Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

The Thieves Guild is a renowned and infamous faction of thieves operating throughout the various provinces of Tamriel. Originally based off a guild from southern Hammerfell, the guild overtook the many unorganized outlaw groups across Tamriel, having them adopt a set of small rules and giving them order. The guild has ties to Nocturnal, the patron of thieves.

By game[]


Second Era[]


"There have always been thieves' guilds. What we haven't had before is proper organization, and a decent set of rules for outlaws to live by. If our Abah's Landing Thieves Guild is successful, who knows—maybe outlaws elsewhere in Tamriel will adopt our tenets."

The original Thieves Guild was founded in Abah's Landing, a bustling port city located on the barren peninsula of Hew's Bane in southern Hammerfell. The exact founding date is unknown, though it was a number of years before 2E 549.[2]

At some point during the sixth century of the Second Era, a member known as Bright Ilmund took control of the guild. Under Ilmund's leadership, it was viewed that he ate any scraps the Abah's Landing merchant lords threw at him, all while he shook down any citizen for coin and could not plan a proper heist, causing many members to leave. After his death at around 2E 556, Nicolas became the guildmaster, and set down the three rules of the guild that remained for centuries. With this, the guild returned to its glory and made heavy profits from the fees given by the merchant lords.[2]

In 2E 582, Nicolas set out on a heist to al-Danobia Tomb near Taneth, with his inner council of Zeira, Edda, and Daldur. After failing to bypass one of the tomb's traps, only Zeira made it out alive, becoming the guildmaster. Magnifica Falorah then hired the Iron Wheel after discovering the perpetrators, and sent them to Abah's Landing to hunt out guild members and find her dowry.[3]

Sometime afterwards, Quen and the Vestige joined the guild after a heist of theirs at Fulstrom Homestead was foiled by Chief Inspector Rhanbiq. After investigating the Iron Wheel's intentions, they discovered the merchant lord Cosh was truly Nicolas, who had faked his own death. The guild infiltrated Falorah and Cosh's wedding, seeking to inform her of Cosh's intentions, though Rhanbiq arrested everyone of the guild at the wedding and captured Zeira, taking her to No Shira Citadel. After Zeira was freed, the guild told Falorah of Nicolas having the dowry and Danobia's crown, and she then established connections with the guild.[3]


In time, the guild spread across Tamriel, having a foothold in every province. Barenziah, the queen of Mournhold, was known to have joined their ranks.[4]

Third Era[]


Vvardenfell Crisis[]

During this time, the Morrowind branch of the guild was headed by Gentleman Jim Stacey. It was engaged in conflict with the Camonna Tong and their pawns the Fighters Guild. However, the efforts of Gentleman Jim Stacey and his eventual successor managed to break the ties between the Camonna Tong and the Fighters Guild.

Oblivion Crisis[]

The Thieves Guild is headed by the Gray Fox.

Fourth Era[]



Dragon Crisis[]

During the Dragon Crisis, the Dovahkiin has the option of joining the Thieves Guild in Skyrim. Prior to the events of 4E 201, the Thieves Guild in Skyrim has experienced a decrease in strength and luck due to Mercer Frey's theft of the Skeleton Key from the Twilight Sepulcher. At the end of the Thieves Guild questline in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Dovahkiin can become Guildmaster.




Members of the Thieves Guild protect each other and punish clumsy and greedy thieves. Kings depend on them to keep amateur thieves out of business.[5]




During the Vvardenfell crisis, the rules of the Thieves guild are centered around the principle that there is honor among thieves. It is not allowed to attack or steal from another guild member. Everyone else is fair game.[6]

During the time of the Oblivion crisis, the Grey Fox had established three rules that guild members must follow:

  • Never steal from another member of the guild
  • Never kill while on the job
  • Never steal from the poor[7]




In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Last Dragonborn can join the guild by stealing Madesi's Silver Ring from his strongbox in Riften and planting it in Brand-Shei's pocket in the quest "A Chance Arrangement."





High Rock[]










Similar organizations[]

"Each town and city in the Empire has its own group of thieves. They go by different names, but they are distant cousins to us."
Nicolas, 2E 579

Camonna Tong[]

The Camonna Tong and Thieves Guild are similar in that both are criminal organizations. One major difference is that the Camonna Tong are less honorable, functioning as more of a mafia compared to the Thieves Guild. They lack the code of honor that the Thieves Guild has, and are the native crime syndicate in Morrowind.

Dark Brotherhood[]


The Thieves Guild had a strong connection with the Dark Brotherhood, and despite their differences in purpose, ethics and ideas and policies, the Dark Brotherhood and the Thieves Guild have always had a good connection between each other.[8][9] This is especially true with the Dark Brotherhood and the Thieves Guild in Skyrim. Delvin Mallory of the Thieves Guild and Astrid of the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim have had a good relationship with each other in friendship and in business.[10][11]

Red Asp[]

The Red Asp was known to be the Hallin's Stand Thieves Guild during the Second Era. It was run by Ufa the Red Asp and had ties to Outlaw Refuges.[12]