Irileth is a Dunmer nightblade and a resident of Whiterun living in Dragonsreach. She acts as housecarl to Jarl Balgruuf the Greater, and rarely leaves his side. She assists the Dragonborn in their first battle against the dragon, Mirmulnir. She is encountered again later, as ally or enemy, during the Civil War questline.
Irileth is one of four housecarls in the game who is not a Nord. The others are Faleen, the Redguard housecarl of Jarl Igmund of Markarth, Rayya, also a Redguard, who is the housecarl of the Thane of Falkreath Hold, and the fourth is Teeba-Ei who becomes the housecarl to Sorli the Builder if she becomes Jarl of Hjaalmarch during the Civil War.
Being early battle comrades, Irileth and Balgruuf agreed that she would be assigned as his Housecarl. It is known that Irileth is more protective of the Jarl than most Housecarls. At some point in her life, Irileth was trained by the Morag Tong guild of Morrowind.
Irileth is very serious about her job and her loyalty to Balgruuf, occasionally to the point of paranoia. Even after the Dragonborn kills Mirmulnir, Irileth remains distrustful of him/her, though she still tells the Dragonborn that she is glad that he/she is on her side. She doesn't seem to care much about Skyrim's traditions or tales; after Mirmulnir is slain, she refuses to involve herself in debating about the Dragonborn's identity; she is simply relieved that the dragon is dead.
If the Dragonborn visits Irileth in the Blue Palace after claiming Whiterun for the Stormcloaks, she speaks of the many dark ways she has dreamt of the Dragonborn's death. Additionally, she is very suspicious of the Dragonborn, approaching them with her weapon drawn and saying that she has constantly got her eye on them.
When Mirmulnir attacks the Western Watchtower, she asks the Dragonborn to assist her with defending against the dragon.
If the Dragonborn sides with the Imperial Legion, then the Dragonborn will fight alongside Irileth to protect Whiterun from the Stormcloaks. Alternatively, siding with the Stormcloaks means the Dragonborn must fight Irileth, along with Balgruuf and several of the Whiterun Guards.
After Before the Storm
After Jarl Balgruuf is informed of Riverwood's request for aid, he will send Irileth to dispatch the guards. The following conversation can be witnessed at the front gates:
Irileth: "The Jarl has finally agreed to send you back to Riverwood."
Whiterun Guard: "Yes, housecarl. We’ll leave immediately. It’s just us against a dragon, is that it?"
Irileth: "I can’t afford to send anyone else. And we don’t know where the dragon is. Your main job will be to keep an eye out and get the people to safety if the town is attacked. I don't expect the three of you to fight off a dragon by yourselves. But I do expect you to do your duty."
Whiterun Guard: "Of course. We'll keep Riverwood safe. You can count on it. [to other guards] Let's move out. Time's a wasting."
Irileth will be found in Dragonsreach when Ulfric's axe is being delivered to Jarl Balgruuf, and the following conversation will take place about it:
Balgruuf: "Proventus, what do you make of all this? If Ulfric were to attack Whiterun..."
Proventus: "As in all things, lord, caution... I urge us to wait and see."
Irileth: "Prey waits."
Balgruuf: "I'm of a mind with Irileth. It's time to act."
Proventus: "You plan to march on Windhelm?"
Balgruuf: "I'm not a fool, Proventus. I mean it's time to challenge Ulfric to face me as a man, or march his Stormcloaks up to the gates."
Proventus: "He'll do no such thing! A dagger in the back is all you could expect!"
Irileth: "He was rather straightforward with Torygg."
Proventus: "Torygg? He simply walked up to the boy and murdered him!"
Irileth: "That "boy" was High King of Skyrim."
Balgruuf: "I'm not the High King, but neither am I a boy. If Ulfric wants to challenge my rule in the Old Way, let him. Though, I suspect he'll prefer to send his "Stormcloaks" to do it for him."
Irileth: "True. He's already proven his personal strength. Now he seeks to prove his army's."
Proventus: "Then might I urge you to consider General Tullius' request? I mean, if you are bent on offending Jarl Ulfric..."
Irileth: "Ulfric is the one who has offended. But, Proventus has a point. Ulfric has made it clear; in his mind, to refuse his claim is to side with the Empire."
Proventus: "And what harm is there in letting a few Legionnaires die in place of your own men?"
Balgruuf: "It seems cowardly."
Irileth: "Was it cowardly then to accept the White-Gold Concordat?"
Balgruuf: "This again? That was different. Was I given a chance to object to the terms of the treaty? No. The Jarls weren't asked. We were told. And we had to like it."
Proventus: "The chests of gold didn't hurt."
Balgruuf: "Damnit! This isn't about gold!"
Irileth: "It's time to decide."
Proventus: "Lord, wait. Let us see if Ulfric is serious."
Balgruuf: "Oh, he's serious. But so am I."
The Bannered Mare
Irileth: "Balgruuf, did you slip out again last night for a drink at the Bannered Mare?"
Balgruuf: "Heard about that, did you? Yes, I went out for a pint or two. What of it?"
Irileth: "These secret visits to the tavern will make you an easy target for an enemy assassin. You should have told me first."
Balgruuf: "Damn it, woman, I'm the Jarl of Whiterun! I won't apologize for talking to my people. You can't protect me every moment of the day."
Irileth: "That might be so, but it will never stop me from trying."
- "We can never rest easy, for Balgruuf's enemies will not."
- "Please keep your weapons sheathed in the Jarl's presence."
- "You are a welcome guest, but you must still respect the rules of the Jarl's household."
- "I've got my eyes on you."
- "Mind yourself in front of the Jarl, or we'll have serious problems."
- "There are so many delightful ways I've pictured you dead." —When exiled
- "Exile or no, my duty to Balgruuf remains. Keep that in mind when you approach him, for I will be watching." —When exiled
- "Keep your distance." —When exiled
- Irileth, Idesa Sadri, and Dravynea the Stoneweaver are voiced by Lani Minella (in English) and Blanche Ravalec (in the French version).
- Despite being an important figure within Dragonsreach, she does not have her own personal bedroom. Instead, she spends her entire time standing next to the Jarl's throne without eating or sleeping.
- Irileth will always carry an Elven Bow regardless of character level. If one does not have the Dragonborn DLC, this is an excellent place to get one early on.
This section contains bugs related to Irileth. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- Jarl, but the dialogue will be the same. Sometimes, if The Battle of Whiterun is won in the Stormcloak's favor, she may reappear in Dragonsreach as if Baalgruf is still the
- If one casts Rout on her close to The Whispering Door; she'll be able to unlock the door to get away. Only the Jarl Balgruuf and Farengar Secret-Fire should be able to do this; she is likely simply programmed to be able to open any door regardless of locks.
- If the housecarl of Jarl Vignar Gray-Mane, Olfina Gray-Mane, is killed, she will be his housecarl and the if dialogue option "How did a dark elf come to be a housecarl?" is chosen, she will refer to the battle-bond of her and Jarl Balgruuf the Greater.