Vilkas is a Nord werewolf resident of Whiterun. He is the Master at Arms of the Companions and a member of the Circle, the most formidable and experienced of their warriors. Like the rest of the Companions, he lives in Jorrvaskr in the Wind District of Whiterun. He is a Master-level trainer in two-handed weaponry and serves as the Dragonborn's shield-brother in several of the Companions' quests. He is also one of the Companions who can assign radiant quests to the Dragonborn.
Upon completion of the Companions' main plotline, Vilkas can be recruited as a follower and becomes a potential marriage candidate. He can be recruited into the Blades if the Dragonborn talks to Delphine while having him as a follower, or as a steward if the Hearthfire DLC has been installed.
Vilkas and his twin brother, Farkas, were both raised in Jorrvaskr by Jergen, who rescued them from a cult of necromancers. It is unknown if he was their biological father. According to Vilkas, Jergen left to fight in the Great War but never returned.
Eventually, Vilkas and Farkas both officially joined the Companions and rose to the ranks of the Circle. They were said to be the youngest members to ever join, though this may be a play on words by Vignar Gray-Mane, referring to the twins' young age during their residence at Jorrvaskr rather than the age at which their membership became official.
As Master at Arms, Vilkas is in charge of training the younger members in weapon combat. He has a reputation of being hard on his students but is an excellent teacher.
At first, Vilkas seems to think the Dragonborn is not worthy of being a Companion. He does eventually warm up to the idea after the completion of "Glory of the Dead."
Vilkas is well-spoken, and considered to be an intelligent man by the other Companions, the counterpart to his brother's physical prowess. He, along with his brother and Kodlak, resists the call of the beast-blood, choosing instead to refrain from transformations. However, he struggles with the side-effects more harshly than the others.
He resents Jergen leaving them, and looks down on his brother's rosy description of their childhood. He at first claims that it is the promise of coin that feeds his blade, but later admits his respect for what the Companions represent and upholding the legacy of Ysgramor. He has great respect for Kodlak and trusts his judgement, even when it disagrees with his own.
Vilkas is also thought of as a hot-tempered man. For example, during "Purity of Revenge," he does not hesitate to avenge Kodlak's death. However, he does later show remorse for his rash actions, as seen in "Glory of the Dead," during which he refuses to enter the rest of Ysgramor's Tomb, feeling himself unworthy.
After the Companions' main questline is completed, Vilkas will eventually give the quest "Purity." In this quest, he will ask the Dragonborn to cure him of beast blood.
When the Dragonborn first approaches Kodlak Whitemane to join the Companions, he and Vilkas are having a private conversation. Kodlak assigns Vilkas the task of testing the Dragonborn's skill. Vilkas escorts the Dragonborn to the training yard and endures a few swings, then tells the Dragonborn to deliver his sword to the Skyforge for sharpening.
In this radiant quest, Vilkas requires the Dragonborn to track down and kill an escaped prisoner in a specific hold.
This radiant quest requires the Dragonborn to retrieve a random weapon or item from a radiant dungeon and deliver it back to Vilkas for payment.
In this radiant quest, Vilkas requires the Dragonborn to rescue a kidnapped citizen and escort the citizen home safely.
After Vilkas informs the Dragonborn of Kodlak's death, he demands they accompany him to Driftshade Refuge to retrieve the Fragments of Wuuthrad and wipe out the Silver Hand once and for all. Once the mission is complete and the two have returned to Whiterun, he informs the Dragonborn that all the Companions are meeting at the Skyforge for Kodlak's funeral.
After Kodlak's funeral, Vilkas accompanies the remaining members of the Circle to The Underforge. When the Dragonborn enters, he and Aela are arguing about granting Kodlak's final wish. The decision is made for the Circle to travel to Ysgramor's Tomb and cure Kodlak's spirit of lycanthropy so he may ascend to Sovngarde.
Once the Circle arrives and the tomb is opened, Vilkas chooses not to proceed, due to his grief clouding his judgement and making him unworthy. He cautions the others on what to expect and waits next to the statue of Ysgramor outside the burial chamber. Once the quest is complete, Vilkas decides to stay at the tomb with the other Circle members for a while.
Vilkas wishes to rid himself of his beast blood. To cure him, the Dragonborn must take him to Ysgramor's Tomb, throw a Glenmoril Witch Head into the fire, and then kill Vilkas's beast spirit.
After Vilkas's beast blood is removed, the Dragonborn can speak to him again for more radiant quests. Eventually, he will have the quest Dragon Seekers for the Dragonborn, indicated by the speech option "Is there any work to be done?"
Vilkas will tell the Dragonborn of people coming to Whiterun with rumors of dragons, and how he would like to see one for himself. He will then give the Dragonborn the location of one of the Word Walls to travel to and kill the dragon located there. Once complete, he will elect to remain behind for a while so he can pay the proper respects to the fallen dragon.
"An Amulet of Mara? You're not married? [surprised chuckle] Surprising."
Interested in me, are you? "I am. I'd be glad to stand by your side until the Divines take us, i..if you'll have me."
- I will. Together, then. "Together."
- I'm sorry. I'm not interested. "[dejected sigh] I see."
Vilkas can train up to level 90 in Two-Handed.
If recruited as a follower, his services as a trainer are still available. Any money paid can be taken out of his inventory afterwards, effectively making the training free.
As a follower, Vilkas has no tolerance for crime. If the Dragonborn has a bounty in any hold, Vilkas will draw his sword and advance on the Dragonborn, but will not attack unless provoked.
"Great, another ambitious visitor. You think you can just wander in here and join us?"
- Where do you stand on the war? "There are always good reasons to fight. I just wish this war had them. Who cares who worships what dead god? Give me something to make me draw my sword."
- Why did you join the Companions? "To hear Farkas tell it, our father raised us here as happy pups, running around biting knees. I love my brother, but his brains are not his strong suit. We were brought here by Jergen. Whether he was our father or not, I don't care. He left to fight in the Great War and never came back. So he's not my problem anymore. We've been here as long as either of us can remember, though. So try to show some respect."
- Who are the Companions? "You'll hear some of the brighter faces around here talk about honor and glory. I've got nothing against it, but for me, the promise of coin is what feeds my blade. Wherever someone in Skyrim doesn't feel up to defending their own honor, we'll take up their burden."
- Can I join the Companions? "I don't know if you're capable, and I don't have time to find out. If Kodlak will vouch for you, I might have some work you could do."
|Show: Take Up Arms|
"Not here. Out in the yard. Come on."
In the yard:
"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."
During the fight:
"Pretty good arm you have there."
If magic is used:
"What do you think this is? We don't do battle with magic around here, new blood. Now come at me."
After the fight:
"Not bad. Next time won't be so easy. You might just make it. But for now, you're still a whelp to us, new blood. So you do what we tell you. Here's my sword. Go take it up to Eorlund to have it sharpened. And be careful, it's probably worth more than you are."
After joining the Companions:
"Come to me with questions. I know our history almost as well as Vignar by now. Except I can remember it."
|Show: Blood's Honor|
"Where have you been?"
|Show: Glory of the Dead|
|Inside Ysgramor's Tomb:
"This is the resting place of Ysgramor. And his most trusted generals. You should be cautious."
After becoming Harbinger:
"I wouldn't have expected someone like you to be the Harbinger, but Kodlak trusted your judgment. And so will I."
Vilkas: "But I still hear the call of the blood."
Kodlak: "We all do. It is our burden to bear. But we can overcome."
Vilkas: "You have my brother and I, obviously. But I don't know if the rest will go along quite so easily."
Kodlak: "Leave that to me."
Vilkas: "Master, you're not truly considering accepting him?"
Kodlak: "I am nobody's master, Vilkas. And last I checked, we had some empty beds in Jorrvaskr for those with a fire burning in their hearts."
Vilkas: "Apologies. But perhaps this isn't the time. I've never even heard of this outsider."
Kodlak: "Sometimes the famous come to us. Sometimes men and women come to us to seek their fame. It makes no difference. What matters is their heart."
Vilkas: "And their arm."
[After speaking to Kodlak]
Kodlak: "Vilkas, take him out to the yard and see what he can do."
Eorlund: "Who will start?"
Aela: "I'll do it. Before the ancient flame... We grieve."
Eorlund: "We grieve."
Farkas: "We grieve."
Vilkas: "We grieve."
Eorlund: "At this loss... We weep."
Aela: "We weep."
Farkas: "We weep."
Vilkas: "We weep."
Vilkas: "For the fallen... We shout."
Aela: "We shout."
Eorlund: "We shout."
Farkas: "We shout."
Farkas: "And for ourselves... We take our leave."
Eorlund: "We take our leave."
Aela: "We take our leave."
Vilkas: "We take our leave."
Aela: "His spirit is departed. Members of the Circle, let us withdraw to the Underforge, to grieve our last together."
Vilkas: "The old man had one wish before he died. And he didn't get it. It's as simple as that."
Aela: "Being moon-born is not so much of a curse as you might think, Vilkas."
Vilkas: "That's fine for you. But he wanted to be clean. He wanted to meet Ysgramor and know the glories of Sovngarde. But all that was taken from him."
Aela: "And you avenged him."
Farkas: "Kodlak did not care for vengeance."
Vilkas: "No, Farkas, he didn't. And that's not what this is about. We should be honoring Kodlak, no matter our own thoughts on the blood."
Aela: "You're right. It's what he wanted, and he deserved to have it."
Vilkas: "Kodlak used to speak of a way to cleanse his soul, even in death. You know the legends of the Tomb of Ysgramor."
Aela: "There the souls of Harbingers will heed the call of northern steel. We can't even enter the tomb without Wuuthrad, and it's in pieces, like it has been for a thousand years."
Eorlund: "And dragons were just stories. And the elves once ruled Skyrim. Just because something is, doesn't mean it must be. The blade is a weapon. A tool. Tools are meant to be broken. And repaired."
Vilkas: "Is that? Did you repair the blade?"
Eorlund: "This is the first time I've had all the pieces, thanks to our Shield-Brother here. "The flames of a hero can reforge the shattered." The flames of Kodlak shall fuel the rebirth of Wuuthrad. And now it will take you to meet him once more. As the one who bore the fragments, I think should be the one to carry Wuuthrad into battle. The rest of you, prepare to journey to the Tomb of Ysgramor. For Kodlak."
Ria: "It just feels so slow."
Vilkas: "It will feel that way for a while. But eventually you'll get used to it, and then you'll get faster with it. After that, the shortsword will feel like a knitting needle when you pick it up again."
Ria: "I've never held a knitting needle."
Vilkas: "Of course not. My mistake."
Ria: "Should I be holding the blade further away than a smaller one?"
Vilkas: "If you keep it in close, you'll have more control, but it can be harder to balance a strike."
Ria: "I guess that comes down to footwork, then."
Vilkas: "Exactly. When you have a big, heavy weight swinging around your upper body, your lower body has to compensate, or you'll fall right over."
Ria: "Why can't I train with Aela?"
Vilkas: "Because, you wanted to learn the longer blades. Aela's never used anything bigger than a dagger."
Ria: "It's just...I think our fighting styles are similar."
Vilkas: "Well, you can either get better with a bow or try to learn from me."
|"Come to me with questions. I know our history almost as well as Vignar by now. Except I can remember it."||General|
|"What brings you to me? Find some strange creature in your travels?"||General|
|"I think by now I've killed one of every living thing in Skyrim. May be time for a trip to Morrowind."||General|
|"I wouldn't have expected someone like you to be the Harbinger, but Kodlak trusted your judgment. And so will I."||General|
|"Great, another ambitious visitor. You think you can just wander in here and join us?"||General|
|"Did you just wander in out of the white?"||General|
|"I suppose you have another question?"||General|
|"You're a talkative one, aren't you."||General|
|"This is a fine wedding. And to think, it's for us."||Marriage|
|"Then I'll see you at home!"||Marriage|
|"You have quite a house. I'm thinking of setting up a small store here. Sell odds and ends."||Marriage|
|"We've made a bit of gold. Here, love, this is your share."||Marriage|
|"Here. Wouldn't want you going into a fight on an empty stomach. I'll have another meal ready tomorrow."||Marriage|
|"It's good to see you again, dear."||Marriage|
|"Do you need anything, my love?"||Marriage|
|"I'll rip your heart out!"||Combat|
|"I'll carve you into pieces!"||Combat|
|"By Ysmir, you'll pay for that!"||Combat|
|"Shor have mercy on you!"||Combat|
|"Ysmir... curse you!"||Combat|
|"Victory or Sovngarde!"||Combat|
|"We've stopped. What is it?"||Follower|
|"Got a feeling there's trouble ahead."||Follower|
|"There's a cave. Animals or bandits inside, no doubt."||Follower|
|"Suddenly I feel much better."||Follower|
|"By Ysmir, I feel... invincible!"||Follower|
|"Look at these stones. The ancestors knew how to build, no doubt."||Follower|
|"Get nervous around dwarven stonework. Legends say these cities are haunted."||Follower|
|"I'm heading home if you need me."||Follower|
|"We're going to make them pay."||During "Purity of Revenge"|
|"Let's get back to Jorrvaskr. We'll want to pay our respects to Kodlak's spirit."||During "Purity of Revenge"|
|"The others have probably prepared Kodlak's funeral by now."||During "Purity of Revenge"|
|"Come up to the Skyforge to pay your respects."||During "Purity of Revenge"|
|"For Kodlak!"||During "Honor the Dead"|
- "Vilkas" means "wolf" in Lithuanian. His brother's name, "Farkas," also means wolf in Hungarian. In Finnish "Vilkas" means "lively" or "brisk."
- He claims to have killed every type of creature in Skyrim.
- Vilkas usually says that he likes and prefers two-handed weapons, and he always uses them when he is the Dragonborn's follower or when he is in a quest. However, Vilkas uses a one-handed sword and a shield if encountered before completion of the quest "Take Up Arms."
- Vilkas may be randomly encountered out in the wilderness killing a giant or sabre cat along with Ria or other Companions.
- If the Dragonborn marries Farkas, Vilkas may appear in the Temple of Mara as a wedding guest; if addressed, he warmly expresses his happiness for the couple.
- Vilkas was voiced by Michael Gough. He and the voice actor for Farkas (Michael "Popeye" Vogelsang) also voice Majni and Akar, another set of brothers and Nord werewolves from the Frostmoon Pack.
- After the Companions' questline, if the Dragonborn does not wear Wolf Armor, Vilkas will be the only member of the Circle to wear the armor.
- Although Vilkas claims to "know the Companions' history as well as Vignar," and to come to him with any questions about their history, there is actually no dialogue option to ask about the Companions' history; the only "history" options are to ask about how he and his brother became Companions.
- If a title is earned before joining the Companions, such as being Thane of Whiterun or Arch-Mage of College of Winterhold, Vilkas still says to Kodlak that "I've never even heard of this person." when Kodlak approves the Dragonborn to join the Companions.
- Vilkas is the only member of the Circle not to carry a key to Whiterun's gate.
- During Take Up Arms, before he agrees to measure the player character's strength, Vilkas protests Kodlak's decision, "But Master...", to which Kodlak shouts "I am no one's master!"
- Kodlak writes in his journal that Vilkas is "as fierce as a sabre cat" in battle.
- Vilkas states in his dialogue that Jergen "left to fight in the Great War and never came back." However, per The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Prima Official Game Guide, Jergen was killed in a battle with brigands near Dawnstar several years ago.
This section contains bugs related to Vilkas. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
|Click to see the list of bugs encountered|