Aela the Huntress is a Nord werewolf, a member of The Companions, and one of five members of The Circle. Residing in Jorrvaskr with the other Companions, Aela offers lycanthropy deep into the faction's questline. Additionally, she is an expert level Archery trainer, as well as a candidate for marriage and a follower after The Companions' main questline.
When asked, Aela explains her reasoning behind joining The Companions:
It is rumored among the Companions that she and Skjor have a very intimate relationship with one another, Njada Stonearm's conversations with Aela reveals this. However, Aela hastily and vehemently denies the relationship.
Other ambient dialogue between her and Skjor reveals that the two go out at night to hunt in beast form. This is forbidden among the Companions, and is the source of their secrecy as well as the rumors about them. She is extremely angry upon finding Skjor's dead body when the Dragonborn attacks the Silver Hand in Gallows Rock. It is never confirmed that her and Skjor were romantically involved.
It is possible to encounter Aela before knowledge of The Companions is acquired. She may be found fighting a giant at Pelagia Farm on the outskirts of Whiterun, along with Ria and Farkas. She approves or disapproves of the actions, depending on the amount of assistance given in defeating the giant; only one successful strike is needed to gain her favor. Regardless, she suggests visiting Jorrvaskr and speaking to Kodlak Whitemane about joining The Companions.
After the Dragonborn becomes a full member of The Companions, Aela offers Archery training for a fee. She is considered an Expert trainer, and can train up to Archery level 75. Once married, she will still offer training.
In order to complete The Companions quest line, the Dragonborn must be initiated into The Circle by becoming a Werewolf. Aela willingly donates blood, which must be drunk. During the transformation, the Dragonborn has a few minutes to run around Whiterun. Both guards and civilians will be hostile, but there are no consequences for attacking anyone. After the transformation, the Dragonborn awakens outside of Whiterun, with Aela standing over them.
She offers her congratulations, noting how difficult the Dragonborn was to control, and divulges information about the Circle's rivalry with the Silver Hand, a fierce group of Werewolf hunters. Together with Aela, a nearby group located at Gallows Rock is raided. The raid does not go as planned, however, as Skjor is slaughtered prior to the raid and found dead in the final chamber. Aela vows to slay whoever killed him. From that point, the Dragonborn can receive special assignments from Aela, who sends them on a series of quests intended to stifle the dramatically escalating feud.
After the Silver Hand assassinates Kodlak Whitemane, the Companions agree that the Silver Hand must be eradicated. In an effort to cleanse Kodlak's spirit of the beast curse, Aela accompanies Vilkas, Farkas, and the Dragonborn to Ysgramor's Tomb, where she helps redeem Kodlak's spirit. A promotion to Harbinger is given to the Dragonborn after the completion of this quest.
In Dawnguard, Aela is able to give lycanthropy again, if the Dragonborn decides to cure it in favor of vampirism. Points expended toward the Werewolf skill tree cannot be undone or moved to other skill trees, which includes the Vampire Lord skill tree. She will only do this once, however.
After destroying the Silver Hand
After destroying the Silver Hand, she becomes a follower and a candidate for marriage while wearing an Amulet of Mara in her presence. She then offers the repeatable "Animal Extermination" missions, as well as the ability to collect the mythic Totems of Hircine, but only if the player character is still a Werewolf and had not cured themselves during "Glory of the Dead" or "Purity."
After escorting Delphine and Esbern to Sky Haven Temple, Aela can be recruited into the Blades. Along with two others, she roots out and fights dragons. After becoming a Blade, Aela's default armor changes to Blades Armor and her residence shifts from Jorrvaskr to Sky Haven Temple.
Aela is a specialist and highly skilled in Archery. Her primary skills are Light Armor and Sneak. Her secondary skills are One-Handed and Speech. It should be noted that she is not good with a shield, and will rarely use one if it is in her inventory.
Aela is equipped with the following items when she first becomes a follower:
- Skyforge Steel Dagger
- Hunting Bow (not shown in some cases)
- Whiterun Gate Key
- Belted Tunic (not shown in some cases)
- Aela's Shield (not shown in some cases)
|Level||8 → 50|
|Health||109 → 509|
|Stamina||96 → 426|
|Default Armor Rating||57|
|Light Armor||31 → 100|
|Sneak||26 → 97|
|One-Handed||28 → 75|
|Archery||29 → 100|
|Block||24 → 48|
|Speech||28 → 75|
Aela will accept and equip any melee weapon and shield that is better than her default equipment. She is most skilled with bows and one-handed weapons. Aela can use staves and may pick them up from corpses. At higher levels, she replaces her Hunting Bow with an Imperial Bow.
Aela's default armor is Ancient Nord Armor. If married, a copy can be purchased from her shop. Aela will equip any armor better than her default set. Just like other followers, Aela will consider armor as "better" if its base value is higher. Also like other followers, Aela will not equip upgraded versions of her default armor, regardless of statistics or enchantments.
Even though her default armor is Heavy Armor, she is unskilled in Heavy Armor usage, and receives minimal protection from it. She is highly skilled in Light Armor, and benefits significantly from Light Armor.
Aela can be forced to wear clothes, although the process must be repeated every time a new area is entered. First, armor must be forced into her shop inventory by giving her a better suit. Proceed to buy both sets of the Ancient Nord Armor, to finally replace the armor that was given to her at first by clothes.
When Aela is dismissed as a follower, she returns to Jorrvaskr by default. If she has been asked to move into a home through marriage, she returns there instead. If she has been recruited for The Blades, she returns to Sky Haven Temple. When Aela has returned to her home, she unequips any weapon and armor she has received, keeping them in her inventory instead. Her inventory must be altered to re-equip the items.
Aela's leisure time
Aela: "You wanted to see me?"
Kodlak: "I worry that you've been spending too many nights out."
Aela: "Where I go is my business. If you have a concern about my honor, bring it before the Circle."
Kodlak: "You forget yourself, young one."
Aela: "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to snap. Just... these hunters. We're all on edge."
Kodlak: "That's why it's best to not mistake foolhardiness for bravery."
Kodlak: "How goes the hunt?"
Aela: "Skjor's heard rumors of a bear the size of a mammoth in Hammerfell. We're going to seek it out."
Kodlak: "What glorious prey. Come back alive, and with stories to tell!"
Skjor: "All these younglings scampering around."
Aela: "Worried one of them is going to take your place?"
Skjor: "Some of them might try. But that's not what I'm worried about."
Aela: "What then?"
Skjor: "That they might get themselves killed."
Aela: "By you?"
Skjor: "They should be so lucky."
Skjor: "Are you prepared for tonight's hunt?"
Aela: "I've been thinking we need to be more... discreet."
Skjor: "There's nothing wrong with what we're doing."
Aela: "You know the old man doesn't like it. Let's just not be too obvious."
Whispers of intimacy
Njada: "I've heard some rumors... about you and Skjor."
Aela: "And if you want to keep having ears, you'll pretend you didn't."
Njada: "Is it not allowed?"
Aela: "It's not exactly forbidden, but even so... it's not true. So that's that."
Aela: "How do you manage to hold your ground like that?"
Njada: "You have to remember, it's not about strength. It's about leverage."
Aela: "But strength doesn't hurt."
Njada: "Well, no. I'm just saying there's more to defense than muscle."
- "I've heard you may actually be stronger than you look. Perhaps we can hunt together someday."
- "Blood running hot?"
- "Are you on a hunt?"
- Aela, Legate Rikke, and several other female characters are voiced by Claudia Christian.
- She can be exploited for Archery training, like any other follower that offers training. This can only be done at the end of the Companions' storyline, after obtaining the rank of Harbinger. Talk to her and pay for training. After the training that she can offer is maxed out, ask her to be a follower. Talk to her again and to trade some things with her. Trading is a good opportunity to take back all of the training from her inventory. Once trading is done, she can be released as a follower, and she will leave.
- As a follower, when requested to do so, she will not attempt to steal. Likewise, this is also the case when ordered to attack non-aggressive characters, stating, "I don't do that."
- She is the only member of the Circle who refuses to be cured of Lycanthropy after "Glory of the Dead."
- Aela appears as a spouse on the trailer of Hearthfire.
- If the Dragonborn becomes a vampire, she will occasionally say "Something has shifted in the moons, Brother/Sister." This may persist even after being turned back into a werewolf.
- During "The Silver Hand," after the Dragonborn wakes up and Aela starts conversation, she remarks that, "You caused more trouble than Farkas during his first transformation," even if the Dragonborn had hid during their transformation.
- When conversing with her before the raid of Gallows Rock during "The Silver Hand," asking, "Is there a cure?" will prompt a derisive laugh from her and, "You're starting to sound like the old man," before she sighs and remarks, "I shouldn't say that."
- Aela calls Sovngarde "a mead-swilling afterlife."
- When starting the Totems of Hircine questline, she mentions how Skjor had found a book detailing the Totems, and he had mentioned this to Kodlak before Kodlak started looking for a cure to his Lycanthropy, though afterwards had not brought it up again. When Aela says the word "cure," she says it with disdain, showing that although she was willing to go with the other Circle members to cure Kodlak because "that's what he wanted," she still thinks that it was wrong that Kodlak wanted a cure in the first place.
- When getting the final leg of the Totems of Hircine questline, she states that everybody can be bought, and that everybody also has a "pain threshold," indicating that she may have tortured someone to get the location of the final Totem.
- When first interacting with her after beating Vilkas in the training yard and bringing her her shield, if one chooses the "I'd kill him before he could draw his sword." option, she says, "Whoa! Slow down there. The Companions don't kill each other over disputes," before her voice takes on a lusty tone and she continues, "I like your fire though. Let us hunt together, sometime." with an emphasis on "hunt."
This section contains bugs related to Aela the Huntress. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
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