While Grelod can be seen as cruel and uncaring, Constance seems to be a kind person. The children say that she is "nice" to them, and they want her to be in charge; Aventus Aretino specifically requests that Constance be spared, showing how beloved she is. Even though she is appalled at her treatment of the children, Constance defends Grelod, saying that she was old and knows no other life. Constance is the only person in the orphanage to express any sorrow at Grelod's demise.
If the Dragonborn travels to Honorhall Orphanage in Riften (possibly at the behest of Aventus Aretino), Grelod will be seen berating and threatening the children. It is not possible to talk to Grelod, but Constance can be asked if Grelod is always that cruel to the children. Constance will admit that she is, and then try to usher the Dragonborn out, explaining that the children are not up for adoption, and it is cruel to get their hopes up.
If Grelod is killed, Constance enters a state of panic, but does not defend Grelod or alert the Riften Guard. She sometimes may not panic, but will instead casually walk out of the orphanage, yelling at the Dragonborn to get out, even when spoken to outside. With Grelod gone, Constance takes over as orphanage headmistress, and conditions improve greatly for the children there, although she continues Grelod's policy of not allowing the children to be adopted.
With the Hearthfire DLC installed, Grelod will still not allow the children to be adopted, but Constance will be delighted to do so. Shortly after Grelod has been killed, a courier will deliver a notice and announce that the orphanage is under new management, and that the "new lady in charge of the orphanage" has instructed him to hand out the notices to everyone he encounters. The letter urges the Dragonborn to consider adoption, either from the orphanage or elsewhere.
If an offer is made to adopt a child from Honorhall, she will be delighted, but will ask questions, such as if they have a house with a child's bedroom and the prospective new parent's occupation. If a suitable home exists, she says to go and speak to the child they wish to adopt, and promises to get them safely to their new home. Her reaction to the Dragonborn's occupation varies depending on the answer.
Whether she saw the murder of Grelod or not, Constance will remain in a state of panic from Grelod's death until "Innocence Lost" is completed by talking to Aventus Aretino. However, she will not acknowledge the Dragonborn as the murderer once this questline is completed. If Hearthfire is not yet installed, she will simply state that the children are not up for adoption (since no adoption system is in place) and ask the Dragonborn to leave. If Hearthfire is installed and one asks to adopt a child, Constance will not mention Grelod's murder, even if she saw it happen.
While Grelod is alive, the flyer will not be delivered, and it will not be possible to adopt children from Honorhall. If the Dragonborn asks about doing so, Constance will explain that Grelod is the headmistress, and she is not allowing any adoptions. It will still be possible to adopt orphaned children from other places, as long as the Dragonborn has a house with a child's bedroom.
If the Dragonborn adopts two kids who are not from the orphanage before Grelod's death, and then kills her under the mission requirements, the notice will never be received.
- "I can't believe Grelod is dead. I had no love for the woman, but to be murdered, in cold blood..."
- "I'm sorry, but the children aren't up for adoption right now. You should go."
- "Grelod...Murdered, here? I...I need air...You!...get out, get out!"
Constance "Yes, Grelod?"
- Grelod "Samuel is getting to be a problem. Fancies himself something of a 'leader' to the other children. Put an end to the nonsense, or I will."
- Grelod "We haven't had an adoption in months. At this rate, we'll be stuck with these brats forever. We need to get the word out. A sale, if need be."
- Grelod "Hroar's crying is keeping me up at night. I'll give you one chance to talk the tears out of him, or he's getting the belt."
- Grelod "I can't abide Samuel's constant talk of his parents. 'They're coming for me.' 'This is only temporary.' The boy must accept his fate."
- Grelod "Seven septims are missing from my purse. I know it was Runa. You get those coins back, or by Stendarr, I'll see her rot in the dungeon."
- Grelod "This place is filthy. I've a mind to cancel all town privileges unless those brats start pulling their weight."
- Grelod "The stores are running low. We'll need to water down the milk again. Besides, don't want the little darlings getting fat."
Constance "Okay, okay. I'll deal with it." or "Please, just let me deal with it. Its not a problem." or "I'll handle it. No need to blow things out of proportion." or "All right. I'll take care of it."
This section contains bugs related to Constance Michel. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- After killing Grelod, she may continue to panic indefinitely, disabling any interactions with her. This behavior should stop once the quest "Innocence Lost" is completed. It would be advised not to kill Grelod until the quest is started.