Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Not to be confused with Halof.

Ralof, or Ralof of Riverwood, is a Nord member of the Stormcloak Rebellion hailing from Riverwood. During the opening sequence in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, he is a prisoner being escorted to his execution along with Ulfric Stormcloak, Lokir, and the Dragonborn.


"I think I killed more Imperials than you. I was counting!"

He has a sister named Gerdur who runs the mill with her husband Hod in the village of Riverwood. Together, they own and operate the mill, which is focal to Riverwood's prosperity. Because of this, they are considered the town's leaders.

During the cart ride into Helgen during the opening cut-scene, Ralof mentions "being sweet on a girl" from there in the past, before the civil war. He also reminisces about Vilod's mead with juniper berry mixed in, which can be found should the Dragonborn return to Helgen at a later date.

It is likely that Hadvar and Ralof knew each other as children. They are from the same small village and their interactions during "Unbound" seem to imply they are at least familiar with each other.


After the Dragonborn becomes settled in Riverwood, with Hod and Gerdur's house as a temporary place of stay, Ralof can be spoken to, further discussing subjects, such as the dragon that attacked, directions to Whiterun, and the Stormcloaks along with Ulfric Stormcloak. By further discussing the Stormcloaks, the Dragonborn has the option of being convinced to join the Stormcloaks, or considering the subject longer.



Alduin attacks Helgen.

A group of prisoners are being taken to Helgen. Upon arriving, guards begin calling the names of suspected Stormcloaks with the intent of executing them. However, Alduin attacks Helgen, and Ralof is able to escape. After reaching shelter, Ralof frees the Dragonborn from their bindings and asks for help against the Imperial soldiers. Later, the Dragonborn has the opportunity to rejoin Ralof and escape from Helgen.

Civil War

Joining the Stormcloaks

Joining the Stormcloaks can be obtained by following Ralof during "Unbound." Upon entering with Ralof, the quest is automatically received after leaving the keep. The quest also can be activated either by going to Windhelm and talking to Ulfric Stormcloak or by talking to traveling farmers or Stormcloak soldiers at their various camps located in the holds.

If the Dragonborn chooses to side with the Stormcloaks during the civil war, Ralof is promoted to the rank of Captain and assists the Dragonborn in various missions for the Stormcloaks. Throughout these missions, Ralof uses a two-handed steel warhammer.

The Jagged Crown

The quest is given to the Dragonborn as their first task after joining their chosen faction. Returning to Windhelm or Solitude, the assigning officer directs them to Korvanjund to retrieve the legendary Jagged Crown.

Rescue from Fort Neugrad

Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak sends the Dragonborn to the Falkreath Stormcloak Camp to receive orders from Galmar Stone-Fist. Galmar says that he has learned that some of his men have been imprisoned in the nearby Fort Neugrad and has already sent out scouts to survey the area.


Show: Unbound
In Helgen:

"Through here. Let's go!"

Inside the Keep:

"We'll meet again in Sovngarde, brother."
"Looks like we're the only ones who made it. That thing was a dragon. No doubt. Just like the children stories and the legends. The harbingers of the End Times. We should keep moving. Come here. Let me see if I can get those bindings off."
"There you go. You might as well take Gunjar's gear. He won't be needing it anymore."

After equipping Gunjar's gear:

"Alright, get that armor on and give that axe a few swings. I'm going to see if I can find some way out of here. This one's locked. Let's see about that gate."
"Damn. No way to open this from our side."

After defeating the Imperials:

"Maybe one of these Imperials had the key."

After taking the key:

"Did you find the key? See if it unlocks that door."
"That's it! Come on, let's get out of here before the dragon brings the whole tower down on our heads."

Dragon roars while a wall collapses:

"Look out!"
"Damn, that dragon doesn't give up easy."

After clearing the storage rooms of Imperials:

"A storeroom. See if you can find potions. We'll need them."
"Done? Let's get moving."

Approaching the torture room:

"Troll's blood! It's a torture room."

"Wait a second. Looks like there's something in this cage. It's locked. See if you can get it open with some picks. We might need that gold once we get out."
"Grab anything useful and let's go."

After fighting through to the tunnels:

"No going back that way, now. Better push on. The rest of them will have to find another way out."

When following the stream:

"Hmm. That doesn't go anywhere. I guess we better try this way."

After killing the spiders:

"I hate those damn things. Too many eyes, you know?"

When approaching the bear:

"Hold up. There's a bear just ahead. See her? I'd rather not tangle with her right now. We might be able to sneak by. Just take it nice and slow, and watch where you step. Or if you're feeling lucky, you can take this bow. Might take her by surprise. Go ahead. I'll follow your lead and watch your back."
"Whew. That was close. (Or "Sneaking is overrated, eh?")"

Near the exit:

"That looks like the way out! I knew we'd make it!"

After escaping Helgen:

"Wait! There he goes. Looks like he's gone for good this time. No way to know if anyone else made it out alive. But this place is going to be swarming with Imperials soon enough. We better clear out of here. My sister Gerdur runs the mill in Riverwood, just up the road. I'm sure she'd help you out. It's probably best if we split up. Good luck. I wouldn't have made it without your help today."

At the Guardian Stones:

"These are the Guardian Stones, three of the thirteen ancient standing stones that dot Skyrim's landscape. Go ahead, see for yourself."
"Warrior, good! Those stars will guide you to honor and glory. (Or "Thief, eh? It's never too late to take charge of your own fate, you know." Or "Mage, eh? Well, to each his own. It's not for me to judge.")"

Show: Before the Storm
In the wilderness:

"You know, you should go to Windhelm and join the fight to free Skyrim. You've seen the true face of the Empire here today. If anyone will know what the coming of the dragon means, it's Ulfric."

Was that dragon on your side? "What? Oh, hardly! I don't think even Ulfric could pull a dragon out of his pocket. Lucky for us it attacked when it did, eh? I wasn't looking forward to getting a shave from the Imperial headsman."
You think Ulfric knows where that dragon came from? "Well... maybe not. Dragons haven't been seen in Skyrim for an age or more. But wherever that dragon came from, and whatever it wants, Ulfric will get to the bottom of it. You can count on that. Besides, you have your own score to settle with the Empire now. And with that dragon."
Why were you being executed? "Seriously, you don't know? That was Ulfric Stormcloak himself."
Oh, right. Ulfric Stormcloak... "Right. The leader of our fight against the Empire. I forget that most people don't know what he looks like, except for those Imperial wanted posters."
I don't pay much attention to current events. "Oh, right, they said you were captured crossing the border. Still, I'm surprised you haven't heard of Ulfric. He's our leader - the leader of the Stormcloaks."
Who are the Stormcloaks? "Surely even down in Cyrodiil people have heard news of the war in Skyrim? The Nords are tired of spending our blood fighting the Empire's wars, and paying for the Empire's decadence with our taxes. Ulfric is our rightful High King. He's leading the fight to drive the Empire out of Skyrim, once and for all."
How did you end up as Imperial prisoners? "I was assigned to Ulfric's guard. We were on our way to Darkwater Crossing, in the south of Eastmarch. The Imperials were waiting for us. As pretty an ambush as I ever saw. We were outnumbered five to one, at least. Ulfric ordered us to stop fighting. Didn't want us all to die for nothing, I guess. I thought they were taking us south to Cyrodiil. Parade us in front of the Emperor. But then we stopped in Helgen, and you know the rest."
You really think I should join up with Ulfric Stormcloak? "Damn right. Just like all true sons of Skyrim should ("Damn right. You don't have to be a Nord to fight for Skyrim's freedom" if player is not a Nord). You should come to Windhelm with me and join the fight to free Skyrim. You've seen the true face of the Empire here today. If anyone will know what the coming of the dragon means, it's Ulfric."
How do I join the Stormcloaks? "Ulfric's capital is Windhelm, northeast of here. You'll want to talk to Galmar Stone-Fist, Ulfric's right-hand man. He handles the new recruits. I'll be sure to put in a good word if I get to Windhelm ahead of you."
You make a good case. Maybe I will go to Windhelm. "I hope so. Skyrim needs people like you to fight for her freedom. Come on, we'd better get moving."
I'll have to think about it. "Yeah, sure, I understand. No need to decide now. But I know that after you think about what you saw today, you'll realize that Skyrim deserves to be free."
Show: The Jagged Crown
In Helgen:

"Ha! I knew you'd join up. Great news. We'll take back Skyrim together, eh? I'm glad I'll have you beside me in there. This place chills my blood, and I don't care who knows it."

What are you talking about? "These old ruins; my father always told me to stay away from them. Good advice, I'd say. Never mind all that; we've got a job to do, and nothing's going to stand in our way!."
Show: Rescue from Fort Neugrad
At Fort Neugrad:

"Well, well. Look who it is! How have you been?"

I've been better. And you? "These are dark days. But at least we know we're doing our part to make things better, eh? I guess I'm doing all right. I need this to go well."
I'm all right, I guess. How are you? "Good to hear. I need this to go well."
"This is my first real command since they promoted me after Whiterun. You know, some nights when I close my eyes, I see the battle stretched out before me, like I'm still there... Do the men you've killed haunt you? Mine do..."
Only a beast kills without feeling. "I suppose you're right. They say it gets easier. I'm not sure if that's a good thing. But never mind all that. We've got a job to do."
If you hadn't killed them, they would have killed you. "That's what I keep telling myself. But never mind all that. We've got a job to do. Don't we?"
What's the plan? "We found a cave under the lake. With luck, it'll lead into the prison. I need you to sneak in there, and free our men, killing anyone inside as you go. Once you've rescued the prisoners, head out to the courtyard. We'll stand guard out here and rush in as soon as we hear fighting. Should be fun."
I'm on it. "You should wait until night fall before you try to sneak in. Talos preserve you." (Or, if it is already night, simply: "Talos preserve you.")
I'm not much for sneaking. "I have faith in you. But, if you find more trouble than you can handle, run out to the courtyard. We'll come as soon as we hear fighting."
So what's the plan? "Straight to business with you, huh? With luck, it'll lead into the prison. I need you to sneak in there, and free our men, killing anyone inside as you go. Once you've rescued the prisoners, head out to the courtyard. We'll stand guard out here and rush in as soon as we hear fighting. Should be fun."
I'm on it. "You should wait until night fall before you try to sneak in. Talos preserve you." (Or, if it is already night, simply: "Talos preserve you.")
I'm not much for sneaking. "I have faith in you. But, if you find more trouble than you can handle, run out to the courtyard. We'll come as soon as we hear fighting."

If approached again:

"Break our men out and head to the courtyard. We'll meet you there."

After clearing the Fort:

"Great work! Get back and report our success. I'll stay here and clean up the mess. Glad you were here. Couldn't have done it without you!"

Show: Compelling Tribute
At Fort Neugrad:

"Hey there! I was wondering if I'd run into you out here. The Reach is a beautiful but dangerous place, eh? One false step and you fall to your death, that is if those Forsworn don't get you first. Have you seen those Briarheart men? That's some evil magic right there. What brings you? You have the look of purpose in your eyes."

There's an enemy wagon loaded with coin and weapons. We need to capture it. "Really? It just so happens we've been tracking a wagon! For about a day now. So that's what's in there? Coins and weapons? How do you know that?"
I blackmailed Raerek for the information. "That was crafty. I'm sure having a steward in the pocket will come in handy. Lucky for us, that the wagon recently had a little accident. They're stranded now. Just up the road!"
It doesn't matter. "Oh, fine. Keep your secrets. I see how it is. That wagon recently had a little accident. They're stranded now, just up the road."
"We're outnumbered, but I have a plan. You got here just in time."
What's the plan? "First, we're going to take out their sentry, then we'll situate ourselves overlooking the camp. Next, you'll infiltrate their position and get their attention while we hit them with a barrage of arrows. With a bit of luck, we'll catch them completely off guard and even the odds a little."
I have a better plan. You wait here. and I'll take care of it. "All right, if you insist. But we'll come running if it sounds like things have gotten out of hand."
Let's wait a little longer. "Let me know when you're ready."
Ready. Let's go. "Good."

If approached after proposing to wait:

"Ready to do this?"

While executing the plan:

"There's a sentry patrolling the hill. We'll go in quiet and drop him with a combined arrow barrage. Keep low, fire on my word."
"All right. You infiltrate their camp, we'll cover you from the ridge. Good luck!"

After securing the convoy:

"We make quite a team, eh? I'll stay here and guard the shipment. You get back to camp with news. Have them send some men - with a new wagon. This one isn't going anywhere."


Show: At Helgen
At Helgen:

Ralof: "Hey, you. You're finally awake. You were trying to cross the border, right? Walked right into that Imperial ambush, same as us, and that thief over there." Lokir: "Damn you Stormcloaks. Skyrim was fine until you came along. Empire was nice and lazy. If they hadn't been looking for you, I could've stolen that horse and been halfway to Hammerfell. You there... You and me, we shouldn't be here. It's these Stormcloaks the Empire wants." Ralof: "We're all brothers and sisters in binds now, thief." Imperial Soldier: "Shut up back there!" Lokir: "And what's wrong with him, huh?" Ralof: "Watch your tongue. You're speaking to Ulfric Stormcloak, the true High King." Lokir: "Ulfric? The Jarl of Windhelm? You're the leader of the rebellion. But if they've captured you... Oh gods, where are they taking us?" Ralof: "I don't know where we're going, but Sovngarde awaits." Lokir: "No, this can't be happening. This isn't happening." Ralof: "Hey, what village are you from, horse thief?" Lokir: "Why do you care?" Ralof: "A Nord's last thoughts should be of home." Lokir: "Rorikstead. I'm... I'm from Rorikstead." Imperial: "General Tullius, sir! The headsman is waiting!" Tullius: "Good. Let's get this over with." Lokir: "Shor, Mara, Dibella, Kynareth, Akatosh. Divines, please help me." Ralof: "Look at him, General Tullius, the Military Governor. And it looks like the Thalmor are with him. Damn elves. I bet they had something to do with this. This is Helgen. I used to be sweet on a girl from here. Wonder if Vilod is still making that mead with juniper berries mixed in. Funny, when I was a boy, Imperial walls and towers used to make me feel so safe." Haming: "Who are they, daddy? Where are they going?" Torolf: "You need to go inside, little cub." Haming: "Why? I want to watch the soldiers." Torolf: "Inside the house. Now." Haming: "Yes, papa." Imperial: "Whoa!" Captain: "Get these prisoners out of the carts. Move it!" Lokir: "Why are we stopping?" Ralof: "Why do you think? End of the line. Let's go. Shouldn't keep the gods waiting for us." Lokir: "No! Wait! We're not rebels!" Ralof: "Face your death with some courage, thief." Lokir: "You've got to tell them! We weren't with you! This is a mistake!" Imperial Captain: "Step towards the block when we call your name. One at a time." Ralof: "Empire loves their damn lists." Hadvar: "Ulfric Stormcloak. Jarl of Windhelm." Ralof: "It has been an honor, Jarl Ulfric!" Hadvar: "Ralof of Riverwood. Lokir of Rorikstead." Lokir: "No, I'm not a rebel. You can't do this!" [runs] Captain: "Halt!" Lokir: "You're not going to kill me!" Captain: "Archers!" [Lokir is shot dead] Captain: "Anyone else feel like running?" Hadvar: "Wait. You there. Step forward. Who are you? Captain. What should we do? He's (If the Dragonborn is female: "She's") not on the list." Captain: "Forget the list. He (If the Dragonborn is female: "She") goes to the block." Hadvar: "By your orders, Captain. I'm sorry. Follow the Captain, prisoner." Tullius: "Ulfric Stormcloak. Some here in Helgen call you a hero. But a hero doesn't use a power like The Voice to murder his king and usurp his throne." Ulfric: "[muffled grunts]" Tullius: "You started this war, plunged Skyrim into chaos, and now the Empire is going to put you down, and restore the peace."

After Alduin's first roar:

Hadvar: "What was that?" Tullius: "It's nothing. Carry on." Captain: "Yes, General Tullius. Give them their last rites." Priestess of Arkay: "As we commend your souls to Aetherius, blessings of the Eight Divines upon you, for you are the salt and earth of Nirn, our beloved..." Stormcloak Soldier: "For the love of Talos, shut up and let's get this over with." Priestess of Arkay: "As you wish." Stormcloak Soldier: "Come on, I haven't got all morning. My ancestors are smiling at me, Imperials. Can you say the same?" [Executed] Stormcloak: "You Imperial bastards!" Vilod: "Justice!" Ingrid: "Death to the Stormcloaks!" Ralof: "As fearless in death as he was in life." Captain: "Next, the Nord in the rags (Other races: "renegade from Cyrodiil", "Redguard", "Breton", "High Elf", "Dark Elf", "Wood Elf", "Orc", "cat", "lizard")!"

After Alduin's second roar:

Hadvar: "There it is again. Did you hear that?" Captain: "I said, next prisoner!" Hadvar: "To the block, prisoner. Nice and easy."

After Alduin's third roar:

Tullius: "What in Oblivion is that?" Captain: "Sentries! What do you see?" Imperial: "It's in the clouds!" Stormcloak: "Dragon!" Alduin: [Meteor-shower shout] Headsman: "Hunh..." Tullius: "Don't just stand there! Kill that thing! Guards, get the townspeople to safety!" Ralof: "Hey, kinsman (Other races: "Imperial", "Redguard", "Breton", "High Elf", "Dark Elf", "Wood Elf", "Orc", "Khajiit", "Argonian")! Get up! Come on, the gods won't give us another chance!"

Show: Unbound
At Helgen:

Ralof: "Jarl Ulfric! What is that thing? Could the legends be true?" Ulfric: "Legends don't burn down villages. We need to move. Now!" Ralof: "Up through the tower, let's go!" Stormcloak: "They're hurt, but they'll live. Another second out there with the dragon, and they'd both be dead..." Ralof: "Let's go! With me, up the tower!" Stormcloak: "We just need to move some of these rocks to clear the way!"

After Alduin bashes through the wall:

Alduin: "Yol... Toor... Shul!" ("Fire... Inferno... Sun!")
Ralof: "See the inn on the other side? Jump through the roof and keep going! Go! We'll follow when we can!" Hadvar: "Haming, you need to get over here. Now! Torolf!" [Torolf dies here] Gods... Everyone get back!" Alduin: "Yol... Toor... Shul!" Hadvar: "Still alive, prisoner? Keep close to me if you want to stay that way. Gunnar, take care of the boy. I have to find General Tullius and join their defense." Gunnar: "Gods guide you, Hadvar." Hadvar: "Stay close to the wall!"

After Alduin lands on the wall:

Alduin: "Yol... Toor... Shul" Hadvar: "Quickly, follow me!" Tullius: "Hadvar! Into the keep, soldier, we're leaving!" Hadvar: "It's you and me, prisoner. Stay close! Ralof! You damned traitor. Out of my way!" Ralof: "We're escaping, Hadvar. You're not stopping us this time." Hadvar: "Fine. I hope that dragon takes you all to Sovngarde." Ralof: "You! Come on, into the keep!"

Inside the Keep:

Imperial Captain: "Come on soldier! Keep moving!" Ralof: "It's the Imperials! Take cover!" Imperial Captain: "Get this gate open. It's the escaped prisoners!" (If discovered)

Show: Before the Storm
At Riverwood:

Ralof: "Gerdur!" Gerdur: "Mara's Mercy, its good to see you! But is it safe for you to be here?" Ralof: "Gerdur..." Gerdur: "We had heard that Ulfric had been captured..." Ralof: "Gerdur... I'm fine. At least now I am." Gerdur: "Are you hurt? What's happened? [looks at player] And who's this? One of your comrades?" Ralof: "Not a comrade yet...but a friend. I owe him/her my life, in fact. Is there somewhere we can talk? There's no telling when the news from Helgen will reach the Imperials..." Gerdur: "Helgen? Has something happened...? You're right. Follow me. Hod! Come here a minute. I need your help with something." Hod: "What is it, woman? Sven drunk on the job again?" Gerdur: "Hod. Just come here." Hod: "Ralof! What are you doing here? Ah...I'll be right down!" Frodnar: "Uncle Ralof! Can I see your axe? How many Imperials have you killed? Do you really know Ulfric Stormcloak?" Gerdur: "Hush, Frodnar. This is no time for your games. Go and watch the south road. Find us if you see any Imperial soldiers coming." Frodnar: "Aw, mama, I want to stay and talk with uncle Ralof!" Ralof: "Look at you, almost a grown man! Won't be long before you'll be joining the fight yourself!" Frodnar: "That's right! Don't worry uncle Ralof, I won't let those soldiers sneak up on you!"

After Hod comes down from the mill and enters the conversation:

Hod: "Now, Ralof, what's going on? You two look pretty well done in." Ralof: "I can't remember the last time I slept. Where to start? Well, the news you heard about Ulfric was true. The Imperials ambushed us outside Darkwater Crossing. Like they knew exactly where we'd be. That was...two days ago, now. We stopped at Helgen this morning, and I thought it was all over. Had us lined up for the headsman's block and ready to start chopping!" Gerdur: "The cowards!" Ralof: "They wouldn't dare give Ulfric a fair trial. Treason, for fighting for your own people! All of Skyrim would have seen the truth then! But then...out of nowhere...a dragon attacked." Gerdur: "You don't mean a real, live..." Ralof: "I can hardly believe it myself, and I was there! As strange as it sounds, we'd be dead if not for that dragon. In the confusion, we managed to slip away. Are we really the first to make it to Riverwood?" Gerdur: "Nobody has come up the south road today, as far as I know." Ralof: "Good. Maybe we can lay up for a while. I'd hate to put your family in danger, Gerdur, but..." Gerdur: "Nonsense. You and your friend are welcome to stay as long as you need. Let me worry about the Imperials. Any friend of Ralof's is a friend of mine. [to player] Here's the key to the house. Stay as long as you like. There's something you can do for me. For all of us. [gift menu opens] We need to send word to Jarl Balgruuf to send whatever troops he can. Riverwood is defenseless. If you do that for me, I'll be in your debt." Ralof: "Thanks, sister. I knew I could count on you." Gerdur: "I ought to get back to work before I'm missed, but did anyone else escape? Did Ulfric..." Ralof: "Don't worry. I'm sure he made it out. It'll take more than a dragon to stop Ulfric Stormcloak!" Hod: "I'll let them into the house and, you know, show them where everything is." Gerdur: "Hhmm. Help them drink up our mead, you mean. [to Ralof] Good luck, brother. I'll see you later." Ralof: "Don't worry about me. I know how to lay low."


Quote Audio
"As fearless in death as he was in life."
"I don't think Galmar even knows my name. Probably because I'm not "The Dragonborn.'"
"Ever wonder if maybe we should a call a truce with the Imperials and join forces for just a little while take care of some of these dragons?"
"Have you always been that ugly?"
"Empire loves their damn lists."
"I hate those damn things. Too many eyes, you know?"
"I don't know where we're going, but Sovngarde awaits."
"Hey, what village are you from horse thief?"
"All right, get that armor on and give that axe a few swings."
"It has been an honor, Jarl Ulfric!"
"A Nord's last thoughts should be of home."
"Look at him, General Tullius the Military Governor."
"This is Helgen. I used to be sweet on a girl from here. Wonder if Vilod is still making that mead with juniper berries mixed in."
"Funny, when I was a boy, Imperial walls and towers used to make me feel so safe."
"Let's go. Shouldn't keep the gods waiting for us."
"Face your death with some courage, thief."
"Pleasant weather for a war, no?"
"So, do you get that weird taste in your mouth before battle, too? What is that?"
"You're still alive?"
"I have to admit. This is more fun that I thought it'd be."
"I've heard some things about Ulfric I don't like, but he's right about this war and about Skyrim's future."
"I long to be out there, with my brothers, waging war against the Empire."
"Who do you think's killed more Imperials? You? Or me?"
"Glad you're here."
"I can't remember the last time I visited home. Think I've forgotten what a proper bed looks like, let alone feels like."
"My pa always warned me not to mess with places like this."
"You made it? I was sure I'd find you face down in the dirt."


  • Ralof is the first character in the game to speak to the Dragonborn.
  • After the completion of the main quest, Ralof can be found at the Sleeping Giant Inn in Riverwood. He carries an iron warhammer.
  • Although he and Hadvar share most dialogue concerning the Guardian Stones, Ralof has different dialogue for The Warrior Stone.
  • Because Ralof is flagged as essential during "Unbound," skills can be practiced on him without him turning hostile or attacking. This makes him great for fast leveling.
  • As with Hadvar and Solitude, it is impossible for the Dragonborn to get to Windhelm after Ralof.
  • Ralof was voiced by Michael Gough.