Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For the faction in The Elder Scrolls Online, see The Companions (Online Faction).
"Tamriel's Fighters Guild has no presence in Skyrim. Instead, warriors seeking adventure and kinship may join the Companions, in Whiterun."
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The Companions are the warriors guild of Skyrim. It serves a similar function to the Fighters Guild chapters of other regions of Tamriel. Eorlund Gray-Mane, a blacksmith in Whiterun, states that they have been leaderless since Ysgramor. He says that an elder known as Kodlak Whitemane acts as the Harbinger (counselor). The fact that they have no official leader is emphasized by their name.

If Torvar is asked, "Who's in charge around here?" before joining, he will reply, "In charge of what? I'm in charge of me, and you're in charge of you."

Jorrvaskr, the mead hall where the Companions live and operate, is the oldest building in Whiterun.


The Companions can trace their origins from the Five Hundred Companions which the legendary army Ysgramor raised to wage war against the snow elves and avenge the Night of Tears. After defeating the snow elves in the Nordic-Falmer War, the remnants of the Five Hundred Companions went their separate ways to inhabit the unexplored lands of Tamriel. This period of exploration and colonization is known as The Return.

Several hundred years after the death of Ysgramor, the Companions had converted into soldiers for hire. Their services could be purchased for the fighting of wars, but the commitment to individual honor meant that often Shield-Brothers would be forced to face each other on the field of battle. Since the conflict of interests between its members was jeopardizing their bonds of honor, Harbinger Mryfwiil, in his wisdom, decreed that they would no longer be party to any war or political conflict of any kind. Because of his steady hand, the Companions today are known as impartial arbiters of honor, in addition to their glories on the field of battle.

By the end of the First Era, the Companions have begun to do away with rigid rules of Atmoran racial purity and recruited people of different races and walks of life to fill their ranks. After the dark periods in the late Second Era, when a string of false and dishonorable Harbingers laid claim to Jorrvaskr, it was Kyrnil Long-Nose who gathered the true hearts of the Companions in the wilds and stormed Jorrvaskr itself, killing the usurpers and returning honor through blood, in the old ways. He began the tradition of trusted advisors called the Circle (named after Ysgramor's council of captains) who would serve as examples to the younger, newer Companions.[1]

First interactions

"This is not play-acting, here. We are the true spirit of Skyrim. Honor is in our blood, death in our hearts."

Aela the Huntress, Farkas, and Ria can be the first faction members to be encountered in Skyrim. They first appear at Pelagia Farm outside of Whiterun fighting a giant. They may be assisted, and if this is done, Aela and the others react positively, while not helping causes her to deliver chastisement. Whether they are assisted or not, Aela extends an invitation to Jorrvaskr. If Whiterun is approached using a different route, it is possible to completely miss this fight.

Because the Companions can kill the giant very quickly, it may be tough to get to the fight in time to assist. Shooting at the giant from afar with a bow and scoring some hits will still register as assistance, and the Companions will stay until Aela speaks with the Dragonborn.


After joining the Companions, if the law is broken in Whiterun and the guards react negatively, members of the Companions will leap to the Dragonborn's defense.


Jorrvaskr Skyrim

Jorrvaskr, headquarters and Mead Hall of the Companions.

Jorrvaskr is the home of the Companions and is located on the eastern side of Whiterun in the Wind District. Jorrvaskr sits at the base of the Skyforge, which is an ancient forge from which special weapons and armor are crafted by Eorlund Gray-Mane. The Skyforge creates the finest steel in Tamriel, which is why Jorrvaskr was erected in this location. The inside serves as both the Companions' lodging and mead hall where they sleep, tell tales of valor, and occasionally fight each other. Once the Companions are joined, this hall can serve as a home for the Dragonborn as well.

On the southern wall of the mead hall is a special area created to hold the fragments of Wuuthrad. At the end of the Companions questline, the last fragments are collected, and Wuuthrad is reforged to become whole. Wuuthrad can be kept after the final quest.

Joining the Companions

The most straightforward way to join the Companions is by simply heading to Jorrvaskr in Whiterun and talking to the members until directed to the Harbinger, Kodlak Whitemane. Vilkas opposes the new member, but Kodlak reassures him and directs him to go outside and provide training. The Dragonborn must use melee weapons (or bare fists) when fighting Vilkas, and the weapon(s) cannot be enchanted. After the training, Vilkas will send the Dragonborn on an errand to Eorlund Gray-Mane, Whiterun's senior blacksmith at the Skyforge, in order to sharpen a sword. Eorlund offers information about the history of the Companions. He asks the Dragonborn to take a shield back to Aela. After these errand quests are completed, at least one radiant quest is given before being initiated into the guild. After the brief initiation ceremony, the new member is directed to choose a bed in the living quarters, which comes with a secure dresser for storing items.

The Circle

See also: The Circle

The Companions also have a secret. All members of the Circle are werewolves and, as such, the guild is in constant conflict with a band of werewolf hunters known as the Silver Hand. During an early Companion quest, "Proving Honor," an attack on Farkas by the Silver Hand can be witnessed from within a locked room. After this, "What is it like being a werewolf?" can be asked of them.

After completing more quests after the Proving Honor quest for the Companions, Skjor can be spoken to. He and Aela offer lycanthropy. If the Dragonborn agrees, a special ceremony is conducted allowing for the transformation into a werewolf to occur once per day. Further interaction with the Companions halts until a decision is made.


Side quests

  • Most of these quests are radiant and can be repeated unlimited times, with random goals. For example, in "Animal Extermination," the hold and target beast will be different each time. 300 Gold are gained by completing each quest.
  • Entering and leaving the area which the character currently occupies changes radiant quests. It is possible to simply re-enter Jorrvaskr until the desired quest appears.
  • Sometimes, the leaders will not have any quests. Reentering Jorrvaskr may also change this.
  • Some of these quests (e.g. "Purity") are one time only, but they still follow the "reset" mentioned above, when leaving an area.

Initial wave

These quests are available after completing "Take Up Arms."

Second wave

These quests are available after completing "The Silver Hand."

Aela only offers two of these quests; the two that the Dragonborn will be asked to do is chosen by the game at random.

After two of the three above quests have been completed, and upon talking with Aela to ask for work, she will direct the Dragonborn to Kodlak Whitemane, which starts the quest, "Blood's Honor."confirmation needed

Final wave

These quests are available after completing "Glory of the Dead."

  • Totems of Hircine – Aela (can only be completed three times; player must be a werewolf)
  • Purity – Farkas or Vilkas (can only be completed once for each)
  • Dragon Seekers – Farkas or Vilkas (Prerequisite: must also complete main quest: "Dragon Rising")


Asking Aela, Farkas, Vilkas, Athis or Njada to be a follower allows for free training sessions, because gold spent on lessons can be removed from their inventory repeatedly. Members of the guild can be fed upon by a vampire, but this is still considered a crime.

Name Sex Race Rank
Kodlak Whitemane M Nord Werewolf Circle Member; Harbinger
Skjor Circle Member
Farkas Circle Member; Heavy Armor Master Trainer
Vilkas Circle Member; Two-Handed Master Trainer
Aela the Huntress F Circle Member; Archery Expert Trainer
Njada Stonearm Nord Companion
Ria Imperial
Athis M Dunmer
Torvar Nord
Vignar Gray-Mane
Brill Affiliate (Vignar's Friend)
Eorlund Gray-Mane Affiliate (Blacksmith)
Tilma the Haggard F Affiliate (Caretaker)
Hestla Nord Vampire Ex-Companion
Uthgerd the Unbroken Nord Ex-Companion
Arnbjorn M Nord Werewolf Ex-Companion
Askar Nord Ex-Companion

Former members

  • Arnbjorn – He was asked to leave because his "unorthodox" methods were offensive to the members.
  • Hestla – She did not progress too far, thus being called a "whelp" and no longer believes her past with the Companions to be important.
  • Uthgerd the Unbroken – Uthgerd attempted to join the Companions but accidentally killed the boy she was set against. Thus, she was not accepted into the Companions and bears a grudge against them.
  • Askar – The Harbringer prior to Kodlak Whitemane.


The way that the Companions' bounty system works is different from the normal bounty system. The only way that bounty can be received is by stealing things from other Companions (through pickpocketing or just taking things from the shelves of Jorrvaskr) or by killing a Companion in a single hit. It is possible to attack any one of the Companions without incurring any bounty. A warning is issued upon the first strike, "Watch it there, Brother/Sister." Thus, the Sneak, One-Handed, and Archery skills, as with any other offensive skill, can be leveled repeatedly. Killing a Companion causes a bounty of 1,000 to be assessed.


  • If Aela, Farkas, and Vilkas all join the Blades, then the Dragonborn will be the only Circle member left.
  • The Companions appear to be more tolerant of non-Nords than most, as there is an Imperial and a Dunmer among the members.
  • Similar to finding Aela, Farkas, and Ria fighting a giant, the Dragonborn may also find Ria and Vilkas fighting two sabre cats; Skjor, Aela and Njada fighting a mammoth; or Farkas, Athis and Torvar fighting wolves.
  • Items placed in the inventories of the Circle members may disappear when they transform. This is due to the game removing their "regular" character entity and replacing it with a transformed instance instead. Remember to remove all given items from them if combat is to be expected, as the Circle members, unless told not to, will almost always transform when engaged.
  • If one of the Circle is married, jobs can still be taken from them, as long as they are at either Jorrvaskr or their new marital home. If they are an active follower, however, they need to be first told to leave. The Dragonborn can then talk to them as they walk away and get a job, and "re-hire" them after getting the job if so desired.
  • If a job is taken from one of the Circle after completing their main questline, they can be hired after getting the job, so after completing the quest, the quest giver can be immediately told of its completion, instead of having to travel back to Jorrvaskr to report in.
  • If the Dragonborn gets into a brawl with a character, such as Benor, while one of The Circle is an active follower, instead of standing on the sidelines with their weapon drawn, like other Companions and followers, they will move around the outskirts of the fight and shout tips and encouragements to the Dragonborn.
  • If a job is taken from one of the Circle (even during the Companions' main quests), the quest marker always points to the back doors of Jorrvaskr, not the front doors, even though quest giver(s) wait by the front door to hear of the Dragonborn's completion of a quest. This does not affect gameplay; either sets of doors can be used.
  • Unlike most of the other joinable factions in Skyrim, all but two of the members of the Companions (barring potentially the Dragonborn) wear some form of warpaint.
  • Although romantic relationships within the Companions is not totally forbidden, it is not encouraged either. However, the Dragonborn can flout this entirely, as wearing an Amulet of Mara and talking to most of the members opens up marriage dialogue.
  • All members of the Companions have the same lines of dialogue for follower commands. However, most of them do not share marriage dialogue.
  • Members of the Companions will not be hostile toward a transformed Dragonborn as opposed to most characters, who will attack on sight. Additionally, they may say the same radiant dialogue they say toward the Dragonborn when naked.


This section contains bugs related to The Companions. 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 the list of bugs encountered
  • If Companions are killed or things stolen from them, when trying to pay any bounty, three options appear. Two of these involve paying back the bounty, and the other one rejects paying the fine altogether. When a debt is paid, they will respond, then another speech option will appear after they say their thanks which says "ForceGreet" — hitting this returns to the beginning of the conversation with two payment options and one denial option. Exiting the conversation results in exactly the same thing, rendering it impossible to take up any of their quests or be friendly with the Companions.
  • All of the Companions, except Vignar and Kodlak, will respawn no matter what. This is because they go out hunting, which forces them to revive and temporarily become a quest character.
  • To avoid bugs, alternate Farkas' quests with Vilkas' throughout the Companions' main questline; one from Farkas after beating Vilkas and being shown to the Dragonborn's room, and one from Vilkas after retrieving the fragments of Wuuthrad. Continue to alternate quests from the brothers in this manner. After completing "Glory of the Dead," find Farkas and get another quest from him. After Farkas gives his "Purity" quest, complete it and this should allow Vilkas' "Purity" quest to be given and completed without problems.
  • There appears to be a scripting error in which Farkas and Vilkas are treated as guards. They may keep following and harassing the Dragonborn by constantly starting conversations if there is a bounty on his or her head. This prevents some quests from them. To fix this, the bounty should be paid. It is possible to fast travel to the hold where the fine is, or  PC   target them in console and type: paycrimegold.
  • If the quest "Glory of the Dead" has been finished and the Dragonborn has become the new Harbinger, the guards in Whiterun will start to address the Dragonborn as Harbinger and show respect. However, if another faction quest is started, the guards will no longer recognize the Dragonborn's status and only address him or her as the latest Companion recruit.
  • After attacking Whiterun with the Stormcloaks, all of the Companions will run towards the Dragonborn with their swords drawn like they are going to attack. Then a dialogue will be forced. They will do this until the area is left, similar to when running from the guard.
  • When joining the Companions and speaking to Kodlak Whitemane, he says he will talk with Vilkas about the Dragonborn's request. At that point, they may stay silent but still have the "This person is busy" sign. This can be resolved by hitting one of them and then yielding.
  •  PS3   Sometime after finishing the Companion quests, Skjor apparently seems to come back to life and wander around. He offers no dialogue other than short statements. Skjor also respawns if the Dragonborn's Lycanthropy is cured.
  • Sometimes after the quest "Glory of the Dead," certain members will walk back to Whiterun and will still be in the wild, so they may be encountered again.
  • If something was put in the display case, upon leaving and returning the display case will be locked again.
  • Even after completing a job, the leaders will still say the Dragonborn is running a job, making other work impossible.
  •  PC   To complete the miscellaneous quest "Talk to the leaders of the Companions for work," type the console: setobjectivecompleted CompanionsRadiantMiscObjective 10 1.
  • Aela's Shield in "Take Up Arms" is a Steel Shield. Until Aela is given her shield, all Steel Shields in the inventory will be marked as quest items.
  • When being attacked by guards in Whiterun, the Companions will come out and fight the guards and possibly get killed.
  •  PC   There is a chance that the "Escaped Criminal" quest can move from an active quest to a completed quest without having finished any of the quest objectives. There may be no marker for the criminal, and the quest giver exhibits indifference as to whether or not they are dead. Killing them (if they happen to be found) does not complete the "already completed quest." This bug prevents receiving additional Companions quests.


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

Blood Oath (Achievement)
Blood Oath
Become a member of the Circle
Points 10 Gamer points
Bronze trophy

Glory of the Dead (Achievement)
Glory of the Dead
Complete "Glory of the Dead"
Points 30 Gamer points
Silver trophy