Aela the Huntress is a Nord werewolf, thief and member of The Companions. She is one of five members of The Circle. Residing in Jorrvaskr with the other Companions, Aela offers lycanthropy deep into the faction's questline. Additionally, she is an expert level Archery trainer, as well as a candidate for marriage and a follower after The Companions' main questline.
When asked, Aela explains her reasoning behind joining The Companions:
It is rumored among the Companions that she and Skjor have a very intimate relationship with one another; Njada Stonearm's conversations with Aela reveals this. However, Aela hastily and vehemently denies the relationship, to the point of even threatening Njada if she pays attention to them.
Other ambient dialogue between her and Skjor reveals that the two go out at night to hunt in beast form. This is discouraged among the Companions and is the source of their secrecy as well as the rumors about them. She is furious upon finding Skjor's body when the Dragonborn attacks the Silver Hand in Gallows Rock and seeks to avenge his death. It is never confirmed that she and Skjor were romantically involved.
It is possible to encounter Aela before knowledge of The Companions is acquired. She may be found fighting a giant at Pelagia Farm on the outskirts of Whiterun, along with Ria and Farkas. She approves or disapproves of the action taken by the Dragonborn in helping to kill the giant, depending on the amount of assistance given in defeating it; only one successful strike is needed to gain her favor. Regardless, she suggests visiting Jorrvaskr and speaking to Kodlak Whitemane about joining The Companions.
After the Dragonborn becomes a full member of The Companions, Aela offers Archery training for a fee. She is an Expert trainer and can train up to Archery level 75. She will still offer training if married.
In order to complete The Companions quest line, the Dragonborn must be initiated into The Circle by becoming a Werewolf. Aela willingly donates blood while in her Beast Form, which must be drunk. During the transformation, the Dragonborn has a few minutes to run around Whiterun. Both guards and civilians will be hostile, but there are no consequences for attacking anyone. After the transformation, the Dragonborn awakens outside of Whiterun, with Aela standing over them.
She offers her congratulations, noting how difficult the Dragonborn was to control and divulges information about the Circle's rivalry with the Silver Hand, a fierce group of werewolf hunters. Together with Aela, a nearby Silver Hand encampment located at Gallows Rock is raided. The raid does not go as planned, however, as Skjor is slaughtered prior to the raid and found dead in the final chamber with the Silver Hand's commander, Krev the Skinner. Aela vows to slay whoever killed him. From that point, the Dragonborn can receive special assignments from Aela, who sends them on a series of quests intended to stifle the dramatically escalating feud.
After the Silver Hand assassinates Kodlak Whitemane in an ambush on Jorrvaskr that results in them also stealing the pieces of Wuuthrad, the Companions agree that the Silver Hand must be eradicated, with Vilkas and the Dragonborn traveling to Driftshade Refuge to eliminate the Silver Hand completely and recover the shards of Wuuthrad. In an effort to cleanse Kodlak's spirit of the beast curse following his funeral at the Skyforge, Aela accompanies Vilkas, Farkas, and the Dragonborn to Ysgramor's Tomb, where she helps redeem Kodlak's spirit. A promotion to Harbinger is given to the Dragonborn after the completion of this quest.
In Dawnguard, Aela is able to give lycanthropy again, if the Dragonborn decides to cure it in favor of vampirism. Points expended toward the Werewolf skill tree cannot be undone or moved to other skill trees, which includes the Vampire Lord skill tree. She will only do this once, however.
After destroying the Silver Hand
After destroying the Silver Hand, she becomes a follower and a candidate for marriage while wearing an Amulet of Mara in her presence. She then offers the repeatable "Animal Extermination" missions, as well as the ability to collect the mythic Totems of Hircine, but only if the player character is still a Werewolf and had not cured themselves during "Glory of the Dead" or "Purity."
After escorting Delphine and Esbern to Sky Haven Temple, Aela can be recruited into the Blades. Along with two others, she roots out and fights dragons. After becoming a Blade, Aela's default armor changes to Blades Armor and her residence shifts from Jorrvaskr to Sky Haven Temple.
Aela is a specialist and highly skilled in Archery. Her primary skills are Light Armor and Sneak. Her secondary skills are One-Handed and Speech. It should be noted that she is not good with a shield, and will rarely use one if it is in her inventory.
Aela is equipped with the following items when she first becomes a follower:
- Skyforge Steel Dagger
- Hunting Bow (not shown in some cases)
- Whiterun Gate Key
- Belted Tunic (not shown in some cases)
- Aela's Shield (not shown in some cases)
|Default Armor Rating||57|
Aela will accept and equip any melee weapon and shield that is better than her default equipment. She is most skilled with bows and one-handed weapons. Aela can use staves and may pick them up from corpses. At higher levels, she replaces her Hunting Bow with an Imperial Bow.
Aela's default armor is Ancient Nord Armor. If married, a copy can be purchased from her shop. Aela will equip any armor better than her default set. Just like other followers, Aela will consider armor as "better" if its base value is higher. Also like other followers, Aela will not equip upgraded versions of her default armor, regardless of statistics or enchantments.
Even though her default armor is Heavy Armor, she is unskilled in Heavy Armor usage and receives minimal protection from it. She is highly skilled in Light Armor, and benefits significantly from Light Armor.
Aela can be forced to wear clothes, although the process must be repeated every time a new area is entered. First, armor must be forced into her shop inventory by giving her a better suit. Proceed to buy both sets of the Ancient Nord Armor, to finally replace the armor that was given to her at first by clothes.
When Aela is dismissed as a follower, she returns to Jorrvaskr by default. If she has been asked to move into a home through marriage, she returns there instead. If she has been recruited for The Blades, she returns to Sky Haven Temple. When Aela has returned to her home, she unequips any weapon and armor she has received, keeping them in her inventory instead. Her inventory must be altered to re-equip the items.
"If you wish to hunt with me, your feet need to be quick, and your eyes quicker."
- Where do you stand on the war? "Kodlak says not to worry about it. I worry that a bunch of snowberries are out there earning glory while we stay out of it. But I'll follow the old man's lead. As ever."
- Why did you join the Companions? "My mother was a Companion. And her mother. And all the women in my family, back to Hrotti Blackblade. I stayed with my father in the woods until I was old enough for my Trial. We hunted everything there was to hunt. Good training. Ma didn't live long enough to see me join, but I fight to honor her and all my Shield-Sisters through time."
- Who are the Companions? "An outsider, eh? Never heard of the Companions? An order of warriors. We are brothers and sisters in honor. And we show up to solve problems if the coin is good enough."
- Can I join the Companions? "We don't just take any milk drinker who stumbles in. Talk to Kodlak if you think you have what it takes to be a Companion."
|Show: Take Up Arms|
"Ysgramor himself wouldn't have the patience to deal with all the rabble around here."
After speaking to Skjor:
"Do you think you could handle Vilkas in a real fight?"
After joining the Companions:
"Blood running hot?"
|Show: Animal Extermination|
"I've heard you may actually be stronger than you look. Perhaps we can hunt together someday."
After clearing the location:
"Are you on the hunt?"
|Show: The Silver Hand|
|Near Gallows Rock:
"Are you awake? I was starting to think you might never come back."
Inside Gallows Rock:
"Look at this. Cowards must have locked the place down after Skjor charged in. You can taste the fear."
While progressing through the fort:
"There's a dead one, isn't there. Thought so. Nobody we knew, by the smell. Some can't seperate the animal from themselves. Go feral. This poor sod could have been anyone. We should keep moving."
After finding Skjor dead:
"The bastards... somehow they managed to kill Skjor. He was one of the strongest we had, but numbers can overwhelm. He should not have come without a Shield-Brother. Get out of here. I'm going to make sure we got the last of them, and see if there's any information to be gotten from the bodies. You and I have work to do. The Silver Hand will tremble at our sight."
|Show: Stealing Plans|
"Have you been bringing the battle to the Silver Hand, friend? I wish I could be there with you. Soon enough."
After obtaining the Silver Hand Stratagem:
"I hope the hunting goes well, brother. We've got the cowards on their heels now."
|Show: Striking the Heart|
"Blood running hot?"
After killing the Silver Hand leader:
"Have you been bringing the battle to the Silver Hand, friend? I wish I could be there with you. Soon enough."
|Show: Glory of the Dead|
|Inside Ysgramor's Tomb:
"Did I hear right? Did he say you were to lead the Companions?"
If approached again:
"Do you have guidance for me, Harbinger?"
Skjor: "I told you, this is the whelp that Vilkas mentioned."
Aela: "Ah, yes. I heard you gave him quite a thrashing."
Skjor: "Don't let Vilkas catch you saying that."
[After talking to Aela]
Farkas: "Did you call me?"
Aela: "Of course we did, icebrain. Show this newblood where the rest of the whelps sleep."
Farkas: "New blood? Oh, hello. I'm Farkas. Come, follow me."
Eorlund: "Who will start?"
Aela: "I'll do it. Before the ancient flame... We grieve."
Eorlund: "We grieve."
Farkas: "We grieve."
Vilkas: "We grieve."
Eorlund: "At this loss... We weep."
Aela: "We weep."
Farkas: "We weep."
Vilkas: "We weep."
Vilkas: "For the fallen... We shout."
Aela: "We shout."
Eorlund: "We shout."
Farkas: "We shout."
Farkas: "And for ourselves... We take our leave."
Eorlund: "We take our leave."
Aela: "We take our leave."
Vilkas: "We take our leave."
Aela: "His spirit is departed. Members of the Circle, let us withdraw to the Underforge, to grieve our last together."
Vilkas: "The old man had one wish before he died. And he didn't get it. It's as simple as that."
Aela: "Being moon-born is not so much of a curse as you might think, Vilkas."
Vilkas: "That's fine for you. But he wanted to be clean. He wanted to meet Ysgramor and know the glories of Sovngarde. But all that was taken from him."
Aela: "And you avenged him."
Farkas: "Kodlak did not care for vengeance."
Vilkas: "No, Farkas, he didn't. And that's not what this is about. We should be honoring Kodlak, no matter our own thoughts on the blood."
Aela: "You're right. It's what he wanted, and he deserved to have it."
Vilkas: "Kodlak used to speak of a way to cleanse his soul, even in death. You know the legends of the Tomb of Ysgramor."
Aela: "There the souls of Harbingers will heed the call of northern steel. We can't even enter the tomb without Wuuthrad, and it's in pieces, like it has been for a thousand years."
Eorlund: "And dragons were just stories. And the elves once ruled Skyrim. Just because something is, doesn't mean it must be. The blade is a weapon. A tool. Tools are meant to be broken. And repaired."
Vilkas: "Is that? Did you repair the blade?"
Eorlund: "This is the first time I've had all the pieces, thanks to our Shield-Brother here. "The flames of a hero can reforge the shattered." The flames of Kodlak shall fuel the rebirth of Wuuthrad. And now it will take you to meet him once more. As the one who bore the fragments, I think should be the one to carry Wuuthrad into battle. The rest of you, prepare to journey to the Tomb of Ysgramor. For Kodlak."
Aela's leisure time
Aela: "You wanted to see me?"
Kodlak: "I worry that you've been spending too many nights out."
Aela: "Where I go is my business. If you have a concern about my honor, bring it before the Circle."
Kodlak: "You forget yourself, young one."
Aela: "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to snap. Just... these hunters. We're all on edge."
Kodlak: "That's why it's best to not mistake foolhardiness for bravery."
Kodlak: "How goes the hunt?"
Aela: "Skjor's heard rumors of a bear the size of a mammoth in Hammerfell. We're going to seek it out."
Kodlak: "What glorious prey. Come back alive, and with stories to tell!"
Skjor: "All these younglings scampering around."
Aela: "Worried one of them is going to take your place?"
Skjor: "Some of them might try. But that's not what I'm worried about."
Aela: "What then?"
Skjor: "That they might get themselves killed."
Aela: "By you?"
Skjor: "They should be so lucky."
Skjor: "Are you prepared for tonight's hunt?"
Aela: "I've been thinking we need to be more... discreet."
Skjor: "There's nothing wrong with what we're doing."
Aela: "You know the old man doesn't like it. Let's just not be too obvious."
Whispers of intimacy
Njada: "I've heard some rumors... about you and Skjor."
Aela: "And if you want to keep having ears, you'll pretend you didn't."
Njada: "Is it not allowed?"
Aela: "It's not exactly forbidden, but even so... it's not true. So that's that."
Aela: "How do you manage to hold your ground like that?"
Njada: "You have to remember, it's not about strength. It's about leverage."
Aela: "But strength doesn't hurt."
Njada: "Well, no. I'm just saying there's more to defense than muscle."
- "Blood running hot?"
- "Are you on a hunt?"
- "Happy hunting."
- "These two aren't a problem anymore." – During "Blood's Honor"
- "For Kodlak!" – During "Glory of the Dead"
- Aela, Legate Rikke, and several other female characters are voiced by Claudia Christian.
- As a follower, when requested to do so, she will not attempt to steal. Likewise, this is also the case when ordered to attack non-aggressive characters, stating, "I don't do that."
- She is the only member of the Circle who refuses to be cured of Lycanthropy after "Glory of the Dead."
- Aela appears as a spouse on the trailer of Hearthfire.
- If the Dragonborn becomes a vampire, she will occasionally say "Something has shifted in the moons, Brother/Sister." This may persist even after being turned back into a werewolf.
- When getting the final leg of the "Totems of Hircine" questline, she states that everybody can be bought and that everybody also has a "pain threshold," indicating that she may have tortured someone to get the location of the final Totem.
This section contains bugs related to Aela the Huntress (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
|Click to see the list of bugs encountered|
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls: Legends (Heroes of Skyrim)