Not to be confused with Vincano.
"It is my personal mission to ensure that the Bards College preserves the great deeds of the past, in both poetry and song."

Viarmo is an Altmer and the headmaster of the Bards College in Solitude.

Background[edit | edit source]

He serves as the Master of Ceremonies for the Burning of King Olaf Festival that's held every year. He spends his mornings at The Winking Skeever with his fellow instructors and the rest of the day tending to the college. As a neutral observer, he tries not to concern himself with Skyrim's politics, yet recognizes the significance of the Dragon Crisis and the impact it will have on history.

Interactions[edit | edit source]

Viarmo will offer some words of advice pertaining to being a good bard. Ironically, he stresses that bards record history—they do not make it; despite the adventures of the Dragonborn. He will also have various conversations with the other instructors, typically regarding the students.

Tending the Flames[edit | edit source]

Due to the death of High King Torygg, his widow, Elisif the Fair, bans the Burning of King Olaf festival in Solitude. Viarmo employs the Dragonborn with recovering King Olaf's Verse, a poetic tome that serves as proof to the legitimacy of the festival.

Dialogue[edit | edit source]

Show: Tending the Flames
Inside the Bards College:

"Welcome to the Bard's College. I am the headmaster here. How may I help you?"

I'm looking to apply to the college. "Always a pleasure to meet a prospective bard. You should be aware that many apply but we accept very few people. When possible, we ask applicants to perform tasks the college needs completed. In this case, I do have a task befitting an inspiring bard..."
What do you need me to do? "Elisif has forbidden the Burning of King Olaf, a Festival put on by the Bards College. We need to change her mind. To convince her I want to read King Olaf's Verse. A part of the Poetic Edda, the living history of Skyrim. Unfortunately, the verse was lost long ago."
And that's where I come in? "Yes. According to Giraud, our histories keeper, the portion of Edda dealing with King Olaf might still exist in Dead Man's respite. I need you to retrieve the poem."

"I wish you luck in finding the verse."

If approached again:

"I have faith that you'll return with King Olaf's Verse."

What do you know about dragons? "Not much, to be honest. Their return was a shock to us all. Giraud Gemane has some tomes about them in the library, if you're interested."
Has the war affected your college much? "Not much. But as a bard, I find the whole affair depressing. There are no heroes in this war. No winners to be had and no real conclusion. If you want something a bard can dig into look to the dragons. A thousand years from now Skyrim will have changed rulers dozens of times but the return of the dragons, that story is once in an era."
So what is the Poetic Edda? "I think Giraud here would give you the best explanation of both it and the history of King Olaf's Verse. You should speak to him about it."
Why did Elisif forbid the festival? "As you may be aware Elisif's husband High King Torygg was recently killed. Elisif mourns her husband deeply and she feels that a festival that burns a King in effigy is... distasteful. I've tried to convince her the festival is many centuries old and celebrates Solitude but I need proof. I believe King Olaf's verse will provide that proof."

Upon returning:

"Ah, you have returned. How goes the task I gave you?"

I found King Olaf's Verse. "I have to admit I didn't think it would actually be there. Now let's take a look at this... Oh. Oh-no. This won't do at all. The copy is incomplete, it's aged to the point that parts are unreadable. And the parts that are readable... well... bardic verse has come a long way since ancient times."
What does that mean? "It means I can't read it to the court. Without the verse I won't be able to convince Elisif of the importance of The Burning of King Olaf Festival. If she isn't convinced of the festival's importance then she won't reverse her decision to stop the effigy burning. It means that the Burning of King Olaf, which the Bards College has held for time immemorial, won't be happening."
Can't we just make up missing parts the verse? "Make it up? That doesn't seem appropriate... I suppose I could copy his style based on what you brought me but I have no idea what happened in between these verses."
We can do this. What's the first verse? ""O, Olaf, our subjugator, the one-eyed betrayer;" "death-dealing demon and dragon-killing King." "Your legend is lies, lurid and false;" "your cunning capture of Numinex, a con for the ages." King Olaf was Olaf One-Eye? He famously captured the dragon Numinex and took him to Dragonsreach. What do we say really happened?"
Olaf found him asleep. "Ha! All right, I'm writing that in. I'm not sure about the court but I find that much more probable than Olaf capturing a dragon."
Olaf made a deal with Numinex. "Hmmm, Olaf did become king and Numinex escaped later. It's entirely possible... and I'm sure the court will like that, I'm writing it in."
Olaf was Numinex. A dragon in human form! (Persuade) "I find that highly unlikely... but the court will love it. I'm writing it in." (success) "I find that highly unlikely... I think it would be irresponsible to write that in to the verse." (failure)
Okay, what's next? ""Olaf grabbed power, by promise and threat;" "From Falkreath to Winterhold, they fell to their knees;" "But Solitude stood strong, Skyrim's truest protectors." "Olaf's vengeance was instant, inspired and wicked." Strange. According to history Solitude attacked Winterhold, but Aesgeir seems to be saying Olaf reacted. What do we say happened?"
Olaf ordered disguised troops to attack Solitude? "And they got the orders backwards. Ha ha ha. Yes, I'm writing that in. It should be good for a laugh from the court."
He convinced Solitude to attack Winterhold. "It's not the most exciting answer but the most likely. I'll write it in."
Olaf sacked it in dragon form! (Persuade) "Oh that is exciting! I'm sure the court and the Jarl will love it. I'm writing it in now." (success) "No, that's pushing it too far. Very exciting but highly unlikely, I can't possibly write that in." (failure)
Is that it? "It has a few final lines but that's all we needed to add. I need to head to court immediately and present this. You should come."

If approached again:

"I do hope the court likes the verse. I think we've done an excellent job of recreating it."
"We should really get to court."

In the Blue Palace:

"I do hope the court likes the verse. I think we've done an excellent job of recreating it."

Are we ready? "I think my voice is ready. I hope we've done this well."

If approached again:

"Not now."

After the Verse is brought to the court:

"Unbelievable! You have done us a great service here. I can't begin to thank you enough."

Does that mean I'm a Bard now? "Soon, soon. These things must be done properly, you will be inducted as part of the Festival itself. I need you to go speak to Jorn. He was preparing the Effigy of King Olaf. Tell him to finish the preparations, the Festival is back on."

During the festival:

"I think they like you."

So I'm a bard? "Yes. Congratulations, you are now a full-fledged member of the Bards College. Due to your adventurous nature several of the college professors have some things they wish you to do. What's more, Elisif has declared the Burning of King Olaf should become a weekly event. And finally, there's the matter of the Patronage that Elisif wanted me to give you."

Conversations[edit | edit source]

King Olaf's Verse[edit | edit source]

Elisif: "Ah, Viarmo. I assume you are here to petition for the reinstatement of the Burning of King Olaf Festival."
Viarmo: "I am, Jarl. I wish to present King Olaf's verse from the Poetic Edda. Recovered this very day from the Bards Tomb."
Elisif: "Ah, you mentioned something that would convince us the festival should take place but I didn't expect King Olaf's lost verse. Please proceed."
Viarmo: ""O, Olaf, our subjugator, the one-eyed betrayer;"
"death-dealing demon and dragon-killing King."
"Your legend is lies, lurid and false;"
"your cunning capture of Numinex, a con for the ages."
"No shouting match between dragon and man, no fire or fury did this battle entail."

"Olaf captured a fast-sleeping dragon, a mighty feat which the meek would not fail." (Olaf found Numinex asleep)
"Olaf struck a deal to make himself king, Numinex let go though none tell that tale." (Olaf made a deal with Numinex)
"Olaf was Numinex in human form, on moonless nights he would spread wings and sail." (Olaf was Numinex. A dragon in human form!)

"Olaf grabbed power, by promise and threat;"
"From Falkreath to Winterhold, they fell to their knees;"
"But Solitude stood strong, Skyrim's truest protectors."
"Olaf's vengeance was instant, inspired and wicked."
"Olaf gave orders, Winterhold disguises. An attack on Solitude total destruction to follow."

"Because Solitude would not soon bend knee, Olaf would hurt them while his status accrued. He sacked Winterhold in dragonform, and bent their minds to blame Solitude." (Olaf sacked it in dragon form!)
"His men dressed up and then went out to fight, but they reversed Olaf's orders much to Winterhold's sorrow." (Other suggestions)

"So ends the story of Olaf the liar, a thief and a scoundrel we of Solitude commit to the fire."
"In Solitude bards train for their service, they also gather each year and burn a King who deserves it."
Elisif: "You have proven your point, Viarmo. The festival is truly a celebration of Solitude and a condemnation of false kings."
Viarmo: "I thank you and the college thanks you, Jarl."
Elisif: "Furthermore, I believe that such a fine poem deserves some payment of Patronage. The college will be generously rewarded."
Viarmo: "Thank you yet again. I will make sure our applicant, who was instrumental in... recovering the poem will be well rewarded."

Inge Six-Fingers[edit | edit source]

Viarmo: "How are your students coming along?"
Inge: "Some of them have a long way to go, but they're mostly passable. Don't let them hear I said that, though!"
Viarmo: "Of course not! Complacency is the bane of art. They're in good hands with you, Inge."
Inge: "Yes, Headmaster."

Giraud Gemane[edit | edit source]

Viarmo: "How are your students coming along?"
Giraud: "Bunch of distractions, if you ask me. They just interrupt the rest of my work."
Viarmo: "I'm sorry to break it to you, Giraud, but students are an unfortunate necessity of a college. Do try to persevere."
Giraud: "Yes, Headmaster."

Pantea Ateia[edit | edit source]

Viarmo: "How are your students coming along?"
Pantea: "Passably. Aia is my star pupil; none of the others can hold a candle to her, especially not that wretched Illdi."
Viarmo: "Try not to play favorites, Lady Ateia. It does a disservice to the whole class."
Pantea: "Yes, Headmaster."

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • "Welcome to Solitude, home of the arts here in Skyrim."
  • "It is my personal mission to ensure that the Bards College preserves the great deeds of the past, in both poetry and song."
  • "I generally don't involve myself in politics. Good tales deal with the issues of the day, but a wise bard remains a neutral observer."
  • "We bards record history, we do not make it. You'd do well to remember that."
  • "Never forget: the most important job of any bards is to entertain. The day you lose your audience is the day you cut your lute strings."
  • "May all your adventures be worthy of telling."
  • "May the words of poets keep you warm."
  • "May songs speed you along."

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Bugs[edit | edit source]

This section contains bugs related to Viarmo. 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  , 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.
  •  PC   360   PS3   After completing "Tending the Flames," Viarmo will still be seen holding the torch he used to burn Olaf's effigy for the remainder of the player's playthrough, even in broad daylight. Reverse pickpocketing a torch into his inventory while he is asleep in the Bards College may fix this issue. Although he may raise his left hand as if he still carries the torch.
    • After planting the torch into his inventory, exit and re-enter the college. Sneak attack him while he is asleep to force him into "bleed out" position. Since he is tagged as essential, the attack will not kill him.
    • After a while the torch may be replaced by a Woodcutter's Axe for some reason. It can be pickpocketed away with the appropriate perk.
  • He may remain seated in the palace foyer, waiting for the performance for proceed. Selecting the ready option may complete the quest objective and initiate the next step in speaking to Jorn, bypassing the performance entirely.
  • He may hold a torch in his left hand and can even carry a two-handed weapon in his right, as if it was a one-handed weapon.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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