Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see Lydia.
"I am your sword, and your shield."

Lydia is a Nord housecarl obtained upon completion of the quest "Dragon Rising." She receives the title of Housecarl from Balgruuf the Greater in Dragonsreach,[1] immediately after the Dragonborn is promoted to the title of Thane. As Housecarl, she is sworn to protect the Dragonborn with her life, and to carry their burdens.[2] She is a follower, as well as a marriage candidate for the Dragonborn.


Just like other followers, Lydia can die if she does not get the opportunity to heal herself when knocked down. This can happen if the Dragonborn damages her at low health.

If the Dragonborn and Lydia part ways, she returns to Dragonsreach. If Breezehome in Whiterun is owned, she will return there instead. If enough time was spent with her, she may gift the Dragonborn with a radiant item upon reuniting with her.

Lydia, like most followers, has the option of being recruited into The Blades by being brought to Delphine at Sky Haven Temple after the quest Alduin's Wall is completed. She can still be recruited as a follower, but her default Steel apparel will be replaced with a full set of Blades Armor and a Blades sword. This change is permanent.[3]


Before Patch 1.5, it was only possible to marry Lydia through console commands. If the Dragonborn does marry her, then she opens a shop in town and gives the Dragonborn 100 Gold per day. She can be asked to move to a different house, if a house other than Breezehome is owned. Like all the other candidates for marriage, she will cook a Homecooked Meal once a day that regenerates Stamina, Health, and Magicka. She can only be married once Breezehome has been purchased.

"Is that an amulet of Mara? I'm surprised someone like you isn't spoken for."

Interested in me, are you? "Well, yes. Why wouldn't I be? Are you...interested in me?"
Yes. Yes I am. "It's settled then. As brief as life can be in Skyrim, at least we'll have each other."
No, I'm not. "Oh. I'm sorry I said anything then."

Combat behavior and skills

Stats at level 50
Health 671
Magicka 50
Stamina 214
Light Armor 20
Heavy Armor 100
Sneak 15
One-Handed 100
Two-Handed 72
Archery 98
Block 100
Alteration 15
Conjuration 15
Destruction 15
Restoration 15
Illusion 15
Enchanting 15
Speech 20
Lockpicking 15
Alchemy 15
Smithing 20
Pickpocket 15

Lydia is primarily a melee-type character and uses no spells. As with some other melee-oriented followers, she has tendency to simply rush into combat, possibly leading to her death.

She can use spell scrolls and staves, potions and food if available, and favors Heavy Armor and One-Handed weapons, but will use any equipment if it bests the current base armor or damage rating.

She also has very low Sneak skill, alerting enemies of her presence nearly immediately. This may cause problems if the Dragonborn has low Sneak skill, but may prove as an advantage if the Dragonborn has a higher Sneak level, since it allows the Dragonborn to lure enemies using Lydia. Although her Sneak skill isn't high enough to have the perk to do this, she can sometimes be seen doing a roll (when the Dragonborn is crouching) in order to catch up.


Lydia in her default equipment.

Armor and jewelry

Lydia's default armor is steel armor (the version without pauldrons), boots, gauntlets, and shield. Her default equipment provides a total armor rating of 169. She does not wear a helmet by default, but can equip any if given one. She can also wear any ring or necklace given to her by the Dragonborn, which can be useful due to the added effects these items may have. She can equip armor given to her, if its armor rating surpasses that of her default equipment. She can and will wear light armor, but her high Heavy Armor skill makes it difficult without a high Smithing skill or high-end armor, or the "equipitem" console command.

It should be noted that, similar to other followers, there are multiple options to change her gear. She may be dismissed then pickpocketed to remove her default gear using the Perfect Touch Pickpocket perk. Alternatively, she may be married so that she opens a shop — this then allows the Dragonborn to buy her default clothes, which forces her to wear alternative gear.


She only uses a shield if the best melee weapon in her inventory is One-Handed, otherwise she uses a Two-Handed weapon. Lydia's default weapon is a steel sword. If her sword is removed or if opponents are out of melee range, she uses a hunting bow, with an infinite supply of iron arrows, though these arrows cannot be taken from her inventory. Similar to her melee weapon and armor, she can be given stronger arrows and a stronger bow, which she will use instead.


"The Jarl has appointed me to be your housecarl. It's an honor to serve you."

I'm a Thane? What does that mean? "The Jarl has recognised you as a person of great importance in the hold. A hero. The title of Thane is an honor, a gift for your service. Guards will know to look the other way, if you let them know who you are."
What does a housecarl do? "As my Thane, I'm sworn to your service. I'll guard you, and all you own, with my life."

"Good day."

As a follower

"I'm right behind you."

Follow me. I need your help. "Lead the way."
Wait here. "As you wish, my Thane."
Follow me. "As you will, my Thane. I will protect you with my life."
I need you to do something. "All right. What is it?"
I need to trade some things with you. "I am at your command."
It's time for us to part ways. "I'll head back home if you need me."

"Lead on."


Quote Condition
"I am sworn to carry your burdens." When asked to trade items.
"A healing spell? Are you a priest?" When healed by Healing Hands, Heal Other, or Grand Healing.
"I am your sword, and your shield." When approached or passed by.
"Long life to you, Thane."
"Honor to you, my Thane."
"I am sworn to protect you."
"Honored to see you again, my Thane."
"As you wish, my Thane." When asked to do something.
"I have a bad feeling about this." When entering certain areas in cave or ruin.
"Is that one of the old ruins?"
"I have never seen anything quite like that." When approaching large, and often spectacular, areas.
"Hey, look, a cave. I wonder what's inside." When approaching cave entrances.
"Look over there, that's a Dwemer ruin." When near a Dwemer Ruin.
"You'll die this day, dragon!" When fighting a dragon.
"Slay it! Slay the dragon!"
"Stupid dog." When left in a room with a dog.
"You stupid excuse for a Nord!" When fighting Nordic bandits.
"Ahh, don't do that!" When hit with Calm, Pacify, or Harmony.
"Skyrim belongs to the Nords!" When fighting.
"I'll head back to Dragonsreach if you need me." When dismissed back to Dragonsreach.
"You don't belong here." When approached in Dragonsreach after forcing Balgruuf to surrender in the Stormcloak Civil War questline.
"I'll head home if you need me." When she returns to Breezehome.
"I've never been more ready!" When hit with Courage, Rally, or Call to Arms.
"We heading out?" When approached while waiting.
"Wow, you must really need that." Upon seeing the Dragonborn steal.
"You should have stayed in your precious forests, elf!" When fighting a Bosmer.
"Not for you, not for anyone." When asked to sleep in an owned bed.


With Dragonborn, Lydia has been updated with a set of quotes unique to her, making her much more expressive than before. She may comment on various locations in both Skyrim and Solstheim.


Quote Condition
"So this is Raven Rock, eh? Not all that much to look at." In Raven Rock


Quote Condition
"I've come a long way to kill you." Fighting Ash Spawn or a Netch.
"I don't plan on being killed by the likes of you."
"I don't have to know what you are to kill you."
"What next, carnivorous rabbits?" Fighting a Riekling.
"I don't know whether to kill it or pet it."
"That's a nice trick, but it won't save your skin."
"For Whiterun!" Battlecry.
"She fights well enough, for a Skaal." About Frea, during The Temple of Miraak.

General locations

Quote Condition
"I've heard tales of the mushroom towers of Morrowind. Never thought I'd see one." Upon seeing Tel Mithryn.
"Someone's been busy." Near Temple of Miraak, if Miraak is still alive.
"There's something... wrong here." Near All-Maker Stones, not cleansed, and inside Temple of Miraak, if Miraak is still alive.
"Hmm. Reminds me of the standing stones back home." Near All-Maker Stones, cleansed.

Lydia with a single glass arrow equipped


  • If Lydia does not have a helmet, she chooses enchanted mage's robes in her inventory over any other type of armor, which lends to some roleplaying situations but offers little to no practical combat advantage. If she has a helmet in her inventory, she will then equip that and remove the robes.
  • If Lydia dies, a courier will approach the Dragonborn whenever they get to town and give them money left for the Dragonborn in Lydia's will. The amount will normally be 300 gold, but it will be 400 if they are married. In either case, a tax of 30 gold will be kept by the Jarl's court.
  • Lydia is one of many followers that tends to stand in front of a doorway when the Dragonborn walks into a small room. Unrelenting Force can be used to push her out of the way. Alternatively, sprinting into her will stagger her back. The Dragonborn can also order her to wait somewhere else through dialogue commands.
  • The Dragonborn can give Lydia a single arrow of the best type they can find, then she will use an infinite supply of those arrows. However, it is recommended to give her at least two of them and removing any other type, since Lydia tends to use equipment worse than the best available. A similar trait applies to enchanted items, as if she is given an enchanted weapon, it will never need to be recharged.
  • Lydia will not follow over rough or steep terrain. She will instead take an easier path around and catch up. This could result in her not being seen for several minutes or her attracting danger to herself. Since Lydia is not a very adept swimmer, it will be easier to keep her close if the Dragonborn uses bridges or close islands when crossing water. If a destination is reached, waiting may bring her back. Also, entering any door will cause her to reappear.
  • If the Dragonborn sides with the Stormcloaks during the Battle for Whiterun, Lydia will fight by their side against the Whiterun guards. After the battle, she will still regard the Dragonborn as Thane, even if the title has not been restored by the new Jarl.
  • She is voiced by Colleen Delany, the same voice actress as Ria and Mephala, as well as all female Bosmer Bandits, also known as "FemaleEvenTone" according to Creation Kit.
  • Lydia is the only housecarl that is introduced by name when she is assigned to the Dragonborn, and also the only one to be even mentioned by the Jarl when they are made Thane. All the others simply come with the title and do not recieve any official recognition whatsoever. This may be due to Lydia usually being the first housecarl the player character acquires, so she serves as some sort of basic tutorial for this game feature.
  • Since the release of Dawnguard, if the Dragonborn sides with the vampires, they have the option to turn her into a vampire if she is their spouse.
  • If she is given a better bow than her default bow, the arrows in the inventory will be limited. To help her with ranged combat, the choice is to either give her a better bow and have her use her default iron arrows or to simply give her a better arrow to infinitely use with her default bow.
  • If she is recruited to the Blades, Hrongar may send hired thugs after the Dragonborn, though this happens rarely.
  • Lydia's dialogue differs slightly depending on the Dragonborn's race.
  • If the Dragonborn owns a house but tries to move into Lydia's house, nothing will happen because she doesn't own a home.
  • If one does not own Breezehome or if Lydia is not spoken to and she is in Dragonsreach, she will fight by the Dragonborn's side in combat, even if she is not a follower.


This section contains bugs related to Lydia (Skyrim). 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.
Click to see bugs encountered
  •  PC   360   PS3   If given a stronger bow, she will not equip it. All followers are currently bugged to revert to their default bow over time. In some cases, she will equip non-enchanted bows given her by the Dragonborn.
    •  PC   Workaround: removeitem 0010e2dd 1 will remove her hunting bow temporarily, it will return eventually as with all followers who have a default bow.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Sometimes, if seriously injured in combat, she will crawl and continue to crawl even after combat has concluded, despite having full health. Fast-traveling or restarting the game fixes this. Removing and replacing an item in her inventory will also correct this issue.
  •  PC   360   PS3   If dismissed to Breezehome, it is possible to have her stuck in a chair upstairs eating. If asked to travel along with the Dragonborn, she will get up out of the chair and then sit back down. This can be stopped if the Dragonborn sits in the chair.
  • When carrying more weight than her capacity limit allows (i.e. ordering her to "pick up" items rather than trading through inventory) she may not equip certain weapons and armor despite their improved stats.
  •  360   If given the Whiterun Guard's Shield, it may give an error message saying the Dragonborn can not take her starting equipment, and adds 3 pounds to her overall weight.
  • Sometimes Lydia will run in place and keep running.
  •  360   Sometimes when Lydia dies, trying to recruit a different follower will result in them saying that the Dragonborn already has a follower, even though their follower is dead.
  •  PS3   If Lydia is given the Blades Armor that is received in Sky Haven Temple, before Delphine is asked to make Lydia an official Blade, her starter armor will not be replaced, and she will not receive another set of Blades armor.
  • Lydia can sometimes disappear and won't be at Dragonsreach or Breezehome. In such situations, the following console commands might be helpful:
    • To teleport the Dragonborn to her location, use the console command: player.moveto 000A2C94.
    • To teleport her to the Dragonborn's location, use the console command: prid 000A2C94. Hit enter. Then type moveto player
  • Sometimes no courier arrives to carry out her will after her death.
  • Lydia will not be able to carry any extra weight if the Dragonborn casts soul trap on her too often.
  • Lydia will carry an infinite amount of loot if she is told to pick up items from the environment. However, these items are likely to be marked as "stolen" afterwards.
  •  360   Sometimes after giving Lydia Dragon Priest Masks to hold, upon trying to retrieve them, they will be treated as Lydia's default armor, rendering the Dragonborn unable to retrieve them.
  •  PC   360   After marrying Lydia, she may exit the Temple of Mara during the ending script of the marriage ceremony. If she is not found outside immediately after exiting the Temple, she will be gone forever. Using the "player.moveto" command may teleport the Dragonborn next to her in a random location in Skyrim.
  • Lydia could possibly attack the Dragonborn upon entering Breezehome.
  • It may still not be possible to marry Lydia even with the patch 1.6 installed. It is unknown what is causing this and there is no known fix for it.
  • Sometimes when meeting Lydia, she has the Throw Voice shout sound playing.
  •  PC   360   Sometimes she will leave the Dragonborn's service for no known reason. Asking her to follow again will fix this.
  • If armor is dropped that matches her default set, was previously worn, and looted off a body, if she is told to pick it up, upon fast traveling, the armor may have glitched. When taken from her it will take away her default armor. Taking all pieces but one can reduce her overall weight, but if the last piece is attempted to be removed, all of her armor will return.
  •  360   Rarely, Lydia may randomly die. Even if she is not a follower.confirmation needed
  •  PC   If the Dragonborn sides with the Imperial Legion during the Civil War, has Lydia as a follower and owns Breezehome, when coming into the Battle for Whiterun, immediately before the battle, Lydia may enter Breezehome and be unable to leave it during the battle and its immediate aftermath. If this glitch occurs, Lydia is again at the Dragonborn's side when the Dragonborn enters Castle Dour to report to General Tullius after the Battle for Whiterun has concluded, though she is not with the Dragonborn as they enter Solitude to do so.
  •  PC   When using teleportation commands to travel, Lydia may instead be found inside Dragonsreach dungeon. This can be fixed by teleporting her back to you.
  •  XB1   Lydia will sometimes begin walking strangely (walking backwards, shuffling her feet in place, unable to follow the Dragonborn or attack anything). This can be solved by ensuring she receives enough damage to force her to take a knee for a little while. When she returns to her feet, she will be back to normal.



  1. Events of "Dragon Rising"
  2. Dialogue with Lydia
  3. Events of "Rebuilding the Blades"