to Sovngarde, he's living it up in the Hall of Valor and is shown to be a personable, friendly man. He's Affably Evil at worst.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He became High King because his defeat of Numinex made him such an inspirational figure to all of Skyrim. Some versions also claim he became Jarl of Whiterun as a reward for the defeat.
- Badass Mustache
- Drop the Hammer: Wields a warhammer in Sovngarde. In Olaf and the Dragon he instead has an axe, but the book itself notes this isn't known for sure.
- Easily Forgiven: He doesn't seem to mind that Svaknir's tales of him have defamed him so much over the centuries, and hopes to welcome the bard into the Hall once Alduin is slain.
- Future Imperfect: Viarmo, one of the more learned historians in the game, is completely shocked to discover that High King Olaf and Olaf One-eye are the same person. As mentioned above, it's likely due to the difficulty reconciling Solitude's historical hatred of King Olaf and Whiterun's hero worship of Olaf One-eye.
- Guile Hero/Manipulative Bastard: According to King Olaf's Verse, he came to power in Skyrim through deals and promises of power to get the holds to fall in line. However, see Literary Agent Hypothesis.
- Handicapped Badass: The name should be a hint.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Can be taken Up to Eleven when filling in the blanks of King Olaf's Verse. Whatever he did in real life, he most certainly was not Numinex in human form.
- Literary Agent Hypothesis: In-universe, the legend of Olaf's battle with Numinex is obscured, and it's theorized by one author that this is on purpose - that Olaf's defeat of Numinex was for whatever reason anticlimactic, so they made up a more heroic tale. As well, the bard Svaknir's account of Olaf's rise to power is heavily biased against him, and is further muddled by you the player randomly filling in missing parts of the last remaining copy of the tale, with the option to declare that Olaf was Numinex in human form. Your improvisations, which may or may not have any truth to them, are likely to be further passed down through history as truth now.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: He had the Thu'um.
- Noodle Incident: He certainly did something to make Solitude hate him so much, although what it was is never made entirely clear.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He performed one of the only known dragon captures in history, and is revered as a hero by the people of Whiterun.
- Solitudians Hate Olaf: In-universe example; Olaf One-eye is hailed as a hero and a legend in Whiterun (with Jarl Balgruuf descending from him), to the point that most historians don't know that High King Olaf and Olaf One-eye are the same person, finding his popularity in Whiterun to be irreconcilable with the hatred Solitude has for him.
- Worthy Opponent: Apparently considers Svaknir one. Olaf comments in Sovngarde that Svaknir is a "fool of a poet", but nevertheless an honest enemy he respects, and he hopes to see him make it into the Hall when the threat of Alduin is passed.
A bard who opposed Olaf One-Eye and the writer of King Olaf's Verse. His ghost haunts the tomb where Olaf is buried. You later find his spirit wandering the mists of Sovngarde, if you finished the questline in the tomb and put him to rest.
People of The Pale
The Pale is centrally north in the province, and has a predominantly winter forest landscape. Its capital is the port town of Dawnstar. Its banner is a four-point star.
Voiced by: Colleen Delaney
Leader of the Vigilant of Stendarr, she leads the militantly anti-Daedra sect from the Hall of the Vigilant, south of Red Road Pass.
- Everyone Has Standards: Despite being an entire sect of Knight Templars, even the Vigilant of Stendarr believe Isran's methods of dealing with vampires were too extreme.
- Fantastic Racism: The sect is not very polite to Orcs, presumably because of their connection to Malacath.
- Irony: Militant sect, with a Kill 'em All mentality, serving the God of Mercy.
- Killed Off Screen: Everyone in the Hall of the Vigilant, Carcette included, is slain by Volkihar vampires once Dawnguard is installed (if the player is level 10 or higher - lower level players and new characters can still visit the hall before it's destroyed).
- Knights Templar: To protect the people of Skyrim, the Vigilant mercilessly kill Daedra, vampires, werewolves, witches, and others who "show disregard for life and mercy." Volkihar vampires, however, are out of their league.
- Underestimating Badassery: She and her Vigilant fail to realize the threat represented by the Volkihar vampires, leading to their demise.
Voiced by: Paul Ganus
Fellow veteran to Brina Merelis, and becomes her housecarl should she be anointed Jarl of the Pale.
- Badass: It takes guts to dust off the old Legion armor in a Stormcloak city when the Jarl wants him executed.
- Bald of Awesome
- Platonic Life Partners: With his former commander, Brina Merelis.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Legion, and to Brina for shared service time in the Legion. His loyalty is so deep that he openly antagonizes the initial Stormcloak-allied Jarl by dusting off his old Legion armor and wearing it about town.
Court mage for Dawnstar. A retired Legion battlemage, she's seen more than she cares for of war.
- Court Mage
- Put on a Bus: Subverted. The player can listen to her asking the very Stormcloak-allied Jarl to basically do this, and grant her some time away from court, and he very crossly denies the request.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: After taking part in the defense of the Imperial City during the Great War, she's seared, frozen, and electrified far too many young elves for her peace of mind, and is thus pretty much a pacifist.
A descendant of a family of Mythic Dawn members, he opens a museum dedicated to the Mythic Dawn and asks the Dovahkiin to find the pieces of Mehrunes' Razor for him.
- Black Shirt: Believes that the Mythic Dawn should be remembered for holding the fate of the Empire within their grasp.
- Call Back: His entire quest is one to Oblivion.
- Face Death with Dignity: If you decline his offer of money in exchange of sparing his life and decide to just kill him, he elects to go down fighting and attacks you.
- Genre Blind: Frighteningly oblivious to the fact that Evil Is Not a Toy.
- Nightmare Fetishist: He seems a little too enthusiastic about the Daedric cult of his ancestors.
- Sadistic Choice/Friend or Idol Decision: You can either betray and kill Silus to get Mehrunes' Razor, or spare his life and forfeit the chance to reforge the weapon, leaving you with only the disassembled fragments.
- Too Dumb to Live: He not only tries to find all the fragments of Mehrunes' Razor to complete his collection, but he actually decides to find one of the Dagon's shrines and ask him to repair it. You can call him out on the fact that messing with the Daedric Prince of Destruction's Artifact of Doom is a terrible idea, not that he'll listen. It may just prove to be his undoing.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Mehrunes Dagon declares this, although it's up to the player whether to actually kill him or not.
People of The Reach
The Reach is the westernmost province, and is dominated by craggy canyons of the Karth River and its tributaries. Its capital is Markarth, built into the ruins of an old Dwarven city. Its banner is a rack of ram antlers.
Borkul the Beast
Voiced by: Noah Nelson
An Orc bandit who serves as Madanach's bodyguard in the Cidhna Mines.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In his own words, he was sentenced to life in prison for "Murder. Banditry. Assault. Theft. And lollygagging".
- Blood Knight: If you decide to challenge him to a brawl in order to get the right to see Madanach, he won't hide his delight. It's also implied to be the reason he joined the Forsworn in the first place.
- The Dragon: To Madanach.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: One of the inmates claims that he once ripped off another prisoner's arm and beat him to death with it.
- In Love with Your Carnage: It's implied the reason he joined the Forsworn was because he admires their violence and cruelty. He will also appreciate if you tell him you found your first murder exciting.
- Token Minority: If you help Madanach and the Forsworn escape Cidhna Mine, Borkul goes with them to Druadach Redoubt, dons Forsworn gear, and proclaims "The Reach will be ours again!" despite not being a Reachman.
- It's mentioned in the Pocket Guide to the Empire that the Reachmen historically had strong ties with the Orcs, and learned hedge-magic from them. It's possible the Forsworn consider Orcs fellow aboriginals.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: In Cidhna Mine, he goes around with nothing on him but ragged trousers. If you help the Forsworn escape, he will then go for a Forsworn armor, which leaves him shirtless as well.
Voiced by: George Coe
A somewhat eccentric Altmer scholar and archaeologist who serves as the court mage and also runs the Markarth Museum. Obsessed with the Dwemer, he invites anyone (via letter) to come to his museum and will pay handsomely for any Dwarven items they're willing to part with. He is also currently overseeing an excavation of one of the many Dwemer ruins dotting the Reach.
Voiced by: Jon Curry
Calcelmo's nephew and assistant, and an obstacle to you translating Gallus' journal for the Thieves' Guild.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Manages to reassemble and control a broken Dwarven spider, which you can sic on some guards in one quest.
- Nice Guy
- Video Game Caring Potential: He'll confront you in Calcelmo's lab while you're using the Falmer translator and will be hostile on sight. Some players, however, find him so sweet that they choose to skip fighting by going immediately into the next room. After you finish the quest, he'll go back to his usual duties and won't remember you breaking in.
A group that operate primarily in the Reach. They are mostly composed of Reachmen, the original inhabitants of the Reach descended from Nords and Bretons living on the border between Skyrim and Highrock. This has given rise to the claim the territory is theirs by right and they have a long history of bloody conflict with the local Nords over control of the Hold. Several years before the events of Skyrim
, they actually managed to take control of Markarth, only to be brutally overthrown by Nord militia led by Ulfric Stormcloak in what became known as the infamous Markarth Incident. Despite this brutal loss, the Forsworn are still determined to take back what they believe is rightfully theirs, and have begun consorting with Hagravens to become powerful mage-warriors known as Briarhearts.
- Axe Crazy: They are perceived as this by most people due to their aggressive behaviour and Rape, Pillage, and Burn actions. One of the in-game books mentions that they sometimes attack people and slaughter them, without bothering to steal any goods from them.
- Black and Grey Morality/Gray and Grey Morality: Can be either of those tropes depending of which of them you take in account. The Forsworn as a whole definitely are brutal, vicious and cruel bandits and implied Daedra-worshippers who cause rampage in the Reach, but it's mentioned that several of their members started out as innocents and ended up joining them in the first place because of the brutal and unfair Nord retribution after Ulfric took back Markarth. And that's excluding the corruption of the Silver-Blood family.
- Deal with the Devil: The ritual used to turn a Forsworn into a Briarheart gives them greater combat skill, but robs them of their free will.
- Dual Wielding: Most of them favour this.
- Elite Mooks: The Briarhearts.
- Failed a Spot Check: Many of their hideouts are in ancient Nordic buildings that have been around for thousands of years, yet they think that they have the stronger claim of being native.
- Fantastic Racism: Particularly toward Nords, whom they see as oppressive invaders, though they really don't care for anyone who isn't pledged to their cause.
- Boomerang Bigot: Their hatred of the Nords, as they are historically descended from both Bretons and Nords.
- Genuine Human Hide: The dialogues heavily imply their armors are at least partially made from the tanned skins of the people they have killed.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: Their light armors made of skin, fur and bones offer very little resistance, and, since they favour Dual Wielding, most of them can't block. However, they move very fast, and that same Dual Wielding means that even their weaker units can inflict insane amount of damage. Many of them are powerful spellcasters besides.
- I Am A Humanitarian: Although never outright stated, it is heavily implied that at least some of them are cannibals.
- Literal Change of Heart: The Briarhearts, Forsworn chieftains who have had their hearts magically replaced with Briarheart seeds by Hagravens. Pickpocketing the Briarheart instantly kills them.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Directed at them. Many non-Forsworn Reachmen are as fed up with their antics as the Nords are.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: It doesn't matter if a person is Nord or not. To the Forsworn, if a person is not a "Reachman", they are trespassers who deserve utter destruction.
- Stripperiffic: Their armors leave most males shirtless and female with... a lot of skin visible.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: In their eyes, they are fighting to take back their homeland. The fact that they have slaughtered hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent men, women and children doesn't matter to them.
- Rooting for the Empire: An in-universe example, as one of the books you can find dotted about Skyrim is written by a scholar as a serious defense of the Forsworn and attempts to justify their rightful historical claim to the Reach.
Ghost of Old Hroldan
Voiced by: Craig Sechler
The ghost of a warrior that haunts the Old Hroldan Inn, and seems to have been a companion to Tiber Septim in his early days.
- Ghostly Goals / Unfinished Business: His ghost is restless due to "Hjalti" (aka Tiber Septim) apparently promising to grant him his sword after a battle as a sign that they were sworn brothers. For some unstated reason - perhaps because the warrior died during the battle in question - this never happened. After mistaking the Dragonborn for Hjalti (due to both being Dragonborn), he begs them to find the sword and finally fulfill this oath.
- Go Into the Light: After thousands of years of waiting, receiving Hjalti's sword finally releases his soul to do this.
- Haunted House: His presence technically makes the Old Hroldan Inn this. However, the way the inn's owner reacts to seeing him seems to indicate that it's the presence of the Dragonborn which causes him to appear.
Voiced by: Stephen Russell
The King in Rags, leader of the Forsworn.
- Boxed Crook: Thonar keeps him alive in prison instead of executing him so he can use Madanach's Forsworn as his personal assassins. Thonar doesn't have nearly as much control over Madanach as he believes, though.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Even after you help him escape, Forsworn will still attack you, with a few exceptions.
- Could be a bit of Reality Is Unrealistic; Forsworn are under orders to attack everyone on the roads on sight. Even if Madanach were to make an exception for you, he likely wouldn't have a way to communicate it quickly to his scattered people or provide them with an effective means of determining your identity. The one camp where they don't attack you after his release is the one where he is personally staying.
- However, if you actually wear the Armor of the Old Gods, you can talk to and trade with the Forsworn throughout the Reach.
- Fighting for a Homeland: High Rock and Skyrim have fought over the Reach in the past, but Madanach wants to see it independent.
- Good Old Ways: From his point of view, anyway. Like all Forsworn, he worships the unidentified "old gods" (which are implied in various NPC dialogue to be the Daedric Princes) rather than the Nine Divines.
- Impoverished Patrician
- Knight Templar: Madanach talks a lot about the "injustice" of The Reach, but he's hardly a saint himself.
- Large Ham
- No Pronunciation Guide: Most NPCs call him "Mad-a-nock", but at least one refers to him as "Ma-da-nack". What's strange about this is that the NPC who does so has the same VA as Madanach.
- Not So Different: Argues this when you've been unjustly arrested in Markarth.
- It's more poignant when you're a Nord.
- Madanach is not dissimilar ideologically from his enemy Ulfric Stormcloak; different gods, same basic goals.
- Rebel Leader
- Red Baron: The King in Rags.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: While he claims that his ultimate goal is peace once the Reach gains independence, he's not overly concerned about who has to die to accomplish that, and he hates the Nords.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Says this about Grisvar the Unlucky, who he tells the player to kill as a test of loyalty.
- He also essentially says this to you, after you help him and his men escape. He and the Forsworn stationed at his camp won't be hostile to you, but Madanach does pretty much tell you before he runs off that his allegiance with you is basically done.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The Dragonborn can hear the Forsworn's side of the story of the Reach from him.
Voiced by: Corri English
A young Breton girl working for the Markarth apothecary. Despite her innocent demeanor, she experienced a tragic past, causing her to become obsessed with revenge. She's obsessed to the point of summoning the Dark Brotherhood to carry it out.
- Break the Cutie: She lived in Windhelm and was good friends with the well-known Clan Shatter-Shield. When one of said family's daughters was killed, Muiri was comforted by a man called Alain Dufont. It turns out that Alain only used Muiri to get to the Shatter-Shields and rob them. The Shatter-Shields blamed Muiri for this robbery and effectively banished her from Windhelm, taking away the life she built there.
- Broken Bird: Read the spoilers to learn why.
- Miscarriage of Justice: The victim of a frameup that ruined her relationship with Clan Shatter-Shield.
- She Who Fights Monsters: Also puts the innocent Nilsine Shatter-Shield on the murder contract, just to make the family matron Tova feel rotten.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: The reason she puts Nilsine as a bonus objective is because, in her broken mind, she believes that once Tova has no one but her husband left, she'll have to let her back into the family. It doesn't work out that way...
Nepos the Nose
An old and rich Reachman living in Markath. Secretly a Forsworn escapee from the Nord purge and an agent of Madanach while he is in Cidhna Mine.
- Affably Evil: When you track back to him, he congratulates you for your success, answers every question you ask, then politely informs you he can't let you get out alive.
- Badass Grandpa: He is clearly much more dangerous than he lets it appear.
- He Knows Too Much: Tries to pull this on you, and is implied to have done it many times before.
- Ignored Epiphany: His journal reveals that he genuinely feels guilt for sending so many young men to their death in the terrorist acts he accomplishes under Madanach's orders, but he apparently thinks he has gone too far to stop now.
- Underestimating Badassery: He clearly underestimates the Dragonborn.
Voiced by: Christian Svensson
A member of the corrupt Silver-Blood family who runs Markarth's Treasury House.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: He mentioned that he used Madanach to get rid of "competitors, agents, idiots".
- Big Bad: Of the short Forsworn questline consisting of the "Forsworn Conspiracy" and "No One Escapes Cidhna Mine" quests.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With his brother, Thongvor. Thonar runs the family business and Thongvar concentrates on politics.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: As far as he's concerned, forcing criminals to mine for him for the rest of their lives is perfectly fine if he gets more silver out of it.
- Karma Houdini: A possible outcome of the Forsworn questline. The player can kill Madanach, after which Thonar will thank and pardon you, but still continue with his corrupt activities. Still, not a complete Houdini with the Kick the Son of a Bitch aspect taken into account.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: He loses his wife in a Forsworn attack on his own treasury. Even if you choose the sympathetic "I'm sorry" response, he's savvy enough to know he's an asshole and doesn't believe you. You can also basically invoke the trope by telling him "You deserved this."
- Laser-Guided Karma: Of course, there's nothing stopping you from murdering him after the quest is done, since he's no longer tagged as essential. A particularly delicious way is to enter stealth and shoot him in the back with a Forsworn arrow, making it appear as if he was yet another victim in the string of assassinations carried out by the "Forsworn".
- Karmic Death: A possible outcome of the Forsworn questline. The player can ally with Madanach and help him escape, after which they and the other prisoners attack and (probably) kill Thonar, slain by the people he tried to seal away.
- Smug Snake: Much like Maven Black-Briar, and admittedly it's not entirely unreasonable as he's been keeping up a rather impressive operation with only a very few key players knowing (unlike Maven, who is rather open and direct about who's really in charge of Riften) for twenty years now. It's entirely probable that even his brother doesn't know what he's been doing. Thonar believes he has fully cowed Madanach and has the Forsworn completely under his thumb: even Madanach admits it wasn't until around the time of the "Forsworn Conspiracy" that the Forsworn had finally built up the resources to finally make their move against him. Thonar is later brutally proven wrong when Forsworn agents in his own house murder his wife and try to kill him too.
A famous Reachman hero from back when the Reach wasn't controlled by the Nords. He led the Reachmen's resistance against the Empire when they invaded Tamriel, and was the first Briarheart.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name
- Badass: While alive, he managed to kick the Imperial Legions out of the Reach, and even though they came back and eventually defeated him, he managed to slaughter a thousand of enemies before dying.
- The Chosen One: A weird subversion; he was supposed to become this according to a prophecy, which stated he would unite the ten kings ruling the Reach. However, the Empire arrived and invaded the Reach, killing or bribing the ten kings and ruining all his chances to fulfill the prophecy.
- Cool Sword: Red Eagle's Fury (or Red Eagle's Bane in its true form), his Weapon of Choice, also serves as the key to his tomb.
- Deal with the Devil: He made one with a Hagraven; in exchange for sacrificing his heart, his will, and his humanity, he gained incredible powers and became a pitiless spirit of vengeance. It was this deal that inspired the Briarheart.
- Last Stand/Dying Moment of Awesome: As mentioned above, he confronted the Imperial Legions on his own with nothing but his sword in the final battle, and managed to slaughter a thousand of them before dying.
- The Paragon: Seen as this by the Forsworn.
People of The Rift
The Rift is in the southeastern corner of the province, and features a perpetually autumnal forest. Its capital is the crime-ridden Riften. Its banner is a pair of crossed swords on a purple background.
Brand-Shei (Brandyl Telvanni)
One of the merchants in Riften marketplace. Seemingly the first target of the Thieves' Guild (though you can fail it on purpose
Voiced by: Noah Nelson
Chieftain of the orcs at Largashbur, his tribe has recently been besieged by giants sensing weakness in them, and they worry Malacath has turned his sight from them.
- Asskicking Equals Authority/Authority Equals Asskicking: As per usual with orcs, the chieftain proves he's worthy of his position by being a great warrior. The problem for this particular tribe is that Yamarz very very much isn't.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: If you talk him into fighting the leader of the giants himself, he's summarily crushed.
- Dirty Coward: In very sharp contrast to most orcs. He tries to hire you to kill the leader of the giants and let him take credit for it to prove himself to Malacath, and in the cave on the way to its lair, he rather pointedly flees from the normal giants along the way.
- Jerk Ass: Even before you learn he is a Dirty Coward and an Ungrateful Bastard, you will most likely already find him unsympathetic due to him being rude and xenophobic toward you.
- No True Orc: He will express this opinion toward an Orc Dragonborn, who he will call a "filthy city Orc". Ironically enough, this trope is pretty much what Malacath thinks of him.
- Too Dumb to Live: Besides the fact that he tries to off you after you just killed the giant he was too cowardly to face himself, does he really think he can put one over on a Daedric Prince who cursed his tribe in the first place because he knew Yamarz was a wimp?
- Ungrateful Bastard: Even though you make efforts to help him and his tribe to get rid of their curse, not only does he keep acting rude toward you all along, but he also tries to pull a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on you.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: If you agree to kill the Giant for him, he will try to kill you immediately after you are done to ensure you won't tell the truth.
An elderly hunter who worships the old Nordic goddess Kyne. Grandfather of Haming (who lives with him now), the child Hadvar rescues during Alduin's attack on Helgen.
- Great White Hunter: For religious reasons, out of respect for Kyne's animals.
- Grumpy Old Man: Stemming from how city Nords now worship the Nine Divines, which he (more or less accurately) believes are "stolen idols" and watered down versions of the Nordic pantheon.
- The Missionary: Judging by his reaction when he first sees you, he really does not like these.
- Screw Politeness, I'm A Senior!: Upon seeing you, he insults you, believing you have come to tell him about the Nine Divines. He warms up if you tell him you don't believe in the Divines.
A rather unlikable armor merchant working on Riften marketplace.
- Fantastic Racism: If you visit Haelga's Bunkhouse while she is here, you can hear a conversation where she insults Madesi and clearly expresses her dislike of Argonians.
- Jerk Ass: Basically tells you to just buy something or leave whenever you try to engage conversation with her.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: This is her motivation; she wants to get as much money as possible so she can leave Skyrim. Considering the country is in the middle of a Civil War, Dragons are coming, and she lives in a Wretched Hive to boot, you can hardly blame her.
Grelod the Kind
Manager of Honorhall Orphanage and the target of Aventus Arentino's Black Sacrament.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: The reaction to her death.
- With one notable exception: Constance Michel, who never endorsed Grelod's cruelty but defended Grelod, saying she's old and has no other life. Constance's reaction to Grelod's death is to panic at the thought of someone being murdered in cold blood, but everyone else engages in much rejoicing.
- Played with via the Hold Guards. Those outside of Riften, who didn't know Grelod personally, consider the news to be that of a tragic murder of an elderly woman. Hold Guards inside Riften, however, consider her such an Asshole Victim that they don't even bother to arrest you, despite witnessing you leave the orphanage on the day she was killed.
- Asshole Victim: When she's killed, the children cheer, and her more kind-hearted assistant is more shocked by how blatant and abrupt the murder was than the fact that it happened at all. You don't even get a bounty for killing her and everybody in town just rolls with it because everyone agrees that she was a horrible person.
- Blatant Lies/Irony: Her sobriquet. Even adults know that it's a complete lie.
- Child Hater
- Evil Old Folks
- Expy: Shows similarities to Miss Hannigan from Annie.
- Fantastic Racism: She carries a book titled The Pig Children about how horrible Orcs are.
- Hate Sink: The first thing you hear when you enter the orphanage is her warning the kids that if they shirk their chores, they'll get an extra beating. She is obviously designed to be a cruel, hateful, awful creature, so you can kill her without feeling a shred of remorse.
- I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: Some of the guards in Riften are happy to tell you that they saw you walk out of the orphanage on the day she was murdered, but won't arrest you for it. Yes, even if you walk up to her in full view of the children and shout "YOL TOOR SHUL!" in her face! (One of the guards will even call you a Greybeard for it).
- Ironic Nickname
- Jerkass: To put it mildly. When you visit the orphanage for the first time, she's in the middle of telling the children that she'll never let them be adopted and if they don't work hard enough, they'll get an extra beating. Then she demands that they tell her they love her. She even has a cell in the orphanage with shackles on the wall.
- Made of Plasticine: Since she's an old lady, she's not exactly tough. You can kill her just by punching her in the face.
The owner of the bunkhouse in Riften, which houses many of the city's residence.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: One of the missions required to join the Thieves' Guild includes collecting money for protection from various persons in Riften, her included. You will most likely not feel sorry when coming for her.
- Jerkass: Even if you haven't done anything to make her dislike you, she will frequently tell you that you are not welcome in her Bunkhouse, since she only allows workers and not travelers or adventurers to be there. She is also mentioned to be abrasive toward her niece, Svana.
- Jerkass Has a Point: If you stick long enough in the Bunkhouse, you might hear a dialogue between her and Svana revealing that Svana is in a flirting relationship with Sibbi Black-Briar. Haelga tells her niece rather cynically that Sibbi just want to sleep with her. While it's mean to say such a thing, considering what we know of Sibbi, she is almost certainly right.
- Pet the Dog: If you give her one of the brochures from the Temple of Mara while doing that small sidequest for the priestess, Haelga acknowledges that she's more into the teachings of Dibella (and boy is she ever), but she'll accept the brochure nonetheless and even promises to read it with some interest. It's pretty much the only pleasant conversation you can have with her.
- Legacy Character: Of Mirabelle Monet, a rude and slutty innkeeper from Anvil in Oblivion.
- Really Gets Around: Much to her niece's disgust. A sidequest even involves collecting "Marks of Dibella" from the various men she slept with recently. Mentions from said men include her doing it in the stables and an implication she might have drugged one of them so she could sleep with him (though it's left ambiguous if he is telling the truth or not).
Owner of the Riften Stables.
- Defeat Means Friendship: You can brawl him, and after you defeat him, he becomes much friendlier and you can ride any of his horses for free.
- Embarrassing Nickname: It comes from a time when he was drunk and tried to ride a colt instead of a full-grown horse; he accidentally broke the colt's back. He has decided to no longer ride horses thanks to that.
Voiced by: Corri English
Daughter to Maven Black-Briar
and part of the infamous family. She's easily the most personable of the bunch, but she still has her... issues.
- The Apprentice: To Elgrim.
- Death by Irony: The entire reason she likes alchemy - that the same ingredients that can be used to create, save or restore life can be used to kill or maim.
- Defector from Decadence: Double-subverted. While she bemoans her family's greed and decadence, it's because she feels that it's pointless, not because it's wrong. She feels that she was meant for more than they can offer. Considering her particular focus in alchemy, she could potentially be the most dangerous of them all.
- Fetch Quest: She has one of the most long-spanning and exhausting fetch quests in the game, asking you to find 20 of each of three relatively rare alchemy ingredients - Nightshade, Deathbell, and Nirnroot. It's not so bad if you know where to look (you can even raise Nightshade and Deathbell in your own gardens if you have Hearthfire installed), but still a lot harder than finding 20 Salt Piles would be. It's also worth noting that all three ingredients are used in deadly poisons...
- Mad Scientist: In the making.
- Nice Girl: Her creepier predilections aside, she is always very polite to you, pays well for your hard work, and even provides a renewable source of alchemy goods if you complete the quest, simply because of a sense of noblesse obliege.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Her reasons for being interested in alchemy are... disturbing to say the least. She seems to have a thing for the morbid and macabre.
- Strong Family Resemblance: She looks exactly like a young Maven. They even wear the same outfit, for Mara's sake.
- To Be a Master: Of alchemy.
- Well Done Daughter Girl: Her other motivation. She wants to make her mother proud.
An Argonian merchand who sells jewelry in Riften. The first quest to join the Thieves Guild involves stealing one of his rings and framing Brand-Shei for it. He can also give the Dragonborn a quest to collect materials for his jewelry.
- Nice Guy: Polite, reward you well for his quest, he rivals Brand-Shei as one of the nicest people in Riften.
A Redguard Priest in charge of the Temple of Mara in Riften. He is the one selling Amulets of Mara and organising weddings, including potentially the Dragonborn's.
Voiced by: Popeye Vogelsang
Right-hand man of Maven Black-Briar and her primary enforcer on the street. His brother, Dirge, is the bouncer for the Ragged Flagon. Should Maven be named Jarl, Maul becomes her housecarl.
A Dark Elf working at the Black-Briar Meadery, and secretly steals mead to sell it illegally in his own business.
- Blatant Lies: "The Dreth family doesn't steal, Indaryn."
- Continuity Nod: He is a descendant of Valen Dreth, the Jerk Ass Dark Elf from the beginning of Oblivion. One of his conversations with innkeeper Keerava involves him narrating an exaggerated tale of his ancestor during the Oblivion Crisis.
- Denying the Dead Parent's Sins: Possibly; Oblivion clearly shows his ancestor Valen was a jerk and most likely a criminal, but Romlyn still insists that "The Dreth family doesn't steal" and delivers ridiculous stories portraying Valen as a hero. Either he really is oblivious to his ancestor’s real past, or he is in denial about it.
Voiced by: Stephen Russell
One of Maven Black-Briar's sons. Considered by Mjoll the Lioness to be the worst member of the family. Currently incarcerated in Riften Jail when even his mother got sick of his out of control nature.
- The Casanova: Makes it clear he's out to get all the women he can get his hands on to the Dragonborn when the latter visits. It's also effectively what landed him in jail. He even flirts with the Dragonborn if the latter is female.
- Con Man: Sold Louis Letrush a horse that actually belongs to the whole Black-Briar family.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Maven had him jailed for eight months just so she wouldn't have to deal with this for a while. Apparently, murdering a guy in public was the final straw for her.
- It's All About Me: His dialogue consists entirely of him whining about his predicament. He honestly believes his fiancee was wrong to be offended by his infidelity. He also blames her for his current incarceration (she confided in her brother about Sibbi's infidelity, angry brother confronted Sibbi, Sibbi stabbed her brother to death and got jail time for it, and he blames her) and wants her dead for it.
- Jerkass: Mjoll will tell you that he's the worst Black-Briar.
- Karma Houdini: Averted; where the rest of his family is tagged essential, you only need to wait until you're through with the quest to steal Frost before you can kill him.
- Luxury Prison Suite: Sibbi gets all of the comforts of home in his cell during his eight month incarceration for murder. And the only reason he was imprisoned at all was because Maven thought he needed to cool off. Sibbi still complains.
- The Sociopath
- Ungrateful Bastard: Thinks his mother's being too harsh with him by giving him a long overdue time-out when he ought to be grateful he's not getting a worse punishment for murdering someone.
- Though, given the legal system of Skyrim, he could avoid any jail time by simply paying a thousand septim fine (yes, for murder), and his family could pay that many times over. Also, it's worth noting that there's really nothing to cast doubt on his claim of self-defense beyond him being a general sleazebag.
Voiced by: Colleen Delaney
Court mage for The Rift, and perennially scatter-brained.
- Absent-Minded Professor: If her rambling at you for two minutes in Magi Babble wasn't indication enough, she'll send you out to find some experiment materials she misplaced. In three different cities. When you return them, of course, she's completely forgotten she sent you out to find them or that she lost them in the first place, but she's grateful and rewards you all the same.
- Court Mage
- Cloudcuckoolander: The College of Winterhold treasures her correspondence letters, which are apparently complete and utter nonsense; she once requested a sample of the Heart of Lorkhan. She blithely asked them to give her the heart of the dead creator-god which may or may not be responsible for the vanishing of the Dwemer, and who definitely disappeared himself centuries ago.
- However, in the letter that mentions the Heart of Lorkhan sample, another mention is made of her requesting "greenmote," a mind-altering and potentially lethal drug found only in the Shivering Isles, but which the senders take to refer to "greenspore", a dementia-inducing disease found only in fish.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Turns out that there actually is a working model of the Heart of Lorkhan in the College - namely, Arniel's warped soul gem. However, since no one else in the College is aware of this fact, it's presumably some sort of lucky guess on her part.
People of Whiterun Hold
Whiterun Hold is centrally located, with an expansive sub-arctic tundra. Its capital shares its name, and is strategically vital for both sides in the civil war. Its banner is a stylized horse head on a yellow background.
Alvor, Sigrid, and Dorthe
A Riverwood family who runs the village smithy. The Legionnaire Hadvar is Alvor's nephew by blood.
- Badass: Alvor has his moments; for instance, if a dragon attacks Riverwood, he'll pick up an axe and attack the dragon for as long as he stays alive. Of course, this also makes him a Fearless Fool as he will likely die in the attempt.
- The Blacksmith: Alvor is the town blacksmith, and since he is likely the first smith you come across, he is also likely the smith who gives you the Smithing tutorial.
- Daddy's Girl: To a degree with Dorthe. She much prefers being a junior apprentice to Alvor in the smithy than doing womanly chores with Sigrid.
"My father is Alvor, the blacksmith. I'm his assistant. I mean, apprentice."
- Good Parents: Both are nurturing to their daughter Dorthe, but Dorthe seems to gravitate towards her father.
- Happily Married: Implied by Sigrid's preemptive rebuffing of a male Dragonborn, though her warning a female Dragonborn to stay away from Alvor makes her come across as a Clingy Jealous Girl.
- Mr. Exposition: Alvor gives an Imperial-biased one to the player concerning the Civil War, as well as a few other things.
- Tomboy: Dorthe is turning into one, much to Alvor's delight (he wanted a son but sufficed with Dorthe), while Sigrid is concerned she isn't ladylike enough.
"Dorthe, listen to me. Your father and your friend may treat you like a boy, but you're not. Do you understand? So please. Be a girl. For me."
Voiced by: Jon Curry
A Redguard man in the city of Whiterun, and a retired mercenary, who requests the Dragonborn's help in retrieving his family's ancestral sword.
- Good Parents: He is one to his daughter.
- Happily Married: To Saffir, a Redguard woman.
- Honor Before Reason: His wife thinks he is this because he values so much his father's sword that he intends to go take it back from thieves, risking his life in the process. However, his approach of the task is fairly reasonable, as he intends to recruit either mercenaries or members of the Companions to help him, and will agree to let you find it for him.
- Nice Guy: Virtually nothing you can say to him will annoy him, plus he's a good parent and husband.
- Retired Badass: He used to be a mercenary, and will help improve your block and one-handed weaponry skills if you complete his quest. He'll also recommend you try mercenary work.
Imperial man, and Steward to Jarl Balgruuf. Doesn't get a lot of the Nordic culture.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Some new person shows up in the hall explaining they survived the Dragon attack at Helgen, manages to kill the dragon threatening Whiterun, then demonstrates the ability to use the Thu'um immediately afterwards. Shortly afterwards, the Greybeards issue a shout that literally shakes all of Skyrim, summoning the Dragonborn to them. So naturally, he dismisses the Dragonborn as a foolish Nordic superstition...
- Commander Contrarian: May come across as this often.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He comes across as a bit stuck up, but he's polite and does his best to help, as out of touch as he may be.
- Puppet Advisor: Apparently, half the advice he gives the Jarl is actually from his daughter, or so she claims.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: In term of Jarl Balgruuf's advisors, he's the blue oni to Irileth and Hrongar's red.
Voiced by: Martina Lotun
The high priestess in the Temple of Kynareth in Whiterun. However, due to the civil war and her eminent skill in Restoration magic, she's finding herself doing more healing than preaching lately.
- Healing Hands: She's the Restoration magic master trainer.
- In Harmony with Nature: Though she needs to be reminded of that if you opt to replace the dead Gildergreen tree in Whiterun's forum with a new sapling.
- Nun Too Holy: Consoles Ahlam on the fact that her husband Nazeem is a total lout, noting on the bright side that, if the Stormcloaks ever decide to attack the city, he might get himself killed.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Toned-down example, in that she doesn't seem to realize she is acting like one; in her quest, she asks you to use a Hagraven weapon to get a sample from the Eldergleam in order to revive the Gildergreen in Whiterun, apparently not realizing that this involves hurting the Eldergleam and profaning a sanctuary of the very Goddess she is worshiping. Fortunately, there is another way to resolve the quest without doing this, and upon hearing your explanation, she very reasonably accepts it.
Voiced by: Christian Svensson
Come to Dragonsreach to discuss the recent hostilities, like the rest of the 'great warriors'?
Court Mage for Whiterun. The first magical vendor you're likely to encounter, and involved in the initial main quest as pertaining to Whiterun. Fascinated with dragons.
Gerdur, Hod and Frodnar
A Riverwood family, Gerdur is the sister of Stormcloak soldier Ralof. She owns the town sawmill.
- Action Girl: Subverted. Gerdur mentions that she's very proud of Ralof taking up the sword to free Skyrim and laments that she's gotten too old to fight herself.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Frodnar shows shades of this, being rather bossy towards the player (no matter how intimidating the player can be) and coming up with plans to make his dog look like a frostbite spider (which Dorthe talks him out of doing, because it would either fail or get his dog killed by the adults of the town).
"You're new around here, so I'll go easy on ya, but don't get on my bad side."
- Good Parents: Both Hod and Gerdur are this to Frodnar.
- I Own This Town: Gerdur owns the sawmill, which is the main business of the town and the reason Riverwood exists, according to Alvor, and certainly his smithy gets most of its work from Gerdur's mill. In a subversion of the trope, though, Gerdur doesn't really use that influence over the village for anything in particular. If anything, Frodnar shows a more entitled attitude than she does (see Bratty Half-Pint). She mostly just uses her position to provide employment to the rest of the town; Sven, Fandal and Alvor are all technically in her employ.
Gerdur: It's my mill... some folk think it's my town too, but it ain't. The Jarl of Whiterun owns both the land and the town: I just pay the taxes.
- The Prankster: Frodnar, much to his friend Dorthe's displeasure, according to him.
"My friend Dorthe doesn't like my pranking. 'You're being mean, Frodnar!' So what if I am?"
"Get me mad, and I'll prank ya. And not a little. A lot."
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Balgruuf himself says that Gerdur is a pillar of the community. But Gerdur, being a firm Stormcloak supporter, doesn't care much for him.
- Mrs. Exposition: Gerdur gives a Stormcloak-biased one to the player concerning the Civil war, amongst other things.
Clans Gray-Mane and Battle-Born
The two major families of Whiterun driven into a grim rivalry when they took opposite sides of the war, Battle-Born with the Empire and Gray-Mane with the Stormcloaks.
- Abusive Parents: Lars Battle-Born, a child, will say that his family regards him as a milk-drinker and a weakling due to 'allowing' himself to be bullied by Braithe.
- Awesome McCoolname: Clan Battle-Born.
- Badass Family: Clan Gray-Mane has the Ultimate Blacksmith, a former Companion member, and one man all too eager to launch a three-man raid (four if you come) on a Thalmor stronghold.
- Add in Olfina Gray-Mane, who becomes (Jarl) Vignar Gray-Mane's Housecarl after the Stormcloaks take Whiterun and, during the operation to capture Odahviing, actually helps out.
- The Blacksmith: Eorlund Gray-Mane spends most of his time at the Skyforge, making weapons for the Companions or anyone who wishes to buy.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Clan Battle-Born's battlecry paints them as this somewhat.
"For Clan Battle-Born! First into the fray and last to quit their ale!"
- Catch Phrase: Both Olfrid Battle-Born and Vignar Gray-Mane have comments that will burn themselves into your brain if you wander around Whiterun (or in Vignar's case, inside Jorrvaskr) very much.
Olfrid: Olfrid! Patron of the great clan Battle-Born! A name I'm sure you know well.
Vignar: When the Empire surrendered to the Aldmeri Dominion, they shamed us all!
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Olfrid. See below.
- Friend in the Black Market: Olfrid becomes the main contact of the Thieves' Guild in Whiterun after contacting them to help bail a friend out from prison for murder.
- Feuding Families: Complete with Montague and Capulet style Star-Crossed Lovers.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Olfrid Battle-Born suggests that Clan Gray-Mane started the feud because they were jealous of the Battle-Born fortune.
- Impoverished Patrician: Clan Gray-Mane has fallen on hard times. They still carry themselves proudly despite their currently modest circumstances (though whenever you offer to buy from Eorlund, he always says "Gods be praised!").
- Jerkass: Neither clan is particularly nice overall. The Battle-Born males openly mock the grandmotherly Fralia Gray-Mane when her son is missing, asserting that he's dead when they know he's actually a prisoner of the Thalmor, and if the Stormcloaks take Whiterun and Clan Gray-Mane rises to power, the Battle-Born family is subjected to at least two robberies. Though Vignar doesn't specifically target them, he doesn't allow them justice either, saying that they made their choice when the troubles began.
- Meaningful Name: Everyone in Clan Gray-Mane has white hair, for one reason or another.
- Nice Guy: Jon Battle-Born, who's also the Only Sane Man. Olfina Gray-Mane is also a nice person as well (if you're female) and takes the position of Only Sane Man for her family. Fittingly, the two are fond of each other.
- Only in It for the Money: The Gray-Manes assert that the Battle-Borns are weak and only care about their money.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Jon Battle-Born and Olfina Gray-Mane, the sole members of each clan who don't care for the feud, have a thing for each other.
- Straw Feminist: Olfina Gray-Mane. If a male Dragonborn so much as walks within five feet of her, she immediately sneers "What's the matter? Can't stand the sight of a strong Nord woman?" Conversely, she'll sympathize with a female Dragonborn, saying it's hard being a strong woman in Skyrim, and encourage her to continue adventuring to earn the respect and fear of the men. Somewhat jarring, given that very few characters ever look down on the Dragonborn (for being a given gender) and that this is Whiterun, where a woman with literally nothing can become Thane and Harbinger of the Companions with no more difficulty than a man.
- Warrior Poet: Jon Battle-Born studied at the Bards' College and is very proud of his profession as a skald, upholding the history, honor, glory, and tradition of his people through song and poetry. He finds men who practice the bardic arts solely for coin and women insulting. But more than anything, he laments that Nords are forgetting poetry and romance, becoming "obsessed with death".
- We Used to Be Friends: The two families used to be very close, but were driven apart after taking opposite sides in the war.
- With Us or Against Us: Idolaf Battle-Born tries to invoke this after you enter Whiterun for the first time, asking, "Gray-Mane or Battle-Born?" If you ask for clarification, he elaborates and repeats the question. If you remain neutral, he simply asserts that everyone chooses a side eventually.
Voiced by: Michael Gough
Trust in me, Whiterun! Trust in Heimskr! For I am the CHOSEN of Talos! I alone have been anointed by the Ninth to SPREAD... HIS HOOOOLY WORD!!!
Self-professed prophet of Talos, he perpetually preaches about the God-Emperor by his shrine in Whiterun.
- Butt Monkey: He's only involved in one minor quest (a potential kidnappee of a Companion radiant quest), does nothing of importance, and can be incredibly annoying, so it's not uncommon for players to kill him in whatever way they deem fit.
- Canon Immigrant: Not the man himself, but his speech, which was first written as canon (but unofficial) background lore by The Elder Scrolls writer Michael Kirkbride for display on the Imperial Library lore website. You can find it here.
- Character Filibuster: He never shuts up about the glory of Talos and his disdain for those trying to snuff out his worship.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: It's implied that Talos actually does take some interest in him, though probably not to the extent Heimskr believes.
- Despair Speech: Part of his speech: "We are but maggots! WRIIIIIIIIITHING in the filth of our OWN CORRUPTION!"
- Expy: Of Cromwell, the preacher of the Children of Atom in Fallout 3 who was likewise encountered singing the praises of his god in the center of the first major town you visit. However, Heimskr is louder, and what he preaches make more sense in universe.
- Irony: Considering his zeal when it comes to Talos, it can easily be inferred that he would rather side with the Stormcloaks over the Imperials... and then his house gets destroyed by a Stormcloak catapult.
- Large Ham: Extols the glories of Talos to anyone who'll listen, or indeed anyone within earshot, which is most of Whiterun because he does it at the top of his lungs.
- Love Freak: "And as man you said, 'Let me SHOW you the power of Talos, Stormcrown, BORN of the North, where my breath is looooooong winterrrrrr. I breathe now in royalty and reshape this land which is mine. I do this for you, Red Legions, for I LOVE YOU!' Aye, love! LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE!"
- Meaningful Name: Heimskr in Old Norse means "foolish/silly". Likewise, the word "Heimskur" is Icelandic for "stupid".
- No Indoor Voice: Note the amount of caps, italics, and bold in his quotes here used to emphasize the hamminess of his sermon.
- Preacher Man
- Rousing Speech: He certainly thinks he is giving one: "So rise up! RIIIIIIIIIIIIISE up, children of the Empire! Rise up, Stormcloaks!"
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Though it crosses into Too Dumb to Live, because while the Empire and the Jarls may not enforce the ban on Talos worship that strongly, belting out his glories in a town known to be a trading hub of the country is a good way to attract the wrong kind of attention.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: As annoying as he might be, keeping Talos worship alive is basically him doing his part to stave off metaphysical annihilation.
- You Can't Go Home Again: His house gets destroyed in the Siege of Whiterun, and he instead camps out in front of Jorrvaskr.
- You Have to Believe Me: As per his character quote.
Voiced by: Paul Ganas
Member of the Dragonsreach court and younger brother to Jarl Balgruuf. Staunchly pro-Imperial.
- Badass Boast: "I'm not a man, I'm a weapon in human form. Just unsheathe me, and point me at the enemy."
- Mr. Exposition: Serves as this about the legend of the Dragonborn once the Greybeard Summons goes out and you report back in to Jarl Balgruuf after your first dragon kill.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Proof that classical barbarian Nords exist on the pro-Imperial side too.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to both his elder brother Jarl Balgruuf and the court steward Proventus. He encourages Balgruuf to take part in the Civil War on the Imperial side, whereas Balgruuf prefers to stay neutral as long as he can and Proventus favors a more careful approach.
- War Hawk: He is constantly agitating for Whiterun to enter the Civil War on the side of the Empire. Jarl Balgruuf can even be overheard telling Hrongar to stop pestering him with his war-mongering.
- What Could Have Been: He was initially intended to become Jarl should Balgruuf die in a continuation of the Mephala quest that was scrapped.
Dunmeri housecarl to Jarl Balgruuf the Greater of Whiterun Hold.
- Action Girl
- Dare to Be Badass: "Now what do you say? Shall we go kill us a dragon?"
- Fire-Forged Friends: Is this with Balgruuf. Before his days as a Jarl, they were adventurers together.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Again, with Balgruuf. It's incredibly obvious how much he trusts her and respects her opinion, and she would lay down her life for his in a heartbeat. But there's no romantic chemistry whatsoever.
- Magic Knight: That lightning bolt you saw flying at Mirmulnir during the first dragon fight? Irileth. She's also packing a frost-enchanted sword.
- Properly Paranoid: Apparently attempts on Balgruuf's life are not unusual. She keeps a wary eye on the player even after they've ingratiated themselves to the Jarl, and her suspicion is proven correct should the player join the Stormcloaks.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Proventus Avenicci's blue as Jarl Balgruuf's advisors.
- Seen It All: According to her, at least. Her reaction to the Dragonborn is "I've seen things just as outlandish as this."
A Nord horse thief from Rorikstead who's captured along with the Dragonborn, Ulfric Stormcloak, and Ralof by the border to Cyrodil. After realizing that he'll be executed, he tries to run but is killed by Imperial archers.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: As he comes closer to the execution, he begs for the divines to save him.
- Death by Irony: Had he waited, he may have had a chance to escape thanks to Alduin's attack.
- Famous Last Words: "You're not gonna kill me!" How wrong he is...
- In the Back: Shot by archers while trying to escape.
- Too Dumb to Live: He somehow thinks that he can escape even with with all of the Imperials in Helgen.
" Redguard trader who wanders around the Plains District of Whiterun, insulting the merchandise and talking down to the vendors. He owns Chilfurrow Farm, though he apparently sleeps in the Bannered Mare whilst conducting business in Whiterun. His incredibly pretentious and supercilious manner, his naked condescension, and his total lack of relevance to any story-related activity make him one of the most detested characters in Whiterun.
- Bi the Way: Hinted at. He gets "unseasonably warm" if you approach him with no clothes on, regardless of gender.
- Catch Phrase: "Do you get to the Cloud District very often? Oh, what am I saying? Of course you don't." Of course, at no point in the game does he actually go the Cloud District; his schedule involves him walking around the Plains and Wind Districts all day, unlike people who have actual business in Dragonsreach.
- It verges on laser-guided stupidity when you remember that Whiterun is almost certainly the Hold in which you become Thane first - yet he continues to say this to you even once you've been made essentially a member of the Jarl's extended household.
- Dirty Coward: If you fight him, he'll run away incredibly quickly.
- Jerkass: Have a look.
- No Accounting for Taste
- Pet the Dog: He'll occasionally state that you're "less insufferable" than most people he has to deal with, and give you a random gift in appreciation.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: Very much so. His wife comments on this frequently.
Ahlam: Looking for my husband Nazeem? Check the Jarl's backside - that's usually where he stuffs himself these days.
- The Scrappy: An in-universe example. Almost no one likes him, and his wife is no exception, to the point where she and Danica can be found jokingly discussing the possibility that he might be killed if the Stormcloaks ever decide to attack the city. If he is killed, his wife makes only one comment about it, showing how much he's missed.
- Self-Made Man: He sees himself as one, though there's the fact that his farm is actually rather small.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Completely convinced that he's more important than everyone else in Whiterun. Amusingly, one radiant quest in Dawnguard tasks you with murdering a citizen of a major hold, and an optional objective is to kill a "high profile" citizen. You'll fail this objective for killing Nazeem, proving just where he actually stands.
- Smug Snake: Not outright villainous, but very smug.
- Very Punchable Man
Voiced by: Gideon Emery
An Imperial farmer who owns Pelagia Farm just outside Whiterun. Most of his produce goes to Carlotta's stall.
Lucan and Camilla Valerius
Voiced by: Stephen Russell (Lucan) and Corri English (Camilla Valerius)
Imperial immigrants to Skyrim, siblings, and proprietors of the Riverwood Trader. Camilla journeyed from Cyrodiil to start a new life with Lucan after the war with the Thalmor left the province in ruins. When the Dovahkiin meets them, they are arguing over what to do about the theft of the Golden Claw
, ostensibly a bauble that Lucan found on his travels, but actually much more... They are the owners of the first general store in the game and give some of the first quests.
- Brother-Sister Team: They run the Riverwood Trader. Camilla will take over selling gear if, at any point, Lucan is killed.
- Girl Next Door: Camilla.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lucan. He's a bit abrasive and Camilla calls him "a child;" but if you help him out, he pays you well, lets you grab some supplies free off his shelves, and declares that you and him are the only people in the world who are "not fools."
- Heroic BSOD: Lucan basically has one of these if his sister is killed; he never really recovers from the shock of her loss.
- Love Interest: Camilla becomes a potential one after you return the Golden Claw.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Camilla and Lucan respectively. Lucan waits for someone to get the Golden Claw back for him. Camilla is willing to go to Bleak Falls Barrow herself until the Dovahkiin shows up.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Camilla. And neither of the two men courting her are that great. The Dovahkiin can Take a Third Option for the Love Triangle and marry her him/herself.
People of Winterhold
Winterhold is the northeastern most province, and primarily an arctic wasteland. Its capital is also called Winterhold, and is a faint shadow of its former self after a cataclysm in the not too distant past. Its banner is a three-pronged crown, with braided strands comprising the lengths of the three prongs.
The Jarl's Steward (regardless of which side of the civil war is controlling the town). Due to him being a Dunmer, Korir assumes he has ties to the College of Winterhold and as such recruited him. In truth, Malur is a slouch with no marketable skills, but goes along with it to benefit from the position.
- Sure, Let's Go with That: This was apparently his reaction to Korir assuming he had ties with the College of Winterhold due to being a Dark Elf.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Here is his answer if you ask him what he does as a Steward:
"Me? Nothing. And I hope to keep it that way."
Voiced by: Neil Dickson
Expelled from the College of Winterhold, this Altmer mage stays in the Frozen Hearth Inn, staying within the city of Winterhold.
- Affably Evil: The 'evil' part is a bit of a stretch, since Nelacar is personable, helpful, endearing, and very possibly the nicest Altmer in the game. However, he's also probably a necromancer who has done some vile, vile things.
- Should the Dragonborn have completed the College questline, he respectfully addresses them as "Archmage". Of course, its entirely possible he might simply be trying to get on their good side to be allowed back into the College.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Seems to believe this, as he seems to believe that corrupting Azura's Star into the Black Star is preferable than turning it over to its "evil" Daedric master.
- Dark Smells Bad: Or more specifically, according to Dagur, like a beast that's "been turned inside-out and exploded."
- Everyone Has Standards: He's probably done some vile things during his time, but he personally thinks his former teacher went far too far.
- Necromancer: Probably, given his involvement with Malyn Varen's experiments into immortality and his general comfort with the concept of black soul gems. Conversely, he did express being appalled at the depths of his former teacher when studying Azura's Star.
An ingenious but insane wizard living in a remote island in the Sea of Ghosts.
- Affably Evil: He's nice enough for a madman, but he openly admits that he's done some very nasty things in service to Hermaeus Mora.
- Deal with the Devil: He's dealt with Hermaeus Mora due to his thirst for knowledge.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: Probably a contributing factor to his insanity, but the main cause of it is that...
- Go Mad from the Revelation: He went insane when he looked upon an Elder Scroll. It's implied that four or more dimensions got crammed into his poor little three-dimensional brain, too.
- The Hermit
- Junkie Prophet: Judging by the empty Skooma bottles at his outpost, it's likely.
- Mad Oracle
- Mathematician's Answer: When asked where one can find an Elder Scroll, he says it is very close... in the sense of being in the same three-dimensional plane as them. Of course this is actually one of the longest quests in the game, because you can't travel in four dimensions!
- Rhymes on a Dime: He tends to speak like this.
- Third-Person Person
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Due to his insanity, Hermaeus Mora no longer considers him useful and he disappears in a flash of light upon finding the Oghma Infinium.
M'aiq the Liar
Voiced by: André Sogliuzzo
A Khajiit monk who wanders the land. He is named after his ancestors and carries on the family tradition of delivering cryptic Take Thats
to the player. This time he also starts snarking to the creators themselves about what they did wrong in Oblivion
- Artifact Sobriquet: In-universe example. M'aiq the Liar served as an Author Avatar giving cryptic Take Thats right from his introduction in Morrowind, but the in-universe untruthfulness of (most of) his comments were toned down for Oblivion and Skyrim.
- Author Avatar: The only reason he has a role in the game is to voice the creator's opinion about the Unpleasable Fanbase.
- Beware the Silly Ones: One possible variant of his encounter can consist of finding him standing next to a burned cart, several dead human bodies, and the corpse of a dragon.
- Catch Phrase: Averted. He sometimes does utter the catchphrase of his ancestor ("M'aiq knows much, tells some. M'aiq knows many things others do not.") , but does not use enough to make it his own catchphrase.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He comes over as very detached from the setting. Logical, since he is something of a literal Author Avatar.
- Deadpan Snarker: Some of his speeches are very sarcastic.
- Easter Egg
- Legacy Character: There was also a Khajiit with his name 206 years earlier in Morrowind and 200 years earlier in Cyrodiil. This is explained by the fact that the name is passed down to newer generations.
- Mushroom Samba: He always has Skooma on his person, which might explain his bizarre, if fairly accurate, view of the world.
- Take That: Just about every speech he makes is a reaction the makers have about an aspect of the game fans aren't pleased about.
- Take That, Us: He also starts snarking at some minor gripes concerning Oblivion. A noteworthy snark is when he repeats a much ridiculed line about mudcrabs from the previous game.
- Third-Person Person: Like most Khajiit, M'aiq talks about M'aiq in this fashion almost all the time M'aiq speaks.
Voiced by: Noah Nelson
An aging orc found in the wilderness. He has been looking for a good death
, and the Dragonborn can give it to him.
- Badass Grandpa: Fittingly. He's also fairly tough as NPCs go; if you encounter him at a low level, it's probably in your best interest to just ignore him.
- Death Seeker: He has seen a vision from Malacath telling him to seek a glorious death. By the time the Dragonborn gets to him, he's surrounded by saber cat corpses. Apparently, they weren't glorious enough.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin / No Name Given: His character name is just "Old Orc." And that's exactly what he is!
- Honor Before Reason: He's honestly not that old, but he's past his prime in traditional Orc culture. Even though you can tell him this, and point out his potential usefulness to others outside the strongholds, he still insists on dying because Malacath wills it.
- Face Death with Dignity: He explains that he wishes to die while he can "still call himself a proper man", elaborating that he doesn't want to linger on to the point where he's frail and feeble. He further explains that it's "unseemly" to cling to something after it becomes useless, including your own life.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: If asked, he'll clarify that he can't kill himself because "it would displease Malacath."
Voiced by: André Sogliuzzo
Head of the Khajiit caravans. Ri'saad leads one of them and is behind forming the other two, who work for him.
- Hypocrite: The Khajiit caravans are not allowed inside any of the cities, because the Nords think them to be thieves and smugglers. Ri'saad laments this "racist" attitude... except he openly sells illegal Moon Sugar and Skooma. Join the Thieves' Guild, and one mission shows that Ri'saad and his caravans willingly smuggle goods and act as fences for little more than a few bribes.
- Of course, if the Nords didn't actively shun the Khajiit and allowed them inside their cities to conduct better, more honest, and profitable commerce, it's dubious if they'd need to act as fences and sell stolen goods. Alternatively, given that Elsweyr has become a vassal of the Aldmeri Dominion willingly (or perhaps were manipulated into doing so), the Nords don't trust any Khajiit. Of course, during a certain quest chain, Ri'saad shows that he considers all Thalmor to be filth. And the way he mentions it seems to suggest that it's a common view amongst Khajiit.
- Note that Moon Sugar is a vital religious drug for pretty much any Khajiit.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Though the Khajiit joined the Aldmeri Dominion willingly, he regards Khajiit working with the Thalmor poorly, calling them "Thalmor Filth" and noting that they give all Khajiit a bad name.
- Nice Guy: He (if you talk to the other Khajiit merchants) was the guy who helped them all carve out a lucrative trading niche in the economy of Skyrim, and he even took a few with troubled backgrounds and made them respectable. Ysolda of Whiterun, who wishes to be a shopkeeper, also states that despite their reputation, the Khajiit are fairly honest businessmen by her account.
Talsgar the Wanderer
Voiced by: Michael Gough
A Nord bard occasionally found wandering the main roads.
- Badass Beard
- Cultured Badass: One version of his appearance code brings a pair of bandits along with him, both of whom he beats quite handily. Of course, since he's marked an essential NPC, it's basically impossible for him to lose. At higher levels, he can be found going one on one against Frost Trolls and even dragons.
- Noodle Incident: One where it's pretty easy to fill in the blanks. You can ask him to train you in Speech, but he'll politely refuse, saying, "Ah. Well. After a little incident with a roguish lad and the daughter of a prominent thane... Well, let's just say, best not."