Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Take Up Arms is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is the first quest within the Companions quest line in which the Dragonborn must complete a series of tasks, including a test of combat, to be admitted as a member of the Companions.


If I want to become a member of the Companions, I have to speak to their leader, Kodlak Whitemane, in Whiterun.


  1. Speak with the leader of the Companions
  2. Speak with Kodlak Whitemane
  3. Train with Vilkas
  4. Give Vilkas' sword to Eorlund
  5. Bring Aela her shield
  6. Follow Farkas to your quarters


After encountering Aela the Huntress, Ria, and Farkas in combat with a giant at Pelagia Farm, Aela will tell the Dragonborn to speak with Kodlak Whitemane if they are interested in joining the Companions in Whiterun.

Train with Vilkas[]

"The old man said to have a look at you, so let's do this. Just have a few swings at me so I can see your form. Don't worry, I can take it."

Go to Jorrvaskr and speak to Kodlak, who will be found downstairs in the living quarters. Before that, upon entering, expect to see a fist fight occur between Athis and Njada Stonearm, which will continue until the Dragonborn gets close enough for it to end once Njada overpowers Athis. Heading to Kodlak, he will tell Vilkas to take the Dragonborn out to the courtyard to prove their worth in strength. If one happens to lose sight of him, he can be found outside practicing with one of the target dummies. He will then instruct the Dragonborn to take a few swings at him so he can gauge their skill. Vilkas will draw his sword and shield, but will refrain from attacking. After about three swings, he will yield and give a few humbling remarks. This part of the quest ends with Vilkas handing the Dragonborn his sword to bring to Eorlund Gray-Mane.

  • Note: If the Dragonborn is accompanied by a follower, make them wait inside. They may misinterpret their sparring with Vilkas and attack, which only leads the other Companions to respond in kind. The Dragonborn also cannot use magic against Vilkas, unless they are able to use bound weapons. If the Dragonborn is wearing Ebony Mail, Vilkas may not fight because of the poison effect, which counts as magic. Any enchanted weapons will also count as magic, and cannot be used.

Give Vilkas's Sword to Eorlund[]

Eorlund Gray-Mane is found right next to the courtyard, up a set of stairs and next to the Skyforge. Once the Dragonborn explains that Vilkas sent them with his sword, he rightly assumes them to be the newcomer. He will then ask them to do a favor for him by taking Aela's shield back to her.

Bring Aela Her Shield[]

Leave the Skyforge and go to Jorrvaskr's living quarters. Aela the Huntress can be found in her room speaking with Skjor. Once her shield is returned to her, she will recognize the Dragonborn from their first encounter with the giant. She will then tell Farkas to show the Dragonborn their sleeping quarters, thus completing the quest.

Follow Farkas[]

After being shown the sleeping quarters, Farkas will express that he is pleased to see a new face, and will suggest that the Dragonborn talk to either him or Aela if they are looking for work. This completes the quest and the Take Up Arms achievement will unlock.

Farkas will then offer the Dragonborn a job to help with some trouble in Whiterun Hold. Accepting his offer will start the quest "Trouble in Skyrim", one of the radiant quests offered by the Companions and is necessary to complete to move on to the next main quest for the Companions, "Proving Honor."


Introduction – CompanionsMiscObjective
ID Journal Entry
  • Objective 10: Speak with the leader of the Companions
  • Quest complete
Take Up Arms – C00
10 If I want to become a member of the Companions, I have to speak to their leader, Kodlak Whitemane, in Whiterun.
  • Objective 10: Speak with Kodlak Whitemane
20 The legendary warrior band of Whiterun, the Companions have agreed to let me join them, if I can handle some preliminary tasks for them.
  • Objective 20: Train with Vilkas
  • Objective 30: Give Vilkas's [sic] [Do not change this to Vilkas'. This misspelled word is how it appears in-game.] sword to Eorlund
  • Objective 40: Bring Aela her shield
  • Objective 50: Follow Farkas to your quarters
100 I have joined the Companions, the legendary warrior band of Whiterun.
  • Quest complete


  • If the Dragonborn assisted the Companions outside Pelagia Farm, both Farkas and Aela will recognize them when they are spoken to. However, if they were not assisted or spoken to, only Aela will recognize the Dragonborn. Farkas will instead introduce himself when Skjor calls him over.


This section contains bugs related to Take Up Arms. 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 show
  •  360   If the Dragonborn attempts to return the shield to Aela, she may not talk to them. This may happen if they try to talk to her while she is talking to Skjor.
    •  360 (Fix)   Exit Jorrvaskr then come back, the shield can be delivered to Aela again.
  •  PC   360   PS3   There may be some instances where the quest indicator marks Aela at the giant camp west of Whiterun, but she is not there.
    •  PC (Fix)   If the Dragonborn cannot find her, open the console and type setstage c00 50. This causes Farkas to walk downstairs and show the Dragonborn to their lodgings, opening the next quest stage.
    •  PC (Fix)   Type in the console prid 0001a697. This will select Aela wherever she is. Then type recycleactor. Now Aela will be in her room in Jorrvaskr waiting for the player. For this to work, also do Skjor, prid 0001a691 then recycleactor. Now the Dragonborn can proceed with the quest as normal.
    •  PC (Fix)   Another option is to enter player.placeatme 1A696 to place Aela near the Dragonborn so the Dragonborn can give her the shield. This does not complete the quest, nor will it trigger the conversation between her, the Dragonborn, and Skjor.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Occasionally during the quest point 'Bring Aela her shield' the Dragonborn will return the shield, removing it from their inventory, but Aela will not receive it, and the player character will not be able to progress further in the Companions' questline. If you attack Aela after she "takes" the shield, the quest will show as completed, though now you have to run out and find a guard to punish you for your crime, otherwise the Companions will continue attacking you. Sometimes you won't get a bounty though, and the guards will attack the Companions. If this happens, then kill all the guards and the Companions will become peaceful. Afterwards you can go back and continue down the questline.
    •  PC (Fix)   A possible solution is to use the console commands and type setstage c00 50 after the shield has been given and after that she asks about Vilkas.
    • Another solution is to simply go to another floor in Jorrvaskr, then immediately return to Aela. If she begins talking as soon as the Dragonborn interacts with her, the quest will continue.
  •  PS3   Attacking Aela can cause another bug in which the Dragonborn cannot talk to the guards about the crime. If they enter Dragonsreach the whole city may turn hostile. If they leave Whiterun instead and re-enter, all Companions may be peaceful again and they can continue the quest.
  •  360   If the Dragonborn uses enchanted weapons against Vilkas, he may enter conversation and tell them not to use them, as well as fighting back until the end of the training.
  • Vilkas may become aggressive as soon as the Dragonborn goes outside for their training. This may be caused by having a follower attack him without the player character noticing. As such, it is best that a follower not accompany the Dragonborn on this particular quest.
  • At sufficiently high difficulty levels, Vilkas may play a killmove and instantly kill the Dragonborn even though this is supposed to be a peaceful sparring match.
  •  PC   360   PS3   If the Dragonborn is at a high level, Vilkas can yield after only one hit. This may result in him becoming hostile and attack. If they can make him yield in two hits, he will tell them that they are stronger than they look.


Take Up Arms (Achievement)
Take Up Arms
Join the Companions
Points 10 Gamer points
Bronze trophy