"Oh... hello there. Didn't notice you come up. I was focusing my magicka."
―Aspiring Mage[src]


The Aspiring Mage is a Nord in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that is encountered during a random encounter called College Application Denied. He is usually surrounded by dead wolves and will be trying unsuccessfully to bring one of them back to life. He can also be found dead next to a vigilant of Stendarr or a bandit.


When dialogue is started, the Aspiring Mage will say that he is "focusing his magicka." While not equipped, it is obvious that the Aspiring Mage has a staff. The staff can be acquired through persuasion (Speech 50), intimidation, bribery, or just killing him, in which case he will hand it over, commenting that the staff's magic has been used up and that it is now just a dumb wooden stick, anyway. It is possible to pickpocket the staff from him if the Misdirection perk has been acquired. It is also possible to recover the staff from his corpse. Killing the Aspiring Mage will give the Dragonborn a bounty in Whiterun should someone witness the murder.


The staff may be a Staff of Reanimation, a Staff of Zombies, a Staff of Dread Zombies, or a Staff of Revenants (depending on the recipient's skill level at the time), any of which will still have a full charge. Aside from this he might carry a soul gem.


What's the problem? "Oh... hello there. Didn't notice you come up. I was focusing my magicka. Or at least, I thought I was. I don't really know what I'm doing."

That's quite a staff you have there. (Nice) "I used to think so, too."
Yes. It's painfully obvious you don't know what you're doing. (Mean) "You don't have to tell me that."
What exactly are you trying to do? "See, my grandfather was a wizard. My father wouldn't talk about him much. But I found some of his things in the attic. Including this staff. After that I thought I was turning into a wizard too, because dead things near me would come to life again for while. I even went to the College of Winterhold. But they just laughed at me. The magic is in the staff, not in me they said."
Give the staff to me before someone gets hurt. (Persuade)
"Okay, okay. You've talked me into it." (Success)
"Nah. I don't think so." (Failure)
Hand over the staff, or else. (Intimidate)
"No need to get rough!" (Success)
"I don't have to take that from you!" (Failure)
Seems like coin would be worth more to you. (<BribeCost> GoldIcon) "Gold solves most problems, doesn't it?"
May I see the staff? "In fact. Keep it. I must have used up the magic in the staff or something. It's just a dumb stick of wood now."


  • "Rise up and live again!"
  • "Come on, get up!"
  • "I grant you a new life!"
  • "Gah! This staff is useless... I'm useless. The whole world is useless!"
  • "This should work. I've done it before."


  • If the staff was obtained from him via bribery, the coin used for it will appear in his inventory. Therefore, it can be reacquired if he is killed by some means.


This section contains bugs related to Aspiring Mage. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  • He may rarely become the only random encounter in a given area for the rest of the game. Even if he is killed, no other random encounter will occur in the area.confirmation needed


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