While Grelod is cruel and uncaring, Constance seems to be a kind person. The children say that she is "nice" to them, and they want her to be in charge. Even though she is appalled at her treatment of the children, Constance defends Grelod, saying that the latter is old and knows no other life. She is the only person in the orphanage to express any sorrow at Grelod's demise.
If the Dragonborn travels to Honorhall Orphanage in Riften (possibly at the behest of Aventus Aretino), Grelod will be seen berating and threatening the children. It is not possible to talk to Grelod, but Constance can be asked if Grelod is always that cruel to the children. Constance will admit that she is, and then try to usher the Dragonborn out, explaining that the children are not up for adoption, and it is cruel to get their hopes up.
If Grelod is killed, Constance enters a state of panic, but does not defend Grelod or alert the Riften Guard. She sometimes may not panic, but will instead casually walk out of the orphanage, yelling at the Dragonborn to get out, even when spoken to outside. With Grelod gone, Constance takes over as orphanage headmistress, and conditions improve greatly for the children there, although she continues Grelod's policy of not allowing the children to be adopted.
If Hearthfire is installed, Constance's non-adoption policy changes. If Grelod is dead, a flyer will be delivered by a courier, stating that there are children up for adoption, both at Honorhall and in other places.
If an offer is made to adopt a child from Honorhall, she will be delighted, but will want to know some things, most notably if they have a house with a child's bedroom and the prospective new parent's occupation. If a suitable home exists, she says to go and speak to the child they wish to adopt, and promises to get them safely to their new home. Her reaction to the Dragonborn's occupation varies depending on the answer.
Whether she saw you kill Grelod or not, Constance will remain in a state of panic from Grelod's death until you complete Innocence Lost by talking to Aventus Aretino. However, she will not acknowledge you as the murderer once this questline is completed. If you don't have Hearthfire, she will simply state that the children are not up for adoption (since no adoption system is in place) and ask you to leave. If you do have Hearthfire, and ask to adopt a child, she will not mention that you killed Grelod even if she saw it happen.
While Grelod is alive, the flyer will not be delivered, and it will not be possible to adopt children from Honorhall. If the player asks about doing so, Constance will explain that Grelod is the headmistress, and she is not allowing any adoptions. It will still be possible to adopt orphaned children from other places, as long as the Dragonborn has a house with a child's bedroom.
- "I can't believe Grelod is dead. I had no love for the woman, but to be murdered, in cold blood..."
- "I'm sorry, but the children aren't up for adoption right now. You should go."
- "My only concern is for the children. The poor darlings have no one else."
- "Grelod...Murdered, here? I...I need air...You!...get out, get out!"
- "I can not best you!"
- After killing Grelod, she may continue to panic indefinitely, disabling any interactions with her. This behavior should stop once the quest Innocence Lost is completed. It would be advised not to kill Grelod until the quest is started.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (First appearance)