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Skyrim: All Hireling Followers and Where to Find Them

By Olivia TitusUpdated


Skyrim features a varied selection of companions, but hirelings require little more than a sum of gold to join Dragonborn. Here's where to find them.

Skyrim is a massive game, featuring a massive nation bustling with many peoples. And fortunately for players, there's quite a selection of possible companions among its many characters.

Related: Skyrim: 10 Most Annoying NPCs In The Game, Ranked By How Easy They Are To Kill

Indeed, from mages to warriors to archers, from mercenaries to soldiers to assassins, there are quite a few followers scattered throughout the frozen landscape. Those of the mercenary lifestyle have become rather popular among many a Dragonborn. So for those seeking help for hire, these are all of Skyrim's mercenary followers and where to find them.


Belrand will be among the easiest hireling to find, namely through his well-frequented location. And he'll be a decent companion, maxing out (as with all other Hirelings) at level 40.

  • Location: Solitude. Usually on the first floor of the Winking Skeever.
  • Cost: 500. Rehire cost is waved if married.
  • Combat Specialties: Spellsword. His primary skills are Destruction, One-Handed, Light Armor, and Restoration.

Related: Skyrim: Hearthfire Housing Guide

Aside from being a hireling, Belrand is also a possible Blades recruit and marriage candidate. He can also become a steward if players have the Hearthfire DLC installed.

Erik the Slayer

Such a fearsome name for such an inexperienced mercenary. Indeed, Erik is the only hireling who doesn't start out as such. Instead, he begins as a simple villager helping his father run an inn, but hungers for so much more. Successfully completing his small, personal quest of convincing his father to allow his adventuring will unlock him as a follower.

  • Location: Rorikstead. Usually inside the Frostfruit Inn, though occasionally around the village.
  • Cost: 500.
  • Combat Specialties: Barbarian. His primary skills are Light Armor, Two-Handed, Archery, and Block.

He's not a marriage candidate, but he can be a Blades recruit or house steward. So for those interested in this humble hireling, be sure to swing by his small village.


Jenassa is the only female hireling in all of Skyrim and its DLCs. She's also one of the two non-human hirelings available, making her a fantastic oddity to have as an ally.

  • Location: Whiterun, usually within the Drunken Hunstman.
  • Cost: 500. Rehire fee waived if married.
  • Combat Specialties: Ranger. Her primary skills are Archery, Light Armor, Block, and One-Handed.

She can be a marriage candidate or Blades recruit. But she won't be available to be a steward. Either way, she'll be among the earliest hirelings players will encounter.


Marcurio is one of two hirelings who primarily uses magic to fight. And he has plenty of personality to back up his power.

  • Location: Riften. He is normally located inside the Bee and Barb Inn, near the marketplace entrance.
  • Cost: 500. Rehire fee waived if married.
  • Combat Specialties: Battle Mage. His primary skills are Destruction, Restoration, Alteration, and Sneak.

Aside from being a hireling, he is a potential bachelor, Blades recruit, or steward. Whichever players desire, he'll be waiting for hire.


Stenvar is yet another Nordic follower, perhaps the Stormcloak equivalent to Belrand's Imperial. And in the traditional Nordic form, he's a fierce fighter, through and through.

  • Location: Windhelm. He'll usually be on the second floor of the Candlehearth Hall.
  • Cost: 500. Rehire fee waived if married.
  • Combat Specialties: Warrior. His primary skills are Heavy Armor, Two-Handed, Archery, and Block.

Related: Skyrim: The 5 Best (& 5 Worst) Races To Play As A Pure Warrior

He can be a bachelor or Blades recruit, but not a Steward. Either way, he'll be a fantastic ally or fighting partner.


The last of the main Skyrim hirelings, Vorstag is yet another Nordic warrior. He's very similar to Stenvar in fighting style, with a few small differences.

  • Location:Markarth. He'll be near the fireplace of the Silver-Blood Inn.
  • Cost: 500. Rehire fee waived if married.
  • Combat Specialties: Warrior. His primary skills are Heavy Armor, One-Handed, Archery, and Block.

Like Stenvar, he can be married or made a Blade. However, he also can't become a steward.

Teldryn Sero

Teldryn is an extremely unique follower, as he's the only hireling added by any of Skyrim's three DLCs, namely that of Dragonborn. He's also the second non-Nord and major magic user of all the Hirelings.

  • Location:Raven Rock, on Solstheim. He'll be near the entrance of the Wretching Netch Corner Club.
  • Cost: 500. Plus an extra 250 to hire the boat to the island, initially.
  • Combat Specialties: Spellsword. His primary skills are One-Handed, Light Armor, Destruction, and Conjuration.

He can't be married, nor can he be made into a house steward. Interestingly enough, though, this Dunmer hireling can be made into a Blades recruit. The choice, of course, is ultimately up to players' discretions.

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Olivia Titus (63 Articles Published)

Avid reader and passionate writer, with a bit of casual gaming thrown into the mix. Previously worked and/or interned in marketing, teaching, and copy editing, but is mostly educated in the latter and writing. Entering the first stepping stones of a professional writing career, and excited to do so.

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Lydia, a typical follower

Various NPCs and creatures can follow you while you're playing the game and be your ally. These followers can fight by your side; some can also carry your equipment and perform other tasks. Followers can be divided into those who follow you indefinitely (until they die or are dismissed), and those who follow you temporarily (for example, during a quest).

Permanent followers usually become available after you complete a quest of some kind. You can also find mercenaries for hire in the cities and recruit certain creatures in the game. You can have at most one permanent NPC follower and one creature follower at any time.

Some NPCs follow you temporarily for the duration of a quest. If you avoid completing the quest and go somewhere else, they may follow you around. As many of these NPCs are unkillable, and you can have several followers at the same time, you can use them to fight difficult enemies in a different questline. There is no limit to the number of such temporary followers that you can have at one time.

Most quest followers will follow you additionally to any permanent follower. However, there are a few exceptions: The followers in the Companions questline will automatically dismiss your current follower, and Serana will require you to dismiss them in order for her to join you on a quest (except for her first one). In such cases, potential permanent followers will say that you already have a follower and be unable to join you, as the quest follower occupies the follower slot. The slot can be freed again simply by completing the quest so that your temporary quest follower leaves your service.


You can interact with permanent followers by talking with them (outside of combat). You will then be able to exchange items with them, or give a command, depending on their abilities. You can also start commanding your follower quickly, even from some distance away, by pointing at them and holding the activate/use control.

Orders that can be given to followers:

  • Attack another NPC or creature
  • Wait at a given location
  • Resume following
  • Activate an object, such as a lever or a chair
  • Activate a Shrine for its blessing, but not a Standing Stone
  • Open a locked door or container
  • Pick up items
  • Search and loot containers
  • Sleep in a bed (useful for Vampires)
  • Use staves and scrolls
  • Fill soul gems including The Black Star and Azura's Star (if a soultrap or fiery soultrap weapon is equipped)
  • Chop wood/mine ore (only some followers will do this). The benefit of this is that you can avoid the animation and your follower does not get encumbered. Some followers also do not require a pickaxe or a woodcutter's axe to perform either of these.
  • Leave your service (the follower will return to their normal home and routine)

Two of these commands have secondary benefits in certain situations:

  • Followers do not need lockpicks to open containers.
  • A follower can pick up a "placed" skill book, which you can then take from their inventory without having to read it first, allowing you to save it for later.

Also, followers can use a torch (only one is needed, it will never deplete). Temporary, quest-specific followers usually do not take orders; if they do, they will only take limited orders, like the "wait" command.

If your follower is left to wait for 72 hours, a message will appear that the follower has grown tired of waiting and will start walking to their original location.

You can trade items with some of your followers to equip them with better items or store excess loot. Sometimes, they will refuse to equip the items you give them. Pickpocketing the items you wish them to replace with the improved items can help fix this. It can also allow you to do this with NPCs who will not trade their equipped items with you. However, it requires the Misdirection (for weapons) and Perfect Touch (for armor) perks to achieve this.

Giving a non-essential follower any of your custom enchanted weapons or shields, letting them die, and then looting directly from their corpse is the only way to remove those enchantments on the given items. This only works with weapons and shields that you have enchanted yourself- it will not remove the enchantment on artifacts or generic enchanted gear found or bought.


Morality determines whether or not an NPC will commit various crimes, and controls whether or not a follower will agree to do certain requested actions. There are four possible values for morality:

  • 0: Any Crime. NPC is willing to commit any requested crime.
  • 1: Violence Against Enemies. NPC is willing to commit violence against enemies, as well as property crimes. NPC is not willing to attack innocent people.
  • 2: Property Crime Only. The only crimes the NPC will commit are property crimes (e.g., theft).
  • 3: No Crime. NPC is not willing to commit any crimes. Followers with this morality will still not report crimes that they witness you committing (with the exception of crimes against them, such as stealing items they own).

However, nearly all followers have a morality of either 0 or 3, the only exception being Sven.

If you ask a follower with sufficient morality to perform an illegal activity, you may be held responsible for the crime, and your bounty will increase accordingly. If you are hidden, most crimes you command your follower to commit will go unnoticed.

Most followers will not interact in any way with you while you are trespassing (regardless of their morality); your follower will simply say, "You're not supposed to be in here."

Follower Stats[edit]

A follower levels up according to your level, up to the follower's maximum level (which varies for each). Each follower, except J'zargo, CelannDG, DurakDG, IngjardDG and FreaDB, has a maximum level and a specific set of primary skills, which are dictated by their class. This leveling occurs regardless if they are actively following you.

Prior to patch 1.6, a follower's skills, health, and other stats were set when they were first spawned (which is typically when you enter their starting cell, become a Thane, and so on) and would not increase as their level increased. Prior to the fixing of this failure of stats to update with patch 1.6, players could update a non-essential follower's stats so they would increase based on their current level by using the Wabbajack to polymorph them into another creature, after which their stats would update upon recovering their original form. Players of the PC version could also use certain console commands to fix any follower's inability to update their stats with each level the player gains.

Follower Death[edit]

All permanent followers become protected NPCs while they are actively following you. When your follower would die due to an enemy attack or a trap, they will be incapacitated for some time and begin to recover their health, just like essential NPCs; enemies will stop attacking or targeting them during this time. However, if they lose all their health again during this period, they will die for good. Thus, you should try to move the fight away from them, so that they are not hit by a stray arrow or area-effect spell. They can die from a damage-over-time effect that is stronger than their health recovery; most commonly those are caused by poisons.

If you strike your follower dead, on the other hand, there is no recovery. Attack carefully when your follower is low on health. If your follower's death is caused by you, even accidentally, it will count as a murder on your crimes list. However, it is possible to mitigate damage to your follower with the Companions InsightDB ability if you have read the Black Book The Winds of Change.

Many temporary followers are "essential", so they cannot be killed, only incapacitated for a while. Non-essential ones will die immediately when struck down, just as ordinary NPCs. Seven permanent followers are essential as well: Derkeethus (due to a bug), Mjoll, two Dark Brotherhood Initiates, Cicero, SeranaDG and FreaDB are essential.

It is also possible to heal damage and quickly return the follower into the fight by having traded to them some standard healing potions (e.g. Potion of Extreme Healing) but not potions you made by alchemy. They will consume the standard potion, heal, and quickly rejoin the battle. Otherwise you may have to wait until all enemies in the area are removed before they recover. You may also use a restoration spell like Healing Hands, Heal Other or Grand Healing on your follower, which is beneficial to you as well since you will gain experience in Restoration. It should be noted, however, that followers will not always drink healing potions if they have any in their inventory, even if they are kneeling and recovering health, so the best bet would be to have Healing Hands ready for use.

Followers do not take Water Damage, and cannot drown. However, they do not have infinite breath (with the exception of Derkeethus, the only Argonian follower) unless you give them a waterbreathing enchantment to wear (see Follower Equipment below). If they run out of air, they will abandon their post by your side and swim to the surface.

To avoid near death experiences, followers should be traded better armor in the skill type they prefer (either heavy or light armor.) The DamageResist variable can be increased by tempering the armor and shield. In addition, wearing armor pieces or shield awards a hidden 25 bonus points per item. The 125 possible hidden points are not reflected in the DamageResist variable, but are counted in combat. Providing equipment with magic resistance enchantments (ring, necklace, and shield) increases their MagicResist variable. The follower is less likely to be incapacitated if provided all of these enhancements.

Should your follower be slain, their body should disappear in about three days. Their coffin with their belongings will most likely be found in the Hall of the Dead in or near their home town.

Follower Equipment[edit]

Permanent followers have the ability to trade money and goods. This gives you free access to anything the follower is carrying, with the exception of certain default items that are hidden from you, and allows you to manage the follower's inventory. There is no penalty for taking anything the follower has, including gold, jewels, and enchanted items.

In addition to any other equipment they may have, followers will automatically receive a hunting bow and 12 iron arrows when they start following you. These are specially modified variants of the regular ones which do not appear in the follower's inventory. This can cause the bow and arrow usage bugs noted below. The bow and arrows will be removed when the follower leaves your service.

Followers will make their own decision however about which equipment they use, given the choices that they have in their inventory. If they have multiple items of the same type (e.g. an Iron Sword and a Steel Sword), they will try to choose the "best" item from their choices (Steel Sword). Sometimes this doesn't work as expected and inferior equipment gets used instead. This normally happens with different grades of the same item that have been improved through Smithing or Enchantment (e.g. a Steel Sword being used instead of a Flawless Steel Sword). You cannot force a follower to use the "right" item other than by removing all the wrong ones that they prefer from their inventory. The item must also be "better" than the default item the follower started with. Giving a follower who started with Steel Armor a set of Banded Iron Armor will have no effect because it isn't as "good" as the Steel.

  • Note: since all the different types of mage robes are classified as clothing with no armor value, giving a mage follower who starts with apprentice robes a new set of master robes has no effect because it's not seen as an improvement on the class of armor (exception: the Archmage's Robes[verification needed — see talk page]). They normally can, however, be given actual armor (such as leather, elven, glass, etc.) with improved enchantments on it, which many will equip due to the higher armor value. The exception is mage followers who begin with hooded robes; if you give them an item which fills the head slot (a hood or a circlet), they will equip it in preference to the hooded robes, which then causes them to have an empty torso slot, and they will equip torso items (like robes) in preference to nothing at all. If you give them (non-armor) torso slot items without giving them a head slot item, they will keep their hooded robes equipped.

Normally, you cannot take a follower's default apparel - unless they are killed in battle. Then you can search their body, removing anything they were carrying, including their default items. You can also take their default equipment if you have the pickpocket perk Perfect Touch if they aren't currently following you. There is one other exception to this rule: your spouse. After you get married, your follower spouse will open up a general goods store, in which your spouse will sell whatever items are not equipped in addition to what's in your spouse's merchant chest (if you're at home). If you get your spouse to wear something that isn't default apparel (normally you do this by giving your spouse an improved piece of armor) then the default apparel that isn't being worn will become available for sale. You can then purchase it, and then give your spouse anything to wear in that slot and your spouse will wear it while following you. There are two caveats with this approach: one, if you purchase all of your spouse's default apparel, your spouse will respawn new default apparel, so you must leave at least one piece of default apparel in your spouse's inventory, and two, if your spouse is not following you, your spouse will not wear any custom apparel, but will only wear whatever default apparel is left in your spouse's inventory.

Enchanted Follower Equipment[edit]

Enchantments on weapons work normally, but followers will only benefit from the following enchantment effects on their apparel and armor:

  • Fortify Carry Weight—effect works, but once unfortified limit is exceeded, only one item or stack of items can be added, then menu must be closed and reopened to add more, up to fortified limit.
  • Fortify Health
  • Fortify Health Regeneration—only works during recovery phase/out of combat
  • Fortify Heavy Armor
  • Fortify Light Armor
  • Fortify Magicka
  • Fortify Magicka Regeneration
  • Fortify Stamina
  • Fortify Stamina Regeneration
  • Fortify Unarmed Damage
  • Muffle
  • Resist Fire
  • Resist Frost
  • Resist Magic—followers do not have their resistances capped, meaning they can become completely immune to magic, as well as other elements and poison
  • Resist Poison
  • Resist Shock
  • Waterbreathing—followers can't drown, but this stops them surfacing for air
  • Waterwalking—however, there is only one Waterwalking enchanted item in the game, which can not be disenchanted

Because followers choose which items to equip, verify that your follower equips the enchanted item(s).

All other enchantments on apparel and armor do not actually have an effect for followers, even if they should. Notably, this means:

  • Fortify <Combat Skill> does not increase the amount of damage they do.
  • Fortify <Magic School> does not reduce enchanted weapon usage cost at all, or remove it at values of 100%.
    • There are reports that this effect does work for some followers, but very few. See one of the archived discussion pages for more information.
    • Weapon enchantments usage costs follow the equipment of the avatar, not that of the follower (perks so far not tested).
  • There are reports that damage enchantments on bows do work for followers with the Dawnguard add-on. Some report it only works for them with add-on bows, though others have reported it with vanilla bows as well.

Trainer Followers[edit]

Followers who are also trainers can train you for "free". They will still charge you, but leave profit from training in their inventory. Simply request to see their inventory while they are an active follower, and take your gold back from any training sessions. Note that the follower's gold will reset to a low amount when you fast travel (possibly change zone), so get your money back from them quickly.

This can be done with the following NPCs:

Permanent Followers[edit]

The tables below list the permanent followers available in Skyrim.

College of Winterhold Followers[edit]

Once enrolled as a member of the College of Winterhold, you may recruit your fellow students to join you in your travels, if you have completed their personal quests. Simply talk to them and they'll tell you what you must do.

These followers wear robes as their default apparel, so they will accept any armor given to them; however, they will not equip any other robes, since all robes have an armor rating of "0". They will accept weapons and shields, but they will immediately switch back to dual-wielding spells when an enemy is encountered. Once their Magicka runs out, they will resort to using their bare hands until it recharges.

NameDescriptionPrimary SkillsPrerequisite QuestMax LevelMoralMarryBladesStewardHF
Brelyna MaryonA female Dunmer Mystic.Alteration, Illusion, Conjuration, SneakBrelyna's Practice300☑Yes☑Yes☑Yes
J'zargoA male Khajiit Sorcerer.Destruction, Illusion, Heavy Armor, One-handedJ'zargo's ExperimentNone0☑Yes
OnmundA male Nord Sorcerer.Destruction, Illusion, Heavy Armor, One-handedOnmund's Request300☑Yes☑Yes☑Yes

†Version 1.0 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch caps J'zargo's level at 30.

Companions Followers[edit]

All of these followers can be located at Jorrvaskr, the Companions faction headquarters in Whiterun. You must join the Companions and complete the quest line before they can be recruited as followers.

  • Members of the Circle have a maximum level of 50. Other Companions have maximum levels of 25.
  • All followers from the Companions faction have a Morality value of 3: No Crime. NPC is not willing to commit any crimes. Followers with this morality will still not report crimes that they witness you committing (with the exception of crimes against them, such as stealing items owned by the follower).
NameDescriptionPrimary SkillsMax LevelMarryBladesStewardHF
Aela the HuntressA female Nord Thief and expert Archery trainer.Archery, Light Armor, Sneak, One-handed, Speech50☑Yes☑Yes☑Yes
AthisA male Dunmer Warrior (1H) and expert One-handed trainer.Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block25☑Yes☑Yes
FarkasA male Nord of the Blacksmith class, and master Heavy Armor trainer.Smithing, Speech, One-handed, Pickpocket50☑Yes☑Yes
Njada StonearmA female Nord Warrior (1H) and expert Block trainer.Block, One-handed, Speech, Pickpocket25☑Yes☑Yes☑Yes
RiaA female Imperial Warrior (1H).Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block25☑Yes☑Yes☑Yes
TorvarA male Nord Warrior (1H).Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block25☑Yes☑Yes
VilkasA male Nord Warrior (2H) and master Two-handed trainer.Heavy Armor, Two-handed, Archery, Block50☑Yes☑Yes☑Yes

Dark Brotherhood Followers[edit]

Complete all the quests for the Dark Brotherhood to allow these followers to join you. Cicero must be spared in The Cure for Madness if you want him as a companion.

NameDescriptionPrimary SkillsMax LevelMoralMarryBladesStewardHF
CiceroA male Imperial Assassin found at the Dawnstar Sanctuary.One-handed, Sneak, Archery, Light Armor500
Dark Brotherhood Initiate (female)A Nord Assassin found at the Dawnstar Sanctuary.One-handed, Sneak, Archery, Light Armor1000
Dark Brotherhood Initiate (male)A Nord Assassin found at the Dawnstar Sanctuary.One-handed, Sneak, Archery, Light Armor1000

Dawnguard Followers[edit]

These NPCs are added by the Dawnguard add-on. They become available after completing Prophet (only by siding with the Dawnguard), except for Serana, who becomes available during Prophet (both sides).

For creature followers added by Dawnguard, see this section.

NameDescriptionPrimary SkillsMax LevelMoralMarryBladesStewardHF
AgmaerA male Nord found in Fort Dawnguard. (Bandit class)One-handed, Two-handed, Block, Light Armor250☑Yes☑Yes
BelevalA female Bosmer found in Fort Dawnguard. (Bandit class)One-handed, Two-handed, Block, Light Armor250☑Yes☑Yes
CelannA male Breton found in Fort Dawnguard. (Warrior(1H) class)Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, BlockNone3☑Yes☑Yes
DurakA male Orc found in Fort Dawnguard. (Ranger class)Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handedNone3☑Yes☑Yes
IngjardA female Nord in Fort Dawnguard. (Warrior(2H) class)Heavy Armor, Two-handed, Archery, BlockNone3☑Yes☑Yes
SeranaA female Nord vampire found during the quest Awakening. Forced follower during Bloodline, Chasing Echoes, Beyond Death, Unseen Visions, Touching the Sky, Kindred Judgment. (Vampire class)Sneak, Conjuration, Light Armor, One-handed503

Dragonborn Followers[edit]

These NPCs are added by Dragonborn.

NameDescriptionPrimary SkillsPrerequisite QuestMax LevelMoralMarryBladesStewardHF
FreaA female Nordwarrior from Skaal Village.
Temporary follower during The Temple of Miraak.
One-handed, Alteration, Light Armor, RestorationThe Fate of the SkaalNone3☑Yes
Talvas FathryonA male Dunmerconjurer found in Tel Mithryn.Conjuration, Restoration, Destruction, Alteration, SneakFrom the Ashes253☑Yes☑Yes
Teldryn SeroA male DunmerSpellsword found in the Retching Netch in Raven Rock. Can be hired for 500 gold.One-handed, Light Armor, Destruction, ConjurationNone600☑Yes
Ralis SedarysA male Dunmer miner initially found at Kolbjorn Barrow.One-handed, Light Armor, Block, SneakUnearthed603☑Yes

Dungeon Followers[edit]

You will have to complete the quest associated with each follower in order for them to join you.


Hirelings are mercenaries; you'll need to hire them for a set price of 500 gold. They are usually found in taverns. They'll stick around until they're dismissed, at which point they'll return to their starting location and you'll need to pay the fee again to get them back. If they're particularly fond of you or you only dismissed them a short time ago, they may rejoin your service free of charge.

  • The maximum level of all hirelings listed here is 40.
  • All hirelings have a Morality value of 0: Any Crime. NPC is willing to commit any requested crime.
NameDescriptionPrimary SkillsMarryBladesStewardHF
BelrandA male Nord Spellsword found in the Winking Skeever in Solitude.Destruction, Light Armor, One-handed, Restoration☑Yes☑Yes☑Yes
Erik the SlayerA male Nord Barbarian found in Rorikstead at the Frostfruit Inn after completing his quest.Light Armor, Two-handed, Archery, Block☑Yes☑Yes
JenassaA female Dunmer Ranger found inside the Drunken Huntsman in Whiterun.Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handed☑Yes☑Yes
MarcurioA male Imperial Destruction Mage found at The Bee and Barb in Riften.Destruction, Restoration, Alteration, Sneak☑Yes☑Yes☑Yes
StenvarA male Nord Warrior (2H) in Windhelm (usually on the second floor of Candlehearth Hall).Heavy Armor, Two-handed, Archery, Block☑Yes☑Yes
VorstagA male Nord Warrior (1H) found at the Silver-Blood Inn in Markarth.Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block☑Yes☑Yes


Housecarls are bodyguards of noblemen. After completing a quest for the jarl of each major hold, they will proclaim you a thane of their land and give you a personal housecarl. These housecarls won't exist in the game until you become a thane; however if you lose your thane status in their original hold, they will remain and will continue to be available as a follower, and will also continue to address you as thane. Three new housecarls are available after installing the Hearthfire add-on.

  • All player personal housecarls are warriors who specialize in One-handed weapons (except ValdimarHF).
  • Their primary skills are: Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block (except Valdimar).
  • The maximum level of all housecarls is 50.
  • All housecarls have a Morality value of 0: Any Crime. NPC is willing to commit any requested crime.

Orc Stronghold Followers[edit]

These Orcs are available from their respective strongholds, and each require the relevant quests to be completed in order to be recruited.

  • All Orc stronghold followers have a maximum level of 30.
  • All Orc stronghold followers have a Morality value of 3: No Crime. NPC is not willing to commit any crimes. Followers with this morality will still not report crimes that they witness you committing (with the exception of crimes against them, such as stealing items owned by the follower).
NameDescriptionPrimary SkillsPrerequisite QuestMarryBladesStewardHF
Borgakh the Steel HeartA female Orc Warrior found in Mor Khazgur.Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, SneakPay her dowry or pass a persuade check.☑Yes☑Yes
Ghorbash the Iron HandA male Orc Ranger found in Dushnikh Yal.Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handedConvince him (via brawl, persuade check, or bribe).☑Yes☑Yes☑Yes
LobA male Orc Ranger found in Largashbur.Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handedThe Cursed Tribe☑Yes☑Yes
OgolA male Orc Warrior found in Largashbur.Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, SneakThe Cursed Tribe☑Yes☑Yes
UgorA female Orc Ranger in Largashbur.Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handedThe Cursed Tribe☑Yes

Miscellaneous Followers[edit]

To convince these followers to join you, you'll need to complete their quests.

NameDescriptionPrimary SkillsPrerequisite QuestMax LevelMoralMarryBladesStewardHF
Adelaisa VendicciA female Imperial who works for the East Empire Company.Alchemy, Enchanting, Smithing, Archery, Light Armor, One-handed, Sneak, SpeechRise in the East253☑Yes☑Yes
AhtarA male Redguard Warrior who is found in Solitude.Heavy Armor, Two-handed, Archery, BlockKill the Bandit Leader303☑Yes
Annekke Crag-JumperA female Nord Ranger found in Darkwater Crossing.Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handedKill the Bandit Leader303☑Yes☑Yes
Aranea IenithA female Dunmer Conjuration Mage found at the Shrine of Azura.Destruction, Restoration, Alteration, ConjurationThe Black Star (in her favor)300☑Yes
BenorA male Nord Warrior found in Morthal.Heavy Armor, Two-handed, Archery, BlockFight! Fight!300☑Yes☑Yes
CosnachAn alcoholic male Breton Warrior (1H) found in Markarth.Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, BlockQuest all Drunks Have (or) Fight! Fight!303☑Yes☑Yes
DerkeethusA male Argonian Ranger found in Darkwater Pass.Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handedExtracting an Argonian303☑Yes☑Yes
EolaA female Breton Nightblade found in Markarth's Hall of the Dead.Destruction, Sneak, Alteration, One-handedThe Taste of Death300☑Yes☑Yes
ErandurA male Dunmer Priest found in Dawnstar.Restoration, Speech, Alchemy, Conjuration, SmithingWaking Nightmare (in his favor)503☑Yes
FaendalA male Bosmer Thief found in Riverwood.
He is a common Archery trainer.
Archery, Light Armor, Sneak, One-handed, SpeechA Lovely Letter (in his favor)303☑Yes☑Yes
KharjoA male Khajiit Warrior traveling between cities in Ahkari's Khajiit caravan.Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, BlockAmulet of the Moon303☑Yes
Mjoll the LionessA female Nord Warrior found in Riften.Heavy Armor, Two-handed, Archery, BlockGrimsever's Return400☑Yes☑Yes
Roggi Knot-BeardA male Nord Miner found in Kynesgrove.Alchemy, Enchanting, Smithing, Archery, One-handed, Two-handedDungeon Delving (Caves)203☑Yes☑Yes☑Yes
SvenA male Nord Bard found in Riverwood.Alchemy, Enchanting, Smithing, Archery, One-handed, Two-handedA Lovely Letter (in his favor)202☑Yes☑Yes
Uthgerd the UnbrokenA female Nord Warrior found in The Bannered Mare in Whiterun.Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, BlockFight! Fight!303☑Yes☑Yes☑Yes

Only one quest of this type can be active at a time.


In addition to NPC followers, certain creatures are also recruitable. You can have at most one permanent NPC follower and one creature follower at any time.

  • If kept as a petHF, they will return to your home when dismissed, and be available whenever you want them.


Creation Club[edit]

These pet followers are available from the Creation Club exclusively for Skyrim Special Edition. All pets are muffled and come with a unique spell to teleport them to your current location.

Quest Followers[edit]

This page or section is incomplete. You can help by adding to it.
For more information, see the help files, the style guide, and this article's talk page.

Some NPCs follow you until a quest is completed or an event occurs. Quest followers will not give you access to their inventory. They are often marked as essential so they cannot die, which may make them useful to have around before finishing their related quest.

NameQuest(s)NotesMax LevelMoralEssentialUsable in Other Quests
AelaThe Silver Hand, Totems of HircineWill replace your permanent follower.503☑Yes(?)
AnskaA Scroll For Anska253
Avulstein Gray-ManeMissing in Action1003☑Yes
Brother VerulusThe Taste of DeathIn order to recruit him, you must first pass a speech check.63☑Yes☑Yes
BrynjolfTrinity RestoredAfter talking to Karliah outside Nightingale Hall, he starts following you.503☑Yes☑Yes
DelphineAlduin's Wall303☑Yes
EnmonThe Heart of DibellaEnmon may join you when you offer to liberate Fjotra from her Forsworn captors.153
ErandurWaking NightmareErandur will walk ahead and lead you through the quest rather than actually follow you, but he behaves like a follower in that he sneaks and sheathes/unsheathes his weapon when you do. He will not replace your current follower, but your current follower cannot enter Nightcaller Temple and will wait outside. Depending on how Erandur's quest is resolved, he may become available as a permanent follower. His essential status is removed at the last part of his quest.503☑Yes
EsbernA Cornered Rat, Alduin's WallEsbern will follow you wherever you go in A Cornered Rat, but when he joins up with Delphine in Alduin's Wall he will only stay with you as long as you are heading towards the wall, which then prevents him from being used in most other quests.303☑Yes☑Yes
FarkasProving HonorWill replace your permanent follower, even while he is waiting for you at Dustman's Cairn. Once you meet up with him, he will follow you everywhere.503☑Yes☑Yes
GeirlundMissing in ActionHe meets up with you when you meet Avulstein Gray-Mane outside of Northwatch Keep (if you agreed to have him along to help you).13
HadvarUnboundAccompanies you if you chose him during the opening sequence in Helgen. If you side with the Imperials in the Civil War, he will also join you on several related quests.503☑Yes
KarliahBlindsightedAfter talking to her in Irkngthand, she starts following you.503☑Yes
KatriaDGLost to the AgesKatria can be used for other quests, but only by breaking her own quest, which is fixable but not advisable.503☑Yes
Maurice JondrelleThe Blessings of NatureAfter retrieving Nettlebane and talking to Danica Pure-Spring, he will engage you in conversation and ask to come with you.153☑Yes
Mercer FreySpeaking With SilenceFollows after helping you break into Snow Veil Sanctum.503☑Yes☑Yes
OrthornHitting the BooksFree him from his cell, and talk to him.103
RalofUnboundAccompanies you if you chose him during the opening sequence in Helgen. If you side with the Stormcloaks in the Civil War, he will also join you on several related quests.503☑Yes
SeranaDGBloodline, Chasing Echoes, Beyond Death, Unseen Visions, Touching the Sky, Kindred JudgmentIn Bloodline, she is a regular quest follower. In later quests, she will take orders and trade items like a permanent follower and takes up the follower slot, but cannot be dismissed. Between certain quests, she may be dismissed and told to walk ahead to the next location.503☑Yes☑Yes
SindingIll Met By MoonlightBriefly follows you for the duration of the quest, if you choose to spare him and turn the tables on the hunters. He will be in werewolf form, and is capable of flinging opponents across distances much like a player werewolf, although his throw attack is not fatal.13
ThonnirLaid to Rest33☑Yes☑Yes
Thorald Gray-ManeMissing in ActionIf he dies, you will fail the quest. Avulstein Gray-Mane, Geirlund, and Vidrald will also stop following you.503☑Yes
ValdrMoss Mother CavernAfter healing him, you can opt for him to accompany you into the cavern.253
VidraldMissing in ActionHe meets up with you when you meet Avulstein Gray-Mane outside of Northwatch Keep (if you agreed to have him along to help you).None3
VilkasPurity of RevengeWill replace your permanent follower.503☑Yes☑Yes
Animal Followers
BarbasA Daedra's Best FriendBarbas is the only temporary dog follower in the game. He also barks, whines, and pushes you incessantly if you drag him away from his quest, however he is invincible and will continue to follow and fight for you no matter where you bring him.453☑Yes☑Yes
Gleda the GoatA Night To RememberGleda will not fight, and can not be spoken to. She will follow you until you return her to Ennis.33


These followers are only present during certain Dragonborn quests.


  • Followers are not affected by diseases.
  • It can be quite easy to outpace most followers and lose track of them (e.g. light armor wearers with heavy armor followers).
  • Pathfinding can make followers difficult to manage. They cannot jump up or across anything, though they will jump down if there is no other path. If you jump up a small hill, be prepared to see your follower take an extremely long path around. Quite often a follower will get stuck with no path to you. In these circumstances, it appears they are supposed to simply teleport near you, but this can take a very long time to trigger if it triggers at all. The only known guaranteed ways to get them to appear are to fast-travel, change zones (loading screen), use the console command, or to wait.
  • You can pickpocket your follower's starting items with the Misdirection and Perfect Touch perks if they are not following you, although they may reappear afterwards.
  • Followers can become hostile:
    • Followers can and will attack your horse, summons, thralls and other temporary followers if hit by them enough. This is common when escorting a temporary mage follower, or summoning an Atronach that uses projectile spells.
    • When damaged badly enough by rockfalls or traps that are triggered by you, a follower may leave your service and attack. This can usually be corrected by yielding at which time the follower can be rehired.
    • It is possible for a follower to enter combat mode when a random brawl is started or when an NPC carries out an act that could be seen as aggressive towards you (as with the Magic Student random encounter). When anticipating a brawl or "initiation" fight it is best to ask your follower to wait somewhere else out of sight.
    • Canine followers can be possessed by Spriggans. To fix this, kill the Spriggan and have the dog be downed by something other than your weapon; when it gets back up, the problem should be resolved.
  • Be aware of your follower being behind you, especially if you have equipped them with magical staves and are in tight areas. They will have no qualms about targeting the enemy right through your character.
  • With the Hearthfire add-on installed it is possible to turn some followers into a steward of one of your properties. Animal followers can be kept as pets at the request of your adopted children.
  • If you wish to easily find your follower, have them pick up any quest item that is needed for a quest you do not want to complete. Leaving the quest active will always point to your follower, as they are holding the quest item. If your follower is a member of the Circle, then the minor objective Talk to the Companions leaders for work will always point to your follower (along with the other members of The Circle) as well.
  • Followers will not follow you into the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary and various other quest areas. They will wait outside. In some cases, followers will not follow you into an area during a portion of a quest, but will come with you into that area when that part of the quest is over.
  • If you accidentally damage a follower enough to turn them hostile, casting a Pacify spell on them and rehiring will cause the follower to remain friendly to you even after the spell expires. However, initiating dialogue with your follower will immediately make them hostile again.


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  • Followers who have the archery skill and come with a starter set bow and arrows will use a single better arrow indefinitely, without using it up. Their misses and kills still show up on the ground and in the loot window and can be picked up. The single arrow may eventually disappear after an unspecified number of shots. In some instances, their standard bow may be required, but generally the follower can use any bow you choose to give. The unlimited arrow "bug" occurs with any single arrow given to the follower.
  • Followers may always use their default hunting bow in favor of better ones given to them.
    • PC Only This bug is fixed by version 1.0 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
    • Archer followers will only use a bow and arrow combination where the base bow damage (before upgrading with smithing or enchanting) plus arrow damage falls within the range of 15-22.[1] Otherwise they revert to their starter bow and/or iron arrows when in battle.
    • With the Dawnguard add-on followers will use upgraded bows of higher quality such as crossbows and dragonbone bows with higher level bolts/arrows.[verification needed — see talk page]
  • If you place items in a container and then command the follower to "take all items" the items they take from the container may now carry the "Stolen" tag.
    • You can remove the "Stolen" tag by repeating the process.[verification needed — see talk page]
  • If you command followers to pick items up off the ground, they can carry an infinite amount of weight and their movement speed does not appear to be affected but there are several issues associated with doing this.
    • Drop items to be picked up in stacks of 5 or less. If they are dropped in stacks of 6 or more they will only pick up one of the item, and the rest will be lost. They can pick up multiple stacks of 5 or less.
    • You may not be able to take back a piece of armor you have ordered your follower to pick up if it is identical to the follower's starting armor or the armor they are currently wearing. Trying to remove it from their inventory will give the message, "You cannot take your follower's starting items." Killing your follower will allow you to get the items back, but they will be marked as stolen. Putting them on a mannequin in your home will result in the same bug as with the follower, leaving you unable to get your armor back.
    • Often, when you retrieve the items picked up by your follower through the inventory exchange dialogue, those items will be marked with a "Stolen" tag, even when they are not stolen.
      • This can be avoided if you first pick up all items, then drop them on the ground one by one (or stacks of 5 or less) before asking the follower to pick them up. Finally, after getting the items back again, you should drop them on the ground and pick them up one last time.
      • The console can be used on PCs. Enter on any container and all items placed in the container (before or after the command) can safely be picked up by the follower. However, as it also removes the stolen flag on actual stolen items, it should be used with care so as not to spoil the gaming experience.
    • When encumbered past their limit by using the exploit, there have been instances where the follower is incapable of drawing their weapon in battle. They will still attempt to attack the enemy but will be incapable of doing anything except take a beating. This issue can sometimes be resolved by entering a new area that requires loading.
    • Sometimes when using the exploit, giving your follower the same armor as starting armor, then taking this armor will result in the follower being unclothed.[verification needed]
  • A follower may not leave the recovery state even when their health is fully replenished but instead continue crawling around on the floor.
    • This can be fixed by entering combat again with a new enemy, attacking them, fast-traveling to a new area, reloading a save, or healing them with a Restoration spell. The Unrelenting ForceShout or casting Paralyze on them sometimes works as well.
  • Sometimes after a fight, the follower will be partially disabled, i.e., will not regenerate health, will not move or follow, will not sheath weapon when you do, will not have conversation menu, but will verbally respond to being healed. Using the console kill command seems to fix his or her state without actually killing him or her. ?
    • This has the same fixes as not leaving the recovery state, above.
  • Followers may lose carry weight after being dismissed and then rehired. This is due to them receiving extra copies of hidden equipment upon rehiring, which can be removed with the console.
  • You can move distant objects by holding the Use button while giving orders to a follower.
  • You can have more than one follower at a time with the Dawnguard add-on. If you have the Dark Brotherhood Initiate as a follower when you recruit Serana you may keep both followers. You may then be able to have a Housecarl follow you as a third follower unless you have Cicero and Serana.
  • If you drop an item and move it around in the game world and then ask your follower to pick it up, they will go to the place it was initially dropped and pick it up there.
  • Your followers might sometimes enter buildings via a different door than you.
  • Followers may become stuck on terrain when returning to their original locations after being dismissed. ?
    • PCUse the console command to target a lost follower and then use the command to place them at your current location.
  • Xbox360.png Sometimes, you are able to get more than one follower.[verification needed — Does this work on other platforms?] To do this, have your original follower and your potential second follower stand next to each other. Next, dismiss your follower, then immediately re-hire them. Exit out of their text, then quickly open conversation with your potential follower. If done correctly, you will be able to hire them. Do this as many times as you like by repeating the steps with your original follower. First bring your usual follower into the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary and tell him/her to stand next to the two initiates. Dismiss your follower, then immediately recruit him/her. Quickly chat with the first initiate and then the second. Rinse and repeat with Cicero. ?
    • Your additional followers may not wait when commanded, and often get in the way. If you also have a dog with you, they may get stuck in doors.
  • Xbox360.png With the Dawnguard add-on, crossbows may randomly disappear from a follower's inventory when loading a game. ?
  • PCIf the game's files are corrupted, this may cause certain (or in most serious cases, all) followers to be interacted with but without any follower dialogue, leaving the followers to only communicate with generic greetings given by NPCs. ?
    • PCA quick workaround this issue is to use console command, select the follower in question and type . This will not entirely restore the follower's dialogue and script but it will allow you to recruit followers if needed.
  • The hitbox of dog followers is larger than the dog as a visual object; thus, if a dog follower is between you and an intended target, you may hit the dog even when it appears to be peripheral to your line of sight.
  • If you quicksave at the same time as you order a follower to interact with something, you will interact with that object yourself instead, even if you were too far away to use it normally. ?
  • If you cannot get a follower to follow you and the person says you already have someone following you, then check if you have one of the Companion's Quests, marked as active, where Farkas will follow you to Dustman's Cairn.

See Also[edit]

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Skyrim: 10 Best Followers In The Game, Ranked

The ability to have AI-controlled companions has been a nice feature in many of the Elder Scrolls games. They not only help to stave off loneliness in a sometimes bleak and cold world but also carry the burdens of traveling alongside the player, both figuratively and literally.

RELATED: Skyrim: Hidden Locations On Solstheim You Never Knew About

Skyrim is a diverse land with many adventurers seeking knowledge, power, and riches. In their search, some may align themselves with the Dragonborn, although not all followers are made equal. Some lack the necessary qualities to be genuinely useful, acting as baggage. Others, however, can be stalwart shields, deadly damage-dealers, or supportive healers.

Updated on July 19, 2021, by Reyadh Rahaman:While which traveling ally the player chooses to have their back is a subjective matter, there are definitely those that can be more useful due to being proportionately stronger, more supportive, or just have better AI that won't trigger traps and stand in the player's ways.

It is also important to consider the Dragonborn's own strengths and weaknesses, as picking up a follower who can unleash a different kind of damage than the player can increase one's battle potency against an even greater variety of enemies. There are even non-humanoid followers that players can join forces with while traversing Tamriel's northernmost province.

10 Armored Troll

For a price, players who have the Dawnguard DLC can hire an armored troll, or armored frost troll, as a follower from Fort Dawnguard after a certain part of the DLC questline has been completed. These brutes may not be capable of conversation, sneaking, or interacting with humanoid NPCs, but they sure do pack a punch in combat.

Usually, facing off against a troll is tedious due to their great health regeneration, but now players can have that very same trait on their side through a bestial companion reinforced with armor on top of their already resilient hide.

9 Brelyna Maryon

This mage can be found in the College of Winterhold and players will gain the potential to recruit her as an ally after they help her with a magickal experiment. Unlike a few other spell-slingers that the Dragonborn can ally with in the game, Brelyna can do more than just fire off Destruction spells.

RELATED: Skyrim: Winterhold Hold's Most Interesting Unmarked Locations (& Where To Find Them)

She will often initiate combat by casting the Oakflesh Alteration spell to buff her defense before going about zapping and burning attackers. She can also summon atronachs, which can be great to further take the heat off of the player as well as increase the damage directed at enemies.

8 Marcurio

Found in Riften's The Winking Skeever bar, Marcurio is a mercenary that players can hire for a bit of coin. However, he's not the sword and shield kind; he's a mage and comes with a surprising repertoire of spells. For offense, he favors lightning-based spells, which make him a great ally for when one wants to take down enemy mages, as lightning magick saps the foes magicka bars.

In addition, Marcurio has multiple Restoration spells, like Close Wounds and Fast Healing for increased longevity, and, furthermore, he also knows Turn Undead, which he will prioritize casting against Draugr and other lifeless adversaries for great crowd control.

7 Aela The Huntress

Aela can also be met in the Companions guild. After the player proves themself during the events of the Companions questline, she can become a follower. With her expert archery, Aela can be a great ally if ranged damage is needed.

Aela can even teach the Dragonborn things about using a bow until Archery level 75. She also has relatively high skill in Light Armor, so if the player gives her some, she can make great use of it.

6 Barbas

At first glance, Barbas just looks like a cute dog, and he is! But he is also a separated part of the Daerdric Prince Clavicus Vile. He can be encountered near Falkreath on the road, where the player can interact with him and start a Daedric questline.

RELATED: Skyrim: The Coolest Player Home Mods We've Ever Seen

Barbas will then begin to accompany the player and will do so on all adventures until a certain stage in his Daedric questline is passed. Although, if the Dragonborn does not continue with this questline right away, they can take Barbas with them on all adventures. This Daedric dog is great because he cannot be killed and does a surprising amount of damage.

5 Mjoll The Lioness

The mighty Mjoll can be met in Riften. If the player talks to her, they can learn of her missing sword. To get her as a follower, the Dragonborn must find Mjoll's blade in the Dwemer ruins of Mzinchaleft and return it to her. She will be grateful enough to tag along on adventures if her company is requested.

Since Mjoll is also classified as an essential character, she cannot be killed by normal means, making her a great tank. Her Heavy Armor and Two-Handed Weapon skills are high enough to make her useful in a fight if equipped properly.

4 J'zargo

The Khajiit mage from the College of Winterhold is one of the most colorful characters in Skyrim. His comical questline and his dialogue with the Dragonborn make him one of the most memorable followers.

J'zargo is also skilled in the usage of many spells, particularly Destruction ones. He can deal out decent magickal damage as well as heal the player if needed, making him a versatile and effective follower.

3 Cicero

The infamous jester from the Dark Brotherhood can be recruited as a follower if he is spared following the Dark Brotherhood questline's conclusion. Cicero has excellent Archery, Sneak, and One-Handed skills, along with proficiencies which make him a decent follower if one needs to do some stealth.

RELATED: Skyrim: The Creepiest Areas In The Game

Unfortunately, Cicero dances awkwardly on occasion to the discomfort of many players. His strange jokes also could make one grow weary of his company, so the jester's presence is very much an acquired taste.

2 Serana

Easily the strongest out of all the humanoid followers, Serana possesses high levels in the Destruction, Conjuration, One-Handed, and Light Armor skills, making her very offensively versatile. Since she is a vampire, she also has access to spells unique to this sub-race, like the Vampiric Drain spell, which she seems to enjoy using frequently.

However, Serana's greatest combat power is the exceptional necromancy skills that allow her to resurrect corpses to fight for her and the Dragonborn. She's proficient enough in this area to even raise higher-level bodies than other followers skilled in Conjuration.

1 Flame Thrall

Flame atronachs can be fought at various points around the northern province and are often difficult foes who constantly unleash gouts of flame. They can also be summoned temporarily with Conjuration spells, though one, in particular, stands above the rest.

Flame Thrall is a Master Conjuration spell that permanently summons a stronger version of the usual flame atronachs. This means that this fiery ally will only disappear if it is banished by its master or is killed in combat. Since they can be resummoned, they are potentially the best follower if someone needs high amounts of fire damage and a technically unkillable living torch.

NEXT: Mistakes Everyone Makes On Their First Playthrough Of Skyrim


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Skyrim: 5 More Special Followers You Should Not Let Go in The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Wiki Guide

See also:Hirelings, who differ in that you must pay for their services.

Skyrim Follower Names, Locations and Methods of Recruitment

Here are all the followers you can recruit and how you can get them.

Humanoid Followers

Name of FollowerMethod for Recruitment
Adelaisa Vendicci Finish the quest Rise in the East to recruit her as a follower.
Annekke Crag-Jumper Found in Darkwater Crossing in Eastmarch.
Aranea Ienith This Dark Elf joins you after you've completed The Black Star in the Shrine of Azura.
Argis the Bulwark Become the Thane of Markarth to recruit Argis as your Housecarl.
Benor He can be found in Morthal. Beat him in a brawl to make him a follower.
Borgahk the Steel Heart Found in Mor Khazgur in The Reach.
Brelyna Maryon An Apprentice in the College of Winterhold. After finishing the Under Saarthal quest at the College, speak to her and help her test her spells. Upon completing this quest, she becomes your follower. Being a student of the College of Winterhold, she is skilled in magic.
Calder Become the Thane of Windhelm to recruit Calder as your Housecarl.
Cicero Complete the The Dark Brotherhood Quests and ask him to join you in the new Dawnstar Sanctuary.
The Companions Many of the warriors of The Companions guild will become followers once you've finished the questline. These members include: Aela the Huntress, Farkas, Athis, Njada Stonearm, Torvar, Ria, and Vilkas.
Cosnach Found in the bar of Markarth.
Dark Brotherhood Initiate Complete the The Dark Brotherhood Quests and ask him to join you in the new Dawnstar Sanctuary.
Derkeethus Found in Darkwater Pass, in the Rift. Free him from the Falmer and ask him to join you.
Eola Complete the quest The Taste Of Death as part of the Daedric Quests.
Erandur Complete the quest Waking Nightmare as part of the Daedric Quests.
Faendal One of the earliest followers you can gain in the game. He resides in Riverwood. The option to recruit him originates from a miscellaneous task to sabotage a relationship in Riverwood. Whomever you help ultimately ends up as your follower; obviously, helping Faendal secures his loyalty to you. If you get Faendal, you won't be able to get Sven.
Ghorbash the Iron Hand You must first gain entrance to Dushnikh Yal. (Orcs are automatically allowed entry) by doing a quest. After that, find Ghorbash near the longhouse during the day. Either persuade him, bribe him, or beat him in a brawl and he will join you.
GolldirGolldir is found inside Hillgrund's Tomb in Whiterun. Help him clear the dungeon and ask him to join you afterward.
IlliaIllia is found just inside of Darklight Tower. When you enter, you witness Illia killing another, and thusly ask for an explaination; this leads to a mini-quest where Illia leads you throughout Darklight Tower to her mother (who is a witch) in order to stop a ceremony that would lead to the creation of another Hagraven. After disposing of Illia's mother, speak to Illia before she leaves to recruit her.
Iona Become the Thane of Riften to recruit Iona as your Housecarl.
Jordis the Sword-Maiden Become the Thane of Solitude to recruit Jordis as your Housecarl.
J'zargo An Apprentice in the College of Winterhold. After finishing the Under Saarthal quest at the College, speak to him and test some of his (unneccesarily explosive) scrolls. Upon completing this quest, he becomes your follower.
Kharjo Part of the Khajiit Caravans. Complete his personal quest to find his amulet to recruit him.
Lob Complete The Cursed Tribe as part of the Daedric Quests.
Lydia This warrior becomes your follower after you finish Dragon Rising.
Mjoll the Lioness Found in Riften wearing some sort of animal pelt and blue warpaint on her face. If you ask her nicely, she will tell you about losing her sword Grimsever. Travel to the Dwemer ruin she describes, fight the Ancient Dwemer Guardian Master, retrieve Grimsever, and when you return it, she becomes another female melee tank option.
Ogol Complete The Cursed Tribe as part of the Daedric Quests.
Onmund An Apprentice in the College of Winterhold. After finishing the Under Saarthal quest at the College and speak to him and help him retrieve his family amulet. Upon completing this quest, he becomes your follower.
Roggi Knot-Beard Found in Kynesgrove.
Sven One of the earliest followers you can gain in the game. He resides in Riverwood. The option to recruit him originates from a miscellaneous task to sabotage a relationship in Riverwood. Whomever you help ultimately ends up as your follower; obviously, helping Sven secures his loyalty to you. If you get Sven, you won't be able to get Faendal.
Ugor Complete The Cursed Tribe as part of the Daedric Quests.
Uthgerd the Unbroken At the Bannered Mare in Whiterun. Beat her in a brawl to win her companionship.

Additional Information About Skyrim Followers

  • You must meet certain conditions before a NPC will become your follower (see the list that follows).
  • You can have humanoid followers as well as animal followers.
  • Generally, you can have only one humanoid follower and one animal follower at any given time, but there are exceptions to this (see Getting a Party of Five or More, below).
  • If you want to replace someone, you would have to dismiss your current one and ask the other to join.
  • When dismissed, the follower returns to wherever you first found them (e.g. Lydia can be found at Dragonsreach in Whiterun).
  • You can equip followers with additional, or better weapons and armor to make them even more valuable assets to combat situations.
  • When sneaking, your follower will sneak with you.
  • All the parameters around successful stealth apply to followers, as well. (For example, a follower with Heavy Armor will probably give away your position despite your own prudence.)
  • Some followers will use a bow when you use a bow, if the follower has a bow equipped and the target is not at close range.
  • If you give a torch to a follower, he or she will use it to light the way at night, or in a dark area. The follower can do this even when holding a two-handed weapon, such as a great sword.
  • A follower will not be able to accept additional items from you once his or her weight limit is reached.  You may, however get him or her to carry more than this limit by dropping items and commanding the follower to pick them up.  (This might be a bug, as it does not appear to make the follower move any slower.)
  • When a follower's health becomes too low, he or she will stop fighting and crawl on the ground. The follower can be killed while in this state, but if you are near, enemy combatants will turn their attention to you, instead.

Party of Five or More

Although only one follower fights by your side, you can recruit multiple quest NPCs and use other tricks to create an Insane Crown Posse, potentially having many, many people in your current party.

Animal Followers

Name of FollowerMethod for Recruitment
Meeko You find this dog in the wilds somewhere in Hjaalmarch, or in Mekko's Shack.
Stray Dog A random encounter in the wild. The dog will stay with you until he dies, or until you tell him to go home, at which point you can later find the dog at the location of the encounter.
Dog who assists you during the quest A Daedra's Best Friend.  You may keep the dog as a follower if you begin the quest but never finish it, even if you have another animal follower.
Vigilance You can buy this dog for 500 gold from a man named Banning who usually hangs around Markarth Stables.

In This Wiki Guide

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Bethesda Game Studios' blockbuster open-world RPG puts players on the precipice of determining the future of Skyrim as the Empire waits for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons.
Sword Expert Rates Rey and Kylo's Lightsaber Skills

Sword Expert Rates Rey and Kylo's Lightsaber Skills

We got Matt Easton, a Historical European Martial Artist, Antique Arms Dealer, and owner of the fencing club Schola Gladiatoria, to react to the sequel Star Wars Trilogy. Telling us his sword-fighting expert opinion on just how realistic Episode VII - The Force Awakens, Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, and Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker is when it comes to lightsaber (or sword) combatFrom breaking down Finn and his battle against FN-2199 with his riot baton, to Rey and Kylo taking on the Praetorian Guards, and more, Matt breaks down these iconic Star Wars battles! Want to watch more of Matt's own videos? Make sure to check out his Scholagladiatoria YouTube channel:

Dragonborn followers skyrim

The best Skyrim companions: Which are the best followers to join you on your quest?

There are a number of NPCs who can follow you on your adventures across Tamriel, so picking the best Skyrim companions can be a tricky choice. They all have their own specific personalities and combat skills to offer, and although some of their desirability as a follower will come down to personal preference, there are definitely some buddies that are more useful than others. Most players will know who Lydia is in Skyrim, but there are others followers who are less renowned, which is why we've put this guide together to highlight the options available. Some of these followers will even marry you, and make excellent options for your husband or wife. Here then are the best Skyrim companions you can recruit to accompany you on your quests.


Cicero is one of the best companions you can get in Skyrim for a plethora of reasons. He’s an assassin with incredibly high stats, and he’s got one of the most well-developed personalities in the entire game. He’s not everyone’s cup of tea, as he does technically betray the Dark Brotherhood, but if you’re willing to let bygones be bygones, he’s a follower well worth taking under your wing.

To get Cicero, you need to finish the Dark Brotherhood questline and spare him at the Dawnstar Sanctuary. I killed him in mine - even with stats like those, I found it difficult to reconcile my disdain for his actions with a need for a companion. Luckily, even if you kill Cicero you can get one of the two unnamed Dark Brotherhood Initiates who show up in the Dawnstar Sanctuary after Nazir and Babette move in. Both of these have the same stats as Cicero, and if you kill Cicero you can take his heavily enchanted Jester set, too. 


J’Zargo is a Khajiit mage in the College of Winterhold. Like you, he’s an aspiring student of the arcane arts. He’s also got some of the highest magic skills in the game, even boasting a maxed out Destruction stat.

J’Zargo is pretty easy to get as a companion. Like most purposeful NPCs, he wants you to do a couple of favours for him, but they’re quick and easy. Once he considers you a friend, you can ask him to follow you. Bizarrely, J’Zargo has the highest HP stat of any companion, which is a bit strange when you compare him to tanks like Farkas and Frea. He only uses Apprentice level spells, which can be a bit of a nuisance given how high his stats are, but he’s still a powerful companion and a great character to boot.


Aela the Huntress is an archer found in Jorrvaskr, home of the Companions. Like most of the Companions, you can simply ask her to follow you whenever you like, provided you’ve completed the faction’s questline first.

Aela is a brilliant archer, but she has better synergy with some player types than others. If you’re a frontline brawler who runs into battle with an unwieldy warhammer, she’ll happily barrage your foes with a rain of arrows from the backlines. However, if you’re a mage who likes to keep their distance, or an archer yourself, you’ll find yourself getting overwhelmed fairly easily. Aela isn’t as well-developed as someone like Cicero, but she’s still a great companion.


Vilkas and Farkas are also residents of Jorrvaskr. They actually have very similar fighting styles, but I prefer Vilkas’ voice actor, so he’s the one I usually take with me.

These Nord warriors are bruisers, getting right up in the enemy’s face and soaking up tons of damage. You’ll synergize well with them if you’re an archer or a mage, but even if you’re a two-handed talent yourself, you can quickly incapacitate even the largest mobs. Again, they don’t develop a whole lot outside of the Companions questline, but they’re still worth keeping around, especially early in the game.


Mjoll the Lioness can be found in Riften with Aerin, her squire. Like Vilkas and Farkas, she’s a tank-like fighter, but she’s got a much more developed personality and is a genuinely intriguing character.

You can ask Mjoll to accompany you once you find her sword, Grimsever. She’s a brawler that holds her own even in late-game Skyrim, and you could easily go through the whole game with her at your side. The only thing to remember is that she disapproves of illegal activity and hates the Thieves’ Guild, so if you’re planning on pulling a heist, it might be best to leave Mjoll at The Bee and Barb. 

DLC companions

Serana (Dawnguard DLC)

If you get the Dawnguard expansion, you can ask a vampire named Serana to follow you. She’s incredibly strong, unleashing devastating magic to defeat her enemies and has one of the best character arcs in all of Skyrim. If you’re smithing items at a forge or bartering with a merchant, Serana will enter a state of idle animation to keep herself occupied. She even meditates with the Greybeards! 

Teldryn Sero (Dragonborn DLC)

The Dragonborn DLC has some new companions too. Teldryn Sero is a mercenary you can encounter in Raven Rock’s tavern, The Retching Netch. Teldryn actually has some of the most unique armour in the game and fights with a relentlessly aggressive battlemage build, capable of demonizing even the most formidable of foes. So taking him on board for a mere 500 gold is a bit of a steal. 

No matter which companion you choose though, it’s most important to go for a follower who you actually want to spend time with. Farkas and Vilkas are great, but if you’re not into their personalities, you’re missing out on what bringing a companion around Skyrim with you is all about in the first place. That’s probably why so many people like Cicero, despite his treasonous treachery. He’s a great fighter, but an even better character, and he’ll likely make you laugh even in the midst of the darkest dungeons. A companion is more than just a follower; they’re a friend first and foremost. 

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Skyrim - Top 7 Companions

All Skyrim Followers That Can't Die

Out of all the follower NPCs in Skyrim, there are only a select handful that are marked as essential and consequently can't die. Here's all of them.

Of the various followers that can be found throughout Skyrim, only a small number of them are incapable of dying. These characters are marked as essential for one reason or another, usually due to their involvement in important quests during Skyrim's primary storylines, and consequently might be more helpful to have around, especially at higher levels.

Skyrim takes a different approach to story-important NPCs than Morrowind did. In Morrowind, every character was capable of dying, regardless of whether or not it rendered the main questline incompletable. On one hand, this made the RPG feel more immersive. On the other hand, it could prove frustrating for players who weren't aware of the consequences in advance. As of Skyrim, however, important NPCs will instead only be temporarily knocked back down before getting up. This makes them particularly useful in combat as a follower.

Related: Skyrim Secrets To Bringing Lydia Back

There are around 50 followers in Skyrim, with even more becoming available if players have also installed the Dragonborn and Dawnguard DLCs. These consist of various minor characters from storylines such as the College of Winterhold, mercenaries located in inns around the region, and even non-human companions such as dogs and armored trolls. Of these, only 8 followers are technically essential and cannot die. The number goes up to 10 if one counts the two unnamed Initiates that players meet at the end of Skyrim's Dark Brotherhood storyline.

Essential Skyrim Followers And Where To Find Them

The followers who can't die in Skyrim are as follows:

  • Barbas
  • Frea
  • Erandur
  • Mjoll the Lioness
  • Derkeethus
  • Serana,
  • Cicero
  • Farkas
  • Dark Brotherhood Initiates

Each of these companions is acquired in a unique way as Skyrim progresses. Barbas is technically a temporary companion, acquired as part of the Daedric quest "A Daedra's Best Friend". Frea and Serana, respectively, are part of the Dragonborn and Dawnguard DLCs. Erandur can optionally be obtained as a follower by choosing to reject Vaermina's offer in the quest "Waking Nightmare". Mjoll the Lioness can be found in Riften, and will provide players with the sidequest "Grimsever's Return", and Darkeethus is part of the mission "Extracting an Argonian" located in the town of Darkwater Crossing. Farkas is an essential part of the Companions questline, and Cicero and both of the Dark Brotherhood Initiates play a role in the Dark Brotherhood questline.

For the time being, it's unclear how exactly Elder Scrolls 6 plans to approach the game's companions. Some have speculated that it could take a similar approach to Morrowind, allowing players to injure or even kill any NPC regardless of their importance to the story for the sake of storytelling and immersion. The game could also allow all followers to be incapable of dying, and could potentially make their story importance and relationship to the player character more of a prominent part, as seen in other RPGs like Fallout 4. Regardless of which option Bethesda takes, the next game in the franchise will undoubtedly borrow at least some inspiration from Skyrim's followers, both essential and non-essential.

Next: Another Skyrim Rerelease Isn't Promising For Elder Scrolls 6


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About The Author
Ky Shinkle (439 Articles Published)

Ky Shinkle is a Senior Gaming Features Writer for Screen Rant as well as an overall avid gamer and writer. Her prior experience is primarily that of a narrative designer for video games, although her writing has covered all formats from screenplays and novels to stage scripts. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, when she isn't writing she works on digital media projects and other types of fiction writing. Ky currently works out of Ohio and enjoys spending her free time either playing RPGs or running with her dog.

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Has anybody found some new folks to travel with?

Yes, a Telvanni mage apprentice. You only need to destroy the creature he spawns. He's in the mushroom village, forgot the name.

They said there is supposed to be one in the Skaal village as well, and that one is a marriage option.

I know what I did was wrong, but they were so pretty.

Yes perhaps, there's a woman named Frea or something in Skaal village. But she's connected to the main quest as of now (I'm not that far yet) I don't know if she becomes a follower after the main quest.

Teldryn Sero in the Retching Netch in Raven Rock.
He's amazing. A spellsword mercenary who likes you so much, he only charges once.

He's also funny, and his voice is sooooo familiar( seriously who voices him ?).

Ok, here's what's up:

There's the above one that was already mentioned from Tel Mithryn.

There's a sellsword in Raven Rock (costs 500 gold to hire teh first time) wearing Chitin armor.

Frea from Skaal Village

"Please, leave GameFAQs, you did not get a rose."

Leichenschmaus posted...

Yes perhaps, there's a woman named Frea or something in Skaal village. But she's connected to the main quest as of now (I'm not that far yet) I don't know if she becomes a follower after the main quest.

She stays a follower but not sure about marriage option. Someone had stated earlier that she was not.
Also she's worth having around when she's available. She'll have some unique dialogues as you progress through the dragonborn quest line.


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