|Balgruuf the Greater|
Balgruuf the Greater lives in his great hall, Dragonsreach. He plays a key role in the beginning of the main quest in Skyrim. He has a brother named Hrongar, and three children, Frothar, Dagny and Nelkir. No one ever mentions the Jarl's spouse, but one can speculate that she died at least some time before the beginning of the Dragon Crisis.
Jarl Balgruuf wears noble clothes, fur-lined boots, and a gold and ruby circlet for a crown (the clothes and boots are rare, found in few places, such as the East Empire Company warehouse). The Jarl's weapon is a unique axe (which can only be acquired through theft) that carries his name - Balgruuf's war axe. If he fights in the Battle for Whiterun, he will equip steel plate armor without the helmet.
While he is loyal to the Empire, he puts his people's interests first, many times denying the Imperial Legion permission to garrison soldiers in his city so as not to portray martial law — if he is asked what side he is on in the war, he will say that he is "on the side of Whiterun". He is against the Stormcloak rebellion, slandering the Dragonborn if they seize Whiterun with the Stormcloak army. He is generally more interested in dragons than the Civil War in which he is involved.
Appearing before the Jarl to tell him of the dragon attack on Helgen, the Dragonborn learns that another dragon, Mirmulnir, is attacking the Western Watchtower. Together with Irileth and several Whiterun guards, the Dragonborn defeats the dragon and returns to the Jarl. The Jarl dubs the Dragonborn Thane of Whiterun and advises that they visit the Greybeards at High Hrothgar for instruction on Thu'um.
Siding with the Imperial Legion during the Civil War, the Dragonborn fights for Balgruuf to protect Whiterun from the Stormcloaks. Alternatively, siding with the Stormcloaks means the Dragonborn must fight Balgruuf, Irileth, and several of the Whiterun guards. If Vignar Gray-Mane becomes Jarl of Whiterun, Balgruuf, along with Irileth and Proventus, travel to the Blue Palace in Solitude, seeking refuge with Imperial sympathizer, Jarl Elisif the Fair.
He is seen at Kodlak White-mane's funeral if he is the Jarl of Whiterun.
Once pronounced a Thane of Whiterun, the Dragonborn is given a housecarl named Lydia, who can serve as his or her follower. Additionally, he grants the Dragonborn permission to purchase Breezehome, a house in Whiterun. He also presents the leveled Axe of Whiterun to the Dragonborn, a status-symbol of the Thanes of Whiterun. (A sword rather than an axe may be received.)
- Dragon Rising - Help defend Whiterun against a Dragon.
- The Way Of The Voice - Seek out the Greybeards at High Hrothgar to learn about being Dragonborn.
- Season Unending
- The Fallen - Trap a dragon in Dragonsreach with the Jarl's help
- Message to Whiterun - Deliver Ulfric's axe to Jarl Balgruuf.
- Battle for Whiterun (Stormcloaks) - Take the city for the Stormcloak rebellion.
- Battle for Whiterun (Imperial) - Defend the city from the Stormcloak rebellion.
- The Whispering Door - Something is wrong with Balgruuf's son Nelkir.
- It is possible to pickpocket gold from him and have it respawn with a larger amount.
- It is possible to gain a bounty in Eastmarch if, when on the Stormcloak's side, the Dragonborn attacks him before he becomes hostile.
- He somewhat resembles King Theoden in The Lord of The Rings. In addition to physical resemblance, both rule from a hill fort with their palace occupying the highest point, and both also have a horse as their domain's emblem. Additionally, both Balgruuf and Theoden are notorious for their stubborness and temper.
- Jarl Balgruuf was initially meant to be killable during the The Whispering Door quest. When inspecting the quest through the Creation Kit, it is revealed that all his children were meant to fall under the influence of Mephala, eventually committing Patricide. Hrongar would have replaced Balgruuf as Jarl, having many unused lines of dialogue that parallel that of Balgruuf's during the Civil War Quest and Main Quest.
- During the Battle for Whiterun (if the player has sided with the Stormcloaks), Balgruuf can be pickpocketed for a Necklace of Waterbreathing, which is odd for the fact that Balgruuf never touches water.
- When asked about him by Gerdur, she will reply saying that he has been at odds with Ulfric for years.