Becoming Thane consists of a series of quests in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, in which the Dragonborn can become a Thane of all the holds in Skyrim. The standard formula for each hold is to complete a specific quest, or objective for the Jarl and then help out a specific number of citizens within the hold, either by doing quests, miscellaneous objectives, or helping out in some other way.
Becoming a Thane of a Hold carries several perks, including gaining a housecarl if there is property in the hold, and the ability to demand that guards ignore minor crimes.
Many of the potential quest giving citizens are at risk of death from dragon attacks, and vampire attacks if The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard is installed. To completely avoid this, after talking to the Jarl of Whiterun, simply do not return the Dragonstone to Farengar Secret-Fire, thus beginning the quest "Dragon Rising," and only visit settlements during daylight hours to avoid vampires. No dragons will be encountered (their burial sites will still be intact) and vampires do not appear during the day so the quests to purchase all properties, except Breezehome and Hjerim, can be safely completed. Dragonsreach can still be entered as long as the Dragonstone is not given to Farengar Secret-Fire.
- 1 Eastmarch (Capital: Windhelm)
- 2 Falkreath Hold (Capital: Falkreath)
- 3 Haafingar (Capital: Solitude)
- 4 Hjaalmarch (Capital: Morthal)
- 5 The Pale (Capital: Dawnstar)
- 6 The Reach (Capital: Markarth)
- 7 The Rift (Capital: Riften)
- 8 Whiterun Hold (Capital: Whiterun)
- 9 Winterhold (Capital: Winterhold)
- 10 Trivia
- 11 Bugs
Eastmarch (Capital: Windhelm)[edit | edit source]
Imperial Legion Questline[edit | edit source]
After completing the "Reunification of Skyrim" quest, Brunwulf Free-Winter will become Jarl of Windhelm. The Dragonborn must speak to Brunwulf, and Brunwulf will offer the title of Thane contingent on them helping five people of Windhelm and purchasing Hjerim from Brunwulf's steward. After these two objectives have been completed, Brunwulf will grant the Dragonborn the title of Thane, giving them a random leveled weapon of Eastmarch, and appoint a housecarl to serve them.
Stormcloak questline[edit | edit source]
After progressing through the questline, "Liberation of Skyrim," and liberating Falkreath Hold, the Dragonborn will receive the option to become a Thane. This is done by selecting the "My Jarl, is there anything further you need?" conversation option. Ulfric Stormcloak will respond that there is a place in his court for a new Thane, but the title can only be given to one known throughout the hold and that owns property in Windhelm.
Regardless of the questline followed, there are two requirements to becoming Thane of Eastmarch:
- Purchase Hjerim from Jorleif for 12,000
- Assist five citizens of Eastmarch.
There are several easy ways to assist the people of Eastmarch:
- Giving a gold coin to either Silda the Unseen or Angrenor Once-Honored. A septim may be given to both, on separate occasions (after the perk wears off), and that will count as two people helped.
- Delivering Adonato Leotelli's book to Giraud Gemane in Solitude.
- Giving mead to Torbjorn Shatter-Shield.
- Beating Rolff Stone-Fist in a brawl in the inn.
- Retrieving Shahvee's Amulet from a radiant location for Shahvee. Free light armor and lockpick training are also given as a reward.
- Getting better wages from Torbjorn Shatter-Shield for Argonian dock workers after talking to Scouts-Many-Marshes.
- Stealing twice distilled skooma for Stands-In-Shallows.
- Retrieving Queen Freydis's Sword for Oengul War-Anvil.
- Planting Viola's Gold Ring for Revyn Sadri.
- Clearing out a radiant location of bandits for Brunwulf Free-Winter.
- Bringing an Amulet of Arkay to Torbjorn Shatter-Shield
While completing "Blood on the Ice" is not a prerequisite of becoming a Thane of Eastmarch, the quest will automatically start upon the purchase of Hjerim. Also, if on the Legion's side in the Civil War, Brunwulf's bandit quest must be done to become a Thane anyway.
Falkreath Hold (Capital: Falkreath)[edit | edit source]
In brief[edit | edit source]
There are many ways to become Thane as detailed in the section below. This is a set of steps you can take to become a Thane of Falkreath.
- Get a bottle of Black-Briar Mead
- Meet with the Jarl, Siddgeir.
- Jarl Siddgeir may ask the player to bring a bottle of mead to him, depending on their level.HF
- The Jarl will ask you to kill the Bandit Leader of a radiant location. Kill the Bandit Leader.
- Jarl will ask you to help three citizens. A full list of who you can help is below, but the easiest three are:
- Become Thane
In detail[edit | edit source]
Upon speaking to Jarl Siddgeir, he will request a bottle of Black-Briar Mead. If the Dragonborn waits to reach level 9 without visiting Falkreath, the Jarl will request to see them by sending a letter via courier.HF Starting the quest via letter will skip the "Rare Gifts" quest for Siddgeir.
The starting quest for the Jarl to obtain a drink is a "radiant" quest that cannot be started if the Dragonborn is already on one of the following quests considered to be part of "Rare Gifts."
- Getting the book The Mirror for Captain Aldis in Solitude.
- Getting a mammoth tusk for Ysolda in Whiterun.
- Getting the book Song of the Alchemists for Lami in Morthal.
- Getting the book Night Falls on Sentinel for Rustleif in Dawnstar.
- Getting an Amulet of Arkay for Torbjorn Shatter-Shield in Windhelm.
After getting his drink, the Jarl will give the Dragonborn a quest to kill a bandit leader in a radiant location. Upon completing this objective, the offer of becoming a Thane will be made.
Assist three citizens of Falkreath Hold. This can be done in several ways, including:
- Selling vegetables at Corpselight Farm.
- Delivering ashes to the Hall of the Dead for Thadgeir (Dengeir's house).
- Retrieving Runil's journal from a radiant location.
- Selling firewood at Half-Moon Mill.
- Investing in a store.
- Stealing a private letter from Lod for Dengeir.
- Dropping a piece of armor in front of a citizen may cause them to ask if they can keep it. Allowing them to keep it counts as helping a citizen.
Because Falkreath has the fewest citizen quests of any hold, and because the town is so open to dragon attacks, if the Dragonborn waits until the mid-game or endgame to become Thane, it can be difficult to find enough citizens alive to do three quests. This becomes an even worse problem with Dawnguard installed, as citizens will also be attacked by vampires. Lod (the blacksmith) and Narri (the tavern worker) can be killed. Players can usually find the remaining quests they need by finding citizens who tend to stay inside buildings and by investing 500 gold in Gray Pine Goods using the Investor Speech skill.
The quest objective for the Jarl will be different depending on civil war quests. If the Hearthfire expansion is installed (and enabled), the Dragonborn may receive a letter at any time early in their adventures from Siddgeir requesting a meeting at his longhouse in Falkreath. If this is the case, if the Dragonborn goes to meet him, the first part of this quest will be skipped entirely in favor of the next part of the quest to become a Thane.
The Jarl of Falkreath is added as a citizen so when the quest is started only two citizens need to be helped.
Rewards for earning this title include the Blade of Falkreath, along with the standard Thane option for dealing with pursuing guards in the hold.
Haafingar (Capital: Solitude)[edit | edit source]
In brief[edit | edit source]
- Go to Blue Palace and wait for the peasant from Dragonsbridge to finish addressing the Jarl.
- Talk to Falk Firebeard
- Clear out Wolfskull Cave
- Talk to Jarl Elisif the Fair
- Deliver Horn to Shrine
- Purchase Proudspire Manor (requires 25,000 septims)
- Assist five residents
- Talk to Jarl, become Thane
In detail[edit | edit source]
Talk to Falk Firebeard in the Blue Palace and he will give the quest "The Man Who Cried Wolf," investigating the lights and sounds coming out of Wolfskull Cave, which is located in the mountains west of Solitude. After completing the quest, talk to Falk again for a reward. Then speak directly to the Jarl herself and she will thank them and assign one more task.
She will ask that Torygg's war horn be placed on a Shrine of Talos, as a tribute to her late husband. Take the war horn to the specified Shrine and place it at the foot of the statue of Talos, then return to Elisif. She will invite the Dragonborn to become a Thane, but only after meeting the following requirements:
- Purchase Proudspire Manor for 25,000
- Assist five citizens of Haafingar
There are several ways to assist the people of Solitude, including:
- Asking Aldis for information about Angeline Morrard's daughter.
- Giving Potema's skull to Styrr during the quest "The Wolf Queen Awakened."
- Delivering the Stros M'Kai Rum to Falk Firebeard for Sorex Vinius.
- Get Corpulus Vinius to forgive Belrand's debts.
- Get Irnskar Ironhand to let Octieve San off his debts.
- Retrieving Noster Eagle-Eye's helmet for him.
- Selling firewood to Hjorunn at Solitude Sawmill.
- Giving a gold coin to either Noster Eagle-Eye or Dervenin. A septim may be given to both, on separate occasions (after the perk wears off), and that will count as two people helped.
- Selling vegetables to Katla at Katla's Farm.
- Finding the book The Mirror for Captain Aldis.
- Releasing shipment from East Empire Company for Evette San.
- Completing the Bards College quest "Tending the Flames."
Once this has been done, return to Jarl Elisif and become a Thane of Haafingar and be given the Blade of Haafingar.
Sometime after Wolfskull Cave has been cleaned out and the Dragonborn has leveled up at least once, a courier arrives with a letter from Falk requesting a meeting. This initiates the quest to hunt down Potema's spirit, "The Wolf Queen Awakened." It is not required to become a Thane, but completing it counts toward the total of helping citizens in Solitude.
Hjaalmarch (Capital: Morthal)[edit | edit source]
In brief[edit | edit source]
- Talk to Inn Keeper of Moorside Inn, Jonna.
- Talk to Jarl, Idgrod Ravencrone.
- Complete Laid to Rest
- Wipe out the threat to Morthal
- Help three citizens (see full list of options below)
- Talk to Jarl, become Thane
In detail[edit | edit source]
Becoming Thane of Hjaalmarch is fairly straightforward. Investigating the house that burned down, then completing the subsequent quests, will cause the grateful Jarl to say that she would be happy to make the Dragonborn a Thane once "known through her Hold." This translates into taking miscellaneous quests to help three different people, most of whom can be found in Morthal. Note that completing the quest "Laid to Rest" may count as one of these assistance quests.
If the only reason for becoming Thane is to purchase the land for the Hearthfire DLC, it is not necessary to actually finish helping with the three tasks before being allowed to purchase the land. Upon finding and speak to Aslfur, he may have a dialog option for buying a house, at which point he will say that while there are no houses available, he can sell some land.
- Idgrod the Younger asks that a note be delivered to Danica Pure-Spring in Whiterun.
- Challenge and beat Benor in a fistfight, or drop armor near him then talk to him and select the option that lets him take the armor, allowing him to be recruited as a follower.
- Sell firewood to Jorgen at the mill.
- Sell firewood to Hroggar at the mill.
- Deliver a message from Gorm to Captain Aldis in Solitude.
- Invest in Lami's alchemy shop.
- Sell ore at Rockwallow Mine.
The title also includes being awarded the Blade of Hjaalmarch.
Similar to Falkreath, if this is attempted late in the game, it may be difficult to find three citizens alive to help, especially if Dawnguard is installed.
The Pale (Capital: Dawnstar)[edit | edit source]
Thane of The Pale is obtained by completing the following tasks: The quest "Waking Nightmare," which is begun by talking to Erandur in the Windpeak Inn. Then complete three minor quests. Alternatively, the player can complete the Civil War questline by siding with the Empire and get the title from Brina Merilis without having to complete Waking Nightmare, though they still must complete the three minor quests.
The Dragonborn must be level 22 to obtain the quest to kill a giant, which then leads to the offer to become a Thane (after completing the three minor quests).
- Give a drink to Karl, one of the miners.
- Sell iron ore to Beitild (unless already killed during Contract: Kill Beitild).
- Sell quicksilver ore to Leigelf.
- Bring Night Falls on Sentinel to Rustleif or invest 500 in his shop.
- Fetch fine cut void salts for Captain Wayfinder.
- Fetch the Ring of Pure Mixtures for Frida in The Mortar and Pestle or invest 500 in her shop.
- Sell firewood to Aeri at Anga's Mill in the far southeast of The Pale (unless killed during Contract: Kill Ennodius Papius).
- Report Cicero to the guard for Vantus Loreius outside Loreius Farm.
The Blade of the Pale is awarded along with the title.
- An eighth quest for the local museum also exists, but it does not count towards the quest.
- When selling firewood to Aeri, she will ask that a letter be delivered to the Jarl; this does not count towards the quest.
The Reach (Capital: Markarth)[edit | edit source]
To become a Thane of Markarth, the Dragonborn needs to kill groups of Forsworn for the Jarl and his steward. They then must retrieve Hrolfdir's Shield (this quest is only given when at level 20 or higher). The Dragonborn must then help five citizens of Markarth and own Vlindrel Hall to become a Thane.
- Completing the quest "Mourning Never Comes."
- Deliver spiced beef to Voada for Banning.
- Give a drink to Degaine.
- Find The Last Scabbard of Akrash for Ghorza.
- Complete The Forsworn Conspiracy killing Madanach in the mine.
- Clear the Hall of the Dead for Brother Verulus.
- Completing the second part of "The Book of Love" quest.
- Kill Nimhe for Calcelmo.
- Deliver the stallion's potion to Raerek for Bothela.
- Retrieve Lisbet's stolen Dibella statue.
- Deliver a ring to Calcelmo for Kerah.
- Talk to Mulush gro-Shugurz for Omluag
- Give a Daedra Heart to Moth gro-Bagol.
- Winning a brawl against Cosnach
Alternatively, the Dragonborn can side with the Stormcloaks and take The Reach by force through the Civil War quests. This will change the Jarl to Thongvor Silver-Blood and the Dragonborn will immediately be granted the permission to purchase property and become a Thane without doing anything else.
The Rift (Capital: Riften)[edit | edit source]
Speak to the Argonian named Wujeeta in the fishery on the docks outside the city. Give her the Potion of Healing that she asks for, then ask her about her skooma dealer. Speak to the Jarl to begin the "Skooma Trade" Quest.
Unlike every other Thane quest, at least 5 other quests to help citizens of the Rift must be completed before the Jarl will offer the title. When enough citizens have been helped, a new miscellaneous quest will appear named, "Speak to the Jarl of Riften." Before the title can be accepted, Honeyside must be purchased (normally 8,000 , it can be purchased with only 5,000 ). There are a number of quests that can be completed to assist the citizens of the Rift. They include:
- Help Shadr – Talk to Sapphire in Riften.
- Help Svana Far-Shield – Talk to Indaryn, Bolli and Hofgrir Horse-Crusher.
- Help Harrald – Delivery from Balimund.
- Help Hafjorg – Delivery from Filnjar in Shor's Stone.
- Help Hofgrir Horse-Crusher – challenge him in a brawl.
- Help Alessandra – Delivery to Andurs in Whiterun.
- Help Bolli – Delivery to Kleppr in Markarth.
- Help Wylandriah – Delivery from Ivarstead, Winterhold and Windhelm.
- Help Talen-Jei – Find him three flawless amethysts
- Help Marise Aravel – Find her five ice wraith teeth.
- Help Ingun Black-Briar – Find her twenty each Deathbell, Nightshade and Nirnroot.
- Help Madesi – Find him a piece of gold ore, a mammoth tusk and two flawless sapphires.
- Help Balimund – Find him ten fire salts.
- Help Snilf – Donation.
- Help Edda – Donation.
- Help Anuriel/Hemming Black-Briar – Bounty Quests (Unlimited).
- Help Dravin – Quest "Dravin's Bow."
- Help Brand-Shei – Quest "Wreck of The Pride of Tel Vos."
- Help Mjoll the Lioness – Quest "Retrieve Grimsever."
- Help From-Deepest-Fathoms – Quest "Unfathomable Depths."
Whiterun Hold (Capital: Whiterun)[edit | edit source]
The Dragonborn becomes a Thane of Whiterun as part of the main quest. After killing the dragon at the Western Watch Tower and revealing that they are the Dragonborn, the Jarl becomes eager to dub them Thane of Whiterun. After becoming a Thane of Whiterun the Jarl will award them the Axe of Whiterun.
Siding with the Stormcloaks in the Civil War places Vignar Gray-Mane on the throne as Jarl of Whiterun and the Dragonborn's status as Thane is revoked. To become a Thane again, the Dragonborn must assist five citizens of Whiterun and purchase Breezehome, (if this has not already been done). Speak to Vignar after he is promoted to Jarl about becoming a Thane. He will award a Blade of Whiterun and grant them the title of Thane again.
Winterhold (Capital: Winterhold)[edit | edit source]
Alternatively, if the Legion wins the Civil War the Dragonborn can simply talk to the new Jarl and then help three people in the hold, thus bypassing the retrieval of the Helm of Winterhold.
Helping three people can be done by:
- Give Ranmir at The Frozen Hearth Inn a drink, either ale or mead.
- Drop any piece of apparel from the Dragonborn's inventory inside the Frozen Hearth and give someone permission to pick it up, (it is likely that the piece will not actually be taken and can be picked up later).
- Help Haran convince Ranmir to pay his bar tab.
- Invest in Birna's Oddments.
- Steal Nelacar's staff for Malur Seloth.
- Sell ore at the Whistling Mine.
- Cleanse the focal points for Drevis Neloren at the College of Winterhold.
- Completing the quest "First Lessons" at the College of Winterhold.
The Blade of Winterhold will be awarded, along with the new title.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The miscellaneous objective to help hold citizens as a step towards becoming a thane is referred to in the game's files as "Making Friends and Influencing People," a reference to Dale Carnegie's bestselling self-help book How to Win Friends and Influence People. These files can only be viewed on PC with the console or the Creation Kit.
- Giving a coin to a beggar counts as assisting a citizen.
- Dropping an item and granting a character's request to take it counts as assisting a citizen.
- Some quests do not count as assisting a citizen, even if it seems it should.
- Investing in a shop using the Investor perk from the Speech skill tree counts as helping a citizen.
- Defeating a Dragon inside any town will count towards helping citizens.
- Helping a blacksmith in any town counts. (Can only be done once.)
- Helping one character on two different missions will only count as assisting one citizen.
- Winning a brawl with a citizen counts toward helping the citizens.
Bugs[edit | edit source]
This section contains bugs related to Becoming Thane. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
|Click to show Bugs|
Markarth[edit | edit source]
Morthal[edit | edit source]
Riften[edit | edit source]
Solitude[edit | edit source]
Whiterun[edit | edit source]
Winterhold[edit | edit source]
Falkreath[edit | edit source]