Elder Scrolls

Dead Thrall

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Dead Thrall
School Conjuration
Skill Level Master (100)
Magicka Cost 618
Effect Reanimate a dead body permanently to fight for you. Only works on people.
Spell Tome Purchase
Tome ID 000A26F9
Spell ID 0007E8DF

Dead Thrall is a master-level Conjuration spell in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Casting it raises the dead body of most humanoid beings of level 40 and under to "permanently" fight alongside the player. The thrall follows and defends its master until banished, killed, or turned. Occasionally the thralls will vanish, even if within eyesight, or when entering certain areas they may not follow, but they may show up again later, even if you are on the other side of Skyrim. Unlike other reanimation spells, thralls that die will not turn to ash and may be raised again. If the conjurer has the Dark Souls perk, the thrall will be raised with an extra 100 hit points; however, once these are spent they are not recoverable unless the thrall dies and re-enthralled.

Spell TomeEdit



  • Weight: 1 WeightIcon
  • Value: 1270 GoldIcon
  • See Spell Tome for a complete table of spell tomes, their descriptions, and their values.



Upgrading the thrall's equipment may increase its effectiveness.

Thralls will use any weapon given to them as long as the weapon matches its proficiencies. For instance, mages will prefer to continue using their spells and wielding staves rather than equipping powerful melee weapons. Most thralls, regardless of proficiencies, will also use the shields given to them, provided they have a free hand available. However, thralls are much more picky about the armor/clothing they will wear.

Here are the details:

  • Thralls will equip whatever armor they die in. The armor given to them must be the specific item; it cannot be a duplicate (e.g. if a thrall spawned with an Iron Helmet, it will only wear that Iron Helmet and will not equip any other Iron Helmets found in the game). An exception is reanimated Forsworn, who will use any Forsworn Armor dropped by other Forsworn. If gear is given to the follower, then the follower is killed and enthralled, they will continue to wear whatever they had while alive, but fast-traveling will de-equip the gear, so this is of limited use.
  • Thralls from Northwatch Keep may replace their Glass Armor with Elven Armor looted from other Northwatch Guards.
  • Afflicted thralls may change their armor when moving to a different cell. They may equip lower level armor when moving to a new cell.
  • Thrall equipment may be improved. To do so, loot the desired gear from the thrall's corpse. Modify the gear as desired through enchanting and smithing. Return the gear to the thrall's corpse, and reanimate it. The thrall will equip the gear upon leaving the current cell.
  • Thrall gear may be reset by removing all the equipment, reanimating the thrall, then moving to a different cell. The thrall will generate a new set of equipment from the list of possible gear with which they can spawn. Note that this gear may be different from what they previously had. This trick may be used to re-enchant thrall equipment, obtain better versions of leveled gear a thrall may have equipped, or duplicate rare equipment.
  • Thralls will not equip items in slots that were left empty when they generated their gear.
  • Renaming thrall gear when enchanting it will simplify keeping track of unique equipment.
  • Any enchantments on the armor or clothing will interfere with and negate the Dark Souls perk. Consider whether enchanting a thrall's equipment is worth the loss of the 100 health gained from that perk.
  • If the thrall dies after the first time it has equipped enchanted gear, when it is reanimated the enchantments will not take affect even though the thrall still has the gear equipped. To remedy this, every time the thrall dies, loot the enchanted gear, and then give it back to them, allowing them to re-equip it.
  • Replace the weapon into the inventory of any character that has dropped it and that will be the subject of the thrall spell, otherwise the character will not pick it up unless in battle.

Notable ThrallsEdit

The characters listed below are thralls that have been deemed exceptional in some way by the community. The first three sections deal with thralls of different class, and the final covers thralls that retain their vocal clips upon death. All thralls listed here are able to be thralled at any level unless otherwise noted. Some of the named NPCs listed have unique abilities, while others are effective and easy to find.


These thralls will use destruction spells and readily wield staves you give them. Some will even conjure allies using their own spells.

Name Location/Quest Level* Health-icon MagickaIcon Stamina Magic Resistance Enchantable Items Notes
Orchendor The Only Cure 40 (max) 625 430 205 100% 2
  • Teleportation spell
  • Corpse does not reset
  • Ideal thrall; very strong and immune to most magic
Malkoran The Break of Dawn 40 (max) 500 460 25 55% 1
  • Shade spawns upon death
  • 120 armor
  • Does not moan
  • Body may reset after quest is complete.
  • Every time the shade dies it yields a bone meal and 250 gold
Kornalus Harmugstahl 40 (max) 500 410 50 30% 1
  • 120 armor
Sild the Warlock Rannveig's Fast 40 (max) ? ? ? ? 1
  • Uses extremely powerful magic
  • Very high health
  • Corpse does not reset
Silus Vesuius Pieces of the Past 40 (max) ? ? ? ? ?
  • Corpse does not reset
  • Summon Familiar in battle
  • Uses moderately powerful magic
Sebastian Lort A Daedra's Best Friend 40 (max) 234 231 25 25% 1  
Volkihar Vampire

Broken Fang Cave, Haemar's Shame, etc.

48** 843 413 294

50% frost resistance {C {C}50% weaker
to fire

Master Vampires

Broken Fang Cave, Shriekwind Bastion, etc.

42** 669 414 257

50% frost resistance {C {C}50% weaker
to fire

  • Affected by Necromage perk**
  • Can keep vocal clips
Master Conjurer Hob's Fall Cave 40+ 500 460

Unknown but at least not low; prefers weapons

30-55% 1
  • 120 armor
  • Name may change to "Master Necromancer" upon reanimation
Forsworn Ravager The Reach (on the ruins of Karthspire Camp) ? ? ? ? ? 1
Sulla Trebatius Alftand Cathedral (Near the end with Umana) 10-30 391 222 197 0 3
  • Uses mostly fire magic
  • Comes with enchanted Imperial Sword
  • Wears Imperial armor, boots, and bracers
  • Has many perks (Agumented Flames, Bladesman, Fighting Stance, Recovery, Regeneration, Respite, Tower of Strength).
  • Heals himself.
Arch-Curate Vyrthur Touching the Sky, after Auriel's Chapel. 15-75**

(PC x1.2)

? ? ? ? 3
Necromancer The Man Who Cried Wolf, at the tower in Wolfskull Ruin ?

(PC x1.2)

? ? ? ? ?


These thralls generally have good armor and use melee weapons effectively. They will also use ranged weapons given them when fighting at a distance.

Name Location/Quest Level* Health-icon MagickaIcon Stamina Magic Resistance Enchantable Items Notes
Krev the Skinner Gallows Rock, in The Silver Hand quest. 28 (max) 497 40 258   4
  • Gender is radiant can be male or female
  • Better in heavy armor

Champion of Boethiah

Boethiah's Calling

38 51 (max)




10% 50% fire resistance

  • Equips Ebony Mail (136)
  • Level 38 when PC level less than 58
  • Is more skilled in Light Armor rather than Heavy Armor.
Chief Yamarz The Cursed Tribe 20 (max) 1271 114 50 0 4
  • Equips full set of Orcish armor (228)
  • Over 1,200 health if the player kills the Giant.
Northwatch Guard Northwatch Keep 36 (max) 565 170 190 0 4
  • Equips full set of Glass armor (169)
Forsworn Ravager The Reach 34 (max) 447 116 182 35% 4
  • Equips full set of Forsworn armor
  • Will dual wield (most of the time), meaning that it will never stop attacking because it will be unable to block.
  • Sprints to get in range of targets.
  • Has the Savage Strike perk.
Dremora Markynaz Atronach Forge 36 (max) 435 50 190 0 None
  • Retains vocal clips
  • 170 armor
Thalmor Soldier Diplomatic Immunity



565 120 190 0 4/5
  • Equips full set of Elven/Glass armor
  • Corpse does not reset (Only those found during Diplomatic Immunity)
Bandit Chief

Dungeons, Camps, etc.

28 (max) 497 25 258 0 4/5
  • Equips full set of Steel Plate armor whether he/she was killed w/o a helmet, gauntlet, etc.
Redoran Guard

Old Attius Farm

? ? ? ? 0 5
  • Does not moan.
  • Equips full set of Bonemold Pauldron Armor, including shield.
  • Body does not reset. (Only the corpse found at Old Attius Farm)


These thralls use ranged weapons more effectively. They will switch to melee weapons in close quarters.

Name Location/Quest Level* Health-icon MagickaIcon Stamina Magic Resistance Enchantable Items Notes
Northwatch Archer Northwatch Keep 36 565 170 190 0 4
Forsworn Ravager The Reach 34 447 116 182 45% 4
Thalmor Soldier Diplomatic Immunity 36 (max) 565 120 190 ? 4
  • Equips full set of Elven or Glass armor
  • Corpse does not reset (only those found in the quest Diplomatic Immunity)

Retain Vocal ClipsEdit

These thralls do not switch to the standard moans and groans of reanimated corpses. They instead continue to use the unique vocal clips they had in life.

Name Location/Quest Level* Health-icon MagickaIcon Stamina Magic Resistance Enchantable Items Notes
Ancano The Eye of Magnus 32+ ? ? ? ? 2 Corpse does reset
Arondil Yngvild ? ? ? ? ? ?
  • Does moan
Astrid Destroy the Dark Brotherhood! ? ? ? ? ? None Corpse does not reset
Cicero The Cure for Madness 40 375 115 245 0 None
  • Will dual wield
  • Dances randomly
Elenwen Thalmor Embassy ? ? ? ? ? 2

Galmar Stone-Fist

Palace of the Kings ? ? ? ? ? 4
  • 2H
General Tullius Castle Dour ?-40+ ? ? ? ? 3
  • 46 armor
Legate Rikke Castle Dour ? ? ? ? ? ?

Corpse does reset

Does moan

Skjor The Silver Hand ?-40+ ? ? ? ? 2
  • Does moan
Velehk Sain The Midden Dark 4 ? ? ? ? 2
  • Body does not reset
Ulfric Stormcloak Palace of the Kings ?   ? ? ? 3
  • Will use shouts
  • Only 6 armor
Wyndelius Gatharian Shroud Hearth Barrow Radiant (1-25) 35-441 100-294 50-150 ? 2
  • Looks like a ghost
  • Corpse resets
Septimus Signus Septimus Signus' Outpost 1 50 50 50 ? 1 (Boots)
  • The quest Discerning the Transmundane may have to be done for this to be possible.
  • One must push Septimus away, with Unrelenting Force, from the Oghma Infinium pedestal before he gets turned to ashes and then kill him.
Krag Nchuand Zel              
Erj Nchuand Zel Armory              
Stromm Nchuand Zel Living Quarters              
Reaver Lord Brodir Grove, Haknir's Shoal, Nchardak, Wreck of the Strident Squall, Damphall Mine, Bloodskal Barrow 28 ? ? ? ? 4  
Staubin Nchuand Zel Control              
Hefid the Deaf The Ratway Warrens 3 50 50 50 ? 2 (Iron Dagger and Ragged Robes)
  • She will only moan if you run into her. Other than that she just frequently keeps repeating her dialogue when she was alive: "Ha ha ha ha! No! Never find me!" and variations of "Inkpot. Stone. Bucket. Book. Knife.", "Bucket. Knife. Book. Inkpot. Stone. No, no, no." and "Knife. Yes. Book. Yes. Bucket. Yes. Inkpot? No."

Master Conjurer

Hob's Fall Cave 40 500 460 ? 30-55% 1
  • 120 armor
  • Name may change to "Master Necromancer" upon reanimation

*Levels with (max) mean the thrall will scale with the Dragonborn up to a maximum of that level. Levels without (max) mean the thrall is set at that level.

**Vampires can be thralled above the level 40 cap of Dead Thrall if the Dragonborn has taken the Necromage perk found in the Restoration tree. This perk affects all spells that target vampires including Dead Thrall. With this perk all versions of vampires found in the game are thrallable except Volkihar Master Vampires (level 53). Of note are Volkihar Vampires (level 48) and Master Vampires (level 42), the two highest level natural candidates for thralls in the game.

Useful console commandsEdit

  • openactorcontainer 1 - lets one place and take items without having to kill and resummon the thrall, it will not allow taking their base equipment.
  • disable, enable - lets one reset their base items, they will lose what ever base items they had before even if it was enchanted.
  • resurrect - revives the thrall and also resets their items to base.
  • player.moveto <refID>- Teleport to the thrall's current location, useful for when they disappear after fast traveling. The ref id can be found by opening the console and clicking on the thrall.
  • prid <refID>, moveto player - Teleport the thrall to the player's current location.
  • tai - Shuts off their AI effectively freezing them in place. (Use again to turn their AI back on.)
  • resetai - Resets their AI. In conjunction with tai, this will allow stopping them from fighting with followers and other thralls.
  • getlevel - Checks the name and level of the creature.
  • dispelallspells - Dispels all non permanent active effects which includes Dead Thrall. Useful if the Dragonborn does not have any dead thralls but the active effect still persists.
  • setlevel 1000,0,1,80 - By using that command, will make the selected NPC (tested and confirmed working on Dead Thralls) level up with the player. I.E.: Tested on a thralled Forsworn Briarheart which was lvl 38, and after the command jumped up to lvl 41 (same level as the Dragonborn). Also works for thralling a higher than lvl 40 NPC, by lowering the lvl with this command, thralling, then setting the NPC to level up accordingly.


  • If the player gets caught trespassing with a thrall, paying off the fine will cause the player to be teleported out of the cell. The thrall will then advance to the next tier of its character type, provided it has one (e.g. a level 42 Master Vampire will become a level 53 Volkihar Master Vampire.) This can only be performed once per thrall, and thralls that advance beyond the Dead Thrall level cap cannot be reanimated if they die.
  • The player may use a Dead Thrall as storage for an unlimited amount of items. To do this, one must simply kill the thrall, and when searching their body, fill it with the items that to be carried. To retrieve the items, one must bring the thrall back to life and kill him again to unpack the items. A single torch placed in their inventory provides a handy light source as they will light up when out of combat situations.
  • Since Dead Thralls can summon creatures using a staff in the their inventory, the player can have a larger group of allies to aid them in battle.
  • Just like other followers, a single high quality arrow placed in the Dead Thrall's inventory allows them to fire an unlimited number of arrows of that type, increasing their archery effectiveness, and allowing the player to recover the arrows.
  • Unlike followers, Dead Thralls will level-scale with the world. This means that it's possible to re-animate a dead thrall, and then they level up to 40, and when they die, it's not possible to re-animate them. However, many potential candidates are level-capped and will not scale past 40.
  • If, for whatever reason, a follower dies, it's possible to raise them as long as their level is not greater than 40. After zoning, they will not wear the apparel that was given them before their death; however, if they are a Blade, their default spawn apparel will be the Blades full armor set, which may be upgraded and enchanted. Of note is the fact that these Blades' bodies do not reset.
  • With a Dead Thrall following, most other characters, from kids to traders, will make negative comments regarding the spell by giving warnings to stay away or about using a dangerous spell. These comments/warnings do not appear to affect any quest or trading dialogs.
  • Vampiric players will find that they can choose to skip the process of equipping their thralls with better armor or weapons entirely by using the following techniques. These tricks will function effectively even on the Master difficulty setting. This is useful as Dead Thralls can be very unreliable when transitioning from location to location, furthermore the process of equipping them with enchanted items is unreliable as well.
    • Illusion spells (Call to Arms, etc) will be 25% stronger if the player is a vampire, greatly improving thralls. The player must have the Illusion school perk Master of the Mind to use the beneficial illusion spells on their Dead Thralls.
    • The Restoration school perk Necromage will not only improve the players active effects by 25%, but it also augments beneficial illusion spells by another 25% (50% total) when used on Dead Thralls.
    • Potions which improve Illusion spells improve the power of the spells, and not the duration. An Elixir of Illusion will add an additional 100% power to beneficial illusion spells, whereas player created potions can be even stronger. When used to cast Call to Arms, thralls become powerful enough to survive against the majority of enemies in the game.
    • In some ways, it is inferior to temporary reanimating spells, in as much as it will only reanimate humans, and elves, excluding Falmer, whereas Revenant, for example, works on not only Falmer, but many animals too.


  •  PC  According to Creation Kit, what makes the thralls do not turn into Ash Pile is the lack of "ReanimateAshPile" script from the both "ReanimateSecondaryEffect" Magic Effect, while what makes the Thrall last almost permanently is the "AbRitualReanimateCastBodyFX" Equip Ability.
  • Sometimes when a mage reanimated by the player is attacked, it will summon an atronach. The atronach will register as an enemy, causing it to attack the summoner. Once it kills the corpse, it will disappear, having effectively killed itself.
  • This can be cast on Ulfric Stormcloak after he is killed at the end of the civil war missions.
    • It is also possible to get General Tullius and Legate Rikke as thralls. Just make sure to complete the Civil War questline before reaching level 40.
  • Dead Thralls, either one's own or raised by enemies, often moan "Thank you.", "Freedom." etc. when being destroyed. This also applies to other lower-level spells of the same type. Rarely, Dead Thralls will beg "Free... me." after being used for some time.
  • Hold Guards may attack the Dragonborn if they see him/her using this spell in a city.
  • Dead Thralls can't regenerate their health and are immune to healing spells. That means they can't be healed by the player and the only way for them to restore their health is to use healing potion given to them.
  • Dead Thralls can be used as "walking trunks" and torch bearers. Putting a torch in their inventory will cause them to light it up under low light conditions whenever not in a combat situation, which also acts as something of an early warning system.
  • Dremora Caitiffs and Churls found at the Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon can be made into thralls.
  • If Dawnguard is installed, and the Dragonborn sides with the vampires during the Dawnguard questline, if the Vampire Cattle in Castle Volkihar are killed and reanimated, they can be fed on anywhere. However, feeding in a city will get the Dragonborn a bounty.
  • The effect actually lasts for 47951 hours, the equivilent of 5 1/2 years. So unless you ran the game continuously for 5 1/2 years, the effect is truly permanent.
  • Ysolda under the influence Dead Thrall instead of fighting escapes.


This section contains bugs related to Dead Thrall. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , or  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.


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