Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

"There's no glory in war. It's just something they tell soldiers so they'll risk their lives."
―Brunwulf Free-Winter[src]

Brunwulf Free-Winter is a Nord former soldier who lives on the east side of Windhelm and wears scaled horn armor. He is also Ulfric's replacement as Jarl if the Imperial Legion occupies Eastmarch.


He is known for standing up for the Dunmer and Argonians in the city and thus openly goes against the opinions of some of his fellow Nords, although he is also in a relationship with Elda Early-Dawn, who is openly bigoted towards non-Nords. Susanna the Wicked also shares his compassion for outsiders, unlike Rolff Stone-Fist and Angrenor Once-Honored. Interestingly, if the Dragonborn is a Khajiit or an Argonian, he will use the terms "cat" and "lizard."


Brunwulf is made Jarl of Windhelm if Ulfric Stormcloak is killed by the Imperial Legion. He claims he is taking steps to make the Nords accept the Argonians in Windhelm, although it may take time as most Nords shared Ulfric's vision. Because of this, Brunwulf keeps the Argonians segregated from the city until those Nords accept them. He also says he plans with the Dunmer to renovate the Gray Quarter to improve their lives in Windhelm, although he admits he has no current plans to do so as Windhelm is low on resources.

If the Legion takes over Winterhold, the former Jarl, Korir, his housecarl and wife Thaena, and their son, Assur will be exiled to Brunwulf's house.

There is a possibility that he sends the Dragonborn to kill a Bandit leader located in Cragslane Cavern, Gallows Rock, Lost Knife Hideout, Stony Creek Cave or Uttering Hills Cave, and rewards them with gold and a skill up in Heavy Armor.


General dialogue

"You one of those 'Skyrim for the Nords' types?"

Yes. Anyone who's not a Nord is a trespasser. (If the Dragonborn is a Nord) "Is that so? You ought to join the Stormcloaks, if you haven't already. Seems to me they're a bunch of narrow-minded bigots, just like you. Meantime, you best steer clear of me.."
No. Skyrim's big enough for everyone. (If the Dragonborn is a Nord) "Good. Too many Nords in this town have been listening to Ulfric's narrow-minded words. He's tough, loyal to his men and a good leader, but if you're not a Nord, Ulfric will never trust you."
Yes. Outsiders like me have no place here. (If the Dragonborn is not a Nord) "That's just what Ulfric wants you to think. If that's what you really believe, then you're a fool. Never had much patience for fools, myself."
I think all folk should be welcome here. (If the Dragonborn is not a Nord) "And you're right, at least as far as I'm concerned. Don't let Ulfric or some of these other short-sighted Nords bother you. Most of us are happy to welcome newcomers."
Why help the dark elves? "Help the Dark Elves? Oh, you must have heard me talking to Malthyr. The Dark Elves live in a run-down slum called the Gray Quarter. Ulfric's content to keep it that way. I guess they think I can open Ulfric's eyes to their plight, and get him to lift a finger on their behalf. I'm trying, but Ulfric is set in his ways. For him, there's two kinds of people in this world -- Nords, and the folk beneath them."
That dark elf called you a war hero. "I killed a lot of High Elves in the Great War, and I didn't die. I guess that makes me a war hero. The "Great War"... there was nothing great about it. Thousands died on both sides and where did we end up? Did we really save the Empire or did we just plant the seeds for Ulfric's uprising and another war?"

"May the gods watch over your battles, friend."

Bandit Marauders

"There's no glory in war. It's just something they tell soldiers so they'll risk their lives."

Ulfric doesn't care about outsiders? "Whenever a group of marauders attack a Nord village, Ulfric is the first to sound the horn and send the men. But a group of Dark Elf refugees gets ambushed? A group of Argonians, or a Khajiit caravan? No troops. No investigation. Nothing. There's a group of cutthroats out there right now that Ulfric doesn't lift a finger to bring to justice, as long as they don't threaten Nord land."
What if I took care of those bandits? "That's a brave offer. I'd be happy to throw in my coin behind that. You deal with them, I'll make sure you get paid. Maybe this old soldier will throw in some lessons as well."
That's too bad. "Yes. It is."

"Show those marauders what Windhelm justice tastes like."

After completing the quest:

"May the gods watch over your battles, friend."

Uttering Hills Camp (Or any of the other marauder camps) is free of bandits. "Now that's good work. Everyone will be a lot safer with them gone, Dark Elf and Nord alike. Here, some gold as promised, and let me show you a bit about wearing heavy armor. Save you some aches on a long march."
Jarl Dialogue

"May the gods watch over your battles, friend."

How are you settling into your new role? "Every day is a struggle, but a Nord doesn't back down from a fight when the cause is honorable. I just wish things were simpler. In my days as a soldier, I knew who the enemy was, and how to defeat him. Unfortunately, a sword can't repair damaged buildings, feed hungry people or undo years of prejudice."
Will you let the Argonians into the city? "I'd like to, but it's not as simple as that. Most of the folk in the city believe as Ulfric did, that outsiders should not be trusted. Until those people learn to accept the Argonians, they must remain outside, for their own safety. Old habits don't die easily, and we Nords can be as stubborn as stone."
Any plans to renovate the Grey Quarter? "I've taken the first steps toward doing so already. I met with several of the Dark Elves to discuss improvements in the Gray Quarter, but we have no real plans as of yet. First we'll need to refill our coffers and stockpile stone and wood. The war took a heavy toll on Windhelm's resources. But I swore an oath to our Dunmer friends that, for as long as I sit on the throne of Windhelm, their needs will not be ignored."

"Safe journey, sword-brother."


Aval Atheron

Aval: "Friend Brunwulf, how good to see you! If you see anything you like, just let me know and I'll gladly offer you a discount."
Brunwulf: "That's not necessary. I'll pay the same price as anyone else."
Aval: "But I insist. And with good reason; Malthyr told me that you've been speaking to Ulfric about our situation. He said you're going to help us. So few Nords have ever offered to help us, a discount is the least I can do."
Brunwulf: "I'm not looking for special treatment, Aval. All I did was talk to Ulfric. For all I know, he's already forgotten the conversation. I wouldn't get your hopes up."
Aval: "Oh, I see. Well, I'm sorry to have troubled you about it. Just... know that your efforts are appreciated."

Elda Early-Dawn

Elda: "Tell me about the Great War. I hear you were in the battle of..."
Brunwulf: "Elda, honey, let's not talk about the war. It's in the past."
Elda: "I'm sorry. What would you like to talk about?"
Brunwulf: "Hows about we figure out some way to keep warm tonight?"
Elda: "Oh! You behave, now!"

Brunwulf: "How long have you run this place, again?"
Elda: "Nearly thirty years now."
Brunwulf: "Just wondering when you'll be ready to give it up and settle down. Seems like you're always working."
Elda: "I just feel like if I'm not here, then something could go wrong. Nils is a hard worker, but I wouldn't trust him to run things."
Brunwulf: "One of these days he'll have to learn."
Elda: "Perhaps. But not today."

Brunwulf: "I've been thinking about building that cabin we talked about."
Elda: "Oh? Where?"
Brunwulf: "There's a clear spot just west of Riften. You know the area?"
Elda: "I've been there before, but I don't know it well."
Brunwulf: "Well that's where I want to build. In the fall forest. Give it an easterly view. The sunrise is almost as pretty as you are."
Elda: "That sounds lovely. You're very sweet."

Malthyr Elenil

Malthyr: "You're a war hero, Brunwulf. Ulfric will listen to you."
Brunwulf: "It's not that simple. Ulfric wants a Skyrim for the Nords. He doesn't trust what he calls 'outsiders'."
Malthyr: "You've seen how we live―cramped alleys, run-down buildings, few guard patrols. Even the name 'Gray Quarter' is an insult."
Brunwulf: "I'll speak to Ulfric soon, but I make no promises that I can change his mind."
Malthyr: "That's all I ask. With your help, we have a chance to make a better life for ourselves here. For that, I thank you."


  • "Safe journey, sword-brother."
  • "They call me a war hero. I'm no hero, I'm just a soldier who didn't want to die."
  • "It will take time to rebuild, but the Nords are no strangers to hard work." – As Jarl
  • "The dark elves and Argonians won't soon forget Ulfric's prejudice, but I'm doing what I can to repair that rift." – As Jarl
  • "Being a Jarl isn't something I ever wanted, but if I can help these people, then I will." – As Jarl
  • "I've got no time for a Nord who thinks he's better than everyone else." – Said if Brunwulf is told that Skyrim belongs to the Nords


  • If the Dragonborn ends up in a fight with the guards, Brunwulf will come to the Dragonborn's aid, rather than fleeing like a normal civilian.
  • The book A Dream of Sovngarde is written by Skardan Free-Winter, a soldier who serves during the war with the Thalmor, although it is not known if the author was a relative of his.
  • He is the only person whose title does not change when he becomes Jarl; yet if an inheritance note comes from him, it will say Jarl Brunwulf Free-Winter.
  • During "Battle for Windhelm," General Tullius calls him "that Free-Winter fellow."
  • In the Creation Kit, it is shown that Brunwulf and Elda Early-Dawn are actually lovers.
  • Brunwulf will call the Dragonborn "sword-brother" even if they are female. Similarly, if he is told that outsiders do not belong in Skyrim, then he will refer to them as a male Nord regardless of the Dragonborn's race or gender.
  • If the Dragonborn is an elf, Brunwulf will say, "What do you want, little elf" and "speak, elf" despite outright opposing such diction.


This section contains bugs related to Brunwulf Free-Winter. 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  /  PS5  ,  XS  , 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.
  •  PC   360   PS3   After becoming Jarl, he may not have the speech options for the Dragonborn to become a thane. This only happens in the same sitting as killing Ulfric.
    • To fix this, use the Unrelenting Force shout on everyone at the dinner table. This will give you a bounty in each of the holds that the jarls are from. Travel out of Windhelm and return.
  •  PC   360   PS3   His name may not change to "Jarl Brunwulf Free-Winter" after Ulfric is killed. This can sometimes be rectified on the PC version by using console commands to disable Galmar and Ulfric's corpses immediately after defeating them, or by selecting their corpses one at a time in the console command menu and typing addfac 0003662a -1. and then addfac 00036629 1
  • After Ulfric is killed, Brunwulf may not become Jarl as he is supposed to. He still retains his old dialogue and movement patterns. Using console command addfac 00050920 1 gives him new dialogue and outfit, but he still will not reside in the Palace of Kings. However, he should give you the Thane dialogue if you have already helped 5 citizens.
  • Brunwulf may send the Dragonborn to Uttering Hills Cave to kill the leader of the bandits, Linwe. In this dungeon, if this miscellaneous quest is acquired after completion of the Summerset Shadows quest for the Thieves Guild, the target's marker will point to where Linwe was placed; but without him in the dungeon, the quest will be impossible to complete.
  •  PC   When receiving the radiant quest to kill a bandit leader from Brunwulf, the bandit leader may not appear, even though the quest marker still points to a specific location. This can be fixed by using console commands to jump to a later quest stage.